Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grandpa Brinkman

Hello there,

In my last post I alluded to feeling a little nostalgic lately, I thought I would share why. A few weeks ago my sweet grandfather passed away. It's a funny thing about losing a grandparent. Yes, he was older (89) and yes, he lived a wonderful, full life. But I still feel a huge hole in my heart where he once was. Knowing he was aging and that this was coming has not made it a whole lot easier. But counting my blessings has helped.

1. Grandpa was: funny, loving, faithful, and complicated. He didn't always say the right things, he wasn't always the warm and fuzzy type. He made mistakes. Half the time he couldn't hear what I was saying, he told me I talked too fast. He was a real person, in my family. And he definitely was at the top.

2. He taught me so much about family. When you were in, you were in. Whether by marriage or birth-you were family. My father lived most of his adult life without his father, but Grandpa filled that role for him. He loved him and treated him like a son. When my mother passed, none of that changed.

3. He was just as loving and generous with his great grandchildren as he was with us. This is him with my nephew Tommy. I am so very thankful that he and Suzie got to know him.

4. He found a lot of joy in being generous with his family. Every Christmas he gave the grandkids money (he knew what teenagers like ; ) ) but, getting a gift usually involved solving a riddle or playing a game. He wrote out each Christmas cards, each clue by hand. Every year. And he loved it.

5. My grandmother became ill when I was very young. For years she was in a nursing home. She was total mystery to me. But, he was totally dedicated to her. He attended church with her every Sunday, and he threw he a 50th anniversary party, right there in her room. Always calling her 'Mother'.

6. He said the funniest things, like: 'well, how do you doo doo?' 'don't ever get old Michelle, it's not worth it'. One of my favorite greetings was ' Well, hello young lady', which I followed with 'Hello, young man'. He had the best smile.

7. I always knew that he loved me and was proud of me. I sent him cards often, wrote him letters. He saved every one, because he loved them. One year for Christmas I crocheted him a blanket, and my aunt gave it back to me. He kept it all this time, because he loved me.

8. This last picture was taken at our annual Fathers Day picnic. It was the last time I think I spent time with him. I will love this picture forever. Connor won't remember him, but I love that Grandpa got to meet him. My brother got to introduce him to Grandpa, which was quite a thrill. And my father got a picture of 4 generations-all together

9. I am really thankful this is my last memory of him. I didn't have to see him suffer in a hospital bed. He died in peace and without much suffering- for that, I am the most thankful. I don't have those negative memories to cloud the happy ones. I am free to laugh at stories, look at pictures, and be happy for him. He's in heaven now, with my mother and his wife-two women he loved so much.

So, I guess I can slowly start to move on. To get used to the idea of not seeing him at Christmas and family parties. That I won't have anywhere to send the cards. That will be hard. Losing someone you love can be so hard. This time, however, I have more peace and no unfinished business. No regrets for the things he won't do. Because he did it all.

With a very dry martini....

Thanks for stopping by!



p.s. If any Brinkmans stumble over here, please leave a comment with your favorite Grandpa story, I would love to hear them!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yesterday & Today

Recently my SIL Ann Marie and I took a class over at Big Picture Classes called Yesterday & Today, taught by Ali Edwards. I was looking for a a way to start recording some of my childhood memories, and this gave me the perfect jumping off point. It also came at a time when I was feeling very sentimental, but more on that later. The class included lots of great digi elements, journalling prompts, sketches and layout ideas. The goal of the classwork was to complete a book that showcased pictures from both the past and the present, however, I have decided to slip the present layouts in with my yearly scrapbook and just use this book for documenting childhood or older photos. I have plenty of those stories to tell. I thought I would share a few of the layouts I have finished, hopefully it will give you some ideas for documenting your own stories. (product note: I decided to keep things easy product wise and used the Back 40 kit from Studio Calico. Everything was soft and neutral which really went well with my older photos. I also bought a bunch of extra Basic Grey papers to use as backgrounds) {Cover Photo & A Sassy Hat} Seriously, not to toot my own horn-but how stinkin' cute do I look in that hat sitting on my beloved Sitn'Spin?? Did anyone else have one of those? I used to spin on that thing until I was so dizzy I would fall off-ha! This is the cover page for my book. Includes (from top to bottom: a picture of me weeks after I was born on the frozen Ohio River, me in front of Versailles, a very 80's family photo-hello bowl haircut, and a picture from NYE in New York City). {6 Childhood Momories}

This is my favorite layout, I am totally going to do this again! You just picked 6 random memories, and wrote the stories behind the pictures. I will spare you the long drawn-out details, but left to right: me my brother and sister in very fantastic Halloween costumes, me and my Dad hugging, me, my sister and two of our childhood friends-Cheryl and Lori, me and all my Bazeley cousins, and me wearing a leg cast holding two other leg casts.

OK, maybe I will share this one story, it's pretty funny. For any of you who do not know me personally, I was born with Spina Bifida. I had many orthopedic surgeries growing up. Apparently when I was very young, I had a habit of crawling right out of some of my leg casts. I had no feeling from the knee down, so to me it was no big deal. Hence, why I am wearing one cast, while holding, ahem, two others. My mother thought this was adorable! This is one of several photos like this. She even wanted to use one of them for my senior yearbook! I had to put the no on that one! lol

{Then & Now}

this layout is one that has been stewing in my mind for years-no kidding. The 10 years between 1999 and 2009 were life changing for me in so many ways. I really thought I should document that. Lucky for me, this layout came up in the class, so I was all over it! A few examples of how much my life changed: I moved to Louisville, got my first full-time job, owned three cars, my brother got divorced and remarried, I got a cell phone a laptop and several Ipods. So interesting to look at the changes right there on the paper.

{Facts & Feelings} This was one of those sentimental layouts that perfectly express how I am feeling lately. It details my mother's illness, how quickly it progressed and how I have recovered from it. She passed away when I was in college, but I still think about her every day. Writing this down and preserving this for other's to read was important. I have never really written about it. I probably won't write about it again, but glad I have all these thoughts down.

Thanks for stopping by. This weekend is the kickoff for the KY Derby Festival, but I will be staying planted on my couch. I have the worlds longest stepthroatcoldmysteryillness....I feel like a hot mess. I only have ONE MORE ROOM to finish spring cleaning, but it ain't gonna happen. Unless the cats learn how to clean.......a girl can dream. lol

Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wendy! Come on down!!

You are the big winner! I emailed you to get your address. Hope you enjoy your goodies!

Thanks for all the great comments and welcome to all the new followers. I love seeing people stop by my little coner of the web. I will try to be as entertaining as possible = )

I'll be back later to share a few projects I created for the Big Picture class I just finished: Yesterday & Today.

Happy Tuesday!