First and foremost, I want to take a moment to acknowledge my absence from the blog yesterday. I didn’t plan on taking a day off from posting, but it just felt necessary.
You see, heaven gained another beautiful angel early yesterday morning. After a short but painful battle with pancreatic cancer, my loving granddaddy, Rudy, passed in peace surrounded by family in my aunt’s Florida home.
I just love him so much. We lost my Nana (who I’m actually named after: Heather Betty) the year Scott and I got engaged, and the photo I took with him at our engagement party is one of my favorites of us together. It was also his birthday!
I have so many fond memories growing up in Orlando with him living just two hours north of us in Jacksonville. From rides on his tractor as a baby to most recently hearing about his World War II and firefighting stories on my last visit down to Florida, any time I was able to spend with him is placed and cherished deep inside of my heart.
As much as our wedding day was a blur, a couple of minutes that I will never forget is getting to dance with him for an entire song at the reception. I remember looking around and wishing my Nana was there to too, but felt so grateful to still have him close to hold onto. He had a sweet, yet funny way of showing his affection. Always a jokester.
It was really hard for me to return back to Michigan knowing that was probably going to be my last time seeing him, but through the pain, he still managed to share his humor in lighthearted conversations with me. Even throughout the last couple of weeks, he kept telling me to come back to Florida and leave the frozen land of Michigan while chatting on the phone. “You know, nobody has to live up there voluntarily… it’s actually sunny in most places today” he joked. Ha, I guess he’s right.
Grandparents are such gifts. With a heavy heart, I have to say goodbye now, and it isn’t easy.
Rest in peace, dear Granddaddy. You are so loved, and the presence of your joyful spirit will remain in our hearts forever. <3
Well, now that I’m a mess again, I think it’s time to transition onto a lighter note with our normal end of the week edition of Friday Favorites!
Even through the not-so-awesome weeks, it is nice to revisit the moments and things that make us smile. As always, I invite you all to join in and share your favorites in the comments and link-up sections below. Happy Friday!
Friday Favorites #82: Week of 3/27
• Nana’s crystal vase
Speaking of my dear Nana, it only feels right to kick this week’s list off with a gorgeous crystal vase I inherited from their house on my recent trip home to Florida.
She always had a thing for pink roses. Ever since I can remember, my family never came to visit her without a bouquet of them in hand. I saw this rose earlier in the week and knew I had the perfect place to display it with love.
Losing grandparents is hard, and this week has been a rough one. Even so, I can’t pass by this vase or flower without cracking a smile. This little vase serves much more than just a place to hold flowers, and is something I will always treasure!
• coconut water with pineapple
I have been a fan of coconut water since the first time I tried it fresh from the trees in Costa Rica. At around $2 a pop, I don’t always buy it, but I do bring home a few cartons as a post-run rehydrating treat every now and then.
This week was the first time I saw the pure coconut with pineapple flavor from Vitacoco and had to give it a try. It tasted very similar to a piña colada, and it was hard for me to refrain from gulping it all down at once. So good!
• trigger point therapy
If you’re even a hesitant fan of foam rolling (I know… it hurts, but feels so good at the same time!), you would probably love to try trigger point therapy rollers.
A friend of Scott and I’s brought over his foot and quad ballers along with two massage balls, and graciously took me through a tutorial on how to use them. Holy geez, you guys.
As someone who continuously fights extremely tight calves, I hate to absolutely love this product. The hate part comes from the uncomfortable feeling I experience while rolling them out, and the love comes from how I feel afterwards. Yep, that’s self-myofacial release for you!
You can purchase all types of starter kits and packages on their website or even through Amazon. I still have the kit at our house, and would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sore after using it for a couple of days. Even so, I would recommend it to runners and fitness enthusiasts who want to take the time to learn how to use it!
• pulled bbq sliders
After an overwhelming (in the best way) response to my post asking for meal planning advice this week, I got the idea to turn to some old favorite recipes that don’t require much effort. Duh. I don’t know why I don’t think to return to my own easier dinner recipes more often.
I quickly ran to the store on Tuesday and brought chicken and wheat slider buns home to make pulled bbq sandwiches for Scott and I later that night.
I paired them with a side of baked beans and brussels sprouts, and it was great!
I will be sure to take a look over my own Recipes page the next time I’m in a funk and need a meal plan for the week. This is a great one, and I ended up using the leftover bbq chicken meat on a salad the next day. It was so good!
• tomatillo salsa
Speaking of oldies but goodies, have you ever tried tomatillo (verde) salsa?
We used to always buy green salsa to mix things up and enjoy at home with corn chips. I saw this jar from the organics line at Kroger while I was at the grocery store this week and had to buy it. I love it on its own, but it’s even better mixed in with regular salsa too!
