12/31/11

thank you 2011.

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2011.
brought us joy. laughter. pride.
it brought us dreams that turned into memories i could quietly tuck into my pocket. so when i needed these memories they were clenched tightly in the palm of my hand.

i watched a baby blossom
a toddler step into boyhood
a child become a leader
and a man take on fatherhood with passion.

we traveled.
Pittsburgh for trey. Raleigh for friends. Wilmington for beach.
Chicago and Cincinnati for phish. Columbus for family.

we learned.
to walk. to swim. to read. to ride a bike.
to coast the ocean waves without fear.

we worked.
long restaurant hours and late into the night.
jewelry shows. art shows.
a new kitchen put in by hand. painted walls. bathroom tile.
a blog that became a place i rarely visited to a daily journal of my life.
words and photographs. thoughts and moments.

we built memories in our home.
a home we decided to leave. a search for new foundation. a new start.

2012
we eagerly await your kindness.
we anticipate what you will share.
a new hope.
good health.
love
family
friends

new memories.

some of my favorite posts from 2011 are:
begging jon to follow the blog, Jessica turning six months old, the Lobster Clam Bake at the restaurant, trip number one to Chicago, Josh's birthday, my birthday, our beach vacation, July 4th, Jonas' birthday and what he woke up to, Chicago again day one, two, three, little sailor girl waiting for her dad, to the fair we went, Jessica's first birthday, this year was also about lots and lots of baking and good food, walking into december with warm weather, decorating for the holidays and finally Christmas Eve and day.

Happy New Year friends. I hope it's been a good one for you.
May you celebrate the new year with joy and love.
Cheers!
Liz

12/30/11

we danced the night away.

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There's nothing like grabbing a coffee, jumping in the car with the family and heading off for a road trip. Our drive took us straight to the North Market in Columbus which is no surprise since Jon and I always make it our mission to seek out the best markets and local grocery stores. We filled our bellies with Pho, Jeni's ice cream and Americanos and then headed to my brothers house. While cousins played and giggles streamed from the basement Jon and I prepared dinner with my brother Mike and his wife Liz.

We sampled wines. We sampled breads. We devoured some delicious artichoke and carmel onion spreads that we picked up at the market. Once the little ones were tucked in tight underneath their sleeping bags we enjoyed a late night dinner of braised short ribs, egg noodles and a strawberry and candied pecan salad accompanied by a trio of wines. Dessert brought us a platter of truffles and crépes suzette. The only thing missing was an espresso but it was well into the night at this point and I certainly didn't need caffeine to keep the night going. We finished our evening off by watching the second set of live Phish on their New Years run at Madison Square Garden. Secretly while I danced I wished I was there (I have yet to see a New Years show) but couldn't be more happy with my family dancing the night away by the Christmas tree.

12/28/11

house hunt.


great tile, awesome light fixtures but the crazy metallic wall paper would go.



It's official. Our home is on the market and we're on a house hunt. When it comes to our future home Jon and I are similar minded. We love split levels and ranches, we love older homes and we love a neighborhood with an old school feel. We're looking for character and charm and something that we can stay in for the rest of our lives. This means a home that can accommodate small children that will grow into teenagers. Jon and I both agree that we would love for our house to be the hang out house, I would rather my children spend time with their friends under my roof than someone else's. I look forward to a home filled with children, running and playing, music and movies. I look forward to cooking and baking and filling our home with memories.


i love love this living room space



The first house is one we really have our eye on. It's in a great older neighborhood, close to the school and right down the street from my sister. The downfall about this house is it needs serious (serious) work. In fact, every single room needs works which means lots of time and money. I certainly know there will be work in any house but I don't want to still be working on our house ten years down the road. And unfortunately, we are working with a small budget so that means no huge projects and this house needs them. But I still have my eye on it. I have my hopes that it would sell for the right price,

The second set of pictures are from a home we saw yesterday. Again, older neighborhood older home. While this house needed some work it is very livable. Any updates would simply be cosmetic. Take the carpets out and pray there is hardwood underneath and paint (white of course). I think that kitchen is waiting to become an all white kitchen! The layout was a traditional split level, which appeals to us, and it had a spacious backyard.

So, my friends, wish us luck as we continue on this journey. It's a stressful one that has pulled me away from many activities (blogging, trying out the new computer, reading, working out, crafts and my jewelry). Yesterday we showed the house two times and I have to be honest, I can't do this for a year. We stayed up until three am getting ready and then I woke up early and finished the cleaning, washed down walls, touched up paint and swept. My car was filled and I mean FILLED with stuff that had to go, not to mention three kids and a eighty pound dog. The kids sensed my tension, I was tired and cranky. So today we're taking off. We're going to visit my brother in Columbus to enjoy family and good food, hit the North Market, and of course watch some live Phish tonight since Jon and I can't be at the Madison Square Garden shows (insert sad face).

Enjoy your day friends.
I feel like this holiday season has been a bit stressful... I hope yours has been stress free.

and, this is my first official post on the new mac ;)
it only took me seven hours! slowly but surely i'll figure this baby out.

12/27/11

christmas eve and day.

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good food

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Our Christmas Eve is filled with family, food and friends.
Every year it is tradition to eat a late lunch at the restaurant. If you can believe it this is actually our busiest day of the year. We gathered around with close family to enjoy the tradition of lobster rolls, Jerry fries and bloody Mary's. After lunch I always head to mass with the kids and this year my family joined me for the "children's" mass. Once church lets out everyone heads over to our house for more tradition: tappas, wine and baccalĂ  (a salted cod fish) which my dad makes with tomatoes, olives, potatoes and a cream broth (olive oil for me). My mother has passed along this Spanish tradition and I can't wait to pass it along to my family. Sometimes we also have octopus, but my dad is still mastering his technique with that one.
This year Jon got home in time to tuck the boys in and say good night.

And while we slept Santa came and ate our cookies, drank our wine and left a few presents along the way.

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After morning at our home we head to Jon's dad's house for a late breakfast and presents.
And maybe champagne and bloody mary's ;)
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I spy a Josh...
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And for dinner we celebrate with my family.
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I have to say that I have never EVER been so surprised by Santa. When I opened my gift I cried. Not out happiness for what I received but because my husband was so generous and loving. We had talked about this gift but we both knew now was not the time. Things are a little tight on our end and with an upcoming move we have lots to budget for.
Thank you Jon from the bottom of my heart.

Mac

I am SO excited to start playing with my new toy. I haven't even had the chance because we were so busy with family and now we are showing our house this week!! Yikes. We're also looking at some houses too. We found one we really like but you'll hear more about the tomorrow.

12/20/11

truth.

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possible poopy diaper? It looks like Jonas is inspecting. Gross.

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I've talked a lot about the magic and tradition during this time of the year. I've shared our beautiful family photos, I've shared my words and our daily routines. The one thing I haven't shared about this time of the year are the emotions and trials that we go through. Being in the restaurant industry may have it's perks but it also has the downfalls, and for us we usually see it this time of the year. This is the busiest month we will ever see. Holiday parties, families get together, company outings and long long hours for Jon. I am so proud of my husband for the time and dedication he puts into his restaurant. During the holidays it's common for him to go in around 10:00am and stay throughout the day and come home after we're in bed, usually around midnight depending on the night. Weekends are a lot later these days. Even though I try to wait up I don't always make it because Jon working harder means that I'm working harder. Three kids makes for a long day. Lunch, naps, play, pick up Jonas, library, play, read, laundry, clean, nap, workout, play, dinner, clean, baths, laundry, snacks, clean, bedtime, laundry, clean, bake, wrap, blog, work, write, laundry, sleep. That pretty much describes my day. For awhile I wasn't working out as much because I just couldn't find time and I found that I HAVE to work out. It's good for the mind.

And I don't know if you go through this, but I always question myself and what I do with my children. Am I doing enough. Did we read enough today. Why do I let them watch tv? Why does Jonas play video games? Do those things make me a bad mom? Do I spend enough time with them. Did I say I love you enough today. Should I work more with Jonas on reading. Should I lay with him till he falls asleep (Jonas asks every night). Please say other parents have these questions because I ask myself them all the time.

So while we love this time of year Jon and I always joke that we're relieved when it's over. I try to embrace every moment. I try to cherish each second spent with the kids. But honestly, it goes so fast and it's so crazy that I feel like I miss moments. I tried to make it a point to be done with all the "hustle and bustle" earlier this year so I could actually sit and enjoy these moments. The presents are almost wrapped, this year I've decided to bake WITH the kids and I don't care if they don't turn out because it's the memories I want to create, and Jonas' last day of school is today. I plan to spend Thursday and Friday soaking in every single second with Jonas, Joshua and Jessica. I have lots of fun activities lined up and Jon will be home Thursday night. Friday and Saturday will most likely be insane for him. Christmas Eve we'll go down to the restaurant for a late lunch and a quick visit with dad before the kids and I head to church.
Then Christmas.
And that special morning with my family.
I can't wait.
I'll try and pop in for one more post but only if time will allow.
Merry Christmas friends.
I know I don't say this enough but I appreciate every single one of my readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

santa and a party.

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Over the weekend we finally saw Santa. As you can tell by Jess' reaction she was not as excited as the boys over this joyous moment, but she certainly had a death grip on those candy canes and wasn't about to give them up.

Joshua managed to ramble off a list of about five pages while Jonas, on the other hand, named his few items, the price, the store where they are located, and the lego item number. In Jesica's cries and screams I believe I heard her say "kitchen" as her Christmas wish. Just perhaps.

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I love this picture.

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I've never linked up for style, but thought I would give it a whirl since I actually dressed up. Linking up with Mandy for Steppin Out.
I'm wearing very old Limited red velvet pants, Gap sweater, Missoni for Target shoes, vintage necklace


And yes, I am the cheesy mom whose kids are sometimes matching ;) I have a feeling this is the last year I can pull this one off.

I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas week!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway.