Little dude turned 1 a few weeks ago, but as always I couldn’t get my act together to post in a timely manner.  The pressure was on to write something sappy so instead of diving in headfirst, I avoided all of you for awhile.  You’re not mad at me, right?

I’m posting his one year photo, but I’ll be back with the sap.  Don’t you worry.


Oh.  And here’s the cake I made for him.  Thank god for Pinterest, people…How did we ever plan weddings or have babies without it?



Hi ya’ll.  It’s been about 2 weeks, so you know what that means.  A pitiful apology about what a bad lil’ blogger I’ve been.  I can’t help it if I’m boring.  Unless you like reading about a 40-plus hour work week?  Yeah?

You: And a full 7 hours on Saturday, too?  Tell me more!

Katie: Why, so glad you asked.  Let me lay it out for you, each individual hour at a time, mmkay?

This is why I don’t blog more.  Annnnnd, you’re welcome.

I have no excuses for you.  I’ve been working a lot?  At the gym a lot?  Hanging out with friends?  Busy building my underground apocalypse chamber in preparation for May 21st?

Let’s just say a little of all of the above.  Except the bomb shelter.  I ran out of concrete and the bunk bed on Craigslist fell through. 

I also just had a birthday, so that’s a damn, good excuse for neglecting all my internet friends, too.  And I’m not sorry for that.

(Ok, yeah I am.  Sorry.)

This past birthday was tough.  Mainly because it was my official entry into becoming a senior citizen.  Although I’m having a hard time finding stores that offer the senior discount for age 28.  I smell age discrimination. 

I feel it is my duty to enlighten you on what I’ve discovered now that I’m a senior citizen.

First, you need to wear more practical shoes.  I still stare longingly at the snake-skin stilettos, but often opt for the practical black wedges instead.  I’m an old maid now.  A married one at that.  Can’t be prancing around town risking a hip break.

Second, I’ve discovered my love for eating dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Lastly, I enjoy nagging my husband a little TOO much.  Wait.  Scratch that.  I might have done that before getting old.

Tony’s birthday always falls on the same day, a week before mine does.  His was last Sunday, so that means mine’s coming up.  (Side note – shout out to all the mothers out there who share that special day with me!)  I’m having a tough time with this birthday.  Not that I don’t have a tough time with all birthdays, mainly because I’m slowly inching away from being that young, hot spring chicken in the bar.  Shallow, no?  But, damn…these girls start looking younger and younger, I tell ya.

Mainly, though, it’s tough because I’m now entering my late 20’s.  Oh the horror!  The last couple years I was always able to swing it in my favor.  “Ohhh, no, no…I’m still in my mid twenties,” I’d say.  But this year, there is no mistaking.  I’m entering the last 3 years.  Can I get you a tissue?  I know you are crying big crocodile tears for me.  Oh wait, that’s just me.

I joke about it, really.  I’m not that hung up on it.  And as long as I always have Tony 2 years and a week ahead of me, I can pick on someone else for being older.  Not that guys care as much.  But I’m trying to give him a complex, ok, so back me up on this one.

I just went on a long tirade about what a total girl I’m being about this next birthday, so I need to cool it and get back to my subject at hand.  Nintendo Wii!  Yay!

Because we have such close birthdays, we’ll often buy a joint gift together.  Some years we’ll just go on a shopping trip together.  This year we decided to get a Wii.  Somehow I’m sure you’ll believe me when I say he’s the one who brought up the video game idea.  I wasn’t sitting at home pining for one, is what I’m saying.

But it’s actually been a lot of fun.  If Mario Kart was a man, he’d be my new squeeze.  The light of my life.  Oh how I love you Mario Kart.  I didn’t want to love you because, actually, I was totally in love with your older brother, Super Nintendo Mario Kart, but you have stolen my heart with your cool new courses and silly little wheel controller.  Swoon.

I’m mixed on the other games.  My parents got me a Wii Fit for my birthday (seeing a theme to my birthday gifts this year?).  While I enjoy doing the little games, I’m not sure it’s really a big calorie torcher.  Burning 3 calories at a time for short little games isn’t exactly going to burn the calories off my butt from that big, ole’ piece of birthday ice cream cake I just downed for breakfast. (Don’t judge, when it’s your birthday week, you can eat whatever you want for breakfast.  Because your body knows it’s your birthday so calories don’t count.  It’s a science thing.)

Kyle got me Just Dance, which I was totally pumped about.  I’m mixed about this one as well.  I’ve always prided myself on being a bomb-diggity little dancer.  And I don’t even have to have a good quantity of wine in my system, thankyouverymuch.  But this game makes me feel like I’m sub-par and have the rhythm of, say…Tony.  (Sorry Love!)  However, once you get the hang of the dance moves, it gets easier.  And I can also see it being fun to do with a large group of people.  Also maybe with alcohol.

The Sports Resort is also a good time.  It brings out my competitive side, in which I try to canoe Tony off the course so I can win it all and celebrate.  I didn’t say I wouldn’t get scrappy.

Anyhow, I’m starting to feel like a review catalog for the Wii system.  But there you have it folks.  If you want to join me for a game of Mario Kart sometime, I’d be totally excited.  Just watch out for the flying steering wheel remote.  I can get animated.  You’ve been warned.

Today is your birthday.  If only you knew how much I miss you still.

I tried to write you this letter a few weeks after you died, but each draft I wrote focused too closely on my own pain from your passing, overshadowing the brilliant life I intended to honor.

Today I think I can finally achieve what I set out to say.  Grief is interesting like that.  After the shock and excruciating sadness, it settles into an achy feeling that detours in the back of your throat.  That sore swallow you take as you struggle with the tears taking formation at the ducts.  It’s still there, every bit of it, except, years later it also accompanies an ability to smile when recollecting the memories. 

I like to think I’m pretty capable of portraying certain emotions or illustrating a scene through my writing.  I find it difficult, though, to box you up in a neat little package to present to someone who didn’t know you.  Nobody would get it.  Nobody would understand that when I talk about what an exceptional grandfather you were, or better yet, what an inspiring person you were to many, I mean for them to understand that I emphasize these points with exclamation marks.  Big, bold letters.  A blazing, neon sign. 

You left an impact.

Not only on myself, but on everybody’s life you touched.  You had a spirit about you that made even the surliest of store clerks smile by the end of the transaction.  Your manner was never rushed – you found the joy in stopping and chuckling at a goofy child as much as you found the patience in churning homemade ice cream by hand for your grandchildren.  There was never anything that couldn’t take a backseat to enjoying the present moment.  And even as I type this, I can still see you with one hand in your pocket and your lips on the verge of a whistle as you wandered away from the group, reading about each animal’s habitat at the zoo. 

I have the fondest memories of spending weeks during the summer with you and Grandma in Ohio.  A trip or two to the zoo was an unspoken plan.  It was just your thing and I think I can speak for all the grandchildren when I say the Columbus Zoo will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

You were the person who taught us grandkids how to play poker.  I clearly remember sitting on the brick patio, pretending a pretzel stick was a cigar and smelling the honeysuckle that grew up the old bell by the grill as we learned Five Card Stud.  You had your tumbler filled with Dewars and Kyle and I had our special Kiddie Cocktails made with Sprite and cherry juice.  I used to get so excited for “Totty” time. 

You were also the person who had 3 walls in his workshop devoted to the grandchildren’s height measurements.  After the warm welcomes, the first thing the grandkids always wanted to do was to have you measure them in your workshop.  The heights started to peter out by our teenage years, but nevertheless, we’d stand proud while you stuck the yardstick on top of our head and mark the wall. 

The golfing range, feeding the horses, the Bogey Inn.  I have so many memories tucked away in safe keeping so I can one day tell my own children how special my grandfather was.  And while you are no longer here with us, your presence in all the lives you touched, truly made each one richer.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa.  Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying a glass of Dewars with a cup of carrots and celery.  And a golf game on the tube.

I love you,

Katie Beth