Tuesday, June 28, 2011

i like you

pardon me, I'm feeling mushy gushy towards my husband today :)

from I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

Monday, June 27, 2011

Home Away From Home

This morning I said goodbye to my second home...my classroom.
I always start off with good intentions about putting everything away in its perfect place and by the end I am secretly stashing things away hoping I'll remember where I put it when I come back in August. 

I usually don't remember.

But never the less, things are put away until the next little group of students comes. This will be my fifth year of teaching, which to me seems crazy.  Where in the world did the time go? Next year will be good.  I'll have my student teacher the first semester (which I'm really excited about)and it will be my third year in the same grade which I haven't experienced yet.   

But I don't want to think about school right now. Right now I want to think about me time.  I want to think about how I can make the most of this special time off. 
I usually spend all summer thinking about the next year.  But this summer I truly feel like I need a mental vacation. Don't worry, the moment I head back to school my thoughts will be filled with everything related to school...and it will continue that way until next May.

 So as I turned off the lights, pulled the shades shut, and closed the door behind me, I left my school thoughts at school and walked into the bright sunshine of summer. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Early Anniversary Gift

I can't stop staring at our new painting. Do you like it?
The amazing Caitlin of Hue and Hum captured Martin and I perfectly! She is so talented.
I had Caitlin paint us for our two year anniversary, which is quickly approaching. I love that we have a one of a kind painting that no one else in the world will have.  
And it's of us. 
In love.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Schools Out For The Summer...for reals this time

At 11:00 I said so long to my kindergarten friends.
It's been a good five weeks, but I'm thrilled to be done. 
(my teammate, Jill, and I with our little Kinder class)

It really was amazing to work with such a small number of students...can you imagine if REAL school was like this? Oh the possibilities.

Now my summer vacation can start and just in time too because the weather is screaming summer vacation outside. Nice and hot. So if you'll excuse me, the pool and I have a very important date.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

26 Days

I just booked my plane ticket....
I will be here
in 26 days :)
I'm so happy I could burst! 
Two glorious weeks of pure paradise and being with my twin sister...I think I can make it through these last two days of summer school no problem. 

I can smell the salty air now... 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'd Love to Kiss You, But I Just Washed My Hair

I was watching a movie on the turner classic movie channel the other day and the young man moved in close to the girl he couldn't have but needed so badly and said, "You smell so good."
She replied with, "I washed my hair for ya Johnny."


Since the day our hair started to have a little unruly wave in junior high my twin sister and I have been blow drying and straightening our hair. And with one drop of rain all the effort would be thrown out the window and we would be wildly rummaging through our backpacks for any sort of object that could be used as a hair tie. My older sister however, got more curly haired genes than us and sports perfect ringlets...something I've always had a hard time accepting as fair.
For as long as I've known my husband, he has begged me to let my hair be in its natural state.  He thinks my hair looks best when it dries naturally and wonders why I need to 'get ready'.  I look at him like he's from Mars, ignore him, and run into the bathroom to begin my daily routine. 

I've never been happy with my hair. I don't know why. I have hair and that in itself should be everything I need.  I go through the vicious cycle of growing it out, getting frustrated, cutting it off, getting frustrated, growing it out...and it never ends. 

When will it end? 

It's time for me to wear my hair the way nature intended. I'm a curly haired girl and I need to accept that. I should be proud of my hair and it's connection to my Italian roots.  It's time to put away my blowdryer and my straightener.  It's time to fall in love with the hair I was given. 
My hair feels happier already...and so do I.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


To say that I love summer is an understatement. Do you ever feel like there is a season that defines you? That makes you feel the most like you? Summer makes me feel so nostalgic for my childhood. Days that were filled with beauty in the most simple things. Days that started early with the rising sun.  When I walk to my car in the morning on my way to work, I can smell summer and I can hear it in the distance as the sprinklers swish back and forth. It takes me back to the short walk to the swimming pool to start morning swim team practice...where no one wanted to be the first one into the icy water.  I can remember playing in our neighborhood ditch creating our dream home among the roots and mud of the big willow tree.  We would run for hours in the green belt and when we finally tired we would just lie there. Simply lie there and look at the bright blue sky, feel the sun on our tanned skin, feel the grass tickle our bare toes. And when the sun began to set and create a golden glow across the pavement we knew it was time to head home. 

Summer undoubtedly looks different when you're older. But the essence of summer is the same...it's the same summer that was with me when I was younger.  The same green grass, the same golden sun, the same warm nights, the same tanned arms.  

But maybe summer is a little sweeter now that I get to spend it with my love
We can spend all morning in bed listening to the outside world that has been up for hours
We can stay up late watching summer reruns and go to bed when we want to
We can drink wine while we listen to thunderstorms outside our window
But sometimes I secretly want to trade all of my grownup advantages to still be able to run wild through the tunnel the great lilac bush made in our backyard, breathing in the sweet purple flowers.  Being immersed in our imaginary world for hours...not having a care in the world.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

To My Daddy

It's hard sometimes to find the right words to express how much you mean to me.  You have been one of the greatest role models and mentors for my life. The things you have taught me have made me who I am today and I like to think that I have some of the same great qualities that you have.  Growing up, I watched how incredibly hard you worked for our family...you guided us, showed us what a family was, and instilled wonderful values in our lives.  I know I've gotten where I am in my life because of you. You have never denied me help and have always given me everything I've needed and for that alone I am eternally grateful. I hope you know how proud your family is of you and all of your accomplishments. You have made such an impact on so many lives around the world...but most importantly on your three daughters.  I love you so much.  Thank you for being my daddy.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Very Special Wedding (Part 2)

Yesterday after summer school I jetted south to start the wedding festivities.  My friend Jamie (the bride-to-be) and I spent the night girl talking and watching Say Yes to the Dress. We called it a night pretty early. After all, the next day was a very important one and we needed our beauty sleep.
Don't you just love weddings? They are so romantic. If you're married, they remind you of your own wedding and the vows you made to your husband. They remind you how lucky you are to be with them and how amazing it is that you get to spend the rest of your life together. I wish Martin had been able to join me this weekend, but work took precedence. I had a good replacement date though...I got to spend the evening with my older sister. 

We made wishes to our butterflies so they would carry them up to the heavens
We ate way too much while watching the DJ rock to the music in his own little world 
I felt so honored to be a part of the big day so I made sure I had practiced my reading extensively.  Jamie wasn't too fond of my idea to use an accent while reading in front of her guests...too bad because my British accent isn't too shabby if I do say so myself.
It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding. The mountain location was so serene. The perfect place to exchange vows. Jamie and her new husband Mike are so incredibly happy. When we were lounging around watching T.V. last night I couldn't help but notice what an amazing relationship they have...the way they talk to each other will make your heart melt.  They are so very lucky to have each other. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Very Special Wedding

Tomorrow I head off to start the wedding festivities of my very good friend and old college roommate!
I can not wait to see her exchange her vows with her best friend and love of her life. 

This evening I was practicing my reading for the ceremony.
Martin was trying to be helpful by making it feel like I was presenting in front of a real live crowd...crying babies, people playing with their cats, booing.  I told him people don't boo at weddings...or bring cats.

At least I'm prepared for anything now.
Now I just need to decide which pair of shoes to wear with my new polka dot dress...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sewing Room

When I ventured home last weekend I started to think about how we feel when we go home to visit our families. I love going home...as many of you know, and I realized that there has always been one room in my parent's home that has made me feel the safest, the most comforted.  In our old house you would have had to walk down the basement stairs covered in orange carpet, passed our elementary school art work hung on the walls, passed the litter box, passed the hallway leading to the storage room filled with shelves and shelves of canned goods, to the room on the left. This was my mom's sewing room.  

