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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in books (6)

Thursday
Mar282013

The Babybook

My girls just turned 8 months, and I've yet to add a single picture or word to their baby books. I've purchased the books (1 for each girl, the same book of course!). I've printed out pictures. I've been trying to keep up a milestone list/journal in my Google Drive of important events and firsts. But I just haven't found the right time to start making their firsts official. It's different with a blog or a google doc, I can change wording. Add or delete. But what I'm writing in their baby book is... definite and special. When they are all grown up I want them to find these books and love how organized and thorough their Mama was! These memory books can be a really great piece of family history.

My dad's baby book and the baby book my mom made for me are meticulously complete with records of baby and childhood. Dad's baby book even has notes/stories up until his college years! (filled out by his grandmother- verrry interesting details, like failing French lessons!) Reading my Dad's book was helpful to learn names of family and family friends, especially for recognizing names in letters and documents I found throughout my research. My baby book has all the details of my first words, foods, and major milestones- even the hospital bracelets and a lock of hair from my first haircut. I can only hope to complete such a detailed history of each baby in a complete succinct book. Right now I have notes, pictures, hospital bracelets, and birth announcements all over the place.

So until I have the time, organization, and confidence to fill out G&G's baby books- I made a photobook via Shutterfly of their first month. I know it sounds silly, the first month?! But with 2 babies and so much happening from the birth, home coming, family visiting, etc...there was a lot to pack into 20 pages. The next photobook I'll try and tackle the first year.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

 

I can't find the power cord to my printer/scanner- I'd love to add pictures from abovementioned baby books! It's on my to do list once the cord has been recovered. Might not happen for a while- but they are precious pages I'd love to share! Did I mention that I really need to get organized? :)

Thursday
Oct272011

Thriller Thursday: Mary Bradbury, A Convicted Salem Witch in My Family Tree!

I never thought I would find a convicted witch from the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in my family tree. I never thought I would go anywhere near my ancestors who were alive in 1692. It sounds ridiculous to say that I've uncovered the story of my 11th great grandmother Mary Perkins Bradbury, who was one of the last to be convicted during the Salem Witch Trials. But it's true! And now I'm intrigued.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct202011

Tom Brokaw's Tribute to The Greatest Generation

I'm just about finished reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw and I couldn't wait to spread the word about how much I enjoyed this book. This is a very emotional and inspirational tribute to those of the World War II generation. He shares the stories of ordinary people who were called to serve and protect our country overseas, women who found work in factories to support the forces, heroes who gave their lives for our freedom, individuals who faced racial adversity. Brokaw pieced together the stories of this generation beautifuly. He demonstrated how this great generation played a significant role in securing the future prosperity of our country; through hard work, determination, teamwork, and the heartbreaking love stories.

Brokaw opens the book with his childhood. Growing up in the prairies of South Dakota he was surrounded by individuals who gave their service to our country in World War II. But it wasn't until he was on assignment in Normandy, France for the 40th anniversary of D-Day, that the true sacrifice and greatness of this generation hit home. Talking with American soldiers who returned to the beaches for the somber anniversary, listening to their stories, hearing the pain and sadness in their voices. Brokaw describes this experience as "a life-changing experience".

I completely understand this sentiment. What I have learned about my grandfather and his WWII experience has changed my life. Growing up I knew my grandfather, Col. Joseph K Wright, had served in WWII but had little to no interest in what he did or his story. He passed away in 2004, before I started on this journey of exploring my family history and it's place in the history and I am left with questions and a sadness for him. I am doing what I can to piece together his story, but I just wish I could have discussed it with him. Reading this book has given me such insight into the struggle and sacrifice of his generation.

In 1942 Joseph married my grandmother in Seattle, Washington where he was stationed for training, probably wanting to be married before his inevitable deployment overseas. A story so common for the time period. My grandmother was one of the lucky ones who had her sweetheart return to her alive. A byproduct of this terrible war I never considered was the vast number of young twenty something widows left to rebuild and move on with their lives. So many with young babies who never had the chance to meet their father. How devastating it must have been for them, one day learning the life they had envisioned and planned would never happen. In the book Brokaw shares a few of their stories and it is truly heart breaking. (Pg. 257 the stories of Jeanette Gagne Norton and Daphne Cavin...get the tissues ready.)

The picture to the left was taken May 1943 in Olympia, Washington. Left to right: Joe (my grandfather), Marjorie (my grandmother), Charlie, Jimmy, Bea, Peg, Rus, Harry, Nella.

With the current economic climate this book would be a a real eye opener for many to realize just how bad it could really be (AND WAS!) and serve as inspiration for moving forward through tough times. This generation worked hard and persevered through the toughest of times. They grew up during the great depression with nothing. When called to action they enlisted and fought in foreign lands leaving behind loved ones and their individual future. While they fought they saw their friends and brothers killed- all the while having to continue on and stay alive. For those who made it back home they continued to work hard and administered the principles learned in the war to their every day lives. A never ending work ethic and dedication to community. We could all learn a lot from this great generation.

I definitely recommend reading this book. Do you have a WWII book recommendation?

Thursday
Sep152011

Jacqueline Kennedy's Oral History- Just Released! 

The Kennedy family has been in the media spotlight for decades, but it's the voice of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy that had me fascinated this week.

The newly released book,  "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy", has everybody talking. Jackie Kennedy lends her voice to ensure her husbands memorial. A taped interview has been kept locked away until now!

 

This family often keeps a tight seal on personal information, but her daughter Caroline Kennedy thought the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's presidency was the right time. The world should be able to hear this historic conversation.

The interview was conducted by Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a special assistant to JFK during this presidency and an admired historian. She shared uncensored memories of her former life as first lady and the wife of the notorious JFK.

During the ABC special hosted by Diane Sawyer, Caroline Kennedy was asked if any edits were made to the tapes. Caroline's response really stuck with me. She declined any edits and believed that once you start editing a piece of oral history, it's hard to know when to stop. She wanted to share her mother's uncensored voice with the public to serve as a true memorial to their experience.

I'm a huge fan of Jackie. She kept it real and exposed herself to a world that wasn't yet ready for what she had to say. But nevertheless she won everyone over and continues to be an icon for women everywhere. And now with her voice, she shares their story with the world.

A few months ago I read "Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage" and loved it! On my book shelf to be read: "American Legacy: The Story of John & Caroline Kennedy".