GranDawn’s Log: Month 23


Dear Nathalie,

It has been quite the whirlwind of a month.  Rather than write a novel about things that have happened, AND because I am EXTREMELY late with this post (Nine days. This might be a record)  I am going to do some bullet points with the exception of this first revelation:

You are calling me something between Nani (Nah-nē) and Nawnie.  Though Nani in Hindi actually means “maternal grandmother” which is incredibly accurate for a child of your age that has been raised in the midwestern part of the United States of America. I will accept it if that is where you land, but I am encouraging the Nawnie version for two reasons:  First, it is phonetically similar to what my mother calls me (Dawnie) and I am very likely to respond this moniker and second, I do not speak Hindi.  I do take comfort in knowing that, as a Hawaiin name, Nani means “beautiful” or “splendor” – ultimately, either way, these two things you are calling me are a WIN!

You spent an entire week with your paternal grandparents leading up to Mother’s Day. It was traumatizing for your mother, and you my dear have raised your Fit Throwing Level to Professional since that visit.  Oh. MY. WORD!! You went from Amateur straight to PRO without even touching on Intermediate.  It could be a coincidence or you experienced a 5842616120f4098101eae9a8b6a92201level of spoiling that you simply were not receiving from your Indiana clan and FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL you are determined to regain some spoil action. Let it be known…we aren’t having it.

{Confession:  I lied…I can’t do bullet points}

You had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with Aunt Pixie who was visiting for 10+ days.  You were the highlight of her visit. The first time you fell asleep and she was able to snuggle you like this in almost a year…I think her heart grew three sizes that day. (Shout out to Dr. Seuss!)


As your grandparents, I feel that we have spent a great deal of time with you this month.

We visited the zoo with you…chipmunks running around were a big hit. As were the average local birds flying around. Goats scared you. The rest of the animals grabbed your attention as long as they were moving and lucky for us it was a coolish overcast day and many of the animals were out and active!


As you can see in the above picture…I do believe I have a fellow curly girl in the family.  Someday you will appreciate your curls, as you don’t have the coarse texture with them…You are welcome.  Mummy is learning how to properly manage and encourage them.

You’ve spent quite a bit of time at Lauren and Casey’s where you met all of their farm animals and even rode a pony…or a horse, I am not sure…an equine of some sort.  Your cute shoes were muddy as …well, they were very muddy and even taking my scrub brush to them barely made a difference in their discoloration.

You have learned the phrase “I love you” but in your language, it sounds like “Wuv you.”  Mummy did capture this on video and shared it with me, but you are totally naked in the video and I am not posting that for the world to see.

You don’t like us having gates up at our house.  Prior to now, we have had some rudimentary pseudo barriers to keep you from going downstairs or into rooms we wanted you to stay out of…so, seeing a gate at our house for the first time, let’s just say you were less than happy about it.

Other fit worthy things include:

  • Not letting you ride a bike in the house.
  • Making you come inside.
  • The adult holding you has the audacity to go from a standing to a seated position.
  • Turning off the water before you are done playing in it.
  • Someone besides you has your blanket
  • Someone besides you has anything you believe you should have
  • Stacking blocks
  • Not stacking blocks
  • Putting the toys away
  • The word “No” (unless uttered by you)
  • Putting the broom away
  • Adults disagreeing when you say “MINE” when it is indeed NOT yours.

{Hey look!!! Bullet points!}

We have figured out that you are afraid of the sound of a train whistle…which is unfortunate because that sound happens a lot at our house even though we don’t live that close to a train track…sound carries.  You just WAIT for a low flying plane!  The trains will seem like a pleasant lullaby to you.

I feel like I am forgetting some things but at this point…my brain hurts trying to recall all the things that make up the wonder that is you.

OH WAIT!  New Nickname… NattyRoo.  I believe there is a reason behind it but I cannot think what it was.  Will consult with Mummy and perhaps update this post.

Until next time Roo…

Love…Nani…Nawnie  (whichever)


GranDawn’s Log: Month 22

Dear Nathalie,

My dreams are coming true! You are speaking more!! Mummy has taught you the difference between hot and cold and you can say the words and show that you know the difference.

We have had the opportunity to be in your presence several times… Easter was a thing. and you still had no clue what the hubbub was about but you did hunt for some eggs. This is a unique year in that Easter fell on April 1st…a.k.a April Fools day. In my family, there was talk about hiding empty eggs. Or not hiding eggs at all and sending the children out to hunt for eggs anyway. I’m pretty certain it was Uncle Ray that voiced these ideas.

It is hard to gather all of my recollections this month…I’m not sure why; I know I am tired right now and I just want to get this letter to you complete because Aunt Pixie is DYING to see the videos.

I can’t blame her. You are just too stinking cute. So much so that I needed to capture the cuteness on video rather than just photo. To make up for the lack of photos last month, I believe I have overcompensated this month. It has been hard to choose what to post here. I will start with the stills.

I am going to start with some photos that your Father shared with me:



Look at all the bubbles! Your Mummy loved baths when she was a tot as well.

Speaking of Mummy…She shared this photo of you LOVING THE CAT HARD…so much that we can barely see her in the photo!


Poor Dash!

Here is one that appears to have captured the moment when you were patting the cushion next to you wanting Mummy to come and sit. You do this a lot and even if the space next to you is just a sliver wide we try to comply. Yes, it’s awkward and uncomfortable but if a toddler pats a cushion inviting you to sit…you sit.


In this one, you can barely see you, but Daddy snuck this photo of Papa and me attempting to soothe you to sleep. Back when your Mummy was a wee tot, she loved for me to rub her forehead and face and it would put her to sleep…I was trying that but it was not working. Then I realized that ever since you were very tiny you pulled on your ears when you are tired…so, I started rubbing your ear and the moment I did that… EYES CLAMPED SHUT! It was a MIRACLE!

Now let’s get a bit of video evidence of your cuteness.  This first one, you were doing EVERYTHING possible to NOT sleep.  Papa had taken you outside, more than once, trying to wear you out so that you would drift off easily…but NO…you were not having any of it.  This is a video that makes it look like you are fighting with your coat…the reality is that this is you physically fighting the need for sleep and your coat was the available object. In the end, Papa picks you up and walks you around the house until you fall asleep.

And this is the video where I requested a tissue…

And this is the one where you were carrying Whimsy around the house in a bag…by “carrying” I mean DRAGGING. (this is also a great example of the voice Papa uses when he speaks to Whimsy…and to you.)

This might be my favorite.  You discovered (meaning I showed you) the sprayer attachment on the kitchen sink.  You said “HI” and “Here you go” and “Papa” and “Thank you” and “Bye” and you DRANK FROM A CUP WITH NO LID!  I have much more video of this but this is short and sweet. Also, your hair is out of control…all of the time!

It was terribly difficult to pry you away from the sink and the running water.  But once we did…your clothes were wet so we put you in some jammies and around that time is when night fell and suddenly you started showing signs of fear.  We think it was shadows and darkness.  On more than one occasion something caused you to run lickity-split and full force into Papa’s arms.  Once Mummy and Daddy came to pick you up, Mummy gave you a lesson in Shadows 101.  I don’t think you really comprehended it, but she gave a good effort and with consistency, you may learn over time.

Ok, I think that covers all things YOU for the month.  Until next time NattyBug.

Love you bunches!


Goals Aren’t Mandatory

In a world filled with self-help books and bullet planners and TED talks and life-planning workshops, one might feel a sense of pressure to set goals in every area of their life.  School, Career, Marriage, Physical Health…you feel me?  I’m feeling a bit annoyed by the pressure.  (obviously, this is a “Just Venting” post right?)

So, I am an avid audiobook listener.  It’s what I do while driving alone, or cleaning the kitchen or other mindless tasks so that I can “read” ALL OF THE BOOKS that I want to read while still GETTING THE STUFF DONE.

I am currently listening to Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.  First, I love this book, and I am not done with it yet…almost, but not entirely. Rachel is REAL Y’all.  Read her stuff.  Anyway, at one point she talks about setting GOALS, and it was in that moment that I realized:  I am thrilled with my career.  I could live the rest of my life exactly where I am and love it; I hope to.  God willing.  This place that I have been called to is my sweet spot.


So, that being said, I want to say that I DON’T HAVE A CAREER GOAL. I never really did. I know I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little.  As a tween, I envisioned a future where I drove a semi truck (BJ and the Bear was a huge influence…I hearted Greg Evigan back then), specifically a big red semi truck!  I also wanted to look like Judy Landers while driving said red semi truck.

I never said my childhood goals were realistic.

Beyond that… as I grew older my sole intent was to move out of my parents home and be an independent woman…however I could make it happen. I did dream of being a 9-1-1 dispatcher…briefly… until I did not get the job in my early 20s.  That was the first job I had ever applied for and NOT GOTTEN.  I know… UNFATHOMABLE.

I have had MANY jobs.  I believe there is a post somewhere on this blog that lists them all.  Wait…that’s not my point.  I did not then and do not now have a career goal.  I left jobs when it was right for me to leave them and just kept following the path until God used some strange ways to bring me to where I am now. I have had additional jobs while my role at Granger Community Church was part-time; I even considered leaving it when an invitation to become a 9-1-1 dispatcher was extended to me because I needed to think about <GASP> future retirement plans. Yes, it was a life-affirming moment when I was selected to begin a job as a dispatcher…They like me!  They really like me!  Long story short, God called me to stay in this role, but now it is a full-time position. Indeed the dream I did not know I had.

So, when I hear a guru tell me to WRITE MY GOALS DOWN, or even suggest that I MUST HAVE A CAREER GOAL, I want to challenge the idea.  I am where I want to be.  I’m not complacent or giving up or lazy.  I am HERE!  What I will say is that I am always striving to add to my blessing…knowledge.  I have a TON of CEUs for a degree that I don’t have. You heard me…I don’t have a degree!  “But, Dawn…shouldn’t that be your goal?”  and to that, I say “PFFFFFTT”  –  I have no desire to sit through AT LEAST six years of schooling that would include classes that are NOT relevant to what I do.  Also, I have no desire to add said courses to my budget because I am NOT acquiring any additional debt.

Time to end vent…  Do I have goals?  Hmmmm.  Perhaps.  I feel that I have HOPES.  I hope to improve my physical health and overcome the barriers that contribute to any problems.  I hope to have a home that can be the hub for both sides of our family as well as incorporate opportunities to entertain friends. I hope to live until I am 120 years old with my mind fully intact and my body holding up well.  If that sounds lazy or complacent…you are entitled to your opinion.

I, however, feel that I am doing my best to listen to the direction of God and live my life according to the steps He reveals to me.  I know He has goals.




GranDawn’s Log: Month 21


Dear Nathalie,

If it weren’t for the fact that you managed to steal my phone, open the phone app, change the camera settings to Black&White AND snap this selfie…I would not have a photo of you for this past month.  Seriously, no other new photos of you on my phone.  I was surprised to see this one, I had no clue it existed…your mom has not texted me any either. I bet Grandfather has some… Whatevs

I swear you grew taller this month…I cannot prove that but you look taller.

You have revealed that you CAN use language.  You will repeat words if someone tells you to say them.

You DESPERATELY want to play outside more than the adults around you want to take you outside.  Perhaps we are wimps but we don’t like the biting cold and the weather that goes from blizzard to lovely spring day all in one week.  Some consistency would be nice INDIANA WEATHER!!! DO YOU HEAR US WEATHER???  DO YA?

Not much has really happened in your development from my perspective.  Really hoping you catch on to using utensils when you eat.  #GOALS

Nathalie adjacent happenings:  Mummy finally made it “Facebook official” that Daddy proposed to her LAST month.  The delay was getting the ring sized, letting her nails grow, getting a manicure…all the necessary things for a proper engagement ring photo, right?

Pssst…that (potentially) means you have flower girl duties in your future.  Not until next summerish.  That gives you time to grow out your hair, and lose some weight so that you will look good in photos…oh wait, that’s a note to self.  You’re perfect, ignore me.

I am going to admit this:  Without photos to look at, I am having a hard time remembering this past month in regards to YOU.  I recall what I did…but who wants to see my photos from seeing P!NK in concert, right?  (but for those who do….)


Poor photo quality aside…GREAT concert.  Oops, rabbit trail.

I wish I had more to share with you this month Nathalie, but I just don’t.  I will try to do better next time…or at least make a point of grabbing Grandfather’s phone before I write my post.

I love you, I can’t wait until you tire me with all of your babbling and wow me with your use of a fork and spoon.

Peace out Natty Bug!

Love, GranDawn

GranDawn’s Log: Month 20

Dear Nathalie,

I stole this picture off of your Mummy’s Facebook page because…well LOOK AT YOU GUYS!!!  Super. Freaking. CUTE!FB_IMG_1519831038946.jpg

For the sake of history, just know that this was the month where we had over a foot of snow pummel us one weekend only to be followed up with warm weather and rain that created a flooding of our area never before seen in my lifetime.  I imagine that Google will still exist when you can read this and I encourage you to perform an internet search for “2018 Flood Michiana” and you will see some great photos and videos.  Lots of people suffered from flood damage to their homes and businesses…people had to be evacuated from some areas…and other people were kayaking in parking lots.  It’s been interesting.

Totally random, and also for the sake of history,IMG_1369.jpg

this month, your Mummy was able to get your hair in a ponytail!!  It barely lasted beyond a car ride, but it happened!!

Your grandfather is tickled that you are at his favorite age (truth be known…you are always his favorite age) because you act silly, knowing that you are acting silly and you are big enough for rough and tumble playing but still tiny and cute. Let it be known that Grandfather will always be rougher and tumbler and active than I will ever be…someday you will learn that I am clumsy and easily injured and for the sake of my own well being, and to save you from witnessing something like a Twister tragedy where someone spins and I say “Left leg, BROKEN!” I will leave the rough and tumble to your grandfather and try to take photos and videos along the way.

It feels like this is the month where more and more people are asking “What does she call you?”  When I tell them “Nothing” this is often followed by a noticeable pause in the conversation.  My persistence in referring to myself in long form (grandmother), as well as the fact that I refer to your father and grandfather in long form as well, may likely be the cause of the “Nothing.”  My hope is that one day, you will choose what you call me based on your own preferences.  However, I will not find GRANNY an acceptable moniker;  I won’t, I just won’t.

You still are not using your knowledge of language to communicate verbally.  You definitely UNDERSTAND the language, and you REALLY utilize the word “No” in context. Rumor has it that you say “Yes” and on one occasion when I knocked on a door, where you were standing on the other side, the noises that came from your mouth sounded a lot like “Who is it?”  You still point and do this crab-like hand gesturing at the things you want.  In order to encourage more word usage, I tend to give you things ADJACENT to what I know you want with the hope that you might use your language skills to correct me, but as it happens, you will accept a beautiful paperweight in place of a piece of candy just fine.  Getting the paperweight back was a bit of an effort.

This past weekend you got some face time with Aunt Pixie, we woke her up and of course, she was fine with waking up to your cuteness. I think you respond to her on video calls better than you do to me in person.  She can get you to mimic her in the most adorable ways.  During one moment of the call, I could not see her because I was showing you the phone and you were sitting across from me, you were just smiling and sticking out your tongue and I could not hear anything from Aunt Pixie’s end…basically, she was making faces at you and you were making them back at her…super cute.

I was blessed with another visit from you and Mummy (yes, I do not refer to her as Mother, because that is just creepy) at work this past week…Appropriately dressed in your unicorn poncho.


You visited a few open door spaces such as the office supply closet where you fell in love with a step stool and the heartbroken mini-fit you threw as we took you away from the beloved stool was evidence of the quick bond you formed with an inanimate object.  The next open door you entered was that of my friend Mrs. Jeannna…shame on her for having a Care Bear where you could see it…and once you were done with the Care Bear, you formed a serious bond with a Light Saber!  Mrs. Jeanna had to duck and dodge your rudimentary Jedi skills in order to survive, but the force was with her.FB_IMG_1519830454068.jpg

This is important…one day, my hope is that you will call me Yoda.  I even have a particular hooded robe that I wear quite often that is apropos to me having this particular moniker.  Perhaps subtle exposure to the Star Wars universe will encourage this.

I can hardly wait to see what next month will bring.  Anything is possible!

Keep working on your Jedi skills!

Love,  GranDawn (Yoda)

GranDawn’s Log: Month 19

Dear Nathalie,

First of all, let’s address the fact that this letter is ON TIME!!!  Yay me!  Now, on to you.  Let’s begin with some general photos of you in all your adorable glory – let it be known that the jammies on the left are from your Grandmother Christine and the jammies on the right (yes, you are wearing a hat and coat with them) are from GranDawn  (both were Christmas presents).  Your grandmothers have good taste in jammies.


I have actually spent quite a bit of time with you this month.  Perhaps even more than Grandfather now that he has not been able to see you on Fridays due to his new working schedule. Sad for Papa, but this might give me just the edge I need to begin rising in the ranks of your favorite person hierarchy… muuuuaaahhhahahahahahahah!

On one occasion I had you to myself an entire day.  This is where I learned that you may actually prefer NON-animated television.  You were at my house and the tv was on and we were playing on the floor… Well, I was sitting on the floor and your toys were all around me and you were playing with them and occasionally would babble nonsense words at me or come near me, not so much ENGAGE with me while playing… anyway, the tv was on and since you weren’t watching it – I thought I would put on something that would not cause me to have Barney or Teletubby flashbacks.  I put on a movie called Man On a Ledge… lots of people moving around and SIRENS constantly sounding in the background of this movie.  While you were playing you started replicating the sound.  WEEE OHHHH  WEEEE OHHHHHH WEEEEEE OHHHH – you were cracking yourself up.  Eventually, you came and snuggled me and took over my comfy chair and just sat for a good FIVE minutes watching this movie.  I do have a photo of that moment, but you look so “derpy” (as the millennials would say) that I thought I would save you from the public humiliation of posting it.  So, here are some cuter photos from that day:



Grandfather and I also had the opportunity to keep you while Mummy and Daddy were working on a Saturday…and captured your cuteness then as well:


Then you participated in cousin Hope’s baby shower…you were not really very social except with other kids.  Eventually, I followed you around the building where the shower was being held… you insisted upon exploring every room with an open door, and there were a lot of open doors.  Then, we heard the cry of another tiny person…just a little younger than you.  It was adorable to see you shyly approach her (she may be a baby but she was a stranger to you) and then pat her on the back – just three little pats while looking at her with your head cocked sideways…then off you went to run around and climb steps and chase balls with cousin Jordan.  I loved watching you walk/run around…you tend to throw your arms and shoulders back behind you when you do this…at least on this occasion… it was a cute little posture that I will never find the words to describe…so, here is a video:

Finally, Daddy had the opportunity to explore a new job opportunity that would give him more family time and he needed someone to watch you STAT…so I moved an appointment and told him BRING ME THE CHILD, and he brought you to visit with me at work.  This little impromptu visit gave GranDawn’s friend Mrs. Julie the opportunity to give you some socks and this ADORABLE OWL COAT that I hope you will keep FOREVER!


It also gave you the opportunity to explore MORE open doors… one of which belonged to Pastor Mark Beeson, and little did we know that he was in the middle of a meeting. For the record…Daddy got the job!  Yay!

So, this month, my Grandmother cup runneth over.  20180120_125155.jpg

Love you NattyBug!  (Why is it that this nickname stuck?)

Until next month tiny one…keep being you,


GranDawn’s Log: Month 18

Dear Nathalie,

This month in review includes Christmas!!

First, the usual report:

You repeated me when I said “Uh-Oh”… and if you are accident prone or spacially unaware of your surroundings like the women in this branch of the family are prone to being, you might want to perfect your delivery on that phrase.

Grandfather has been trying to get you to say “Papa” for some time now… and it paid off. You said “Papa” for him on December 16th. (Which is also the day you said “Uh-Oh.” Coincidence? I think not.

Mommy has been teaching you how NOT to HIT people. Especially her.

Oh, I bought blocks and magnetic numbers and letters to have at our house for you. With blocks, you like to try to stack them, but you can tell you have been building with Leggo because you press down on the blocks when you stack them. Ultimately, you like to destroy anything that is constructed out of these blocks. That must be a thing you got from your father; your Mummy just wanted to build things…especially mazes for small creatures. As for the magnets, you like to swipe them down to the bottom of, and then off of, the door and put them in a container – pretty much any vessel will do.

Still no interest in having me read a book to you… Beginning to question whether or not you are my grandchild at this point.

I discovered this THING on Netflix: Little Baby Bum and they are sing-along videos to nursery rhymes. You seem to like most of them. However, they have more verses and versions of Wheels on the Bus than I care to listen. Seriously, if they still exist when you read this, go check it out. You can tell they were stretching for material. There are TWELVE parts to their version of the song! Why? Who needs 20+ minutes of Wheels on the Bus?!?!

Ok, I know you want to talk about Christmas… First, it began with some disappointment, the postal service was overextended, and the gifts from the people who love you in Ohio have yet to arrive.

You really enjoyed the video call from Aunt Pixie, and her gift, a comfy rocking chair, was a big hit for you.

The Giles brunch was where you and Mummy wore matching outfits and Grandmother enjoyed Mimosas because Papa was driving.

The Lovitt lunch is where you received a mountain of gifts from every adult there. So. Many. Things!!! It is also where Daddy hit cousin Jordan in the face with snow and made her cry…he should be wary of her for awhile, she’s feisty.

Then Mummy and I went to see Pitch Perfect 3 with Kimmee and Lauren while you hung out with Daddy.

I fell (it was an icy parking lot) into the Envoy after exiting the theater…spilled a large drink all over Mummy and the interior of Papa’s vehicle and while driving Mummy home she and I laughed so much I was wheezing and crying. Good times.

Until next time…next year…enjoy all the gifts!