Love is love is love is love

I cried myself to sleep on Tuesday night for many obvious reasons. I cried because we had lost the election. I cried because we are yet to celebrate having a woman for our president. I cried because a racist, misogynist, pussy grabber was elected to lead our nation. But mostly I cried because I saw tears of fear, disbelief and angst running down my daughter’s cheeks.

My heart shattered into a million pieces.

I woke up Wednesday morning trying to be hopeful, trying to find the silver lining. But I didn’t.  As I was preparing their lunch boxes, my oldest one came into the kitchen and asked me again if Trump had really won. Yes, he had. Those same tears ran down her cheeks again. And my heart, again, shattered into a million pieces.

I reassured her that everything was going to be ok. That this amazing country was going to be ok. That we were going to be ok. That SHE was going to be ok.

“How?” she asked.

I didn’t have an answer then, but just promised her we were.

Little did she know that she had already given me the answer. As I walked into my office, I found a note she had left for me the night before. It read, “Love is what I work for.”

And just like that I had my answer. LOVE.

So that night, while we ate dinner she asked me again:

“So, how are we going to be ok?”

I told them I had a plan. A good one.

 

This is how we are going to be ok:

We are going to love.

We are going to live an amazing life.

We are going to love and respect our friends, no matter where they come from, what religion they practice or what they believe in.

We are going to speak up and not remain silent. We are going to defend our shy friends against bullies. And we are going to show compassion to those bullies that are surely trying to fight their own personal battles.

We are going to celebrate holidays, birthdays, we will make up excuses to have laughter-filled family reunions as often as possible.

We are going to stuff our faces with ice cream and cake.

We are going to go on trips. Lots of them. Disney, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Miami. We’re going to travel all over the country. Because it’s an amazing one.

We are going to go to the beach, the pool,  all of the parks, summer concerts, festivals…

You will go to gymnastics, or ballet, or swimming, or whatever you want to learn this month.

We are going to try to catch Santa this year….and the Leprechaun too.

We are going to cook and eat together (your father’s food, not mine, don’t worry).

We are going to go outside, way past your bedtime to catch fireflies.

I will visit you at school during your lunch time and you can visit me at my office during mine.

We are going to visit all of the Smithsonian museums for the 100th time because it’s one of your favorite things to do.

We are going to have picnics.

We are going to laugh about silly things and cry at sad things.

We are going to build forts out of blankets and make a mess in the living room.

We are going to pray together.

We are going to grow together.

And we will BE together. Because love trumps hate and love is love is love is love.

 

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road trippin’ (writing as I go)

I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but it’s mostly because I’ve been at home for the past three weeks, and let’s be honest, I don’t do anything when I’m home. Also because I usually do all my writing at the office and I’m telling you this because my boss doesn’t read this blog, she thinks I work diligently. It’s been a long three weeks and I’m ready to go back, but not before driving from Virginia to Indiana for my brother’s wedding, who actually eloped and got married in Hawaii (genius) a couple of months ago. I really think they’re throwing this wedding celebration just to get me in a van with my in-laws, my dad, my husband and my kids for 8 hours which I’m sure will turn into 10. What did I do to deserve this? I don’t know, but I’m liking the sound of the word revenge. 

When you get three old friends (in-laws and my dad) together in a car for 8 hours all they’re going to do is talk…and talk…and talk some more. And when they’re done, they’ll talk some more. And here I am in the back of the van because I’m 5 ft and no one else fits in between my daughter’s car seats but me, and I’m about to throw up, maybe because I just swallowed a bag of mini Oreos and writing this on my phone on the back. I’m also watching Frozen for the 68th time so the thought of pulling over and puking actually seems like a fun break. 

We’re driving through Pennsylvania or Maryland. I don’t even know, but I made the huge mistake of asking my dad, a geography enthusiast, because calling him a geography freak would be rude. He pulled out a map because why wouldn’t he. 25 minutes later he was still pointing out roads and stuff.
Now he’s listing ALL the states and asking me if I know their capital, which I obviously don’t because I only memorized them to pass my US History test in middle school like 20 years ago. 

The capital of California is Sacramento, NOT Hollywood. 

I just figured out that we’re in Pittsburgh, I’m sure because we had to stop to buy a blanket because I guess everyone in the car is going through menopause and the AC is blasting. I got a throw at a rest stop for $30. That was THIRTY dollars for a penguin throw which I’m guessing is the pet of their something team. Go Penguins??

The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg, NOT Philadelphia. And apparently Tom Hanks does not live there.

Of course, now it’s scorching hot because there’s no way to cover the sun coming in through the back window, I have 2 huge dolls and a Penguin blanket on my lap and we’re watching Tinkerbell for the 54th time.

The capital of New York is Albany, NOT Times Square.

4 more hours to go. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste.

