Fall Farm Birthday

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Earlier this fall, we celebrated my nephews 3rd Birthday on the farm down at Clark’s Elioak in the heart of Howard County, Maryland. If you live near this area, but haven’t taken a trip here yet, you absolutely MUST! What an amazing experience for the whole family! Starting with the horse/pony rides, petting the goats, seeing all the animals, the magical feel of Mother Goose and the Old Woman’s shoe, slides, tractor rides, hay rides, pizza, cake, + more. The kids had a blast, and not gonna lie…so did the parents! Coming from Brooklyn, it’s so nice to get outdoors and get down on a farm this time of year. Happy 3rd Birthday to my little nephew, and cheers to my bro and sis-in law for hosting a really fun event!

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Speaking of family…we are heading down to Maryland late tonight (as soon as I clean my house, do laundry, and pack for the whole family…whew!). It’s going to be a long day, but we are excited for another adventure down in Maryland this week to celebrate Thanksgiving and catch up with family and friends. Hoping to avoid traffic (and screaming children), so we plan to leave around bedtime. Wish us luck!

And Happy Thanksgiving Week to all! ūüôā

XO,

Gina

{38} Lately…

Live Fully

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Creativity Inc. Рslowly but surely.

writing ¬†Emails to plan out Luca’s upcoming Baptism. Looking forward to this amazing celebration!

listening ¬†Still listening to the “Happier” podcast by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. I am catching up on all the past episodes, and I am still absolutely loving it.

thinking About ideas for my next free challenge group. Any requests?

smelling¬†¬†Tomato sauce and garlic. Mmmm…

watching  The Bachelor. GUILTY as charged.

wearing  Loose, comfy layers that make it easy to nurse and run around with the babes.

feeling ¬†Super excited about our upcoming CRUISE to the Caribbean! Thank you Beachbody! So excited that I am able to treat my boys to this amazing trip ūüôā

wanting  To go shopping for some new resort wear! I LOVE summer clothing!

needing  To stick to those workouts! This mama will be getting in a bikini soon for the first time since baby #2! Eeep!

loving ¬†How STRONG I have become since starting P90X3. It’s amazing how easily I can knock out some pushups these days. Pull-ups are still another story, but I am getting better, and I’m even knocking out new yoga poses with this program, and I only just started Block 2!

wishing ¬†To relive last Friday night’s date night! It was so wonderful to have a night out to dinner with the hubs for the first time in Brooklyn since having Luca. We have decided that date night is going to be a weekly thing for us (either at home or out…point being…quality time). So far we have stuck to it, and it’s been awesome. I think it’s so crucial to make sure to get that time with each other, especially when you have so much else going on with kids, work, etc.

hoping  To find some more fun indoor activities to do with my toddler, Nico, through the rest of the winter season. I have been searching Pinterest, but if you have any fun ideas that have been a hit at your house lately, please send them along!

craving  Salty snacks! Anyone have any good, healthy options?

clicking ¬†For Valentine’s Day and Birthday gifts for the hubs. It’s double whammy season over here! ūüėČ

*

HAPPY TUESDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

{Style Envy} Rompin’ Around + Turning Thirty

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On Brianna – Romper: Forever 21 / Sandals: Michael Kors / Necklaces: Forever 21

Introducing my beautiful niece, Brianna. ¬†You may remember a few posts way back when from my Style Envy segments with Marisa and Alex. ¬†Every now and then I like to showcase someone else’s style rather than my own, and Brianna was looking so adorable in this romper while we were on vacation in Cape May that I just had to snap some photos at the beach. ¬†Rompers made a small come back last summer, and they are still¬†in full force this season. ¬†It’s so nice to only think about one piece. ¬†No need to worry about which top is going to go with which bottom. ¬†Matchy matchy tops and bottoms have also been a trend this season, so why not just buy one piece and call it a day? ¬†Of course, everyone’s main complaint about rompers is the ever-annoying hassle of going to the bathroom, but in my opinion, it’s no big deal to suck it up for a day for the sake of fashion. ¬†That’s what we women do, right?

