Monday, March 31, 2014

South America: Lima, Peru

Some people called us brave. Others thought us crazy. But I was always very sure that traveling to South America as a family of 3 (and a half) was the way to do it. Luckily, I was right.

We boarded LAN Airlines on a Thursday evening brushing midnight. Adelaide nestled in her jammies and ready to explore new lands. Well after we fought her to sleep for about 5 hours and her persistent cough kept her awake, we finally succumbed to fate and walked her up & down the aisles for at least 30 laps. Exhausted her & I both collapsed into our seats for 3 hours of sleep until arriving in Lima. Yet what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

Well we enjoyed a family nap and then set out to see the great city of Lima and the quaint suburb of Miraflores. Walking through "Central Park" with hundreds of cats was pure delight for our adventure girl as she yelled "cat" and pointing to each one. And then came the puppies. Everywhere. Leashed ones. Stray ones. Skinny ones. Fat ones. Small ones. Big ones. She loves them all.

After about 20 blocks, we met the great Pacific Ocean with warm smiles. Niched next to it was a playground bustling with children and lining the area were shops & restaurants (known as Larcomar). Heaven for all three of us.

Our second day in Lima involved a tour of the city sights which proved its rich history and passion for life. So many beautiful buildings and historic art. We enjoyed browsing it all and taking in its life lessons filling us with much gratitude.

The people of Lima could not have been more wonderful. Truly hospitable and making sure our every need, question, concern was met from the first to the last person we came in contact with. I look forward to returning some day and seeing even more of this gorgeous city.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Adelaide Jane: 18 (1/2) Months

Dearest Adelaide,

I can hardly believe that you are a year and a half already. You have grown so much in the last 6 months that I am in awe daily. Your personality continues to blossom and you have become such a big "helper" for mommy & daddy. 

You just went on your first big international trip and boy were you a popular, celebrity among the locals everywhere. Your charming smile stole the hearts of many South Americans. You also tried mango juice for the first time on this trip and fell in love. Sucking down an entire cup in seconds. And you have become a french fry connoisseur in Peru, Argentina, & Brazil.

Currently you give high fives, hugs, & kisses. You also blow kisses from afar. You love to sit in your room in the rocker and read stories by yourself or with mommy & daddy reading. You like to throw your diaper (or any other trash) in the trash can; immediately pointing out that it is trash. You smile and say cheese for the camera...just after wrapping your arms around us which is by far the most adorable thing ever. 

You ask for your "B" which is your bunny. You tell Beaumont, "no puppy" when he is barking. You recognize pictures of mommy, daddy, Beaumont, Mimi, Papa, and Giorgio. Every time the phone rings you say, "Hi Mimi" and frequently ask to call or Facetime her and Papa. You also like to pick up the phone and say "Hello Mimi, Papa." My heart melts. 

You love for us to sing songs to you. Particularly the wheels on the bus with our own made up animals who ride along. The days of the week in French song. Head-shoulders-knees-and toes (in English and French). You either roll your arms to indicate the wheels on the bus or pat your head to indicate head-shoulders-knees-and-toes. I love it!

Your vocabulary amazes me as you are very vocal, like your mommy ;) I never liked to count your words because I have never been worried about your verbal development, but since being in South America you were catching on to so many things daily that I thought it would be neat to record the words that you do say frequently.

Here they are:
Bye Bye
Mommy, Mom
Daddy, Dad
Beaumont, Beau, Beau Beau
Aunt B (for Taylor)
Pee pee
Poo poo
More, No more
I see
Thank you (TT mommy or daddy)
B for bunny
Monkey (me me)
Mickey Mouse
Au Revoir
Uh oh
Boo boo
Hot (hot hot when something is warm)
Night night
Santa (to anyone who has a white beard)
Hair bow
Fa la la la la
Ho ho ho

You are learning news things every minute and I love watching you grow. I love you big girl and can't wait for you to be a big sister to the new baby. I know you will be great!

I Love You!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Station Seven: Jesus Falls the Second Time

This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you're up and walking again. You don't give up.

I can't count how many times I have fallen. Times I have been weak. I am not always proud of how I carry my crosses but I do always manage to stand up and keep on going. I have been blessed with an amazing life thus far and luckily my crosses are minor compared to others. Yet there have been times when my cross has been to much to bare at a given moment.

If we only fell once in life, it would be pretty easy. But with struggle comes strength and growth which is what life is all about. Learning from our mistakes and continuing on our journey as we strive to be better people. 

As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do. Help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it's hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did. Help me do my best without comparing myself with others.

(All italicized quotes/prayers have been taken from

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

12 Years A Slave: A Movie Review

Just before our trip to South America, Ryan & I enjoyed a night in on the couch with Chipotle and a movie. 12 Years A Slave had been on my must-see list so we fired up the OnDemand channels and rented it. My eyes were glued to the screen in shock and horror through the entire 134 minutes.

Based on a true story, Solomon Northup was a free man in New York before he was abducted and sold into slavery for twelve years. From plantation to plantation, the long 12 years of his slavery are filled with blood, sweat, and tears as he watches the cruelty around him become his reality. Picking cotton in fields, building boats to cross rivers, and playing the violin for recreation, he displays a man of great character throughout each day. His determination leads him back to his own freedom and the family he was ripped from by abduction.

A story of sadness yet strength and a must see for anyone who believes that the mind can overcome all things.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Station Six: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Jesus, suddenly a woman comes out of the crowd. Her name is Veronica. You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face. She can't do much, but she offers what little help she can.

I am not a miracle worker nor do I have all the money or time in the world. However I do try to help those around me the best I can. Sometimes it is simply opening the door for a struggling mother of 3 who has no free hands. Sometimes it is being a lector at church and reading the Lord's message to others. Other times it is a quick text or phone call to let a friend know I am thinking of them. Or often it is just taking a moment to listen to a stranger or friend.

Veronica can't offer much help to Jesus as His fate is nearing; yet she does the smallest of things she can do to help. Wiping away his blood & sweat. Minor acts of kindness to one can move mountains for another.

When we are kind to one another, we plant the seed of Jesus in ourselves as well as others. We don't have to move mountains to be kind or bring joy to others. We simply need to let kindness guide our lives and the rest will follow.

As an adult, I notice the needs around me. Sometimes my own family members crave my attention, and I don't even seem to notice. Sometimes a co-worker, friend, or family member could use help or understanding, but I don't reach out to help lest I be criticized, or that they demand more of me than I'd like to give. 

(All italicized quotes/prayers have been taken from

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Station Five: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Jesus, the soldiers are becoming impatient. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. They are afraid you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. As you grow weaker, they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. He was just watching what was happening, but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross.

Moving to New York was exciting and scary all at the same time. We were starting over as newlyweds with no one we knew in Westchester County. I was recently pregnant with Adelaide making the need for friends & support even more important. I stumbled upon Abbi through tennis early into our move and will forever be grateful for God's timing. She as well as the women she introduced me to helped me carry my crosses throughout my pregnancy. They helped cheer me up when I missed my mom. They brought food or simply visited after Adelaide's birth. Anything I needed, they were there to help with while smiling and being glad to help.

Simon of Cyrene is a stranger to Jesus. All of a sudden he is helping Jesus carry His cross up the hill. Much like Abbi and Co, they were strangers who saw something in me that made their hearts leap to help. Simon too sees Jesus in a new light as he helps carry the cross.

Let us all be that stranger who helps another carry his/her cross. Through random acts of kindness, we never know who's life we are touching and just how much they need it at the time.

As an adult, sometimes I try to do as little as I can and still get by. Others might need my help, but I ignore their needs. Even when I'm asked to help, I sometimes claim to be too busy. 

(All italicized quotes/prayers have been taken from

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Station Four: Jesus Meets His Mother

Jesus, you feel so alone with all those people yelling and screaming at you. You don't like the words they are saying about you, and you look for a friendly face in the crowd. You see your mother. She can't make the hurting stop, but it helps to see that she is on your side, that she is suffering with you. She does understand and care.

When anything in my life is happening, good or bad, I call my mom. There is nothing like the comfort of her voice to cheer me up or lift my spirits or make me even more proud of my accomplishment. She has always been there for me when I have been sick, frightened, lonely, or confused. 

As a mother, I have realized that the same is true for Adelaide. When she has a bad dream, it is my touch that comforts her. When she skins her knee or bites her tongue, it is the hug of mommy that soothes her pain. When she is tired, it is my snuggles that calm her. 

Being a mother is the greatest gift; yet it is heart-breaking at times to see your child(ren) suffer. I cannot imagine Mary having to stand by and watch her son's pain feeling helpless all at once. But Jesus finds peace in just seeing her familiar face.

In continuance with my Lenten promise, I want to remember the comfort Adelaide finds in me as her mother. My patience gives her the gift of peace. A gift no one else can offer to her.

As an adult I sometimes feel overwhelmed by many things. Life is so competitive, and I worry so much about my future and those who have some control over it. I need to remember that being an adult does not mean having to solve every problem all by myself. I need to look around me for a friendly face, for the help I need. 

(All italicized quotes/prayers have been taken from

Monday, March 17, 2014

Luck O' Irish

This year, we celebrated St. Patty's Day with all things green and festive.

We ventured into Mount Kisco for their St. Patrick's Day parade on a warm afternoon. Last year we had such a blast at the White Plains parade that we just had to go again. Plus with 55 degree temps, you bet we were getting out of the house!

A wee little leprechaun stopped by to leave golden treats for Adelaide & Ryan.

I love spicing up mundane entrees with a little color or holiday spin. So we enjoyed green eggs and green pancakes with Lucky Charm marshmallows for breakfast. Shamrock shakes for dessert.

And no holiday is complete without a little craft! So we made a rainbow in hopes to find a pot of gold :)

Here's hoping you found your inner Irishness this St. Patrick's Day and along with it came all the treasures  gold coins your heart desires!