Search my journal

Archives

Calendar

January 2018
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

© 2012 CiaoBellaMamma - All rigths reserved.

Firstyme WordPress Theme.
Designed by Charlie Asemota.

Ella’s <3 Princess <3 Party

November 25, 2017
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

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 Month Photos

December 6, 2014
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Dear EllaBella,

First of all, you are just a doll. You sleep well and eat well. You transition from nursing to bottle well. About the only thing you don’t do well is burp (obviously because you are a lady!) but you make up for it in all-day farting. And you only fuss if you are in present physical discomfort. You were once complaining very loudly when your daddy was touching you with his freezing cold hands. He felt so bad that he finally threw his hands in the air to give you some relief and you immediately stopped crying the moment his hands lifted from your body- absolutely no recover time.

You really are a trooper, my dear. This has been a challenging month for you! You’ve had 5 different blood draws so far because your jaundice wasn’t clearing: 2 from a vein in your arm and 3 squeezed from the heel of your little foot. We had to do formula feed for a couple of days to get your bilirubin number to drop, and it finally is. Despite what your uncles tell you, you are NOT Mongolian! Nor Eskimo. Nor Mexican. Only jaundiced. And unless you have your uncle J’s olive skin, or your uncle Matt’s Gilbert’s, you’ll be our pale little caucasian in no time.

Sweet Eleanor, you’ve been alert and curious, and your huge beautiful eyes have been focused and able to track sounds all around a room since the day you were born. You’ve actually impressed people by your ability to do so! There are those who claim you are a genius already! Speaking of your beautiful eyes, it looks like you have Daddy’s eye shape and cute little curly lashes, and we are anxiously waiting to find out if they will be brown like mine or blue like Daddy’s. We both want blue to go with your dark hair, but they will be stunning either way.

It also looks like you have your daddy’s nose and your hair curls just like his when we give you a bath. Dark curly hair runs on your grandpa Sanders’ side of the family, too! I think you have my lips, chin, head, and face shape, though. We will see how you grow into things! It could be completely different next month!

You are social. You don’t like to be left out when you hear people talking around you. And your first real smile was Tuesday, December 2nd. Your daddy was holding you and telling you how pretty you were and you flashed him the biggest grin. I was so excited I made all over you and you immediately lost your smile and became very concerned… probably for my sanity. Since then you’ve smiled extremely sparingly. You are mostly just concerned about things right now, but I can’t wait to see more of your pretty smiles.

Also, I need to tell you how much your big brother absolutely adores you. He is head over heels and he can’t get enough of you. He’s been sooo sick this past month, so his contact with you has been unfortunately limited, but he is so excited to cuddle with you and feed you and shower you with big brother kisses. It’s been so hard for him to hold back, but he’s done such a good job protecting you. He’s been such a good brother.

And your daddy is in love with you. I think that when Adry and I came into his life we softened his hardened heart, but you… you’ve gone and melted it completely. When he gets home he puts you against his chest and kisses your head and he says, “How have I lived thirty years of life without feeling this until now?”

We are so excited to have you in our lives, Little Eleanor. We waited so long, and it was so worth it. You are precious to us.

I love you.
~Mommy

 photo IMG_2438_zps0c1bbe01.jpg
4 days old, comforted by Sweet Big Brother

 photo IMG_2439_zps2479a2ba.jpg

 photo IMG_4562_zps1786ed1a.jpg
1 WEEK OLD!

 photo IMG_4564_zpsab8e3e7a.jpg

 photo IMG_4568_zps359368ee.jpg

 photo IMG_4572_zpsb9b52cc2.jpg

 photo IMG_2491_zps78598146.jpg
Dad calls this the “You Look Like a Pink Nightmare” outfit.

 photo IMG_4577_zps3f8d035c.jpg

 photo IMG_2504_zps3ea660e0.jpg

 photo IMG_4579_zpsfe2b10ad.jpg

 photo IMG_4588_zpsfc885f47.jpg
Keithy loves it when she uses her super long Martin toes to clasp onto his thumbs.

 photo IMG_2529_zps5f7a9ebf.jpg
Her hair gets little Betty Boop curls when it’s drying after a bath!

 photo IMG_2540_zps8a9574c8.jpg

 photo IMG_2542_zpsaaa03d05.jpg

 photo IMG_4593_zps85323e5a.jpg

 photo IMG_4594_zps7580b31e.jpg

 photo IMG_4598_zpsb340ce2e.jpg

 photo IMG_4603_zps8a0637fe.jpg

 photo IMG_4606_zps7476a4f4.jpg

 photo IMG_2560_zps6c536496.jpg
Sleeping Pose!

