1st Time Grandparents


(Guest Contributor-Kelly Weaver)

babyUpdated March 29, 2016

Lennon Elizabeth arrived one week early on Sunday, March 20th at 7:05 pm weighing 5 lbs. 15 oz and measuring 18 ¾ inches long.  She is a beautiful healthy baby and everything is going well.  Kelly said, “I was not prepared for the love in my heart for that little girl and I cried when I held her (as did my mother!).” Adding, “You hear that being a grandparent is the best, but you don’t truly know until you are there.  I look forward to the many moments of joy she will bring to our lives.”

KellyShare your messages of Congratulations with Kelly and her family in the Comments Section below.


———————————————————————————————-October, 2015

This summer our daughter and son-in-law made an announcement that took my breath away and, somewhat unexpectedly, brought me to tears. They’re pregnant! This will be our first grandchild. While I am excited, I feel a bit unprepared for my new role but I guess I will figure it out along the way. Just like I did as a parent! Like any change in life, embarking on this new journey brings with it both fears and joys.
Fears –
1. My husband’s biggest fear is that the baby won’t be healthy or our daughter will have complications. He had the same fear when I was pregnant with her. Given that she’s been feeling well, as I did during my pregnancy, and extreme complications are rare, this is one fear that doesn’t keep me up at night. I’m more worried about how their puppy will react.
2. I think my biggest fear is not overstepping my bounds and being “that” mother/mother-in-law. Our daughter and her husband only live a couple of miles from us, and we have a great relationship. I have always been the parent that couldn’t wait to share all my knowledge and wisdom with my daughter as she was growing up. I will need to police those tendencies and perhaps bite my lip at times when new methods don’t match up with the ‘way it used to be’.
3. Selfishly, I am embarrassed to admit one of my fears is a possible loss of freedom. My husband and I are just becoming used to being ‘empty nesters’ and taking opportunities to do things we haven’t done for a while or doing things as just the two of us. Will being a Grandma take away from other leisure time activities? I shouldn’t be worried based on what I hear from other grandparents. We’ll likely find that we can choose ‘Grandma and Grandpa time’ over any other activity.
I am blessed that there are many fears I do not have. I don’t worry about family discord, being separated by long distances, or having my grandchild raised in a different faith tradition.
Joys –
1. My daughter and her husband celebrated their first wedding anniversary this fall. While she a_003 - Copyhasn’t lived in our house for a few years, it’s been a transition of separation since the wedding. It’s been wonderful to witness her in her new fully adult role as a wife. The joy of seeing her as a mother will be even greater. That joy will be compounded by the fact that she will be accompanied in that journey by a loving husband ready to take on his role as a new father. What more could a parent ask for?
2. My husband is so looking forward to the things he can do with his grandchild. His first favorite thing will be snuggling up on the couch with a sleeping child reminiscent of the times when our daughter was young. Of course, other activities on his list will be camping, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and trips to Storybook Land.
3. I too look forward to activities with our grandchild because it allows us to be a positive influence in their life. To share our faith, to be awed by their outlook on the world, to encourage them to be themselves, and to be their biggest fan. I think one of the joys of grandparenthood comes from being able to ‘be present’ in their world in a way that parents are not always able to be. We have a calm demeanor that comes from life experience and the lack of responsibility for the daily duties of raising a child.
I remember when my daughter was born and my father held her for the first time. He was so in awe of this little being and how everything about her was so tiny. He was particularly enthralled with her delicate fingers. Granted, it had been a long time since his own children were born but it was almost as if he had never seen a baby before. He often said, “If I had known how much fun grandchildren were, I would have had them first! “
With that in mind, I can only hope to approach the birth of my own grandchild with a sense of wonder and joy. (And it will be fun to see my dad’s reaction to his first great-grandchild!)

0_003Kelly Weaver lives in Aberdeen, South Dakota and spends her days helping people in northeast South Dakota realize their small business dreams by providing guidance and business planning services. For the past 9 years, she has coordinated the BIG Idea Competition, a business idea competition for high school students. In her free time she enjoys singing in her church choir and camping and snowmobiling with family and friends throughout the year. She and her husband, Jim, have one daughter and son-in-law and are anxiously and excitingly waiting the arrival of their first grandchild.

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Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.


©Copyright. October 2015. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.

