Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I recently read a blog post by my friend Paige that I liked about marriage and the struggles we go through. She talked about reading about someone saying they wished that at the end of 7 years they could decide if they could walk away or marry again. She commented on how knowing that there's not an escape hatch on bad, grumpy, bad breathe days and that it's the glue that helps them work through the hard times.

Now I know many who have gone through divorces, or have parents who have done so, and this is a painful topic. I've been touched by it too. We have been through our fair share of tough times as a couple and a family. But still I am so grateful for Paolo at my side. I'm grateful for loving and forgiveness, and for sacrifice.

I'm slowly (very slowly) reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis again after a very long time. I just read the chapter on marriage and wanted to share what I liked from it.

"The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism- for that is what the words "one flesh" in modern English would be. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact- just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that the its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined...

The idea the "being in love" is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made. The curious thing is that lovers themselves, while they remain really in love, know this better than than those who talk about love. As Chesterton pointed out, those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows in eternal constancy...

And of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits one to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise to never have a headache or always to feel hungry. But what it may be asked, is the use of keeping two people together if they are no longer in love? ...

But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense- love as distinct from "being in love" is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both parents ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when you don't like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be "in love" with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it." (see pages 99-100)

I'm grateful for families and for marriage. I'm grateful for my sweetheart. I'm grateful that we work at it one day at a time. I'm grateful that we're not alone in the wonderful adventure (and sometimes difficult struggle) of marriage and families. I know that God wants to help us in our best moments and in our worst. I'm grateful for that superhuman help.

First battle wound

Poor Isabel fell from her high chair a week ago saturday as one of my english students was leaving. It's one of those moments where you feel terrible as a mother. It didn't help that the next week we went to the pediatrician and on her 6 month report it says, "linear bruise on right cheek. Mom states she fell from the high chair." It makes you feel like an abusive parent, even though you're not.
The sun is starting to shine and most of the snow has finally melted. We now can go to the park again. Yeah for sunshine!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flash Jordan

This is Jordan tracing his own foot. It was quite a funny site.
Hi, my name is Flash Jordan. I am a superhero, famous amongst my family members. I am most famous for...
  • drawing on my face
  • drawing on the rest of my body- body art
  • coloring the floor different colors. My mom was happy it washed away.
  • being the tease of the family. I know how to make Aaron scream in a bad way. I'm getting there with my little 6 month old sister too.
  • the cuddle bear of the family. I like to be cuddled. I also can't live without my special blanket to cuddle when I sleep.
  • I'm going to be the ninja of the family, and fight off bad guys. I practice on Aaron. I can run and jump on him like no other.
  • falling apart for no reason the way that all 2 year-olds do. I'm really good at screaming so loud and so long that the static turns on in my mom's head and she's checked out for quite a while.
I'm best at...
  • cocking back my elbow before I take off running real fast, just like real super heros. Check out my moves while wrestling with my dad!
  • making others laugh
  • talking- A LOT. While my parents are driving in the car they sometimes wish I had never learned how to talk. I'm good at the whole time we're in the car yelling at the very top of my lungs (and boy I am loud) Mooooooom, Daaaaaaaaaaad... and once I have their attention I can say all kinds of things.
  • bringing joy and happiness despite how busy I am.
  • refusing to take naps and being pretty grumpy in the evening for it. I can fall apart and wail like no other for reasons such as... my cup is the wrong color, wrong spoon, you smiled at me- what's your problem?!, you gave me the wrong quantity. I wanted a little bit of milk, not a lot.
Super powers...

  • Run fast. There's a reason why they call me flash. Again, check out my elbow before I run. I am totally awesome. My mom smiles every time I do it.
  • I'm starting to learn to draw and loving it
  • I can sit quietly and puruse books by myself for 5-10 minutes
  • Be very sweet with my sister and feed her, give her toys, and even cover her face with my blanket when she's screeching really loud.
  • When mom asks what happened, I am very knowledgable and can quickly and always tell her it was Aaron...
  • I am good at helping my mom cook, especially with flour. I know how to throw and spread that stuff like nobody's business.
  • Being a parrott. I repeat EVERYTHING I hear. I've got an awesome vocabulary and have been speaking in full sentences since I was 18 months old. I can do it in both English and Italian now!
This is the best money ever spent... the costume that is. I got it on sale for Aaron one year. Jordan has worn it all day every day for the past 10 days. He even calls himself Flash Jordan. Below are the wrestling moves he knows how to use on dad.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

6 months old

This picture reminds me of my grandma when I see her eyes, and it also reminds me a little of my sister Maureen. Isabel loves the prunes.

This a picture of an outfit that I love, but the picture doesn't do it justice. A little vain I know, but I am a girl. :)
Another one of my favorite dresses. Thanks mom!

I can't believe that Isabel turned 6 months on the 13th! Time flies even faster with each kid that I have. She's taking solids now. It's making her a little constipated. So we've introduces some prunes and that's helped a lot.

She is sitting up for long periods all by herself. She grabs for things but isn't very coordinated and once in a while hits herself in the face. She is not rolling, and I'm not complaining about this. I really need to put her on her tummy more, but with her two tazmanian devil brothers, it's very difficult to do so.

This week she also started sleeping very little during the day and being very distracted when she breast feeds. This results in long days for mom, and both of us getting wet during every feeding because she keeps popping off. You want to tell her to quit being curious, but then again, you don't...

Isabel is a HAPPY baby and smiles at everyone. It makes me happy to have a pleasant child.

Happy Birthday Taryn & Ada

One thing I really miss about not living near home is being an aunt. So I've deemed myself aunt Julie to my two little friend's Ada and Taryn. They are in my ward, and both turn 1 this month. It's amazing how long it takes to make everything from scratch. I miss cake mix! But it was fun to try new things. These cupcakes are filled (and topped) with pastry cream made by yours truly. Paolo taught me how to do it. I think they came out quite well.
This is Ada. She is outgoing, and curious. She's already giving her mom a run for her money with her awesome climbing skills.

This is my friend Taryn. She is sweet and reserved. She takes a little bit to give her confidence and trust. She is also happy and a jewel!
It was fun to have an afternoon with my american friends. It was also fun to do something for someone else. I love it when they come up and visit.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Boredom comes at a price

Boredom comes at a huge price at my house = DEVASTATION! When I need a minute to "get things done", and my kids are bored (99% of the time since we've been snowed in for almost 2 weeks- and more is coming).
When I thought they were playing so nicely.... oh how gullible I can be at times.
This a scene from about a week ago. It was one of the worst explosions they've created.

This was also an attempt to alleviate the boredom- a Halloween party. We dressed up in Halloween costumes, and had a party with special snacks, including the last of our goldfish crackers.
The party was a good idea. The
VERY BAD idea was to show them some of the Incredibles movie since Jordan was dressed up like one of them. I had forgotten how much body slamming, hitting, kicking action there was. The boys then body slammed, kicked, hit the rest of the week. The last thing they need is to refine those techniques at 2 and 4 years old. I am resigned that yes it will happen, but I'm hoping it's not until Isabel is in time to learn it and use it as self defense against her brothers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

quilt in progress

This is the back of a quilt I'm making for my bed.
This is the front. I spray basted it to the batting during nap time yesterday. I'm still trying to get it unwrinkled in spots. I got the idea for the lattice quilt from my friend Kati's blog. I love the design because it has so little waste, and enough wiggle room when you're preparing the blocks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

more snow, more mischief

What does boredom mean? = mischief! Yesterday while trying to give Isabel a bath the boys came in and handed me something from the fridge. They are strictly forbidden from opening the fridge (which they strictly ignore). As I went to return the stolen item, I found the flashlight on in the fridge looking at me. More evidence against the guilty. :) It's the square shape on the top shelf.
A cute hat from grandma!
Luckily a Valentine's package arrived from Grandma just before the storm hit. We've put those Cars2 stickers to use!
Sitting for long periods of time all by herself! Getting close to grabbing things and putting them in her mouth.
Another snow(man)blob. Sadly all this snow isn't the kind good for making snowmen.
Notice the ice on the back of the car. We dug out our car yesterday afternoon.
This is a sheet of ice from off the car
Can you see Aaron's tongue in these two pictures? No, it didn't stick. Not sure what I would have done if it did.

Proud owner of a frozen tongue...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Snowed in

This is the beginning of the snow fall on Tuesday. The kids were SOOOO excited.

This is after at least 2 feet of snow. It was not heavy, it was the fluffy kind of snow. All day long Aaron asked to make a snowman. This was the sad result. He did have a carrot for a nose, and a hat!

This car is not going anywhere until the snow melts. Since snow if forecasted off and on all week long I think it will be a while. We've had at least 3 feet of snow, some of it melting away. Imagine this happening in Florida and you can get the same idea of chaos as to what it is happening here. It doesn't snow more than 2-3 inches at a time (and even then it's a crisis). So this is a disaster for Bologna. I haven't left my driveway in 5 days.

The other problem is that we are not equipped for snow either. We have no snow clothes, and not even a decent pair of gloves for Jordan. We have no snow boots, and no snow shovel. We are using a garden shovel to try and dig a path in front of our door. It's a little tricky because the shovel is metal and the snow sticks to it right away and it gets heavy.
Glad that daddy finally came home from work. Sledding was a lot more fun when daddy was pulling.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jordan feeding Isabel

Our friend's Brianna and Tyson Smith came over for lunch. They came despite snow and coldness. Thank you for the company! When I turned back from taking pictures, I found Jordan feeding Isabel!

Aaron took this of us. Good job buddy.
And this is little Taryn. She doesn't go to others easily and she let me hold her 5 minutes! Big step for her.

This about the cutest thing I've ever witnessed. Jordan is SUCH a 2 year-old that some days it's hard to remember the parts that I love most about him. I spend most of the day trying to forget the hours of crying, screaming, tantrums over the wrong color/shape/too much/too little/not hot enough/too hot, etc. Then he has moments like this one that shine through and remind me what a good core he has.

I was distracted in the middle of feeding Isabel (this is about her 5th solid food meal by the way). When I turned back I saw Jordan feeding Isabel, and Isabel was eating better for Jordan than she was for me. It was a small meal, but Jordan fed her all of it! Thank you for being such cute children!