10 Years And Counting…

My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and I had to blog and reflect on this milestone.

As a kid, 10 years seemed like forever. Think about it. That’s all of middle school, high school and college. WHAT???

These past 10 went by so fast, I feel like we just met. There are still things we are learning about each other and stories we haven’t shared. He still makes me laugh more than anyone on the planet and we have so much fun together, just the two of us.

We got married young, 23 and 24, and the world was such a different place.

Guys, we had disposable cameras at the tables at our wedding. That was still a thing. There were no Facebook pictures, no wedding hashtags and certainly no Pinterest.

In those 10 years, we’ve grown up together.


We’ve lived in two different houses and an apartment; we’ve made lasting friendships, as well as lost friends; we’ve went clubbing, thrown great parties and made memories that could fill pages upon pages; we’ve been there for friends and family as they got married, divorced, had babies, moved away; we’ve gone on super memorable vacations to places like New York City and Disney World; we’ve watched every season of Survivor and a million other shows together; we’ve changed jobs and started businesses; we’ve worked through times when money was tight and times when money was right; we’ve done house renovations and projects; we’ve spent time crying together and countless hours laughing together and so much more.

For the first five years it was just us and we lived it up. But now, we have two boys that are the light of our lives and our greatest loves.

They have helped us grow up, become more caring and understanding, more patient and loving. Being parents is one of our favorite jobs and even though it’s not easy, it’s the best decision we ever made.

We’ve grown both personally and in our relationship. Our personalities and values are the same, but we are more mature and better spouses to one another because we know what makes the other happy. He’s never going to fill out school paperwork and I’m not going to clean the shower. We do what works best for our marriage. It always comes first.

Faith, family, friends, football, fun. That pretty much sums us up. We believe in God and the power of this union, we have strong and fantastic families and friends that always support and love us, we love football and even though we root for different teams, we respect the other, and we seriously have a blast together.

Man, we just have so much fun. Whether it’s a dance party with the kids or trading witty comments at the right moment. We just came back from a trip to Atlantic City to celebrate this 10 year anniversary and we went out clubbing Thursday night. We sent our friends a Snap and one responded, “I love that you guys still club it up.”

Hell yeah. Why not? Being serious is boring. We will continue to go out and dance and drink and meet people and love life as long as they keep letting us in. LOL.

We are both always up for anything and will embarrass or make fun of ourselves to make others laugh. We love to see smiles on the faces around us. There is nothing better. We just fit. We’re similar in the right ways and balance each other out in the differences.

I’ve introduced him to coffee and books. He’s introduced me to fantasy football and thrifting.

There’s never been a day that an ‘I love you’ hasn’t passed our lips. We say it multiple times a day and mean it more and more every single time.

We still leave notes for one another. A Post-It on his work clothes, a typewritten note in my work folder. We text each other when our wedding song comes on the radio or Snapchat a hilarious filter while sitting right beside each other.

I can say, I am so lucky to have found my husband. He is my soulmate and best friend and yes, of course, drives me crazy. But, we love with a passion. No argument is ever that bad and nothing is too tough to get through. Love conquers all.

I knew him for 6 weeks when we got engaged. If I’m being honest, I knew after 2 hours that he was THE ONE. The first night, the first conversation. That is all it took.

For all my readers, single – engaged – married: believe in LOVE. If it hasn’t happened for you yet, I pray it will find you. It is never, ever too late. Don’t let age or circumstance fool you.

If you’ve found love, never let it go. And always work to keep it strong.

I can’t wait to celebrate the next 10 and the next 10 and the next 10 with this man.
Our story is my favorite story.

J, thank you for being the love of my life and the one to walk with me on this journey of life. I LOVE YOU.

Comparison pics below. Two from our honeymoon in AC in 2006 and two from our recent trip in 2016. We still do the model shot pic, because hey, it’s a tradition. Can’t stop now.


Honeymoon 2006


Honeymoon 2006, “Model shot”


10 year vacation, 2016


10 year vacation, 2016, “Model Shot”




I think we look a little different, but still super in love. 🙂

Tell me your advice to a lasting marriage or relationship. I want to hear your stories!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hey friends, sign up!

You follow my blog so hopefully, you like how I write and you want more.

I’m in the process of cooking up some great things with my business, A Passion For The Pen, and I’m starting to put out a newsletter. If you want in, just sign up above!

I’m happy to meet you and share all things writing. I have a new course that will be launching in just a few months and I’d love to get your feedback as I create it. Thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Everyone’s looking for Pokémon, I’m just trying to find the post office

I’ve never been so lost within 15 minutes of my home as I was this week trying to find a particular post office. It was one of those “this should take no more than a half hour out of my day” to a full-out adventure, meeting some great people along the way. And with two kids in tow, stress was high, but laughs were abundant.

It began so simply. I signed up for a PO Box for my business. I went online and instead of renting a box at the post office closest to my house (because it’s on-street parking with meters and always really crowded) I opted for another post office a few miles further where the box was a little cheaper and I knew it would be easier to park and get the kiddos in and out.

I hadn’t been to the location before, but I’ve never put an address into Google Maps and not found it, so I didn’t think about it twice.

I packed up my kids and we started out. I put the address in and it brought up a post office which then said “permanently closed.” WHAT??? I know Google is silly sometimes, so I brushed it off as a mistake and started the trek. I paid a fee through the USPS website for the box, so I was pretty sure the post office was real.

I found it odd the way maps was taking me, but I followed it anyway. 15 minutes later and I was “at my destination” staring at a parking lot. Awesome. Maybe this post office didn’t actually exist?

I realized I was only 2 miles from my regular post office, so I decided to stop there and see if they could help.

I found a parking spot in front (bonus), got the kids out (baby carrier and all) and went in. Mind you, it’s 90 degrees, as well.

Luckily, no one was in line and we got right in. I talked to the lovely woman working there, explained the situation, and after making a call, she told me I could just get a box there if I wanted to and go online and cancel the other one. I realized the call she made was to the “other” post office and they did, in fact, exist! I told her I would rather go to the other office since I’d already paid, but the location wasn’t coming up in Google.

She took me and the kiddos into her office so I could talk to the woman on the phone working at the place I was trying to get to. I realized the address I had put in was for one town and there was another street with that same name in the next town over.

Now, I’m horrible at directions, unless it’s by landmarks. I was trying to listen while making sure my 5-year-old wasn’t taking all the lollipops offered to him out of the woman’s hand, which he did. (She was giving him flavor choices, he just took all three) and I was trying to get the baby his binky so he wasn’t fussy.

I heard a few landmarks and road names and figured I’d punch one of those into Maps and find my way. I thanked the woman for all her help and we headed back into the heat, back into the car.

Exit Post Office #1.

I plugged in one of the roads she told me and it came up. About 15 minutes away. Ok, perfect. We drove along, but when we got to the end of the road on my Maps and I tried to type in post office nearby, NOTHING came up. I had to make a decision, left or right. I chose right. (I chose wrong).

We drove up the wrong road and I realized I knew exactly where I was, but still had no idea where the post office could be. I tried to type it in again and one came up (not the original address, but one of the roads I remembered hearing on the phone) so I went for that. About 5 minutes away, this had to be it! My son and I were laughing like crazy at this point.

Post Office #2. We pull into the lot, I get the kiddos out once more, sweating, carrying the baby carrier, and head inside. I told the woman working, “We just talked on the phone about how to get here…” And she said,  “Nope, you are probably looking for “other post office.”

“YES, yes I am. WHERE IS IT???”

She told me it was about three miles down the road. Baby is now really fussy. But we are so close. So close! I started writing this post in my head at that moment.

She told me I would have to turn on a certain lane and that the road sign was covered by a tree, so watch for it. I thanked her for all her help and again, back in the heat, back in the car.

Three miles later, I saw the lane! Success. We made the turn and at the end of the road, I realized I was so focused on getting to that lane, I couldn’t remember left or right at the end of it. I chose right. (I chose right!)

The post office was nestled at the bottom of that street. It was the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen. Kiddos back out of the car for Post Office #3 and third time’s a charm. The woman inside was extremely sweet and we had a nice conversation about me not being able to find the location.

