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Remembering 2014, Turning 30!

January 5, 2015
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I miss you. I miss your smile. I miss chasing you and fighting for kisses. I miss looking into your eyes and seeing the same love and devotion for me that I have for you. You are the perfect other half for me and I adore you. ~Keith

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I turn 29! …my last year in my twenties.


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We found out we were pregnant for a second time, this time with Eleanor! We weren’t really talking about it because we were still emotional about our miscarriage in December. I was so exhausted from pregnancy and working night shift that I celebrated Valentine’s Day in bed by myself with chocolates Keithy surprised me with.

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Adry was still enjoying Kindergarten.


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Adry turned 6!

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Adry also got glasses! We found out he had 20/200 vision in his left eye. A long road of patching and strengthening his eye to gain sight began. We are still working on it!

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We saw Ella for the first time via ultrasound and heard her heartbeat. We began feeling a bit more comfortable talking about our baby on the way.

I will never forget today. Hearing that heartbeat and how strong it was…it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life.” -Keith, 3.27.14


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Adry and Reese on Easter Sunday


We found out our baby was a girl!

The message said everything looked completely normal and it looked like we were having… a baby GIRL. My jaw instantly dropped and a huge grin spread across Adry’s face. I was so glad to share that moment with him, just he and I. It was really special.

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Mom and I hung out with these crazy boys on Mother’s Day.

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We took a trip to Baltimore to see Alexz graduate with her Masters!


OKAY. We still need HEADBANDS. The kind with flowers. And SHOES. She needs white sandals. I like white sandals. And I think that’s all she needs. OH AND A TOOTHBRUSH. ~Adry

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We spent so many great Friday nights together dancing to music in Bicentennial Park.

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We took a Father’s Day trip to Yellow Springs with the fam.

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We got to see Ella’s profile and all her adorable little body parts during her anatomy ultrasound.


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Adry learned to swim!

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We enjoyed many fun game nights in 2o14!

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Keith and I had a lovely date in Park of Roses.

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And James and I did a lot of pregnancy commiserating!


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We got to get a peek at Ella in a 3D ultrasound!

I enjoy hearing Keithy daydream about his daughter. He wonders what she’ll look like, what kind of person she will fall in love with one day, what kinds of things she’ll do with her life… I like hearing all the possibilities and ‘what ifs’ rolling through his head.

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I wore a heart monitor for 30 days!

We also took a trip to Indianapolis Museum of Art for Dad’s birthday!

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Tara was born!


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Eleanor, I can’t wait to see you take your first breath and take you home. ~Keith

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I was given a lovely baby shower.

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I was so proud of my FIRST GRADER Adry!

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I was also proud of my Market District Gourmet Chef Husband!

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Keith and I celebrated two years of marriage <3.


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I finally met my beautiful daughter.

And Keithy turned 30!

I love you very much and I hope you feel valued and celebrated today! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and an awesome 30s. I’m such a lucky girl to be able to spend it with you.

I turn 30 today. this morning I got to wake up to this and I was enraptured by these two ladies. The moment lasted for an eternity; golden, pure and clear.
I would have never considered my 3 decades of life lacking anything until this moment. ~Keith

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Becca graduated from OSU!

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We had a nice Christmas season and Baby’s first Christmas.


We ended the year at Les’ house. Family and friends enjoyed a taco bar and pinata and gathered in the living room together with champaign to watch the ball drop and kiss our loved ones. I welcomed 2015 beside my husband and snuggled close to my children.

Three days later I celebrated my own 30th birthday and it was really one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long time. I relieved myself of mom chore responsibilities so that Ella and I could spend the morning and afternoon snuggling and dozing off together. Then for my birthday dinner I requested broccoli cheddar soup and sour dough bread. Mom made it for me even though she was so sick and stayed in bed the rest of the night. Keith’s dad made me a buckeye square dessert that I loved so much when I tried it at their house on Christmas. Dad got some other goodies, added chili to my dinner menu, and set the house up so that he, both my brothers and their ladies, Jessie and Jamie and their guys, and Keith, me, and Ella could come over for a little birthday hang out. We had drinks, ate my birthday meal, played Things and Spoons and had a Skittles tournament. I EVEN GOT PRESENTS FROM EVERYONE and it made me so happy! haha! I’m not really used to getting so many nice gifts on my birthday! I got money, gift certificates, a crafty home-decorated mug, giant Reese’s Cups, the most delicious chocolate buckeye pie, picture frames, a baby supply gift basket and the promise of a pedicure! So many things!

