A baby shower

Here’s my niece!noname36

Yesterday we had my sister’s baby shower! A ton of people came to celebrate Monique and my niece Haley, who I can’t wait to meet. She’s at 31 weeks, so her due date is only nine weeks away on October 28. My mom and I had been working on this shower for weeks, and I’d call it a success based just on all of the wonderful gifts Monique got. She and Nick have such generous family and friends, and Haley is probably set for a while when it comes to diapers and clothes. (Check the sushi diaper set in the corner, complete with Nemo!)

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My sister is pretty cute. It has been so exciting being a part of these milestones in her life over the past couple of years, with her engagement in 2011, wedding in 2012, and baby in 2013. I can’t wait to be an aunt!

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Loss

My beautiful grandparents

My mom got home from Florida today, where she was with her siblings to say goodbye to my grandmother, their mom, who passed away last week.

I admit I didn’t know my Grandma Christy as well as I wish I had – she lived across the country and I hadn’t seen her since I was 10 at the oldest. I do know she was born in New York, had dozens of animals over the years and was the mother to six children before her 25th birthday, which on its own proves her to be a bad ass.

I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing from the start, mostly because I can’t fathom what my own mother is feeling and especially because her stepmom also passed away only about a year ago. Both were fairly young. Nothing can prepare anyone for losing a parent, not even advance notice, as she had. It seems to be one of the absolute worst parts of life, something that nearly everyone experiences and miraculously gets through. When it happens to someone, everyone thinks of their own parents with an aching twinge – either already knowing the deep pain or being unable to even imagine it.

Grandma Christy had been in and out of the hospital for a couple of years dealing with complications from the strokes she had had, so I do know she is in a better place. And I’m glad my mom got to spend time with her family members, who live on the east coast and rarely see her. No one can relate better or support her more than her siblings, dad and stepdad.

These photos are ones my aunt found of my grandparents, who are the absolute cutest. I think my grandma was about 18 in these ones, still just a baby.

My grandpa in his Navy uniform
With my aunt, the oldest of six