Archive for the ‘family’ Category

She’s having a baby!

Okay, so yeah…I mentioned it already but really! My sister is having a baby boy and we are all so excited!!!!

My parents, her in-laws, and sister-in-law pitched in and threw her a fantastic beach themed baby shower. I will unashamedly admit that my mother was the mastermind behind the theme and all that went into the decor. The rest of us were minions doing her creative bidding. My sister and brother-in-law love the beach. It was a couples shower which means you walked in and saw beach balls, balloons, men, women….and beer, wine, and some stronger alcoholic beverages which resulted from an impromptu liquor run that was supposed to be a water bottle run. But that is all I am going to say on that topic.

My little nephew got so many amazing things from so many amazing friends and family. This here is one of my brother-in-law’s personal favorite new baby items…

Second only to this previously untold truth…

Yes, sir – with these two items alone my little nephew has everything he needs to be welcomed into this bright, new world.


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It is strange but I admit that I am 50% excited about leaving my daughter for almost a week, flying to California with my hubby, and getting some majorly overdue time with friends and each other. The other 50% feels this big knot in my belly about being away from my baby for that long. Its the first time that we will be away from her at the same time and the longest either of us will have ever been apart from her. He has been away from Sophie weekends that I have visited my family without him…and I have been away from her for up to two days on annual business trips. Thats it.

Luckily, Sophie is really really really talkative right now. Her vocabulary has been expanding by the day. I read today that a toddler learns a new word every ninety minutes. I have learned with Sophie that if I can say it, she can repeat it, and remember it. She also is learning to talk on the phone and does so regularly to her grandparents. She had a nice conversation with my mom yesterday on the way home and my mom got the gist very quickly and understood what this “baby” was telling her: that she was in the car with mama, that she wanted to see dada at home, and that she got timeout at school that day for climbing. All the important highlights of her day. 🙂

This obsession with the phone could not have come at a better time – because in a month those short conversations are going to be a lifeline for my husband and I while we enjoy our time away. Those little conversations will be our “fixes” in between the spurts of fun we plan to have in San Francisco and Napa.

What goes without saying is that while my husband and I are apprehensive and slightly concerned about how we will do without her (we realize that she will be perfectly fine) my family is waiting impatiently for their first long stay with Sophie – without her mom and dad around. She will be with my mom all day at my mom’s in home daycare, she will see my dad every evening, and I have even given my sister the heads up that she can take Sophie on an excursion on the Fridays she has off while Sophie is there.

I guess it also goes without saying that my Sophie is one loved and wanted little girl.

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Other than snapshots taken by family and friends, we had never had a formal family photo session. At least not since my maternity session and while Sophia was able to make a semi-appearance even then, I don’t think a belly bump really counts.

This weekend we went to The Picture People  and had a family portrait taken. We got some fabulous shots of our little lady all by herself. It was a great experience. So much fun! Plus, when we saw how great the pictures came out we were totally blown away. I really recommend this studio for anyone with kids – or pets – or both!

As money was definitely an object – we were only able to purchase 4 of the 15 poses taken. It was a very difficult decision to make but we made it. I hope you enjoy them!

Family pic small

sophia laying down 2 small

Sophia Sitting Small

Sophia - Abel Small

Sophia - Melanie small

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Sophia at Sunday Mass

When we go to mass we always sit in the children’s room. It is totally sound proof so that the other parishioners are not distracted by the volume and frequency of my child’s comments. She does not say anything at a low volume. I whisper, “Sophia, be quiet,” and Sophia yells back at me, “Be quiet, Mama?” We have not quite figured out our inside voice. We are working on it, though.

This Sunday my mother-in-law set up a private mass with a priest friend of hers visiting from his church in the Dominican Republic. The mass was held at my brother-in-law’s house. This was odd for all of the kids involved because they are not usually told to be completely silent in this home. As the youngest of her cousins, it was especially odd for Sophia.

She was doing pretty well until the priest starting reading the Gospel. I shushed her and told her that she needed to quiet, that the priest was reading us a story and we had to listen.

She responded, “Ooh, a story.” Then looked at me, then back at the priest. She got this total look of confusion on her face and leaned in to loudly ask me, “Mama, where the pictures?”

So much for my decorum during mass. That made me break into a fit of giggles!

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Happy Father’s Day!

I have been blessed to have grown up around a number of positive male figures. My dad, it goes without saying, was the most positive male influence a girl could ask for. He taught me to ride a bike, drive a car, long division…and imparted countless wisdoms which I still use today. My dad is a wonderful man who was always honest, loving, and protective of his daughters. He was smart enough to teach us to make our own decisions without taking away our ability to fly.

My uncle, his brother, my Godfather has provided me with too many memories over the years which make me smile or laugh out loud. I remember loving to draw as a child because of him. I remember him advising me to punch the little boy in kindergarten who kept kissing me. I remember so much!  For almost 24 years my dad and my uncle were just about the only men in my life!

Over the last 6 years I have been blessed to add my husband to this exclusive club of men in my life. He is more than likely the best decision I ever made. Loving him and marrying him has changed my life, and me, in ways I cannot express. Since our daughter was born my love for him seems to have quadrupled! I would not think it possible. There is something about seeing how much he loves our child that sends tingles through me in a way his cologne used to. Its amazing how things evolve.

Lastly, another amazing male in my life is my sister’s husband. My brother-in-law is the brother I would have chosen if I could. He is an absolutely fantastic husband to my sister, an amazing uncle to Sophia, and a sweet father to our angel Ava. Life has thrown my sister and brother-in-law a harsh curve ball but they are weathering it well…and most importantly…together.

I had a little bit of time to scrounge up some then and now pictures of Sophia with the men in HER life. Her two favorite guys. Enjoy! And…..HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I hope you got to spend the day celebrating the men in your life who mean so much.







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A big thing happened while I was not blogging. I turned thirty years old. By far, my favorite reaction by others when they hear this news is, “Wow, you are so young!” How sweet, right? I remember when thirty was so far away and seemed so old. Now that I am here, obviously, I realize that its not old at all!

One the day of my actual birthday, since it fell on a Friday, my husband and I took the day off of work. I had a great day planned for all of us (of course we took Sophia with us) to head down to Islamorada and visit a tiny, 17-acre seaquarium called Theater of the Sea. It was quite adorable. There was a sea lion show, a dolphin show, a parrot show, a bottomless boat ride complete with dolphin antics. Sophia had a ball. There was just one problem. For some reason there was not a single breeze. Not one. This made for an extremely hot and sweaty experience. So, while we had fun – we were also glad that the whole park could be enjoyed in three hours.

That evening I enjoyed an Italian dinner with the hubby and Sophia – after which Sophia and I shared my birthday cannoli. Her first ever. I think its a keeper. When I have time I promise to share pics.

Surprise!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Birthday!

The kicker of the weekend was that Saturday I was surprised with a surprise birthday party. It came as a total shock. I had made things difficult by trying to plan my own event for that evening (umm, hello, turning 30 here!) while my husband and family were scrambling behind the scenes to set up a Surprise Birthday BBQ at my mother-in-law’s house. It was awesome. I had no make-up on, was wearing bummy, non-celebration-worthy clothes, and it rained almost the whole time. But it was awesome. There is nothing like getting with family and friends and celebrating. The fact that we were celebrating me was a huge plus.

So, there you have it. I turned 30 with a bang!

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Ink for Ava – Part 1

While I am not going to go into the whole story in great detail, I will follow up this blog about my sister’s pregnancy with the news that my little niece, Ava, did not survive the pregnancy. Twenty-Eight weeks into her pregnancy my sister and her husband learned that Ava had passed away in the womb. The days that followed have been the most devasting of my life. We are all grieving, we are all supporting each other, some days are easy, some are hard.

One thing is true. We loved Ava. All 1lb 14oz of her. We will never forget her. Though she never took a breath – she has touched many lives.

My mother and my brother-in-law’s father both decided to honor Ava in a very special way. Our angel baby may be gone but she will never be forgotten. As a friend of mine said to me just yesterday – the best reason to get a tattoo is to always remember. 

The first is my mom’s tattoo. She had it put on the inside of her right forearm. The second is my sister’s father-in-law. He had his tattoo placed on his left shoulder. Quite a way to always remember their granddaughter.



Wait for Part 2 of this post. The tattoos will continue with my dad’s and my brother-in-law’s.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers, love, and support.

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