Here she is at my sister's sealing a few months ago with her little brother, Uncle Bob:
Aren't they the most precious things EVER? Yeah, I thought so!
Here is a picture of the day after she and my grandpa were married. She was 19. I love how she pretty much looks the same! Right down to the smile. So beautiful!
So here are some of my top memories with my Nana (in no particular order). Happy Birthday Nana!!
1. I can remember when I was very little (turns out I was 18 months old-so this is my first real memory) Grandpa was sitting on their gold felt armchair (that chair was AWESOME!) and Nana jumped in his lap and they fell over backwards. They were laughing and it made me laugh at them.
2. I remember making 5-6 dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and 6 loaves of homemade bread with Nana every week when we were kids. And then if we were good, she would let us eat some of the cookie dough! Whenever she would make bread, she would make us sopapillas for dinner and we'd have scones afterwards.
3. On Fast Sunday, Nana started the tradition of having Blueberry Pancake Breakfast for Dinner. So divine! We literally had this the first Sunday of each month for 10 years, at least. Love me some blueberry pancakes!
4. I'm suddenly noticing a trend, a lot of my memories with my Nana revolve around food. Ha! This one is about when she taught me to cook. I learned to read recipes from her. She taught me to make Cream Puffs (I'm drooling thinking about it!) and she taught me not to confuse salt with sugar. She made brownies (not from a mix) one time and did this. I've never tasted something like that before. It was terrible! And poor Nana, the most amazing cook I've ever known in my relatively short life, couldn't figure out what happened. Imagine 2 cups of salt and no sugar in brownies. Now imagine eating that. Yeah....
5. In the summers, sometimes my cousins would come to visit and for some reason when the 8 of us would get together, we'd fight and not get along. So Nana would give us "brownie" points and if we earned enough at the end of each week, and whoever got the highest would get to pick our special treat and she would make it for us (usually cream puffs)! The key to earning brownie points was that someone else had to see us doing/saying something nice about someone else and go tell Nana. I thought it was pretty clever!
6. When the weather was nice, we would all sit out on the deck and look out at the valley and hang out outside. Nana would crochet like nobody's business. I remember I was learning to crochet and was counting the stitches and she started listing random numbers so I lost track. It was pretty funny so I thought it would be funny so I did back to her. Yeah, she didn't really appreciate it and had to take out a third of the blanket. I didn't ever do it again. :)
7. My grandma has always clogged. She's a clogger. As in the type of dance, similar to tap dancing. In fact, when she moved to Idaho a couple of years ago, there wasn't a clogging class and so she started one! I remember we would get home from school and she would be so excited about a new step she learned that she would practice in the kitchen and show it to us and try to get us to do it. We just stared blankly at her. I don't know of any other Nana that STILL clogs at 88. Top that!
8. When I was in college, Nana and my sister, Erin went and played tennis one morning. Nana was probably 81-82 at the time. Erin hit a the ball at a bad angle and Nana LITERALLY DOVE to return it. And she did. And won the point. So AFTER the game, she realized that her hip "twinged a bit" but didn't do or say anything about it. She was leaving to go to France for a month and didn't want to mess up her trip. So after she traipsed all around France, she came back and found out that she had fractured her hip. There was nothing the doctor could do because it had already begun to heal. Yeah, my Nana rocks and rolls and dives and runs all over France with a fractured hip!
9. When we were kids, we loved to play outside. We had lots of room to run and play. Our (at least my) favorite was when played outside when it was raining. The crazier the weather, the better it was. This was awesome because it Texas we were never allowed to play in the rain (you know, because of Tornados). So anyway, I think the best part was when we were done playing and completely exhausted, Grandpa would have a roaring fire going in the fireplace and Nana would make us hot chocolate to warm us up and then we would sit around and read books or color or whatever. I can remember even hanging up our clothes next to the fireplace to dry them out. Drying them next to the fireplace was soooo much cooler than using the dryer.
10. My ALL TIME favorite memory of my grandparents is so awesome and hilarious! It's more about my grandpa, but Nana is involved so I'll share it here. This story deserves to be shared. So here is what happened. I was probably 17-18 and our family was at church and the sacrament was being served. Nana and Grandpa and Erin were sitting in the row in front of us. Mom handed out peices of listerine strips (which were very strong breath mints) to everyone, including Nana. Nana ripped hers in half and shared it with Grandpa. Grandpa "whispered" to Nana and asked her what it was. She actually whispered and said that it was a breath mint and panomimed putting the strip in her mouth. Grandpa did. His eyes buldged for a moment and then very loudly, during the sacrament, said, "What did you just give me?!?!" and then tried to spit it out for several minutes. Only our family knew what had happened and we were laughing hysterically. Nana tried to calm him down, but she was laughing too hard. We're so distruptive! Every single head in the chapel turned and stared at us trying to figure out what had happened. So completely hilarious! I would have been embarassed if it hadn't been so darn funny. I wonder if anyone that was there remembers an old guy yelling during the sacrament...
So there you have it. Some of my favorite memories of my Nana. She is an incredibly special lady and I have been truly blessed to have her as my Nana. And I hope that she is around for a long, long time. And I'm pretty sure she will be. I think she is going to live forever!
Happy Birthday Nana!!