Onto my niece…Bri is one of those people with a natural easy-going attitude. ¬†She’s always down for an adventure, for trying fun new things, and she’s a total pleasure to be around. ¬†Throughout the week whenever someone would make a suggestion about something fun to do, she was always up for it. ¬†No matter how weird to crazy the activity, she was always excited to partake. ¬†Want to go play skee-ball at the arcade?¬†¬†Yup. ¬†Want to go for a walk?¬†¬†Yup. ¬†Want to take photos on the beach?¬†¬†Yup. ¬†Want to go get ice cream?¬†¬†Yup. ¬†Want to go on a four-person family bike?¬† Yup. ¬†She reminds me of my husband (her uncle) never wanting to sit around. ¬†Always go go go‚Ķthey might miss something or won’t be able to enjoy the most out of their vacation if they are relaxing too much. ¬†We had a blast hanging out at the beach, and I only wish she and my sister-in-law could have stayed longer!

On a final note, I turned 30 over the weekend. ¬†That’s right THIRTY. ¬†Holy crap. ¬†Where does the time go? ¬†I remember when I used to think thirty was so old. ¬†It’s crazy how much I have grown and changed in the last decade. ¬†Met Zack, graduated college, moved to New York City, got into the animation/advertising industry, partied my ass off, traveled, got married, moved to Brooklyn, slowed down, had a baby, and now I’m a mom of an almost 1-year-old. ¬†My twenties were a lot of fun indeed. ¬†As scary as 30 sounds, I do admit, I am excited to embrace this new decade with the¬†clarity, responsibility, and self-awareness that I did not always exhibit in my twenties. ¬†Sure occasionally I know¬†I will miss my carefree days, but my life is all about my family and closest friends right now, and I couldn’t be happier.

Special thanks to my husband for planning an amazing 30th surprise weekend for me complete with Six Flags, a fancy dinner, a night on the town, and finished with a beach day.  I am a lucky lady.

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

{21} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The seventh and final Harry Potter book!  I know it has taken me awhile to get through them all, but they are totally magical and worth it!

writing  Tons and tons of e-mails for work including invites to our events and follow up from past events.

listening¬† Patsy Cline. ¬†Nico’s new favorite lullabies. ¬†I know my Grandpa is with us when I sing to him at bedtime.

thinking ¬†That last week was¬†insane. ¬†Zack went to San Francisco on Tuesday. ¬†I had three days of back to back meetings with a client in town, and then Nico and I flew out to meet Zack in San Fran on Friday. ¬†That’s right‚ĶI flew across the country with a baby…solo…into a three hour time change…this section should be titled not thinking. ¬†However, I am proud to say, we made it, and it was all worth it!

smelling¬† Swiss Apple tea. ¬†Apparently it’s good for skin support. ¬†But I just love the way tastes and how it keeps me warm on these freezing cold nights.

watching¬†¬†Finally saw The DaVinci Code. ¬†The book was definitely better, but Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors, so I’m glad I finally saw it.

wishing  That I had invested in snow boots this winter.  Who knew we would be getting pounded with this much snow?  I would have gotten this pair.

hoping  That my husband has a Happy 33rd Birthday today!  We love you.

wearing  Coats, coats, and more coats.  Thankfully, I have invested in some outerwear the past few years.  Definitely came in handy this winter.

loving ¬†Nico’s curiosity! ¬†He’s fascinated with the alphabet, and always stops whatever he is doing when we start spelling something to give us his complete attention. ¬†He’s also obsessed with his daddy’s guitar playing, and it’s a sure bet to stop him from fussing. ¬†It’s so awesome to see him start to notice the world around him.

laughing ¬†I’m constantly laughing with Nico every day. ¬†The sound of his laugh makes me so happy that I laugh right along with him.

wanting  Spring to arrive.  Sooner rather than later please!

needing  To pay the bills and do laundry tonight.  Meh.

feeling  Happy.  Although the past few months have had their ups and downs, I feel happy knowing that I have such a warm and loving family to be with each day or talk to on the phone or online each night.  My family is my happy place.

craving ¬†Warmer weather! ¬†I can’t say it enough!

clicking ¬†Through VRBO to check out places in New Hampshire for a weekend summer getaway with friends. ¬†Can’t wait!

*

What have you been up to lately?

I’m including an extra special picture in honor of the hubby’s birthday today. ¬†Doesn’t this just pull at the heart strings? ¬†Thanks to you, Zack, for being the best Papa in the world! ¬†Hope you have an amazing day. ¬†XOXO.

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Have a happy one ya’ll!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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Twenty Eight: A Reflection

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My Aunt Marie, My sister on the left, and that’s me on the right – My sister and I are two years and three days apart, and we’ve been celebrating our birthdays together our whole lives. Love you little sis!

twenty eight: a reflection

twenty eight

you’ve been great

so much has happened

from the past year to date

it started with

a new camera to shoot

a photography class

to give this blog a boost

went to the obx

on family vacay

relaxed on the beach

all worries kept at bay

katie’s oc bach

was a ton of fun

laughing and dancing

til up came the sun

summer days at ft. tilden

with erin and rai

summer nights in dewey

to celebrate labor day

this year brought us very

many weddings galore

most of them being

near baltimore

there was one in boston

during a crazy manhunt

another in montauk

on the gorgeous waterfront

a ten year reunion

for my high school class

can’t believe

how much time has passed

a trip to a.c.

for a bachelorette

dinner and dancing

complete with roulette

brunches and bar crawls

in the n-y-c

pollard potluck had

their 5th anniversary

nights in new york

during santa con

thanksgiving and christmas

had lots of family to bond

we went through some struggle

went through some strife

when we lost our little peanut

it cut like a knife

we tried to stay strong

and looked up above

for some courage and guidance

and we got through with love

next came a photo shoot

with blue balloons

a new baby coming

for us all to swoon

we call him little monkey

our pride and joy

we can’t wait to meet

our sweet little boy

my fav blondes came to visit

new york in the spring

we walked on the high line

and of course went shopping

arizona adventures

brought me to tucson

hung out with my pen pal

hiked in phoenix at dawn

prescott, sedona,

and the grand canyon too

are all the great places

that we got to view

after over ten years

our huge fam got together

with over one hundred kin

and some beautiful weather

a father’s day feast

with the notes clan one day

gathered instruments together

and a concert we played

the fourth of july

brought us to maine

the lake house was awesome

and the lobster insane

this year has been wonderful

twenty eight has been sweet

but this year is now over

and we cannot repeat

twenty nine is stepping in

so let’s have some cake

celebrate, cheer, and sing

for the new memories we’ll make!

Can’t believe another whole year has passed by, and boom I’m in my last year of my twenties. ¬†Time really does fly by. ¬†Twenty eight was awesome, and I am really looking forward to embarking on so many more of life’s adventures in year twenty nine. ¬†Thank you so much for all of the wonderful wishes I have received thus far!

I would also like to say a special early “Happy Birthday” to my little sis, Angela, who is also celebrating her birthday this weekend. ¬†We are lucky to have our birthdays so close, and we have always been able to celebrate together from either near or far. ¬†Love you Pooks!

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend ahead!

XO,

Gina

Swedish House Mafia

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Swedish House Mafia.  The Final Tour.  I purchased tickets before Christmas for this night to surprise my husband for his 32nd Birthday.  Well, I got too excited and spoiled the surprise about three weeks early, but nonetheless, we were both ecstatic to see them live for the first (and sadly last) time.  Cue the lights, cue the neon, cue the scantily-clad dressed teenagers, cue the fist-pumping, and cue the dancing.  This was one party not to be missed!  Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello killed this performance, and I am so glad Zack and I were able to be a part of it.  The energy in the room was contagious at Madison Square Garden, and it was a dance party the entire time.  I wish I could go back and experience it all again, but at least I have these photos, and the video at the bottom of this post to remember it.  Hope you had a Happy 32nd Birthday Zack!  I love you!

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Swedish House Mafia Concert Highlight Video by Zack Notes.  Photos (except one of me) taken by myself.

I’m assuming this post will pump you all up for this weekend. ¬†Happy Friday, and enjoy that snow New York!

