I am also beyond blessed to be the sister to 1 brother and 4 sisters. Get ready for a lenghty, bragging post. It’s long overdue.
After me, there is my sister, Francesca. We all have nicknames for each other because growing up we couldn’t pronounce all the names. I was Lala. Francesca is Caca. My kids still call her Aunty Caca. Unfortunate how that one turned out, I know.
Isn’t she unbelievable gorgeous? Yes. She we have the same mother and father. She just got all the Italian genes.
Many of you know about the big change we went through this year. Even through the suffering, their family has so much joy. To say that THIS is my sister is humbling. She is a woman of faith beyond imagination and of grace, elegance and strength. (you can read more of her own words, here) I’m so, so proud.I’m so thankful to have Phillip as my brother in law. He is a father and husband that I couldn’t put into words if I tried.
Their son, John, brings so much joy into all of our lives.
He’s a wonderful and adoring brother.
My niece Gia is utterly edible. I don’t know what else to say about her. Sometimes if I’m feeling down I just pull up her picture and stare at it. It immediately warms my heart.
Then there is our sweet, Stella, who has had more impact on mine and my children’s life then anything ever has, and possibly ever will.
After Francesca, there is my sister, Antonia, or Toto.
What I wish I could do is a whole post on funny photos of her. While she is beautiful, we have more picture of her doing the funniest things. I have to share one…
Oh my… Anyhow. That’s what I love about her. She’s the “funny one” in the family. She makes us all laugh so hard with her quick comments. She brings ‘lightness’ to our family. Life would be so dull without her. AND- she loves my girls so much. She’s completely selfless. She lets them sit on her lap at every family dinner and they drive her crazy, but she would never say no. She loves them that much and more.
Next is Clare, or Nini. You are probably the most familiar with her since she is the face of this blog. I just took some engagement pictures of her and her fiance, Nick, so I have to show off a couple.
Nick is our soon to be brother in law and he is a great man of faith who adores my sister.
Aside from being beautiful, Clare is a deep thinker, exceedingly caring and not only my sister but a good friend. The thing I love about Clare is she goes against the grain. For example, she doesn’t shave her legs. She doesn’t want to shave them because she thinks why should she have to do it to be beautiful? While we joke about it endlessly, it’s pretty awesome. A few years ago when we went to Disneyland we dropped into Beverly Hills to visit (we used to live down in Southern California). Clare decided to wear this onto Rodeo Drive. Just because.
Next is the only boy, Joseph. Here is he is holding my sister at a wedding we went to. They were dancing. I still don’t know what kind of dancing this is.
As the only boy of 6, I feel like my sisters and I should take some kind of credit for him being a pretty awesome guy. He’s also worked so hard to get into Notre Dame. He is also the BEST uncle. He is so interested in the girls lives. When he’s home from college he spends so much time with his nieces. He babysits and not only are the girls well loved, but the house is cleaner then when I left it. He’s my favorite babysitter. He and Zach are also best friends. I never imagined that my brother and my husband would be so close. But they are like real brothers. When Joe left for college the first time, watching them say goodbye to each other was heartbreaking. I don’t think I had enough tissue in the house to dry both of their tears. Zach cried for two days.
She brings so much to the family. She is deeply creative and it’s always fun to see what she’s working on. She has great style, is a talented artist and has such good ideas for all sorts of things. She plays with the girls and they love following her around to see what she’s up to. She’s a caring aunt and a great friend.
My siblings and I are really close. I feel the most comfortable around all of them. We do a lot of interesting things together. We do weird photos.
We do organized, and madly competitive, relay races on family vacations.
We set up mud slides on Christmas morning.
We perform. Probably too much.
We dress up in public places and take pictures of ourselves. It was hard to choose from the 100′s I had.
Most importantly, we’re there for each other. Maybe this is my way of thanking them. I feel safe with them and loved by them. I feel grateful to each of them for all they’ve done in my life, in Zach’s and the girls. They each play a very different, very important role in my life. I can’t imagine life without each of them. they are 5 of the things I’m most grateful to God for. I not only have 5 siblings, but I’m close to them all, in different ways and at different times, but close, none the less. It’s more then most lucky people get. I know that.
This is my mom, Valjean. She has instilled in our family a sense of togetherness, unity, and faith above all else. As a mother, now, I know how much she has sacrificed some of her own desires as a woman to fulfill those of her children. She is a wonderful example of a loyal and kind woman, an astounding listener and a woman after God’s heart.
She does great things with the girls. She picks out special books for them, reads to them, packs them special little snacks before we leave their house and gardens with them.
You know,the kind of things you hold in your heart forever.
This is my dad, Rob. (on the left with my grandma and his brother, Ron.)
He is the most supportive dad. He’s the first person I call to talk about mostly anything. He always has had time for me and in a family of 6, I’ve always felt important. (not an easy task, I imagine) One of the things I’ve loved is that he’s taken us all over the country on vacations. He sacrificed his time ,work and money and shown us some of the most amazing, naturally beautiful places. But it wasn’t only the places that were meaningful. It was the time we spent together as a family. We’re talking DAYS of driving together in a van. It has created some of the most meaningful memories for me.
Family was, and is, always first.
This is what I’ve been blessed with.
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Today we went with our friends to Burrell School Winery to do some wine tasting. Here are a few moments from our afternoon.
My husband with Gigi. She’s hilarious. I can’t contain her hair for the life of me.
Ava loves to give me thinking pictures.
Tags: family, photographs, photography, shoes
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We are so blessed to live near Carmel, CA. To me, it’s one of the most gorgeous places. Have any of you been there? We went down for lunch on Sunday with my whole family then went walking and climbing on the beach.
Here is my Dad and Gigi.
Tags: beach, carmel, family
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