About Barbara Anne Hough

This began on March 8, 2011.

It chronicles Mom’s journey of almost three years.  Thank you SO MUCH for all your thoughts, prayers, cards, flowers and visits, beginning with her February 22, 2011, admission to Howard County General through her years at Lorien until she left this earth for heaven on February 17, 2014.  She is now with the good Lord, and reunited with many family and friends who went before her. Regular blog entries ended on March 8, 2014, but periodic updates on news about the family will continue.

Mom would like that.

Laura

Sometimes a picture  (or several) are worth a 1,000 words.

Presenting the celebration of Andy and Nina’s wonderful rehearsal dinner (June 19) and wedding (June 20)!

P.S. It took me three days to make, decorate, transport and assemble the wedding cake.  Cloud NINE signing off today.  MUCH LOVE, Laura

Andy and Nina ComusAndy Nina and NIna's ParentsAndy Nina Laura and JimBaby steals the showKara and LauraCandid HamsNina and Haven at the windowThe  Bride and BridesmaidsThe GroomsmenScott and his kidswedding cake

Lucky # 17.   Seventeen days until the wedding of this lovely couple.  My son, Andy and his fiancée, Nina Mahboubi.

As I walked tonight to get my 10,000 steps in today (thank you fitbit), I thought of how I will miss Mom on Andy’s wedding day.  Interestingly though, it would have been awful for Mom to be at Lorien and unable to attend with everyone else gone to the wedding…   That would have broken her heart.  I felt so conflicted today…wanting Mom to be here and celebrating this wonderful event…but wanting my “non-sick” Mom to be here…the one who I enjoyed so many family events with for 55 years.  Sigh.  Then, I looked at the suncatcher…I know Mom will be there and I am sure I will feel her there on June 20.

The kids are so happy and everything is coming together beautifully.  They will honeymoon in Hawaii with one week on Oahu and one week on the Big Island.  As it should be!  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as their special day approaches!   Love, Laura

Wow, it’s almost May.  How did that happen?  I wanted to share the joy of the surprise bridal shower that I was honored to host for Nina last Sunday, April 26.  I’d been plotting with Nina’s mom (Doris), and Nina’s cousin and maid of honor (Jessica) for over a month.  Almost 20 wonderful friends and members of Nina’s family attended and it was absolutely joyous!  I did the food and Jessica did the decorating, games, favors and more.   Other cousins, Teeyam and Niki, teamed up to record Andy’s answers to questions that Nina had to guess later.  We broadcast it on a 44 inch flat screen, which turned out beautifully thanks to Scott’s technical skills.  Andy was asked by Teeyam about his favorite gift that Nina gave him since they’ve been together.  He didn’t hesitate.  He said, “a second date”.   Nice one, son!  :-)

Here is the beautiful bride to be, the table in waiting for more goodies and a glimpse of the decorating!  Mom would have LOVED to have been at this event.   I know I will be missing her DEEPLY on Saturday, June 20 at the wedding.    I know it will be an amazing ceremony and the start of a great life together for Andy and Nina Vaughn!  Nina as bride to beNina's showerReady for the shower

Brother Randy and First Sister-In-Law Hope are dealing with Tax Day Eve.   Niece Whitney just had her moment in the sun as an actress on an episode of “Blackish”.  Wayne is doing well and happy that spring has sprung.  Scott is beginning a transition process at Total Wine (long story).  I’m still in the rat race at work and teaching graduate school…yet happily so.   My executive physical results are surprisingly pretty darn good.  Andy and Nina’s wedding plans are coming together for a lovely “small family” event of about 100 ppl on June 20!  MUCH ADO AND ALL GOOD!

Well, I am going to be SIXTY YEARS OLD this coming October.  I am better than I deserve (love that phrase)…and I have more amazing, magnificent friends whose love and friendship fill my life.  Many of THEM will also be SIXTY YEARS OLD this year.  No disrespect to my older and younger friends, but the class of 1955 was pretty awesome.  So, it seems to make sense that the second half of 2015 should be devoted to celebrating with those friends.   Let’s “go there”.   A weekend trip later this summer with Jan Senn.  Friend since we met in Mrs. Hoffman’s 3rd grade class in 1963 (Toledo, Ohio).  We’ll venture to Pittsburgh to get together, which is “about half way” from her home in Ohio and mine in MD.   The incredible bucket list trip in September/October with my high school friend, Clare Martone, her beau Bill, along with Scott and me will be to Athens, then a Windstar cruise to the Greek Isles and several days at the end in Istanbul.  Sixteen days total.  NEVER done such a thing in my life!  My birthday is day one onboard, and Clare’s is the last night onboard.  Doesn’t get any better.  November weekend trip to the east coast beaches of Florida with dear friend, Gina Hall.  Met in 1984 and never looked back.   We talk EVERY day.  It’s amazing.  Like Jan, Gina is “older” than me.  Ha ha!   The first weekend in December, the Windy City will be jolted by Cindy Coto and me as we arrive to ring in our early October birthdays a bit late; she on the 1st of October and me on the 3rd.  Cindy and I met in October 1978 and have had a sister connection ever since.  Cindy and I celebrated our 30th together in the Big Apple, so we are branching out this time.  Tonight at yoga, I felt Mom there – encouraging me, lifting me up to enjoy all of this and to revel in the moments of celebration.   Mom always celebrated her birthday for a month or so.  I think I am going to go for six months!

Love to all!  laura

Happy Easter Monday!  I love Easter – for me, it is a quiet holiday of reflection.  Of what the day means.  It isn’t like the hectic pace of Christmas, or even the food filled fest of Thanksgiving.  It is about the risen Savior.  And I just love that.  Also for me, it is another post Lorien Easter.  For three years, I took pureed Easter food up to Mom.  Pureed lobster mostly…with drawn butter.  I have the videos and pictures which are lovely to look back on.  But now, my friend, Cindy and I meet in Roanoke, VA – our half way point between Rockville, MD and Monroe, NC for Easter.  A new tradition – two years in the running – and next year planned.

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter!

More to come in the weeks ahead as the wedding plans continue to take shape.

Love, Laura

Scott and I got invited to a Persian New Year celebration tonight, courtesy of Nina’s parents.  Andy is away for work for a month, so we went to Nina’s parents for the event independently.  Nina has said the two of them as a couple…and their respective families (Andy’s and hers) remind her of the movie, “A Big Fat Greek Wedding”.  OMG, she was right.  We’ve watched the movie together (Scott, me, Andy, Nina), but tonight it played out. I actually TOOK a pumpkin Bundt cake over to Nina’s parents’ house – where Nina still lives.  (Right out of the movie, yes?).

There were 30+ people there, lots of kissing, speaking Farsi, speaking English.  Lots of kidding, noise, Iranian food, beautiful children,  lovely adults, much craziness.  Frankly, it was wonderful.  So pleased to learn that Andy and Nina will be godparents to Nina’s second cousin’s 11 month old daughter, Haven.  Haven is a DELIGHT.  Mom would have had a hoot there tonight and been the belle of the ball.  I hope I didn’t disappoint her with my level of engagement.  Being around that much activity is infectious – in a good way.  I understand how Andy has connected with Nina’s family.  It was just plain fun.  Lots of IQ points floating around and lots of humor.  Doesn’t get much better.

Nina’s dad is Iranian and her mom is Dominican.   She has cousins with 1/2 and 1/2 backgrounds and in one selfie, the post read – “put us together and we make one Persian”.   Hysterical.   Tonight made me realize something.  New chapters.  This is a new chapter.  Mom met Nina, thank goodness. And she liked her.  A lot.  She said she saw happiness…and no stress…in Andy’s face after Nina came into his life.   Mom gave Nina her precious copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.   Yep, she liked her a lot.  But Mom’s life ended before the summer 2014 engagement, the wedding planning and the beginning of melding two families.  It’s a new chapter and Mom isn’t here physically now.  And yet I am going to lean into this chapter because I want to and because it is very special.   And Andy and Nina have managed to honor Mom in a lovely way.   They are having a reasonably small (yet growing somehow) wedding.  Andy took the lead and enclosed a note about gifts with the invites.  It reads, “We are blessed.   In lieu of gifts, please consider donating to 1) Helping Up Mission – Baltimore, 2) Fisher House, 3) Children’s Aid Society of NYC, 4) Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Science and 5) Maryland SPCA.”  He listed reasons for each charity, and for the last one, he said that “Edward and Nina are lovers of animals, just as was Edward’s material grandmother, Barbara, who will be celebrating our wedding with us in spirit.”

Indeed she will.  I am so proud of my son.

This was practice wedding cake weekend.  I think I mentioned that Andy and Nina asked me to do their wedding cake.  Honored and petrified…all at the same time.  Nina likes simple and elegant, so I went with it.

Practice caksThis is what will be the middle and top tiers (6 in and 10 in).  For the real cake, I’ll do a 14 in double as the lowest tier.  What I learned from this…

1.  Red velvet cake bleeds, so I switched to a hand sculpting technique – which turned out to have a lovely romantic look
2.  I will do the middle tier as a square and top and bottom tiers round for dramatic effect
3.  I will stick with the same variety of flower even if you use different colors.  the orange lilies looked awful with the pink roses, so I took apart an artificial arrangement I had in the house to get burgundy roses
4.  Fondant hardens FAST so work with it quickly.  I like how the drape turned out.  There is another one on the other side.
Just heard from Nina by text…she says she loves it and can’t wait to see it in person…she arrives in an hour….whew!  I feel Mom smiling down.
Spring is just around the corner – YAY!  We still have a couple of mounds of dirty snow left, but hopefully it will be gone this week.   Love, Laura
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