An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Friday, December 31, 2010

Next Year in a Better Way

It's New Year's Eve, the boys are watching football, and I am sitting here by the fire grateful that we are having a quiet evening at home. I have much to write about these past few weeks, but for now it feels more fitting to be looking ahead to the New Year.

There is always so much hope about looking ahead, and it's exciting to think I have an entire year - 365 glorious days - to learn, create, grow, become. For me, it's not so much about resolutions as it is about continuing the journey I am on, but in a better way.

Two years ago I decided to not bother with Resolutions; instead, I chose one word, or idea, to carry with me throughout the New Year. In 2009 I chose the word embrace to remind me to be fully present in a moment without conscious thought of yesterday or tomorrow.

Last year I chose the idea to learn to love what is good for me. It was an idea that helped me physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.

This year I want to learn to not take myself too seriously. I want to be an adult with a child-like freshness. I want to bring out the me that I tend to keep hidden from others. So, this year I pick fun as my word.

Fun, as in this year I will do things such as . . .

walk barefoot in the grass;
get up early just to watch the sunrise;
teach the boys the funny camp songs I know;
read Anne of Green Gables;
bake bread;
wear red danskos;
play the guitar on the back porch, instead of inside;
write a children's story/poem;
paint on a canvas, and have it framed;
try a new recipe once a week;
plant tomatoes and grow basil;
and make weekly visits to the Farmer's Market.

Next year - soon to be this year - I will not take myself too seriously.
I will be fun, have fun, and experience fun.

Seriously. I will.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Stargazing and Being Locked Out

Timothy received a telescope as an early Christmas present from Nonna and Nonno, and with the lunar eclipse occurring the very next night, the timing was just perfect.

We immediately made plans: we set the alarm for 2:41 a.m Tuesday morning, placed winter coats and shoes by the front door, and prepared the telescope.

When the alarm went off Joe and I first went downstairs to make sure the eclipse was visible. I walked out the front door and literally gasped ... what a sight!

Joe set up the telescope on our front walk and I ran upstairs to get the boys. Timothy and Jonathan would not budge. At all. I had more success with Nicholas, though.

The three of us took turns looking through the telescope. Nicholas whispered (in typical teenage fashion) "Neat!" and went back to bed. Joe and I stayed, and the night was so crystal clear we spotted Orion and the Big Dipper. Really, everything was so magical . . . until we realized Nicholas had inadvertently locked the front door.

There we were, in our pj's and winter coats and fuzzy slippers, stranded on our front porch. We rang and rang the doorbell. We knocked on the windows. We pounded on the front door. Really, it's a wonder nobody called the police.

Finally, FINALLY Jonathan woke up and let us in.

Gee whiz ... who knew stargazing could be so adventurous?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Taking Aim at the Christmas Tree

This year we are hosting a Christmas party and, in addition to our family room tree, we decided to put another one up in our dining room.

We bought brand new lights and everything. Nice ... isn't it?

EXCEPT, that half an hour after I had the tree fully decorated the lights on the top third of the tree started blinking on and off ... on and off ... then, off. Nothing. No more lights.

Take a look ...

My cousin Cory-from-Texas assured me that he could fix the lights with a hammer.

Now, he is a much gentler soul than I am ...

I was thinking more along the lines of a sawed-off shotgun.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dear Family,

792 ... that's how many tortellini Nonna, Nonno, and I spent all yesterday morning making.

Nonno rolled enough dough to make 792.
I filled 792 tortellini.
Nonna folded 792 tortellini.

We are positive the number is 792 because Nonno lined up all the tortellini military style in rows of ten. He can be very efficient.

And this year we made 792 (the most EVER) all by ourselves. No one else helped. No. One.

792 is a lot of work . . .

And I'm sure all of you are really, really, really appreciative.

p.s. I need a new guitar, a new camera, a gift certificate to Starbucks, oh, and a Kindle would be nice. But if it's too much trouble ... you can at least do the dishes:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Twenty Years

Twenty years of marriage is twenty years of saying daily, I do.

I do . . .

choose you;
wake up next to you every morning;
stand by you;
recognize you as a gift;
appreciate your thoughfulness;
see your faults, but love you anyway;
love watching you with the boys;
know God brought us together;
believe in you;
share everything – my thoughts, hopes, dreams – with you.

And my I do of today is my I will of tomorrow.

Happy Anniversary, Joey.

Look What I Got Yesterday ...

Remember the Porches on Parade Contest sponsored by Mary Louise at MLCHgarden? Well, yesterday I picked up my beautiful, handmade wreath.

It is huge.

It is absolutely gorgeous.

In fact, my wreath looks exactly like the ones hanging at the Biltmore House during the Christmas season.

Grazie mille, Mary Louise! I am planning on leaving my wreath up until springtime.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Can He Keep a Secret, or What?

I helped Timothy buy his older brother a Christmas present. As we were wrapping it he promised not to say anything.

Two hours later, this conversation . . .

Timothy: Nicholas, I got you a present. It starts with a W.

Nicholas: Really?!

Timothy: Yup. The beginning sounds like wall...


Timothy: I know how to spell wallet, but that's not what I got you.