Thursday, March 31, 2011

Behind the Memories: Part One

Behind the Memories

I came upon some old photos while cleaning in my art room and I thought putting them into a blog post, looking back on all these fond memories would be a wonderful little project for tonight!

The first day of school for my sweetest sisters after a long and wonderful summer…

Behind the Memory:
If I didn't have a class or wasn't working, I tried to greet them off the bus during the week. This day I was working. I really wanted to be there so I had picked up these happy balloons and tied them to soda bottles. I asked my parents to line them up at the end of the driveway to greet them as the bus dropped them off. I miss them. I miss days like that.

A day for memories to be made…

Behind the Memory:
I had just turned three years old. We were on our (nearly) annual trip to Florida with my Grandparents around the March birthdays. I don't clearly remember what this place was, but I just say "Silver Springs" when I refer to it. I guess it was some sort of small zoo. It had a glass bottomed boat and you were able to feed the animals. I have slight, but fond, memories from that trip. I actually remember walking over this bridge (or maybe there was more than one there) and with one hand firmly holding each of my grandparents' hands doing one, two, three, weeeeeee! We rode the glass bottomed boat and I remember loving the creatures below. We saw a peacock and I fed the giraffes… there was a baby too. I am pretty sure this is where my fascination and love for giraffes and peacocks began. :) Though these are just vague memories, I am so thankful I have them.

I wish I could remember…
Behind the Memory:
This was the evening of my Aunt and Uncle's Wedding. The wedding I was a flower girl at. Their reception was at a nice restaurant overlooking the water in a nearby town I grew up in. Being that I was just a mere two years old, I am sure it had been a long day for me. My godmother has me out on one of the docks at sunset. I wish I could remember this memory. I wonder what she said to me? She has a very calming presence about her. I love her dearly and knowing what my time spent with her and the conversations we have shared during my lifetime, I know this was a wonderful little moment for the two Mary Anne's (we are both Mary Anne). If only these moments could be clearly remembered.

My first birthday…with them…

Behind the Memory:
This was my first birthday to share with my sisters. Birthdays have never been the same since this day. I love sharing birthday celebrations with these girlies. And now there's a fourth little one to share in on the celebrations too… she's not really all that little anymore though. Their faces are priceless (in pic one). Irm is a little lady (to my right)… as she is today. Ine with her hands out! And Nade, that face I just want to go back to this day and squeeze each of them with a ton of love! Look at those two with their snazzy sunglasses! What cuties. That was the first birthday cake Nahida made for me. I remember it vividly. It is my favorite cake… ever! Oh FYI - They didn't know much English at all at this point. They probably thought my birthday festivities along with the Happy Birthday Song was quite interesting!!

And the hand-me-downs begin

Behind the Memory:
Just a little note, I LOVED hand-me-downs growing up. I was an only child so they came from my neighbors. Oh I thought they were the coolest clothes coming from all the older girls. :) This is when they began. In the first picture (May 1986) I was only a couple of months old when Katie was wearing this beautiful Easter coat. Doesn't she look absolutely adorable?! What a little lady! A few years later, in March of 1986, it was my turn to wear this pretty blue coat. Katie was my very first friend and is still my dear friend to this day. Though we don't share hand-me-downs anymore, I will always treasure these sweet little outfits that we shared. (The last picture is of us together when we were little. I adored her... and still do.)

The beginning of the giggles and lollipop adventures...

Behind the Memory:
Ines is to my right. Nade is on my lap and Irm is on my left. This picture was taken within the first few weeks they arrived in the States! (The date on the picture is waaayyy off - years off) They couldn't speak much English yet and I couldn't speak much Bosnian yet, so there was lots of smiles and giggles... and little lollipops. They would sit on my lap and smile at me and giggle like sweet little girls and I would give them little lollipops. I had just had surgery (in my mouth - wisdom teeth gone wrong) and so I had little Dum-Dum pops to suck on...and share with them! I loved those first few weeks/months. It was a time I will remember forever. :) Ah, those little faces.

She tells me she remembers this day....

Behind the Memory:
This was the day Merima was born... the littlest sister. She tells me she remembers that day, when we first came up to the hospital. Boy, what a memory that girl has, huh!? ;) Shhh... don't tell her, but I think what she remembers is all the pictures we have shown her since then. I guess in a way she does remember it all. I love my sweet little Meemsy... all four of them really! :) We all look so young!

