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Ella’s <3 Princess <3 Party

November 25, 2017
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My Eleanor Joyce turned 3 years old on November 4th.

I had a really good time celebrating her young and incredibly vibrant life with an apartment full of people who also love her. I am so incredibly grateful. My mother generously provided delicious pizzas, chips, drinks, cake, ice cream etc. for everyone to enjoy. Thanks so much, Mom!

Upstairs I set out a make-your-own Princess/King/Queen crown craft and I think the adults had more fun with it than the kids did.

In my basement I had a ball pit, tunnel, art corner, dress-up station, toy kitchen, and our various other play room toys, and the kids pretty much hung out down there until presents, cake & ice cream time.

There was probably a little bit of cheating before we cut the cake. But what fun is it to turn 3 if you can’t break convention a time or two and get hot pink icing all over your face and your friends’ faces, too! Right?


Ella Belle is healthy. she is full to the brim of joy and enthusiasm and wonderment of the world around her. She is curious, tough, brave, observant, and outgoing. She is sassy, dramatic, bossy, strong-willed, defiant, and possibly a bit a lot temperamental. She makes her own rules, and, as a gymnastics teacher of hers once said: “Eleanor does what she wants.”
She consistently wins the hearts of strangers in an instant, and drives Mommy and Daddy certifiably crazy on the daily. She is the most challenging, thrilling, and the most joyful experience of my life. She is quite literally a great adventure in and of herself — We have gone through SO many things with her these past three years, both terrifying and rewarding. I am quite certain she has stripped years from my life, but I’d give even more for this experience of life with her in it.

I know I’ve mentioned this before— I don’t know if other parents have the experience of loving their children in equal but incredibly different ways. Before I had Ella I honestly didn’t know how I’d love anyone like I love Adry. Quite frankly, I don’t love anyone in this world like I love Adry. He is my passion. I love him fiercely; my heart aches with it. And Eleanor, hands down, is my joy. She makes my heart fly.

I love you SO much, El. I’m glad you had a very happy birthday!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Ella’s First Birthday Party

December 6, 2015
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Baby Girl’s very first ever birthday party was last month.

My Birthday Pumpkin!

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with Aunt Becca

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Aunt Rebecca shared a special moment with Ella during which Ella said “hi” back to her for the first time. It meant a lot to her, especially since she’s an SPL grad student, and in turn it made me very happy that Ella has her Aunt Becca in her life 🙂

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This is my momma’s One Year of Ella project!

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Aunt Alexz made this adorable and delicious pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing! Another amazing auntie in Ella’s life… she’s a very lucky girl.

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Time for opening presents!

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playing with Tara

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one of our attempts at a group photo, haha

Here are a couple of other attempts for fun!
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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

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?”

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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

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