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Category Archives: Mia Famiglia

Thanksgiving 2011 :: So Very Much To Be Thankful For

Most of you will not be reading this on Thanksgiving, as you will be spending time with your loved ones, cooking up a storm, and of course watching those NYC Rockettes on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade! It is so important that we pause and remember all of the things we are thankful for in our lives on this busy day, during this busy season, and of course throughout the entire year. So often we get caught up and we forget what is really important.

The day becomes about baking the right pies and if we’ve having corn or carrots (both of which are high in sugar and should be eaten as a vegetable in moderation!) and if we are stuffing the bird or just baking the dressing separately. We are so caught up in the sales ads in the paper and getting ready to leave the house by 9 to get in line at the doors of our favorite stores.

This year, my heart is so heavy and calling to mind all of those things I have to be thankful for is what gets me through. There are a million reasons to complain::

  • deployment looms over our heads and every second can so easily become one second closer to D-Day instead of one more precious second with my Prince Charming.
  • We have sparse decorations and I am neither crafty or wealthy enough to decorate the way I want. It is hard to remember we’ve been “together” less than a year, and as Newlyweds nobody has every decoration they ever wanted! As we break our our Christmas Decorations though we will discover we have more than some folks married 15 years have and the spirit will fill our house!
  • We are away from family and my heart aches to be with them… they are with me in spirit though, even though we shall sit at a table for two.

There are a million reasons to be thankful::

  • Our health! We both have good health and that is certainly not something to take lightly.
  • Our Family! It might be just the two of us right now and our three furbabies, but it is our little family and we are always there for each other.
  • A roof over our heads: we are blessed with a house big enough for our love!
  • Food in our bellies: we will dine this afternoon on quite the feast! (and then again tomorrow… and then again on Saturday!)
  • Creativity: I have found such joy working in my shop! The process of coming into my little space and creating something is amazing. I can’t wait to grow my supply inventory and learn some new techniques!
  • The love we have for each other! I have an amazing husband who takes me for all the good and all the crazy. Who could ask for anything more?

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What are you thankful for?


It Was A Good Year :: Officially 27

I finally have the pictures from my camera and thought I would share about my birthday. The very best gift I received was a gift from God:

The beauty after a rain shower

Obviously the picture from inside a moving car does this rainbow absolutely no justice. We had a gorgeous lunch earlier in the day at Dog-N-Burger, the best little hot dog shack in the world! The sun was shining and the chili cheese dog was just as good as I remembered! Definitely one of the parts of the trip that did not disappoint. They throw some fries in the bottom of a brown sack and toss your wrapped up dog on top. The only way to eat it is to lay the bag on its side, rip it down the middle and enjoy!

Our food, bagged and ready to dig into!



Man, oh man!


 When we were on our way home from dinner later in the day we saw the gorgeous double rainbow and I paused to reflect upon the last year in my life. Twenty six was pretty good to me overall. We survived a deployment and readjusted pretty seamlessly. Half the year was spent completely on my own, but it was great for growth. I feel as though I am coming into my own with who I want to be.

Hubs and I joke about our alter-egos: Harold and Maude! Sometimes we feel so old, and we bring them out. We’re not old though, we’re just comfortable with who we are, and at 27, I think I am getting comfortable with exactly who I am.

Celebrating with Nan was a bonus, and a tear jerker! She always scours and finds the perfect card to bring tears to my eyes! Still no word on the worst birthday gift. Here is to making 27 a fabulous year no matter where it takes us!

Home Again, Home Again!

HELLO FRIENDS! I have returned from what will always be my home to our home in Fallbrook! Our trip was such a whirlwind leaving me with so many things to blog about and so many blogs to read!

My first official PCS is happening, 22 months after our things were put in storage and there were good things and bad.

We got to spend two weeks with Nan enjoying Moe’s, good southern BBQ, Cheesesteaks, Dog-N-Burger and of course: Thanksgiving dinner!

We enjoyed dinner with a friend at one of our favorite spots in Norfolk: Bardo! Ah-mazing. I can’t wait to share this treasure with you, and the tale of spicy guava sorbet!

We got to have dinner with my best friend and her baby (and awesomely cute baby bump!) at No Frill Grill!

I remembered all the little things from back home that I love: Harris Teeter, fields of green, JET NOISE!

I also found things about home that I never understood why people got frustrated by: Long traffic lights, everyone having vanity plates, THE HUMIDITY! I have no clue how I lived there for so long and just accepted it!

It was sad to see places I loved no longer there, and the biggest disappointment was trying to get a slice of chocolate cake at Taste… and they had no clue what we were talking about!

We had the best slice of pizza I have ever eaten at Chicago Midway Airport… and it wasn’t deep dish!

We are so happy to be home! I can’t wait to share our pictures and memories with you all!

San Diego was great to fly into but it was a little stinky! That was one thing we didn’t have back home! There is nothing better than being in your own bed though, and waking up in your own home. Tonight we have the Navy ball and tomorrow morning we get our puppies back! Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

A Turkey.

Image via Wikipedia

That is correct, today I am celebrating Thanksgiving with Nan and Hubs… and we’ll see if anyone else shows up. Last year was such a sad Thanksgiving and I know this year will be to. Moving away from family and being far enough that you can’t travel all the time takes a toll on me. I was most looking forward to this day in our trip!

We got up bright and early (7:30!) and got to work on our bird! Of course nobody in the family bothered to call and say they were coming, so who knows how many mouths we have to feed! We got a big ol’ 24 pounder, so I think Nan will be eating turkey for months! I definitely plan on having my fill because it is smelling delicious and has only been cooking an hour!

We aren’t going all out… just the turkey and stuffing, then mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and corn. Oh, and gravy! No casseroles, no pies, no snack trays out all day to nibble on. I have to be honest though- I don’t like casseroles or pies, and what we’re making is my dream Thanksgiving dinner. I only just now remembered Hubs like cranberry sauce! I guess I’m taking off my Forever Lazy snuggie and heading out to get some! Do they even sell that year round? (Nan has assured me they do!)

Sure, there is no Macy’s Parade either, but I guess in another month, while we eat pizza rolls and sip coke we can hang out and watch the parade, and that would be ok! I wonder if they play it super early and live in California, or pre-recorded and not until regular time… there’s something to look forward to!

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend, friends! If I can get into my gmail account, I have a VERY awesome post coming to you tomorrow on a beautiful etsy shop! You don’t want to miss it!

East Coast Living!

Well, y’all, I am coming to you live from the East Coast 😀 It is very awkward to be using my old desktop dell instead of my sweet laptop, but I had zero carry-on bags that a 19: would fit in. The downside of a suh-weet laptop, right there!

World Class Travellers:: We spent about 5 hours at the airport! Better early than rushing to make it!

I was detained at the airport and I blame TOM! I was so busy people watching I completely forgot my TOMs were on my feet. The TSA agent asked if those were shoes on my feet. Suspiciously I was the random person asked to do a private screening. All they did was wipe my shoes. I found our time with security and at the airport in general very pleasing, except the $30 Quiznos lunch! Our flight out here was rather enjoyable! I think we have adjusted to the time switch rather well. It has been a stressful few days just dealing with our belongings, a missing dress uniform, and trying to get into storage.

We found our storage unit key and will have no problems  getting the movers in. Hubs found his dress uniform… or the most expensive parts (pants, blazer, tux shirt) at least! We just had to buy all of his mini medals, his cumberbun (however the heck you spell it!), and some buttons. Easy day! Where was the uniform, you ask? In a Target bag, balled up! I love that man, but good grief, y’all- the hunt was trying!

Today we are celebrating my birthday and I could not be more excited than to be home and celebrating with Nan! She made me a very special gift, that isn’t for me at all, but rather a friend I’ve recently made. I hope she loves it!

I have been horrible reading blogs and know I will have tons to write and read when we get back home! I have missed the connections with you all!

We have much more to do and see while we are in town and if any of you Hampton Roads girls want to get together while we’re in town, holler at me over twitter or Facebook!

[Oh, and pictures will all come from my cell phone or once we’re back in town… since we don’t have my computer!]

Mama, I’m Comin Home*

Posted on

Autumn brings with it bountiful harvests and a time for thanksgiving. Last year, Hubs and I sat in a barely furnished house with no Macy’s Parade of football while one of those (soon to be discovered by us, DISGUSTING) processed turkey breast baked away in the oven. It was depressing and all I wanted to do was cry. We were celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one weekend as deployment was days away. Military life finally made me realize how I missed my family, however dysfunctional they are. Oh, and trust me: you couldn’t script the crazy my family is.

When I knew we would be going home (home, home) this autumn I knew it was going to be a whirlwind! We’re meeting the movers, packing our stuff and heading back home (to California home). I knew the one thing I wanted was to celebrate the family I hadn’t seen in a year and that I might not see for the next two years! I planned a fun “feast of Thanksgiving” for the Sunday we’ll be in town. Then the question arose: since it’s a family gathering, do I invite my mother? The mother whom I haven’t spoken to since around November 2009? The mother who I was made to invite to my wedding, and who didn’t even bring a card? (I know it’s petty that I hold onto that, and I own that, but I mean: who goes to an event such as a wedding and doesn’t even take or send a card?)

I e-mailed Dr. J (my life coach, not the famous basketball player) and outlined the three possibilities

  1. I do not send her an invitation. She catches word that there was a family event she was excluded from, but I’m already gone and she takes it out on my grandmother (since it will be at Nan’s house).
  2. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” by having the audacity to invite her out of the blue. She thinks she is being spiteful and doesn’t come. (this is the best case scenario in my book)
  3. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” but actually comes (out of spite, because she is hateful) and I have to slap a smile on and play it cool. (this is the worst case scenario in my book)

Dr. J called me this morning and we talked about it. After much prayer and discussion with both Nan and him, we came to a conclusion. I send her the invitation, fly into the freak show that is my family (Hubs calls it a war zone and I think he would take a year in A-Stan over a three-hour family get-together with my mother in attendance, true story, no exaggeration.) and let the pieces fall where they may. I do not own their reactions because quite frankly, when it comes to my family, there is no right.

The adorable invitation/notes sent out to family asking them to join us! Oh yeah, I use the very things I sell!

 I’m not going to lie: her “note” is a little snarky and more to inform her it is happening than to invite her to join in. I’m trying God, I’m trying, just not hard enough when it comes to the woman who has hurt me for the last 27 years of my life. (Well, 27 years as of next week! Man, I’m getting old!)

Next step is to work out a survival strategy in the event she actually shows her face. If you are reading this thinking “what in the world is that girl’s problem?” think of it like this: my mother is worse than the worst mother-in-law horror story you have ever heard. I’ll be sure to share how it goes down and my survival strategy with you all once Dr. J and I come up with it!

How do you handle those horrific family members or in-laws? I am not looking forward to being home with my family. I am only very, very, very excited to be home with Nan!

Oh, and I thought I would make this my song of the week for Amber’s link up!

“Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m comin home
Times go by, seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m comin home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized, yeah
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can’t stand to say goodbye
Mama, I’m comin home
I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad it’s been so long
Mama, I’m comin home”

I’m gearing up and am ready for the inevitable emotional journey that will be going home this time.

*Oh, you didn’t think I was an Ozzy type of gal, huh? Well, I am!