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that one time I had dinner with 35 foodies

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I am a disaster when it comes to anything that involves making food. I love to eat, don’t get me wrong, maybe a little too much actually, the problem is I can’t cook, I get annoyed reading food labels, I don’t know if 500 calories for a bagel is ridiculous or not, I can’t tell the difference between parsley and cilantro and I’m not entirely sure what a Rutabaga is, and I had to Google the correct spelling for it. I’m not proud of this trust me, I’m still working on it.  The fact that I married a chef is a huge deal for me, because I went from eating Ramen Noodles to eating fresh homemade pasta. Score.

After 10 years of being married to this guy, I’ve learned a thing or two in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean I like it now, it just means that I won’t starve to death when he’s not around. So when my husband told me that we were invited to one of his friend’s house for dinner, along with around 35 other chefs and foodies my heart immediately stopped.  Putting aside the fact that I didn’t know ANYONE at this dinner, I knew the only topic of conversation was going to be about food, something I know nothing about, except how to eat it.

I tried binge watching the Food Network Channel a few days before to see if maybe I could learn some of the lingo and not look like a complete idiot, but I couldn’t do it. I got so anxious watching these people trying to make a gourmet entrée using only a tub of peanut butter, an orange peel and a potato.  I also tried reading some of my husband’s books, I fell asleep. I tried getting him to give me a quick crash course, but it wasn’t quick, it involved charts and homework, so I told him I had to do the neighbor’s laundry and ran away.

My only hope was that maybe another lost wife was going to be there too,  maybe we would bond over our culinary ignorance, maybe we would talk about kids, maybe we would talk about shoes, maybe we would become bff’s. I was getting excited about meeting my new imaginary best friend and so was my husband, he had noticed me having all these pretend adult conversations with myself and frankly, I was starting to look like a mental person.

We got there and were received by 30 something people. I knew no one. I clenched my husband’s hand, but of course, he soon exchanged it for a glass of wine.  I looked around and did not see another lost wife like me, everyone knew each other.

After what seemed hours of following my husband around like a lost puppy mingling, we sat down and waited for the first course, in the meantime, everyone was talking about food, and ingredients, and techniques, and foam, and liquid nitrogen*(apparently, the super cool use it to cook) and that chef that was the underdog and now is super famous. All gibberish to me.

I had nothing to say.

First course came out, everyone whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures, I followed. I don’t even know why, but everyone was doing it. One hour later we were on our fourth course. I kept thinking about my daughters, hoping  the little one would start crying so much that my father in-law would have no other option but to call me. No calls. 5th course…no calls.

Me: “So dessert is next? This is our 5th plate of food, I don’t think I can eat anymore.”

Husband: “It’s fifteen courses, desserts (as in more than one) come after.”

Fifteen courses. FIFTEEN.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way to the last course, but everything was so good I just kept eating and eating. With so much food around me and my non-stop eating, there was no time to join in the conversation even if I tried. They will ever know how much I don’t know.

I hear ya!

I hear ya!

We made it to the 9th course before my father in-law really called in a panic. The baby had woken up and wouldn’t stop crying. We had to leave early and I asked my husband if it was too tacky to ask for take out. He rolled his eyes and we left.

Next time I’ll be sure to be well prepared, I’ll study the charts and do the homework, learn the lingo and even practice some recipes of my own. I promise.

P.S.  Thank you to all the chefs and cooks out there (specially my hubby and his friends), who dedicate their days cooking AMAZING dishes. Thank you for sharing your passion and art.

* I had actually written dry ice but my husband had a mini heart attack and quickly corrected me.

the power of cuteness

When my daughters want something, they usually do whatever it takes to get it. Sometimes they get away with it because I am THAT weak, but when they don’t, this happens:

anto mad

She was mad because we were taking too long to eat our lunch and were talking way too much. Obviously being at the park is much more fun than hanging out in a restaurant that serves your cheeseburgers in a super cool, vintage, cardboard paper car. Her sister thought her face was hilarious and followed with one of her own:

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When “please mommy, please mommy, please mommy, please mommy”  doesn’t work, they turn on their charm and give me one of these:

pretty pls

 This one used to work on me first, but they quickly caught up to it and started abusing their power of cuteness.  They already know that their impossibly cute faces won’t work on me anymore, I’ve been vaccinated. So they wait until dad gets home and then this happens:

dad

At this point, I have already warned him, so he pretends to be tough and strict and says “no”. But they’re girls, and they won’t stop until  they get what they want (as should any girl), so that’s when they pull out the big guns and complements start rolling in:

Antonella-“Mommy, you’re so loving and caring, you’re like a Care Bear!”

Itala-“Mommy, you WON the mommy contest!”

Antonella- “Daddy, you’re soooo handsome.”

Itala- “Daddy, I LOVE YOU.”

Let me tell you that Itala NEVER says “I love you” unless she has an ulterior motive.

We’re still standing our ground, we’re strong, we’re united. No amount of cuteness will defeat us!

And then THEY walk in:

gramps

The grandparents, a.k.a The Enablers

And we end up here:

sucess

I have to admit, that I do like the fact that they don’t get tired of trying easily ;)