Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday...

Today you would've been 86.

Each year, as you know, I write some things down that remind me of what a special part of my life you here goes.

Apparently, the first time I laid eyes on you - at the brilliant age of 6 months old - I knew we would be close friends!

When I was in NY or when you came to visit me here, there was nothing else that mattered but getting one of your hugs...a hug that felt like it reached into the inner depths of my soul and had my heart smiling from the inside.

I remember your scent, a mixture of Ararmis and soap, and how your white undershirt and jeans seem to keep you young at heart, no matter how many years went by.

I remember your hair, that funny grey comb-over that never seemed to blow in the right direction when a wind gust blew and how you unconsciously fixed it by brushing your hand across your forehead.

I remember thinking that you kept that round figure, no matter what the doctor said about your heart, because you knew your belly was my favorite pillow and you knew it was impossible for me to sleep without resting my head on it.

There were long walks in the garden with you explaining every herb and bush.

There were ice cream parlor visit's where sharing a banana split was only so Nanny didn't yell at me for eating too much ice cream.

There was that phrase "!" that I looked forward to hearing from the other end of the phone, no matter how many birthday's passed.

There were always early mornings with onion bagels and fried eggs followed by long walks on the boardwalk with Uncle Leo.

And there was that laugh...that funny laugh, that was part cough - part giggle - that put all my worries at ease and reminded me I was in the room with MY Poppy and everything would be alright.



There are so many things I miss about you and being back in your house last week, I realized you may be gone in the flesh but my memories and your scent are still constantly with me.

Each year I choose to celebrate your birthday, rather than your death, and there is no better way to say Happy Birthday - at least from my perspective - than to share with you all you have left me to pass on to my son.

You were a kind man who did so much for his country, community and church and who is fondly remember by all who mention your name.

Just so you know:

Onion bagels don't taste the same (even in NY)!
Fried eggs don't come out right (even in your favorite pan)!
And no one, but Brady, has ever been loved the way I love you!

I miss you everyday and I hope you and Uncle Leo are walking the boardwalk in heaven as we speak!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Yesterday, my father's cousin and oldest friend drove me into the city. As we took the drive, I got to hear stories of what a crazy kid my father was - "Mr. Personality" as they called him, and what a crazy family we have in common.

There were stories of my father and his "group" traveling to Florida to visit his grandfather, my great-grandfather, and how my great-grandfather would insist on driving, blindly I might add, only to run into an orange and blinking median. He apparently didn't seem too concerned with the accident and upon driving away insisted "that wasn't there the last time I drove this route!"

There were stories of golfing adventures, where blind Great-Grandfather D, couldn't see the ball in front of him, but if you lined him up correctly, could hit the ball a perfectly straight 120 yards, and could walk off the course having only shot his age...86.

These are stories I rarely here from my father, so to get the opportunity to hear what he was like as a kid and what kind of crazy things they got into, was an amazing experience!

Then, last night I got the amazing opportunity to spend a "girl's night" with my cousin, Cathy, and her best friend, Becky.

Honestly, there is nothing like being up here in NY, where everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows your business ;) Case in point, Cathy and I walked into a restaurant and the waiter just so happened to be a former student of her husband. Unreal!

It's funny, I rarely get the opportunity to talk about my life and family and have the person across the table automatically know who I'm talking about. It is a sense of comfort I rarely get to feel and I often wonder what it would've been like growing up here. I would assume, if you live here and have spent your entire life here, you sometimes take for granted knowing everyone or being related to everyone. Having drinks with your cousin or your best childhood friend would be a common occurrence, instead of a once-in-a-lifetime gathering.

Overall, the day and night was enjoyed with plenty of laughs, plenty of wine (and Peroni) and I woke up today feeling full of smiles.

There is nothing like family and nothing like NY! It surely holds a very dear and special place in my heart, and the Pizza, the bagels, and cannoli's are just an added bonus to spending time with awesome family members!

This Thanksgiving I feel truly blessed to have spent time with family I rarely see and to get the opportunity to gain memories I would've never had before!!

With Love,
Your Very Full and Happy Italian Blogger ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

When I was a Girl...

Almost every summer I would come to this house and spend time with my grandparents.

I remember walking up those narrow stairs and the aroma of garlic hitting you in the face the moment you stepped in the door. I used to think this 3 bedroom apartment was so big, and "my room" (the one with my birth certificate hanging on the wall) was one of my favorite things.

I remember my grandfather, Poppy, walking to the garden and picking tomatoes as I skipped behind him thinking he was my most favorite person in the whole wide world! The smell of fresh tomatoes and basil was incredible. Even now, the smell is so unforgettable that when I catch a scent, it immediately brings me back to that time.

I remember waking up in the morning to the smell of sizzling bacon and Poppy standing over the stove in his favorite uniform, a white undershirt and his gold cross proudly across his neck, waiting for me to open the door and say "hey baby! You want some juice? Have some juice!"

There was the bright red patio with the gravel driveway and the mysterious shed in back, that was my person playground. There was tupperware and TV stands and cheerios hidden beneath the china cabinet.

Back then, I thought everyone within a 15 mile radius was my aunt and uncle and I thought chicken cutlets was the healthiest meal there was. I thought Carvel was the only type of ice cream they made and I thought pastrami sandwiches and pizza should only be eaten up here.

Now, however, coming back things have changed...and it makes me look back and realize how much I miss those times.

Poppy is no longer here to take me out back for tomatoes, the aroma of garlic has slowly disappeared, and those narrow stairs and small apartment seem like a distant memory.

My room, which I slept in last night, has the same mattress and my birth certificate has been replaced by a picture of an angel. Pictures on the wall that once displayed the 3 grandchildren have now been replaced by the 5 grandchildren and my son, her only great-grandchild.

It still feels like home up here, but it's different.

Typing on my IPad with my wireless keyboard at my grandmother's kitchen table, I realize things have truly changed, and I don't know if I am ready to let go of the way things were.

Maybe in my old age or because I have become a mother, I have become sentimental over those times.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sun-Kissed Skin, Beach Sand, and Precious Moments

Look mom...a flag :)

Mom's little surfer dude...


Poppy love <3

Are three ways I would describe our 4th of July vacation.

South Carolina and Hilton Head Island are quickly becoming synonyms with 4th of July fireworks and laughter by the beach!

Each year, we head to my parents condo out here to bask in the sun and relax by the waves, and let me tell you, every year it does the trick!

Mr Man is old enough now that he enjoys the sand and waves in the morning and by nap time is absolutely exhausted from running all morning. When the blonde monster wakes up, it's back to the pool or beach we go, to hang with friends and splash in the fountains.

These are the times I will re-count to my grandchildren and try to explain to them that family, as crazy as they are, cannot be replaced. The love and laughter they give to you throughout your life is unrivaled.

As our last full day rapidly approaches, I can only be extremely thankful for having such a wonderful family that I enjoy spending vacations with and that can provide us with amazing vacations such as these :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Dear Montessori Mom,

Yes, I saw that sideways glance you gave me when I told my child to “stop kicking mommy”, and when I proceeded to grab one leg and buckle the seatbelt with the other hand, so he wasn’t able to slide out of the seat. In case you were wondering…he’s 2, and he’s big for his age. And in case you didn’t notice, I weigh like 90lbs. So managing a 35lb squirming 2 year old is not what I consider ideal after driving in traffic for 30 minutes on a MONDAY. But listen lady…it comes with the territory. We are mom’s and we have to hold our ground when we need. If that means grabbing a chubby 2 year old leg, while biting the strap of the car seat and buckling my son in, by God that’s what I’ll do! Next time, look the other way, and keep your thoughts in your head, unless you want me to slide a glance in your direction when your angelic daughter pulls her dress up and shows the world her…! Kthx!

Dear Nail Clipping Co-Workers,

First of all…really? Do you HAVE a bathroom at your house? Do you know what that sounds like to the rest of us diligently working away? It sounds like click, click, click, and then nails falling into a trashcan. People, the cube walls aren’t soundproof. If you can hear it, so can I, and I wouldn’t doubt the person on the other end of the phone you are trying to sell a new job to, can as well. EWWWWW! Have some common courtesy for your fellow cube mates and leave the nail clippers at home.

Dear Mr. Egg Man,

Although it may be amazingly healthy for you to cook egg whites in the microwave, have you ever thought about the lingering body odor smell it leaves in the kitchen when you walk away or about the people that happen to have a cube outside said kitchen? No…well let me spell it out for you…your nasty microwaved egg whites are gross. They stink up the whole kitchen and honestly, who cares how good they are for you, I want to hurl and that doesn’t make me a happy camper. So, Mr. Egg White man, if you could be so kind as to heat your whites in some other capacity or try and eat breakfast PRIOR to coming to the office, I would really appreciate it.

Dear Random Braking Drivers,

I would like to kindly point out that if you slam on your brakes, for no apparent reason, in the middle of the highway, while the rest of the world is cruising at 60 mph, you may just want to hire a driver and let the rest of us get to where we need to go. If you aren’t about to hit a coyote, an armadillo (listen people I’m in Texas, it happens) or a dog, please for the love of God, do not slam on your brakes for no reason. Just because your cell phone rings with “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” does not give you the right to slam on your brakes and reach in your purse and try and find the thing. The call can wait! Trust me the person will call back if it’s an emergency, or you can try the safest route, and wait until you get home.

And finally…

Dear Black Eyed Peas,

First of all, I would like to just say I am a huge fan and anytime you need a backstage groupie, you know where to find me! However, your catchy beats and fun lyrics have put my 2 year old into a tailspin and this Momma is not so happy about it. If I have to hear “the tonight good song” one more time, at 7 AM, while sitting in rush hour, I might just scream. I do not fault you for your musical brilliance, but maybe, just maybe, think about the moms out there, trying their damndest to give their kids the best education and possibly try and make our morning commute a little more…relaxing. Maybe call Timberland and hook up a duet with Kenny G. I think it would be a number one hit. If you need me, call me, I can have your people call your people…or whatever J

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm Back!!!

And it's been a hell of a ride!!!

I think the last time I posted was in October, yes I know, I'm a slacker...what can I say, a girl's gotta work, and time gets away from ya! ;)

Well, what has happened in the last couple of months, you ask? Here goes!

Thanksgiving - we ate a lot :)

Christmas - we got snowed in, had an impromtu concert in my dad's media room, drank too much wine, got amazing gifts, and the love and food flowed freely!
New Years - I spent with a guy, on a couch, cuddling. Not to mention, I got a kiss at midnight. B was with Matt and stayed up to the late hour of 8 PM.

Valentines - my parents gave me adorable gifts and I got to love on my munckin.

The month of the Irish - was filled with everything Irish! I was dating an Irishman, so green beer was had, an amazing vacation with tropical islands and white sands was taken and we fell in love again.

April - BRADY TURNED 2!!!!! My beautiful, blue eyed son, turned 2 years old and it melted Mommy's heart! We took pictures to celebrate the moment, had a brunch party, and he was spoiled with over generous friends and toys!!!

May - has brought a broken heart (Irish and I have decided to split), a new way of thinking, and my birthday - which is Sunday. I can't say I am jumping up and down to turn the big 2-9, but I will tell you that amazing family and friends has made me appreciate all the little things I have!!!

So thanks for reading...if you're still otu there, and sorry I went MIA.

The Italian Stilletto is back and better than ever!!!!