Tag Archives: Sunday Souvenir

Sunday Souvenir – Haircut

I’m late! It’s not Sunday, but that’s how it goes sometimes. On Sunday I hustled to get Jax’s Christmas present painted. His barn is now ready to be clear-coated!

This is a photo post about a childhood memory. When I was around 9 I was spending part of the summer with my grandparents in Iowa. My grandma told me she was taking me to her hairdresser for “just a trim”. I remember the lady’s salon in her basement. I also remember being SO upset when I saw how much my grandma had her cut off. I was not happy at all.

My hair was dark blond at this age. Exactly like Jax’s current hair. It now tends to grow dark blond/light brown at the roots and fade all the way to light blond at the ends from the sun. I always lighten the roots because I dislike the darker roots look. Though I guess its a whole style now – ombré or something?

Did you have any say in your haircuts as a child?

Sunday Souvenir – Christmas Traditions

Christmas at our house

I grew up in a small family. It was just myself, my dad and my brother. While my mom passed away when I was 5, we continued to get together with her family over the holidays. We had a tradition of holding Christmas either at our house, my grandparents house in Iowa or my aunt’s house in Colorado. I think we sort of rotated through locations, but I’d guess more were at my grandparents house than the others. Later on (when I was in my teens) we switched to renting condos in Florida and having a tropical Christmas. We had extended family in the area and got to share Christmas dinner.

Because we were Christmas nomads so often, we didn’t have a ton of traditions. I liked going to the Christmas Eve church service so I could sing carols and ask far too many questions about the logistics of the whole nativity story. I also had a stretch of years where I insisted on only eating Christmas dinner with my left hand (I’m right-handed), because I’m strange, I guess!

Christmas at my aunt's house. Hello, Barbie Dream House!

Stockings at my grandparents' house

One tradition I loved was stockings! They’d change based on whose house were were at (gift bags were used at the Florida condos) but they were always include an orange that would be added to Christmas breakfast. There were filled with candies and little wrapped gifts without to/from tags, that I suspect everyone contributed. I hang stockings for us every year, but they typically stay empty unless I put something in them. I plan to do some stocking stuffer shopping after all this reminiscing, but chances are mine will be empty come Christmas morning, heh.

Jax is still too young to understand the holiday, but I bet in the coming years we will start creating our own traditions.

I like my brother's sweater. No, really! I do!

Do you have any favorite traditions?

Sunday Souvenir – Childhood Thanksgivings

I grew up with just my dad and my brother who is 6 years my senior. My dad did his best to keep us healthy and fed, but his repertoire was limited. The fanciest he got was Easter when he’d cook this heart attack casserole from our recipe box that involved hard boiled eggs, spam and at least 10 types of dairy. He was best known for his meatballs (which were a big hit when he’d be the only dad at my girl scout potluck dinners) on spaghetti night. The rest of the week we rotated through classics such as Kraft Mac & Cheese, Hamburger Helper (gag), soft tacos and hamburger and rice. For a rocket scientist raising two kids on his own, he did a pretty kickass job.

Run for your lives!

So, Thanksgiving. Not his best meal… Hah. I don’t remember visiting relatives around that holiday, though we may have at some point. We all got together with my mom’s family for Christmas. Our Thanksgiving dinner involved a piece of “meat” I grew to dread. A turkey-like substance that probably had a hand in me becoming a vegetarian at age 16. What was so horrific? Turkey loaf, my friends. It was turkey loaf.

This man-made dish came in a tin like pound cake and was slimy with “gravy”. When you sliced off a hunk you could see a diagonal line separating where they mushed the “dark meat” and “light meat” into two halves. It held its shape perfectly, much like our canned cranberry goo. Turkey loaf was a thing of horror in my childhood. As we got older, I’m pretty sure it was a thing of ridicule as well, hehe.

Oh, Turkey Loaf… I love the family memories you are in, but I sure didn’t love you!

This year, as we have done for several years now, we are sharing a meal with our neighbors. They purchase a pre-prepared meal from the store that we just embellish. If they had this in the 80’s, our Thanksgivings could have been a whole lot tastier!

I don’t want to end on such an unappetizing thought as turkey loaf, so here is a photo of me in kindergarten. I rememeber that I was assigned to be a Native American in our little Thanksgiving assembly and I was super jealous of those who got to be pilgrims. It was only because I really hated wearing a paper grocery bag. But, I rocked that grocery bag – don’t you think?

Sunday Souvenir – Favorite Childhood TV Show

Did you have a favorite tv show when you were little? Mine was The Muppet Show. Especially Kermit the Frog! I think I liked him the most because he sounded like my dad. (My dad also did a great Cookie Monster voice from Sesame Street.) It was such a great show with lots of little skits and musical numbers featuring a famous guest star. I ended up with a lot of Miss Piggy gear as a kid because that is what was marketed towards girls. She kind of annoyed me, though. Hah.

Years later in college, my dad used to tape the episodes they were rerunning and he’d give me the VCR tape every Friday night when I’d visit him. I even made a little mix cassette tape of my favorite songs, though I have no idea where that is now.

The first photo is me watching at 11 months old. My dad looks so 70’s cool in the background! And, if that rocks still exists somewhere, I WANT IT! The photo to the left is my brother and I watching tv together. I was 16 months so he was almost 7. The photo below is from my 6th birthday, which was celebrated at a ranch we used to visit with family in Colorado. The decorations definitely look like the work of my Great Aunt Berta. I’m not sure if they were brought out from Iowa by my grandparents and added to a cake, or if the whole cake made the trip. My Aunt Susan might know.

I haven’t introduced Jax to The Muppet Show yet. His current favorite show is Peppa Pig, which we record for him. Apparently it’s a show that is big in England.

