IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

It's the end of April and if we were having coffee, these are some of the things I'd talk about.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

It's time to celebrate the end of April, so why not share another virtual cup of coffee with me while I update you on what's been going on in my life lately. I love a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while with me in a lovely little cafe I love to visit while I share my news.

Stirling Cottage in Harvey - a lovely little spot for a coffee date or lunch
My favourite coffee place - Stirling Cottage and its Gardens in Harvey, Western Australia
Here we are, back again at Stirling Cottage in Harvey, Western Australia, surrounded by absolutely beautiful gardens and a river walk. April is done and dusted, and I'm coming up for air after blogging every day for the A to Z Challenge. Time to sit back with a cuppa and chat about what else I've been doing over the last month.

BLOGGING

Well! It's been a BIG month for me blogging-wise. If you've been nobly following along with me over the month, you'll know that I just completed 26 posts for the April A to Z Challenge plus keeping up with our #MLSTL Link Party (I couldn't miss that!) Seeing it was the A to Zen of Life, I should be feeling very cool, calm and collected - and I am because I'm feeling relieved and proud to have made it through to the end.

Now it's time to take a breath and go back to my twice a week postings and letting life on my blog get back to normal. I hope you'll be sticking with me - and if you're a Midlife blogger, don't forget to check in on Wednesdays for #MLSTL - it's awesome!

READING

I've been reading a lot of free Kindle books lately - nothing particularly earth shattering - but light and easy to read when I have a bit of spare time. My highlight of the month was finally reading the latest JD Robb novel - Dark In Death. I love her books SO much and I can't believe that I've read all 46 of them! I also can't believe she's written so many and that they are always SO good.

Dark in Death ebook by J. D. Robb

NAN-ING

Once again we had our son and daughter-in-law and delightful grandbaby Sophia for a few days over Easter - and that brings all the joy of a little one running around, climbing the stairs, and trying to pat our cats. She's also an early riser - so her parents slept in while Papa was on duty entertaining her until we were all up and about. The photo is from one of those early mornings - along with Teddy and Minnie Mouse (her current favourites).

FAMILY-ING

The joy of seeing Sophia and her folks at Easter was tempered by my Father-in-law going into hospital yet again. He turned 90 recently and had become quite frail and anaemic and had been in and out of hospital several times. This time was different though and he lapsed into a coma and passed away on Easter Monday. It was expected, but still a sad time for the family with saying goodbye and all the funeral preparations.

My lovely in-laws 1997
It was a sad loss for us, but he was ready to meet his Maker and we are at peace with him leaving us. His funeral was a wonderful acknowledgement of the contribution he'd made into the lives of others, and was also bittersweet in the mix of sadness in his passing and happiness because our children and their spouses came down to attend and we could spend some special time with them.

EATING

My lovely husband and I managed to find time to go out to a cafe in Bunbury for lunch recently (something we should do more often). I'm not a fan of taking pictures of my meal - it seems pretty pointless to me because it's just food, but I did take a picture of the gorgeous view we had while we ate and chatted.

Bunbury Western Australia - view of the Inner Harbour from Dome Cafe

We also had lunch with Sophia and her parents at my favourite coffee spot - Stirling Gardens - a beautiful day and a lovely tradition we have created for their visits. The river is in the background - along with all the Peppermint trees that thrive in the area. The cafe is for sale and we are hoping that someone buys it and continues to provide the home cooked meals and friendly service that the current owners have become known for.
Stirling Gardens, Harvey Western Australia

THAT'S IT FOR NOW

Is there anything interesting happening in your world? Feel free to update me in the comments and I look forward to having another virtual cuppa with you at the end of May - we'll be heading towards Winter and I'm sure there'll be lots to catch up on.


It's the end of April and if we were having coffee, these are some of the things I'd talk about.

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72 comments

  1. Thanks again for starting a midlife group! I have so much more in common here than the younger moms threads :)

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    1. Always happy to share with other Midlifers Marya - we're an awesome age and stage so why not celebrate it and encourage each other? So glad you found me xx

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  2. I love posts like this - sharing your personal side with us out here in blogland. What a sweet little granddaughter. Funerals are never easy, but it is a special time when family comes together to remember someone they love. I liked learning a little more about you through this post, Leanne.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Kimberly - it was certainly a month of highs and lows family-wise and also all the extra time with the AtoZ challenge - I'm hoping May is more cruisy!

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law Leanne. I know the sadness around this time, having recently lost my father on 2 December. He turned 87 while he was in hospital. I miss him terribly. On a lighter note, I do love the look of your favourite cafe and your little granddaughter is so cute! :-) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I know how much your Dad's death impacted on you Min. We thought we were ready for my FIL to go, but when the time came it was still so sad and had a bigger affect on all of us than we anticipated. I especially feel for my MIL who is feeling so lonely with him not there all the time.

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  4. Sorry for your loss Leanne. We made it to the end of April AtoZ! But my computer didn't. As soon as Challenge was over it gave up and is now in for repairs.

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    1. Oh your poor computer! It was probably burnt out from all the work it had to do with the AtoZ - I know how it feels! Maybe I need to go in for a few repairs too :)

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  5. You have the beginning of family with your granddaughter and the end of life with your Father in Law. That's Life in full circle isnt it? Love the family shots and glad you got to enjoy special times. Denyse x

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    1. That's what I kept thinking Denyse - the circle of life came to mind a lot during the time he was dying - we had our granddaughter down visiting and it was certainly brought home to us about birth, life and death.

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  6. A bitter/sweet month for you Leanne with spending time with family and the adorable Sophie (couldn't you just eat her in that photo) and Ross losing his Dad. Hope all is well now and yay the AtoZ Challenge is over - what are we going to do with ourselves???

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    1. It was a strange month Sue - full of happiness mixed with sadness (but I guess that's really just a little snapshot of life isn't it?) And Yes! I'm happy to have reached the end of the AtoZ - I'm not sure why I do it to myself each year, but I'll probably have forgotten how time consuming it is and sign up again next year! In the meantime I'm going to chillout and go back to two posts a week this month.

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  7. So great to read about your month Leanne, it was busy enough with the A-Z challenge! I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law and hope everyone is going OK. Your granddaughter is gorgeous and I love that you could get some family time in. Hope you are recovering from the busy blogging month, you really did a superb job with your every day posts :)

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comment about my AtoZ posts Debbie. It was good to do, but I'm always relieved when I reach the end and get back to a more comfortable posting schedule and replying to comments on my blog - I have to give that away during the AtoZ to keep my head above water!

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  8. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. You're heading towards winter and here in the Uk we're (hopefully) heading towards summer, although winter isn't giving up any time soon.

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    1. I think our Aussie Winter is pretty close to your UK Summer Gail - a bit of rain and cold weather interspersed with some random days of sunshine. I'm always amazed at people who live in much colder climates than I do - getting outside in Winter would definitely be a challenge for me!

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  9. Great effort with the A-Z blogging challenge. I know how much work is involved as I participated last year. You would have had an extremely busy April. #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Thanks Kathy - maybe you'll feel inspired to do it again in 2019 - I have a sneaking suspicion I'll have forgotten how much time it takes and I'll be signing up again!

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  10. Hari OM
    A delightful round-up post, Leanne - albeit with the loss of a dear one; it matters not that the 'time is right', for those who feel the gap.

    It was lovely to 'place you' (for some reason I was picturing you in QLD). My folks were living in Mandurah for a few years, so I used that opportunity to visit WA and thoroughly enjoyed it; particularly Bunbury and its hinterland, where I did a farmstay. Very fond memories.

    Yes, the A-Z added an intensity to April, and am still struggling a bit to 'come down' from it! I have always posted daily, but not to that level (on that blog) and am quite glad I did it. Here's to a calmer May! YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yam - I didn't realize you'd even know where Bunbury is (most don't) so it's nice that you can picture where I am when you write. I just have to figure out which of your blogs is your main one to visit so I can keep in touch. I'm very relieved to kiss the AtoZ goodbye for another year and ease off a bit - I'm finding I have lots of spare time again atm :)

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  11. What a lovely way to begin my morning!
    It sounds as though April, even with its ups and downs, was a good month.
    Life here in the Coast of Illinois is finally swinging into Spring. I am ready for a new season!
    Congratulations again on completing A to Z!!!