Story time in his chair...
Behind the Memory:
Unfortunately, I don't have many years of memories of my dear Grandpa, but I do remember him. I remember how he sat in his chair while my Grandma sat in her rocking chair and we just relaxed together at night. Grandpa sat in his chair and I fondly remember him keeping a tiny dish of honey roasted peanuts on the left arm of the chair that he'd munch on over the coarse of the evening. He'd sit there and read us stories (the book he is reading in this picture was my favorite!), read the paper, watch tv, talk with my Grandma... it was his chair and that is a sweet little memory I have of him. 

Remembering their smiles and happiness...
Behind the Memory:
Obviously I am just a few months old here, so I do not have any recollection of this time with Grandma and Grandma. I do know we were up in Vermont staying at my Uncle's cabin at the lake...and I do know it was a happy time. You can tell by the look on their faces. They're really happy. I may not remember this specific moment, but I remember a lot of happiness and sharing many smiles with them, especially my Grandma. Oh, how I miss them!

Tales of the three musketeers...

 Behind the Memory:
We are the three oldest cousins on my Dad's side. Dave is in the middle; he's the oldest. Next comes me and Mike, on the right, is a little younger than me. After myself came Mike and six years after me began the next round of cousins. We came in spurts. :) For a few years, it was just the three of us. We got along pretty well. Sure there were definitely tattle tales and tears at times, but I have so many fun memories with my boy cousins. Now, they are both muuuuccch taller than me and two really great guys. We were in my grandparents backyard in this picture wearing t-shirts from my Dad's landscaping business.

The closest little men I will ever have to brothers...

Behind the Memory:
You've all heard me talk about my sisters, well, did you know I have a bunch of little brothers too?! There's only five here, but that's not all of them. I'll have to dig up a picture of all the kids. When we lived in Maryland there was a family that moved into my Grandma's house (after she passed away) and at the time they had (I think) five little boys. Our families became the closest and dearest of friends. I thank God for their family every day. They are a wonderful family to look up to. When we moved away, one of the worst things to deal with was leaving them. I cried and cried and cried... I still have a hard time with missing this dear family. Now, there's 10 beautiful little kiddos and I love each and every one of them dearly. I'll never forget each day driving up and down our driveway passing their house and all the kids would run to my car to say hello. Even if I was in a rush, I always treasured those moments and think of them quite often. It's those small seemingly not too important moments, that mean the most to me. In this picture we were hanging out in our garage on the new shelves built. Not sure what we were really doing, but I do remember I had a lot of fun with them. And it was a really good excuse to hug my little Joe real tight! Not sure if you can tell in this picture, but I have an incredibly big soft spot for him. :) Oh, to go back to the days when I could see them, hug them and talk to them regularly. Thankfully their sweet Mom writes a blog and keeps everyone updated on the stories of their beautiful family. It's a lifesaver, let me tell ya! It helps me feel like I am still there sometimes.

Happy Birthday my dear girls...

Behind the Memory:

In the first two pictures we are celebrating Irm's birthday. We were actually supposed to be in Disney World that day, but our trip was unexpectedly cut short. My great- Aunt Agnes passed away and we left a couple days earlier than planned. We had a fabulous trip and it was very nice to at least spend a quick morning with her to celebrate her special day. And the last one, is of the twins. Are they cute or what?! I don't remember how old they were here... possibly six. I love birthdays with these chick-a-dees!

I'm so thankful for these photos...

Behind the Memory:
Like I said earlier, I only had a few years with my Grandpa and I am so thankful for the photographs that captured those times together. Even more than that though, I am thankful for the home videos I have of them. It helps me to keep their voices, their laughs, their smiles, their mannerisms clear in my mind and in my heart. Because of those moments captured on video, I am even more grateful for my birthday gift from Mami and Papi. I will now capture moments from the current years and events in my life to look back on in the years to come.

With a hint of a future post, I say good night...
Behind the Memory:
I will post more to this memory hopefully tomorrow or this weekend. But this is exactly what I am going to go do now... Curl up with my blankie covers and lay on the church pew bed.

A Wedding Find! (89)

I am always on the look out for things on my wedding list.
There's DIY supplies.
Clothes (honeymoon, shower, rehearsal, etc).
My Dress.
The list is extensive. 
So I gave you a sneak peak of something. 
It could be any of the above. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can I Pack NOW?! (88)


May I please start packing now?!
Mono booked our honeymoon today!
It's official!
We are going to Aruba!
The resort we chose is amazing.
We have a beautiful room, right on one of the nicest beaches on the island.
I don't want to give too much about it away now.
I'll definitely post pictures after our trip and write a nice description about the places we saw.

I cannot wait for those long, sunny days!
It will be here before we know it, but not soon enough.
I told Mono I wanted to pack my luggage now.
That is how excited I am!
I would do that too, but I have an entire summer that I am going to have to get through with those clothes I will be packing.
I can tell you this though, the bags will be packed in early to mid September for sure...much earlier than needed!
So, in honor of our trip, I took out some bright, Caribbean colored nail polish and put a lovely fresh coat on the nails! 
I am painted and ready to go!!! 
Wait, I still need a bathing suit!
J.Crew has horrible sizing. 
SMALL is too big on ME!
That never happens.

Oh and by the way, I ended up choosing the color second from the left!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring, PLEASE Come Back! (87)

For quite some time, we had been having the most absolutely beautiful spring weather... 
and then...
A burst of chilly, damp air, with not a ray of sunshine to be seen... for days!!!
I can't deal with that.
I don't know how people can handle life in areas of the country/world that are cold and dreary most of the time.
It has been days since we have seen the sun and I miss that dear friend terribly.
I was out for a drive with my Mom and I was stopped at a stoplight and turned to glance at this very long row of bright pink tulips (my favorite, by the way).
I quickly grabbed my camera and took a picture.
The memory of those beautiful flowers will hold me over for a few more days.
The weatherman says we should be seeing possible sun this weekend.
Let's hope and pray he is right!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Droplet of Water (86)

There isn't going to be much of a post tonight. I'm exhausted, but here are my pictures from dinner. :)

Do you know where we ate? :)

 There was something about this simple little cup that stole my attention!

I love the words H20, Water and Agua formed into a droplet of water!

Hopefully I will be less tired with a more interesting post tomorrow. I've gotta crank things up a notch! Any ideas?! :)

Dear Mr. Weather,

Last night I had this great idea... to go to bed early.
I had to be up at 6 and I wanted to get enough sleep.
Well, as I was getting ready for bed, it started to rain and you could hear distant rumbles of thunder. 
I'm okay with that. In fact, I like that.
I wrote Mr. Weather a note before falling asleep...
Mr. Weather, I love falling asleep to the sound of rain and rumbles of thunder... as long as it stays that way. I'd rather not be disturbed by the weather sirens going off again in the middle of the night. Thank you very much! Good night! - Mary Anne
I never sleep soundly. Never.
But last night, I must have been in somewhat of a deep sleep because when our whole house shook from the thunder/lightening, around 11:30, I thought it had to be 2 am.
I love that feeling...The feeling of thinking it has to be later, but it is still early so you have a while left to sleep!
As I came out of my sleep, the house kept shaking with each rumble of thunder and strike of lightening. It was pretty intense.
At times, there wasn't even breaks between two strikes.
And... it was hailing! 
The hail was pelting against my window something fierce.
It was only 11:30 and I couldn't sleep so I wrote to Mr. Weather again...
Mr. Weather, So we can get get this straight for next time… I guess I wasn't clear enough when I said the type of weather I was okay with. Waking up to the sound of hail hitting my window and the house shaking with every strike of lightning/thunder… yeah, I'm not okay with that either. That is in the category of being disturbed by weather alarms. All clear now? Great. Thanks. Now I can try to go BACK to sleep. - MA
Let me just tell you. He doesn't listen very well at all.
We had continual spurts of storms all throughout the night.
So now I am super tired.
I hear that we are having more thunderstorms tomorrow night. 
Hopefully not at severe so I can sleep.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Living in the Age of the Dinosaurs

Apparently we live in the age of dinosaurs.
We cannot get a decent internet signal.
Forget high-speed.
I don't even know what that is.
I have a new video camera and I'd love to be able to upload videos.
Fat chance!
I am really loving this gift though, despite the slow internet.
Thank you again Mami and Papi!!
You know, technically I'm not even family yet, but they have always treated me as though I was part of the family. 
From day one. 
They spoiled me big time for my birthday...but they always treat me so well.
Well, I've been glued to my new flip cam.
Beware if you come near me, because chances are, you'll be filmed!
I'm super dangerous now.
Flip cam in my left hand and regular camera in my right.

Say cheese!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh So CALMing! (84)

 I recently fell in love with this line of products.

I had a Groupon for a store that sells their products and I was finally able to go purchase a tube of one of my favorite scents. Honestly, I think I like all of the fragrances, but this is the one I chose. Not only because of the scent, but also because of the name and the color of the tube! ;)

I love the packaging. Packaging is big for me. I love when companies have cool bags or boxes for the products to go home with you in. :)

They totally sealed the deal for me... not just with the packaging or color, but definitely their fragrances. They have a whole line with so many different options. I chose the hand cream though. I figured that it was the best choice for me right now. In the future (there is a future with me and this company for sure) I will invest in some other scents and forms of their line.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Goldfinger... and Not the Movie. (83)

I received a big box in the mail today. 
It was filled with supplies needed for a few DIY wedding projects. 
One of the projects involved gold spray paint.
Thus the goldfinger.
When I got in the house, my Dad saw my hands and asked how I had planned to get it off.
I said, "with soap and water."
Apparently not.
I scrubbed and scrubbed with soap and the scratchy back of the sponge and I still have a ways to go.
My nail looked kinda pretty. ;)
Hey, at least it was my fingers and not my face. 
That'd be a bit creepy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lights, (flip)Camera, Action! (82)

I got such an awesome present in the mail from Mami and Papi (Mono's parents)!!

I am super excited about this present. I could not believe what I was seeing when I unwrapped the little brown box! A FlipCam! For me? Really?! Mami and Papi, thank you so, so, so much for this overly generous gift. I have been wanting a little handy video camera to record moments of life to save and have forever to look back on. Especially with the wedding festivities coming up, I know there will be a lot I want to capture to remember.

Growing up, my parents recorded a lot with their video camera. I am so thankful for our old home videos. Yes, sometimes they can be a tad embarrassing, but it is really wonderful to have. I get to see my grandparents who aren't here any more, and nothing in the world beats that for me! Plus there are some really funny/cute moments from when I was little. I am going to continue that tradition in my own little way now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Longest Swirly Pop Ever! (81)

Do you remember my post about my favorite candy from a couple days ago?
Well, tonight my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin came over to celebrate my birthday and on the front of my package was this:

It was huge! Like really huge! 

See how big it was?! It was about 2 lengths of a pen. I cannot wait to start this. How long do you think it will take me to eat it? ;)

I really love this candy and cannot believe that I just wrote a post about it and a couple days later I had a huge one in my possession!

And The Hunt Begins...

I don't like hunting... especially for bathing suits.
I exercise here and there, but it's not something that you can tell when you look at me. I don't know if I have an ounce of muscle on me. I've never been very athletic.
So bathing suit season, to be nice, is a dreaded season in my book.
But, I have a warm and sunny place to be in October, so a nice, new bathing suit must be purchased. 
I don't wear bikinis and I am not all that fond of one pieces so a tankini is the route I go.
But then you have to find the right cut, top and bottom, color, size, etc... 
It's a process I don't care for.
Today it begins though.
I have a few coupon codes that end today that I want to try to use if possible.
So, here's to finding a cute swimsuit for the season ahead!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Unmistakable Pink Box (80)

Words may just ruin this post. But I do have to write a few lines. Most importantly, a huge thank you to Megan! She totally blew me away by sending one dozen cupcakes to me from none other than Georgetown Cupcake. When the Fed Ex man delivered the box to the front door, my face was priceless. The very second I saw that pink box sprinkled with black and white circles, I knew. 

At that point, I could not imagine who sent me this glorious gift, but I knew it was for me and the giver not only knew me quite well, but was oh-so-generous! Over the top generous. 

I didn't know where to begin. Each cupcake was it's own unique flavor! I divided them up so all four of us could taste a little bit of each. Oh are they good! 

Megan, I cannot begin to thank you enough for this gift. Not only for just thinking of me or remembering me, but for actually sending me something so wonderful as a gift!

Let me tell you who "Megan" is. You may be thinking she is my bestest friend that I have known for years, but truthfully, we have never "met" in person. She is my photographer for our wedding. I consider her more than just that though, even before the cupcakes arrived. Megan, that sealed the deal though. ;) Just kidding. You knew how serious I was about having you as my photographer from a while ago. For any of you who have never checked her work out, please do. She is a wonderful lady, talented with a great eye and ... well, shares a serious love for cupcakes. :)

To anyone that has not tasted a Georgetown Cupcake, if you are ever in the area, it's a must. You have to go! It's a good thing I don't live there or I'd be 500 pounds. It's tempting for me, someone who loves to bake cupcakes, to have tasty recipes in the house. The only thing that holds me back from baking a new batch each day is I don't have enough mouths to give them to. ;)

Tomorrow morning, along with my healthy (yes, really) breakfast, I will be enjoying another one of my cupcakes. There's only a couple left!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweet Swirls! (79)

From as far back as I can remember, this is my favorite candy. It is a happy candy to me. Whenever I went to Disney as a little girl, this was the treat I'd ask for. There was something about it... the colors and wonderful swirly shape. With every lick of this colorful candy brings back memories and sweetness from my childhood. What's your favorite childhood candy?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Wellies (78)

I would like to introduce to you, the newest couple in town...
Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Wellies!!
Mrs. Wellies came into the picture first.
And yesterday, she happily married Mr. Hunter Wellies!
Welcome to the family!

My family had given me the egg blue wellies for my birthday and they had arrived a few days early. Let me just tell you, when any box, envelope, etc comes in the mail with my name on it, it gets opened immediately! 

Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I had a big box wrapped beautifully from Mono. I could not imagine what could be hiding in such a large box.

And that's when I opened the fabulous pair of black rain boots that I was eying since last year.
Mono always spoils me with the best gifts ever. I don't know how he manages to pull it off, but nothing ever disappoints!

I prefer to call these two William and Kate... in honor of the Royal Wedding next month. ;) Yes, I am a bit fond those two, so I found it fitting to name these two wonderful pairs of wellies after them. 

Thank you again to my family for the blue pair, and to Mono for my black pair!

Now only if it would rain or get a little cooler or something. ;)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What A Wonderful Day! (77)

I have had the loveliest birthday today. Turning 25 has been real nice. We started the day by going out to breakfast... the four of us. Mono came over and went with Mom, Dad and I for a quick bite to eat, then we opened presents... 

Here are a few snapshots while I was opening my great gifts.

Clothes, a cup cake carrier (in one of my favorite colors!), a cheese and cracker tray from Pottery Barn and a set of glass candle sticks from Mom and Dad...

And... Drum roll please... Black glossy wellies from Mono! Not only did I get the blue pair I had my eyes on (from my aunt, uncle and cousins), but I got the black pair I really wanted too! I never expected either pair, especially the black ones from Mon! He always gives the best presents! I wanted to wear these so badly today but it was way too hot - nearly 80, maybe higher!
Party time! I made my decorations and hung them up yesterday, ready for today's festivities!
Baking my purple velvet cupcakes... and enjoying a taste with my Mom!

Mon and I :)

The center piece... looks yummy! :)

Make a wish!

Blow them out!!

My wonderful birthday crown from Jillian!! Thanks! You're the greatest!! :)

An ending to a great night... J really wanted a cupcake. My poor little guy. And now, cuddling up with my our Mon. :)

Though I would like to write a lot more, I am exhausted. I have had a very full and wonderful day. So many people have called, sent me text messages, messages on facebook, etc... I am so loved and I thank you all for it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Night Before... (76)

The night before...
My 25th Birthday!

This is my last post before I turn 25. It kinda sounds a little old, doesn't it? Not old in a bad way though. I am really looking forward to this age. Lots of fun events happening! Today was a full day. A lot went on for us today. I am glad today finished and was a good day and I look forward to tomorrow!

Today I worked on putting up some decorations for tomorrow. I have one more thing I am finishing to have done for the "party" - aka - dinner with my family.

I don't have a whole lot planned for my birthday. Here's what I am thinking. 

Sleep in a little bit.
Breakfast with Mom, Dad and Mono at Hardees. I love their biscuits so I asked if we could eat there instead of at home so I could get an egg and cheese biscuit for my birthday. 
Then I plan to come home, shower and get myself ready for the day and head to Mass at noon.
Once I get home, I'll eat a quick/light lunch and then get started on all the cupcakes!
I have to put a couple more decorations up and bake cupcakes and after that it will be time to start dinner. Mom and I are making dinner together... I think Mono may help some too.
It's going to be a simple day, but I am really looking forward to it. Being home with family is a wonderful way to celebrate!

Tomorrow is also St. Joseph's Solemnity! I have a devotion and love for him so I always enjoy his day. There are actually a few people I will really be thinking about tomorrow.
Like I have mentioned, I shared my birthday with my Grandpa (Dad's Dad) so this will always be our day. I will certainly not forget him tomorrow.
There are a few people close to me that have a real devotion to St. Joseph so they are always in my thoughts and prayers.
But, tomorrow I will especially be thinking about my Aunt and her family. Exactly one year ago, on my birthday, her young niece was tragically killed and her loss has not been easy on them. How could it be? I wish I could fly to her and give her a warm hug tomorrow. I think she may need all the hugs she can get. Please keep her and their family in your prayers. 
So, even with all the fun festivities of my birthday, I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow.

Right now, I am looking forward to getting my pjs on.
Snuggling up in my bed.
Waking up tomorrow to a bright new day with much to be thankful for and look forward to! 

Good night and I will talk to you when I am 25.