What was your favorite childhood show?

Wearing a Miss Piggy shirt at a sulphur spring

Sunday Souvenir – Childood Stuffed Animals

I was huge into stuffed animals growing up. I always had a mountain of them. It took me until I was in my mid-twenties to get over the addiction and par down my collection to just a few favorites.

This is Pot Belly Bear and Cuddles (2.0). My brother had the original Cuddles and I adopted this “newer” version. Cuddles went on all vacations and overnights with me through college! He was always warm and snugly under my shoulder while I slept. Once you share a bad with your husband, it’s maybe time to not have stuffed animals in bed, heh.

Pot belly was one of my all-time favorites. He was under the Christmas tree from Santa at my grandparent’s house when I was five. I remember not really believing in Santa that year.

Receiving Pot-Belly Bear

On the left is Corduroy Bear (from one of my favorite childhood books). In the middle is Court Rock Bear. I believe I named him after a trip to the Natural History Museum. Most likely miss-named after quartz rock.

Ont he right is Whiskers, who I’ve had forever. It looks like I am 2 in this photo from my grandparent’s house, so perhaps he was a gift for that birthday.

Here is me at my first Christmas with a Raggedy Ann doll. Maybe a gift from my Aunt Susan? This bunny is an example of one of the stuffed toys my mom would make and sell at craft fairs under her little crafty name “Stuff and Such”.


Here are some “newer” stuffed animals. I remember wanting that big bear SO BAD when I was around 12. The pink bear was a gift from my dad when I had my tonsils out at age 16. It was very special since he chose it himself. The little kitty was named Snowball, but I don’t remember how old I was when I got him.

Do you have any of your childhood stuffed animals?

Sunday Souvenir – Photos in the Mail

I’ve had a lot of photos this month, but mostly because I don’t have much else of my mother’s. This week I got a big pack of photos in the mail from my aunt to split between my brother and I. Tonight I flipped through them and sent my brother a few over mms. I’m looking forward to looking at them all with him after vacation.

I don’t have a lot of photos from the time after my mom died (age 5) and when I first got a camera (middle school?) I don’t think my dad was big into taking pictures at the time. There are photos of me from this period and I was so excited to see them! I’m not sure that I’ve seen many (or any) photos of me missing teeth! I’ll share more when I take a closer look at what all she sent.

Most of the photos of my mom are with my brother, as he is 6 years older and my mom got cancer when I was a baby/toddler. Can I say how much I love, love, love the nursing shot of her? The photo of her and my brother in the snow is so sweet. That will be me and Jax this winter. And my dad and brother passed out together. Classic.

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Sunday Souvenir – Family Photos

When my aunt visited in April, she gave me copies of scanned family photos from my mom’s side. There are some really great ones I hadn’t seen.

This is my mom’s parents on their wedding day. How gorgeous is my grandma?? And grandpa looks so handsome. I’d never seen these before!

And they were even stylish in the 60’s and 70’s. Check out this photo. I love every single thing about it. I want that dress!

Here are a few more family photos. Some get-togethers and a holiday card. My mom is in the dark coat in the Christmas card, is the tallest one in the middle picture, and is on the far right in the last photo.


Have you discovered any old family photos decades after they were taken? These are such a treasure for me!

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Check out Ronalyn’s Sunday Souvenir at The Adventures of Esa & Zed

Sunday Souvenir – Girl Scouts

Somber news from dear family tonight, so forgive the lack of text.

I recently took photos of some of my mom’s vintage Girl Scout trinkets she had saved. I would love to see photos of her dressed for girl scouts, but I’m not sure any exist. This photo is one of my favorites of her as a girl.

Also included are a ’50s report card and class photo, and a really sweet letter to the Easter bunny.


This post is a part of a month-long series about my mom, who passed away from breast cancer when I was little. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Sunday Souvenir – Letters

A simple post, as my day has been busy and went downhill right at the end.

When looking through my mother’s things, I found this letter she wrote my grandma when she was 8. The flowers make me happy – especially the little red swirls. So fifties and girly and sweet!

In my grandma’s things, I came across this letter I sent them when I was 5. I believe my mom died in June of that year, just before my fifth birthday. So, I’m not sure whose handwriting this is. Not my lefty dad’s! They wrote with two styles of a’s. I don’t remember anything I wrote about, but I know once i was in elementary school, I had sitters before school then stayed at school in the “after school program” in the cafeteria until my dad got off of work.

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Sunday Souvenir – A Month for my Mother

October is breast cancer awareness month, so I am dedicating this month’s Sunday Souvenirs to my mother. She lost her battle with breast cancer when I was just five.

I wish I had wonderful memories of her to share and treasure, but I don’t. I don’t remember much about her at all. I have one memory of visiting her hospital room with a finger painting I made. I remember when my dad told us she had died. I was just too young.

Tonight I went through the beginning of my mother’s baby book. Her name was Donna Lynn – we share a middle name. I focused on her first birthday and some baby items since my baby boy is 1.5 now.

There is a beautiful baby necklace and bracelet set made of pinkish pearls. A silver and ivory teething ring. Silver bib fastener. I will be putting it all in a shadow box to hang on the wall when I find the right one.

I adore the photos of my mom from her first birthday. Her sweet face was in my mind as Jax ran to me to go get ready for bed once I’d finished taking pictures. For the first time, I realized how badly I wished my mom could have met Jax and seen the woman I’ve become. I’m crying a little as my sweet son snores on my shoulder.

I have so much to read in baby book about her first two years, but I have to wait until Jax isn’t near enough to rip the pages. when he is older, we can look through photos of his grandma together.

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