Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A visit from Famiglia Staley!

Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting great friends of ours from Maryland, we had the best time! Katie and I met when we were 7 years old and she will always hold a special place in my heart. We've been together through a ton of things - school, sports, college, boyfriends, weddings and now our own families. The only thing I would change about our friendship would be the 150 miles that separate us!

Our kids have played together before and I was so excited to watch them play together again at our house. They got along really well and it was fun to sit back and enjoy their being with one another. We spent some time at the house just hanging out and eating, but we also spent a few hours Saturday afternoon at the Please Touch Museum, a must see for any guest of ours, especially one with little kids. Our membership there has really paid off with all the visits we've made! So much to do and see, needless to say that the kids had a great time.

How cute are these two?!?

Outside now for a walk in Fairmount Park to visit the Whispering Wall. Olivia was lagging behind taking in all the trees and squirrels running around and I loved watching her run to catch up with us.

Laughing at the whispers heard from the other end of the bench...

whispers from the daddies and Gabe and Olivia.

Really. Words can't express how adorable it was seeing the kids interacting with one another. My girls LOVED Lily and Gabe and already can't wait for them to visit again.

My friend Katie and I at our First Communion (we were 7!!!) so many years ago. We kept in touch even when I was moving back and forth from Italy, I still have some of the letters she wrote to me. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and she was an honorary bridesmaid in mine. Lily was born just a couple weeks before my wedding and she was worried that she might deliver the day of our wedding. Still she was at the mass and I will never forget walking down the aisle with my dad and later with my husband and seeing her in the pews with the biggest smile on her face. I am one of Lily's godparents and she is one of Olivia's godparents, a title I take pride in very much.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A tour of Philly, Lisa's way

I played Philly tour guide to my friend and a friend of his this past week. Fabrizio has been in New York for the week from Italy and we made plans for him to visit for a day and it couldn't have been a better day. Normally, I play co-pilot and Anthony's the lead for any tours of the city, but I was on my own that day. I think it's safe to say that we all had a great time!

After a walk through Jeweler's Row, Independence Hall and Chinatown, we headed to Reading Terminal Market for some food. Fabrizio and Angelo were impressed with the variety offered and even tried out a new food - Amish pretzel dog! Delish!

Always a stop for us when we have guests in town, Geno's. Too full from lunch, but a picture was a must. The million framed pictures of famous people that had stopped into Geno's was a big hit too. I'm bummed I snapped this picture with Angelo's eyes closed. Not like I don't have a digital camera or anything to check it out. Oh well, hopefully there will be a next time.

South Street is always a nice walk, but considering how much we had already walked, we just drove the whole way. The murals and mosaics along the way are always a hit. We did stop and walk around at the end of South Street to take in the view of the water. The bridge crosses over 95 and Fabrizio was impressed with the traffic. Definitely nothing like that around Mesagne!

Next stop was the Art Museum/Eastern Penitentiary section of town. The beautiful row homes and quiet streets were a welcome from all the hustle and bustle of every other area of the city that day.

Of course, no guest comes to Philly with visiting the Art Museum. Well, the famous statue anyway.

Rocky by himself...

and Rocky with Fabrizio and Angelo!

Since we don't live too far from Philadelphia, we also stopped into the house to visit my mom (who was in town for a couple days) and the girls. Thanks Mom for watching the girls for me so I could take my friends around town!

Love how I couldn't get both of the girls looking (and smiling) in my direction. Believe me, I tried. They were both tired after their very fun day with Nonna Lisa I guess!

Dinner at Ted's Montana Grill back in the city AND with Anthony. Neither Fabrizio nor Angelo had ever eaten bison meat before so they were thrilled to try something new. Of course, only I go to a steakhouse and order a chicken salad. Boring! I do love how our server included herself in the photo though.

After a very fun and exhausting day, it was time to head back to the train station for the rest of their vacation in New York City. So great to have had them in town, even if only for a day. I loved showing them around and they made entertaining so easy because they were really happy just to be there. It made me so happy that they were so appreciative of everything and just enjoyed themselves so much.

Now, are you ready for a tour of Philly?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

one month from today...

we'll be on our way to ITALIA! Lots to do before then, but wanted to point that out since we're getting very excited in our home about our upcoming trip.

