Friday, December 31, 2010


It’s hard to believe that 2010 is already over.  It seems like the older you get, the faster the years go by, and that’s a little scary at times.  Luckily I’m fairly good at keeping my blog (diary) up to date so I have most of it documented.

Overall, 2010 has been a good year for us.  I feel like Mark and I are closer as a couple and we’ve gotten this parenting thing figured out somewhat.  Last year at this time I was ready to rip all my hair out trying to figure out how to get our child to sleep through the night and to figure out all her quirks.  We’ve gotten her figured out for the most part now, but she tends to throw new challenges at us weekly.  She does a great job of keeping us on our toes.

Our move to Italy was obviously like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t necessarily this.  Adjusting to Italy was hard, and dealing with Mark being TDY and Abbie being very difficult – all of that combined wasn’t a good combination and was probably one of the lowest points of my life so far.  But I feel like I’m out of that slump now, and ever since then, I’ve continued heading uphill, which is good.

I always hear people talk about finding themselves and figuring out who they are.  I don’t think there has ever been a point in my life that I didn’t know exactly who I was and what I stood for, but I feel like 2010 was the year that I became who I’ve wanted to be.  I realize that I’ve got much more growing and learning ahead of me, but I feel like I do a better job of stepping back and thinking before I fly off the handle about things, and I find myself trying to put myself in other people’s shoes more often instead of just casting judgments on them.

We’ve been incredibly blessed this year and have gotten to travel quite a bit.  (In fact, I’m writing this from Rome.)  I’d always dreamed of traveling, but I honestly didn’t think we’d get the chance to travel as much as we have until we were much older and retired.  Mark’s job has provided us with many opportunities, and the best so far has been all the travel opportunities while living in Europe.  Some of the neatest places we’ve been to so far weren’t even on my “to see” list and we never would have visited them if we didn’t live here.

I took up a new hobby of quilting and I finished my first quilt and another quilt top.  It’s pretty gratifying to know nothing about something, but to be able to work your way through it and create something beautiful and useful in the end.  I hope to make many more quilts in the future.  And I’ve also gotten more involved in photography.  I still only have the basic lenses for my camera, but I’ve learned a TON using them and have figured out what my camera is capable of. 

Mark and I often talk about how we can’t believe that this is our life.  We have our share of struggles and every day isn’t full of sunshine and puppies, but overall, we know that we are very blessed.  And I’ve finally figured out that really, it’s just a matter of perspective.  Focusing on the good verses the bad makes everything seem much brighter.

Here’s hoping that 2011 is as good as 2010.  Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve.  Buone Feste!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Venice for the 5th time.


Or is it 6th?  I can’t remember.  Venice just never gets old.  There are always parts of the city that you haven’t seen before.

This time we went with Mark’s family.  I think I took more pictures than all of them combined, because I am a picture taking fiend.  And because I want to be able to look back and remember it all.

It was supposed to rain down in Venice today, but luckily it didn’t.  It was perfect picture taking weather, although it was a little on the cold side.  We went to a part of Venice that I hadn’t been to before and I think it’s my favorite part.  Seems to be more residential than the other parts we’ve seen and I like that.

Here are (a few of) the (230) pictures.  Enjoy!


(Aren’t those boots adorable?!)






(San Marco Square wasn’t nearly as flooded as I thought it would be.)







(That hat was my souvenir from this trip to Venice.  I love it!  Abbie wasn’t too sure about it..)









(Abbie’s 15 minute nap of the day.)



**Since I thought it was going to rain, I didn’t bring my DSLR, so all of these are taken with my Canon SD1400.**

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Christmas


We had a nice Christmas here in Italy with Mark’s family.  Abbie made it fun because she’s now at an age where she’s an active participant.  It’s fun to see her reaction to things.  It made me miss my family though.  This isn’t my first Christmas away from them, but it doesn’t really get easier.  Hopefully next year we can do Christmas with them.

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of days.  Okay, maybe more than a few.

(Abbie finally likes to wear hats occasionally.  She’s always asking me to put this one on her.)


(A dress my mom got her.)


(Trying to get a decent picture in front of the tree, but she was throwing a fit about her boots.


(The new boots Mark’s mom got her.  She didn’t like them at all at first, but now she’s used to them.  They’re adorable.  And I think that dress is from my mom too.)


(Reading with daddy.)


(Dancing with daddy.)


(Abbie wasn’t cooperating for this photo shoot.)


(Our 2010 Christmas photo.  Too bad it was dark out already or we would have taken it outside.  Oh, and it was raining, for the 3rd day…)


(Abbie dancing.  She LOVES to dance.  And she always needs a dance partner which is usually a bear or a doll.)


(Entertaining the crowd.)


(My new boots!  And Mark’s new boots.  And my sweater dress from my mom.)


(Abbie on Christmas morning.)


(Our tree before we started opening gifts.)


(Abbie opening all her gifts.)



We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by ones you love.