She said other people had mentioned that happening and she had no idea how to “change Google.” We had a good laugh and conversation. Enter lollipop #4.

I got the keys to my box, thanked yet another kind soul I met on this journey, and got the kiddos back in the car. I was only fifteen minutes from my house at this point. I’m amazed at how close I was, yet how lost I felt.

All told, we were gone about an hour and a half. Such a simple errand that turned into an adventure. My five-year old thought it was super fun to see all the post offices and get so many treats. Now every time we get in the car it’s, “Mommy, remember when you kept going the wrong way?” Followed by intense giggling. And I find myself giggling right along with him. It was pretty hilarious.

I’m thankful for all the kindness from every single person we met. And hey, I got a blog out of it, right? And a PO Box!

I’ve learned that when technology terribly fails, it’s people that come through. If I would have called the post office before I left and asked for directions, this never would have happened. I’ll think about that next time I need to research something, or ask a question, or get a quote. Online may be convenient, but people give you the human connection and kindness that technology never can.





Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Summer of Two

At the end of the week, I turn 33. What? I literally feel 16 most of the time. And in a few months, my husband and I will celebrate ten years of marriage. 10 years?? I’m also now a mom of two. TWO kids?? Again, how did I get to this point and how did it all happen in the blink of an eye? Time is FLYING and I’m just trying to keep up. My blogs help me stop for a moment and freeze time. I know in another ten years, I’ll enjoy reading these and remembering that time in my life.





This is the Summer of Two. A pretty milestone summer. For one, it’s the last summer before my oldest heads to kindergarten. Life will never be the same once he starts school full-time. It’s also the first summer we are a family of four. Two little boys home with mom all day, every day. Begin panic mode.



2011: Vincenzo


2016: Santino



My loves

One kid to two kids is a big jump. Even though my oldest is five, and very self-sufficient, it’s still two little guys vying for mom’s attention.

I run a copywriting business, a business that has really grown over the last year and I’m busy. BUSY. I work with a handful of clients on a full-time basis and also handle project-based work as often as it comes. I have an independent contractor who assists me when I have way too much going on, but she has a full-time job, so usually everything falls into my lap. Being entrepreneur and mom is a balancing act like none other.

I run the business, and also act as stay-at-home mom. Which is THE HARDEST JOB ON EARTH. No nanny, no assistant, just me. I am constantly cleaning, doing laundry, dishes, making lunch or dinner, paying bills, running errands, playing with the kids, running the kids to their various appointments and activities. It never, ever, ever ends.

I never knew the true definition of busy until this point in my life. I need to learn to live on less sleep and still wake up with a smile and I need to remember to stop and take a break when things get too hectic. One day, I will miss the chaos and the noise.

I know the Summer of Two is going to be one amazing summer. Every day that goes by, my kids get a little older. And one day, the Summer of Two will have a very different meaning. The Summer of Two will simply mean my husband and I. The kids will be busy with their own lives, their own families.

I will embrace every crazy day with my family. My husband and I will work and do all the “adulting” required, but we will also…

take the boys on adventures, to amusement parks, on play dates with friends, out in the sun and in the rain, play mini-golf, ride go-carts, read books, learn and explore, make crafts, eat Popsicles and ice cream, take a ton of photos and videos and enjoy every second together. No matter how many diaper bags and changes of clothes we need to pack!

My friend just reminded me of the quote, “The days are long, but the years are short,” when talking about kids and it’s so very true.

So to ten wonderful years with my best friend, to year 33 ahead and to my two fantastic little boys, let’s make the Summer of Two – our best Summer yet!

Tell me about your summer plans!




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

To My First Baby…As Our Lives Change

Dear Vincenzo,

I know I need to write this letter to you. It’s very important that one day you read these words, as I write them, fighting back tears and smiling at the same time.

You are our first baby. And for 5 years, it’s been you, mommy and daddy. The three amigos, up against the world. You have been our everything. And now, our hearts have expanded with love and we will soon welcome your baby brother to our family. This is going to change all of our lives, but I never want you to forget how much you mean to me.

