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Appreciation Project July 16-19

July 19, 2010
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July 16 AP 197– Being able to scoop up my boy late at night and cuddle and talk with him until we fall asleep.

July 17 AP 198– A good experience at Indianapolis Museum of Art. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I’d ever seen Monet, Rembrandt, O’Keeffe, and Van Gogh paintings in person.  I’ve always been drawn to Van Gogh, but this time I got to examine all of the textures and color effects up close.  Awesome.  Just awesome.  And I also learned about other painters I’d never heard of, having never taken any sort of art class or researched on my own…  like Pissarro and Seurat.  Yeah, you know that really famous pointillism painting- A Sunday Afternoon something or another- with all the 1800’s ladies with umbrellas and other folks lounging by the water?  I never knew that was Seurat…  and that he kicked off the whole Neo-Impressionism movement.

July 18 AP 199– My new bible and bible case. I did without carrying a bible around for a long time (um… 15 years), but I decided I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity to study and learn more, so I invested.  Aaaaand I love it.  I mean, I’ve always had my big clunky bibles at home, and I used my Droid Bible App for a long time, but there’s something about actually having it in my hands and turning the pages…  I don’t know- maybe it’s that I grew up in the ’90’s.

July 19 AP 200–  The book of Job: “My redeemer lives!”. This Sunday at church our worship music leader talked about the book of Job.  I LOVE thinking about the book of Job.  I know I’ve journaled about it before.  Job was a righteous man who God had blessed, and Satan questions Job’s character and faith and God is all, “alright- I’ll back off of Job and you can do what you’d like and I know Job will still be faithful.”  And, well, all this terrible, terrible stuff happens to Job.  Job indeed stays faithful to God while his friends sit around and try to figure out the reason for all his misfortune…  and in chapter 19 Job says, “I know my redeemer lives! And in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed , yet in my flesh I will see God!”

And my FAVORITE part is when God finally speaks up and he is all, “What’s up with all of these people who have no idea what they are talking about?  I will question YOU and YOU will answer ME!  Who marked off the Earth’s dimensions?  Surely you know!  Have the gates of death been shown to YOU?  Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the Earth?  Tell me if you know all this! Surely you do know because you were already born!  You’ve lived so many years!”

God is awesome.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Chorus:
Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

Ye-e-eah
The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I-I-I know
My Redeemer

He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sins
Was the precious life He gave
And now He’s alive and
There’s an empty
Grave!

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/nicole_c_mullins/#share

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

I Appreciate Some More! Appreciation Project

June 9, 2010
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May 28 AP 148– Watching my brother receive his High School diploma, and all who came to support him!

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Each graduate received a white rose

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Mom put together this bag of noise makers, bubbles, and goodies for everyone who came to cheer Jacob on! I loved it!

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The group who came to see J walk, minus me and Jamie! Dad, Mom, Sandie, Pammy, Les, Tay, Mer, Jackie, Amanda, Ryan, Tony, Matt, Alexz, Hutch, Ash, Duke, Ginny, and Dave.

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Ash and I

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All of the graduates! WHoa! You don’t realize how big your class is until you are all together.

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Me enjoying my sound makers!

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Miss Tori Buccilla snugglin’ her momma

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J is walking up to get his diploma!

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Hi, J!

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Jamie is trying to use all of her sound makers at the same time

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Almost there!

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When they called his name we tried to be as loud as we could. The principal shook his hand and told him he sure had quite the support group. Yep!! We also cheered our heads of for Becca, but I didn’t get any pics that turned out :-(. She was too far away.

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And then we blew bubbles. And then we got in trouble.

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The grad!

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Jamie told me I could cut her out… so… don’t tell her I didn’t.

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This was the “grown up” table. We went out to Spaghetti Warehouse after the ceremony!

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Ash and I again! Because we are awesome!

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The “kid” table

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The whole group who went out together afterwards including Becca’s family

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Ash and Tori

May 29 AP 149– My mom worked super hard to put on an awesome grad party for my brother, and we finally got to see it come together! It was so fun!

VIDEO, Two Parts: I tried to do a walk-through of everything before guests showed up. The video is so grainy and I wish I had just taken pictures of everything instead. It’s hard to see all of the little details we worked to hard on :-(. Boo.

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Ben and Cousin Sammie

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J sitting with Pammy, Ruthie, Jackie, and Phares

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Hello, Diane

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Abby and Adry playing

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Playing Tag

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They are going to make a drop-dead adorable family one day!

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Jacob and his teenagery friends

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The Girls

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The Girls Plus Sammie

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Oh, it is love

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This is when they were excited… before Hutch realized she was in the prison of no escape.

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“I know Jacob Sanders”. When Jacob walked to get his diploma, as the cheering was dying down, Matt belted out, “I KNOW THAT KID!!!!” and everyone laughed. This shirt reminded me of that.

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My cousin Ben with his son Nic

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VIDEOS: Helium Fun Post Party!

May 30 AP 150– Our AMAZING “Family” Support Group. I love each of them dearly, forever! We will always be there for each other, encouraging and cheering and loving.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Mmhmm

June 4, 2010
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May 25 AP 145– Air conditioning!  Hallelujah!  We spent a few days in 80 degree weather with no air (again. For like the millionth time since we moved in last year).  I’m pretty sure I died at one point in time.  Although I’m a fairly good sport because I DID live in an apartment in Mount Vernon without air for an entire two years.  Anyway, it turns out our system must have been in bad shape (duh) because the guys from Alpha and Omega spent ALL day on the 25th putting in a whole new air conditioner.  And glory be, I can walk down my hallway without breaking a sweat.  And Ben can sit beside me without wearing a surgical mask to filter my stench… on the days I shower.

May 26 AP 146– Learning how to let my house be messy without worrying about it.  This is a work in progress.  But at least the idea is in my head and I am tackling it.  BOTH of my boys are windstorms.  At no point in time has anyone ever muttered the words, “Was Ben/Adry just here and I missed him?”  No, because you can’t miss them.  I will pick up and wipe down and windex and vacuum and change sheets and scrub and mop and sweep (as I did TWICE this week and I assure you, you can’t even tell) and thirty minutes later it’s right back to where it started: fingerprints, crumbs, soda cans, junk, and toys strewn everywhere.  It’s not that I am complaining about my boys- it’s me and my own expectations.  The new me is going to embrace this chaotic, messy life (because God knows if I want more kids it’s only going to get worse) and enjoy every minute without worrying about straightening or cleaning or OMG DON’T TOUCH THE WINDOW, STICKY-FINGERED CHILD, I JUST WINDEXED!

May 27 AP 147– A new pool and pool time fun!
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My boy was waiting patiently for Daddy to finish rubbing sunblock all over him.

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Squirt gun fight with Guggle Yayub!

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BONUS PICTURE: Mommy’s Shoes
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

May 12, 2010
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April 29 AP 119– Revisiting childhood with my son. He brings back the magic of holidays and imagination and play. Everything is new! Imagine being in a world in which you saw everything for the first time! He reminds me not to take for granted how beautiful this place is.

Video: First big slide of the day:

Video: Getting excited with ‘Papa’!

Video: ONE MORE! ‘Cause I think he’s cute 🙂

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April 30 AP 120– Adry makes me giggle. On Sunday a toddler in the nursery bit him pretty hard, and I’m sure the volunteers were all over it making sure he was okay and icing his ‘booboo’. (He was more than fine, by the way.) So, when he woke up from his nap the next day he began fussing for me to come get him. He held his hand up for me to kiss his booboo and what do I see? A fresh toddler-sized bite mark. I had to laugh! He cradled his hand for a good half hour, and then whined about it again a few hours later when his daddy came home.

May 1 AP 121– Adry’s day with Grandma. And not because I had time to myself! But because I’m so thankful they can have that time together. Mom took Adry to see the movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, then he played at McDonalds and got to spend the night at Grandma Sanders’ house. They had a great time together.  My mom is a wonderful grandma 🙂

May 2 AP 122– Talks with my dad about God. My dad’s brain is full of a lot of big ideas. I love to soak them up and expand my own thinking. I LOVE his view of God, and as I grew older I began to really adopt it as my own. I’m pretty sure we see eye-to-eye on everything, now. I was uncomfortable with his ideas when I was younger- I was a little fundamentalist who wanted to simplify everything. But I love that the possibilities are endless– it seems evident to me that God is a god of process, a god that is able to be surprised… and that maybe he doesn’t have a specific plan for each of us, but he has a definite WILL… and, just like in father-son relationships he may envision what he wants for his children, but he can be equally pleased with outcomes he may not have expected. Here he put this whole chaotic universe into motion- he brought galaxies together and put them into orbit- and he makes it clear that OUR prayers matter– that we can take requests to the creator of the universe and it MATTERS. I mean… whoa! Ya know? What can be said about how awesome that is?

And then to top it off, the night after our discussion there were a couple of Discovery specials on about the beginning of the universe and black holes and I thought it was all amazing!

May 3 AP 123– When the husband cleans the shower and does the dishes and straightens the house… without me asking! I came home from a bike ride to a sparkling apartment. It felt WONDERFUL!

Go to the post ›

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Valentine’s Weekend

February 15, 2010
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Well, Ben and I planned a date night for Saturday night- dinner and a movie.  Then my dear brother, who was alone this weekend with a girlfriend all the way in Baltimore, asked if we had plans.  Ben and I figured that we spend a lot of alone time together and an evening with just the three of us would be nice.  So Matt joined us for our Vday date.  If you consider the fact that Alexz was there in spirit, it was sort of a double date… right?  But it was a good, chill, relaxing night out.  We ate at Applebees and saw the Mel Gibson movie Edge of Darkness, which was very decent.  I had wanted to see Up in the Air, but Matthew informed me that it was not a good Valentine’s movie.  So I still want to see that before the Oscars.

Video: ‘ELLWOOD’.  In the car on the way to the movies, driving past my brother-in-law Josh’s place

On Sunday, Valentine’s Day, my mother prepared a delicious meal of baby back ribs, chicken, broccoli, cranberry apple salad, homemade bread, and potatoes. The Jordans supplied an Oreo ice cream cake for dessert!
The table set:
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She put a box of chocolates at each place setting and underneath each plate she taped a little Valentine:
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Everything was cute and yummy!

The afternoon was spent shopping for a few baby things for Jamie, a bit of boy-on-boy violence in the kitchen (I suppose it made sense when Jamie said she was glad she was having a girl, heehee), and enormous icicles: (Under the Cut)

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(Taylor launching the giant icicle)

Later in the evening we decorated heart shaped sugar cookies that my dad baked.
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(It’s good Lent starts this Wednesday. On Vday I ate enough sugar to last me the month. I CANNOT RESIST ICED SUGAR COOKIES!!!)

That night the most intense game of Jenga took place.
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35 Tiers

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36 Tiers

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37 Tiers

VIDEO: ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ I think Rebecca wanted Jacob to be the one to lose.

VIDEO: ‘Intensity’

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Aaw, Rebecca lost the game at 37 tiers.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Sledding in a Winter Wonderland

February 7, 2010
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T. Matt Teaser

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The hill we went to. The one which I could not walk up to save my life. My (rain)boots have NO traction whatsoever. I had to hold onto tree branches and/or climb on my hands and knees and/or hold on to one end of a sled while my brother grabbed the other end and climbed up. It doesn’t even seem that steep, but it was slick slick slick.

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Scioto River

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Jacob attempting to sled standing up

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Jacob failing

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Taylor sledding

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Becca being pushed by Ben

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Jack on the best sled of all, The Butt Sled as well called it.

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Me and Jacob

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Matt

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James, Jacob, and Matt

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Matt on his awesome ski. Yes, he and James found a pair of skis and made foot straps out of a belt (I think?) to put on each of them.

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VIDEO: Matt on his ski

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They were doing the penguin huddle shuffle to stay warm

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James peeking up

Last video: Jacob on The Butt Sled… and also a kid who looks like he was injured, but he was okay. Just a little sore.

Bonus Picture: Laundry Adry
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

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It snowed ALL DAY on Friday. It began around 9:00AM and kept at it until sometime on Saturday. I never heard the total number of inches we got, but it must have been close to two feet.

It was beautiful. I loved it. Adry loved it. He begged to go out and play in it. So we played in the snow while we waited for my cousins, Jack and Katie and their son Logan, to drive down from Mount Vernon to join us for the night.

‘What’s that you say? Your cousins drove an hour-long drive on a good day during the biggest snowstorm of the year?’ Yes. We are THAT awesome and they love us THAT much. Plus, they had free tickets to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour at the arena that they didn’t want to waste. But mostly because we are awesome. They stayed Friday night and Saturday night and we had a fun-filled snow weekend with them.

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Under the cut you will find more pictures of Adry in the snow, and also pictures of Adry and Logan playing together.

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He just liked to eat it.

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Yum.

 

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He hated his mittens. He took them off and here they sat, collecting snowflakes

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Silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things… lalalala

CHAPTER LOGAN AND ADRY

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Friday night, while Jack and Katie were at their show, I watched Logan.

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He really missed his momma, but for a minute he was distracted by Adry’s deli.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2009

January 4, 2010
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Happy 2010!
Happy 27th Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Happy 5th Anniversary to Me and Ben!

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I am wearing my zipper necklace that cousin Sammie got me for Christmas.

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on our way to my parents’ house

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all bundled up and PASSED OUT!

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Mom, Les, Sandie

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Matt and his awesome mustache

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I wanted to get Matt’s whole outfit in the picture because I thought he looked nice… he is about to kick someone in the head.

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yep. Kicking someone in the head.

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Les, Sandie, Mom, Maurine

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Playing Uno. My family is currently obsessed with that game. Or at least Matt is.

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Jeremy, Tay, Becca

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Before going out to eat we all gathered around the table for a game of Left Right Center. I won 7 or 8 dollars in quarters! WOOHOO! (Jeremy, Tay, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad, Ben, Matt) We also played Bunco.

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Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Mom

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Matt took this one. I was trying to make sure I got a picture of everyone at the table. (Patty, Jennaka, Pammy, Tony, Norm, Dad)

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Me, Jeremy, Les, Tay

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Matt is still trying to make sure we got a picture of everyone there! (Mom, Maurine, Sandie, Me)

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After games we once again went to the Japanese Steakhouse to bring in the New Year. It was fun! AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YUMMY!

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The anniversary couple

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The other anniversary couple

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Onions! MMM!

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You can take a stab at the kinds of thoughts going through Matt’s head about his noise-maker.

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Pammy, Ryan came!, Tony, Patty, Norm

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with their New Year hats on

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Makin’ NOOOISE! That place got loud. Pammy and Ryan look like they are on a very serious mission to fill the last minutes of 2009 with as much noise as possible.

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VIDEO COMING SOON

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Brother Sister Love

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My favorite part of a Japanese Steakhouse NYE (BESIDES THE FOOD) is this little Japanese man who dresses up and dances around every year.

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VIDEO COMING SOON
And then he got in a brutal sword fight with a patron. BEAT DOWN!

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Ben found this flower for me on a bench outside of the restaurant. OH THE ROMANCE! SWOOON! 😉

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After we brought in the New Year (and ate to our tummies’ content), Ben, Matt, Becca, Jacob, Tay, Jeremy, Ryan, and I went back to our apartment for the first game of 2010: Catch Phrase. I felt super young and hip when I thought I was staying up ’til the wee hours of the first morning of the year, but then I fell asleep on the floor. Anyway, we told stories, we laughed, we told more stories, we made fun of our game-playing ridiculousness, and we laughed some more. Turns out I had a really great night 🙂 Happy 2010!

MISSING VIDEOS:: I can’t read the HTML very well to know where to put these suckers.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thanksgiving ’09

November 28, 2009
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***All videos have been added!!***

Thanksgiving day was a pretty good one. Truth is, is started out pretty rough. I had spent the entire night previous trying my very best to get to sleep and got a grand total of one hour of restless shut-eye. Usually I can tolerate one sleepless night- it happens fairly often- but this had been the fourth night in a row during which I got less than four hours. By day four of sleep deprivation I am usually sick and cranky. So there you have it- I woke up sleep deprived, sick, and cranky.

So, Ben drew a Lavender Soak Epsom Salt bath for me and put a plate of peanut butter toast by the tub. Oh man, I felt like a new person as soon as I got in. I’d never had an Epsom salt bath. It was glorious and it saved my Thanksgiving day for sure. I AM THANKFUL FOR EPSOM SALT! And for a husband who took care of me.

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One day he will smile for pictures!

 

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I snapped like 5 pictures of Matt and Adry, just of the two of them naturally- they weren’t posing- and in every single one Matt was making some sort of funny face.

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The turkey… which I didn’t eat any of. I don’t remember the last time I ate turkey on Thanksgiving. I have to save stomach for all of the awesome food I like so much more.

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The Food Woman in Action

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T. Matt and his iphone
Adry’s new name for Matt is ‘Uncle T’. He never could say ‘Uncle Matt’, but he can say Uncle T. It comes out ‘Guggle Gee’, but at least ya’ know what he’s tryin’ to say.

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We ate by candle light.

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Boys… playing with the fire, of course.

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I think they were both saying, “OHwee OHwee OHwee OH” because the plate was hot. My brothers—they sure are a lot alike for how different they are.
And by the way, Jacob is serving himself the best sweet potatoes in the entire world.

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OK, so I learned a couple of things this Thanksgiving about Adry and motherhood.
1) Adry LOVES eggnog. I mean PURE LOVE. I’ve never seen this kid love anything like he loves eggnog, and I’ve never seen a person love eggnog like Adry Padry does.
2) I will NEVER EVER EVER again let him drink 2 full sippies of eggnog before Thanksgiving meal. He ate MAYBE 2 bites of all that wonderful delicious food because he was full on eggnog.

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I, however, ate ALL of this. And it was awesome.
Green beans, corn casserole, best sweet potatoes ever, church potatoes, cold broccoli casserole, some other casserole that I don’t even remember, stuffing, homemade rolls, hot broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes with sherry turkey gravy, another casserole I forget, devilled eggs, and there were a couple of dishes I didn’t serve to myself including the turkey. Mom worked hard and she did good. I’ve been craving leftovers!
A couple of hours after the meal I was cramping up like crazy. My tummy with its ‘Oh, hai- I’m lazy and I don’t like to contract!’ issues was NOT happy with me. At all.

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Well, there you have it- one of the two bites he took.

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The Symphony of Thanksgiving Meal– NOM NOM NOM NOM

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Hutch’s family Thanksgiving meal tradition: grandpa making sure everyone eats at least one black eyed pea
Our Thanksgiving meal tradition: eating mass quantities

VIDEO CLIP: Jacob was determined to eat every last bite on his plate(s). This took place at the very end of the meal, and he was so full he was eating one little potato cube at a time. It looked like he was about to go into a coma and face-plant his plate.

 

VIDEO CLIP: Earlier during the meal dad was telling a story about the largest table he’d ever seen in his life and he described it as AWESOME! But when he said, “AWESOME!” he jerked his head forward- very Farley like- and his glasses fell off. My brothers found this VERY amusing. This video takes place post-meal and Matt and J are talking about it again.

VIDEO CLIP: This is just regular post-meal talk. The more I watch it the more I get a kick out of the very end of the clip when dad uses this low, quiet voice that trails off when he says, “The… National… Boooard”. Like, what? What was that, dad?

After the meal with my family Ben, Adry, and I went to Ben’s parents’ house to visit. It was around that part of the day that I felt like my insides were rolling around my abdomen shaking angry fists at me.

Meanwhile Adry entertained and danced to the Baby Einstein Vincent Van Goat intro song on repeat. Kid is crazy for Baby Einstein. He spent time with his Great Grandma Ellwood, Great Aunt Kristi, Cousin Blake, and his new Aunt Brit. He ate mints and cheesecake and then once again would not eat any real food. I wish I could’ve gotten some pictures of him with some of the family members.

That night we went back to my parents’ house for some movies and games.

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Mom made some sort of apple pie dessert concoction, parfaits, the same “ooey gooey amazing yumminess” that I loved so much last year, and she bought some cupcakes from Mer’s Cakecupery business.

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Behold: Ben with his parfait. He purposely ruined this picture with his creepy face, and ya’ know what? I am posting it IN SPITE. He thinks he will make a funny face in the photo and so I won’t post it. Well, Mr. Ben. I hope you’re happy.

We ended the night with our traditional Thanksgiving day movie ‘A Christmas Story’, the traditional story-telling by Ben of why he DESPISES ‘A Christmas Story’ and REFUSES to watch it (something about when his brothers watched it for 24-hours straight whilst reciting every single line and making Ben go clinically insane for life), our traditional suck-it-up-’cause-we-gon’-watch-it-anyway response, a game of Uno, and the movie ‘Tommy Boy’.

Also, Alexz and Becca eventually joined us. I missed them during the meal, but apparently they had families or something that they ate with. I think I said something to the effect of, “WHAT?! They have FAMILIES?!” and Jacob said, “I KNOW! They should just… kill them… or something… and come here with us” and I ignored him because I was kind of creeped out. In his defense, I believe he was in a casserole coma and had no idea what he was saying.

***I am so thankful for the time I get to spend laughing with my family. I love them more than anything.***

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Thanksgiving Eve Family Day

November 25, 2009
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Our At-Home Family Day in Pictures

Adry enjoyed watching his daddy hang Christmas lights outside.
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And also had fun trying to shove rocks in the air conditioner.
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Shoveling leaves! Hopefully this means he’ll be a good helper when he is older. (Perhaps to make up for a mischievous baby/toddlerhood? 😉 )
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After outside play we came inside to enjoy cinnamon rolls and Christmas decorations.
He loves this magnetic Christmas tree.
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Playing with Daddy! All in fun. No daddies were injured.
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Then it was nap time. He was so worn out.
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Later in the evening we watched Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving.
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We love the Charlie Brown holiday episodes.
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Ben and I had a good time watching our little guy goof around.
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And then we attempted to get a family shot of all three of us!
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Nope, didn’t work. Try again.

We DO have a family of THREE, I swear! Adry managed wriggle away, get up on the couch, and kick Ben in the head.
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OK, well… this one will do. At least all three of us are in it.
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Like Father Like Son. Same Face.
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VIDEO CLIP of Adry’s ‘Sad Face’

 

It was a good day.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal