Knox: A Birth Story

IMG_1298_Layers_v1

Introducing our 3rd sweet boy, Knox Gannon Notes! He graced the world with his presence on Sunday August 19, 2018 at 6:48pm at 6 lbs 7.1 oz and 19 inches. I can’t believe today marks 3 weeks that he joined and completed our little family. We are so happy to have him here. Both Nico and Luca are over the moon and constantly fawning over our little guy. They don’t really understand that he mostly eats and sleeps in these early days, and they just want to play with him all day! They have taken on their new roles as big brother and big, big brother very well, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

During my pregnancy with Knox, it was the first time I really felt strong signs that labor was going to be on the way. I was induced 2 weeks early with Nico due to IGR (intrauterine growth restriction — turns out he was fine, and just small, which was no surprise to me), and with Luca my water broke, but I never went into active labor and also had to be induced. This time around, I REALLY didn’t want to be induced. I was really hopeful that I would be able to go into labor on my own.

I started to see (well FEEL) signs of labor preparation as early as the 2nd trimester with Braxton Hicks contractions. I would feel them usually at nighttime when relaxing at the end of the day. This baby was larger than the others and he felt super heavy to carry around especially in that 3rd trimester. I tried to keep moving as much as I could throughout my pregnancy, but once about Week 37 hit, I was lucky if I got in one good workout per week. My body was OVER it!!!! I remember that after walking around, even just a little bit, I felt like I needed a huge rest after. It was uncomfortable to walk, get up and down, sleep at night, and even just drive my car. My baby was getting so big, and I only had so much room in my little 5’0 frame! I was READYYYY!

On my 34th Birthday, July 26th, we went to Coney Island as a family to celebrate with my boys along with my sister and brother-in-law. It was a really great day, but as we were walking around, if I started to walk too fast, I got SHOOTING pains going up through my body from below. I have since found out that this is a “thing” and it’s called “lightning crotch.” WHAT?!?! Haha, I know…I had no idea either. It didn’t feel at all like contractions, but I knew something was happening and he just HAD to be arriving soon!!!

Time passed, and then nothing…haha. I started to get super impatient. Started to do every little thing around the house…got the boys bunk beds, ordered all the baby things that we neglected to order earlier, started purging a bunch of toys we didn’t need anymore, cleaned out our office. Thank God hubby was on board to help with all of this. I was on a rampage and was starting to get super bored. I was too scared to go too far, because I was CONVINCED the baby was going to arrive any minute…but then he wasn’t coming and so it was a lot of days sitting at home in the AC and nesting nesting nesting away haha.

At my 38 week midwife appointment, they checked my cervix and I was already at 2cm dilated! Now for many, this may not seem like a big deal, but for someone who had only dilated on her own to 1cm in the past, I took this as a good sign. I had been eating TONS of dates, drinking loads of loose red raspberry leaf tea, taking primose oil capsules every day, and moving around as much as possible since about 36-37 weeks, so maybe something was working here! I was feeling more and more Braxton Hicks so I felt something must be happening soon.

A week goes by, and at my 39 week appointment, nothing had changed. I was a little defeated, but hey maybe he just wasn’t ready yet. Since this baby was bigger than my other two, I at least knew that he wouldn’t be evicted for an induction unless he was super late to arrive. That said…remember how READY I was? As much as I really truly wanted to enjoy all the kicks and feelings of my last pregnancy, I also was just very uncomfortable and wanted him to arrive ASAP! So when the midwife asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes, it was an immediate YES PLEASE!!! It took her awhile…apparently I have an oddly shaped cervix, but she eventually made it happen. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if it does, it usually helps to speed along labor to happen within 24-48 hours.

Welp, that time went by, and nothing was happening. I was still feeling contractions, but they weren’t strong and they definitely weren’t very regular. I started to become convinced that maybe he was never coming, and I would have to be induced again at the end of the month…

Nonetheless, we decided to have my mom come up the weekend before my due date so she would be here when it all went down to watch Nico and Luca. It’s funny because as soon as she got here, it was this overwhelming sense that okay, this might really happen soon. We were all ready to go. We stocked up on groceries at the Farmer’s Market that Saturday and walked around on that super hot day.

Next thing I remember is waking up the next morning to a long contraction that started out in my back and got stronger than normal. It was 5AM, and I was actually moaning in my sleep and it woke me up. 20 minutes later, it happened again, and I said…”Zack, today might be the day.” Now at the time, that statement didn’t carry a TON of weight, because I had been saying comments like this for about the past 3 weeks!!! Haha. So what did I really know? But it felt stronger than normal, and he couldn’t stay in there forever right?

The weird thing was…the WHOLE family woke up that morning at 5AM, which is very unusual. Zack was up…Nico and Luca came into our room…and even my mom was awake in the living room. It was a strange feeling like we all knew something was about to happen that day. Zack made us a big breakfast on my request (because I thought maybe it would be my last meal haha), and I felt contractions on and off that morning but generally about every 20 minutes.

As excited as I was that something may happen that day, I got slightly discouraged when after 5-6 hours nothing had really progressed. I was still feeling contractions, but they still weren’t super strong and they weren’t getting any closer together. Zack and I decided to go for a walk to try and get things moving while my mom stayed home with the boys. We walked and walked for about an HOUR, and at this point, I started to get PISSED. Haha. I think I only had 2 small contractions during that walk, and I was getting discouraged and uncertain. My mother in law (also a midwife) mentioned something about prodromal labor, which basically means you could feel these things and it could last a few days or even weeks before “real” labor begins. I was super frustrated, and decided to just lay down and rest after our walk.

At that point, I was texting some of my best friends, and they were all curious if anything had progressed. I mentioned to my childhood best friend Rhiannon what was going on, but that things weren’t really progressing. She wrote back that it sounded like it may happen soon, and told me, “It could change any moment.” LITERALLY a moment after her text arrived, I felt a huge GUSH!!!! And started saying, “Omg omg omg!!!” My water had BROKEN! And also, Rhi, I think you are psychic.

Now that my water had broken, it was a game changer. I knew this baby would be arriving no later then 24 hours later. Holy cow! This was getting REAL! This time around, my body knew what to do. In a short amount of time, my contractions started to get stronger and also closer together. It was happening pretty fast, and when they were about 5 minutes apart for about 30 minutes, we decided we should move in the direction of the hospital so that when things picked up we would be close by.

I had a few contractions on the way there that were pretty intense, but less than I had anticipated, and again started to question myself if we were going too early. Zack asked me if I wanted him to drop me off at the front of the hospital, but I didn’t want to wait alone or walk to labor and delivery by myself while he parked the car and brought in all of our stuff, so I told him it was no big deal to go with him to park, especially since my contractions had kind of slowed down.

Welp, I immediately regretted that decision! Haha. As soon as I stepped out of the car and started to walk, it was like contraction upon contraction…every couple steps I would have another one (yes on the street corner!) and have to bend over and breathe it out until it subsided and I could take a few more steps. That walk to the hospital from the parking lot across the street (and down the hill) was probably the most excruciating walk (and longest walk of such a short distance) of my life. And poor Zack was carrying a million things too.

By the time, I got to triage, I was in some serious contraction pain and definitely making some loud noise up in there! Lol. They checked me and I was already at 6cm dilated. So GOOD thing we decided to come to the hospital when we did. I did express that I would want an epidural, but things were moving pretty fast. The contractions were seriously painful and only a couple minutes apart, so there was very little time for rest.

I got to the labor and delivery room, and honestly I just remember screaming like a psychopath, excruciating contractions, my throat killing me from all the screams, and sweating profusely. It felt SO.DAMN.HOT. in there. I don’t know if it was just me, but it was terrible. In terms of the clock, my labor was going REALLY quick, but in my mind this felt like a fricken eternity. It kept getting more and more intense. The midwife questioned me getting an epidural at this point. She checked me and I had moved to 9cm. She told me I was so close, why would I get one at this point, and of course the competitive/challenger part of my personality was thinking, “Hey maybe she is right! Maybe I don’t need it!” And then another contraction would come and I would scream, “I’M DYING!!!!!!!!!!!” Hey…you guys wanted me to keep it real, right? LOL. She had me try to bear down a bit to get him to come down, and it felt so horrible to try and push, the contractions were still right on top of each other and I felt like I would have no energy to push and get through this pain at the same time.

So I tossed my challenger personality to the side and at that point, I very adamantly told them I wanted the epidural. I just needed some relief. They warned me that because it was so late, it may not fully take and that it may be harder to push and that I would have to sit VERY still while the anesthesiologist was inserting the needle, but I didn’t care. This mama wanted that relief and wanted it NOW! Part of me wonders what it would have been like to deliver fully au natural, but at the same time, I don’t regret my decision. Sometimes, us mamas have to do what is right for us in the moment and go with our gut, so that is what I did. Everyone is different, and I did what I felt I needed to do!

