Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful Thoughts #11

Thankful Thoughts #11

At Megan and Ryan's Wedding - West Des Moines, Iowa - October 28, 2011

I'm sure we have more recent pictures and this wasn't exactly the one I was looking for, but it was one of our "dressed up" occasions last year!  Today, I'm thankful for Kenny and our marriage.  Today, marks 7 years of marriage for us.  We've celebrated by enjoying a relaxed, normal day with Charlie.  Nothing fancy or special, just peaceful. 

Sometimes I can't believe it's only been 7 years. 

Family Photos - September 2011
We like to joke that Kenny took care of the "in sickness" part of our wedding vows early in our marriage and I tell him that he's going to get it when we are old and it's my turn!  Our 7 years has gone by so fast and we've been through so much, we are happy we got to make today a peaceful day, enjoying church, brunch, some errands and a relaxing quiet afternoon.  I made a great italian soup for dinner and we are enjoying watching old movies with Charlie now.  Tomorrow, we both have the day off and it's nice to have some down time together. 

And since we got married on Veteran's Day...we are so thankful for the Veteran's of this country.  We have several in our family and we took some time during dinner tonight to discuss what that means with Charlie. 

Thankful Thought #10

Charlie with Lauren, Ryan and Megan - Summer 2012
Kenny and I are both so thankful for our wonderful cousins.  This was the first picture I found from earlier this year, so it's just one set of cousins we are thankful for...but we love all of them.  On day 10 this month, we celebrated Megan and Ryan's new baby girl with a great baby shower.  They are going to be wonderful parents and we are thrilled to have a new baby in the family.  Charlie is a bit disappointed it's not a boy, but he really is a sweet kid with babies, boy or girl!  Cousin Lauren is a great big cousin for Charlie and he thinks she is the best!

Thankful Thought #9

I'm thankful for the wonderful city of Chicago that we live so close too.  Over the years, I have learned so much more about Chicago and love to spend the day exploring down there (although it's usually between doctor appointments).   Kenny doesn't love the crowds so much, but I find the whole experience going down there fun, enjoying things we can't get in the burbs.
View from Ted's office on West Ohio looking east towards the lake.

View of the sunset set looking westbound down Erie. 
I'm especially thankful for all of the medical technology there is in Chicago.  Without such top ranking hospitals at such a close distance to us, our lives would be far different from what they are today and Chicago will always have a special place in my heart.

Thankful Thought #8

Thankful Thought #8

Charlie - August 2012 at Brookfield Zoo

I'm thankful for that little Charlie boy...who really isn't so little anymore.  He's 43 1/2" tall as of the end of October (that would be a 2" growth since the end of June!).  That also means he's closing in on my height, so picking him up is more and more out of the question for me and he's ONLY 4! 

As frustrating as a 4 year old can be and as much as Kenny and I shoot each other looks like "when is he going to bed tonight?!", I just can't get enough of him.  A few nights ago, I told him I got a bad paper cut at work and it really hurt.  He was immediately concerned and told me after dinner he would get me a batman bandaid, but if we openned it and it was joker, I couldn't have it and he would give me another one.  Bandaids are still like gold to him, so that was a true gift from him.  The next night, he wanted to inspect my bandaid, make sure it was in place and he asked how my boo-boo was.  He's so caring and has a sweet heart. 

He says the best things now too!  Once he knows we think it's funny, he just keeps at it.  Some favorites of late are:

"Girls are complicated" (thanks John Carlin!)
After each meal, he hops up from the table and says "See how much I've grown.  I'm getting so big!"

All of these are said with a bit of an Elmer Fudd voice.  He can say the Pledge, which we love and it's so sweet.  He's a good kid, despite how frustrating he can be sometimes.  His teachers tell us they don't have problems with him often and I guess if he is going to be good, that's the place we want him to be good!

Charlie - Summer 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Thought #7

Today I'm thankful for technology.  Technology that allows me to:

** share my thankful thoughts
** research prices on items with ease, to find the best deal, to save the most money for my family
** listen to music at work, to keep me active during a gray, dreary day (when I'd rather be relaxing at home)
** to have instant communication with family and friends
** to look at pictures of my favorite little boy
** to start making my Christmas cards

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankful Thoughts #6

Thankful Thoughts #6

I'm thankful for our country today, as most people are on a big Election Day, as today is.  It's a wonderful thing that we have the right to vote...don't get me wrong, but I might be more thankful that Election Day means the end of the political calls, mail and what seems to be neverending political postings on Facebook.  I firmly believe that political views should be kept to yourself and don't need to be shared with the masses...or your family....or friends.  I agree to disagree with people and agree with others, and I don't need to have a conversation about it. 

With that said, I hope that all go to vote and then keep your voting to yourself.  Even Kenny and I don't talk about who we are voting for...other than the very local elections. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankful Thought #5

Thankful Thought #5

I'm sitting upstairs, peacefully, after dinner, taking a few moments to catch up on things and I'm thankful for the sweet noises I hear downstairs of my Charlie and his Daddy playing trains and being silly.  There were days, several years ago, that we wondered how life would be and if there would be normal-ness....and there is.  Charlie has his Daddy and he thinks he makes the world go round and round.  We don't take these things lightly, in fact, we make a point of having these quiet moments, in the evening or for a few hours on a weekend, where we don't have anywhere to be except with each other.  Sometimes that together time isn't always perfect, but we work on it, trying to have those moments, in this busy life.  Charlie is growing up so fast and we don't want to miss a moment of it.  You never know when you might not have the chance to have those make the most of them when you can!

Enjoying some tractors - September 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful Thought #4

Thankful Thought #4

Many days, I'm thankful for pinterest and they inspiration it provides me.  Recipes, cute ideas for gifts and decorating, homemade (read: less toxic) cleaning ideas, books to read...  The list goes on and on.  I'm thankful for technology and the opportunity it provides us to share ideas and learn.  I love that I can quickly jump on pinterest, find a recipe I pinned in the past and quickly throw together a meal or something for my family. 

Thankful Thought #3

Thankful Thought #3

Today, I'm thankful for a new church to attend.  When Charlie was younger, Kenny and I tried to attend church, but found it difficult as paying attention and getting anything out of a service with a young boy isn't easy.  The "crying room" was awful to sit in as the parents were more disruptive than the kids.  That led to us not going to church often.  As Charlie has gotten older, we thought it would be important for him to attend Sunday School (or religious ed) and as he has more of an attention span now, church.  This past spring, I started church "shopping" online, looking at churches in our area that it would make sense for us to attend.  Our old parish that we were married in, wasn't appealing to us, as the priest that married us left and we never connected with the new priest. 

I found that online, I liked a church we've passed by several times, in the town north of us.  Charlie and I tried it out one weekend and Kenny joined us a few times and we agreed we liked it.  It's very relaxed and full of young families that were welcoming.  The priest also struck a chord with us, but we soon found he was retiring in the summer.  We continued to attend most weeks and then met the newly assigned priest.  We were thrilled that we liked him more than the retiring priest.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and a long term vision for the church.  He is welcoming and in general allows us to see ourselves attending this church for years to come. 

Charlie started Sunday School this fall, during 10am mass, which provides a nice time for Kenny and I to enjoy a service, without constant interuptions from Charlie.  And it provides Charlie with a great time to enjoy learning about God at a 4 year old level.  We are so thankful!

Photo: Nothing to do with the post, just a cute one of Charlie taken by Uncle Ted during their morning in the City together.  April 2012

Thankful Thought #2

Thankful Thought #2

I'm thankful for all of my family, but this post is especially for my dad's side of the family.  These pictures are from a family reunion that was held in Iowa in June 2012.  It had been 20 years since our last family reunion with that side of the family, although we have certainly seen them here and there since then.  20 years ago, we called ourselves DOM (Descendants of Martina).  Martina was my great grandmother.  Then DOM name has continued over time...

The reunion was held in Ames, Iowa and was a great time for all of us.  It is my Italian side of the family, so there is always good food and the family is always so fun to be around.  Many old pictures were out as we all shared stories.  I realize now how important it is to know about family history and several of us were soaking up the stories from the older generations. 

First Cousins with their only Aunt and Uncle
Standing: Bill, Connie, Renny, Vickie, Carol, Larry
Sitting: Aunt Mary Lois, Uncle Fred, Retha, Bud and Rubie

Retha and Bud - such sweet people.  They always remind me of my Nona and Popsie.

My dad and his cousin Bill.  These two are just two days apart (and Charlie shares Bill's birthday).
Although they grew up states away from each other, I think they saw each other most summers and they always enjoy a visit together.

And here they are about 1 year old, I think.  My dad is the bigger one, with curly hair.  Who knew he was a big kid?!

And here's Charlie with Nona and Papa. 

One of my favorite things about the reunion was Charlie got to spend time with my cousin Katie's kids.  The boys surround him in age and they had a blast together as shown below...

To the thankful thought...last night we spent hours with my dad's side of the family at Connie and Renny's house, enjoying time with an out of town cousin, Roz and those of us who live in Illinois.  It was so nice to enjoy each other's company, good food and listening to stories of the past.  The kids got to play again and as they left each other, were asking for playdates.  

Charlie's First Field Trip

From Fall 2010:

Charlie on his 1st field trip - playing at Harms Farm in McHenry with his Shakespeare Friends.

Charlie was lucky enough to have both of his parents go on his first field trip -- as if we would miss it!

Charlie and his best little buddy, Ryan Schaefer.  Ryan and Charlie don't say much in their 2 year old class, except to each other!

Miss Michelle (one of Charlie's favorites) and Charlie and Ryan in the front.

After the field trip was over, Kenny and I stayed at Harms Farm with Charlie to spend a little time there, as we have each year. 

See how big he has gotten!

Charlie wouldn't let Daddy sit in the chair with him.  Stubborn little guy!

Mommy and her favorite litty guy


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Playing Catch Up with a Month of Posting Thankful Thoughts

Welcome back!  It's been almost exactly 2 years since I last wrote a post and often I have thought of getting back into it as I want to one day publish these blog posts to record our family's history/scrapbook. 
And now it's November and after Halloween it always takes me a day or two to realize it's that month where we are reminded a bit more than usual to count our blessings.  I've always thought of writing a thankful thought a instead, I thought I would try to catch up on life posts by associating them with my thankful thoughts. 
Thankful Thought #1
I'm thankful for fall and the beautiful colors that the midwest is graced with in the fall.  Fall of 2012 seemed to fly right by us though as we had a big temperature change without much gradual transition into cooler weather.  Regardless, Kenny, Charlie and I have enjoyed some nice fall moments together, doing some of our traditional fall activities that I will likely be posting about in more detail as the month rolls along.

Above is our "not so little" Charlie, who is 4 now, posing for me with some pumpkins at the Farm Heritage Festival that we try and get to each year.  It's near our house and has many tractors that Kenny likes to study and teach Charlie about.  We roam around for the afternoon, taking in the smells and tastes of fall activity and let Charlie enjoy more of the activities there each year.  This year, as Kenny and I stood together watching Charlie take off on a tractor barrel ride, we both had moment that we realized how big our little guy is getting and that more and more he doesn't need us for everything.  It's amazing watching him grow up and learn.  We are so grateful to be his parents.