Saying Goodbye

The last couple weeks have been very hard for me. I had to say goodbye to my beloved grandpa. He passed away on November 19th. He was 88 years old. Both of my parents are only children so we don't have a huge family. It didn't help either that each of them are from different coasts (my mom's family all lives in Maryland and my dad here in California). We grew up in Louisiana of all places. In Louisiana, and most of the south for that matter, people generally stay close to their families. So for the holidays most of our friends were busy celebrating with their huge families. I don't know any of my cousins and even now I only know one great aunt. All this to say my grandpa was my last living grandparent and we were very close, and I am very sad to not have him here with me anymore. James and I loved having dinner with him and his beautiful wife Mary. Before he started having health problems we would meet almost every week at the IHOP off Turnpike. My grandpa has loved IHOP for years! He used to take me to his weekly breakfast get together with his close buddies when I was visiting. He was such a great grandpa because he took such a genuine interest in me, and I could tell he loved me unconditionally. He was always joking and smiling and happy. He loved to tell stories of things I did that he loved or impressed him. Sometimes he repeated these stories over and over. ;) He had a knack for remembering so many details of his visits with me like my friends names etc. I'm so happy I finally moved to California and was able to get spend the last 11 years getting to know him even better. I was so blessed to  have him in my life, but I know he is in such a better place now. 
Grandpa I love you so much and will miss you so much.
Your lollipop.

grandpa and mary with Pen at her 2nd birthday party
grandpa loved Penelope so much
grandpa making one of his many silly faces
grandpa and mary at my 31st bday brunch
at Tupelo Junction for my 28th birthday
Lawrence M. Hollems, Sr. Obituary

Lawrence (Larry) M. Hollems, Sr. passed away peacefully in his home and went to be with his Lord Jesus on Saturday, November 19. He was 88.

Larry was born in Ralla, Missouri on September 10, 1923. The family moved to Pasadena, California in 1926 where he remained a Southern California resident moving to Santa Barbara in 1972.

Larry was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Ruth Kimball Hollems and his two brothers, Ray and Hugh. He is succeeded by his wonderful wife of thirteen years Mary Lou and his son, Lawrence, Jr., Lawrence's wife Diane and their three children Jason, Laurie and Eric as well as son-in-law, James and daughter-in-law Linda and grandchildren Penelope and Violet and sister-in-law, Phyllis Hollems. Larry greatly loved Mary's family which includes children Beau and wife Barbara, Mark and wife Jacci, Bob and wife Tammy and Teresa and husband Max, grandchildren Parker, Micah, Sarah,Amy, Evelyn, Tess, Taylor, Rachel, Zack, Jason, Eric and Daniel; great-grandchildren Jordan, Mattie, Bella, MacKenna, Cameron, Gabe, Julliet, Summer and Jasmine; great-great grandchildren Mila and Ava. Larry also leaves behind his niece Marilyn, nephew Steve, grandnephews and grandnieces Spence, Shelly, Tim, Tom, and Cindy as well as his cousins Anita, Patty, Norman, John, Jay and Karen along with his close friends.

Larry attended Pasadena City College from 1939 to 1941. After a life-long career in the grocery industry, he retired in 1983 after 30 years with Safeway Stores, Inc., many of those as a store manager.

He was a faithful Christian and worshipped with his wife, Mary, at Living Faith Center and had also been a member at South Coast Church. Larry had a love of music and was a collector of classical, jazz, Italian opera, big band, swing and Christian genres. In past  years he had been a member of Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, a Board member at two churches and loved  his Sunday school class at Living Faith Center Church.


Halloween 2011

Due to some frustrating uploading/computer issues I have become a bit back logged on my posts, but I am determined to document everything nonetheless! Halloween was super fun this year now that Pen is a little older and understands the concept of begging for candy. ;) We started off the holiday with a carnival at her school. They had a bounce house, games, pumpkin decorating, a huge hay pile that the kids could jump in, cookie decorating, a P.E. obstacle course, face painting and a lot more. Pen was Minnie Mouse since that is her fav. She was too cute.
Check out the pics!

afterwards we went to P's buddy Isei's pirate party at Marina park in Ventura
so fun!


Violet Mae's first photo shoot!

One week after Violet Mae was born we did a photo shoot so we could capture her in her tiniest state. :)
I love these precious little photos of her.


Violet Mae arrives!

On October 16 after what seemed the longest week of false labor contractions I finally went into... well labor! I could barely sleep that night and around 5:30am just decided to give up and went into the living room to start folding laundry. Around 6:30am I started having difficult contractions, the kind where you have to stop and breathe through them, and thought--- hmmm could this be it?! Well i didn't want to get too excited so I started timing them on my handy contractions app on my Iphone. By 7:30 they were getting more consistent and they were still painful so I decided to wake James up and then I got in the tub. We rolled into the hospital at 8:30 am Sunday morning. It was so nice getting to the hospital in the morning because it was super quiet and calm. I ate breakfast and then decided to get an epidural. At first I thought I should wait because I was still 3cm dilated (which I had been since that Wednesday) so I was a little worried that if I couldn't get up to walk around (which you can't do after an epidural) that my labor might stall. An hour later the nurse checked me again and I had dilated another centimeter so we felt confident. Boy am I glad I got my epidural when I did because my contractions were fast and furious. By 12:30 my water broke and two hours later I was 8cm!! It wasn't long after that when I felt it was time to push and by 3:24pm Violet was born weighing in at 91bs 3oz and 21 inches long. Because the birth was so fast she didn't have a chance to get all the fluid pushed out of her lungs so the doctors thought it best to keep her in the NICU and start her on 48hours of antibiotics to rule out any chance of infection. So alas another nicu baby (sigh). We were really hoping to have her in our room with  us this time, but we were so happy to finally get her home. Her big sis even came for a couple visits and got to watch her from the patio outside. (those pics are super cute which I will include in the next post!)
Welcome to the world my little Violet Mae. 
You are so precious and so sweet and we love you sooo  much!
all smiles after my epidural! LOL