The hardest part of the labor was sitting still during 9+cm contractions while this doctor was putting in that epidural. I just kept telling myself “Don’t move, don’t die” lol. I knew that I had to get through this part without moving and just completely stay in my head until it was over for the sake of myself and my baby, and then I would feel some relief. As predicted, the epidural didn’t fully take since I was so far along and I could still feel some pain (although much less). They had to add to it two times before I stopped feeling the pain, and then at that point my legs were completely NUMB. Like way more numb than I had ever been with previous births. I couldn’t feel my legs at all. They felt like dead tree trunks. I thought to myself, “how am I ever going to push now if I can’t feel anything?”

The photo below is us after the epidural kicked in and right before pushing Knox into the world. I was a hot and sweaty mess after going through crazy labor, though the epidural did give me the shakes/chills. I was just happy to not be feeling the pain anymore…

IMG_4024_Layers_v1

Shortly after, Knox’s heart rate started to decelerate because he was dropping into the birth canal. Things were MOVING! It was a little scary and hectic, but it was time for me to push him the heck out. I don’t know how I did it, because I literally felt nothing below the waist, but I dug down deep into my abdomen or something and pushed with all my might. Luckily I am a pro-pusher haha, and he was out before I knew it and on my chest. They did have to rush him away after a minute to check on him because of the heart deceleration, but he was okay, and he was HERE!!!!

(And about 5 hours before his due date…already prompt from birth!)

IMG_0102_Layers_v1

IMG_0172_Layers_v1

It was a pretty surreal experience and so much different than my other two labor and delivery experiences. We had so many moments of calm and lots of time for photos with the other two. This time around, with being in 9+ cm of labor before an epidural it all just felt super intense and crazy and there was no time for any of that! Haha. When he arrived, I honestly just could not believe I was finally holding him in my arms, and I was so utterly happy that he was here and healthy. ❤

IMG_0154_Layers_v1

IMG_0185_Layers_v1

IMG_0184_Layers_v1

My post partum experience was a little crazy as well being at a different hospital than the other two. They had no private rooms available and Zack was unable to stay with me, so shortly after delivery, I was basically on my own (with a pretty terrible roommate quite honestly). Luckily my mother-in-law (who is also a midwife) had arrived at the hospital to meet the baby and check on me before they had to leave, because the post partum unit didn’t do a great job of checking on me that night. They did do a great job of keeping me awake though. We got about ONE measly hour of sleep that night…I was in a lot of pain because I had just delivered, but I had to care for the baby by myself and listen to my roommate having contractions next to me (because she hadn’t given birth yet apparently). When they finally moved her from the room, I was so relieved I could sleep…but then they came in to clean up the room in the middle of the night. Like, really? No sleep in Brooklyn apparently.

IMG_4109_Layers_v1

IMG_4106_Layers_v1

IMG_4112_Layers_v1

IMG_4111_Layers_v1

IMG_4115_Layers_v1

IMG_4130_Layers_v1

I tried my darndest to get out of the hospital a day early, but I had to spend another night there on my own during which Knox was cluster feeding like crazy to get my milk to come in. I also had to fight for a “baby friendly” experience as the staff kept trying to take my baby away to the nursery for every test, etc. and I kept having to remind them that “you are not taking my baby.” It was exhausting and difficult, but we eventually broke free from the hospital and came home.

Because discharge took so incredibly long, I was able to finally take a shower, put on some make-up and take a few photos with our sweet new baby.

IMG_4136_Layers_v1

IMG_1315_Layers_v1

IMG_1295_Layers_v1

IMG_1335_Layers_v1

IMG_1303_Layers_v1

IMG_4147_Layers_v1

IMG_1310_Layers_v1

IMG_1308_Layers_v1

IMG_1281_Layers_v1

IMG_1284_Layers_v1

Once we got home, I was so incredibly grateful to have my mom at our house for the week to help nurse me back to normalcy with her amazing food, helping with laundry and cleaning, and playing with the older boys. And Zack, of course, was also a HUGE help (and still is.)

