children

Some Gifts Leave You Speechless

My daughter was almost two when I became pregnant with my son. She was curious and fiery, sassy and sharp, creative and snuggly, and (although I may be biased) strikingly beautiful with her fair porcelain complexion that could sprinkle with freckles in even a drop of sunlight, red curls framing her face and hazel blue eyes.

All of these things were glorious. But my very favorite thing about my daughter is her kindness and her compassion¬†(now I’m not saying all day, everyday–she is still human–and her brother may dispute this claim, but when it happens it is truly spectacular).

When my son arrived, it was earlier than expected, almost six weeks in fact. So my then-husband and I were in a bit of a scramble the morning I went into labor. We had not planned for his arrival this early… What to do with the baby (our daughter, in this case), so I was off to the hospital solo. And as I left the apartment, I could hear her crying “mama” as I entered the elevator.

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Vacation Victory and Remembrance

A little over a week ago my family and I returned from a family trip to the Caribbean. These kinds of trips are always incredibly special to me. I have memories of spring vacations from when I was growing up so nostalgia is part of it, but it’s also been a while since the four of us have been able to go away together. So this trip felt special in a few ways–almost like a victory for our family.

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Getting Thankful Again For Thanksgiving

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The three people I am most thankful for

Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays. ¬†As a pre-teenager through my early twenties, I remember my mother and father hosting a couple dozen people in our formal dining room on the upper west side. It’s funny how specific memories may fade but flavors remain–ricotta and sausage stuffing (we’re Italian), antipasto salad, my mother’s apple pie and my aunt’s pumpkin chiffon pie.

The Greatest Gift

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my Dad and me circa 1989 (or ’90), Anguilla, BWI

The parent / child relationship is one of beauty and complexity. I am reminded lately of the added layers this bond must sustain when daughters start experimenting with their freedom and sexuality in adolescence. I won’t go into why I am reminded–those aren’t my stories to tell and I believe they are sacred to those individuals. What I will say is my family is near and dear to me and I am a mother and a wife. Forgive me for sharing the obvious, but before becoming a mother or a wife I was (and still am) a daughter and did a fair share of experimenting and testing bonds and bounds. My circumstances were not common, but they were not unique–nor were they often discussed until years after some damage had been done. Perhaps someday I’ll write about that (maybe, I’m still debating).

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Summer 2013: Highlights, Gifts and Surprises

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The kids in the ocean at Coney Island: Summer 2013

The summer is almost over. It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is just two days off in the distance and all I my blog has to show for it is a handful of posts. I had grand plans…

The summer is a meaningful time for me: family birthdays and annual celebrations, my anniversary and, of course, excursions and getaways. Yet every time I meant to sit down and capture it for my blog, I was distracted or something else came up and it no longer seemed timely. But now, dear reader, as summer’s precious moments are coming to a close, it seems all the more necessary to remember the highlights, gifts and surprises of Summer 2013.

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Summer Thank You Gifts: Perfect Pairs

20130620-233054.jpgI’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.

IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together

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Boston: Giving Some Peace of Mind

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Words cannot express the sadness and confusion unfolding in my living room right now. I hate that we live in a world where I have to answer questions from my children like: “why did someone bomb a race?” (I don’t know) and “did any children die?” (yes) and “will it happen here too?” (I don’t know).

What I do know is that in these moments one of the bests gifts we can give each other is peace of mind, and so if you need to connect to loved one as a result of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Red Cross has a Safe and Well Listing that aids in that effort. And as always, you can donate funds or give blood to the Red Cross too.

Tonight, I’m hugging my loved ones tighter and counting my blessings twice.

Things That Say Spring

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Image Courtesy of Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com

Even though last week was the official start of spring, those of us in the north east aren’t quite feeling it yet. I won’t postulate about climate change and how a mere twenty years ago I was running around Central Park, the same time of year in cutoffs and a t-shirt during daylight hours (oops, I guess I just did)… but I will say that my insides are aching for a warm, delightful spring day and all that entails. So instead of dreaming, I thought I would put pen to paper (or finger to keypad as it were) and strut down memory lane until Mother Nature complies, as we know she ultimately will.

Top ten things that say spring:

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Nostalgic for Passover

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I always get nostalgic this time of year. Seven years ago I was just dating my now-husband about six months and he invited me to come to Seder at his sister’s house. I was raised a Catholic girl–I’m not a practicing Christian today–and although I’m a far cry from Jewish, having been raised in New York City, I’ve been to a few Passover Seders before so I knew this was a big deal and not just any dinner.

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A Dance With My Father

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The sad news about Valerie Harper‘s diagnosis has me reflecting about my father. He also had a brain cancer, however the time between his diagnosis and his passing was approximately eleven weeks. I don’t know if we were profoundly lucky or if were really short-changed because of that compressed timeframe…probably a bit of both.

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