Sunday, December 29, 2013

Party of Five

This is a guest post from Anthony.

We welcomed home our newest addition Mario Luca on December 21st.  We spent last couple of days getting to know each other.  Mario and Mommy are doing wonderful and we are so happy to be getting settled for our newest love.


Meeting his big sisters.

Coming home from the hospital.

Sleeping in.

 Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A little trip down memory lane with my girls...

Oh, I knew this was coming. More than a lot reminiscent of the days with just my two girls. Soon to be adding a third child to the mix and just wondering how it's going to impact our little club. Of course, I would blame it on my hormones but considering I'm such a sap to begin with...

Can't wait for them to meet their little brother or little sister!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A good meal and the last night of the carnival

The 16th is the actual big deal celebration of the whole carnival and we've spent that day with these same wonderful people for years now. My mom's cousin and his family and from start to finish there's food, talking, laughter and more food. What's an Italian celebration without lot's of food!?!

The last night of the carnival and we couldn't believe that it had come and gone already. Family picture in front of the door of the house as we set off for the villa and rides again.

Love me some pictures with my girls. Doesn't happen often enough.

Daddy and his girl walking towards another a fun evening!

Waiting at the church for the Madonna to return. Mom and Dad in front of the church where they were married 40 years ago.

And here she comes to go back to her home.

Procession is over, ready for some rides!

The only ride I went on this year...the Ferris Wheel and I have to be honest, I was a little nervous!

Olivia with Silvia on the final night of the carnival.

Fun first night at the carnival!

So, each year after the procession, we hang out around the villa and stroll the bancarelle, little stalls set up for our shopping pleasure with anything from toys, books, cooking supplies, food, candy and boar's head meat. I'm not kidding about that one, something I've always laughed at when I see it there and there are ALWAYS people in line for it too.

I love the lights and every year they're slightly different. Same overwhelming sensation when you see them for the 3 nights too. They light up the whole villa and are just an amazing part of the 3-day celebration. The girls love them and ooh and ahh like crazy. So do I though too.

Love our friends in Mesagne. Here my girlfriend and her boyfriend come with us to the rides because they love our girls and they know that I won't be participating in the rides this year so they were there to hang out but also to accompany Olivia on any ride that she needed an adult. Let's face it, Anthony's a big kid and there was no way Sofia was going to go on any ride with an adult and it not be Anthony.

Contagious smiles!

Again, Again!!!

Sofia's a pro on the kid's roller coaster. Olivia warmed up to it this year.

Olivia and her ride's partner, Silvia.

Monday, December 16, 2013

July 15th, La Festa della Madonna del Carmine

A very wonderful tradition to look forward to each summer we're in Italy. The three-day festival honoring the Madonna del Carmine and something I'm proud to say, my girls look forward to as well. The festival begins on the 15th with a procession from the Chiese del Carmine, the church where my parents were married, and the procession winds down the road to Chiese Madre located right in Centro Storico, the oldest part of the city.

Antonio must be standing in the street and I on the curb, no way he's just a few inches taller than me.

Olivia with a great view of the Madonna leaving her church...

There she is!

View from just inside the walls of the old city looking out to the people awaiting her arrival to Chiese Madre, the church where she will be until the 17th.

Chiese Madre

Who are those adorable little Italian-American girls!?!?

Watching in awe as the bells sound.

The procession enters the old city...

and here is the Madonna del Carmine with her entourage.

Leaving Centro Storico - lights glowing, music blaring and smiles all around.

Look who we bump into again walking out of Centro Storico! The girls love their Zio Antonio!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Palumbi/Yeager Cugini Christmas PJs Picture

This is the last time we took the Christmas PJs picture with the Palumbi/Yeager cousins. How little do they all look? I loved those pajamas on the girls so much that Christmas.

And here are the 4 of them now...

The typical funny face picture which the kids love to take and this time including Giuliana. Had we waited another week we would have had a fifth to include too. Next year.

Anthony was standing behind me being funny to get everyone look in the same direction and smile. Giuliana was not impressed but we got some good smiles and laughs out of the older ones.

Here they are! Smiling, happy cugini faces!

Nonna Maria and Nonno Mario visit Mesagne

After asking so many times, we got Nonna Maria and Nonno Mario to come visit us while in Mesagne. It's always meaningful to me when others visit the town where I spent so many childhood years and have so many really great memories. The girls loved showing them around some of our favorite parts of town and I love that the girls are as proud of the place as I am.

Dinner in Centro Storico with everyone. A great memory to have and hold onto. And I love seeing how little my belly was back in August too.

The view from our table at dinner. Definitely don't get too many views like that from our dinners out over here. Helps that it's such an old town.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


While in Italy during the summer, I get to be a part of my friend's birthday celebration. Her celebration usually lasts a couple of days which is so fun and everyone around her tries to make it as special as possible. Not so hard when she's so sweet and so easy to do something nice for her.

How adorable is her cake? Oh and her and her sister below? They are just the nicest family and I'm lucky to have them in my life.

Her nonna is the most adorable! She loves Americans and my girlfriend's house is one of my favorite stops just to sit and chat with her. She remembers Americans being there for the war and really has such fond memories of the troops even during difficult times. She loves to hear me speak American!

Nonna with Chiara and Silvia.

The ladies celebrating round one with the birthday girl!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Silly Santa Hat Pictures!

One of our activities from our advent calendar this past week was to have fun taking some Silly Santa Hat pictures. Which we did take and did have fun with. Honestly, just telling the girls "silly face" when taking pictures is their highlight probably because I'm taking so many pictures of them regularly that FINALLY, they get to do what they want.


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