The most difficult part of our journey thus far has been nursing. After 2 weeks, we discovered that Knox had a posterior tongue tie and lip tie resulting in some SERIOUS pain for this mama. I had felt pain in the beginning with the other two and figured it would subside eventually once he got a little bigger. But it never got any better, and I knew there was something else going on. So we decided to have the ties revised with a doctor who specializes in this field and will hopefully be working with a craniosacral therapist soon to help with getting Knox to open his jaw more, stretching the muscles, etc. so that we can have a better breastfeeding experience. I have felt a little improvement, but we still have a ways to go. I’m hopeful we will get there eventually.

The sleepless nights are tough, but with two other kiddos prior, I am used to no sleep, so that I can deal with! I know these early days are always tough in the beginning, but again…having been through it before, I know we will get into a routine soon, especially with the older boys having just started back at school. Tomorrow is Zack’s first day back to work, and I will be solo managing the 3 boys for the first time on my own! It will be a challenge, but we will find our groove.

In the meantime, I am holding onto ALL the amazing newborn snuggles and cuddles right now, and boy are they awesome. ❤

If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with me! I know that was long-winded, but if you know me by now, then you know I’m not a woman of few words haha.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead and a happy holiday to those celebrating tomorrow.

XO,

Gina

Fall Farm Birthday

img_9225_layers_v1

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!

img_9111_layers_v1

img_9162_layers_v1

img_9142_layers_v1

img_9200-layers_v1

img_9152_layers_v1

img_9222_layers_v1

img_9207_layers_v1

img_9177_layers_v1

img_9167_layers_v1

img_9146_layers_v1

img_9132_layers_v1

img_9173_layers_v1

img_9218_layers_v1

img_9191_layers_v1

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! 🙂

XO,

Gina

{38} Lately…

Live Fully

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Creativity Inc. – slowly 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 🙂

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! 😉

*

HAPPY TUESDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

{Style Envy} Rompin’ Around + Turning Thirty

IMG_4446_Layers_v1

IMG_4516_Layers_v1

IMG_4505_Layers_v1

IMG_4508_Layers_v1

IMG_4546_Layers_v1

IMG_4456_Layers_v1

IMG_4464_Layers_v1

IMG_4502_Layers_v1

IMG_4549_Layers_v1

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…they 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…

1922359_10102517161135758_978632910_n

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…I 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.

1620704_10102516699770338_152954454_n

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Twenty Eight: A Reflection

bday

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

IMG_6794

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!

IMG_6775

IMG_6767

IMG_6792

IMG_6776

IMG_6816

IMG_6793

IMG_6771

IMG_6819

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

{7} Lately…

photo-9

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

2012: A Year in Review

IMG_3654

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

IMG_3776

Hiking in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

IMG_4071

Three Italianos Reunited in Brooklyn!

IMG_4124

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

IMG_4196

Celebrating Zack’s 31st at crazy Mehenata Bulgarian Bar

IMG_0283

OAR Concert with Jack and Sammy

IMG_4205

14 inch hair chop! Bye Bye. Thanks Nikki!

IMG_4722

Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather in MD featuring Avicii…AMAZING.

IMG_4582

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

IMG_9548

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

IMG_4732

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

IMG_5606

DMB Concert and Upstate NY trip

IMG_5083

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

IMG_5482

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

IMG_0106

Happy Birthday to ME! Love my new camera!

IMG_5824

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

IMG_0298

Family vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

IMG_0705

Surfing Competition in the Rockaways

IMG_0880

Dewey Summer Send off on Labor Day Weekend

IMG_0937

A Naval Academy Wedding for Megan and JoJo

IMG_1037

Visionary Art Museum Wedding for MaryBeth and James

IMG_1226

Trip to Montauk for Mike and Abby’s Big Day

IMG_1968

Katie & Adam tie the knot at Sagamore Farms

racejohn

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

racejohn2

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

IMG_2209

Camping trip with Erin and Rai to French Creek

IMG_2380

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

IMG_3118

ASHS 10 Year High School Reunion – man time flies

IMG_3963

AC trip for Alex’s Bachelorette!

IMG_3668

All my girls at the 5th Annual Pollard Potluck

IMG_4619

Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad’s

poodiewedding

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

photo2

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.

photo1

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

228257_555185612078_5596554_n

My bridal shower with my main girl

317191_10100548880321288_771106430_n

Photo courtesy of Joe Brier from The Happy Couple Photography.

59460_10101362998801328_988486883_n

The fam

383696_10100700083119668_1892271096_n

Me and my gorgeous Mama

396895_10101160732948718_1738434631_n

406786_10101369902436388_1107125901_n

Enhanced by Zemanta