The Fine Art of Moving

Ken & I at Vermillion, SD truck stop on May 2015 moving day
Ken & I at Vermillion, SD truck stop on May 2015 moving day

Decades ago while dating I recall being told the best way to determine long-term compatibility is to take a trip together. Ken and I traveled often and are celebrating 23 years of marriage in June 2015. I’d say that was timeless, sage advice.

Now I feel it’s my turn to offer some words of wisdom. If one wants to find out what character his/her partner is made of…MOVE. Move often. Who each is prior to sorting, selling, boxing, loading, driving and then unloading and unboxing remains through the entire process. I know this. We’ve moved seven times during our married life and each time the roles we play remain the same…in other words…we do not change much, despite our changing surroundings.

I am the planner, producer, facilitator and director. You get it…the boss…the leader. Ken, my husband, to use a good ole’ Southern phrase, “God bless his soul,” abides by my directives and does the heavy lifting and stacking. He hires the truck and labor. Apparently, time has taught him not to question or second guess my prep work and research. Alex, our son, the college dude, seeks to refine my directives with the precision of a logistics engineer, completely finding unnecessary my need for sentiment and time to pause and recall memories associated with items he considers ‘things.’

Sentimental item kept-my baby shoes.
Sentimental item kept-my baby shoes.

His goal is to get to the location and unpack, touching each item once while packing, once while loading and once while unloading. He fusses and hurries me along as I share legends of items stored away in cedar chests and cardboard boxes. I wonder if he thoughtfully considers his response when I ask, “Will you use or appreciate this one day?”

There is a fine art to moving. I equate it to a great symphony piece. First, I gather items by theme-kitchen cookware, flatware, linens, decorative items, etc. and sort. It sounds so cerebral, but in reality, it never gets easier, though with each move we downsize. What goes to a consignment shop? What will I attempt to sell? What is donated? What do I want to pass on to Alex? What can’t I part with just yet?

Fine art of moving-starts out messy.
Fine art of moving-starts out messy.

Actions ensue. I box and cart items to each destination. Ahhh. The house feels lighter. I feel good. I gather empty boxes we’ve saved from previous moves and do my best to pack alike items in a logical fashion. I bubble wrap breakables and touch each saved item with care, recalling how it came into our lives. I like doing this in solitude without the rush of deadlines and the push toward the end goal–boxing and moving on. I’m goal oriented, but not without nostalgia.

I call charitable organizations and schedule pick up times. During the recent move, we donated to the Furniture Mission in Sioux Falls, SD. They were gracious and expedient in their pick up. I watched them load items once considered valuable possessions but knew would not last through yet another move. I felt a loss of the material goods but joy at helping another family furnish a house. After they clear the garage, the items that escaped another cut and were boxed are moved to the garage awaiting the moving truck and the loaders. If these items had feelings, they’d be celebrating. They made the cut! They are prized and belong to the family.

Made the cut-boxed and in the garage awaiting truck.
Made the cut-boxed and in the garage awaiting truck.

I hesitantly sell items through the Internet, but never unless Alex or Ken is there with me when a potential buyer arrives. I’m 100 percent in my sales. Perhaps I missed my calling. I sell at list price and often the buyer leaves with more items than he came to get. Am I that good, or does the sentiment attached to the items I’m hawking come through so loudly that the buyer is purchasing that intangible as well? Either way. Ca..ching. Another item gone. One less thing to load on the moving truck.

All these actions happen virtually at the same time-list, respond to inquiries, arrange visits to see the items, greet potential buyers, sell, pull more items out of cupboards and cabinets, decide what goes and what stays, bubble wrap, touch each item, recall its’ origin, cart off to a donation site, wait on charitable organizations to arrive, box, move boxes to garage, on and on and on. If done well, the symphony of moving results in a feeling of relief, joy and peacefulness. If not, it’s utter chaos with shrieking and leaving in protest.

We’ve moved seven times. We each understand our role in the process and play our part. It requires practice but our individual character remains. As with musicians, each of us has learned a specialization in the process and sticks to it to make the overall piece and process flow smoothly and flawlessly.

We sorted. We donated. We sold. We packed. We loaded. We moved. We arrived safely. We can each say we enjoyed the fine art of moving in May 2015. We remember moving is like a symphony-each has a specific role to play for it to be a memorable production.


Jubilant moving producer arrives at destination.
Jubilant moving producer arrives at destination.

Copyright. June 2015. Linda Leier Thomason