Family Reunion

fam·i·ly

/ˈfam(ə)lē/
Noun: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
Now, this gigantic group of people above may not all live together in one household…but I certainly consider them all family.
After at least a 10 year long hiatus, my Italian grandfather’s side of the family got together at the end of June for a family reunion in Davidsonville, MD.  My cousin, Valerie, was kind enough to open her home to 100+ crazy Italianos from all over the U.S.  Some as far as Maine, Iowa, and Washington state.  I expected maybe 40-50 people or so, but to have over 100 just blew my mind.  It proved to me that I was not the only one who saw a larger definition to the word “family.”
We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day, a pool for the kiddies to enjoy, delicious BBQ, and a lot of fun.  We had a large family tree diagram to trace each bloodline back multiple generations thanks to my Uncle Art.  People brought tons of old photos.  One of my favorite moments was sitting with my Uncle Danny (my Grandpa Frank’s 1st cousin) while we looked through an old photo album of his life from childhood to the present.  He had so many stories of growing up with my Grandfather that really just made my day.  Everyone brought tons of desserts, and many of them were family recipes.  I think I ate more dessert than actual lunch food!  Oops.
We had such a great time catching up with each other that I really wish so much time hadn’t gone by since our last reunion, and I’m hoping that the next one will be sooner rather than later.
When I think of family, I think of love, respect, sacrifice, holidays, being there for one another, having a shoulder to cry on, people to laugh with, those to get crazy with, honesty, trust, friendship, acceptance, support and care.  Family shapes who we are as people and changes us for the future.  I realize that not everyone may have this same definition of family depending on their life experiences, but I am so grateful for the amount of love in my family.
 You can’t choose who is in your family, but you can choose whether or not you want to spend time with them.  The fact that so many people came out for this reunion shows how much we all care about each other even after so much time had gone by.  I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of such a greater whole, and I’m looking forward to when my Little Monkey will be able to join this amazing group of people that I can call my own.
XO,
Gina
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{2} Lately…

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Just finished the November issue of Marie Claire.  Started Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn this morning on the Subway.  I have heard so many amazing things about this book, and I cannot wait to get intoxicated by it!

writing I wrote my to-do list at the beginning of the week with tons of chores and errands to be completed since returning from the Thanksgiving holiday.  So far, I have been very good at checking things off the list.  Hope to check a few more things off tonight before my trip this weekend.

listening  Anything and everything on XM’s Channel 51 BPM station.  I can’t seem to want to turn the station…ever.  Makes me want to dance.  Yes, even in the car.

thinking  About some different collaborations and blog posts that I may want to do in the future.

smelling  My morning coffee…although it is now afternoon.

wishing  That I wasn’t going to miss seeing my mother-in-law this weekend when she comes to town.  Yes, I actually like my mother-in-law, and we get along wonderfully.  Had a blast with her and the rest of the Notes clan over Thanksgiving, and wish I wasn’t going to miss out on her visit to town.

hoping  That the Mayans were incorrect and that the world is not actually going to end in three weeks.  I still have a lot of bucket list adventures to complete!

wearing  Today I’m wearing black skinny jeans, long sleeved black tee with purple/fuchsia sweater dress, combat boots, and a pink skinny headband.  On nights out I can’t seem to get enough of my navy peplum top from ASOS that you saw here.

loving  The fact that my Christmas tree is finally up!  To my utter delight, the deli on Courtelyou got trees this week.  We quickly snatched one up and drove it home (wow feels nice to say we didn’t need to cab it home).  We then proceeded to trim the tree and decorate the house all while blasting holiday tunes. Keep your eyes peeled for a post complete with photos soon. ‘Tis the season!

wanting  A Hippopotamus for Christmas.  Only a hippopotamus will do.  Okay, so maybe not really.  But while most may find this Christmas song obnoxious, I sure do love it!  It makes me think of my cousins on Christmas Eve, and obviously I cannot get it out of my head at the moment.  Probably because I keep playing it on repeat.

needing  Lunch.  My tummy is a grumbling.  Hmm…I’m getting tired of the same old Murray Hill lunch options.  Any one have any favorites in town?

feeling  Excited for tomorrow!  After work, I will be driving down to Atlantic City to celebrate my cousin, Alex’s, bachelorette!  Looking forward to a much need girl’s weekend including my other cousin, Marisa, and my sister, Angela.  The Fab Four reunite.  Woot woot!

clicking  Through a few different animation studios’ websites.  Doing some research for potential new clients and new talent.

What have you been up to lately?

Happy Thursday!

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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Milk & Cookie

Here are a few photos from my cousin, Alex’s, bridal shower this past weekend.  Alex and her fiance, Seamus, have been calling each other “Milk & Cookie” for quite some time now, and as you can see, we decided to take that theme and run with it for her shower!  Each of the bridesmaids made a batch of cookies (or in my case brought down cookies from a Brooklyn bakery – a family favorite), and we created a little cookie bar where guests could take home some sweet treats.

The beautiful bride looking stunning in a dress from Forever 21! Rock it girl!

A gift from the in-laws! Also got her a “Gaelic & Garlic” tee. So funny!

Cousin love – Sensational Six!

  It was a great day to see family and shower Alex with love.  Isn’t she just the cutest?!?!  She is going to make such a beautiful bride!

In other news…NYC is a mess.  Insane amount of flooding, power outages, trees down, houses and cars destroyed, subways and tunnels down.  It’s unreal.  I am shocked at how much damage Hurricane Sandy has caused.  I think a lot of us were hoping it would be similar to Irene, but this is way more intense.  My husband and I have been very lucky.  We are doing okay in Brooklyn.  Luckily we are far enough inland that the flooding has not reached us, and we did not lose power.  I am praying for family and friends in the area who were not as lucky. If anyone needs a place to stay and you can get here, you are more than welcome.  Stay safe everyone.

Love,

Gina