Friday, October 8, 2010

Remembering Kelly

When Ari and Matt picked me up from the airport last week, this is the big boy I saw.  He said his name was "Farmer Jones;" taken from a story he reads at his Montessori school.  Kelly's little boy is growing up and full of the energy his mother had when she was a little girl.  Ari and I decided to honor her birthday today by doing some crafting and baking. 

Kelly loved pumpkin and always asked me for a pumpkin pie for her birthday.  Well, we didn't exactly make pumpkin pie, but we did take one of her other favorite recipes and make it more seasonal.  Snickerdoodles are a family favorite that my mother made for us, but I gave it a twist by using Pumpkin Pie Spice mixed with the sugar instead of just the usual cinnamon.  Ari agreed that this was a good change!
I was here last October for Kelly's birthday and did make her favorite pumpkin pie.  She said to me, "Mom, what if this is my last birthday!"  Something I couldn't face then or now, but I decided to make this a happy occasion because Kelly looked forward to birthdays.  Our family and anyone of her friends can tell you how she sent little gifts, sometimes cookies, just to let them know she was thinking of them on their special day. 

I remember when she was born, 6 weeks early due to an automobile accident we were involved in, and weighing only 3 pounds 13 ounces, but it was those big brown eyes that caught your sight.  We told our oldest daughter, Erin, she had a little sister and her reply was, "I'd rather have a Slurpee!"  That changed after Kelly came home four weeks later and their bond was formed.  They actually shared the unique fact of opposite birthdays--August 10 (8/10) and October 8 (10/8).  They were also 2 years, 2 months, 2 days, and 2 hours apart!

So, sweet daughter, today I'm remembering all the good things, the people you touched, and spending the day with your boys.  I miss you and wish we had had more birthdays to celebrate with you, but I know you continue to watch over all of us, especially your little Farmer Jones! Love you xoxo

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

1 c shortening (I use Crisco-butter flavored)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 T Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven 375F-degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment or use a Silpat.

In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat shortening and sugar together thoroughly.

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat again to mix.  Then, add vanilla and beat until fluffy.  Finally, add the dry ingredients and beat until, as Ari says, "Mimi, it's dough!"
Shape dough into  balls, the size of walnuts and roll into the sugar/Pumpkin Pie Spice mixture.
Place on baking sheet, allowing about 2 inches in between.
I used a fork to do a criss-cross pattern on the cookies to flatten them slightly, but if you want softer cookies don't do this step.  Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Tomorrow, we're off to the orchard to pick apples, find a pumpkin and come home and make a pie; a tradition that Matt and Kelly started for her birthday and we'll continue with Ari.  Tradition and memories...that's what a family is made up of.  Enjoy!


  1. my darling friend, tears here, thinking of you and all your family.
    sending love and courage to face a difficult time, we stand with you all, spreading our arms across the miles
    you are not alone on this journey, know you are loved
    happy birthday Kelly, fly high, journey well x

  2. I think it is beautiful the three of you will be continuing Kelly's birthday tradition of picking apples. I'm crying and have a knot in my stomach Susan, Kelly is sorely missed and my heart breaks... I imagine her smiling as you craft and bake with her little guy, (goodness he is getting SO BIG!) some of her favorite things and people : ) I smiled when I read about Kelly ad Erin and it makes sense that Kelly came early into the world she wished to be with her big sister sooner, I know how close they were. I love you and am celebrating Kelly's birthday today too xoxo

  3. My heart aches as I honor Kelly's life today. I send you my love and prayers.

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate Kelly's birthday; I am sure she was with you in spirit and smiling down.

  5. Thinking of you my sweet friend and sending hugs across the miles. Thank you for sharing these stories of Kelly so that I too can know your wonderful daughter better. Much love.

  6. "May her soul be bound up in the bond of life"
    It is difficult to have tears of sadness with Kelly and tears of joy with Ari-He is a beautiful boy and Kelly's spirit is in him. I am happy you are enjoying your time with him. You and Kelly will be great examples for this adorable child. Love, Louise

  7. Your little Ari is so very lucky to have you in his life. The memories you are making with him are priceless.

    When you share your stories of Kelly and the rest of your family, I feel like I know them. I mean really know them. I can see why she insisted that you continue your blog, it's therapeutic for you and all who knew her - and even some of us who didn't. You have no idea how many lives you touch with your sweet spirit.

    I am thinking of you with love today and always.

  8. I was totally crying all day today and especially now reading your post. I was with Kelly thru Oct 7th in Kentucky last year. We had all flown into town having just found out shortly before that the cancer was stage iv. But we were full of hope that she was going to beat this and I was hunting down 2nd and 3rd opinions and spending my days researching. I regretted having to leave the day before her birthday. I sent her flowers to let her know I was thinking if her. I wish we were all in the same place right now. I would give you a big hug.

  9. I hardly know you or Kelly but my face is full of tears. All my love to you all xx

  10. Dear Susan

    Thinking of you..Honoring Kelly's day of Birth. Having got to know her through you, she carries such a ray of light.

    Lots of love
    Love you

  11. Susan, what a beautiful way to honor Kelly by doing the things she loved to do! Kelly's spirit lives in her little boy and I am in awe of you turning a sad day into a happy one and carrying on the family traditions that meant so much to Kelly. I tried, also, to remember the good times, the fun times and there were tears, as there are now. I'm thinking of you and sending my love.

  12. Susan, That is such a sweet blog post. I am sure that Kelly is watching over her entire family. I am so sorry for your loss, but I love how you are able to take a horrible thing and turn it into something beautiful. I love how you always focus on the positive. Ari is absolutely adorable and is very lucky to have you as a loving grandmother. You are in my thoughts.