 photo IMG_4752_zpsa87b3067.jpg
1 MONTH OUTFIT!

 photo IMG_4753_zps13ca22da.jpg
She had to put on her fancy boots so we could go out to dinner and a movie to celebrate being one month old!

 photo IMG_4754_zpsddeca35e.jpg

 photo IMG_4757_zpsd42986f8.jpg
She finally got to meet Tio X!

 photo IMG_4759_zps57da3d10.jpg
So tiny against him

 photo IMG_4760_zpsd108f235.jpg
Grandpa and Ella and listening to jazz. Ella got so comfortable she passed out.

 photo IMG_4763_zps55411505.jpg

 photo IMG_2506_zpsdddd2eb2.jpg
with Uncle Phil

 photo IMG_2508_zps651e4595.jpg

 photo IMG_2511_zps3599009f.jpg
with Les

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Baltimore 2014

June 13, 2014
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

My big little brother (T.Matt) had been living in Baltimore for almost two years while Alexz was in grad school at MICA. Well, she got to graduate with her Masters in Education a few weeks ago, so the whole family took a road trip to MD to see her walk!

I didn’t get pictures of half the stuff we did, but here are the few I got:

 photo IMG_4008_zps7cdfb0c2.jpg
Alexz with her Art Education classmates

 photo IMG_1917_zpsc14fbf0f.jpg
Alexz

 photo IMG_1931_zpsd50cca51.jpg

 photo IMG_1925_zps068028af.jpg

 photo IMG_4011_zps6a906fbc.jpg

 photo IMG_4017_zpsb14894e8.jpg
We found our favorite dessert at a place on the harbor.

 photo IMG_4019_zpsb14b42e9.jpg
X, Keithy, and Adry on the USS Constellation

 photo IMG_4022_zpsb5e655d7.jpg

 photo IMG_4024_zps9808839e.jpg

 photo IMG_4025_zps35fef617.jpg

 photo IMG_4027_zps7e391fbc.jpg

 photo IMG_4029_zps5c161f3c.jpg

 photo IMG_1930_zps464be079.jpg

 photo IMG_1928_zps90c99e10.jpg

 photo IMG_1935_zps390449fa.jpg

 photo IMG_1911_zps88407a9e.jpg

 photo IMG_1912_zpsf817c0e1.jpg

 

 photo IMG_1915_zpsd8698ac3.jpg

 photo IMG_1918_zps75667721.jpg
Keithy was soooo excited to spend some time with X

 photo IMG_1919_zps75667721.jpg

 photo IMG_1908_zpsf55c6a14.jpg
Our family + Alexz’s family on our last day in Baltimore

 photo IMG_1902_zpsf7ca804b.jpg
Keithy and I snuck away to sit and rest. Mom creeped on us, snapping photos of us enjoying each other’s company. 🙂

 photo IMG_1903_zps5a455224.jpg

 photo IMG_1904_zps8244d963.jpg

 photo IMG_1905_zpsaacf4fc0.jpg

 photo IMG_1906_zps0e491c2d.jpg

It was nice to see Matt and Alexz’s cute little place in MD, but I’m so glad to have them home! They’re in the midst of moving back and setting up their new place in the Cbus now. Yay!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 6- cake cutting, keith’s brother, and happily ever after

October 13, 2012
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Last installment of ‘Marrying Keith’!

Later in the night, after our fist dance, it was time to cut the cake!

Of course, since cutting the cake is a seriously important event lyke omigawd I had to have a very serious discussion with Keith beforehand… which made him laugh at me.
Photobucket
And I was all no no no no, you don’t understand. That whole vow thing? That was just a formality. You could have had your fingers crossed. We suspect certain ex-husbands had THEIRS crossed. You have to repeat all your vows (it is permissible to paraphrase), then PINKY PROMISE ME and then seal it with the cake cutting! So he put on his serious face.

Photobucket
He repeated his vows and pinky-promised on it.

Photobucket

Photobucket
SIDE STORY: And this is going to sound all mopey but it’s totally not- I’ve just accepted the fact that insecurity is going to be a part of my relationship with Keith. I will always wonder if or when he might leave me, stop loving me, get sick of me, blahblah. I mean, it’s not just that I’ve personally experienced adultery and divorce; it’s that I’ve also seen it happen over and over and over again, same story every time. I feel like my generation has just become really good at justifying ending a relationship that has gone sour… and letting relationships go sour in the first place. I’m not sure how long I have to be married to be convinced I won’t be left, because I’ve seen 3-year marriages collapse, 10-year marriages, 17-year marriages… you know? I get afraid that I’ll be 39, going through a rough time, raising 2 Martin kids and Keith will say, “I haven’t been happy for a long time- I think we’d be happier if we weren’t married anymore.” I am NOT saying that it is within Keith’s character in the slightest to do or say something like that, but the terrifying thing is that I didn’t think it was in the other men at all to do that to their wives, either! Each affair, separation, and divorce I’ve seen has been a complete shock to me.

I know it’s not fair that Keith has to live in the wake of my past experiences when he’s done nothing but be consistent, committed, and work hard to make sure I’m happy. But he always assures me that he entered into the relationship with his eyes open- he knew what I’d been through and the struggles I have. He’s incredibly patient. All I have to do is tell him when I’m feeling insecure and afraid and he reminds me of how much he loves me, WHY he loves me, how happy he is, and how, even if one day he might happen to feel unhappy, he will never leave me. It makes me feel better to discuss actions we will take to secure a healthy marriage and ALSO the actions we will take if things go bad.

SO ANYWAY! Nowadays (post-wedding) when I have bouts of insecurity he reminds me that he PINKY PROMISED! And it has become a little joke.
So after the super serious pinky promise Melissa came over to help us cut the cake. This is Melissa:
Photobucket
She is also the one who worked hard to make our very lovely cake.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
(loving on me)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Friends Photos!
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

To kind of wrap up the night the crowd gathered around the bonfire and Keith’s brother gave a really great heartfelt “best man speech” that Keith talked about for days.
Photobucket
(SO many girls find out that Keith is awesome and ask me if he has a brother. The answer is yes. Keith has a brother. Here he is! No, you can’t have him. He’s married.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

It has taken me three weeks to get all of these wedding posts up! Also- I’ve been married for three weeks already! Each day is happier than the day before.

I love my husband so so SO much. forever.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 5- blue ginger and first dance

October 6, 2012
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

After family photos we met at Blue Ginger for dinner.

Blue Ginger is an Asian bistro in Dublin and is the restaurant Keith and I went to celebrate our engagement. We thought it was yummy, so why not celebrate our being married there, too!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
I love him!

Photobucket
Jamie and John

Photobucket
Keithy got some sushi. I got duck dumplings, the same thing I got on engagement day.
I also tried to eat sushi for the first time in my life, but that story doesn’t end well.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

After Blue Ginger we headed to my parents’ house for our Fire Night Party (AKA reception).

Photobucket
Melissa Foley (wife of one of Keith’s bandmates) made our cake!

Photobucket

My mother (and dad) organized, decorated, set up, and put together the entire Fire Night Party. She did an amazing awesome job and I wish I had more photos of everything she did! (I just didn’t think to grab my camera and/or tell the girl who did our pictures what I wanted. =my one and only big wedding regret.) My mom had the yard all in pretty sparkly lights, she had beautiful autumn-like table cloths and centerpieces on the tables, she prepared make-your-own kabob tables with different meats and vegetables and people cooked their kabobs on the grill. Dad prepared sangria and filled his fishing boat with sodas, beers, etc. T.Matt put together my music mix and Ryan let us use his DJ equipment so the party had music! Dad set up a tent with foosball and the skittles game he made by hand, and also made a big bonfire and fire snacks (smores). Everything was super classy, sparkly, pretty, and yummy! My mother is right in her element when it comes to events. She doesn’t do anything halfway.

Keith and I had sort of been doing our own separate mingling as soon as we walked through the door of my parents’ house. So an hour or two into Fire Night I’d had a few +spiked sangrias to keep warm (and it totally worked) and I also had REFUSED to take off my super long heeled shoes because I loved them. I packed sneakers just in case, but… the shoes! They buckled at the ankle and had an adorable bow across the toes and… they just weren’t coming off, even though no one could see them and the heels were super thin so I kept getting stuck in the grass as I walked through the yard… Aanyway. It was about this time that Keith and I crossed paths on the patio as a song started and we took each other and started dancing.

Photobucket

Now, Keith and I never had “a song”. We tried to have a song, but I always told him that the best couple songs were from shared experiences, not picking and choosing. By Wedding Day the closest I’d come to having a song that reminded me of Keith was Jack Johnson’s Better Together because Keith always seemed to sing it to me on late nights when we first started dating. But KEITH said the song that reminded him of ME was Red Hot Chili Peppers Hard To Concentrate… and so we just never pinned down a couple song. So anyway, on Wedding Day when this song played and we started dancing it took me a minute to piece together what it was because I’m really bad with intros… and also: sangria.

Then Keithy started singing it to me. The first song we danced to. The first song he sang to me. And it turns out it was Jason Mraz I’m Yours.

