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.)
Yesterday was a long and wonderful day. Finally, after months and months of waiting, Maria Regina joined our family. The daughter of my brother John and his wife Jaci, Maria was born at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 in. long. I haven’t met her in person yet. (Antonio, papa’, and I just arrived in Florida last night and spent two hours driving around trying to find the hospital only to keep ending up back at the airport. We cursed like sailors at each other until we just went to our home in Kissimmee and gave up. We’ll meet Maria in just a little while.) I did, however, speak with my new niece on the phone last night, and she yelled at me, too. Apparently, she was hoping we would get to the hospital, but she proved that she already fits right into the family. Seriously, she’s a bundle of joy — and she’ll be a great addition to our crew. To see more pictures, visit, “Maria Regina” photo album.
The heat wave in New York had me itching for summers gone by. I decided to relive some of my childhood — and share it with my husband Antonio — and one of my first stops was the Bronx Zoo. (Visit the “Bronx Zoo” photo album.) It was a magical day when the gophers were communicating with us in the Children’s Zoo (see the photo above), the baboons raced each other, the lion awoke just so we could photograph him, and the giraffes frolicked for us. Although $27 for the total experience is more than I remember paying as a kid, it was well worth it. The only downside was my sunburned face, which is still looking a bit tomato-ish.
With the exception of my mom being away in Florida with my brother, his wife, who is expecting a baby (who is now seven days late and doesn’t seem to want out) and my sister, Easter 2010 was perfect. It was the first holiday, besides Thanksgiving (which I don’t count because my Italian husband never celebrated it until he met me in 2004), that my husband and I have spent together in the six years we’ve known each other. Crazy, right? You can join in on the fun — including our lobster dinner and egg game antics — by visiting the “Easter 2010” photo album.