Big Country

Kirkwood

Last Saturday we said goodbye to my beloved Granddaddy in Abilene, “Big Country”, Texas. It was so nice to see family, some of which we hadn’t seen in many years, although we wish it could have been under happier circumstances. It feels so strange – filled with sadness and happy memories all at the same time – the business of packing up someone’s life; as we went through my Granddaddy’s home, putting things away and boxing things up, I had so many wonderful memories of years past spent in that house – Christmases and summers and happy times…the smell of him lingering in his closet and in his shirts. We cut some pink garden roses from my Granddaddy’s front yard and brought them in a vase to the funeral home; they were so beautiful and I think he would have liked to have his own roses, that he spent so much time growing and caring for, there.

Roses from my Granddaddy's garden

Before we left Abilene on Sunday, we made it a point to take some photos on my Granddaddy’s front porch in the white porch swing we spent time on even as kids. I will miss his pretty little white house on Kirkwood, but most of all I will miss him. I’ll always have wonderful memories though and he will forever be in my heart.

This was one of my favorites: a photo of my brother, my cousin Trina, and I on that white porch swing… Then…

Then

And now…

Now

More photos from our visit to Abilene here.

by Valerie | 05.04.15 | For Funsies | 1 Comment »

Granddaddy

Talbott Family Christmas 2011

I am heartbroken as this world lost an amazing man yesterday – my Granddaddy, Clifford Talbott; he served through the entire WWII and made it home safely, he would have been 95 next month, and he still lived in the house he raised both his children in and celebrated almost 64 years of marriage with my beloved and dearly departed Mema. He was kind and brave and gave so much to so many. He will be missed by many as he loved so many and was loved by so many.

When my Mom asked my Granddaddy (about 4 years ago) to share his thoughts on marriage and his wife/my Mema (who had passed away), he had this to say:

“I can say that she was probably one of the most beautiful women you could ever want. Whatever I wanted to do, she was always ready to do it. We never did sit there and one of us want one thing, one want the other… When you get married, it works both ways and if you’re gonna keep married you better have it both ways too.

We had two wonderful children (Connie Watkins & Charles Talbott), you couldn’t ask for any better, more perfect kids than what we had.

Like I say, we had almost 64 years…and people would always be asking me, they’d say, ‘Now your wife’s not here, you gonna get married?’ And I’d say, ‘Nope. There’ll never be another one. I’ll never marry another lady.’ Cause you just don’t have a marriage like that. If you ever had to pick another one, if I had to do it over, I’d do the same thing. That’s the way I would do it.”

What a beautiful love story!

cliff army

by Valerie | 04.26.15 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

giving thanks, part II

Thanksgiving 2014

I know this is a bit belated (I caught a bug and was feeling under the weather last week and I’m finally feeling myself again), but we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Low, warm dinner lighting doesn’t make for the best photos of food, but it was all so delicious! I am so thankful to have such an amazing husband, who is not only the best partner I could possibly dream up but also an amazing cook. It was so nice to have our dear friends Michael and Jennifer join us for Thanksgiving dinner (and bring along that delicious apple crisp to share – yum!) with Ryan’s Mom at our house. I hope you had a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving filled with good memories as well as good eats!

Brussels Sprouts

by Valerie | 12.07.14 | Around our home, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

Frankenmuth, MI

We’ve had a jam-packed week/weekend of fun activities with Mom and have enjoyed her visit over the Thanksgiving holiday! We did some serious shopping on Tuesday, went to a Pistons game on Wednesday, cooked and enjoyed Thanksgiving on Thursday, a little shopping in town on Friday and decorated the house for Christmas, Frankenmuth (and Bronner’s) on Saturday, and brunch followed by the DIA on Sunday. I think after all the excitement, I could sleep for a solid 24 hours!

Frankenmuth, MI

deck the halls

by Valerie | 12.01.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

cozy day in

cozy evening in

We picked up Mom from the airport last Friday and have really been enjoying her visit; we are so glad she will be staying with us for the Thanksgiving holiday this year! We visited a few of our favorite restaurants and did a little shopping over the weekend together, but (besides a trip to the grocery store for some Thanksgiving supplies) we stayed in by the fireplace on Saturday as it was very icy outside. I don’t know about you, but I for one can certainly appreciate a relaxing, cozy day in on a cold day. We made chili and watched movies and it was so nice to just spend some down time together. Watching Ryan chasing Melody…chasing a squirrel…on ice was entertaining too. And ice skating down the sidewalk with no skates on was an experience. #winterainteasy

On Sunday, before heading to brunch, we took advantage of the above freezing temperatures for the day and cleaned out our gutters. Ryan climbed up on the roof with a bucket attached to a rope and lowered it down when it was full so I could dump it in the compost bin – our system worked well. Now we’re bracing ourselves for another cold front to hit – I’m looking forward to more cozy days in!

Cleaning the gutters

by Valerie | 11.24.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Deep in the heart of Texas

Sunset

We took a long 4th of July holiday and enjoyed a wonderful vacation/road trip to Texas to visit family and friends – had lots of fun, great food, and even better company during our trip! About 20 hours from our home to our final destination and then we turned around and drove back after about a week and a half – yes, that is a LONG time in the car, but we were able to bring Melody along with us which made it all worthwhile. I sometimes forget how much I miss it until I’m back there – the sky, the land, and most importantly the people we love. You can check out more photos from our trip here.

State line

Approaching storm

Fun on the 4th

Gatesville, TX

Gatesville, TX Courthouse

by Valerie | 07.09.14 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

Father’s Day weekend

Father's Day weekend 2014

The weather here has been really mild so far this summer and I have really enjoyed it – 70’s-80’s with a cool breeze and it doesn’t get much better than that! We had gorgeous weather all weekend and were lucky enough to enjoy it at an outdoor, backyard get-together at our neighbor’s home on Saturday; I loved their idea of putting iced drinks in a wheelbarrow too! And I enjoyed chatting with my Dad and my Granddaddy on the phone on Sunday; since we’re so far apart, I couldn’t see them in person, but it was nice to hear their voices. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Father's Day weekend 2014

by Valerie | 06.16.14 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Smile for the camera!

B'nai Mitzvah

As I mentioned in my post here, it was so nice to visit with family in El Paso a couple weeks ago and I enjoyed snapping some photos while we were all together too. Here are some of my favorites… You can find more online here.

B'nai Mitzvah

B'nai Mitzvah

B'nai Mitzvah

B'nai Mitzvah

B'nai Mitzvah

B'nai Mitzvah

And thanks to Debbie for getting this one!

B'nai Mitzvah

by Valerie | 06.10.14 | For Funsies, Photography, Travel | No Comments »

marvelous mitzvah

El Paso - early summer 2014

The photo above is a view of the Franklin Mountains from Temple Mount Sinai, in El Paso, TX, where we enjoyed a wonderful long weekend with family, celebrating my mother-in-law’s and Ryan’s Aunt’s (and 4 others in their group) b’nai mitzvah. It was great to get back to Texas too, but I didn’t miss that blazing hot summer heat – the high in El Paso yesterday was listed at 108! After a very long, very cold winter here though, I must admit that the warmth of the sun and that blue Texas sky were a sight for sore eyes. Even some of the plants look like they’re on fire; we saw lots of cactus, lantana, and this plant in the photo below (anyone know what this is?) all over the place there.

El Paso - early summer 2014

And a trip to Texas is never complete without some Texas BBQ and cold, Texas beer to wash it down with – thank you Rudy’s BBQ! You can browse more photos from our trip here.

Rudy's BBQ

Rudy's BBQ

by Valerie | 06.04.14 | For Funsies, Travel | 1 Comment »

Memorial Day

cliff army

Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!!! Thankful for my Papa, Granddaddy, Dad, Father-in-law, and all those who’ve given their service to our country. And happy 94th birthday to my Granddaddy (pictured above) on Tuesday!

Dad2

Dad6

Molloy Family Photos

by Valerie | 05.23.14 | Holidaze | No Comments »

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