When we were little, the first place I always looked for my mom was in her sewing room.  We would come inside from a day of playing at the pool or just home from school and I would hear the sewing machine humming.  I would run down the stairs feeling the shaggy carpet between my toes and I couldn't wait to tell her the great things that had happened to me that day, find out what was for dinner, or tattle on my sister because she had made me cry.
I remember sitting in the sewing room with my mom while she took little pieces of fabric and turned them into the most beautiful quilts.  My sister and I would pretend we worked in a fabric store just like our mom and loved sorting through the stacks of fabric arranged by color.  We would pick through her wooden container holding thousands of buttons, choosing the shiniest most prettiest one we could find...and probably sticking it in our pocket to keep forever. We would sit under her antique sewing table with the old fashioned foot pedal.  We would pump the pedal up and down while my mom sewed above us. She probably didn't get much work done with two little girls always at her feet.  But we stayed entertained for hours.

I wonder what that room turned into when my parents moved out of our childhood home?  Maybe it's a game room or a guest room now...the new owners wouldn't understand the importance of that little basement room.  How three daughters learned to sew by watching and mimicking, how we learned how amazingly talented our mom is and how special it was to be able to sleep each night beneath her different creations.  I had never slept under a comforter or bed spread until I went off to college, it was cool to have new bedding that defined who you were :) But I often found myself stuffing my bed spread under my bed and using one of the quilts my mom had sent with me instead.  Even now with our fancy comforter we registered for when we got married, I sometimes shove it into our tiny closet and pull out one of the many colorful quilts I have.  That's one of the greatest things about having a mom as a quilter, almost every time I go home I'm sent back with a beautiful hand sewn quilt.
Christmas 2004
Martin was given his first Redente family quilt...along with a list of approved activities his quilt could partake in
In my parents new home my mom was able to upgrade from the basement to a sunny room upstairs that has a beautiful view of the lake. It still feels like the most comforting room in the house.  It is filled with all the things my mom loves and when I come home for a weekend to visit I still love hearing the sound of the sewing machine humming away. I run upstairs to find my mom.  This time I'm older though, and instead of tattling on my sisters (well sometimes :) we talk about grownup things like work and marriage. Sometimes though, I love just standing in her sewing room watching her work...wondering how she knows which piece gets sewn to which,  how she is so good at reading a ruler (I may or may not still know  what all those little lines mean...)and how she decides between all the million different combinations of patterns and colors to use.  
One of the greatest gifts I ever received was the day before my wedding.  My mother-in-law and my mom had worked together for almost a year to create a quilt for Martin and I that showed where we had gotten engaged.  It is so beautiful, something I will cherish forever.  And knowing that each block, each stitch was carefully made for us makes it one of the most special things I own. 
My mom has made hundreds of quilts...each one unique, each one telling it's own story.  These quilts will stay in our family forever.  

Now my mom is just waiting for a new generation to make beautiful quilts for...I know our future children will always be warm and snuggly in handmade quilts and will be able to feel the love stitched into each one, just like I was. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Souls, One Heart

Have you ever felt so happy you literally think your heart is going to burst? That's how I've been feeling for the past week.
My twin sister is engaged to wonderful Bobby. 
Our family is thrilled! 

The night of their engagement I got a call very late. It was Bobby.
"Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, I was just wondering if you would mind having another brother-in-law?"

As my eyes filled with happy tears I told my future brother-in-law that I couldn't ask for a better addition to our family. I could hear my sister laughing in the background.  
She is so happy. 

They are thinking next Spring, an intimate affair on the beach.
It's going to be lovely and perfect.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Salad and Thank You Readers

First and most importantly, thank you everyone for your kind words yesterday. It means the world to me.  I still can't believe that so many of you want to read what I have to say and I really am honored-- please say hi, even if you follow quietly along I would love to hear from you...you can tell me your favorite color or favorite Cher song (come on now, we all have a favorite) Thank you truly for reading along with me.

And now for a tasty summer treat.

This is probably not a salad you should eat on a first date...poppy seeds, sesame seeds and strawberries don't tend to look that great stuck between your teeth when you're trying to make a good first impression.  But for every other day, especially a warm sunny summer day, this is the perfect salad.

{My salad doesn't have spinach in it because my husband who we will now refer to as Pop Eye ate a 100 pound Costco sized container of it before I could take my pictures}