Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Women

(saw this on FB and had to is beautiful) 

Two women held hands in a hospital room tonight as a precious baby came into the world. 
One was filled with joy to see the child for whom she had prayed for so many years. 
The other was touched by sadness at the prospect of letting go. 

Two women held hands in a hospital room tonight, each giving that child everything she had. 
For one woman it was the commitment of her lifetime. 
For the other, it was the amazing sacrifice of herself. 

Two women held hands in a hospital room tonight.  
The first will walk out to cheers and congratulations.  
The second may face pity -- but she is not a victim.  She may face anger -- but she is not a villain.  

Two women held hands in a hospital room tonight. 
Formerly strangers, they are now forever connected by their love for this precious child. 

Two women held hands in the hospital room tonight -- each of them heroes in the story of this miracle child's life -- each of them always and forever -- Mothers. 

Merinda K. Condra

Friday, July 20, 2012


I've been away.  I'm sorry.  
We've been busy: 

Miles got a new haircut!

And then a style

We went on a staycation

and started a diet

Hope you're all well...more soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New arrival!

Meet Mario,
He's new here.  

The baby loves him.  

Winston isn't so sure...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Say good bye!

Nathan and I are saying good bye to the fat versions of ourselves.  I have tried so many diets and have NEVER had long term success with any of them...and many I never had any short term success with either!

About a year ago a girl I knew from back growing up in Pleasant View, posted some before and after pics on Facebook.  She looked AMAZING!  She had lost something like 130lbs in a year.  I asked her how she did it, she told me Isagenix.  I asked her about PCOS (something I knew she and I had in common)...she said the Isagenix helped with it.  I looked into it a bit but I was honestly so overwhelmed with the upcoming move to Italy that I forgot about it.  Then a few months ago another friend from growing up posted some of her before and after pics on Facebook.  I, again, inquired and she also had used Isagenix.  So I spent a LOT of time looking into it and decided to give it a try.  We ordered all our stuff, prepped our food, took before shots and all our measurements, and started yesterday!  It is a bit spendy, but if it works it will be worth every penny.  

I am detailing our Isagenix Journey HERE if you want to follow.  Please be warned our before shots are on there...and my tummy is WHITE, WHITE, WHITE!  (My swimsuit is a tankini)

I'm really hoping it works for us, I want to be healthier and thinner so I can be around a long time...I don't want Miles to have to worry about caring for us at a young age because we didn't take care of ourselves. 

If you want more information on Isagenix, go HERE

Wish us luck!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So we had these grand plans to go to Switzerland for Nathan's leave period...but all that was changed when the local truck unions decided to strike.  Last time there was a strike it cut off fuel supplies, and large amounts of trucks blocked major roads.  (Just google Naples truck strike January 2012).  I didn't want to get up to Switzerland and then not be able to make it back in time for Nathan to be back to work, because missing work is a BIG deal in the Navy.  He would have been in serious we decided to bag our plans of chocolate and the Swiss Temple and clocks and such and stay local. 

The first day we went to the pool with friends, then to dinner.  The pool has been a LIFESAVER here in the land of no AC.  Miles likes it ok...despite the photographic evidence presented below.  (We even took swimming lessons in June!) He was just REALLY mad that I was holding his arms so he couldn't swat his sunglasses off. 

We went swimming in the local pool...I love Miles' sunglasses, they have Elmo on them. :)
Day 2 we went back to Rome.  (Did I ever post the pics from our first trip to Rome?  Hmmm...I'll have to check on that)  Our goal was to hit as many quick touristy places as we could.  And man...we hit A LOT.  The bus we took dropped us at the colosseum but since we'd already seen that we found our way to the Rome Metro.  It reminded me a lot of Chicago...and it made me sad for a minute. 

In the Rome subway, one of my friends says this looks like a Papparazzi photo.  I'm famous now...I have my own Papa Papa Papparazzi.
We found the right stop, took the correct turns and found Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps).  

I know taking your pics with these guys is a ripoff...but I couldn't resist.  This "authentic" Roman Gladiator cost us €5! (about $6.50)  He was ok, but I wish I would have waited, there were way more buff (read: hot) authentic looking gladiators closer to some of the other sites.  Lesson learned. 
Doesn't Miles look SO thrilled about being with a Roman gladiator??  This face cracks me up!
This is the fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps.  It is supposed to have the sweetest water in all of Rome.  I didn't have any bottles or cups to test it out...must remember for next time. 
Miles and daddy playing in the fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. 
We hiked up the Spanish Steps - with Miles in his stroller - Nathan and I have strong arms (holy Moses there are a lot of them!), saw a cool garden full of marble busts, the Medici Villa, a beautiful church that was in Angels & Demons, and then made our way back down and found our way to Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)
Trevi Fountain in Rome.
I swear Miles was having fun.  He was just so hot...poor thing.  His back was drenched with sweat.

Miles and I threw a coin into the is supposed to ensure that you return someday.  Gotta love Italians and their crazy superstitions!
After the fountain we were STARVING...and there were some yummy looking Italian places nearby but I honestly just wanted American food.  And was a COOKER that day...something like upper 90's with 70ish % humidity.  So we headed for Hard Rock Cafe...Miles couldn't wait...he needed a nap.  Inside Hard Rock it was so chilly from the AC that I had to cover Miles so he didn't wake up.

All tuckered out from a long day of sightseeing in Rome.

Those who have never lived outside of the US will not appreciate this next photo.  I almost cried when they brought out my water with ICE in it.  ICE!!  And American Rock on the radio.  And AC!!!  It was awesome.

My red, white, and blue burger.  It was amazing.  Bleu cheese, onion ring and buffalo wing sauce.  AND fries.  Oh my, it was heaven. 

Outside Hard Rock Cafe Rome
Following our feast at Hard Rock we went to the Capuchin Monk was creepy.  And really HERE to read about it.  They didn't allow photos inside.  You can google 'Capuchin Monk Crype Rome' and see some photos...yeah, weird huh?

Then we made our way to the Pantheon.  So cool.  It is indescribable to see some of these historical things in's so surreal.

Miles in the Pantheon in Rome looking like he's having SOOO much fun

And it wouldn't be the same if I didn't snap feet pics.  :)
Feet in the Pantheon in Rome

After the Pantheon we made our way back to the bus, by way of the Vittoria Emmanuele Monument...the Italians hate it.  They call it the big white typewriter.  I thought it was pretty. 

We made it back to the bus, but not before seeing this again:

One in the cool AC of the bus, Miles perked right up!
Playing with daddy on the bus ride back home. least for a minute. 
After all that playing he was wiped out!  Nathan snapped this pic while we were both sleeping.

The next day we took a very cool walking tour of the Naples city cemeteries.  The Neopolitans bury their dead similar to the way they do in New Orleans.  It's amazing...inside the cemetery it is CLEAN and very well taken care of.  And then just outside the gates?  Not.  That's Naples for ya!

I don't have many pics because taking photos inside the walls of the cemetery is considered desecrating the memory of the dead.  But here are a few I shot through the fence.  The double mound peak you see in the distance is Mt Vesuvius.  It is actually very close, it's just the smog covers it pretty well. 

The next two days we took it easy.  We went shopping with some friends to the large mall near us (again...for the AC), had "german" made by an Italian, had a family movie night, and just hung out.  

On the last day of our staycation (today) we decided to hit up the beach.  So we loaded up our little car and drove to Sperlonga.  It's a town on the shore about half way between Naples and Rome.  It is beautiful!  (you'll see) and the beaches were clean and...well, clean.  The sand was soft and there wasn't garbage floating in the water...WIN!

When we first got there though it was raining and I was bummed. 

We decided to grab a bite to eat and see if the rain would pass...and it did!

Forgot the swimsuit...uhoh.  Good thing I didn't forget the swim diapers!

A Mr T merman on the beach in Sperlonga, Italy
Daddy burying Miles in the sand.

He is just so cute when he sleeps, I can't help taking pictures!!

Miles and mommy.  He LOVED this floatie...the steering wheel turns and the horn honks.  It made him giggle.

Floating in the sea infront of Sperlonga, Italy.
Overall...not a bad way to spend Nathan's leave week!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care

Miles is black.  And I am white.  This will mean a LOT of different life experiences as he is growing...things I never had to deal with or think about.  One of them is hair care.  White hair and black hair are TOTALLY different.  (And please, please don't rub Miles' hair...or any child of is brittle and it will break...and fuzz...and the momma will be mad.) I want to make sure I'm properly caring for our little guy's hair.  So after his mohawk cut (nickamed the fro-hawk by a friend) took 2/3 of his hair I thought it would be a good time to try a style.  I'd tried it before but holding a wriggly toddler still for longer than 32.4 seconds takes the strength of Chuck Norris.  And unfortunately, Chuck Norris I am not.  But with the bribe of playing on mommy's iPad and watching Lion King, we gave it a shot!  I'd watched what seemed like 1000 YouTube videos of comb coil tutorials and they didn't look that tough.  Insert aforementoned wriggly toddler.  I got about half way done with his frohawk and he wanted no more of it.  So I let him play, and then gave him some teething medication (he WAS teething) and that calmed him enough to let me finish.  It took 2.5 total hours...spread over an entire afternoon...but the result is SO CUTE!!

It made me proud, and it will not be the last time we do styles for Miles.  :)

Monday, July 02, 2012

First Hair Cut

Miles finally had his first hair cut!  We did it honor of the Italy v. Spain EuroCup (soccer) game.  Italy has a black player (he gets a LOT of flack about not being really Italian because he's black...his parents are immigrants from Ghana...he was born in Sicily) named Mario Balotelli, who has a mohawk.  And since is has been SO HOT here we were thinking of buzzing off all Miles' hair to begin with...but decided to cut him a mohawk instead.  :)  He loves it!!  He goes to the mirror and feels the sides of his head and laughs.

I was so sad for him to get a hair cut because it meant he was not a baby anymore :(

All done!  We call him Mini Mr T for fun.
Oh, and here is Balotelli, just for reference: