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catching up with the Grands! what's new in our world?

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Happy Thursday, everyone!

BRRR!  It sure has been a chilly week!

We hope, wherever you are, your world is warm and cozy!

It feels like it’s been a long time since we have connected!

Both of us - Laura and Laurie needed a little time to recharge 

and focus on our own Middles and Littles over the holiday season!

That doesn’t mean we didn’t miss sharing via Our Grand Lives

but retirement and grandmahood are so much busier and fuller 

than we ever imagined! 

 As Laurie likes to say…

Now that the holiday festivities have come to an end

 and the Christmas decorations have been put away, 

we are excited to get going once again


and we are filled with ideas for future posts and content!

Before we share some of our thoughts and plans for the year ahead at

we thought we’d begin by sharing a recap of our holiday season,

mostly for posterity’s sake!

So here’s a snapshot of our personal lives from  the 2023 holidays!

Our Christmas Eve Day started early in the morning when our Middles and Littles arrived at our house for breakfast and some present opening by the Littles.  

We all went to the late morning children’s service at church so Little D could watch the Live Nativity program unfold before her eyes (including her Auntie M who was the innkeeper in the pageant).  At age 2, Little D has been obsessed with Baby Jesus this year and was transfixed by the live action story!  We came home and put the two Littles down for naps and the grown ups spent the early afternoon opening presents and relaxing!

A Grand Tip!

This was something new I tried this year...

I wrapped each of the Middles' gifts

and then dressed the gifts to look like snowmen!

My extended family started arriving later that afternoon. So much laughter, food, games, and presents.  Our house was rockin’!

Christmas Day was spent eating and playing games with my son, daughter-in-law, and a friend. 

Hubby Mark and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary by going out for cocktails with the kids on the 28th, and then on the 30th we celebrated Son D’s birthday! 

It was a wonderful holiday and the little bucket I have in a deep part of my heart was once again filled with the love and memories of Christmas... 

my favorite time of the year!

❤️ 🩵 ❤️

I was so excited for the holidays to begin!  Both of our girls planned to be home - Daughter A and Daughter J - along with her hubby (our SIL) and our almost two year old grandbaby, Little L.  We had so many plans, kicking off with church on Christmas Eve followed by a lovely dinner and a family sleepover! Our evening was lovely and we were all caught up once again in the magic of Christmas, especially as witnessed this year, through the eyes of Little L!

The next morning we woke up, enjoyed our traditional monkey bread and checked to see what Santa had left in our stockings!

And that’s when things began to change!

Little L had a bit of a cough and “the sniffles” and her auntie, Daughter A, developed a scratchy throat and a headache as we opened our gifts.  OH NO!  Later that afternoon, all of our holiday plans came to a screeching halt when Daughter A took a precautionary Covid test and the results came back positive!  She quickly packed up her things and headed home with a care package in tow and the rest of us sadly settled in for a quiet and uneventful evening!

The next morning, this was our Little L…

There's nothing quite like a sweet little one who’s under the weather to pull at your heart strings! Who could resist her pink cheeks and need to snuggle? Definitely, not this Grand!  We got in lots of cuddles before Little L, Daughter J, our SIL and our grandpup packed up and were on their way back to Wisconsin early that same morning! Thankfully, that five hour car trip was uneventful! Whew!

Over the next few days, my Hubby, Dave, tested positive as did Daughter J!  While our SIL and Little L didn’t test, they most likely had Covid, as well... especially since we learned that two other daycare families also tested positive during the Christmas weekend! Surprisingly, despite lots of cuddles from Little L those first few days, I continued to test negative on four separate occasions!   

So here’s how I spent the rest of the holidays!

With all of our holiday festivities canceled, I spent the days (and nights) between Christmas and New Year’s Day snuggled under a blanket next to our Christmas tree watching endless Hallmark movies and staying hydrated while Hubby Dave recovered!  

New Year’s Day was Little L’s second birthday and while we’d originally planned to spend her birthday with her in Wisconsin, we were all still under quarantine SO a FaceTime visit had to suffice!

Happy Birthday Little L!  

You've added such joy to our lives!

We love you!

Thankfully, everyone has recovered and life has returned to normal!

It wasn't the holiday we'd hoped for

but it's definitely one we will never forget!

❤️ 🩵 ❤️

In early January, 

we spent some time together in our favorite Caribou coffee shop 

and talked about our first full year of blogging 

and what our goals and plans are for the coming year.

(We are such teachers!)

We had fun reminiscing about our blogging start and laughed many, many times

about our mistakes, goof-ups and even triumphs

as we learned the ins and outs of social media and the blogging world.

Here’s some of our takeaways from our time together!

🩵 We LOVE working together!   

During our teaching careers our paths never crossed professionally. We both taught kindergarten or first grade in neighboring districts and our prime connection was through church and our involvement on the Children's Ministry team. How fun it's been in retirement to take on this project together - we've discovered so much about each other and ourselves and we've found that our strengths and talents really compliment each other! And... we think a lot alike! We even bought our Littles the same gift but didn't learn of this til we met in January!

🩵 We LOVE our OGL family!   

