Sunday, 10 July 2016

Charleston in June

Dear Pia and Rafa,

Shortly after we returned from Europe, your Auntie Tara married Uncle Brad in a beautiful fairy tale wedding, celebrated under the oak trees of a Charleston plantation. Pia, you were a flower girl. No, not just a flower girl, but a lead flower girl and you were so excited you had been looking forward to the day for months, almost a year. I think it surpassed your expectations. It did mine. It was magical.

Rafa, you almost made it down the aisle, but the pressure was too much and the auoogah car was just outside the church doors calling your name, so you bolted out instead of in at the crucial minute. Pia, you walked like a princess leading Bam Bam and Elise with a basket of flowers and stood next to the bridesmaids at the alter through the whole wedding. Though you may have thrown your basket around once or twice when you were up there, for the most part you were a perfect angel. And Brad and Tara were charming and beautiful and there was hardly a dry eye in the place.

It isn't hard to see why...

(Beautiful photos thanks to Shannon Michele Photography of Charleston)

I love you,


Italy in May

Dear Pia and Rafa,

I cannot believe we let a whole month of summer get by already. How does this happen? We went to Europe while you played marvelously with OpaGigi, school ended, we went to Tara & Brad's beautiful wedding in Charleston, Lily came to help out for a week of Bible camp at church, we had another couple weeks of camp at school and now it's the 4th of July!? Who's in control here? SLOW DOWN.

I can't slow it down, but I can take this blog thing one momentous occasion at a time. The first being your first week on your own taking care of OpaGigi.... er opposite of that. I think.

We got updates via photos. You hardly missed us at all, though Rafa, you put them to work with your nap refusals. Though we could tell, you let them have fun too.

We sent updates from our phone too.
And we did things we haven't done in 5 years. Like be totally and completely spontaneous. We pointed to cities on a map and drove there. Just because. We pointed to towns falling off high cliffs in the distance and drove there. Just because. We rode trains, planes and automobiles with giant headphones on and noise cancellation activated. BECAUSE WE COULD.

We drove to Pisa in a day where we had a few extra hours because Pia was reportedly learning about it at home with her Gigi. Why not? 

Then we stayed in this glorious villa for just under a week. Sipping wine, laughing from our bellies of times gone by and dreaming of the life that lay ahead for some of Papa's oldest and dearest friends... 
Who were wed in a church on a cliff. Because that's just how Tuscany rolls.
And then we stopped in Istanbul for a few hours to have Borek and mint tea because your Mama clearly lost her mind when booking this flight...

But we weren't afraid to spend a few more hours away because we knew you were in very good hands.

Especially because those hands don't even let go for naps.  (This particular photo came from Pia's teacher at school. During her Flamenco recital.... Like Opa, Like Rafa.)

You are so lucky to have such loving grandparents in your lives. These guys set the standard and some day I hope I can show you how lucky you are.

I love you,


Friday, 8 July 2016

Happy Birthday Rafa!

Dear Rafa,

Today you turned two. I have no idea how we got here so fast but my god you are cute. I love you so much. We all do. It must be the way you answer every question with repetition of the last 3 words said, or the way your feet run in fast motion while your body hardly moves at all. Or maybe it's the way you convert every day into a pirate party, or the way you start pulling your shirt up to your neck at the mention of "swimming"...

We didn't have a big party for your second birthday and the family was busy so we did it just us. And we made the most of it. Pia and i (and the rest of your family near and far-and even you) have been preparing all of your favourite things for days.

In the end, your birthday comprised of all your favorite things: pirates, trains, auoogah car, diggers, bear hunt, books, blueberries, popsicles, dinotrux, fishing, Chuckee Cheese, Pia, Papa, Mama & some FaceTime love from afar.

Who could ask for anything more? Here's the recap of today-you picked the song yourself by singing along as soon as I played it, despite none of us having ever heard it before. You're adorable like that.

I love you,


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Here comes Summer

Dear Pia and Rafa,

I'm writing to you on a 12 hour plane ride from Europe back home. I'll share this lovely holiday your Papa and I had soon, but it's been ages since I've blogged and your world keeps spinning, so I thought this a good time to catch us all up. It's been 10 days without you, so forgive me if this next overdue update is a bit on the sappy side. 

The weather in Miami has officially turned to summer. The days are long and at times unbearably hot. The change of the seasons means different things to each of us: 

To Pia, it means the pool is finally back in session and afternoons are spent soaking wet.
To Papa, it means mosquitos are back and the doors remain closed
To Me, it gives a sense of excitement for lazy summer mornings and beach days
To Rafa, it doesn't bloody mean anything,  life resumes it's generally happy pace in the backyard... And my God we love him for that.
Pia, your school year is nearly through and we have loved receiving all the beautiful art you make with your teachers. We decided to make something of all the artwork and so framed them for our stairs. You are proud, but never as proud as us. 
Meanwhile, your drawings have carried on, and the weekend of Mothers Day, when asked to draw something for Sanny, you drew a garden, with corn and tomatoes. 
And for Opa's Birthday, a portrait of OpaGigi with their Mathias grand abides:
And for me, you blew kisses at school and framed it. I teared. Obviously.

Movie Bucket nights are on full force, and  even Rafa got a bit of Prince Charming training. 
Rafa, you have gone through a bit of a transition on your naps. They are not always very easy to come by -- especially because they usually fall right in the middle of the school run. We mostly manage to hold you off until after we get home, but it doesn't always work. Here's proof of a day we tried to bike home, but you were so overtired we walked most of the 1,5miles until I gave up and you napped on my chest in a park bench. The good news is that even your angry face is adorable, and what's more is that you always know how to make it right. A cuddle will always win me over and you make an amazing cuddle puddle....even when they're on a park bench.
We had play dates with some friends all over the place, but probably everyone's favourite is the Children's Museum. It's usually a bit manic when we add a friend in the mix, but more friends and we just embrace the chaos. Like how this veterinary clinic will never quite be the same...
And as the day drew nearer for Mama and Papa's holiday in Tuscany (and Rome, and London), we got to see Princess Bam Bam and Auntie Ali and Sanny for Mother's Day weekend, along with the Kuhn family for Auntie Tara's Graduation, and OpaGigi for Opa's birthday. It was a whole lotta love just before a lovely holiday. 
I love you guys. And you have no idea how excited I am to hold you in a few more hours.



A Day w Papa

Hi kids,

While mama worked today, the three of us made our way to the aquarium where you both stared at the eel for what seemed like ages. I guess all the octonauts shows have sparked an interest in underwater creatures.

Next stop was the flamingos, who can't stop staring at their regal poses

Last stop before nap time was the alligator pit. 


Looking toward to doing it again very soon.



(These are from a few weeks ago-and now that I finally get to it, I can't figure out the formatting. Figures!)

Dear Rafa

Hi Rafa,

I am astounded at how much you have grown, seems like every time I take you to the park you are showing me new tricks. This time around, you were climbing up and down the big kid jungle Jim all by yourself.

Keep going but don't grow up too fast as your mama and I want to enjoy these moments with you for as long as possible.



Sent from my iPhone

Dear Pia

To Pia,

I greatly enjoyed parents day in your ballet today. I am not sure who was more excited to be able to see you practice your ballet moves, you or me. Either way, thank you for allowing me to sit and watch. You were so graceful with all the moves.



Friday, 29 April 2016

Spring Sharing at School

Dear Pia,

Last week you had a school wide performance. Your class did a chicken dance along with some other songs the whole school sang together. But the very best part was watching you love up your best friend. You cuddled him while you waited to go on stage...
And squeezed him tight once you got up there. (Check you out on the left. You're the one wrapping your arms and legs around the kid trying to wave to mom and dad.)

I loved it.

And I love you,