You and I bonded in a special way, when mommy ended up in the hospital at 29 weeks pregnant. Daddy and I were scared. Very scared. We weren’t sure what was going to happen in those first few days. Would you come early? Would you have to fight for your life? What would we do if we lost you? But each day, after the doctors were able to stop mommy’s active labor, you grew inside mommy one day longer, reached one more crucial week. Even though your environment wasn’t ideal, you stayed strong. Even before your birth, we knew how amazing you were.

Mommy stayed in the hospital, on bed rest, only allowed to use the restroom and take a shower for the next five and a half weeks. I talked to you constantly. Most of the time, it was just you and I. Sure, Daddy came to see us as much as he could, and all of our family and Mommy’s friends came to visit us, but they all had their lives to live. Work to attend, kids to raise, houses to take care of, and it was just you and Mommy much of the time. I wrote a journal during those weeks with a lot of notes to you and special thoughts Mommy had, and you will get to read that someday, so I won’t go into too much here. Just know that in those weeks, I decided that being a mom was all that mattered to me.  That I would be the best mom in the world if I was lucky enough to get to be one. I realized that money and a career wasn’t the priority anymore, you were. That was something that Mommy needed to learn and was one of the greatest gift you’ve given me.

You made it to the doctor’s goal date of 34 weeks! And that happened to be Easter Sunday that year. What a blessed and perfect day for you to arrive. Mommy and Daddy only got to hold you for a few minutes, before they took you away to the NICU. We had to wait a few hours before we finally got to see you and when we did, our hearts exploded with love. You were so very tiny, just 4.8 pounds and 16 inches long and you were inside an incubator covered with wires, surrounded by beeping monitors.


We were first-time parents, terrified and unprepared. But your adorable face and fighting spirit gave us the strength we needed. We were able to hold you and feed you and change your diaper (we got really good at doing that from outside your incubator, so when you came home, diapers were a breeze!) and we sat by your side just staring at you and praying for you to come home to us.

I fell in love with you before you were born, but in those early moments, I realized what being a mommy meant. And the great life that we were going to have as a family.

You were a trooper and you were able to come home after only 16 days. It was the longest and hardest 16 days of our lives, but we were very lucky. Many babies have to stay much longer, or sadly, never get to come home.


Mommy left her job to be home with you, something I never dreamed I’d do. But, I figured out an even better way to bring income to our family AND be your full-time mommy at the same time. You helped me realize what I had inside myself. I created my own business and now live a flexible and wonderful life as a writer (my dream since I was just a little girl).

We chose your name before we knew you’d be a preemie, but it fit you perfectly. Vincenzo means ‘the conqueror’ in Italian and in all the almost 5 years of your life, you have been nothing but that. You have thrived no matter what your circumstances brought you and we couldn’t be more proud of the little boy you have become.

You’ve had your struggles. You’ve had fantastic therapists and you’ve worked very hard. Through your speech, occupational and physical therapy, you’ve grown beyond our dreams. In just a few short months, you’ll start kindergarten and just typing that makes me so happy and so sad. You are growing up far too fast. But you are such a gentleman, such a polite, sweet, smart child, I know that each year of your life will be magical .The life you have ahead of you will be phenomenal.






I could write about you forever, but as we get ready to add another member to our awesome family, I want you to know a few things:

I am always in awe of your talents and how smart you are and I always will be.

Even when you don’t think I’m paying attention, I hear you and I see you.

When I’m busy and can’t always stop and play, it hurts my heart.

I miss you every time you aren’t here, whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours.

I love our snuggles, our lazy mornings together, and all the times it’s just you and me.

Seeing you run to me for a hug and scream ‘Mommy’ as you leave school or therapy will be a memory I cherish forever. 

I cry when I think about you getting older and not needing me as much anymore, because I’ll always need you. 

You will always be one of my best friends.

You will always be the person I wish I could be more like.

I will always hold you, hug you, love you and help you in any stage of your life.

I promise to plan special days for just you and I for the rest of your life.

No matter how many siblings you have, know that my love for you will never change.



12This may be the end of just the three of us, but think about how exciting our lives will be with your brother. He will look up to you and love you and I know you will protect him and adore him. Having a sibling is a great blessing and I can’t wait for my two precious boys to meet and begin their lives together. Your bond will be strong and you will have a forever partner in crime, best friend and support system.

Being your mom is my greatest accomplishment. You are my dream come true.

I love you, my first baby.





Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Women, Two States, One Awesome Time: My Crazy 48 Hour Road Trip

When my best friend told me her baby shower would be in New York in July AND it just so happened to be the same week my mom was on vacation, I knew a road trip was in order.

After a quick Google search, I realized that where I would be on Long Island was only about a 2.5 hour drive from my brother’s new digs in Connecticut (he recently began working at ESPN) so I called my mom and told her to get ready for a whirlwind weekend of awesomeness.

She was game, along with my Aunt, and the three of us set out at 5 am Friday morning for the trek to Long Island.

We made really good time and only battled a few obstacles, like our GPS losing service right after the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan and us scrambling to type in our destination. Other than that, we chatted, looked out the window, talked about anything and everything and just enjoyed some girl time together.

I was driving and mom was riding shotgun, so there was a lot of gasps and her pushing her imaginary brake pedal as what I deem “aggressive and necessary driving” on major roadways she saw as “reckless and terrifying.” LOL. My poor Aunt just sat in the backseat and tried to “see both sides.” She is the ultimate peace maker and of course we are already laughing about it.

We made it to Islandia, NY, where we were staying and popped into the hotel to take a breather before heading out to explore. First selfie was a fail. Blurry as all get out.


We traveled to Old Dock Inn in Kings Park., NY for lunch and had this beautiful view out the window.


After lunch we decided we’d head to Jones Beach. Mind you, we were totally relying on Google Maps for this entire trip and although mostly accurate, it’s nerve wracking to say the least.

Jones Beach was supposed to be just a short 45 minute drive so we headed out. Google Maps said something odd like “this route has restricted roads” and every time I entered on to a new road, I was waiting for someone to pull me over and ask me what the hell I was doing. I realized those restricted roads were for private beaches, so we were all good.

We got lost about 3 times. Basically, you go in on a one way road and then have to do a U-turn when you get to the beach you want to get to on the other side of the road. We screwed that up a few times and drove around the Jones Beach Water Tower where the traffic circle is a few times too many (think Clark W. Griswold in European Vacation below).

Finally, we found our way and somehow turned a 45 minute drive into about an hour and a half. By the time we got there, parking was free, since it was after 4 pm, so I guess that worked out to our advantage and we spent the next few hours enjoying the crash of the waves and the warm sand on our toes. The ocean makes you forget about crazy driving, or rushed schedules, or work. The breeze, the smell, the sounds. We had a few hours of pure heaven right there on that beach and it was a beautiful day with loads of sunshine.

IMG_1496 IMG_1483 IMG_1480

Exhausted from a long day of traveling, we headed to TGI Fridays for dinner, then back to our hotel to crash.

Saturday morning we got up early (like 6 am early). My mom is the queen of early mornings. On a regular day, she has probably had 2 cups of tea, did 3 loads of laundry, and watched an entire documentary on Netflix before I even get out of bed. I’m a night owl, along with my Aunt, so we struggled with the lack of sleep, but another busy day was ahead so they headed to breakfast and my best friend picked me up for our morning together.

We headed to a diner and had a nice big breakfast, catching up on life, enjoying the moment together, just the two of us. She lives in Orlando and I live in Pittsburgh, so every chance we get to spend together is special.

Then we headed back to her house to pack up and get ready for her baby shower! We picked up balloons and cake and headed to the restaurant. Cindi and I below 🙂


We enjoyed an awesome meal and great conversation at the shower and before I knew it, my mom and aunt were outside ready to pick me up for our road trip within a road trip to Connecticut!

We headed out around 3:40 and arrived in Southington, CT at about 6:00. Great timing and not a bad ride at all! Just a few more gasps and Oh My God’s from my mom, but we made it in one piece.

My brother met us at the hotel: reunited! Missed this kid, a lot. Then we headed to dinner!



We ate at J. Timothy’s Taverne in Plainville, CT and as Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation would say, “It was GOOOOOOOOOD.”


And they had the coolest glasses…


We enjoyed a great meal and caught up with the bro, then went to check out his apartment. After that, headed back to our hotel (which was amazing by the way: Homewood Suites) and we talked and hung out for a while longer before he had to head back. He had to work Sunday so it was a short, short visit but a much needed one for all of us. Lots of hugs. Lots of tears.

Hotel pics:




They are Suites, so there was also a full kitchen with a stove, dishwasher, large fridge, etc. We were only there for a short time, but it was fantastic!

Sunday morning we woke up (early again, thanks Mom), had some breakfast at the Suites, and then started the long 7 hour drive home. The drive was super easy and we didn’t hit any traffic and by 3:30 pm, I was home with my boys.

It was a FAST and CRAZY 48 hours. But it was a trip we will always remember. Not often in our adult lives, after marriage and kids, do we get to hang out with our parents and family like this. I will cherish this weekend and the time I got to spend with two lovely women in my life. We really missed my sister and wished she could have been with us, but she was working. Sorry, Lisa. We love you!

And a big thank you to my husband for holding down the fort and spending quality time with our son while mommy was away. They had a blast during their boy’s weekend and I even came home to this:


Every memory you can make, please take it. Don’t miss out. Do the crazy drive. Take the long flight. Pay the money. Find the time. Moments are worth it all.

Now just a few more weeks of work and our first family vacation of the year is coming up. Can’t wait to share all about it.

Where are you going this Summer? Ever have a crazy road trip??

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Baby Is Going To Preschool

Our son turned 4 last month. I didn’t think too much of the age change. Cenzo has always been slightly delayed due to his premature birth, so we don’t look at age very closely. We look at milestones and developments, and as they come, they come. We champion and celebrate each one, no matter how long it takes, or what age it happens. We don’t worry about what is typical. We are absolutely proud of every single challenge and obstacle he has overcome in his short life and we know he still has many more to conquer.

His speech therapist recently said to me that he is “academically advanced” and already has most of his preschool skills. That was an amazing thing to hear and I almost burst with pride.

I see him as my baby, even though he proudly proclaims he’s a big boy, to which I must agree. And I didn’t realize how big that baby was getting until I sent in a deposit to his upcoming preschool. Ever since I mailed that check, my heart has been beating faster.

When my husband and I drop him off that first day in September, it will be impossible to hold back tears. I cry just thinking about it now, and it’s months and months away.

My baby is not a baby. He’s a preschooler. He’s ready to listen to a teacher, follow routines, meet friends, sharpen his skills, learn new ones. He’s growing up, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

While some are so naturally gifted at being that quintessential supermom, I sometimes struggle to find my place. I run my business and strive so hard to maintain the right balance between business and parenting.

I wrote in my mom’s Mother’s Day card (and she’s the best mom on this Earth) that I was thankful for her advice and guidance as I stumble through motherhood, because that’s how I feel a lot of the time. I never feel like I give enough, do enough, am there enough. I’ve made mistakes and wish I had done some things differently, but then again I don’t.

I look at our Cenzo and he’s really the picture of polite. He’s caring and feels deeply for others. He says please and thank you. He waits his turn. He smiles and waves at all. He would never tell a child they couldn’t play with him. He has open arms and an open heart. He has taught me a lot about true kindness and love.

Since I work from home, I know my life will be a bit easier when he goes to school, but I will miss him so much. For those few hours a week that he is gone, the house will be far too quiet, a deafening silence. I will write. I will work. But, I will never be the same, because my little one, my star, my best friend, will be growing up and changing in his new world.

I know all parents struggle with their kids going to school. It’s life changing. If anyone has any advice, please let me know how you got through those first few weeks!

For now, it’s a focus on the Summer. Vacation and time with family and friends, soaking up the sun, and enjoying these last few months of true mommy and Cenzo time, before school begins.

Yesterday we read some books and Cenzo fell asleep in my arms. It was the middle of the day, and he never naps anymore, so it was a welcome surprise. I covered him with his blanket and came over to write this blog. I kept glancing over at him and thinking that no matter what, he will forever and always be my baby. I love you, my son.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments