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Easter Sunday 2017

April 29, 2017
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Adry had no interest in being a part of our Easter Selfie Sesh. We wanted him to join.

Adry had no interest in being a part of our Easter Selfie Sesh. We wanted him to join.

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Mom's Easter Sunday Lunch Table

Mom’s Easter Sunday Lunch Table

 

Blurry. Adry is helping Ella find her Easter basket.

Adry is helping Ella find her Easter basket.

Ella's bloomers kept falling off of her tiny self.

Ella’s bloomers kept falling off of her tiny self.

Chocolate!

Chocolate!

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Adry, looking for his basket

Adry, looking for his basket

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Not pictured: Mom, Dad, Uncle Matt, Aunt Alexz, Uncle J, Aunt Becca…

The kids both enjoyed Easter Service at Grace Central, as well as the toys, books, and candy in their Easter baskets. Afterward, everyone gathered for a delicious lunch, and then took a walk to the park in the neighborhood to watch the kids play.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Another Year Passed

February 25, 2017
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I gladly welcomed Year 2017 and Age 32.

(This girl loves being photographed:)
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(This boy, not so much:)
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32 Feels…

Exhausting. Still. And a little more isolating than I’ve felt in previous years.

I am doing this project for myself: (not necessarily with the hope or expectation that my children will want it and cherish it, but just in case they will) I am printing the entirety of my online journal into hardback books year by year. I have to go through each month of each year to edit out all of the cuts in order to do so, so I am revisiting all these events I’ve recorded with my family and with my friends, and remembering how close I felt to them, and how secure I felt in my relationships. Little by little, over the years, that security as been chipped away because of one thing or another… I no longer feel unconditional support or love. I’m no longer honest and open about my life-my joys, my hurts, nor my disappointments. I’m leery of everyone. I bottle things up. I keep secrets that aren’t my own but that effect me greatly. And I deal with everything all by my damn self, largely because I don’t know who to go to.

32 also feels passionate. Motherhood is a saving grace. It gives me a strength I can’t seem to procure from any other source. It gives me the selfless determination to improve whatever situation I can, for my children’s sake. I keep going for them; I continue to care for myself and my life because there are little, beautiful, innocent people that depend on me to make the most of each day. And I love those little people so much my chest aches with it. My family is my everything, and my happiest moments are when we are all together. I feel so fortunate to be their mommy.

32 finds me taking delight and comfort in the little things. I love Grandview and its homes and holiday decorations, and the neighborhood pets that greet the school children on our morning walks. I love opening the curtains to allow the sunlight in my home, and opening windows at night for the fresh cool air. I enjoy organizing the closets and choosing outfits for my kids. I like watching Doctor Who while I paint my nails on the bed. I like being silly with my husband and hearing my kids laugh. And I enjoy the rare occasion I allow myself a warm cup of coffee with flavored creamer, or a fountain soda with ice in a styrofoam cup, or a glass of good chilled wine.

I also have a lot of personal and family goals I’m working toward, one day at a time. It feels good to have direction, a “big picture”, and attainable hopes and dreams for our future. There is a probability that Keith and I will grow our family by +1 while we are still in our thirties. But we both decided that once we reach 40 I’m gettin’ a tummy tuck and Keith is hittin’ the gym and our forties will be all about us! We’re gunna go to movies, take road trips, have dinner dates, and drink fancy cocktails in jacuzzis! (We remind ourselves of this on the days Ella whines nonstop for 3 hours straight, and then inevitably bashes her head on the corner of a piece of furniture the moment she settles down.)

But for now… 32 is all about raising a young family that is growing too quickly. It’s waking up early every morning to get them where they need to be, and crashing in bed late after tucking them in and kissing their foreheads. It’s about missing them all work week, and forgoing date nights on the weekends to be home with them. It’s about trying to witness every milestone, and being eternally grateful when loved ones relay milestones missed. It’s kissing booboos, wiping snotty noses, enforcing Xbox schedules, and eating drive-through treats in the car while the toddler sleeps in the backseat! It’s an endless stream of worry, frustration, and pride. It’s fast-paced, it’s flying by, and I’m hoping to not take this phase of life for granted.

32 is hard, but it’s good.

 

 

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Park of Roses Pictures

October 22, 2016
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We attempted to take some family photos at Park of Roses, and it was a largely unsuccessful experience that involved both of the children crying 75% of the time. Eleanor skinned her knee, then skinned her knee again, then face-planted the ground, then fell again. Adry was overwhelmed by the pressure to be still and smile. But I still like the pictures Dad managed to capture in the in-between moments… I love my family, even when we are NOT picture-perfect! ♥

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skinned knee- the evidence
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thirty Years of Throwback ~ 2006-2008

January 10, 2016
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1985-1992

1991-1995

1996-1999

2000-2002

2003-2005

 

2006

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The year I graduated from college!