This past week has been has been one full, fun day after another which leaves me too tired to post. I apologize for that and will get my act together soon. Lots of really exciting stuff lately and for the long weekend so stay tuned!!!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

nice and fresh

Love Sofia's silly face and love Olivia looking up at her favorite person! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

morning at the zoo

This morning the girls and I went to the Philadelphia Zoo. We bought a membership a few years back and we've really enjoyed it. Especially as the girls get older, it's becoming more and more worthwhile. We don't live too far which is nice if we just want to go for a brief visit and say...visit the zebra. A friend of mine and the girls she nannies for joined us and fun was had by all.

There were school trips there today so staying for just under 2 hours was ideal since there were literally hundreds of kids running around. The bigger girls did a great job of holding onto the stroller and I was pleasantly surprised that Olivia stayed in the stroller the entire time. We saw a lot even though we didn't stay long and there was no moaning from the girls when it was time to go.

Both were very impressed by the hippos. We thought maybe they were going to get into the water but it was taking them too long so we moved right along with our walk. Or rather, Sofia said "they're not going to get in, let's go." She was anxious to get on with our walk.

Can't forget about snack time...Olivia makes sure she didn't miss anything on her fingers.

Polar bear napping on the rocks - exactly how I felt when we returned home. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last day of Pre-School

Sofia had her last day of pre-school today. Can't believe her first year is already through. This morning when I went into her room to get her, I was so excited and happy for her to start her day because of this momentous occasion. But now that I'm thinking about it a little more, I'm actually a little sad. It just means the time is going by faster and she's getting bigger by the day.

She had a great first year of pre-school. I felt so lucky to have had her at such a great place with great teachers and even greater friends. I know that as parents, we're really her first teachers, but these 3 ladies were her very first "real" teachers and she couldn't have had a nicer group. She loves them and talks about them often during her day. She made some nice friends and brought some beautiful craft projects home.

Last week we were talking about that school was going to be over soon, we would be into summer vacation and it would be awhile before she would go back to school. She thought for a moment and said to me "so I won't see my teachers anymore." And she wasn't happy about it like you might think a 15-year-old might be with their high school teachers. She was genuinely down about the idea and so I said as a way to say thank you we should give them a gift. She was very excited about that part!

After talking to a friend and to Sofia for ideas (she wanted to give them stickers), I came up with something I thought was cute. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it before we took it into school this morning, so bear with me.

It was a three-part gift: a box of Gerturde Hawk chocolates (delish!), a box of mixed variety teas and a plant growing kit. Inside their cards, Sofia beautifully wrote her name next to a heart and then I wrote: "You are so SWEET. I loved having you as my TEAcher. Thank you for helping me GROW." Just thinking back to assembling it all with my little girl right by my side makes me smile. It's all very bittersweet, another milestone come and gone.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sofia's School Crafts - the animal edition

I knew with Sofia starting pre-school this past fall that I was going to be up to my ears in her school crafts. And I was so excited for this part! I'm being serious too. Yes, I am not a fan of clutter, papers everywhere give me hives and I like to tidy-up on a regular basis. But this kind of overload I could deal with. I am using a flat bin to store them all in now, but I may have to come up with something new eventually. This could turn me into a hoarder. A hoarder of my children's crafts. I'm sentimental, what can I say?

Here are a few of the recent ones Sofia's brought home from school:

This one she drew at home, it is now a favorite of mine. A drawing of her favorite person...

Friday, May 20, 2011


Going to be here sooner than I think...need to begin the long process of packing. Sofia is starting to get excited. I think she remembers ALL the gelatos we ate last summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fingers are for painting

Give the girls some finger-paints and a clean canvas. Happy as clams. Dirty as can be, but happy nonetheless. And we were on our porch, so mama was happy too. Clean up was a cinch. Of course, I still have a single red footprint outside on the porch but would like to leave that there as long as possible, cutest little foot.

Sofia was massaging her hands with the paint. And if you can see in the background, Olivia began massaging her feet with the paint. Silly little girls.

Ok, time to head inside for baths. I should have taken a picture of the tub while they were in there...the walls were all covered in their hand- and footprints. Adorable!

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