XO,

Gina

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{7} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  Catching up on my Marie Claire reading.  The February & March issues are featuring so many spring trends that have me itching for warmer weather.

writing  A Birthday card for the hubby.  His Birthday is on Tuesday, but we are celebrating this weekend.

listening¬† Swedish House Mafia all day today. ¬†Gotta pump myself up for the concert tonight at Madison Square Garden. ¬†Can’t believe this is their last tour. ¬†Sad face. ¬†I scored tix to start off the hubby’s b-day celebration. ¬†I’ll leave you with one of my favs: Don’t You Worry Child ft. John Martin

thinking¬† About how much fun this concert is going to be. ¬†It’s consuming my mind today!

smelling  The yummy bagel with cream cheese that I am about to consume.

watching¬† Don’t hate, but I have been loving the Snooki & JWoww show this season. ¬†I mean, how cute is little Lorenzo?!?!

wishing¬† That we hadn’t been woken up at 4am last night with the doorbell ringing from a cab driver that got stiffed by my neighbor. ¬†I mean, really?

hoping  For positivity and strength to surround my Uncle and help him fight off the sickness he has been faced with at this point in his life.  I also hope that my Mom can find equal strength since she has been his rock during this time.

wearing  Black leggings with a pink and grey striped top, black and white striped cardigan, studded combat boots, my panda necklace, and my new MAC Candy Yum Yum from my bestie, Nichole!  You rock!

loving¬† The fact that we started making friendship bracelets at our last girl’s night on Tuesday. ¬†What a trip down memory lane! ¬†So fun, but I realize my skills need some brushing up.

laughing ¬†At this poor girl who tried to do a hair tutorial. ¬†I know it shouldn’t be funny, but it’s kinda funny.

wanting  A big cup of coffee from Starbucks.  Preferably a Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

needing ¬†The winner of my Flair Accessories giveaway to reply back with her shipping information. ¬†If I don’t hear from her soon, someone else may become the lucky winner instead.

feeling  A bit sleepy due to being woken up last night.

craving¬† This gold Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. ¬†Oh wait…I already bought it. ¬†I’m not allowed to crave anything else for awhile…

clicking  Through Amazon for some photo paper to print on for class.  We are learning to use Camera RAW and Photoshop, so exciting!

What have you been up to lately?

Happy Weekend!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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2012: A Year in Review

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Ringing in the New Year in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica!

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Hiking in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Three Italianos Reunited in Brooklyn!

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Valentine’s Day Surprise at the Mary Poppins Show! I dressed just like her without even knowing.

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Celebrating Zack’s 31st at crazy Mehenata Bulgarian Bar

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OAR Concert with Jack and Sammy

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14 inch hair chop! Bye Bye. Thanks Nikki!

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Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather in MD featuring Avicii…AMAZING.

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Seeing Emily Blunt and Jason Segal at the premiere of 5 Year Engagement at the Tribeca Film Festival

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SKYDIVING!!! Thanks to my amazing husband – he surprised me on our one year anniversary with this bucket list item.

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Dad FINALLY visits us in NY. With Zack, Mom, and cousins at their pasta shop in Brooklyn

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DMB Concert and Upstate NY trip

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Virginia Beach trip with friends for Shirin and Shahrum’s wedding

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Testudo came to Zach and Jessica’s wedding! Go Terps!

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Happy Birthday to ME! Love my new camera!

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Girl’s Weekend in OC for Katie’s Bachelorette – Seacrets is crazy!

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Family vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

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Surfing Competition in the Rockaways

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Dewey Summer Send off on Labor Day Weekend

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A Naval Academy Wedding for Megan and JoJo

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Visionary Art Museum Wedding for MaryBeth and James

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Trip to Montauk for Mike and Abby’s Big Day

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Katie & Adam tie the knot at Sagamore Farms

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Running with Patrick and Melissa for my late dear friend John Petrovick. “Inside all of us is HOPE.”

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Thanks to Gabbi for helping to raise money for John’s cause.

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Camping trip with Erin and Rai to French Creek

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End of the season pic with my JV High School Girls Soccer Team

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ASHS 10 Year High School Reunion – man time flies

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AC trip for Alex’s Bachelorette!

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All my girls at the 5th Annual Pollard Potluck

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Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad’s

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Alex and Seamus get married to end the year!

It may seem like a lot of photos, but this is just a small snippet of what took place in 2012.  There were so many more fun memories of this past year.  There were also some sad moments as well.  I have learned a lot this past year, and I know that I am truly thankful for the family and friends that I have.  I am incredibly lucky for the support and love that I have received this past year, and I hope I was able to return the favor to all of you as well.

I wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve. ¬†Please stay safe tonight.

Bring on 2013!

