Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Gino turns ONE!

My very last baby turned ONE last Friday. 

On Good Friday.

Which meant NZ was off work and able to BBQ some delicious lamb for a birthday dinner to celebrate Gino's birthday with our family and our neighbors. I made a small smash cake for him, and cupcakes for the rest of us. My sister never fails to deliver--the cutest surfer themed cookies arrived in the mail a couple days before--so I was a good girl and saved them for the big day. 



He enjoyed his cake smashing to the fullest. His sister waited for him to share with such restraint!



He eventually flipped it over and tears ensued. He took the whole, "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to" to a whole new level. 


Turns out, poor boy had a fever of 103 and spent the rest of the weekend on a cocktail of Tylenol and Motrin. Despite him being sick, it was really nice to celebrate the fact that we have all survived his first year (even though he has yet to sleep through a night!). Here's to year two! 

We love you, Gino Mario.

                       [ yep. Best family shot out of six. Always awkward, always funny]

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


There's no secret that I'm a Facebook and Instagram junkie. 

I try to quit--and I just.can't.stop.scrolling. 

There's an app on Facebook called "on this day", that shows you all your posts from this date in previous years. From time to time, I like to see what my life was all about way back when, and I've gotten some good laughs out of status updates I had posted, and enjoy seeing photographs I may have otherwise forgotten.

Then today. 

The date was March 22,2009

16 weeks pregnant with my first big baby bump. 

I was so freaking excited to be pregnant after a miscarriage the year before. This was OUR time--OUR turn to have the baby we'd been trying for and I had been aching so badly to care for. It was happening. We were having a baby!!!

This photo was taken at our family's annual Yosemite reunion. I was so happy to turn down offers of beer and lounge my pregnant ass in a chair while listening to the river flow by. I remember talking to Nick about how that would be our last trip just sitting quietly by the river...because next year, you know--we will have our little girl crawling around out there. We talked about how the baby would change our Yosemite experience, and all of the things we looked forward to showing her on future trips..biking, hiking, enjoying the scenery. 

And then came May. 

And Denise.

And the end of my pregnancy and dreams for her.

The next year at Yosemite was a quiet one, with Nick and I resuming our "reading books by the river" tradition of all the years prior. That was a hard year for me-and because it was hard for me, it was hard for US.  I had just looked forward to it so so soooo much with a baby in tow.

And here we are March 2016, on the cusp of another Yosemite reunion, and I'm making mental notes of all the gear and food and things we will need to take with us. I'm working out logistics of sleeping arrangements and meals, and containment of a super busy little baby, along with two curious and talkative children.

Three kids.

In Yosemite. 

With Nick and me. 

My dreams have come true, three fold. 

So I guess what I'm saying in a long winded way, is that hope is a powerful thing. I am so thankful that Nick never gave up hope in me, and I never gave up hope in bringing a baby home. We never gave up hope, that someday, we'd have kids who we'd be able to share the magic of Yosemite with. They get to grow up going year after year, seeing cousins and relatives and making memories. I'm still amazed that we get to call them ours, and that they get to partake in such a cool family tradition for years to come.