Saturday, June 29, 2013

Six Weeks Old

Sweet Eden is six weeks old this week and what a happy whirlwind her first month and a half of life has been! God has blessed us so very much with a laid back, go-with-the-flow, and, dare I say, "easy" little baby girl. Her big sibs continue to be enamored with her and now that she's smiling, it's even better.
Tiny hand clutched around my finger...sigh...
I love when newborns tuck their little legs underneath them.
Fuzzy, clean hair after bath time!
Sleepy smiles are so cute!
Happy Eden!
...add in some baby cooing, so much to say!
Good morning.
Sooooo big!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A trip to Tuscany.

Nearly 6 years ago, I was sitting in our quaint Japanese home with my mom and sisters and another tiny little baby girl in my arms; Josh was one continent over, in Italy, to serve as a groomsman in our dear friends Bryan and Aida's wedding. I still remember the conversation we had on the phone when he told me that he was in the most beautiful place in the world...alone. He promised to bring me back to Tuscany one day. I'm not sure either one of us could have envisioned returning in just six short years with four children in tow, but that's what we did this week.
We left Catania on Sunday night on a ferry bound for Naples.   **Along our way a sweet older woman from England said that she just loved Caleb's smile because it was so sweet AND so full of mischief...I have to agree!
Farewell Sicilia!  Soon after departing we nestled into our cabin with 4 bunks (it was cozy!) and enjoyed being rocked to sleep by the Mediterranean waves. (once the kids finally settled down, that is!)
Twelve hours later, we woke up just off the coast of Naples to enjoy the sunrise and the views.  Once we arrived in the port we drove to a large recreational park owned by the military and just outside of the city.  We met our dear friends the Delmars (that we'd known in Norfolk) for a wonderful morning of playing and catching up!  Unfortunately, I never managed to get my camera out...oops!
Also not pictured...the very loooong 5 hour drive between Naples and our apartment in Poggibonsi.  You can imagine just how wonderful it felt to have dinner waiting on the table when we arrived! (it was 9p.m!!!!!)
Josh gets full credit for finding this rustic castle for us to stay in, in the foothills of the Chianti region.  We both remarked that arriving to the cool evening air and a setting like this was one of the highlights of the week!
Mmmm!  Ready for more adventures tomorrow...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lovin' Summer: A day at our favorite beach

These pictures just make my heart happy with the sweet memories of a beautiful summer day spent together...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An arancini to remember...

Arancini are a typical "tavola calda" food found in bars throughout Sicily.  They are balls of sticky rice filled with various sauces and deep fried until they are golden brown.  I've been trying to like them ever since we moved here, nearly three years ago, but honestly I never found much to write home about.  To quote Josh, the "sauce to rice ratio is not quite right - they NEED more sauce."  Well my friends, we finally found a shop that makes arancini worthy of note!  Thanks to my friend Becca and an article she sent me from the NY Times, we discovered a little hole in the wall place off the beaten track in Taormina that had the cheesiest, sauciest stuffed balls of rice that you could ever imagine...
Thank you 'Da Cristina' for surpassing my expectations of arancini and for giving me one more carb-tastic Italian food to dream about!
As seen in the NY Times.
The "boss lady"...perhaps Cristina...

Enough said!
...And since it's impossible to go to Taormina without a trip to Bam Bar for granite...we made sure to save room for dessert!
Lucas finished his chocolate granite and then wandered around asking everyone else for could I say no?!?

Monday, June 10, 2013

A visit from Grammie: Two weeks in review.

We've had the wonderful treat of welcoming my mom into our home as she's traveled to Japan, Virginia, and Sicily (x2) to cuddle our newborn babes, keep us company, and take care of us! The kids were so excited to have her here and we thoroughly enjoyed her visit. We managed to have some quiet days at home and some little adventures around our dear Sicily as well.
Sweet Eden gets to meet her Grammie!
Watching "Leave it to Beaver" - so classically "Woodworth"
A gift from Grammie and Granddad - an Italian doll especially for our little girl from Sicily.
A snack in the piazza - the perfect early summer treat!
Grammie loved the tour the boys gave her around the Motta Castle and surrounding neighborhood.
Mom and I got a girls' day in Caltigirone, too!
Elise couldn't wait to share the Butterfly House with Grammie!
This is what happened when Grammie told Caleb "not" to smile for the picture!
Enjoying the day at Cassabile, our favorite beach
A night away in Vendicari Nature Reserve - a lovely agriturismo right by the sea and a fun getaway for all of us!

We love you, Grammie!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In love...

We've been delighted with how each of the "big" kids has welcomed their newest sister into the fold over the past few weeks. They coo at her and beg to hold her and kiss her until we make them stop! Elise is really over the moon about the idea of having a sister - it seems like she still can't quite believe it. Caleb is so sweet and doting and quietly sings her songs and poems when she's in his arms. Lucas just can't help himself and regularly sneaks away to look at her, nuzzle her and sometimes lick her...the other day after he was admiring her nose to nose, he jumped off the bed and announced "baby lick mine boogies" - now isn't that the sweetest thing you've heard today?!?! Considering he used my stomach as a trampoline for the better part of the last 9 months, I think Eden probably knew this was just how life on the outside was going to be!
Lucas insisted on sleeping with Eden on her first day home with us!