Our Grand Lives (OGL) has become such a fun outlet for each of us and definitely keeps our creative juices flowing!.  We recently celebrated our first anniversary… We can’t believe that we’ve already  written more than 70 posts and reached 5 continents!  We love our time together and the community we’ve found from blogging!  This passion project provides lots of opportunities for both of us to continue growing in new ways!  Once a teacher, always a teacher, right?  😉

🩵 We want to continue to educate ourselves!

We both believe that at this stage of life it’s important to embrace new learning!  With that in mind, we plan to keep learning more about technology and how it can help serve us better when blogging and with our other social media platforms, too!  We’d love to keep growing our audience so if you know of any others living GRAND LIVES please share our blog and social media accounts with them!

🩵 We plan to post regularly with occasional breaks! 

You can find us posting once a week (typically on Tuesdays) and sometimes more frequently if we find that we have more to share!  We’ll also give ourselves permission to take breaks from time to time, especially when GRAND adventures call!

🩵 Our focus will include ALL aspects of our GRAND lives!

Content will continue to include activities and adventures we take (or anticipate taking) with Littles (primarily our grandkids who are infants through elementary age).  We’ll also devote time to other ways we celebrate this season of life - our families, our friendships, our hobbies, our faith!  Finally, don’t be surprised if, on occasion, we use this platform as a means to document our lives, especially our lives as Grands to our precious Littles!  As our families grow, we’ll probably take more opportunities to do so! 

Our "Our Grand Lives" family continues to grow!

As you may recall, Laurie recently became Grammy

to a second Little…

Her second grandchild, Little P, arrived in November!

Laura is also happy to announce that she will soon be Grand

to another Little!

Little L is set to become a BIG SIS in mid May!

We both feel so blessed as our families thrive and grow!

One last funny piece of NEWS to share…

Laura will no longer be referring to herself as Gramma Laura here on OGL


 Little L has officially given Laura and her other grandma a new name…


Neither of us (or anyone else in our family) can figure out how

Little L arrived at this name for us

but it’s sticking and we are both embracing this new title!

So… Bacco Laura it is! 

❤️ 🩵 ❤️

We have a diverse audience and

as we look to the future,

we’d love to know what topics YOU’D like to see covered in upcoming posts!

IF you have a thought that is not outlined above


a topic or idea you’d love to see more of, 


If you feel comfortable, please take a moment 

and leave a comment at the end of this post.

You can also email us directly at with your thoughts!


We still have MUCH to share (and learn), and we can’t wait to get started!

Just wondering…

did we by chance mention that we are both retired kindergarten teachers?  

❤️ 🩵 ❤️

Thanks for taking the time to follow along

and read this post!

Your ongoing support and encouragement mean so much

to each of us!

Next week, we’ll be offering a way to

Beat the Winter Blues!  A Puzzle Party!

Be sure to stop back and check out this fun post!


We’d love to have you follow us on Facebook/Instagram and/or Pinterest!

And, of course, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

That way, you’ll never miss out when we publish a new post!

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S.  Don’t forget that this Saturday, January 20, is Take a Walk Outdoors Day!  

To celebrate, take a walk with loved ones outside and don’t forget to check out the ideas we provided in our last post to make your walk extra special followed by some cozy indoor time after!

❤️ We are delighted to join these link up parties and blog hops this week:

10 comentários

28 de jan.

Happy almost end of January L &L. Wow, that was some Holiday for sure. I enjoyed seeing photos of your beautiful family. I'm so sorry to hear a couple of your family members got CoVid. I hope their starting to feel better.

I appreciate you sharing your update with Sweet Tea & Friends this month sweet friends.

Our Grand Lives
03 de fev.
Respondendo a

Thanks for stopping by, Paula!! It was definitely a memorable holiday! Thankfully, everyone is on the mend! Happy February!


25 de jan.

I loved catching up with you and seeing what was new in your world. I'm happy that you all had a wonderful time creating memories. Also, happy to hear that all is well and everyone has recovered. I'm very happy that you joined us again over at The Crazy Little Love Birds link party #21. I hope you will join us again at the next party!


Our Grand Lives
27 de jan.
Respondendo a

Thanks, Steph! Thankfully, life is back to normal... it was definitely a memorable holiday! As always, we look forward to joining your next party!


24 de jan.

I love how special you make these moments! Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #22 linkup. Hope to see you there next week, too. ~Jennifer

Our Grand Lives
27 de jan.
Respondendo a

Thanks, Jennifer! You are always so supportive and your comments mean so much! See you next week at Will Blog for Comments! ❤️


24 de jan.

I just found you guys on Insta and started following then lo and behold I see you on WWBlogHop! I am a former K teacher with my first grandchild (unfortunately she is several states away) so am looking forward to doing some of these activities!

Our Grand Lives
27 de jan.
Respondendo a

We are SO glad you are here! Welcome to our site and to the GRAND life! My (Laura's) Little is 5 hours away and it's hard but thankfully now that I'm retired I get to visit more often than if I was still teaching. I'm also grateful for FaceTime - it really does keep us connected! We hope you'll stop by often! 💕


22 de jan.

What delightful, special celebrations! (except the COVID part--so sorry) I love all these photos. So fun. Visiting from Gma's Photo linkup.

Our Grand Lives
27 de jan.
Respondendo a

Thanks so much for stopping by, Debra! Yes... COVID was NO FUN but we're glad to have it behind us and despite it we made wonderful memories!

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