I Blinked

Of all the nicknames I’ve had over the years one of my all time favorites is “Everyone’s Aunt Betty”. It was just easier to introduce myself at kiddo events as Aunt Betty. I’m also not comfiest being addressed by my title and surname. It’s just too formal. So everyone, and I mean everyone just calls me Aunt Betty.

Why divulge that? Well 18 years flew by and my incredible great-niece graduated from high school last night. It was an emotional time and of course exciting for her so the pictures I took were minimal. Her graduation party is tomorrow and I’ll have more opportunities to get snaps of all the newly graduated squad and family.

Watching all these young people finish this journey was surreal. I remember my own graduation nearly 40 years ago. There was no other time in my life when I felt as fearless. And as I looked at my niece I could tell she felt the same way. In three weeks she turns 18 and later this summer she leaves for basic training because she enlisted in the Air Force.

I’m in the fall season of my life looking back at how quickly all my littles have grown. I blinked and I’m mama to three grown adults, grandma to a couple grandnuggets that are also growing too fast and I’m Aunt Betty to a lot of nieces and nephews. This is another one of those blog posts that informs you of how quickly life moves. Take my advice and live your life. Don’t spend these precious years trying to just keep up with life. We can’t slow things down but we can take time to cherish the moments, take lots of pictures and tell people we love them, we’re proud of them and we’re always there for them.

You’re gonna’ blink and look back over your shoulder wondering how they all went from babies to grown adults with their own lives. Trust me. I blinked.

Catching Up Again

The month of May is always busy because of yard work and opening the pool. We didn't have it open for Memorial Day opting to wait a few days for the water to warm up a bit more. But by June 1 the grandnuggets were swimming. My son sent a text on Friday the 31st:

Mom, can we bring the boys over on Saturday to swim? Nugget 2 (his name here on the blog) keeps saying, "Call Grandma and ask if the pool is open. Call Grandma! Daddy, give me Grandma's number... I'll call."

The next day they rolled in, hugged and kissed me and Papa J on their way out to the pool.

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All caught up.

It's the wee hours of a Saturday morning and sleep eludes me again. Perhaps if I put this post to bed I'll be able to fall asleep myself.

Another Goodbye

My youngest son had to deal with one of the hardest things in life. His cat's health deteriorated drastically over the last two months and we all knew her time was coming. She was a family member but she gravitated to him and became his cat. She stayed in his room seldom coming out to socialize with anyone else. She's been by his side since he was 8 years old.

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On Tuesday he asked J to drive him to the animal hospital so that he could do the best thing for her. She hadn't purred in months but as he held her for the last time she was pouring loudly. We believe she was telling him it was okay. 

Now he's dealing with the grieving and we're doing what we can to help him through it all. It was just 8 months ago when we made the same trip for our Boxer boy Toa.  

She gave us all 17 years of unconditional love and friendship. We all miss her very much. 

Preserving Memories

Photographs are important to me and it’s been that way since I was a kid. There was nothing I loved more than making my way through photo albums. Each photo had a story. Sometimes I knew the story. If I didn’t know, then I’d allow my imagination to guide me as I wondered about the lives of the people in the picture. What were they thinking? Did they feel loved? Were they happy? I feel the same way when I drive through my small town gazing at Christmas lights each year. Who lives there? Are they happy? What are their dreams? Do they feel loved and wanted? I feel for people and experience their feelings.

This is why I’m no longer allowed to watch “Titanic”, or watch ASPCA commercials. Tissues boxes are on every corner if there’s a television nearby. I sob in theaters and through movies I’ve seen a hundred times.

Photographs capture moments, big and small, in our lives. Caring for those photographs helps me to preserve the memories for years to come.

Capturing the moments has been the prime focus of my photography since 2006. It’s the non-posed images that I love the most.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

Scanning and cataloging family photos has kept me away from writing here on the blog. But it’s something I have to get done. Once it’s done the photos will then be stored in proper acid and pvc free photo albums. Scanning photos is almost done and then I’ll start on the boxes of 35mm slides that were my Dad’s.

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There are a lot of them. My younger sister and I don’t have a ton of childhood photos. There are baby pictures and a couple family portraits, but most of our photos are within these slides. They’re blurry and more times than not they’re more focused on the scenery than us. But that’s what we have and I want to hold onto them tightly. Of course there are a few gems, like the photo below. That’s me and my younger sister when we were 5 and 7. I have no idea where the photo was taken but I love it so much. We were close when we were little, then we disliked each other when we were teens and now I love her to bits. Thankfully video chatting keeps us close because we live 1200 miles apart.

©1969 Seeley Family Photos. All rights reserved.

©1969 Seeley Family Photos. All rights reserved.

Preserving the memories and all my crafty endeavors have kept me busy this past month. With each post here on the site I’m one step closer to finding a creative schedule. Not that I’m a slave to schedules but there are some things in life that are easier to accomplish with one. That made sense in my head. I swear it did.

In this day and age it’s easy to hold onto and save all your photos. Digital cameras, cameras on phones make it easy to capture moments. Sites like Shutterfly and if you’re a Prime member, Amazon Photos, allow you to store an unlimited amount of images. I currently back-up my photos using the two I mentioned plus Google Photos. as well as on an external hard drive dedicated to just photos and videos.

Never store your images in just one location. You just never know what will happen.

I have to get back to the family memories now.

Peace, love and cheesecake,

Bet