Sunday, April 29, 2012


Back in March I had Miles' Easter pics taken.  Here are just a couple of my favorites: 

Bunny Secrets
We took Miles to his first Easter Egg hunt...also known as "get candy for mommy and daddy". It POURED rain the whole time...ah well.  He was adorable and had fun so that's all that matters.  

Daddy helping Miles. 

This one just melts my heart.  <3

Pretty pleased with his haul!!
After all the kids got done, they let the adults go...I wanted to go score some free candy and luckily my friend Carlie who had come with us was also game.  We gathered to our heart's content...this was our haul: 


On Easter after church he got a bucket with some Easter goodies: a bubble machine (that he has to share with Winston), a stuffed bunny (given to him by the NEX worker the day before), an Italian Easter Kinder Egg (given to him by our landlord), an Elmo book and some yummy Italian chocolate hazelnut eggs...that Mommy and Daddy enjoyed :)

We had a friend snap this pic quick, right after church on Easter...this is the view we have to suffer through during church.  Awful, isn't it?  :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


We took advantage of a beautiful day over Easter weekend to see Solfatara.  It's an extinct (or possibly inactive?  dormant?  I dunno...) volcano near us that the ancient Romans believed was one of the entrances to Hell.  Yup.  I did just say that...and no it wasn't just to see if you were paying attention. It was pretty impressive because the area surrounding it is beautiful and lush and then you walk through the gate, through some trees and're in Eastern Utah.  Ok, not really...but it's barren.  Well, at least INSIDE the crater.  It was quite unsettling walking around knowing I was IN a volcano.  And every once in a while I would step and it would feel and sound hollow and my gut would drop...thinking I was about to fall through some volcanic crust and die a`la Gollum in LOTR.  Aside from the landscape it was stinky.  Like rotten egg fireworks left to ferment in steaming baths of boiled sauerkraut stinky.  Nasty.  Ick.  

So the trail starts out like this...not too bad.  Actually looks a lot like the Logan River parkway in some places.  Well, minus the river.  And the mountains.  

And you turn a corner and this is what you see...and smell:

Yes that does say 302 degrees.  And the yellowish orange spot on the rock is dyed I imagine from all the sulfur in the steam venting out of the rocks.

These are brick "saunas" built into the mountainside by the Romans.  They used to come and sit in them and breathe in the air...they thought it was therapeutic.  I don't know how they did it...I had to breathe through my mouth just to make past was funky with a capitol F. 

Miles was obviously ::so:: impressed with it all.  (couldn't you seriously just eat those cheeks?!??)

After we "survived" our trek near the gates of Hell we rewarded ourselves with some gelato from our favorite gelateria.  Mmmmmm

Friday, April 27, 2012

Girl's day!!

I have always been a fan of the girl's day...or evening...or afternoon really.  Just anytime ladies get together sans hubbies and kidlets.  Especially if food is involved.  :)  Being a Navy spouse is difficult at times.  We leave friends every few years and because most of them are also military spouses they are moving around so we know there is very little chance we will see each other again (thank heavens for email, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Skype!!)  But it is amazing how you can form quick, solid friendships with these Navy-attached women...because we're all in the same boat and we all know how important friendships are to help you feel grounded!

On April 2nd a few Navy Band wives spent the day in Vietri sul Mare...I'd been once already and knew it would be the perfect place for a day with the girls.

Meet my ladies: this is up in the little town center, the Amalfi Coast is what's behind us...pretty, eh?
L to R: Stephanie, me, Christy, Jessica & Mel
Beach combing. 
In Vietri, there are loads of ceramic shops.  I'm guessing people throw their old/defective ceramics into the sea and that's how the beach gets covered with sea tile.  It's similar to sea glass, it's just pieces of tile that have been washed and rubbed smooth.  I collected more to add to my stash for the mosaic table top.  Stephanie found quite a lot...but didn't bring a plastic bag to put it she used the next best thing: her Dooney & Burke purse.  Seriously.

Here is the view from the beach looking back up to the town on the hill...the Amalfi coast is to the left.  It's so pretty...I could stay here forever.  

After beach combing we did a little economy stimulation...afterall we want to be good citizens of Italy!  :)  Here is Mel perusing one of the dozens of ceramic shops.

After we'd spent money we grabbed some lunch:

Ladies who lunch
And because I love taking pictures of my food:

caprese salad

fried calamari & prawns
Here were a couple of my souvenirs from our trip:

An olive wood serving platter

A sign for says 'beware of cat"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hiking a volcano

Yup, you read that right.  Here in Italy we live on what's called the Phlegraean Fields. It's basically a big land mass sitting ontop of some volcanically active earth.    Yay.  As if earthquakes and robbers and weird Italian diseases weren't enough to make me worry now we're living on a volcano.  Seriously...ON.  Our house in on the slope of an inactive volcano.  Let's just say I've had some pretty vivid dreams of me trying to outrun lava flows.

Anyway...let's please change the subject.

We had heard that there are some pretty amazing hikes on our volcano (if I call it "our" it seems less threatening) so we decided to try one out.  It was quite the adventure...and that's because we are hiking idiots.  You think I'd know better having grown up in Utah...hiking for the better part of my life, but no.  We ended up taking the SUPER long, difficult route.  Which I guess burned off more whatever...but it was TOUGH.  And if we had gone the "correct" way we never would have come across this about 1/3 of the way up to the rim:

Inside the building was one large room with a pillar in the middle.  This picture shows you half of it...imagine another half this size.  It kinda made me want to get rollerskates and skate around it like I was back at Classic Skating in 8th grade.  Maybe some other time...

 Miles was quite happy as long as he had a stick in his hand.  I love that Miles and Nathan are making the EXACT same face in this photo!

Hiking Feet
 At the rim of the volcano there is a monastery...or depends on who you ask.  But it is inhabited...there are signs posted asking you to be silent on the premises. 

This is the view looking back into the crater.  Yes, that's a golf course.  :)  There is also a pool, a paintball course, yurts, soccer fields and a few baseball diamonds. 

At the front of the monastery.  Don't worry we said cheese VERY quietly.  
Our friend Stephanie came on the hike with us. 

I took a few videos...if ya feel like watching them. They're short...and Miles is in them :)

And another:

Miles helping lead the way down:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week

So it's National Infertility Awareness Week.  I've been mulling over in my mind what kind of post to write to help spread the theme for this year.  As you can see from the pretty little graphic above, the "theme" for this year...or I guess you'd call it message.  Ya, let's go with 'don't IGNORE infertility.' For a while I thought about talking to women who are struggling to get not ignore the signs and get to a doctor quicker.  But that didn't seem right.  And then I knew just what to do, which angle to use.  






I don't know what it's like to be a fertile who gets pregnant "folding her hubby's underwear".  I don't know what it would feel like to have great news to share with someone that you KNOW will be hurt by your news.  I don't know what that's like...but I do know what it's like to lose friends over infertility.  I've had more than one friend decide the uncomfortable "we're pregnant...again" talk was so bad they'd rather throw away a friendship and just ignore me.  I understand the logic...sort of.  You don't want to hurt someone you love so you hold off on telling them something that will hurt them.  But can I tell you something?  They'll find out eventually.  And when they do it will hurt worse that they heard from someone else, or via a Facebook status update, or a tweet, or a mass email.  So put on your grown-up panties, suck it up and have the hard discussion.  You can send a personal note, an email, make a phone call, or tell them in person.  You know her better than I do...and everyone is different.  I preferred to hear in a personal email, or a quick phone call; then I could cry in the privacy of my home.  There will be tears.  There are always tears.  If you don't see them, she's good...but she'll cry them later.  Not tears of anger towards you, but tears of sadness and unfairness and frustration.  But I promise you she will LOVE you and cherish your friendship more because she will know you took the effort to be mindful of her feelings. 

If you have a friend or sister or sister-in-law or cousin who is close to you...and she is struggling with infertility and you LOVE her and value the love and friendship you share... Don't ignore her infertility.  Don't ignore her.  Don't ignore your friendship. 

If you want to read some of my infertility history..go HERE.

Vietri sul Mare

On St Patrick's Day we went to Vietri sul's on the Amalfi Coast.  It's a quaint little town known for it's ceramics.  I was on a mission to find some ceramic canisters for flour, sugar, etc...but I couldn't find any big enough.  Apparently the Italians don't keep more than 4 cups on hand at a time...and that just will not do!  

On the boardwalk at the beach
Feet on the boardwalk

 We also spent some time on the beach combing for sea glass and sea tile...I want to collect enough to to a mosaic table top.

Well...he's a boy!  He LOVED the rocks.
 After beach combing we were going to shop, but all the cute little shops were closed for riposo (it's like siesta...they close from 12ish to 4ish) so we had lunch.  A TRUE Italian lunch...which took three hours.  But we didn't mind because of the view.  Breath taking, eh?  We both got sunburned from sitting in the sun all afternoon but we didn't care.

The view from our table at lunch. 

It was on our day trip to Vietri that we learned that Miles LOVES lemons.  Seriously.  Loves.  As in screamed when you took it away, shoved it in his mouth, ate all the flesh and chewed on the rind, loves.  Crazy kid.  
When life gives you lemons...give them to Miles! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


The first weekend in March we headed down to the Sorrentine Peninsula to a little town called Sorrento.  It is world famous for HUGE lemons and more often, limoncello, a lemon digestive liquor.  It is also picture perfect and has some CHEAP shopping.  We went with the other sound guy in the band, Michael, and his wife Jessica.  We shopped, beach combed, got lunch, shopped some more, ate delicious gelato and then headed home.

Here is part of the main little town...notice they have mandarin trees growing along the sidewalks. 


Feet in Sorrento:

Down one of the quaint little alleys

Here we are outside a limoncello store with a Pulcinella.  He's a traditional Neopolitan can read more about him HERE.  

We had a fantastic lunch in Sorrento...
Nathan's lobster & tomato linguine

My mushroom & cheese ravioli
After lunch we stopped into a famous gelateria to get some gelato...I even let Miles have some of my limone creme...he is a fan of gelato. 

Before I gave him a taste he kept tryng to get daddy's gelato:

Inside the gelateria there was a HUGE display of famous buildings carved out of chocolate.  The entire thing had a train running through it.  I took a video:  

Here's the million dollar view:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Guess who is supposed to be getting internet tomorrow!!!  US!!!  Yay!!  We've been in our house now for almost two months and still don't have internet.  Now you may be saying...wait, didn't you JUST do like two blog posts??  Yes, yes I did.  Some of our awesome friends let us borrow their modem this past weekend while they went out of was awesome to feel so connected again.  We Skyped with family (missed that), paid online bills (ugh), did our taxes (hello adoption tax credit!).  Now if all goes well...fingers tomorrow night we'll have internet again!!!!!  Yay!!  

Monday, April 09, 2012

On the move

We've had quite the development in our house.  Miles decided he was going to walk today.  He also learned how to open cabinets...I am in deep, deep trouble. 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Unanswered prayers

You ever heard that song?  It's an oldie sung by Garth Brooks.  He sings about how he & his wife went to a hometown football game.  While they were there they ran into his old girlfriend and he remembers how he used to pray every night that "God would make her mine".   But as she walked away he looked at his wife and "then and there thanked the good Lord, for the gifts" in his life.  He then says that one of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. 

A year ago this week we had to endure the heartbreak of two failed adoptions.  A year ago we sat in the Savannah Airport as our hearts ached with the loss of a baby who had almost been ours...the second baby we'd lost that week.  A year ago I was sitting on a plane, from Salt Lake to Nashville and then Nashville to Charlotte and then Charlotte to Savannah...praying with all my might that this adoption would work out and we'd finally be parents.  A year ago we got off the plane and learned that we would be going home empty handed and our hearts broke into a million little pieces and spilled all over the concourse of the airport terminal.  

It wasn't the first time prayers of that kind had been left unanswered.  Fertility treatments for four years had always been accompanied by heartfelt prayers.  The first positive pregnancy test I looked at was followed by tearful pleading that everything would be ok.  The twin adoption situation was filled with long chats with the man upstairs.  And all of those prayers went unanswered.  Pregnancies were lost and adoptions fell apart.

Now, a year later, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for those unanswered prayers.  Yesterday I stood in the pouring rain and watched Nathan gently guide or sweet little boy across a field sprinkled with Easter candy.  I was grateful for the rain, it masked my tears.  Although they were happy tears I didn't want to have to explain to someone why the sight of this rain drenched crowd picking through soaked candy scattered in the grass had reduced me to tears.  If my body hadn't rejected those pregnancies or if any one of our four failed adoptions had gone through I wouldn't have been standing in the rain, on a Navy base in Italy, watching my husband play daddy for our baby boy's first Easter.  We wouldn't have our precious little Miles and I KNOW he is the baby that was meant for our family.  

I believe everything happens for a reason...sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.
~Marilyn Monroe

To my dear friends who are currently dealing with unanswered prayers.  I love you.  I'm sorry your hearts ache.  I remember all too well those helpless, heavy feelings...the long prayer filled nights with tear stained pillows.  My heart aches with you.  I truly hope that you will soon have the desires of your heart granted to you, but in the meantime take heart...just because God doesn't answer a prayer doesn't mean he doesn't hear it and doesn't mean he doesn't love you.  Keep up hope...although your good things are falling apart keep an eye on the horizon for your better things.