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Making the Most of Summer

By Paula Deen
Making the Most of Summer

I loved my own Grandparents with all my heart. I learned important lessons from them about how to treat people, how to cook, and how to work. They didn’t have to lecture or fuss at me; they showered us kids with love and left the parenting to Mama and Daddy. That’s the beauty of being a grandparent—the hard work belongs to someone else. I guess I never really understood the depth of my grandparents’ love for us until I became a grandmother myself. I just don’t think you can until you experience it for yourself. It’s unlike any other relationship. My grandchildren came into my world lookin’ to me for all the good things in life, like love, acceptance and joy. And I’m more than happy to give it, and so much more.

I’m the proud Guinny to six beautiful boys: Jack, Matthew, Henry, John, Sullivan, and Bennett. And while I hate seein’ them grow older, I love seein’ their fun, unique personalities develop. From their interests to their senses of humor, these boys are so different from one another, but you know what they say: variety is the spice of life. Boy, is my life flavorful!

With everyone’s busy schedules, we so rarely get to be with all of them at the same time. But you know what? As much as I love having them all together, I really cherish that special one-on-one time I get to have with each of them. It’s when we do our best talkin’ and when we can really create wonderful memories that just belong to me and that one unique grandboy. Summer is always best for spending time with the boys because their schedules tend to slow down a bit (and so does mine!).

Well, I’ve been noticin’ lately just how fast these sweet boys are growin’—Jack turns 11 this month, if you can believe it. And because I don’t want to miss a moment, I’m making the most out of this summer together. So Jack will come over and spend some time with me in the kitchen like he loves to do, Henry and I will spend all day fishin’ off the dock, and Matty, John Boy, and Sully will come over and cuddle with me in the den while we watch movies. It’s truly a grandmother’s dream come true to spend time with her grandkids like that. I’m just glad they love it too.

It’s so overwhelming for Michael and me to look at these boys and see our own children and even some of ourselves in them. I think it’s almost too much to wrap my head around, but I suppose most miracles are.

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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