XO,

Gina

Mom’s Turn for a Birthday Shoutout

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My Mom and Dad are literally two days apart in age. ¬†They usually end up celebrating their birthday’s together (much like my sister and I did growing up), but I figured I would give them each their own individual shout out on the blog for their special days this year. ¬†So Mom…now it’s your turn…

She’s the one who tucked us into bed at night. ¬†She’s the one who said goodnight at the bottom of the stairs. ¬†She’s the one who made up songs with our names in them. ¬†She’s the one who performed these songs while giving us a bath. ¬†She’s the one who always tickled our backs. ¬†She’s the one who made us dinner every night. ¬†She’s the one who also made us eat it whether we wanted to or not. ¬†She’s the one who drove us to soccer and basketball practice. ¬†She’s the one that was cheering or coaching at every single game. ¬†She’s the one who watched TGIF with us on Fridays. ¬†She’s the one who thought of cool birthday party ideas. ¬†She’s the one who took us shopping. ¬†She’s the one who helped us with our homework. ¬†She’s the one who helped us study until we were falling asleep with our books in our laps. ¬†She’s the one who took me to her lab and showed me what scientists do at work. ¬†She’s the one who helped me apply to thirteen…yes thirteen different colleges. ¬†She’s the one who went with me to visit a lot of those colleges. (Loyola New Orleans was particularly fun.) ¬†She’s the one who understood the true meaning of being a Terp since she’d experienced it herself. ¬†She’s the one who taught me how to balance my checkbook. ¬†She’s the one who still pretends we are five years old when we are coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. ¬†She’s the one who cooks Christmas dinner every year. ¬†She’s the one who has her own special Redskins touchdown dance. ¬†She’s the one who makes sure there is always food in the fridge when I come home to visit. ¬†She’s the one who comes to visit me in New York City. ¬†She’s the one who is afraid of the subway. ¬†She’s the one who shares my love of singing. ¬†She’s the one who plans our OBX vacations. ¬†She’s the one who sacrificed so much for us throughout the years. ¬†She’s the one who taught me how to be a woman, a daughter, a friend, and hopefully one day a mother myself. ¬†She’s the one who has no idea how much she means to all of us.

She is my Mom.

Love you so much Mernie!  Hope you have a fantastic Birthday! XO.

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At my 8th grade graduation. Look how stunning she is!

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My bridal shower with my main girl

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Photo courtesy of Joe Brier from The Happy Couple Photography.

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The fam

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Me and my gorgeous Mama

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Happy (Belated) Birthday Papa Bear

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He’s funny. ¬†He’s sweet. ¬†He’s loud. ¬†He’s crazy.

He’s friendly. ¬†He’s fun. ¬†He’s handsome. ¬†Never lazy.

He’s strong. ¬†He’s affectionate. ¬†He’s lovable. ¬†He’s grand.

He’s Italian. ¬†He’s an entrepreneur. ¬†Always willing to lend a hand.

He golfs.  He skis.  He dances.  He plays.

He smiles.  He whistles.  He works hard for days.

He cries during movies.  He smokes cigars.

He builds lots of things.  He has lots of cars.

He makes pizza and wine.  He loves to play bocce.

He built his own motorcycle.  He loves the movie Rocky.

He also likes the Godfather.  And Scarface too.

He quotes movie lines.  Probably better than you.

He’s a good friend. ¬†He’s a good husband. ¬†He’s a good father. ¬†He’s a good lad.

This man that I speak of…

He is my Dad.

Happy Birthday Pops.  Love you!

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Can you guess which one is him?

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Dad on the motorcycle that he built himself. He named it “Sicilian Venom.” Haha.

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Wedding Day Father/Daughter Dance. ¬†Frank Sinatra’s, “The Way You Look Tonight,” followed with a breakout disco dance routine to “She’s on Fire” from the movie “Scarface.” ¬†Photo courtesy of Joe Brier at¬†The Happy Couple Photography

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Bocce Champs

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Skiing together at Seven Springs in PA

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Dad with Sister and Me on Christmas Eve

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Family on another Christmas Eve

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Killing it on the dance floor.  Photo courtesy of Erin Lassahn Wedding Photography.

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Photo from a recent wedding we attended together.

I apologize that I am a day late on this post! ¬†I originally meant to post this on my Dad’s actual Birthday which was yesterday, but I was on the hunt for some of those older photos. ¬†Alas, here they are. ¬†Hope you enjoyed following me on my trip down memory lane. ūüôā

Happy Wednesday!

XO,

Gina