• deodorizing spray for dogs
Scott brought home this deodorizing spray for Roadie a while back, and I’m finally getting around to mentioning it on the blog. We automatically spray him with this super deodorizing spray after a bath, but it’s nice to break out and spray to keep him fresh in between baths and after runs.
We use the Top Paw brand, but there are plenty out there that look like they would work just the same that you can find here, here, here, or here!
It had been a hot minute since I ordered and enjoyed eating sushi, so I finally returned to it last night while dining out with a friend.
I chose Spicy California and Philly Cheese rolls, and I finished about half of what was on my plate before I got full. Oh, sushi… how I love you. Yum!
• favorite LIL posts
» The Struggle of Meal Planning Is Real
(mostly for your tips in the comments!)
» Thirty Thoughts On Turning 30
• Friday funnies
I’m sorry I keep gravitating towards animal funnies, but I can’t really help it.
They’re just so dang cute!
(That spot! I can’t handle the cuteness.)
Have a great weekend!
I’m so sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my thoughts.
Thank you, Brynn. <3
Kelly Runs for Food
So sorry to hear about your granddad. My husband just lost his grandma last week and it’s always so hard to say goodbye to grandparents. Keeping you in my thoughts!
Thanks Kelly, I appreciate that. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s grandma too. Rough month of March. I’ll be keeping him in our prayers.
Oh my goodness Heather<3 I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for you and your family. If you need anything at all I am just a phone call away. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thank you, friend. I sure do appreciate it. I hope to see you soon! Love you <3
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
I am so sorry for your loss, Heather. Your Grandaddy and family are in my thoughts & prayers <3
Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz
So very sorry for your loss! My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time!
Thank you Stacy!
Heather, I know there are no words that could help make this any easier but I’m so sorry for your loss. Grandparents really are blessings in our lives and I’m glad you had such a wonderful and special relationship with yours.My thoughts are with you and your family.
Thank you so much for your kind words. <3
So very sorry for your loss! I lost my grandfather a few months ago, he was my last living grandparent. They are such a blessing aren’t they?
Aw I’m so sorry to hear about that. Such blessings. We have to hold on to the good times and cherish those memories!
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
I’m so sorry to hear about your granddaddy. 🙁 I’m sending love and happy thoughts your way! <3
Thank you, Erin!
Sierra&Faith Winks and Eyerolls
Heather, so sorry for your loss. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. What great pictures you were able to capture with him and have all of those wonderful memories. Grandparents always hold a special place in our hearts <3
Thank you. I could have kept digging for better ones when I was little, but those represent two very happy times I got to spend with him. <3
gretch @ gretchruns
I’m so sorry for your loss! This was such a beautiful post and a great way to remember your grandfather, who seems like a terrific person. My thoughts are with you and your family!!
Thank you for reading, and also for your words <3
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Oh Heather, so sorry about your sad news. At least you got to see him one more time on your last visit. 🙁 And on a lighter note, I actually like the plain version of coconut water best, and have been really into protein coconut water for flavor lately. I haven’t used those trigger point contraptions, but am sure I’d love them. Thanks for hosting today.
Thank you, Ashley. I love the plain coconut water flavor too! I just wanted to mix it up. Their all so good! As a fellow fan of foam rolling, I bet you would also love (to hate) trigger point rollers 😉
I’m so sorry for your loss <3 what beautiful photos you two have together. so sweet. thoughts and prayers xo
Thank you, Cait!
Lori @ TheHealthMinded.com
What a beautiful tribute to your grandparents. I am sure they are thrilled to know what an impact they made on your life. Grandparents are a beautiful thing! Carry them in your heart always.
They really are. I know I was blessed to have to amazing sets on my moms side and another on my dad’s. Memories with each of them will never leave!
I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Heather. But I am glad that you had so many great memories with him, and have so much to remember him by–including that vase.
Thank you, Suzy. That I do!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
Heather! I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. I only still have my grandmother alive on my mom’s side and it will be very tough for me when I lose her. So glad you got to see him one last time and have so many wonderful memories. It sounds like he was a great guy. 🙂
I bet. My grandmother (on my dad’s side) is currently 96 years old! Can you believe it? I’ve definitely been cherishing these last couple of years with her too. And, you’re absolutely right, he was such a great guy!!
So sorry for your loss. I totally need to put some BBQ sliders on my menu for next week!
I ended up adding more bbq sauce, just as a heads up. I hope you enjoy!
You and your family are in my thoughts. <3 I am so very sorry for your loss.
Annette Perkins (@FitnessPerks)
I’m sorry about your having to say good-bye for a time to your granddaddy. 🙁 It’s always so hard! Keeping you & your family in my prayers <3
By the way, you're so pretty! <–not meant in a stalkerish way at all!