For 2015 and the start of a whole new decade (my thirties!) I am looking forward to more adventures with Keith and watching Ella grow and develop a relationship with her brother. That’s really about as far as my goals and ambitions go this year; I just want to love and enjoy these beautiful people in my life. I’m gettin’ older, keepin’ it simple!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

A Sanders Thanksgiving 2014

December 20, 2014
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Once again my mother, The Food Woman, and my husband, Chef Daddy, spent HOURS planning, shopping for, and preparing an absolutely delicious Thanksgiving meal for 23 people who got to enjoy it at a beautifully decorated table.

I cannot remember all the dishes, but to name a few: three kinds of stuffing (to accommodate the vegetarians and those with aversions to onions), two kinds of sweet potatoes, church potatoes, brussels sprout salad, deviled eggs, two kinds of soup (one made by Alexz who brought a couple of other yummy dishes), homemade rolls, salad and corn casserole made by Sherry, and several desserts… the list goes on. It was a proper Thanksgiving with stretchy pants and food comas.

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Rebecca and J dressed Ella up in her Chef Baby outfit.

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Adry stood by the window for the longest time anxiously awaiting Tori’s arrival.

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Apparently Mom asked J and Rebecca to set out extra toilet paper rolls in the bathroom.
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The Bird

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Reese decided to cuddle with my poor sick boy.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

The Birth Story of Miss Eleanor Joyce (PART III)

December 6, 2014
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After the grandparents had their chance to visit with Ella the rest of our friends and family came in to see her.



I would like to say how incredibly thankful I am for all of the love and support we received on Miss Eleanor’s birthday.
First there were the troopers who came in the wee hours of the morning: Jamie (and Tori), Les, and Pam along with the grandparents.
My brothers and Rebecca came soon after.
The group took over and had one of the waiting rooms all to themselves while they took shifts coming back to the labor room to visit me.
My brothers came back during the honeymoon of my epidural. They discovered rolly chairs and played bumper cars with them which made me laugh. THAT’S when they also discovered that when I laughed it showed up on the contraction monitor so they began trying to outdo each other with who could make me laugh the hardest. They tried to time it at the height of my contractions so that my laugh would reach the highest point on the graph and they totally succeeded which goes to show how great I was feeling in the earlier parts of labor! Gotta love The Brothers.

ANYWAY. Back to after Ella was born…

After everyone had a chance to meet her they cleaned me up a bit and wheeled me to my postpartum room where she had her first bath.


And Daddy did his very first diaper change.


Ella and I got to enjoy some skin-to-skin time while Jamie and Ella’s BFF Tara joined us.






Several other people joined us that evening to meet Eleanor including Alexz, Jessie, Keith’s brother and his wife, and Ash.


As the evening was wrapping up we told Adry it was time for him to go home and to bed. It absolutely broke his little heart to have to leave his new sister. He crawled in bed with me and Ella, and I saw huge crocodile tears welling up in his eyes. I could tell he was trying to hold it back but the tears spilled over and he just couldn’t stop crying. Poor little guy. So much emotion for a 6-year-old! I just held him there for awhile.


Jamie took Adry to his dad’s for the night. She stopped by the store to print off pictures of Ella for Adry to keep with him and look at when he missed her. (The next day he went to school and stood in front of his class to shared the pictures: A proud big brother!)

That night, after all our visitors had said goodnight and left the hospital, Keith and I enjoyed some time- just the three of us- to love on our new daughter (and eat up all the delicious chocolaty bark Alexz made for us!). Then I took everyone’s advice and tried to take advantage of the nursery to get some rest. I reluctantly handed Eleanor over to the nurse.