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All I want to know is where Little J’s paisley shirt from this photo ended up! Also, throwback to the 2000’s “scene kid”, perfectly embodied by T.Matt!

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2007

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This gem is a wonderful throwback to FLIP PHONES and T9 texting! (One day I will tell my kids, in my day we texted on a 9-key number pad, imagine that! And my kids will be like, what is a 9-key number pad?) And also: throwback to our St. Patrick’s Day Mexican Fiesta as well as plastic beaded necklaces and that little ranch house on Scioto Darby Road!

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Getting excited about Mom’s meatloaf was, is, and always will be. Having to put our coke in fancy glasses at the dinner table? Another thing that will never change!

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The year I got my tattoo! Which I still absolutely love. I can’t bring myself to get another for fear I won’t love it as much as I love this one.

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Pregnant with Adry!  The year Jamie was vicariously pregnant through me!

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A cute little first-time-pregnant baby bump. Flashback to two-toned hair dye!

 

2008

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Throwback to being HUGE and pregnant with TWO FULL months to go!

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My very first moment of being a mother- the very first moment I saw Adry- the moment that changed my life forever- the best moment of my life!

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Baby Adry in the bassinet Jamie got for him, the same bassinet Ella slept in.

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The year of many, many game nights with the original husbands

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Throwback to Adry and Reese as Aang The Last Airbender and Appa The Sky Bison

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Celebrating Three Years!

September 26, 2015
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Three years of partnership. Commitment. Friendship. Learning. Adapting. And loving without condition.

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Three years ago I made this man pinky promise me
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that our partnership would be his first priority, he’d be open and honest with me about everything, and that he’d never settle for complacency no matter what.

This year we celebrated a bit early with a weekend getaway. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel downtown for the rooftop pool.

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Some friends joined us for a few evening hours of poolside cocktails and hot tubbing.
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(not pictured: J and Rebecca)

we also enjoyed sleeping in as late as we wanted in the mornings! You know- like 8am. Keithy brought me Starbucks fufu and breakfast-in-bed each morning, and we took a stroll through the city on our Saturday afternoon.

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I feel very fortunate in this life to have the husband and the family and the love that I do. To be able to hold and be held, and to have someone to cry with and laugh with and lean on… to have small squishy cheeks to kiss and tiny hands to hold, and a future to look forward to.

I don’t have much, but I have everything
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and I’m so glad to have it with Keith!

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

THIRTY Years of THROWBACK 1991-1995

July 20, 2015
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1991

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Little T.Matt ‘n Me. I just love this. We were so happy. We had a very blessed childhood.

 

1992

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Throwback to my childhood best friend  Nic and the old Nazarene campgrounds where we spent every summer together! And also some dude Mom made us pose with, but I forget who he is. I still remember the layout of the campgrounds like the back of my hand… And now I’m in the mood to get a group of girls together and recruit all the boys to spin us as fast as they can on the merry-go-round!

 

1993

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Snuggs with Little Bro J~ I just loved that baby! I love the dude that he turned into, but that baby was the such a sweet, good baby!

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Kristen and I played dress-up with Matt and J.
If you ever wondered why my brothers have always been comfortable with their “feminine” sides, now you know! This kind of thing may have happened on more than one occasion, with very willing participants I might add!

 

1994

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Me ‘n Momma!

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Okay, THIS right here was me, Matt, and J on Christmas morning before we were permitted to go downstairs to see if Santa had come. I just love this picture for so many reasons. First, Matt and I are both wearing my dad’s giant power tool shirts, and might I point out to you that mine says, “DO IT WITH A SCREAMER”. Second, Matt and J aren’t even looking at each other and are making the same face. Also, J-the only one fully dressed- is freaking adorable and he’s snuggled up with Big Dogon (the stuffed animal) which I think he still has!

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That’s me and my cousin Jack on our trampoline with Grampa just a few months before he passed away.

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Throwback to childhood cheerleading days. And also The Era of The Flower Bangs (See: Jessie and Jamie) and The Side Ponytails! Thank you, ’90s, for those fashion gems! (I’m in the very back left, Jamie is in front me on the left, and Jessie is in front of Jamie.)

 

1995

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Jessie, and J being held by Courtney in the back; Jamie, Emily, and Holly 2nd row from the back; and Jenn and Ash were right above me. I believe this was the birthday party during which we danced to Ace of Base (which they now play on the oldies station and Adry is amazed I was alive when the album came out) and Holly told her famous plum story. God help me I can’t remember at all what the plum story was about, but it was a big deal, okay. Oh, and I am wearing my Hilliard Crossing Elementary School sweatshirt~ Represent!

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The brothers and I are in Kansas, dressed for Grampa’s funeral.

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See? J has always been this cool and chill.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal