Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Princess Dream Come True!

Adrianna (and mommy too!) were in TOTAL AWE at Disney Yesterday!!!!! The highlight?

Well what do you think????......

I'll blog LOTS more when we return home. I want to sit back and enjoy our last day here! We already started the early morning off at the beach, fried clams and calamari with some bloody marys at 10:30 and then hung out at the pool. Christopher is napping while the three of us vegg out and chat so gotta run.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Since this morning was rainy, my sister (almost done with Aesthetic & Nail School) gave Adrianna and I reflexology massage/pedicures and facials! I only wished I lived closer to her to get these $60 facials & $30 pedis for FREE!!!!!! :o)


We walked along the beach, picking up seashells & coconuts,
laughing all the while!
We ran in and out of the waves some of us not wanting to get wet
While others were full of sand speckled smiles!
Adrianna built her own little Kingdom,
Christopher broke down every tower daddy made,
Mommy dug all the tunnels and bridges,
and took lots of pictures while it all stayed. :o)
We had a blast, and thank goodness we chose,
to go have a sandcastle day, as soon as the sun rose!
It has rained for the past day and a half but that's okay too,
We need this time to relax, with nothing else to do!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Well, our weekend has been FULL! We had dinner Saturday night with Chris's Family and last night at my mom's. My mom cooked a ton and gave us lots of food to bring back to the hotel with us along with lots of other things to save us from having to buy stuff! MOMS, gotta love em! The past two days have been , beach, pool, nap, and repeat...HA! I haven't napped , BUT I let Chris nap and DIDN'T BOTHER KNOW that's hard for me to do...HA! While he was napping yesterday, I took the kids ACROSS THE STREET to the beach and we searched for seashells. (Miss Amanda's was the first one we found!) Christopher was SO CUTE, he was moving right along with his girls, picking up shells and putting them in Adrianna's "shell purse"!

We are having a GREAT time. There is nothing better than vacationing with your family! Oh and MY SISTER IS COMING THIS AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO EXCITED, and so is Adrianna. It will be great!!!! Below our hotel is a bunch of overly priced boutiques, good fried beach food restaurants, and WE WILL HAVE A BABYSITTER TONIGHT!!! :o) Chris and I went down to Fat Tuesdays yesterday afternoon (remember that place Belinda & Steve?) and had a couple beers while we watched the Jets play,munched on chips and salsa and looked over at the ocean talking about nothing, while my mom stayed in the room and watched Mermaidia with Adrianna and Christopher slept.

Our location is GREAT! We don't have to drive anywhere to eat or drink, everything is downstairs. It's so funny to see all the "Beach Bars" that I used to drive to and party with my friends, now with two kids in tow. I want to tell you all about everything, but my mind goes all over the place and I can't focus, so I'll stop for now! :o)

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Well, we made it...FINALLY!! Traveling with a 41/2 yr old, not so bad, but add in a 17mth old....uh , not so fun! He actually did pretty well till the last half hour, our plane arrived in Ft. Lauderdale to some stormy weather so we had to just sit and wait to be taxied in to the gate.

Went to the grocery store, good 'ol Publix and arrived at our GORGEOUS RESORT!!! OH MY GOODNESS, IT'S BEAUTIFUL...AND THE VIEW, ahhhhh beach & pool view. We are so fortunate to be here! :o) Oh and hotel beds, I sleep the best in them! LOVE THEM!!!!

So our day has been off to a beautiful start. I didn't shut the curtains in the master suite because I wanted the sunlight to shine through the sheers and wake us up. Oh, but I forgot I already have a 17mth old alarm clock, LOL! I woke up with both my boys while my angel stayed sleeping . . . stepped out of the bedroom patio doors and all I heard were the beautiful sound of the ocean slowly awakening too, watched the sun rising slowly, breathed in that FANTASTIC smell of the beach, salty and fresh, and looked over to the other patio door as Chris stepped out with a cup of coffee for me . . .


We had some cereal, walked across to the beach and then finished our morning at the pool. We just ate some lunch and now I'm going to put Christopher down for a nap, make a pot of coffee and sit outside with Chris and Adrianna! :o) You don't know how much I want to go ahead and put the clothes into the drawers, finish unpacking, and all the "organizational things" I love to do. BUT Chris told me not to be a "killjoy" and sit back and RELAX!!! (I did do the dishes, but promised to stop there). He told me to live like a slob for a week.....mmmmmm - I don't think I could do that but I WILL RELAX! HA!

We are having dinner at Chris's Uncle Mario and Aunt Carmela's house and visiting with all of Chris's cousins and their kids at 6:30. I'm so excited, it'll be a TON of fun, noisy, but fun. A typical Italian dinner and household for SURE!

I'll post a couple pics soon.... off to the coffee pot!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Welcome To The Family!

Welcome to the family sweet little Avery! God Bless You, you beautiful little angel!
7lbs 10oz and 20in

I will TOTALLY be blogging more about this sweet little angel and what an AMAZING experience it was!!!!! She came out crying and very alert...uh oh! :o) Here she is and in my opinion, she looks just like her mama!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm sitting here, my mind RACING! Bags are packed, except for the toiletries of course, sheets are freshly washed on the beds, my baby boy's silkie blankie is washed, carry ons are full of activities to keep the kids busy on the plain, floors are washed, bathrooms are cleaned (well semi-cleaned), dishwasher is full and the washing machine has a few pieces from today and whatever pj's I have to add in the morning so I don't have any to do when I get home. SOOOOOO I think that's it!!

NOW I'M OFFICIALLY GETTING EXCITED!!! It's so funny, it seems that everyone else has been excited for me but it didn't really hit me until now. I guess I just had to get it all in order first, tie up loose ends with church stuff, friend detail, bill detail, and of course chore detail.

So now I sit here, checking through emails, browsing Halloween costumes again, looking at the message boards and blogs of the people and activities I"m involved with, re-reading my checklists, and I'm a bundle of nerves. LOL Oh yeah and not to mention, I'M GOING TO BE EXPERIENCING CHILDBIRTH in a way that I've only seen on Baby Story . . . WOW I'M EXCITED!!!! I can't wait to share in that moment with her, I'm practically giddy! I've got the clothes for all of us set out, a hospital fun pack for the kids along with snacks ready to go and my coffee pot that will eagerly await me in the morning for 5am to roll around and have it's button pushed!

I am ready to see baby Avery, ready to come back home and run the vacuum through right after I pack up the car and then OFF WE GO!!! WOW WOW WOW . . . . I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

I'm hoping to get the chance to blog while on vacation, but forgive me if I'm too busy soaking up the rays. :o) Pray for good weather. This is going to be such a wonderful time for us as a family and I promise to post pics asap!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Christopher Jr. 17mths
Adrianna 41/2 yrs

Just 2 more days

After today, I just have TWO more days of my routine and then it all goes OUT THE WINDOW....vacation will officially begin!! One week of no bedtimes, no set snack times and meals, not too many rules/regulations, NO PHONE CALLS, no responsibilities.....ahhhhhhh how nice that's going to be! One week of fun and relaxation with my 3 favorite people in the world!

My packing lists are complete for all four of us. My luggage is gathered. My paperwork is in order. My bills are paid/scheduled to be paid. My household chores are almost completely done. Almost all of the small details are figured out. And my mindset is ALMOST in vacation mode. This is GREAT! :o)

I was watching Golden Girls this morning and seeing the palm trees in their front yard made me so excited to go back to Florida. There is no better smell than the beach to help you relax, that's for sure! You take it for granted when you live there and DEFINITELY miss it when your not there. Chris and I were talking last night about all the places it would be nice to revisit, all the people we would love to see, but there just isn't enough time to do it all and we, especially HE needs the break to RELAX and not run all over the place. :o) My idea of vacation and his idea of VACATION are two totally different things. I can never sit still and like to be busy busy busy, and needless to say he likes to do the opposite if we are supposedly vacationing. LOL

So, the rest of this week will be full and busy.....but that's how I like it anyway AND we are working towards getting a BREAK....Isn't that nice?!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Well, now all the block party stuff and birthday parties have passed so now it's time to focus solely on VACATION!!! I'm so excited! My sister in law is going to be induced on Thursday which is the day before we leave AND she told me I can be in the room when she DELIVERS!!!!! This is going to be an amazing experience for me since both of mine were born c-section. I've always felt like I missed out on something so this is just an amazing opportunity.

If you knew my sister-in-law, you would know that this is HUGE for her to offer up too. She's modest to say the least and I couldn't help but cry in response to that offer! I feel honored! I just hope it doesn't happen before the induction at a time when I can't get to the hospital, LOL! Pregnancy and the upcoming birth of a new baby can really do some amazing things for a mommy to be. I know I changed DRAMATICALLY with each birth of my two angels. So my week is off to quite an amazing start!!!!

I AM BLESSED! TRULY BLESSED! My family is surrounded by such loving friends and family, I am overflowing with gratitude and love for each and every one of them.

Now it's time to start the pre-packing lists, rummage through friends' closets for some "new" vacation clothes and shoes, cut my hair, tweeze my eyebrows, paint the know all the girly details! I CAN'T WAIT TILL FRIDAY!!!!!

Have a great week . . .

Friday, September 14, 2007

Coming up short....

Well, Chris and I were up pretty late last night discussing that's always a fun conversation...NOT!!!!! I went over what the bills are, what we've paid and set up to pay through our BillPay while we're gone and what we are left with is not so lovely!

After talking, arguing, whatever you want to call it :o) , it's probably best if we don't make the Orlando trip while down there. I'm so depressed, but I know Chris is right and he's bummed out too but it would just hurt us too much to take a $300 trip which is what we'll have to spend at least, while going to Disney. We planned on just doing Magic Kingdom and bringing our own stuff, but after reading their rules/regulations last night we realized we will have to buy food while there, add in the gas and any other small expenses with the tickets, it definitely adds up.

I don't know why I'm so sad this morning and have COMPLETE anxiety about how to tell Adrianna. I mean she's only 41/2...she'll get over it. I guess I deal with the feelings of when I was little, my dad ALWAYS promised EVERY YEAR that we would go to Disney and he NEVER too us! So, I guess I did what I ALWAYS do . . . think too big and not think about the consequences or think it all the way through. MAN! WHY AM I LIKE THAT!!! WHY WOULD I MAKE THE SAME PROMISES? UGH, it makes me so mad and disappointed in myself!

OKay, enough of that...I have to look on the positive side...WE ARE GOING ON A BASICALLY FREE VACATION TO FLORIDA !!!!!!! Sometimes I feel like my attitude is one of a spoiled brat and I am not even spoiled! LOL We have enough money saved to get a rental car for the week ($150 for 7 days), groceries, and gas and I really should be proud of myself for being able to save just for that!!! We live paycheck to paycheck and are going through this time in our lives trying to just make it work with me staying home with two kids and Chris transitioning into a new Restaurant Concept, WhichWich? but I know and trust that it will all work out. I'm doing the right thing staying home and raising my family, supporting my husband and trying to always find new ways to decrease our debt and increase our income. All my friends make fun of me in my creative ways to make a dollar. :o)

So part of me wants to delete my "Disney Vacation" blog because I'm embarrassed that we aren't going, but I'm not because that's what I get for ALWAYS being a big mouth, speaking what's on my mind INSTANTLY and getting excited about things without thinking them completely through. Maybe I'll learn my lesson one day, HA!

Now the tough part, creating a story to explain why we can't go see Cinderella's Castle to my 41/2 yr old...any suggestions? :o)

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's official, WE ARE GOING ON A VACATION to Florida!!!! I am excited, in shock and am still having a hard time believing that it's true! We have done something every summer as a family, even if it was just a weekend getaway an hour and a half away as a vacation and I was so bummed that we couldn't do that this summer. It's just been so busy for Chris with work, money has been tight and I really did give up on the idea of taking a vacations.

But I guess all of Chris's hard work for WhichWich? and my support during these tough summer months of him working working working actually paid off! His bosses purchased airline tickets for the family and booked one of their time shares in Ft.Lauderdale on the Beach for us, ALL FREE OF CHARGE!!!! Oh yeah and for an ENTIRE WEEK! So Florida....we're coming back!!! :o) This was where Chris and I met, and started our lives together so it will be nice to return there 6 years later with 2 KIDS! LOL October 8th is our 7 year wedding anniversary so this will even be like a gift for us too! We will be able to visit with all of Chris's extended family, some old friends, hopefully see my BEST FRIEND Danielle, MY SISTER and MY MOM!!! Oh I"m so excited!!!!

I've already started outlining and planning out the week and I must say the best part of it is definately going to be...YUP, every little girl's dream come true . . . CINDERELLA'S CASTLE!! We will be driving up to Orlando on that Wednesday for the entire day which will definately be ENOUGH time with a 41/2yr old and a 17mths old. ADRIANNA IS THRILLED! She can't stop talking about it. I can't stop talking about it, I think I'm almost as excited as she is! I lived in Florida for 9 years of my childhood and NEVER got the chance to go to The Magic Kingdom, or anywhere in Disney for that matter . . . so this is going to be GREAT.

We really couldn't even imagine being able to afford a vacation AT ALL! Even the idea of someone buying our airline tickets, paying for a place for us to stay, it still didn't seem possible! How would we rent a car, eat, go anywhere, do would be no fun at all! But it's all going to work out fine. I'm amazed at how things just work out sometimes. I always worry and Chris always says "It will be fine, everything will work, don't worry"....I wish I could be more like him. HA!

So we are in the midst of planning a block party this Saturday, getting ready for my sister in law to give birth to a sweet baby girl any day now, and then next week it's all about VACATION planning and packing. I usually start my lists and have the bags packed days in advance, you know I have NO patience and when I get excited I just CAN'T wait! I'm not going to worry about all the small details or that it's HURRICANE SEASON! I'm just going to pray for some good weather, enjoy being with my family and introducing mine to all of their Great Aunts/Uncles and cousins and soak up every ounce of FLORIDA SUNSHINE I possibly can!!! I miss my beach girl tan!!!!!

So any of you fellow bloggers out there, if you have any advice about Disney for me, please let me know . . .

I am so ready for this and get even more excited knowing that when we return, it'll be right when my favorite time of the year gets started! October is one of my favorite months, not only being my anniversary, but the preamble to the GREATEST time of the year!!!!

102 Days, 17 Hours, 12 Minutes
until Christmas of '2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

I love my husband's love for Opera. The past couple days have been spent doing our normal routine, but with lots of Pavarotti playing in the background. Chris has been bummed over his death this past week. He says it's tragic because Pavarotti was a genius, a GREAT ONE, one of the best of this past century and it's just so sad to know he's gone.

I remember when I first moved in with Chris and we were going through VHS tapes, combining both of our collections together when I noticed one labeled "The 3 Tenors". I had NO idea what it was, and that conversation was the first of many telling me all about Operas. Chris spent most of his life in New York and most of his 20's living in Manhattan. He LOVES the city and everything that goes along with it from the food to the noise to the Arts, and especially the people....the man LOVES to people watch. :o)

When we first started dating that was one of the things I admired most about him. He seemed to have SO much culture! He seemed to know SO much, much more than I did! He had 9 years more life experience to begin with AND he lived in one of the GREATEST cities you could possibly ever experience!!!! I am so jealous of that! We talked about living in a studio apartment in Manhattan when we were planning on getting married, but realized that it just didn't make sense if we wanted to start a family right away . . . oh but it was nice to dream.

Chris is definately a dreamer, yet another thing I adore about him! The man is super sensitive, very strong willed and determined, loves ALL the arts from music & movies to ballet, likes sports but will NEVER take a whole day to watch football (unless it's a BIG game, superbowl, etc.) and get mad if we are making noise in the house or distracting him, and he puts other people's feelings before his own.

While we were sitting in our room listening to Pavarotti (after watching the 60 Minutes Special last night), he looked at me and said "Doesn't that choke you up and get you right here?" (he motioned his fist against his chest). He made me cry! The song was about a man meeting a woman for the first time and it was love at first sight. These little moments are why I would do ANYTHING in the world for this man. We are very opposite in many ways, but identical in the ways that really count when you are trying to make a marriage work and raise a family. I didn't mean for this to be a CHRIS TRIBUTE, LOL, but I can't help it . . . I just love him so much.

Here is the song we listened to....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I was talking to a friend of mine tonight about "Who we are" and growing spiritually. This is something I've (well Chris too of course) questioned MANY times as we got involved in this journey of ours with the whole "Christianity" thing.

Okay, so those of you who know me will be able to follow my thoughts as they go all over the place and for those of you who don't know me, please bear with me and follow along. :o)

Chris and I were both raised Catholic, he was definitely more involved in "church" than I was. He was an alter boy for goodness sake! LOL But even still, we both were typical Catholics, you know church on Easter, Christmas Eve, and whenever we needed to "light a candle" or have some quiet time with ourselves or confession to the Priest. Chris totally had more religion and influence from his family members during his upbringing than I did. When my father remarried ( I was 10), he married a "Born Again Christian", which is of course what they labeled themselves during the 80's. Well, I pretty much hated her and most of what she stood for and being pushed into a Christian Church and all the "falseness" that went along with the people around me made me sick! So needless to say, I looked at "Christians" as a bunch of wacky, phony people who didn't really like anyone that wasn't involved in their circle. They seemed judgemental and critical all while they put on those smiles and told you how much "Jesus loved You", but their words always just seemed empty, almost lifeless to me as an adolescent and teen. Now granted, I had a ton of other issues besides coming from an abusive/broken home, never feeling loved or wanted, teenage hormones and all that other fun stuff that comes along with that age so that definitely played into my emotions and feelings during that time. I didn't focus on Church, I didn't focus on God, I didn't focus on Spiritual Growth or anything like that... I just couldn't. I struggled to just make it through the next day and figuring out how I was going to do that on my own.

So now giving you that little bit of background, hopefully you can understand why I initially cringed when I found out a new couple we met and really liked were "Christians". Not only were they Christians, but he was a PASTOR!!!! But they really seemed nice. They really seemed genuine. They really seemed to care! So, despite the uncomfortableness of my past and my previous thoughts and preconceptions of their LABEL, I (we) still pursued a relationship with them.

The biggest challenge for us though was changing the Chris and Gina that we were. We didn't want to change, we were proud of the people we were. We didn't hurt people, we worked hard, didn't break any rules/laws, we lived a good life. I mean come on, I am ITALIAN and from the North, so of course I CURSE! Sure, I'm confrontational and outspoken. Yes I hug everyone I meet and befriend, yes I love to kiss all little kids...they are just so sweet! Of course I talk about sex, grope my husband, hug and kiss him no matter who is around, yell at my kids when I've had enough, get mad and flick people off while I'm driving (although I've stopped that since my 4yr old picked that one up a little too quickly), enjoy having drinks with friends and love to have a glass of wine by myself too! But all of those things aren't ALL of who I am. I am much more than that list, more than the label of being an Italian born in New York. Which is why I am much more open to not labeling and prejudging people that label themselves Christians. Kyle and Erika are the ones who helped me with that one for sure. Sure they're quieter than I am, they don't curse like I do, they don't like to be confrontational and they may not consider going out for Martinis a Fun Night Out, but it's not because they are Christians, it's just because that's not who they are. I know plenty of my friends and even family members who behave JUST like they do and they aren't Christians.

I guess my point is that you don't have to change the person you are to get closer to God or to grow spiritually, God has loved YOU before you were even born. It's those around you who judge you, who label you, and it may even just be you doing that to yourself too because you don't really have a clear picture of what it means to walk the real walk with Christ, to live the life He lived, the life God intended for us all to live.

Chris and I have not changed who we are at the core. Sure, some of our habits and routines may have changed some. We go to Bible Studies and Church, we get involved in our community and in the lives of more people. Our love has deepened, our circle of friends has grown, our search for God has expanded and our spirits have become uplifted and filled. I have learned to look more outside of just MY life and MY small circle of family and friends. I'm more intentional with others, I tend to listen a little more, offer myself a little more . . . and I JUST CAN'T EXPLAIN what that does for the heart! I feel like I'm the "Gina" I always knew I was and needed help to release that inner me, if that makes any sense at all.

Sometimes I have a really hard time putting my feelings into words so I hope you get what I'm trying to say. As I talked with my friend tonight, I couldn't help but to feel like she and her husband are right where Chris and I were a year ago and all I could feel was excitement for them! Because I now know that if you just have a little faith and follow your heart while surrounding yourself by the people we are surrounded by here, WOW the lifechange you experience is pretty darn amazing!!!! :o)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Well, I'm coming down from a BUSY, family and fun filled weekend so the last thing I need to be doing right now is writing a blog! :o) So I'll make it short and sweet.

This weekend was GREAT! Chris had ALL of his brothers together with their families and we filled our weekend with great food, lots of laughter, children playing (and fighting of course, after all there is a total of 6 kids under the age of 5!), girl only time and guy movie theater time! It was fun, FULL and exhausting all at the same time. We even got to add church in the mix and that was a wonderful thing for me to share with my sister-in-law. My "God" conversations with Ruth are always fulfilling, meaningful and eye-opening, so it was nice to do the same with Jennifer this weekend too.

Having our entire family here together reminds me of the importance of our "family". We share things together that you can't get from your friends, no matter how much you love them and share with them. Family loves you no matter what you say or do, the language you use, the things you eat or drink, the comments you make, rude or not, the way you dress or don't :o) , they don't care if you notice something or not, it's FAMILY. We all love each other no matter what and there is something so secure in that, so SAFE. I will miss them so much no that they are gone and can't wait to spend Thanksgiving down in Brownsville with them all again!

But now, BACK TO REALITY....back to my magnets, back to my block party planning, back to the budget we veered away from this weekend while having fun, back to mom's club stuff, back to the housework,responsibility chart, our household routine, but what I look forward to the most is, back to my friends! :o) I sure have missed them this weekend. . .