Sidenote: it’s funny that that song ended up being the song because it’s always been one that’s been kind of unofficially off limits for me because it belonged to my old high school friend/ fellow online journaler who is a SUPER SUPER CRAZY-FOR-JASON-MRAZ FAN (who ALSO happened to date the same high school boy as me, happened to get pregnant a little before me, left baby daddy a little before I left mine, fell in love and got engaged a little before me, got a job very similar to the one I got, HAPPENED to get married on the exact same day as me, who I think ALSO danced to that Jason Mraz song with her son on that day!!!) so I’m slightly concerned (but not really) that she will think I am stealing her life! Ha! But I promise- the parallels are a complete coincidence (and a little weird). Also, she’s not catty, so I don’t think this will be an issue. It’s just kind of funny to me.

Photobucket
When Keith and I were first falling in love he’d say, “I love you so much I have that ache behind my sternum.” That’s how I felt dancing with him. That’s how I feel about him every day. (I am so fortunate.)

Photobucket

Photobucket
I completely adore him.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The next post is my LAST wedding post!!! It will be of cake cutting, Keith’s brother, the rest of fire night, and happily ever after.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 4- family photos

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Keith and Uncle Phil

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Love that smile

Photobucket

Photobucket
Keith and his “brother of another color and a different mother”, Xavier

Photobucket
They man-love each other

Photobucket
Keith’s bandmate Ryan (videographer and husband of photographer) on the left

Photobucket
Keith with Ryan and his son

Photobucket
Little Bro J <3 Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
T Matt <3 Photobucket
Childhood Family Friends (Or as we call ourselves, “The Kids”): Tay, Hutch, Ash, Me, Adry, Ryan, Jamie, Jessie, Mer, Tori

Photobucket

Photobucket
Supporting Mothers: Les, Sandie, Me, Mom, Pammy, Ginny

Photobucket
Ash and I

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Next Post: Blue Ginger and Fire Party!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 1- before the wedding

October 2, 2012
Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

On September 22nd, 2012 I became Mrs. Keith Josiah Martin.

On Wedding Day Eve Xavier (Keith’s very best friend) drove from (somewhere around) Baltimore and met at my parents’ house where everyone was gathered putting together kabob meat, lighting the yard, decorating, slicing oranges and limes and mixing sangria, cleaning, and all of that kind of stuff. It all seemed to be going well (besides the fact that I got fired from slicing the limes for fear that I would cut off my finger before the wedding day) until Keith told me that he and X were headed out for the night to go to a party… and then the dormant fire-breathing, insecure PMS dragon inside of me was awakened. I was all “*&##^&%fire*^#@**$%#*#*^$fire*#@insecurity!!*%#fire** #@!fire**you’releavingme$##$**” or something like that. Most human beings react to fire-breathing PMS dragons defensively. Or fight back. Keithy sat down and listened to me, then held me and told me how much I meant to him, and how happy I made him, and how excited he was to make me his. He told me that I was right- he shouldn’t leave and go to the party- and that he was going to stay by my side and do whatever needed to be done and make sure I was happy. In that moment I was reminded of the week before when I was at my little bachelorette party and my girlfriends were discussing boys and boy issues and I was just listening in until one of them asked me, “How does Keith handle communication?” And all I could say was, “…Well. Perfectly.” And they rolled their eyes all Well of course- because Keith is perfect! You never complain about him.

And so, on Wedding Day Eve when Keith was holding me and being… well, you know. Perfect. I just decided to never take for granted how freaking lucky blessed I was to be loved and cherished and taken care of by a man who listens and considers how I feel… and I don’t even need to unleash the dragon! He just does it. Every day. Sometimes I pinch his butt arm butt just to make sure he’s real. And after we got home that night I murdered his man dignity by making him put my hair in rollers in front of X… who told him he was doing it wrong.

I woke up on Wedding Day to cramps and clouds and felt really lucky and really happy. I shaved. I recruited Little Bro J as my Bride Chauffeur and he picked me up for my manicure and pedicure with Mom and Mom-in-Law. Everyone there thought I was 17 and getting ready for prom. They also told me I had an awesome Mom and Mom To Be. (I do.) Then MiL took me back to their house where the ceremony was to be held later that afternoon. Her house was gorgeous. She, her sister-in-law, and Keith’s brother’s wife had worked so hard on it and the yard, and a beautifully decorated arch… and she and some of the other lady family members had prepared a lovely and yummy lunch for everyone there.

Jessie and Jamie met me at their house for lunch. After we ate Sherry (Keith’s mom) gave us her bedroom and bathroom space for Hair&Makeup&GirlTime. Which was awesome and a lot of fun. I love those girls!

Jessie did my hair, and Jamie my makeup.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Mom stopped in to see me before the ceremony.

Photobucket

Photobucket
And dad.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I’ll do the Ceremony Part I post next.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal