Friday, April 24, 2015

alumni weekend

A few weekends ago Fernando had an alumni weekend for UNC radiology. It was great to have family events to go to (picnic during the day on saturday and dinner party at the Carolina Club that night) and be able to catch up with some of Fernando's old colleagues and their families. 

These pictures were from before/during dinner. Luckily there were lots of other kids there for the girls to play with. 
Lucia ran around with a sweet little friend named Grace (one of Fernando's colleague, Ari's daughters). 
At first Lucia was acting a bit shy and took a moment to warm up to everyone--
but by the end her and Grace were skipping around, laughing, jumping, playing ring around the rosie and singing (quite loudly) skidamarink a-dink a-dink, skidamarink a-doo, I LOVE YOU! 
It was quite adorable. 
        
29 weeks here!



Of course my girls' bows are the first things to go once they start playing!
Hugs saying bye! So sweet.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The family that prays together /// 3

On Good Friday before her nap time Lucia decided Papa needed to take a nap...

She told him to lay down on the futon, she brought him a blanket and tucked him in, gave him a blessing on his forehead and then sat down with a book and prayed with him. She said an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be like we always do with her.

Here she is praying a Hail Mary
She stops at the beginning and says "close your eyes!" 

Regina reading Elmo books and saying "AAAAA-MEN" at the end of every little "sentence" she mumbles. 

Pompieri Pizza and signs of SPRING


The girls and I were with Nonna at brunch at Cafe Carolina one weekend when Fernando was working. There was a young woman that works there that has Down Syndrome who stopped and talked to the girls while we were waiting for our food. She was so sweet with the girls and asked them both for a high five. After being a bit hesitant (which is how they always react to strangers that come up and start talking to them) they both eventually gave her a high five. She walked by a few other times while we were eating and more high fives were exchanged. She walked away with a smile on her face and the girls were both smiling as well! 

I didn't think anything of it...

Well, little did we know but there was a guy sitting at another table with his wife that had seen the whole thing. Turns out he is a Chef at Pompieri Pizza in downtown Durham. 
He came up to our table before he was about to leave and introduced himself. He said he had seen how sweet my girls were by giving the young woman high fives. He said they have tokens with them when they are out and about, so when they see random acts of kindness they like to reward people by treating them to a free gelato at their restaurant.   
I had heard of Pompieri Pizza (and it was actually on our short list of places we wanted to try before leaving) but we had never been. This gave us a great reason to try it out! 


The little tokens the girls got. We obviously opted for the free gelato ;) 


The cheddar bunny pizza! Such a cute idea for kids

 The food was AMAZING. Even better than we expected. The tomato soup was fantastic and it came with a side of equally delicious focaccia bread. The soup was a pretty spicy, which we weren't expecting, but we like spicy! 
Fernando and I split a pizza to ensure plenty of room for gelato... priorities.

We split the Drunken Horse pizza which had a beer crust with red sauce, spicy Italian house-made sausage, house mozzarella and olive oil.

All of their doughs, sauces, breads, soups and even cheeses are made in-house! I love restaurants that made their own everything! 
They even make their own fresh squeezed lemonade (my favorite) and they have Puck's All Natural sodas (which are amazing) instead of a typical soda fountain. 

We hope to make it back there before we leaving for Denver, however if we can't the least we can do is recommend it to all of our local friends! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"I want papa to take me on a date!"

ML: Where are you going?
Rachel: Papa is taking me on a date. 
ML: I want Papa to take ME on a date!
Rachel: Okay, another day he will do that!

...and so that plan for Papa to take Maria Lucia on a date commenced. 

We had always thought it was a good idea for Fernando to take our girls on little one-on-one dates once they got older. However we never decided what age they would start. I think we figured that roughly 3 or 4 years old would be a good time. 
So when Lucia and I had the above conversation just shy of her third birthday, I knew it was time we made it happen. 

One night in early April Fernando decided to plan their little date. He dressed up with a tie and everything (well he was already dress that way from work that day...) and I got Lucia ready for her big date in a fancy dress, shoes and a bow. 
They went to Chick-fil-a (Lucia's choice, although Fernando loves it too!) for dinner and dessert and then to our local Mall to play in the water fountains and walk around. It was a beautiful night out and perfect weather for their little date. 
The first half of the pictures I took of them before they left and the rest were ones Fernando sent me during their date. 
It was so cute to see how excited Lucia was before they left and to hear all about it from her once they got back. She was beaming and she felt so special! 



She was definitely excited about the date... just not so much about taking pictures beforehand. 


Fernando said she was running around like crazy, giggling and having the best time!

Until the next Papa/daughter date!  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Easter Sunday

Easter this year was a beautiful day spent with family celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord! 
We went to Mass with Nonno and Nonna and then all met back at their condo for a delicious brunch.

We got ready for Mass with a little time to spare on purpose, to ensure time for some pictures before Mass. I knew if it didn't happen then there would be a good chance of it not happening at all. 





Thankfully our neighbors across the street were willing to come outside and grab a picture of the 4 of us! Love those neighbors of ours. We are going to miss them! 
 The girls' little Easter basket

They shared one since Regina is still too young to know/care. The things in it were for both of them anyway, so why not put it all in one basket?

The My Easter Bible Storybook is a Precious Moments book and was actually from Sam's club! The basket also included fruit snacks (the girls' absolute favorite treat!), some washable markers, and an assortment of Holy Heroes goodies.

(Holy Heroes is an awesome Catholic Company- based out of North Carolina!- that has some amazing resources for faith formation for your kids. 
If you are looking for something (they have CDs, books, DVDs, coloring books, games, etc.) as a gift for your kid or a niece, nephew, grandchild or Godchild, this company has it all!) 






March videos

Some videos from the month of March...









March

March was a beautiful month here, Spring finally started to show up and we had a nice little vacation (Outer Banks, NC)! 

Also in March...

 Spaghetti night at the Boschini's, clothing for babies always optional. 

 Laura found her wedding dress, she asked me to be her Maid OF HONOR (!!!) and we celebrated with Nonna by eating this ridiculously large and amazing apple crisp from Ted Montana's. 
 baby romper weather
 Fernando and our friend (and neighbor) Thomas went to a Duke game (can't remember who Duke was playing). Thomas generously invited Fernando and they had a great time.

A few nights later Thomas' wife, Emily and I went out to dinner for a girls' night. She invited me out to celebrate my birthday (back in February) but we didn't get around to it until mid-March.  The funny thing is us girls didn't think to take a picture when we went out...but the guys did! So there you have a great picture of Fernando and Thomas... and zero pictures of Emily and I. 
Oh well.. next time!

 Love these sweet little girls' rosy cheeked faces after playing outside! It's so nice when the "playing outside" weather arrives! 

 Over Lent one of the things I did was sign up for Father Robert Barron's Lenten reflections. He emailed them out once a day with a short(isn) reflection and a quote at the bottom of the email (like the one you see above). 
This quote really struck me and it was one of my favorite quotes from his emails. It's short, sweet and to the point! 
Your life is not about you... always a good reminder because unfortunately, it's easy to forget. 
 Speaking of Father Barron, I was actually able to see him speak one afternoon during Lent. It was a great talk on the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Lively Virtues. 
My friend happened to be at my house with a napping daughter (their house was for sale and they had a showing at nap time, so her daughter was napping here) and she offered to stay with the girls so I could go to the talk solo. I jumped at the opportunity!  
 Grandma sent some fun stickers for Spring! 
 eating straight out of the avocado
 Spring in our front yard!!

 Our home with the 3 different trees blooming different colors! My favorite time in North Carolina! 
 One of Lucia's coloring pages from the Holy Heroes "Lenten Adventure." 

(Great Lenten resource! They email you a few times a week with different printable coloring pages, crossword puzzles, videos etc. Some of the activities are a bit above Lucia's age but she loved the coloring pages.)

Fernando mentioned that Mary looks sick to her stomach... and we figured that was a pretty accurate portrayal of how she felt. 

 27 weeks and officially in the 3rd trimester! 

(Instead of posting a picture of Regina on the potty I will just say here- Regina used the potty for the first time this month! It was potty of the #2 variety and I couldn't believe she did it at only 17 months! She has only done it once since and while I don't plan on potty training her anytime soon, I think this is a great step in the right direction!) 
 Family trip to Pullen Park on a beautiful March weekend, along with every other child in the Triangle area. Even though it was crazy crowed the girls had a great time, as always! 


Regina getting a ride from Lucia on her tricycle