Aw, you’re so sweet. Thank you Annette <3
Jessie @ Just Jessie
I’m so sorry for your loss, Heather!! 🙁 I’ll keep you in my prayers!
And, on another note, that sushi looks awesome. Definitely a sushi girl!
So sorry to hear about your grandfather…so glad you had that last visit with him.
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries
Oh sweet Heather, I’m so sorry for the loss of your granddaddy. Praying for comfort and strength for you and your family during this time. Sending hugs!
Strength and Sunshine
Sending you and your family so much love and hugs sweetie!
Deepest condolences for your loss. What blessing that you were able to savor that sweet dance with him at your wedding. Such gorgeous photos.
Emma @ Life's A Runner
I will definitely be keeping you and your family in my prayers! I’m so, so sorry. This is such a beautiful post, and thoughtful way to remember him. <3
Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut
Oh man so sorry to hear about your grandpa! My boyfriend (and me a little..been part of their family 7 years) is going through this right now and even though his grandparents lived a very long life..it’s still hard to lose them. Hugs.
I totally understand that. I’ve been through the same before. It’s just as hard. Thank you for your kind words. <3
Katie @ Live Half Full
I’m so sorry to hear about your granddaddy! Hugs to you and your family.
So sorry for your loss. Hugs!! Remember all the good things. <3
So sorry to hear about your granddaddy, Heather. I just lost my grandma last week, too. It’s never easy. HUGS to you. xoxo
Awww, I’m so sorry to hear that. Its been a rough couple of weeks, huh? Thank you for the hugs, I’ll send them with some prayers back to you! <3
I’m so sorry for your loss. I will keep your family in my thoughts. XOXO
I’m so sorry for your loss, Heather. Luckily, it sounds like you have plenty of great memories to help get you through this difficult time.
As for your favorites, I’m curious about the trigger point rollers. How are they different from regular foam rollers? Are they more or less intense?
Thank you, Amy. They are definitely more intense. They trigger a smaller area at once and you use the block to intensity the angle to dig even deeper. It’s a real treat 😉
Sorry about your loss. I just went through that last week and a couple months before that on Dec.30 I lost my other grandfather.
I’ll make sure to keep him in my prayers.
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that. Grandparents are so special. Thank you for your words and I will be sending prayers your way too. <3
I’m so sorry for your loss! I lost my grandfather in October, so I know how you’re feeling. You and your family are in my prayers! <3
So sorry for your loss, Heather! 🙁
Christy Hales Buhr
I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa. It’s never easy! Growing up my dad would always tell us to soak up the time with our grandparents because it wouldn’t last forever. He was so right.
I also have tight calves. Whenever I get injured it usually traces back to my calves! I am open to any and all remedies.
So sorry for your loss 🙁
I’m so sorry for your loss. Life is so precious! That pic of you and your Grandpa is the sweetest. He looked like such a warm and loving man. I’m always here if you need to talk. Sending you comfort and healing in this time.
Thank you Yaara, you’re so sweet. I appreciate your words. <3
My condolences you and the rest of your family, and everyone who was affected by Rudy’s passing. I will continue to keep everyone in their prayers, and I will be thinking good thoughts.
Just wanted to reach out to you with much love and a big hug for your loss, Heather. I recently lost my dad to esophageal cancer on March 10. Talk about a mess…you take all the time you need to cry and grieve. But also try to find the good in this situation–it shows you just how precious life is. There is not a day that passes that your grandfather will not be with you in spirit. I believe that. Best wishes to you and your family.
Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Kaylin. I bet you are a mess. And you’re reaching out to me! Goodness. Life really is precious. Thank you for your sweet words and message. It’s so true. Prayers going out to you. <3 xo
Celeste @The Whole Serving
I am so sorry to hear about your loss, it’s wonderful that you have such fond memories. I’m including you in my prayers.
Sorry for your loss! It is so great you have your Nana’s vase to remind you of the two of them though!
So sorry for your loss Heather. Sounds like you and your grandaddy have lots of great memories. I hope they bring you comfort right now. Sending virtual hugs!
I couldn’t help but cry when reading this… I just lost my Grandpa to pancreatic cancer and it seemed so sudden.. although it’s almost been a year ago, it just seems like yesterday. I long for the day that I’ll see him again 😉 I’ll be praying for you because I know how heartbreaking it is…
SO… on to that coconut water w/ pineapple!! It is so good and has become one of my favorite refreshments lately!! Love it!
Aw… thank you for your prayers April. I’m so sorry for your loss. Pancreatic cancer is a serious one, I’ve now lost two loved ones pretty quickly to it. Prayers to you too! <3
So sorry for your loss, Heather. Your family is in my prayers. May you find comfort and peace in his memories.