This is the photo on the About.com Newlyweds site today. But it’s also the view I have from my office window. That nest and those birds have inspired me to better prepare for growing a family. I’m hoping it has the same influence on my readers. Check out what I told them about saving money and getting their own nest in tip top shape in today’s blog.
Aside from meeting my husband Antonio (see photo above), taking a few glorious vacations with him, and marrying him, the last 10 years in my life have not been what you’d call a dream. But two other events did make my life more meaningful — or at least more joyous. The first was joining the Juventus squad on the field (as a photographer/reporter) as it faced off against A.C. Milan for the Super Cup at Giants Stadium in 2003. Juventus, which is my favorite Italian club team, won. But it wouldn’t have mattered if it lost. I was deliriously happy to be sharing the same air as such soccer gods as Gianluigi Buffon and Paolo Maldini.
The other sweetest moment was when Italy defeated France in the 2006 World Cup. (For more celebration photos from Italy’s victory, click on “Italy’s 2006 World Cup Victory” photo album.) It was a dream come true for me to witness my favorite national team finally win (in penalties and against France no less). What made it all the more beautiful was sharing the moment with my husband (then boyfriend) Antonio. We, along with family and friends, took to the streets in my family’s native Ischia. We were full of love and happiness. I wish I could bottle up that moment forever. Indeed, my husband agrees. He already wrote me to say that this year’s games are just not the same because he is watching them in Italy while I am watching them in the United States. Still, today, Italy plays Paraguay in its first game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I can guarantee we’ll both be cheering so loudly for the Italians that we’ll hear each other’s tribal cries from across the ocean that divides us.
Early June is an exciting time for the Di Meglio family. We have two special birthdays to celebrate — those of Ali, who just turned 10, and Marissa, who just turned six. I still remember back when I was 10 and six. Those were good times and milestone birthdays. Ten meant double digits and the sense that you would soon be a teenager. In fact, the 10 year olds in our family have all matured. They have real conversations with you now. And they dress better than I do. They are mature and fun and growing up. Ali, for instance, can call me from her own cell phone now. I’m in her address book. Seriously, she’s a sweet, caring, mini adult. (To join the party, visit “Ali’s 10th Birthday Party” photo album.) We’re so proud of you, Ali!
Six is a big deal because when you’re five, you can still pass for the family baby. Kindergarten is a precursor to real school — the kind that is stressful and competitive and not at all about snack time, naps, and playing. And kindergarten is pretty much over for Marissa. Just a couple weeks left. Even though Marissa is still a snuggler who I can carry around on my hip, she’s truly a big girl now. At 6, Marissa is a little lady with the kindest of hearts. Ali and Marissa, we love you. Happy, happy birthday!
Maria Regina, the daughter of my brother John and his wife Jaci (and more importantly my parents’ first granddaughter), finally met her father’s side of the family last week. The family was overjoyed at her presence — and no one was more excited to meet six-week-old Maria than her little cousins, who held her and loved her as much as they could in the short time she visited. (To check out the images from Maria’s visit, you can click on the “Maria Meets the Family” photo album.) We still can’t get the sweet new baby smell out of my parent’s house. Who doesn’t love that?
Yesterday was a proud day for my family. My Goddaughter and cousin Amy made her First Communion — and she looked like the perfect little bride. When she took the Host, which represents the body of Christ in the Catholic religion, our hearts swelled with love and joy. The best part? The girl who didn’t want to wear a dress because they were all “too itchy” dressed like a girlie-girl, loved her flowers, and smiled brightly all day long. You can see for yourself by viewing the “Amy’s First Communion” photo album. I made Amy’s bouquet, which will probably make an appearance in Wednesday’s blog on the About.com Newlyweds site, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I think we should all give Amy a round of applause for reaching this milestone and doing it all with such class and maturity. Jesus loves her — and so do we!
When I was in Italy for five months in 2009, my nieces spent a lot of time in my room with me. We made cards and pictures, played Sorry, baked muffins, and played with my computer. One of our favorite things to do was use the iPhotoBooth on my MacBook to create wacky photos like the one above that has Laura and Giulia looking as though they’re fresh out of a comic strip in the Sunday newspaper.
Lately, I’ve been on a photo kick. I put some new pictures around my house, and I’ve been carefully storing all my images (even the ones my friends and family send to me) in iPhoto. As the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com, I’ve been inviting people to share stories and photos from their wedding, honeymoon, home, and personal blogs. I’ve even asked them to share their baby stories and photos with readers. A few people have done just that.
There’s something magical about seeing people’s photos. After all, they are sharing an important and beautiful memory — one of the reasons we enjoy living — with all the world. A special photo is inspiring and even motivational. Indeed, just looking at Laura and Giulia above makes me want to laugh more. Feel free to share your photos with my About.com readers and continue to inspire pure and lovely emotions.
I am sorry that I haven’t posted anything since my husband Antonio left for Italy. I’ve been swamped with work since we said our good-byes. I wrote a few stories for Bloomberg Businessweek, including “Dream Jobs: College Students Get Real“, “Haas Launches New MBA Curriculum“, and “Summer Reading List: The B-School Edition“. I also convinced at least one blogger to share her thoughts with my readers on the Newlyweds site for About.com, and I hope others will follow (so spread the word).
The last few weeks have not been all work and no play, however. Today, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day, and my own mamma deserves some serious props because she’s been taking care of me all my life (and she keeps on keepin’ on). Back on April 27, we hopped in the car with the Golden Girls (Zia Concettina and Zia Antonietta) and their dates (Zio Raffaele and Zio Vincenzo) and took a spin to the Dynasty Buffet, where we pigged out and celebrated my Papa’s birthday. Setting loose a bunch of Italians on a buffet featuring shrimp, crab, Chinese food, and carving stations takes a whole lotta’ courage.
Well, the hubby — miracle of miracles — is back in Ischia, Italy, despite the volcanic ash from Iceland that has disrupted air travel to Europe. We’re not sure how he made it home because virtually no one else has been able to leave. But if anyone could find a route back to Italy in a pinch, it would be my husband.
Since he’s been gone, I’ve been remembering our date nights (which I wrote about in yesterday’s blog on the About.com Newlyweds site) and the quiet moments we shared enjoying the spring, which until today had been unusually nice and warm, in New Jersey. You can join in on the fun with the following photo albums –
Our American Garden (We took these photos moments before taking Antonio to the airport on Thursday)
Although I miss my husband something terrible, I know we’ll be reunited soon. I just have to decide when I’m going to get a ticket to Italy — and pray the volcanic ash clears out.
Bella is part beagle and part basset hound and all love. Shilo is pure beagle and pure joy. They are the dogs of my brother and sister respectively — and they are great additions to our family. After spending the weekend with them in Florida, I miss having a dog around the house. That’s why today I focused on the benefits of adopting a pet on the Newlyweds blog that I write for About.com. Check it out and leave a comment. Don’t those cute faces make you want a pet yesterday? (For more photos of Bella and Shilo, visit the “Family Dogs” photo album.)
Our whirlwind weekend in Florida, when we welcomed my niece Maria Regina, might have come to an end on Monday morning. But the impression she made is everlasting. As a result of my visit, I’ve already been quite a busy bee. Her mom Jaci gave me an idea for Monday’s Newlyweds blog on the judgment of pregnant women when they don’t wear their wedding rings. On the plane from Orlando to New York, I read a copy of Ladies’ Home Journal, which had me waxing nostalgic about the “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” column, for which I once worked, in today’s Newlyweds blog. Obviously, I’m going to have to visit Maria even more. (For pictures of her return home from the hospital, visit the “Maria Goes Home” photo album.)