1.5 hours later I was in bed wide-eyed, anxious, and envious of Keith’s peaceful deep-sleep breathing I was hearing from the fold out bed on the other side of the room. So I did what any good wife would do– I woke him up and told him I needed my daughter! When she was back beside me I admired her a little longer before finally falling asleep.


Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Halloween 2014

November 1, 2014
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Adry was The Joker this year.

He's in character saying, "Why So Sserious?"

He’s in character saying, “Why So Sserious?”


He was pretty proud of how “scary” he was.

On Wednesday evening Dad and I met Jamie, John, Tori, and Baby Tara at Friendship Village of Dublin retirement home for dinner and trick-or-treating.
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The kids ran around laughing and being loud together and had a bunch of fun.

Grandview’s Beggar’s Night was Thursday. Adry spent the evening with his dad and a few school friends.

Adry is trying to be scary!

Adry is trying to be scary!

Ben said he completely filled his bag with candy and they all had a blast.

Meanwhile I was at home in bed (not feeling well) hoping I’d go into labor on my own. Otherwise they’re inducing me in a few days! Eep!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

A Shower for Ella Bella Part II

September 26, 2014
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Weeks before the shower my mom had Keith make a list of 23 things about having a daughter that he was excited for, and 1 message to me. She cut the list into strips and taped each of the 23 things to a pink rose, and taped the message to me on a single red rose. She put the roses in centerpiece vases on the tables and during the shower I walked around and read them. It was the sweetest thing.

What Daddy is Excited About:

1) Eleanor, I cannot wait to hold you in my arms. Your mom has carried you enough and I want my turn.

2) Eleanor, I am so excited to see your smile and hear your laugh.

3) Eleanor, I look forward to holding your hands and seeing you learn how to walk.

4) Baby Eleanor, I can’t wait for the day that you learn to say mama and dada.

5) Eleanor, I am so excited to take you out and show you off to the whole world.

6) I am already planning father-daughter dates. Don’t judge me.

7) I can’t wait to watch you grow up and see which of us you look like. I hope it’s your mom.

8) I am excited to see what your interests and passions are.

9) I am beyond excited to see the friendship that you’ll have with your big brother. You haven’t met him yet but he is the awesomest big brother you could ever want to have.

10) Dearest Daughter, I can’t wait for you to meet your grandparents. Be warned, though, they will spoil you silly.

11) Eleanor, I’m excited to take you to your first day of school, even though it means you’ll be growing up.

12) Dear Eleanor, I can’t wait to see the color of your eyes.

13) Daughter, I can’t wait to teach you how to ride a bike, and feel proud when we take the training wheels off.

14) Eleanor, I’m excited to see what your favorite bedtime books are even though I’ll probably get sick of reading them.

15) Dear Daughter, I can’t wait to teach you how to swim.

16) Dearest Eleanor, while it’s true that Mommy runs the bank in our house, I promise to sneak off with the credit card as often as possible to get you whatever you want. (Jessica, please don’t murder me to death.)

17) Eleanor, I’m excited and terrified in equal measures to see you make your own fashion choices. Please, for my sanity, make wise choices, or at least don’t let me see the bad ones.

18) Dear Daughter, I can’t wait to take you to the zoo so you can choose your favorite animal.

19) Dearest Eleanor, your daddy is old and his imagination doesn’t work so well anymore, but I look forward to our tea parties.

20) My dearest daughter, I can’t wait to see the relationship you build with your mom, and the bonds you’ll create with her as you grow up.

21) Eleanor, I can’t wait for the day that you can understand the words “I love you”.

22) Dear Daughter, I can’t honestly day I’m looking forward to you dating, but I swear that I will be a shoulder to cry on and a bringer of ice cream when some damn fool breaks your heart.

23) Eleanor, I can’t wait to see you take your first breath and take you home.

24) Dear Jessica, I used to think my life couldn’t get any better. Thank you so much for proving me wrong and giving me the greatest gift of my life. I am so excited to meet my daughter and add her to our awesome family. I love you.

Group Photos At The End Of The Shower:

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Keith’s mom, my mom, and I got to share a special moment. While we were standing there together I asked Sherry if she would join Mom, me, and Keith in the birthing room to be my third labor partner and witness Ella’s delivery. She was so happy!
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Jamie was standing nearby and said, “I will pass the trash can to Sherry!”
Jamie was my third labor partner for Adry and she spent a large chunk of that time holding the trash can for me while I puked! It was a glamorous job and she did it well! I will miss her, but I know it will mean the world to Sherry to be there with her son for the birth of her granddaughter.
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Thank you, Mom, for the very lovely baby shower!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

And the game nights go on…

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August 9th Game Night

at Jessie and Ben’s condo
(pics given by Ash)

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Photo Bombed

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Photo Bombed

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Photo Bombed Again!

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Photo Bombed One Last Time!

September 6th Game Night

was at J and Becca’s house. No pictures to share, but it was fun! …Even though I was so pregnant and exhausted that I fell asleep, I enjoyed my time.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

James ‘n Jess Bellies <3

August 4, 2014
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Have I mentioned that The Best Friend, Jamie, is pregnant, too!?
Well she is! She’s 37 weeks with Baby Girl #2.
We decided, since we will more than likely never be pregnant at the same time again, to hurry up and get some photos before Baby Tara decides to come out.

I gave Dad my camera and asked him to snap a few of us:

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BATMAN! (NOT Batgirl.)

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Brother climbing the tree to get an overhead shot

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Where our toes?

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Keithy and I decided to take advantage of a photo op:
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John joined his three Buccilla girls:
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Gaaame Nite!

July 29, 2014
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Ash held the latest “Kid Game Night” at her place this month.
She took a handful of phone pics for us and I wanted to paste them here for memory’s sake.
It was a fun night, and I am thankful for all these folks. They enrich my life with SO many laughs and a lifetime of support and friendship. Invaluable.

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Playin’ Cards Against Humanity (from Jamie’s phone)

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The Girls- Jessie Alpha (Ryan’s new bride), Alexz, Ash, Becca, me and Ella, Jessie

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The Boys- Ryan, Keithy, Ash’s Ryan, Ben (Jessie’s husband), and the brothers T.Matt and J

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The Rymance. (They both showed up with Ironman shirts, haha)

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

The Jimmies

April 29, 2014
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I grew up going to a Nazarene church in a little facility in Dublin. At one point in time, a little private school rented the facility for use Monday through Friday. I was about preteen age, maybe 11 or 12ish?, and the thought of there being other kids my age in the building when I wasn’t there inspired me to… penpal! So I began writing letters every week and tacking them to the classroom bulletin board hoping to make a writing friend.

And it worked! The Jimmies wrote back! Their names were Jimy, Jimmy, and Jimmie. Each week we tacked new letters to each other on the bulletin board. They wrote all about how they were the best of friends and did everything together. They told me about all their trouble-making, adventures, and misadventures. They had a lacrosse team, which they eventually dubbed ‘Jimmy and The Jimmies’ (because their coach was named Jimmy, too) and they kept me up-to-date on their weekly games. At one point their handwriting changed from hardly-legible chicken scratch to big bubbly lettering. They told me they were having their friend Erin write their letters for them because her handwriting was better.

The Jimmies were funny and interesting, and I truly enjoyed our correspondence.

I remember doing most of the pen-paling on my own, but I did have Jessie and Jamie with me when I wrote the first letter. I’m sure we signed the note something to the effect of ‘~Jess, Jessie, and Jamie’. Maybe more like, ‘*~*~~*<3Jess, Jessie, and Jamie<3*~~*~*’ because that was like totally the cool way to sign notes back then.

And, well… I’m 29 now so it’s been… 17ish or so years… and it took me that long to look back over that memory and realize….

The Jimmies never existed.

Nope. Never did.

The Jimmies and their tales had to have been completely fabricated, poking fun at the fact that Jessie, Jamie, and I were best friends and had such similar ‘J’ names.

Have you ever watched Beautiful Mind? You know the part where you find out the beloved best friend, Charles, doesn’t actually exist? Do you remember how you felt!?

My cool, clever, funny little penpals never flippin’ existed!

Jimmies, you bastards!

Well played.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal