Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hello wonderful folks!
Happy Halloween to you all, followed by warm All Saints wishes to you tomorrow!  We have been happily busy this past week.  My apologies for being somewhat absent on the blogosphere!  I know you understand...

Monday brought a lovely baby playdate for J, where I had the chance to meet some sweet new friends thanks to Katherine and her sweet Claire!  On Tuesday we hunkered down at home and enjoyed a morning visit from Papa and lunchtime rendezvous with Mimi.  Papa brought Panera and Mimi brought Chipotle!!  They are too good to us... :)  Wednesday we spent fighting colds only to have a busy Thursday painting and carving pumpkins and attending a friend's Halloween party.  The boys had such fun!  We left to join the family in welcoming Uncle G from Boston with a nice dinner at Mim/Pop's house...  We finished Halloween preparations today--final pumpkin touch-ups and seed baking.  Yum!!  I soak my seeds overnight in salt water, which makes them oh-so-tasty after toasting!  Highly recommended.   

Tonight we host Mim/Pop for Boo Stew (a Mimi creation--I'll have to post the recipe here for future Halloweens), salad, and bread followed by the world's cutest Superman, Spiderman, and Pumpkin.  We didn't get overly creative on costumes this year and I'm trying to be okay with it.  "Let it go, B.  Let it go."  Things don't have to be perfect to be wonderful...  Me oh my! :)

Of course we have a train pumpkin--this is Gasperini-Ville!
The Gasperini studs
Yes, it's possible to paint and smile at the same time.
And be serious too--important stuff! :)

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful time of year and fun Halloween.
God bless!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Feast of St. Jude

I thought I'd pass along these beautiful sentiments sent today by a friend...

"I've been thinking of your little saint in heaven all morning and praying for the holiness of your family, especially the three boys.

I pray that your lives are filled with a little extra sweetness from St. Jude today. Our priest gave a moving homily on him at Mass--he said that St. Jude is one of the lesser known saints, but without his life and martyrdom our Holy Church would have a much weaker foundation. It reminded me of little Jude Gasperini. We will all know very little about him until we meet him in Heaven (please God!), but without him the Gasperini family would be weak. It also reminds me of you, B, as you humbly build your little cathedrals hidden away from the light of the world.

St. Jude, pray for us."

Aren't we surrounded by great friends?  Just beautiful.

Monday, October 27, 2008

From the Elliptical With Love

Today while working out on the elliptical, I was surprisingly overcome with emotions (endorphins mixed with mama hormones = craziness! :)  I couldn't stop the tears as they fell, while praising God for all the blessings in my life.  
I was particularly joyful when thinking of my sweet J and the immense goodness he has brought to our family.  In just under three months, he has come and rocked our hearts with such love.  And to think that he is the beautiful outcome to all of our sadness last September when we lost Jude.  To think that J's existence is testament to God's great promise that He is with us always until the end of days, working all things for the good.  Baby J and all of our boys are precious gifts, for whom I am beyond grateful.  

For whom I get all emotional while exercising! :)
I guess its all in a day's work as a mother.
And today's work, thankfully, is particularly joyful (and tearful;).
God bless your week starting with today!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

For Mickey

As many of you know, my grandfather, Mickey, has Hodgkin's lymphoma.

As some of you know, Mickey is undergoing his second round of chemotherapy, is extremely weak, and may never regain all the strength this disease and his treatment have taken away.

Every year nearly 140,000 people like Mickey are diagnosed with a blood cancer like lymphoma.

And so I'm a-runnin'...
Runnin' for Mickey.
Runnin' for those with blood cancers.
Runnin' the Yuengling Shamrock Virginia Beach Half-Marathon in March alongside the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training.

You can head here to check out my personal fundraising page!!
Do it for Mickey!!!

As always, God bless and thank you, 

Friday, October 24, 2008

In Pursuit of a Lollipop

How could a mother refuse her child a lollipop after such a creative rendition as this?

M: "Little Miss Lollipop sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey.  Along came a M-, who sat down beside her and ate Miss Lollipop away!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Motherly Chuckle

I recently opened a card that read:

"'Children are a gift from the Lord...' Psalm 127:3    
(Remember that at 3 a.m.)"

lol!  Thanks Serafin Family! 
I hate to say the sentiment rings totally true in Gasperini-Ville these days, where Baby J is pulling less-than-impressive night sleep!  I'm still waking anywhere from 1-3x/night.  Ugh!  Someday, someday...

Thankfully, I'm glad to report that after getting through the first months of gassiness, Baby J has emerged with an absolutely peaceful, serene disposition.  He is a dream daytime schedule baby--he wakes, eats, plays sweetly, and then lets me know when he's tired.  Off to bed he goes and falls asleep in his crib without a whimper.   This is why I'm not complaining too much about the night sleep.  He's at least complying when I'm in demand most with the other two!! :)

I'll hopefully be reporting soon with a night miracle, but until then we're still greatly enjoying our Sweet Baby J.  God bless! :)
Update 10/23 a.m.: Probably to spite his mother on the night of such a posting, J pulled an impressive 6.5-hour stretch last night!  We are much happier this morning in Gasperini-Ville.  Sleep is a GOOD thing! :)  Hugs and warmth...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pleasurably Princeton

Gosh, how great can one place be?
If you've never happened upon Princeton, New Jersey, I totally recommend this wonderfully charming, niche-filled place. What a heart-warming weekend we had there!!

It was back to the land of orange and black; back to beautiful "north"east fall colors; back to stunning campus architecture (the new buildings are SO cool!); back to runs along the canal by Lake Carnegie; back to Thomas Sweets, the local ice creamery that makes the *best* fat-free oreo yogurt; back to wonderful Father Thom Mullely, the PU Catholic Chaplain, who made Baby J's baptism such a personal and inclusive event; back to dear spaces, dear friends, and dear memories. 

The van ride with Mimi and Papa was full of laughter and great companionship. Mimi, Baby J, and I were "the backseat peanut gallery drivers", who were high maintenance, but full of life! I just love how Mimi is not only my mother-in-law, but also a good friend. We have such fun together... M, T, and J did awesome the whole trip and seemed to have a blast visiting our alma mater. GG and I even had the chance to go out for a date night on Friday after we arrived. GG lived out old memories with a quick visit to a Princeton Sprint Football game. They were losing pretty badly (also a not-so-fond memory! ;), but GG and I still thought it was pretty cool to see the stadium lit up under the autumn sky.

We had a great time taking in campus on Saturday with a morning run, lunchtime walk, and afternoon football game. We later met up with J's godparents and good friends and let the kids run around playing tackle football! Too funny! The day finished with awesome alumni camaraderie as we joined Mary Alice and her family for dinner. To celebrate the 12 children among us was life-giving and joyful for us... Good times.
A Princeton brother frolic
Princeton v. Brown

Me with godson, Gus
The final capstone was Baby J's baptism on Sunday, which was just beyond blessed. As I mentioned above, Father Thom did such a beautiful job and all of us reveled in the great fellowship together. We welcomed so many dear friends and family. My parents and grandparents made it even though my grandfather, Mickey, underwent his second-to-last chemo treatment Friday. He was such a trooper and still came--as you can imagine, the tears were flowing aplenty! My family is good at crying for all reasons. :)

The time was to be cherished... and cherish, we did.
Thanks for tracking with us on a beautiful autumn Monday.  God bless you! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

He Passed!

For those of you who have been tracking with us over the last summer, I have joyful news--GG passed the Virginia Bar!  Hallelujah and thanks be to God!!  I cried when he called yesterday to share the update...  The most beautiful part: he. never. has. to. take. it. again.  We are all done with bar business!!  Woo hoo!

And all of this to his credit (and to God, of course).  He worked so deliberately and consistently this summer.  He never appeared outwardly stressed, just inwardly driven and motivated.  Our family endured no real Bar drama, which was such a blessing as we waited with baited breath for the arrival of Baby J around the same time.  

Oh, to say it is good is an understatement!!  Thank you for your prayers! :)

"And how should you celebrate?" you ask.  
Well, how about a weekend away in Princeton?  That sounds about right.

This morning we head out for a weekend getaway with family to our beloved P-town.  We were charmed by it at the end of August and thought there was no better place to share in the Sacrament of Baptism for our sweet Baby J!  He will join the Catholic community on Sunday amidst dear friends and family (my parents and maternal grandparents are driving in from the Midwest and many more local friends will join us too!) :)

I promise to update Monday with pics and stories of our Jersey adventures!
God bless you and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little Slugger

In honor of J's godmother and Pappy,

Go Phillies!
(I hate to say it, but Gasperini-Ville could otherwise care less about baseball!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pudge Factor

Happy Tuesday all!
A quick check-in after Baby J's 2 mos. check-up this morning:

13lbs. 9oz.    90th percentile for weight
41cm             75th percentile for head size
22.5 in.         50th percentile for length

In other words, we've got a cute, pudgy man on our hands. :)  
God bless.

Friday, October 10, 2008

After Awhile Crocodile

Today, on this glorious Friday (aren't all Fridays simply glorious?) Baby J is wearing one of my fashion faves.  He is *almost* too big for it, so we had one more go 'round with the outfit today before stashing it in our 0-3mos. bin.  The shirt and *green* pants are compliments of Awol Mommy and her family three years ago when they sweetly gave it as a gift to baby M.  It has since been one of my personal favorites--a symbiotic relationship between crocodile and bird (Plover) shown on my child's shirt?  I'm in heaven (and also a big bio dork!) :) 

Here is J, sporting it ever so cutely (and snugly--check out the belly!)
And my ultimate favorite part is what's written inside...
"Let's have a party!" with a partying Plover in shades with a drink.  lol.  

So folks, let's have a party indeed.  Come on over!!
We'd love to have you...

TGIF blessings,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Generations Unite

What a blessing it was yesterday to introduce the boys to Mimi's Daddy, Grandpa Frank, and brother, Uncle John...  They came all the way from California to meet their three grandsons/nephews for the first time.  

M took to his great-grandfather right away and melted all of our hearts in the process.  When we asked him this morning if he liked Grandpa Frank and Uncle John, he nodded yes and then added, "I love my grandpas."  We're assuming he lumped Grandpa and John together in that statement.  Too cute!!  More pics to come from the reunion.
Prayers right now for our friends, Katherine and Matt, who are on their way to the hospital to have their first little one!!  SO exciting! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Did You Know?

Today was picture day.

Isn't our little man the handsomest?
I was smitten, for sure! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MOPS Miracle

A friend called last week and asked if I wanted to join her at her next MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) meeting.  "YES!" I responded a bit too excitedly, "I can't wait!!!" :)  You see I've been looking for something like this since moving here, hoping and praying for a resource to meet other women like me and find more friends!!  I was just considering that day (Coincidence?  I think not!) how I really needed to hunt down a program to commune with other wives and mothers...  Lo and behold, Stacey called.  (Thanks Stacey!)

And what an answer to prayer it was.  I went last night and had such a nice time.  We crafted cute photo books, ate yummy snacks, and listened to a variety of speakers who bestowed motherly goodness.  The main speaker was a psychotherapist, who challenged us to consider the stress in our lives and how much of it really has to be there.  So often we create or contribute to the stress in our lives by the mere choices we make on a regular basis.  She quoted a statistic that 60-90% of our illnesses (causing a trip to the doctor) come about thanks to stress.  How much healthier would Gasperini-Ville be if we could just get a handle on it?

Overcommitment?  Excessive worry?  Perfectionism?
These are just a few areas of weakness for both GG and I, causing more than enough stress in our lives already (and our kids aren't even in school yet!  Oh no!!)  But hey, by being more aware of our stressful tendencies, we can begin to try to hone these areas before they get too out-of-control.

The last exercise we completed involved a time of relaxation and meditation.  Just 5 minutes of calm revealed to me how much I need to tone down my day-to-day anxiety.  No wonder I'm apt to snap at the kids when I am often so revved up and wound so tightly!!  Just breathe, B-mama!!!  :)  I aim to try to take moments in the coming days to find "my center" and chill out.  We will all be better off because of it! :)

So that's that in the world of B-mama.  One of the tips the psychotherapist recommended for relieving stress was through journaling, for which I was very thankful to have my blog as a wonderful writing "outlet".  Thanks for being my sounding board, friends and family!  You all are so gracious to read my daily tales...  One thing's for sure, I've yet to figure out so many facets of this God-given world!!  Alas, you'll never be rid of me. ;)

To bring this to a close, here are some fam photos from Saturday--M's soccer practice and Sunday--our trip to a local pumpkin patch.  We ended up flaking on the hayride (too overwhelming for the boys), but had a blast in the kiddie maze and the bounce house, while enjoying the fall afternoon with friends.  It was a blessed time...
Our soccer stud and his new buzz cut!
T poses for his "individual shot"
Team picture time!!  So serious!
Kid maze--Daddy gets in on the action! :)
Hunter and M
Hugs and prayers,
Lilypie First Birthday tickers