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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

Recentish Events

October 2, 2016
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I’m starting to see a ton of ME in this girl.

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All the Ellwood/Buccilla/Martin/Miller kids were together at Tara’s birthday party.

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Spoiled by Aunt Alexz and Uncle Matt.

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Snuggles with Grandma Martin

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Adry at his Eye Exam

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Buckeye Girl ~ Tutu, Frills, and Sequins!

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Lapping water from the chair (like a doggie!)
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So very excited about the rain!

Dad’s in his mid-fifties!

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Ella started tumbling lessons!

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

More Memories ~ Summer of ‘Sixteen

August 14, 2016
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The Last Month of Summer…

Ella Bella, you got to spend so much time with Aunt Alexz (and Uncle Matt). Aunt Alexz was on summer break from school so she took care of you, played with you, fed you new yummy things, played music with you, and taught you new things (like counting, how to be nice to pets, colors, etc). Now you use your “counting voice” and pet our heads and call us “good doggies” all the time… And every single living creature both living and make-believe is a doggie. Humans, pink teddy bears, turtles, bugs- all doggies.
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Adry Padry, your daddy and your grandparents on the Ellwood side took you on some fun outings including a road trip to Gettysburg where you learned about the Civil War.
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And as a bonus you got to meet the singer of Beartooth! He posted this picture on his Twitter and called you his best fan ever! You were so proud.
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Adry, you also spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa Martin, and, even though you were pretty sick, you enjoyed hanging out with the animals at the pet store. You liked this pug puppy because Dan TDM has pugs!
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You both spent Wednesdays together with Grandpa Sanders! He took these photos of you at The Park of Roses.
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And we got to meet Maya, Cousin Jack’s new baby girl!
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Adry, you held her for like an hour, and you got to feed her, too. You loved it. You turned down going out for snacks so you could stay with her. You can’t get enough of babies and I like that about you.
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It reminded me of January 2009 when we took a trip in a blizzard to meet Maya’s big brother, Logan.
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This summer I’ve enjoyed slower mornings with Ella and snuggle Netflix nights with Adry. We watched Grace and Frankie, Gortimer Gibbons, and Parks and Rec ’til we fell asleep! We also snuck in some sprinkler time, bubbles, inflatable pool games, and an awesome water gun fight– that was a ton of fun! (We made Keith so mad that day.) And at one point Tori spent a whole weekend with us and we took her on a road trip to Lancaster to try to get into the drive-in-theater (fail!), and another road trip to Mount Vernon for Maya’s baby shower where the kids played on the playgrounds.

On our last day of summer together as a family we traveled to Gallipolis, Ohio where Grandma Sanders grew up to attend the burial service of her dad. He passed away from stomach cancer complications. Grandma drove us around and showed us the house in which she lived as a kid as well as her friends’ houses and some places around town that brought back childhood memories for her. It certainly wasn’t the happiest note to end our summertime together, but I’m glad we could support Grandma while learning more about her.

I feel very fortunate to have the love of a bunch of awesome people in my life.

I am never happy to welcome back-to-school time. Adry starts THIRD GRADE this coming Tuesday. It helps that he doesn’t mind going back. Sigh. Here we go! Goodbye, Summer!

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adryel is Eight

April 9, 2016
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My Adry.

My handsome, slender, fair-skinned, green-eyed blonde with a little cleft chin.
My gamer enthusiast, animal lover, baby-adoring, doting big brother.
Who LOVES the color turquoise, HATES brushing his teeth, and finds socks to be annoying.
Who is fueled by oxygen and sunshine and chocolate and sour candies.
Who has an abundance of confidence in himself, and a complete lack of patience.
As well as a fiery temperament and a tender soul.
My baby boy- who has no idea his name is weird and thinks it’s normal to be named after an angel of death from Jewish folklore-

TURNED EIGHT YEARS OLD THIS YEAR!

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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

Halloween Festivities 2015

November 8, 2015
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Trick-or-Treating at Friendship Village of Dublin this year!

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I wondered if I would come up with a First Halloween costume idea that I would love as much as Adry’s Aang The Last Airbender, and Reese’s Appa the Air Bison.

I did, though. I came up with an idea, and I had a bunch of fun putting together my little Inigo Montoya!

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“You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

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Adry’s family on his dad’s side hand-made his masked caped Renaissance guy costume.
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Everyone said she looked like Uncle J with her mustache.

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Ben took Adry out on Beggar’s Night with his buddies, and sent me this picture of his full costume:
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And on Halloween day we visited COSI.
This is Adry and Tori in the submarine!
The submarine in which Tori adamantly insisted no fewer than two dozen times that she would NOT go because she was afraid. And I responded every single time that it was perectly okay to be afraid and she absolutely did NOT have to go in the submarine if she didn’t want to. Then in the next breath she suddenly announced FINE I’M GOING IN THE SUMMEREEN! and took off running, effectively ditched every other kid waiting in line for the submarine, and fearlessly hopped right in. People looked back at me from the line and I gave them a shrug and a flip of the hand. HEY PEOPLE- This is her moment of bravery and I’mma let her have it!
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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry’s 7th Birthday

April 7, 2015
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ADRY IS 7!

 

THIS GUY:
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IS 7!

He is 7 years old, in first grade, and his favorite things include Xbox, Youtube videos of people playing Xbox games, books written about Xbox games, earning and saving money to buy Xbox games… Lol. He loves zombie games and Minecraft! His favorite color is still green, favorite song is Eye of the Tiger, favorite super dudes are the Ninja Turtles, favorite food is air, and favorite person evar is his sister. (Don’t even try to compete with Ella, by the way. If there is a person in the universe past present or future who is the cutest, smartest, and overall best at anything that can be thought of, it is ultimately Ella, according to Adry.) Adry also enjoys mazes, tic tac toe, Goosebumps, and playing tag on the playground with his friends.

This year I invited a bunch of family and friends and a few kiddos to come hang out and enjoy cake and The Amazing Mr. Magic (Magician Ron Frank) for Adry’s birthday.

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The kids watching the magic show

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^That’s Baby Tara- Jamie’s baby- and the group

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Uncle Scott and Ella

The magic show was super cute. He had the kids giggling the entire time.

We also had refreshments and cake.
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Uncle Jacob enjoying some watermelon pizza!

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I think it was a pretty successful party and a fun day for Adry and the kids. I’ll have to take another long break from kid party planning after that, though, haha. I mean, I have to do the obligatory first birthday for Ella, then I’m not doing another party ’til Adry turns 10! (10 is a good birthday party year, right? Right on the cusp of adolescence, a final hurrah of young childhood…)

Anyway, Happy Seven Years Old, Adry Padry Puddin’ Pie! I love you so much, Kiddo.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry ‘n Tori Disney Date

February 24, 2015
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This past weekend Mom took me, Adry, and Tori to see Disney on Ice.

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It was a classic Adry-and-Tori day.
Just like between siblings there was some sass, a few eyerolls, and un-photogenic pictures.
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But for the most part the day was full of running around, giggling, and enjoying an experience together.
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After the show they asked if Tori could stay, so we took them to Mom’s and they played together for several more hours…
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I used to entertain the worry that they’d butt heads so much that they’d hate each other one day…
Tori is very spunky, imaginative, and doesn’t really care what people around her think while Adry is a realist over-thinker who is very aware of what people are feeling… Sometimes he gets stressed out and rude and sometimes she tattles.
But as they get older I’m realizing they are growing fonder of each other despite all that!

I guess I just have to remind myself that Jamie and I were in the same boat as kids. We were both so opposite and could annoy each other like no one else could, yet there was a loyalty there… an obviously unbreakable one that has stood the test of time. Maybe that’s the kind of bond Tori and Adry are forming as they grow up together.

It’s fun to watch it pan out.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Remembering 2014, Turning 30!

January 5, 2015
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January

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.

February

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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.

March

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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

April

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Adry and Reese on Easter Sunday

May

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!

June

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.

July

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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!

August

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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!

September

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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.

October

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November

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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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December

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