Let Us Begin

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.

Gabriel James: Babriel, Baby Gaby, Mister Man, Momma’s Boy

Gabriel James: Babriel, Baby Gaby, Mister Man, Momma’s Boy

Born November 11, 2010, Gabriel James is my bouncing baby boy.  This little guy has been full of life and making his very strong will known from day one.  A lover of all things boy, his baby heart is always seeking adventure, wanting to be in the center of the action, and never missing a thing.  Oblivious to the fact that Jack is two years older than he is, Gabriel is his big brother’s shadow, lighting up when he enters the room and thinking absolutely everything he does is awesome.  This bottomless pit enjoys nothing more than to wrestle, climb, and explore his surroundings as long as Momma is within sight.  I love seeing him grow more into his name with each day that goes by as the “strong man of God”.

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Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Being a mom this time of year is giving me new insight into the reason why St. Nicholas was so jolly.

It must be the JOY of giving to little ones…

nothing much: just a few pieces of candy I happened to have on hand in the pantry when I received my mother’s text message that night reminding me of a beloved patron’s feast the next day and a favorite childhood tradition of leaving shoes by the door for him to fill with treats.

I couldn’t let the Feast of St. NIcholas pass without entering into the celebration at our house this year so I asked Jack to put one of his shoes and one of Gabriel’s (who was already fast asleep) by the door. (Notice he picked a huge rain boot as his shoe.  It didn’t result in any more candy than his baby brother got in his oh-so-tiny shoe but you can’t blame the kid for trying.)

He also insisted on shoes being left for mommy and daddy, which he selected all by himself from our closet.

I have to say that the addition of one of my high heels to the line up makes me smile.

After setting out our shoes, removing one more link from the Christmas countdown paper chain, and opening another door of the Avent calendar for the piece of chocolate inside, we read a children’s book about the story of St. Nicholas and Jack surely drifted off to sweet dreams of secret gifts being dropped into stockings in the night.

It took a few minutes to remember what day it was when he woke up but when he did there was no holding him back.

He sprinted to the landing to see if St. Nicholas had come and jumped up and down in sheer delight at the sight of a candy in our shoes for a solid two minutes before I thought to hit record on my camera…

And then of course there is Gabriel.  He was loving chewing on his pez still in the wrapper and dissolved into tears when I took took them away just long enough to open them for him.  sweet boy.  I know those cheeks are a dead give away but this is one baby boy who loves his sweet treats.

If today was any indication of things to come, Christmas morning is going to be a lot of fun at our house this year.




The Big One

It’s 11-11-11 and Gabriel is celebrating the Big One!

Although his party is planned for Thanksgiving weekend when not one but two sets of grandparents will be in town to join in the festivities, we couldn’t possibly let this day go by without some degree of ceremony.

Cupcakes were in order.

I initially planned to bake them myself but then I had a moment of clarity and remembered that one of our favorite spots, Liberty Market, not only has some of the most divine cupcake delicacies you have ever tasted but that they also offer a $10 credit to their restaurant on birthdays.

Need I say more?

I grabbed a candle and lighter, stretched the 12 month onsie that reads “My First Birthday” over Gabriel’s much larger than size 12m frame and somehow managed to snap it shut too, and loaded the family into the van.

Two pumpkin cupcakes with melt in your mouth maple icing sprinkled with brown sugar later and not a penny my wallet did leave.














We managed to keep him at bay just long enough to light the candle and sing happy birthday to the boy of the day…














“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gabriel, happy birthday to you!”

And then, he was literally up out of his seat and we let him have at it…

















































Just as happy as if I had made them myself and I must say that I was much happier.



























When I saw the carnage of smashed cupcake and smeared icing all over the table, floor and high chair, I thought it would be common courtesy to at least take a wet wipe to the surrounding area for a little damage control.

I was promptly stopped by a server who reassured me to leave it, that’s what he got paid for.  Service with a smile and the cashier saying “it’s on us today” , I was almost tempted to let them know Gabriel had a stinky diaper and would have half expected them to take care of that for us too.














Although I am cooking up loads of fun surprises to celebrate one year of Gabriel with family and friends at his party in a few weeks, this was not a bad way to commemorate the day I held him in my arms for the first time.

I love you baby boy.  You are my prize and joy.


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Serious Moves

This weekend was the first wedding and reception that we have taken either of the boys to since they were small enough to be worn in a sling.

They both had a blast!  (can you tell?)

We all did…(this picture was taken from Jack’s perspective)

Although we didn’t manage to get any pictures of the happy couple (Johnny’s cousin David and his lovely bride Lindsay), we did get some of other extended family…

Here we are with the parents of the groom, Johnny’s Aunt Beth and Uncle Jerry.

and Jack with Johnny’s cousins, Jenna and Chelsea…

and lots of the boys thoroughly enjoying themselves…

There’s that tongue again!

Jack loved getting dressed up like daddy in his little pinstriped dress pants, vest and tie. Both boys went crazy for the appetizer bar and stuffed themselves on crackers, cheese and fruit to their hearts’ content.  They were enthralled with the wedding party’s grand entrance and clapped for everyone as they arrived…

Gabriel is in Aunt Mary’s arms where he spend most of the evening.  She walked with him, showed him the lights and rubbed his feet.  Anytime she would stop, he would put her hands back on his toes again.  Smart kid.

And then there was cake to be tasted…two thumbs up!

Jack was smooth as ever going up to the bride and telling her how pretty she looked in her beautiful dress, toasting with sparkling cider and of course busting a move on the dance floor…

When I told Jack that he had some cool moves, he told me that he did cool moves all the time but when the camera man came over to him then he did some “serious” moves!

Alright then, I don’t think there is any denying that!

Thankfully, they will have lots of opportunities to enjoy all that they loved about being a part of wedding festivities again soon.  We have two big weddings to look forward to this summer.  Aunt Mandy will be getting married to Matt in June and Uncle Danny and Katie will be getting married in July.

It is going to be a great summer full of serious moves.

David and Lindsay, we wish you both a long life of happiness together.  Thank you for including us in your big day.


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