• ENGAGEMENTSWEDDINGSLIFESTYLE

When I look back at the past 12 months, I am amazed at what our family of four has accomplished.  Aside from our 8yo doing  well in last Spring’s Football Academy at his beloved St. George’s and completing another Cross Country Race, the 1yo mastered walking.  But, also we moved back to our home country.

Now to the novice, you would think that would be the easiest of tasks.  Quite frankly, from a language perspective, it is.  However, to be away for almost 4 years for a young child it was much more difficult that we’d imagined.  The 1.5yo was excited to see DisneyJr in English and my husband was so glad to be living back by our gold course.  My goal was making everyone happy, settling everyone in and checking all the boxes.  Needless to say, my “box” was last and never really checked.  I do not recommend this, but I think as mothers, wives, etc, we do this accidentally.

Granted, I was very lucky in Italy to shoot many gorgeous images, people and experiences.  I was able to use my lenses in creative ways and from differing perspectives.  I had my previous teachers in my head saying things like “How can you make this different?”  I did and I am grateful.

However, I needed to relaunch my Wedding Business upon my return.  I love the Wedding Day, whole heartedly.  I enjoy learning engagement stories, meeting loved ones, families and friends and being sure to capture moments with those special people.  The feeling for me is exhilarating, when I capture those key moments.

However, as I lie in bed on 12/30, I started to think if I could launch this all over again?  Was I making the right decision?  I looked at my cell phone and I had a message from “The Times” of London requesting one of my images I shot 2 years ago in Rome.  After I sent it to the Features Editor she stated, “It was stunning”.  The granddaughter of my subject said, “well of course, and you have 1000 more stories to tell!”

This was all the convincing I needed to continue and I consider this a valuable lesson.  The image is below, this was captured just before her 100th birthday.  There is a documentary being created about her, this Sicilian Princess, mother, grandmother, Painter, WWII survivor and so much more.

Now when I look at her, I am going to use her as inspiration.  Grazie, Topazia!

Ciao XX

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I am not quite sure when the slow knot in my stomach begins, but the thought is “OMG, its July and I need to get working on our Christmas Card!”  I know, its awful.  Sadly, my mind has started hs to work like that for at just over 7 years now, since starting my photography business.  You’d think things would get easier, that my creativity would abound.

Hilariously–no.

Even living in a city with the Colloseo in the back drop still made me crazy.  I found that I was just better advising other people on their cards, the images, the designs, etc.

Just to “stick it” to Rome, I sent our first family card with a photo from Florence, the next–from our trip to Copenhagen.  When our youngest came along I could not get decent photos of the two boys, so I had one the older one in an old Castello, with the baby on his stomach in our apartment.  I did take an incredible photo of my sons and husband, with great sunlight coming behind the Colloseo.  The Camera Card got lost in our move.  I am still praying to St. Anthony to deliver it.

Finally, I found other Photographers going through this.  Perhaps overbooked themselves, forgetting their own families or had multiple shoots in search of that image that told that great 2015 story or just something salvageable.  I then began to breathe.

With moving back from Rome and now on the East Coast, I had visions of wonderful stonewall settings, perhaps with some great falling golden leaves dancing in my head.  I loved all the bursting fiery reds and oranges in the fall as well.  I had purchased great outfits, fall vests, for the boys.  I could not have been more excited for the beauty I was going to craft!

But there were photo shoots.It was now December and the knot in my stomach resembled a tea cozy made at summer camp.  But this was not for my lack of trying.  There were set walk offs, from a very sweet Toddler.

A compliant older brother, who looked quite handsome.

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A puppy dog that had been wrangle so many times, that he only sat still to lick faces or eat.  However, I loved the catch light in his eyes…

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Then the 8yo had an idea as we watched the toddler run around the yard chasing bugs.

We’d lie.

“Oooh, look at this!” said the 8yo.  “Mom, have you ever seen a bug as big as this?”  I glanced at him and caught on to what he might have up his sleeve.  “Um, no never..”  I said very wide-eyed.  I pointed to the ground at a curly leaf.  The Toddler, and budding entomologist came racing over and gleefully shouted, almost questioning, “BUG?!  BUG? BUUUG?  Ooooh buuuuug…”  He knelt down, much like a NASA scientist, who has landed on the moon for the first time and wanting to be very gentle with the first moon rock he is touching.  The 8yo started to lean in with a smile and I caught a very sweet moment.

My oldest delivered a very special gift to me that day, all by telling a lie to his brother.

Ciao….

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‘Z’ is a cool initial. My married name initial of  ‘O’ can spell things that are not too flattering.  But I digress, just to say that I am glad I reconnected with my friend Chris from college on…FB.  She just had a sense of humor like mine in college, sarcasm and everything.  Needless to say, I was very happy when she contact me about photographing her children.

These two were so sweet and such loving siblings!  Not to mention the hair color–gorgeous!

Enjoy these sweet smiles…

Ciao

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Returning after a long time away from the US meant many changes.  First, an addition to our family.  We needed a dog.

But, rewind almost 4 years, If it had not been for my cousin Frank, I am not sure what I would have done. Frank’s coworker had 2 children that were eager for a dog.  Our dog found two loving parents and dream siblings!

We had broken hearts that were only semi-healed with seeing photos of our dog’s happiness.

Fast forward to the present day and we needed to obtain a four-legged friend again.  Our now 8 year old was promised a dog for when we landed back in the US.  With the online research my husband was doing, I wondered who the dog was really for.  Regardless, we found him and he melts my heart with his puppy dog eyes….

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It is scary how my toddler discovered the beauty and usefulness of Apple’s iPhone–he really likes it.  To be honest, we’ve used it to help him fly from Rome to Philadelphia or just get us through the end of dinner at a restaurant.  We only have ourselves to blame for educating a knee-high person to use a device more aptly than my mother.  The magic of the little games and apps are great.  In fact my father was going to conduct an intervention for my mother on some of her iPhone entertainment.

But, toddlers are messy, their hands sometimes are sticky and they can lack the ability to be careful with delicate objects.  Needless to say, my iPhone has enjoyed going to the “Apple Hospital” as I call it, nearly DOA.  Who knew someone under 2 years of age could be so aggressive….

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Its true, our little baby is now 2.  I find it a bit shocking, but that is what happens.  In two years, he has done quite a bit.  Traveling to a few US states, countries and the boot of Italy.  But now he’s back and discovering life in the U.S. of A.

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He’s sweet, he’s curious, wildly active and loves to explore.  We would not change him and fall more in love with this little character more and more each day.

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