Saturday, December 30, 2017

Putting him to work

Snow isn't going to shovel itself little man. Thanks for the "help"

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas times 3

Since we celebrate Christmas basically three times in the two days, it's just a touch insane. Not as many photos as I'd like of the time but something is better than nothing. The kids' smiles were worth everything throughout Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and then Christmas in Maryland.

Time for this elf to rest.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

This is 4

And he's 4. Woke up to us singing "Happy Birthday" and then gifts and then breakfast. Followed by celebration at school and lunch just he and I - picnic in the family room putting together his new train set. Love this little boy so much and embraced each second of his 4th birthday. 

Birthday boy requested beef on a stick and rice for his birthday dinner so off to our favorite Chinese/Japanese Restaurant with family. Such a lovely day spent celebrating my little man. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

C.S. Lewis

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different"

Monday, December 18, 2017

4 years of Mario Luca

It wouldn't be one of my children's birthdays without a sentimental me to document it. 

I can not believe it's been 4 years since this bubbly, energetic, lively, happy boy came into our lives. His feet running through the house, his laugh that I swear can be heard around the world, his hugs that make me feel like I just might suffocate from giddiness and his inquisitive mind that I just adore so much.

He's constantly asking questions. He's chasing after his sisters. He wants to build his own snowman and he wants to drive a firetruck. He doesn't walk when he can run with those sweet little feet of his. He wants it all. But for the large quantity of times that he's on the go, never-stopping, tiring me out he has this other side to him as well. He cuddles up next to me when I say it's time to read. He holds my hand still fairly-willing in parking lots and stores. He says I love you without me saying it first. This kid is everything.

It's not possible that I don't have a three-year-old anymore. My little man is 4. Another year that I breathed in every second possible of him and held him at my side. I am so very lucky.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

a perfect winter morning

My girls and I have been spending an hour a weekend on Italian lessons and usually we treat ourselves to these lessons at Starbucks. We had gorgeous snow last night and I wanted to get out to take pictures this morning so I decided to take our Starbuck and Italian lessons on the road.

"And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul"

It was cold, that's for certain but the drive to my favorite park, the walk in the snow under the trees and listening to the girls remark about nature made my heart swell. We saw animal footprints in the snow, shook some snow off tree branches and laughed as we were coated in it, remarked on the frozen pond and tried to make snowballs. Sofia forgot her gloves and the snow wasn't great for packing snowballs. 

We even got some Italian in there too. The girls have been great about our lessons and while it's structured, we still have fun with it since it's something I want them to appreciate. 

The morning really was just splendid. The cold air and the snow chilling our toes didn't hinder us from enjoying Mother Nature and one another.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

gentle nudges

6 years ago I began photographing my friend's family for their Christmas Card. What began as a simple favor turned into an outright love of time well spent. She's encouraged me along the way by being supportive, giving advice and simply doing what friends do best, stand by your side. What a wonderful Fall season I had with the families. Maybe someday I'll get a website going, even try to market myself more than just by word of mouth. Right now though I'm grateful for what I've accomplished in the past few months. 

Thank you to my sweet friend. Who gives the most insightful advice, non-biased perspective and has the best taste in flowers. Saying I was giddy to receive them is an understatement. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Putting the fa-la-la-la-la in Christmas

These kids are so excited about Christmas being here. No worries, you still have time, technically it's not here for a couple more weeks (18 days to be exact) but to them, every day after we've put the tree up, strung the lights, decorated the house, it's Christmas to them. From our darling Elf Bert making his big arrival to the activity advent calendar being hung, these little elves in the making know how to celebrate this holiday.

Christmas books galore - so thankful they love books. My 10-year-old still loves sitting in the living room, turning on the lights and reading one after another. Younger siblings follow in her lead wonderfully.

And this guy. My little man. Aside from his 1st Christmas in which he was only 7 days old and not really in the Christmas spirit unless you count me nursing him by the light of the Christmas tree. But this guy has just gotten more excited about Christmas and the last few years I've said this is going to be great for him. But then the next Christmas comes and it's even better. He helped me decorate the first day while the girls were still at school and everything coming out of the Christmas bins was so fun for him and he has to inspect it, see if it made noise, see how it sparkled. I loved every second of decorating with him.

He's a fan of the Christmas books too and I'm already planning on taking him with me next week to get a new Christmas book for our collection. One of our favorites is Strega Nona (we spell it Nonna, sorry Tomie dePaola) along with many many others. Always helps to throw in the Italian Christmas books. 

My girls have their Christmas Party coming up soon for piano and they have been practicing their Christmas selections. EVERY.DAY. I'm kidding, I love it. I love Christmas music from December 1st through the day on the 25th. I'll hold onto it through New Year's if I'm asked but I'm generally ready for the music to stop at that point. There is only so much someone can take of Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey Christmas carols.

I do love the lights at Christmas time. I love taking the kids for a ride to see the decorated homes, one of my favorite activities on our advent calendar. I love that we have a great neighborhood of festive people and a simple ride down our street with Christmas music blaring in the car, can bring great big smiles to their faces. 

I love the lights in the house and how I catch my kids marveling at them. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Say Chess!

My girl loves chess and she jumped at the chance to play this past weekend while in Maryland. My dad still has this wooden chess set I got him a lifetime ago when I lived in DC.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bidding November farewell

I love Fall. I'm going to miss Fall. Soon enough it will be officially Winter. We're already into the Christmas hoopla. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. Always have even before kids. But now with kids it's amazing. They make it amazing. They get so excited about every.little.thing. Just like it should be. 

My boy and I had fun this morning taking Christmas decorations out and placing them around the house. The girls can't wait to decorate but I had to hold them off until December. So we're a day early, so what. Then we were off to run errands. And then the playground. He was grilling me all morning because last night I promised him the playground today. He was so good all morning and we got to the playground and he just let loose. Ran this way and that, over this and over that. Honestly, I wish I had an ounce of his energy. 

Planting little seeds in his head...UMCP was a great school, great times. 

So, I'm going to be completely honest here and thank goodness no one took a photo of me trying this piece out at the playground. I think of myself as pretty in shape, but this was hard. And he whisked across it numerous times. Lucky being so young and agile. 

Only a few more weeks that I can say I have a 3 year old. 

I asked him to point to the 4 and it was the funniest display of I don't know what. We laughed like hyenas. And when I stood up I hit my head on the beam above us. The playground is for only those 12 and younger. I should learn to follow the rules. 

I am so lucky. I get to spend time with this guy. Still pretty often enough although he began preschool. I'm going to miss our mornings. 

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