A merry Christmas managed to sneak up on me in 2010. (For photos, visit the “Christmas 2010” photo album.) After one of the worst years of my life, I had zero expectations for enjoying the holiday. But it was definitely one of the best Christmases I’ve ever had. The party in Florida was a joy – especially now that we can spoil my niece Maria – and then I visited with some of the most important people in my life and feasted on fish with my cousins Big John, Miesha, and their family, some friends, and my parents on Christmas Eve. Our Babbo Natale made yet another memorable appearance for Big John’s kids, Nina and Marissa. On Christmas Day, my parents came over, and the three of us chowed down on pretzel bread, potato leek soup, and cornish hens, all of which I made with my own two hands. Delish! Following the meal, my parents napped while I cleaned and then we watched some Real Housewives of New Jersey, my favorite guilty pleasure, and played dueling and bowling on the Wii. Papa was the big winner in bowling. We capped off the night with tomato salad atop pretzel bread. Sounds like perfection, no?
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!
A fine mist of pink food coloring spray is all around me, and I just scraped the last of the vomit green icing off my plastic dining room table cover. That’s how I know Easter is upon us. Every year, we invite over the gang of kids in my family for an Easter bash that defeats all others. We decorate cookies, dye eggs, hunt for plastic eggs filled with treasure, and get downright giddy. This year, we all wore bunny ears and never stopped hoppin’. You can join in the fun by visiting the “Easter Bash 2010” photo album.
It was the first Easter party that I hosted without my mom (who is still in Florida and still awaiting the arrival of her first granddaughter there). Mamma’s cookies (she usually makes them from scratch, while I used a tube of sugar cookie dough) were missed, as was her smile. But I think we pulled off a good time nonetheless. No one seemed to eat much (or I cooked too much, depends on who you talk to), and my husband got the adults started with cocktails and finished with Bailey’s and ice cream, so it definitely was a partttttaayyy.
My cousin Fran and my hubby Antonio graciously cleaned and put all the food away while I helped the kids with their projects and snapped photos of them. Miesha graciously cleared the kid’s table between projects, so they could get down to business with a clean slate. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming. I really needed a little break from the everyday and a little fun with the gang.