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    1. As we head into Winter in Australia I'm always a little bit envious of those in the other hemisphere posting their Spring flower pics and seeing them shedding their Winter Woollens. I'll be watching you sailing on the lake all the time soon.

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    1. Thanks Susan - it's my way of giving others a little glimpse into my world - and it's always nice to look back on my month and remember snippets.

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  13. Leanne, You've experienced the joys and sorrows of family this past month. I'm sorry for your loss and celebrate your grand daughter. Twenty-six posts? Seriously? Oh, my stars! What an accomplishment.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Brenda - it really was a mix of both ends of the spectrum last month + all that blogging! I was really glad I'd put my posts together leading up to the Challenge - it took some of the pressure off.

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  14. It is sad when we say goodbye to a family member, yet it is the circle of life, I always try to remember! And how wonderful to see the younger generation like you do!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Yes you're right Jodie - life keeps moving forward and we can't live forever. I also realize how quickly it moves when I see our granddaughter growing up and changing so much every time we see her - lucky we stay the same ;-)

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  15. As I was reading, I was saying "Yay you!" until I read about your father-in-law. I'm so sorry. Saying goodbye is never an ease thing. :( On the bright-side, you had so many other great things happening that I just want to wish you an even bigger and better time in May! -Bren

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    1. It was certainly an up and down month Bren, but a good one at the same time. I'm looking forward to May being a bit more settled but hopefully with enough happening to write a post about it all at the end of the month.

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  16. Amazing all the LIFE that can be fitted on a few lines, isn't it? Just the blogging was amazing! But add to that all the living that went on alongside.
    Happy for your lovely FIL that he could go, but sad for you who will miss him.
    Happy for your visits with family and especially Grandbaby #1.
    Went to the site to see Stirling Cottage for sale. Don't I wish . . .

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    1. I wouldn't mind buying it either Diane - it would be a lovely place to work from each day - but they're open about 363 days of the year and all that cooking and being nice to people would probably wear me out after a while. I think I'll stick with being a happy customer instead.

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  17. You had a busy month, full of joy and sadness. Sophia is adorable! I'm so sorry about your father-in-law. Even when a death is expected (and maybe even a bit of a relief as his suffering has ended), it is so sad to have to say goodbye to someone well-loved.

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words - you hit the nail on the head with how we felt about my FIL's passing - relief and sadness combined sums it up very well.

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  18. Love all those big and small moments that make up life, Leanne. You did a great job on the A to Zen challenge. Be proud.

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    1. Thanks Laurie - yes, life is made up of moments isn't it? So big at the time and then they gradually become part of the tapestry and mellow out. And I'm also glad to put the AtoZ to bed after all those posts :)

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  19. Love the "if we were having coffee" concept. I have been meaning to do a series called "have tea with me" which is similar. I just haven't got it off the ground yet. It's written in big bold letters in my note book and has been for months. You've inspired me. Thanks Leanne! #teamlovinlife

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    1. My virtual coffee posts are my favourite Leanne - I thought they'd bore people to tears, but they seem to be my most popular each month. I think we all enjoy little glimpses into the lives of others - without all the boring details! I'll look forward to having a cuppa with you when you start yours.

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  20. Hi Leanne. I'd noticed your "If we were having coffee" image at the top of your site, but didn't realize what it was. Great idea, Leanne.
    You certainly had an eventful month. Your granddaughter is beautiful. She has such expressive eyes and a lively smile. As other commenters have mentioned, her image made such a heartwarming counterbalance to the very sad news of your father-in-law's passing.
    I hope, as you've said, that May is a more relaxed and gentle month for you so that you can live that A to Z of the Dalai Lama even more fully.

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    1. Hi Karen! Yes it was a month of contrasts between the joy and life of a young child and the sadness of the passing of an old man. Both are such intrinsic parts of life, but are such polar opposites. I think it does us good to experience both at times to remind us that life is a journey and to enjoy the path.
      Thanks for including me in your list of 14 new blogging friends and I hope we keep up with each other now the AtoZ has been put to rest.

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  21. What a delightful post, except for the father-in-law passing. I'm sad to hear that. I know what you mean though about the special family time when all gather. When my brother died 23 years ago, there was lots of tears and crying - but yet, many good times too. It had been 8 years since I'd seen my dad and even more since I'd seen my Grandpa, so as we all gathered for meals, there was more laughter and hilarity than tears.
    Those view you shared with us! Oh my goodness, now I want to go to Australia. Beautiful!!

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    1. You understood what I was saying perfectly Trisha - it's such a sad occasion but also so lovley to be surrounded by family and also the friends who came to the funeral service. It's a shame that nobody takes photos (like we do at weddings) because there are so many moments that it would have been lovely to capture.

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  22. It certainly was a full-on month with the A - Z challenge Leanne, but all that pales in comparison, doesn't it, to the things of eternal significance, like the beautiful legacy of your father-in-law's life, the grief and sorrow of losing him, and the remaining family relationships that we cherish and nurture, and that teach us so much about ourselves xx

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    1. I think a lot about legacy Sue and how important it is to invest into the lives of others - it was definitely reflected in the words from others at my FIL's funeral (as opposed to my own father's where there were so few because he lived a more self centred life). It also makes me appreciate our extended family and how we are part of a bigger picture.

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  23. Hi, Leanne - I am so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. My condolences to you and your family.
    Wishing you a relaxed and peaceful May....and a well-deserved rest after the blogging challenge.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Donna - we miss him (especially Ross's mum who's feeling the loneliness) but life keeps moving on and we move along with it. I'm looking forward to May being calmer and more serene than April was.

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  24. I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law's passing, Leanne. You deserve a big break after the AtoZ Challenge. I hope May is a relaxing and enjoyable month for you.

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    1. Thanks Natalie - I'm already feeling less pressured without all the visiting and commenting of the AtoZ - I even have time to reply to comments on my blog!

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  25. What beautiful surroundings you have to have a cup of coffee at. So sorry to hear about your father in laws passing. I hope you have time to have a nice break.

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    1. It really is a beautiful spot Rebecca and we try to get there every couple of months for a cuppa and some serenity.

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  26. Thanks for the super catch-up post, Leanne. I've effectively done the same with my Thankful Thursday post this week as I've been catching up for the month of April. SOMETHING had to take a break for April, so it had to be the Thankful Thursdays! Thankful Thursday Week 18 and the importance of interacting with other blogs.

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    1. I'll be popping over to catch up on your news - the AtoZ certainly threw a spanner in the works for regular posts - unless you were Sue and did your regular posts plus the AtoZ - I think she is a blogging machine!

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  27. So very sorry to read of the loss of your Father-In-Law...however having the faith which we do...it helps to look forward to continue the relationship someday for eternity. Hope you are all doing okay.
    Loved, Loved, Loved picture of your Grand-daughter! What a cutie pie she is!
    I too, have Grand-daughter around the same age...and it's the up-most best in life!
    Wishing you the very best in our month of May!
    Take care!

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    1. I'm loving the joy of having a little 2 year old in the family Amy - they are such delights aren't they? And yes, you're right, having the hope of eternity and meeting again when we're all hail and hearty makes losing a loved one a little bit easier.

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  28. Leanne, I'm sorry your FIL has died. I don't know how you've managed to blog every day! I've not kept up with your A to Z -- just as I can only manage to post once a week, I can only read other people's blogs once a week -- but I will catch up, reading several letters of the alphabet at a go!

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    1. Hi Jean - you are under no obligation whatsoever to plough through a month of my daily posts! It's lovely if you managed to read a few of them xxx

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  29. I love JD Robb and have read them all but the last two. Reading for me isn't working right now, I can't seem to concentrate very long. Your granddaughter is adorable and I know how special and precious time is with grandbabies and family. Onward through May.

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    1. I think I'm addicted to JD Robb Victoria - the characters are so engaging - which says a lot about Nora Roberts' writing style doesn't it. It's lovely to meet a fellow devotee! And yes, grandbabies are definitely a reward for our efforts in parenting :)

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  30. Leanne, I look forward to following your blog as you 'get back to normal'. I appreciate your casual tone and - I agree about seeing no point in pics of food. I do love nature shots though! And your grandbaby is adorable. I'm well into midlife -- 54, but my kids are 21, 19, and 16 so, thankfully, no grandkids yet! Thanks for sharing yours!

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    1. It's nice to meet someone who doesn't feel the need to take photos of food Janet - I just don't get it I'm afraid. It looks like you started your family a little later than we did - but before you know it, another ten years slips by and there are little grandbabies to enjoy.

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  31. Glad to hear that you shared some lovely family time during the month of April, but also saddened to read of your father in law's passing. Even tho someone is elderly and not well, it doesn't make it any easier.

    Loved to see all the photos of the places you visited and also of the family!

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    1. It was a bittersweet time Candi - it's a chance for family to gather and all the joy that comes with that, mixed with the sadness of saying goodbye - I guess that's life isn't?

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  32. How lovely to have that family time but sad news as well. Your granddaughter is a cutie and it's a reminder of that whole circle of life thing isn't it! #teamlovinlife

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    1. Definitely the circle of life Deb - youth and age and all that goes with them (and being caught in the middle!)

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  33. Leanne, what a month of ups and downs. I love your coffee chat month in review and stole the idea a bit this month.

    Congrats on completing your A to Z... I really enjoyed it as a reader (you were one I did follow the whole alphabet), but am a bit glad its over. Following and commenting in itself was time consuming, I can't imaging posting and commenting on top of that!

    So sorry to hear about your FIL. Even when we know it's coming and they have a life well-lived, it's hard to realize they are no longer at the other end of a phone.

    OMG - I am also a huge JD Robb fan and yes, have read them all. I'm a couple behind you because I wait for the paperback printing. They are one of my beach reads. You made me think I need to check to see if the last couple are in paperback yet!

    Lovely to hear about your month!

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    1. I only read JD Robb in paperback and beg my library for one every time a new one is released Pat - they are my secret love! I'll be devastated if she ever decides to finish the series! And thanks again for loyally plodding along with me through the AtoZ - I really appreciated you taking the time to leave a comment and cheer me on - and it's REALLY nice to be at the end and back to normal again - not swamping people's inboxes if they were subscribed to my posts!

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  34. Nan-ing is the best. All of the wonder of mommy-ing without quite as much stress and worry. I love it. I am Mimi to one grand and Gabba to the other. And in heaven with both.

    Condolences on the loss of your father-in-law. Bless his heart. I know he is still very much a part of your lives and looking over you every minute.

    Yay for YOU and SUE and the great accomplishment of completing the A to Z challenge. And then the publishing of your e-book. Bravo!

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    1. Hi Leslie - you are absolutely right about grandbabies - they are such an unexpected delight - all the good parts of parenting without any of the responsibility and discipline - my son comments on how tough I was with them as kids and what a pushover I am with our granddaughter - I can't help it - she's just sooooo cute :)

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  35. Indeed, April was a hectic month, blogging-wise. It was such good fun writing and reading others' posts.
    Sorry to know about your father in law.
    At my end, my uncle, who is close to 80, had to be taken to hospital, because of extreme weakness. He is now out of hospital, and slightly better.
    April also saw my son, who is studying in Australia, landing up at our doorstep totally unannounced, giving us all a huge surprise. He came for his semester break. A very well-thought out plan. So nice of him to give us such a lovely surprise.

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    1. How wonderful for you to have your son turn up as a surprise - I can imagine you and your wife would have been over the moon with joy. It's always lovely to see our children when they live far away - but for you it would be even more exciting with the distance involved. You'll have to leave me a link to your blog when you comment so I can return the visit.

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  36. Thanks I enjoyed the coffee. One dear soul departing, sad for those left and a better place for him. That is balanced by your ever so beautiful Sophia. Here is to an awesome May for you all.
    Kathleen

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    1. Hi Kathleen - I loved our coffee date too - and wishing you a very happy birthday - you have been such a great friend and supporter through this weird and wonderful blogging journey we share xx

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If you'd like to have a conversation, feel free to email me any time - leanne.lecras@gmail.com