Monday, January 28, 2013

the reward

yes, i do reward myself sometimes... with chocolate milk. i'm not really sure if reward is the right word. sometimes i just have to give myself something to keep me going. i have a million and one things i could be doing right this second, but while all three (jimmy included) of my boys are sleeping, i am sitting, enjoying one of my very favorite drinks! sweet tea is my other fave. yesterday was a long and pretty tough day. i ended up leaving all the dinner prep on the counters, food out, and dishes in the sink, put my two crying babies in the car and went for a ride. the purpose was to calm me down, and to quiet them. they needed to be put to sleep by the smooth ride of the car. it didn't put them to sleep, but it quieted them down. mono and i are trying to exercise a bit more this year and so after work, he headed for a little workout. he called to check in to make sure all was well at home and i told him to go for his swim. i didn't want him to pick up on the fact that everything was far from well at home. i knew if he knew that, he wouldn't have made that time for himself at the pool. and he needed it. there is not much time in the day for me to work out and being that things done quiet down here until 9:30 at the earliest, but i do hope to eventually figure my day and life out to squeeze something in. do you ever set aside even 5 minutes to give yourself a break or a treat?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree

We bought our beautiful, real tree back on the weekend after Thanksgiving and kept it up until today. Believe it or not, we never got a family picture on Christmas or with our tree before last night. Before we took it down, I wanted to be sure to get a nice picture of the four of us.
The tree was as dry as dry can be and we couldn't even turn the lights on because we didn't want to risk the heat from them and the super dry branches. We turned them on for the picture, then while we were out and Mom and Dad were watching the boys, Mom took down the ornaments. Today Dad and I took the thousands of lights off and brought the tree outside. There were pine needles everywhere!! It still smelled so good though!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

friendship and sweet tea

We left the boys for the second time ever tonight. The first time was on our one year anniversary. Yes, on our one year anniversary we already had two kids, and needed a babysitter. Mami and our grandparents were here to watch them for us. Tonight we went out with friends... and I may have drank a little too much... sweet tea that is! We went to Dreamland Barbecue and their sweet tea is like taking little sips of heaven. I may have had a few too many glasses and was tempted to take one for the road, but remained in control. Some people are foolish and drive under the influence of alcohol, I on the other hand tend to overdose on sweet tea. Thankfully it's not dangerous or hazardous to anything but my waistline.

Our friend, Austin and his mom came out with us for ribs. Dreamland has amazing ribs. A little on the spicy side, but if I can handle their heat, anyone can. I must say, going out with them is always a joy. We caught up on all of our recent travels, them to Florida, along with a visit from their family to our town and us to the northeast. We shared Christmas memories, stories of Mono's new job, Austin's recent absolutely amazing accomplishments at therapy... since the time we saw him last (right before our trip up north), he can now walk on his own with a walker for quite a period of time! The guys talked sports and computers. Us girls talked pinterest and babies. I shared with them the fact that I have passed the level of insane that I signed up for a half marathon. And yes, Gus may have included a little piece of information that had he and Austin laughing quite hard... cough - a purse is involved at the finish line - cough. Gus claims the only reason I signed up for this was for the purse. And while that is incentive, it is not my main reason. Truth. Now, if it was this bag, his statement would be completely accurate. We ate yummy ribs, drank lots of tea, shared many laughs, and realized even more how grateful we all our for our friendship.
Austin has overcome a monumental challenge and works with such dedication each day to return to a complete recovery. I personally do not think many people, myself included, could be where he is today, mentally and physically. He has amazing strength and determination. It is nothing short of an amazing miracle. Gus and I are a bit selfish. Of course we wish he could be back to his day to day life, outside of rehab, but we really love the fact that he has to be in rehab... right by our house! If only he could stay this close after he completes rehab and have his sweetheart of a girlfriend move to town too. The four of us would be the best of friends.

