Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Zio Antonio!


16 years old already?!?! How can that be? That's the age I was when our parents told us that they were pregnant and born 2 months early, here comes Antonio.

Happy Birthday Antonio! We love you very much. Sofia and Olivia are two of your biggest fans...Anthony and I think you're pretty cool too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Piano Lessons


Sofia began piano lessons last week at the home of seriously, one of the nicest women you will ever meet. No joke. She plays the piano in our church's choir AND she played the piano in our wedding. She's also a preschool teacher and I'm sure a very good one too. Well, Sofia loves her and has really taken to the lessons which makes us smile. Anthony took lessons as a child and we are fortunate to have a piano in the house for them to practice her lessons together. Now it's not just about banging around on the keys anymore but doing her "homework."

It's super adorable seeing them at the piano, side-by-side. Olivia likes to get in on the practicing too. The three of them together make my heart just melt.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrations!


This past weekend was all about celebrations and I loved every second of it! First was Chase's baptism on Saturday where my father baptized Chase in the tradition of the Pitocco Family Baptisms. He also baptized my god-daughter Grace so it's sweet to be keeping it all in the family. After the beautiful service, we had a very fun time at his reception held at my brother's in-law's home and catered by both Grandmas. I have yet to begin going through the hundreds of pictures from that day but will soon.


We celebrated the chance to get the kids together again. Not being in the same state doesn't make it easy to see one another as often as I would like, but it makes me so happy knowing the times we are together are so special. As you can probably tell from the pictures, the girls absolutely adore Chase and I'm sure he doesn't mind the attention too much.



Uncle Anthony likes to give Chase some attention too...smiles all around! And Chase is showing off his first 2 teeth too.


What's cuter than a baby in jeans? A baby in jeans that are pegged!


Chase is just showing off now...sitting up all on his own - what a big boy!


We celebrated both my mom and Antonio very happy birthdays too! Their birthdays aren't actually until this coming weekend so I am sure they have more celebrating to do, but it was great to be able to all be together for them. And what better way to celebrate then around the kitchen table piled high with Maryland treats - crabs caked in Old Bay, steamed/spiced shrimp, Maryland Crab Soup, Cream of Crab soup AND delicious cake! I feel like I'm still full from all that tasty goodness!



The girls opted out of crabs and shrimp and enjoyed their meal at the children's table...how cute do they look? And comfortable too!


Happy Birthday to Nonna Lisa and Zio Antonio!






A truly fabulous weekend with my family just being together and in a very happy spirit of celebration!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Weekend!


Just a few highlights from our week. What are not included because I didn't bring the camera with me (GASP!) were shots from Sofia's 1st piano lesson or Olivia's music class. Both are big hits with the girls so far and the smiles on their faces are beyond contagious.

Excited about my weekend ahead...more pictures to come!!!

Buon Weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Falling into Fall


Bring on the sweaters and jeans, boots and jackets, pumpkin-picking and hayrides. We're ready for the leaves to change colors and for walks where the girls try to get the loudest "crunch" out of the fallen leaves. Pour the apple cider and feel the chill in the air. Add some cinnamon to my morning cappuccino and pull out the slippers from last year. Football on in the background while I decorate for Halloween with chili simmering on the counter. I am so ready for Fall!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tomorrow

video

I hope you're able to view this because it's pretty cute. The girls have only seen the first 10 minutes of Annie once this past summer but we sing 'Tomorrow' regularly around here. It's catchy, easy words and they both love it. How can you not sing that song?!? Next time I'll try to video Olivia singing the song also, you will lose your mind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Ocean!

Over the weekend we celebrated the birthday of a little friend, Ocean. Actually, she's not so little anymore, she's 4 years old! I have loved watching her grow and she is just the sweetest girl. Sofia and Olivia love her too and had a great time at her birthday party.

And speaking of her birthday party...Trish held it at a pretty awesome place too - The Philadelphia Art Center. Coloring, wooden blocks, stickers, glue and CAKE all in one party, now that's a recipe for a fun time!



Olivia was pretty impressed with the glue.


It was a lot of fun to watch the girls really enjoy themselves. And get incredibly sticky because they kept painting the wooden blocks AND their hands.


Time to clean up for snacks and cake!!!


How cute does Olivia look in her birthday hat?!


Trish and Ocean blowing out the candles on her robot birthday cake, which I didn't get a picture of but was very cool!


Yummy!!!


Love the hat, love the braids...love that girl!


The sugar is starting to take effect...


both of them got the sillies with the mirror.


My adorable little loves. Great afternoon in the city celebrating a friend's birthday at a very cool place. Can't ask for more than that.


Olivia refused to let anyone carry her bag.


A little drive through Philly took us by Anthony's high school. Sofia asked him when he's going to go back to school. Nice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

it's good to surround yourself with great people

For many years I visited the same panificio in Mesagne to buy fresh bread for the day. When we lived there, this panificio was only about a block away making it not only the best bread in my opinion, but super convenient too. Win-Win. Several years ago I considered myself a regular even though I was no longer living there permanently and I guess they must have too as we started up a conversation which has led into a friendship. The owner, Fabrizio, and his four amazing siblings all work at the shop day-in and day-out. When I tell you that they are the nicest people you'll meet, I mean it.



Hard-working (they get to the shop around 2am to start the wood-burning oven so that they will already have plenty of breads in the bins when the doors open), genuine, family-oriented and generous.  All those mornings I ran in for focaccia on our way to the beach or the days I walked over before lunch to grab some panini's and finally one day, we began a conversation. They've welcomed us into their home, Fabrizio visited America for the first time this past Spring and we spent a great day touring Philadelphia together. We've met their mom and they've met my parents and, of course the girls love them and not just because they give them cookies when visiting the bakery.  But I love that our relationship has blossomed and as corny as it sounds but I don't care, you just feel good when you're around them.


They're just great people. Optimistic, happy, appreciative and dedicated. Dedicated to their work but you can tell dedicated to the people in their lives too. They make you feel good just being around them.


Hopefully each of them have the opportunity to visit America, I know they would love it and would appreciate it all. Fabrizio certainly loved and appreciated it and seeing him really enjoy himself made me so happy for him. You like to see good things happen especially to great people.

This is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family pics, Italian style


Not sure why the girls look not so happy in these picks, maybe they thought the random stranger we asked to take our picks was creepy. Who knows. Every time they saw that merry-go-round they lost their minds with excitement and my arms were sore for all the times I spun them around.

On a side note, I can't believe how tall Antonio is!

And the most adorable car award goes to...


Just as the new Fiat500 are being spotted quite frequently in the United States, my love for the older models is growing. What I need to do is make the time to get all my pictures of Fiat500s in one place and organize them into some collage or figure out something to do with them.  I have so many of said pictures and it's a shame to just let them sit on our hard drive.

As a side note, this was a first car for my parents after they got married. My dad was so tall for it that he would take out the driver's seat altogether and sit on the "backseat" to drive comfortably. It's really not much of a backseat but you would be surprised what a bunch of Italians can stuff into this car. This car is also a favorite of Sofia and Olivia and they can spot them a mile away when we're in Italy. Which I think is pretty remarkable, considering how small the cars are to begin with.

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

il mercato



I love market day! Every Wednesday in Mesagne, the town holds an open-air market which sells everything from small furniture, kitchen utensils, shoes, ducklings and fresh, local produce. I'm not kidding about the ducklings. Sometimes there are even chicks for sale too. But it's a wonderful memory and another favorite pastime of mine, even in the middle of the summer in the scorching heat. The people bustling about, kids running through the crowd, vendors yelling out in hopes of selling their ware, the back and forth bargaining going on every where you turn...I love it all.

One of my favorite areas of the market, is the produce section. The smell of the fresh fruits and veggies all lined up neatly on their stands, cheese and salami hanging from the stands and especially the old men standing in front of their stand selling their produce that they literally hand-picked that morning from their farm. Those vendors are the most incredible of them all.



A favorite within the foods section is the cheese stands. We are basically a family of mice the way we all eat and enjoy our cheese and these stands are amongst the best to visit. And most of them let you try small pieces before buying. Plus!


My mom and her wonderful cousin, Anna Rita - love them in their matching red tops!


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