As we were sitting there and I was listening to the two of them share stories of their days when they lived together, I thought of how life has changed so much, and how we are all back together again, in a completely new way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

their new routine

we have a new routine for the boys. it started a few nights ago. tonight will be night 3 i believe following this new trend. i pray it sticks because it is lovely. i clean up the house, making sure everything is nice and tidy (for the most part) and then at 9:00 we turn the lights down low, tv off (if it is on), and have a quiet and calm atmosphere. then we feed the boys, pray our family rosary while we are feeding them and then put them to bed by 9:30. it is truly wonderful because it gives me quiet time to get things done. my goal is to have everything in the day done by then so i can have that time to myself. whether i use it to run, organize a few things, write some e-mails, blog... whatever it may be, i am hoping i can use that time to relax, catch up on some shows, etc...

eventually, hopefully the 9:00 hour will get even earlier, but for now, this is a huge break from what we had been doing previously. i'm still learning this whole mom thing. i'm enjoying each and every second, even the sleepless ones.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

of course it would go this way

I have been waiting for this day, forever! When Megan found out we were in town, she wanted to get together, and I was overly excited trying to plan the day. It ended up having to wait until today, the day before our last day on vacation. I envisioned it all. My hair would be perfect. I'd have my makeup done, I'd look different than I usually do when I am in mom-mode. I wouldn't have my hair in a ponytail. I would have some sort of makeup on. I would have a put together outfit. And....... I'd take pictures. Geesh. Why would I think I could take pictures of the photographer of all photographers?!
 So, this is how it went. Last night my one clean pair of pants left had a bottle of formula spilled all over them, which meant they needed to be cleaned. They weren't dry by this morning, which meant I had to take my hair blow dryer and dry them the rest of the way part of the way.  Yes, it meant my pants were a little bit wet. Okay, so now I have my wet pants on and I go to do my hair, wash my face, put some makeup on, etc, to then realize that all my toiletries were left in Mami's car from our night spent at Nina's. So now my excitement of being semi-dolled up went out the window and this dear friend of mind was going to be seeing me, the real me these days. I won't even go into the rest of the things I didn't get to do... or had to do to get myself ready. If you call this ready!

With all that put aside though, I was so happy to be seeing her, having lunch and topping it all off by being surprised by a photo shoot! Besides Megan being a dear, sweet friend, her talent amazes me. All the time. I never expected her to offer to take our pictures. The boys had sweaters with dribble all over them, Gus just had a sweatshirt on, and well, I just told you how I looked. But, how I could I turn an offer from her down? She photographed Gus and I for our engagement. She photographed our wedding and now, she photographed us as a growing family.

And then she asked for a picture of her and the boys. And not only did she hand over her iPhone, but her camera. You know, the real thing. Not a piddly thing thing or a kit lens. None of that. It was the real deal. I was beyond nervous. I was taking her picture with her camera. Yikes. I was so nervous, I chopped her legs off midway. I centered her in the photo. I am positive I broke all the rules. All of them. Absolutely positive.

I was a bit stressed going into the restaurant to meet her for lunch, for lots of reasons, but I had an amazing time. I wish we had more time. I hope we can visit again soon. No time restrictions. And previously showered! 

Megan, you are the sweetest as always.
Thank you for everything. For meeting us. For the pictures. For being a sweet friend. For everything.
And give that sweet Mom of yours a little kiss from each boy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

twelve months of creativity

Between blogs, Pinterest, and my own ideas I always have something I want to make. I haven't had much time to create in a long, long time. When we got married, I was first busy settling us in our new home. Then just a few months later I was pregnant with a lot of morning sickness and although I wanted to be creative, I didn't feel well enough to do much of anything. And then bed rest came and I was huge and couldn't do anything. And then they came and I really couldn't do anything. These two scrumptious boys keep me more than busy right now. But in this new year, I would like to try to make one thing each month. To have one project a month should be doable. And if I can carve out more time for a second or third (or more) project, that will just be a bonus! 
Some months I may pick something very small and others it may be a more intricate project.
I also need to finish working on a painting I started while I was pregnant.
I am so critical with my paintings and sometimes I just don't finish them.
I don't want this to be one of those unfinished pieces in the closet.
I wish I knew I could make time for one project a week, but that may be a bit more than I can pull off. We will see. Maybe I will make more than one per month.
I can't wait to start project one!
I'm not completely sure what I will do yet.
Maybe I will write down twelve projects and pick out of a jar each month and it will be a surprise.

Friday, January 4, 2013

prosecco + manchego

I feel so busy these days. So many days go by that I am in a pony tail, sweats and we eat grilled cheese for dinner. I dislike this very much and it is something I want to change for 2013. I want to spend time planning and preparing meals for dinner, I want to deliberately love on my family and friends with the food I prepare.
I want to simplify my wardrobe, morning routine and daytime routine to allow for more time to get myself ready for the day in the morning, get my tasks taken care of, dinners made, healthy and thoughtful dinners, all while taking care of my boys. 
I know this won't happen every day, but I want to enjoy some nice moments.
While we were in New York we stayed with my cousin, who made us fabulous meals and appetizers every day! I want to make nice little meals like she did, even if it takes me all day to prepare a little bit here and a little bit there. And then when we stayed a night with Mono's great aunt and uncle, who are both in their 80's, Tia Ali prepared us appetizers, a delicious four course meal, and then a nice, healthy breakfast the following morning. We had prosecco (Italian wine) and manchego cheese (my fave!). For dinner we started with a nice bowl of fresh cut fruit, followed by a salad with homemade dressing, then a wonderful roast chicken with carrots, potatoes, and fennel. Our meal was complete after we ate a delicious homemade cake/tart with fruit topped with carmelized almonds. Tia Ali is in her 80s, still goes to the gym, still wears heels and still cooks these amazing meals!
So after the time spent with my cousin and family and then Mono's great aunt and uncle, it made me crave to simply and take the time to do more cooking or even just serving nicely laid out food. A nice cheese and crackers, a simple salad or a nice cake.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


it's amazing how God gets through to me sometimes. i have a lot on my mind and in my heart for this new year. i am loving being away and on vacation visiting family, but all the going from here to there has really held me back from getting into my routine for 2013. i decided not to really stress over it and enjoy the time we have here. the food, the schedule, or lack of one. but, i do truly look forward to a quiet moment in my home, praying about the things i want to change and work on this coming year. i try to work on things all year long and don't need to wait for the start of a calendar year, but for me, it always feels like a good time to start fresh. a new year, a new planner, a new calendar hanging on the wall, etc.

a dear friend of mine made a virtue jar this new year. each member of her family picked a virtue, written on paper and folded up, from the jar to focus on in 2013. she offered to her friends a virtue from their jar and so i jumped at it! my word for 2013 is servant. God must really want me to have more of a servant heart because it is something i was thinking of. i want our family as a whole to be more servant oriented. i want to help others more. i think it is really important for our boys to learn how to be geared to serving others, loving Jesus that the home and out. i think we need to start in the home, how we treat each other, how we give to each other in our home, etc. and then let it overflow to others outside of our home. 

now not only as a wife, but as a mom of two boys, i have many ways to let my heart be servant oriented, though i will need more grace. i get tired and want help, but i am going to try to live simpler and have more time to do for others.


While we were making our way through New York City, we wanted to stop for a cupcake. My go-to is Georgetown Cupcake and I had yet to see their new location. I thought about stopping in a few other little cupcake shops, but being that it was New Year's Day, some were closed. Between the hours and the locations of some of them, GTC was the way to go. And they never disappoint. It's very good I don't live nearby. I would happily stop in each day, or eat handfuls at a time. My wallet would be thin and my waistline would be wide. Mono wanted to try two different flavors. I think maple something and mocha. And I chose my favorite, chocolate cupcake, vanilla frosting. Yummm.

 I wish I could have bought a dozen... each.