Month: October 2014 (page 1 of 4)

Happy 2nd Birthday, Emma Rose


Looking back at two years ago, it seems that an impossibly long amount of time has passed and somehow it feels insufficient, like a number closer to one hundred would be able to better cement the mark you have already made on so many lives.

lLHcoT9QapSc0FbwkDtZBxLhKmQ9ooPxG-XBCU01Wcw-1I remember only a small handful of things vividly. I remember learning from your father that you were a girl when he walked over with you in his arms as if he had already gotten the chance to know you on that short walk, and gave you a name he chose. I remember the full tuft of black hair you were born with, the uncanny resemblance to my side of the family in your face. I remember hearing that you weighed in at just under nine pounds. That you were 21.5 inches long. And that it had seemed so inconceivable. I remember lifting my own hands to float above my now empty belly trying to recreate the measurements. Trying to find ways that it made sense for you to fit in such a small space and yet be here with us an instant later. I remember walking out the slow, revolving doors of the hospital, the silence, an eerie cloud surrounding us, as if personnel should have asked for more information from us, like fingerprints or blood. But instead, no one blinked. All was just as it was supposed to be. You were ours. And we were yours. We buckled you into the car seat for the first time, carefully and mechanically. We ordered sub sandwiches on our way home, the three of us. We ate them on the floor in front of the coffee table, legs crossed, so that we could be at your level as you slept soundly in the same car seat we carried you through the door in.


The rest has become somewhat of a blur; a montage of moments that have made up your life, a collection of beautiful bits and pieces that play in my head like an old film reel, hard to stop or slow down: you in a tiny striped hat that fell down over your forehead. You taking your first bath in a small plastic tub positioned on the kitchen table. Your first Christmas Eve midnight mass, the choir your own personal lullaby. Your miniature fists curled to rest at my collarbone, the TV flickering as you slept. You teetering through a pumpkin patch, the rows of orange fruit appearing life-size. You taking your first consecutive steps, beaming all the way to your daddy, as he sat near the fireplace waiting for you, his arms spread wide to catch you if you stumbled.

But there was so much I didn’t dream of.

Never would I have known then the stark contrast that would become of your thick, brown lashes against your butter-yellow hair. Never would I have known that your head turned to your left, slightly sloped down, your chin touching your chest, is your most comfortable sleeping position when you doze off in the car or in your stroller. Or that your bottom lip sticks out when you are dreaming. Never would I have known that it comforts you to touch at least one of your little feet to something or someone when you sit down to read a book or watch a movie or settle into the couch. Or that it soothes you to rub the softest part of your blanket between your fingers and over your lip at nap-time and when you are ready for bed. Never would I have known that when it’s humid out or after a day at the beach in the summertime or when you are playing in the pool, the ends of your hair twist together to create these beautiful, tiny curls. Never would I have known such a true, honest, laugh, a sound that I have come to look forward to hearing the most. Never would I have known the sharp wit that would be a huge part of your even larger personality. The sense of humor that I thought only came with the maturity of adolescence. Never would I have known then that I would count a toddler amongst my closest, dearest, best friends. That I would really mean it. And that I would hope it would last forever.

There is so much more about you and to you, but I know there that will be even more to come. So, I am blessed to have had these past two years, as short or as long as they may have seemed, with you, Emma Rose, my first child, my daughter, my right-hand lady. And I look forward to continue watching you grow.

gelo family fall pic

Happy Today, To You

happy cake 2

While I will be celebrating a very special girl’s birthday this week, it dawned on me that we shouldn’t always wait until our own birthdays or someone else’s to honor our life or theirs.  That sometimes we should be just as happy about today, any day, that we wake up alive and well and present.  There are far too many people that we lose far too soon, whether they are strangers we learn the names of through news reports or social media, family members or an integral part of our circle of friends.  I baked a cake this afternoon to commemorate the impact that a certain woman who is on my mind has made on myself and so many others.  A woman that won’t see her next birthday, but one who should continue to be celebrated nonetheless.  So, happy today, to you and all of those you care for.

xo gina & pumpkin + rose

My Life Lately {As Told Through Photos}

Life has been moving pretty fast.  Somehow my little baby who has morphed into a little girl, will officially turn two years old at the end of this week.  She is the ultimate source of joy in my life and when I flip through the photos on my phone, I get to stop and stare at the perfect, small, round face that makes me so happy.  And I get a glimpse of the person she is quickly becoming.

best buds for life{Best friends}

ferris wheel front{EMMA}

fall colors{The changing leaves will never lose their luster}

ponytails at the park{Ponytails at the park}


pork bacon cheddar burger{Pork.  Bacon.  Cheddar.  Burger.  Enough said}

mama dada emma{Celebrating our littlest best friend in our favorite pumpkin patch}

inspecting lunch{Her ‘Doc’ tools come everywhere with us and therefore, even lunch gets a check-up}

popcorn cupcake{How sweet it is}

on the run{Beautiful girl on a beautiful fall day}

emmy and daddy kisses{Stolen kisses.  And ducks.  Always ducks}

Happy Monday!

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings usually require a low-maintenance look.  And this time of year, a simple scarf can add a little bit of comfort and much needed warmth to any outfit, especially one that most likely includes a pair of simple, stretchy, black leggings.  I first discovered these leggings when I was pregnant with Emma, and have gone back to them ever since.  They are super soft and the perfect length.  And they are thin without being sheer.  I like to couple them with a favorite lightweight sweater and flat boots.  And throwing on a classic, buttery leather jacket always makes me feel instantly more polished.

easy like a sunday morning{ARITZIA leather mackage kenya jacket / THEODORA & CALLUM earth scarf / old JAMES PERSE cashmere waffle funnel neck sweater, similar HERE, HERE and HERE / old J.CREW tall flat boots, similar HERE / ISABELLA OLIVER easy maternity leggings}

Happy Sunday!

Something For Saturday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup Sundae

Just a little something for Saturday {or any day, if you ask me}.

chocolate chip cookie cup cover

There are a few desserts that are pretty much fail-proof, classic favorites, loved by all, and ice cream, of any flavor, and chocolate chip cookies, are usually two of them.

I had a few squares of pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough left over in the fridge and as always, an abundance of ice cream choices in the freezer, so I decided to make something really quick and delicious.

choc chip cookie cup side

This mini sweet treat is great when served immediately like a sundae with an edible chocolate chip cookie bowl or when frozen for a few hours and enjoyed without a spoon, by digging right in, like an ice cream sandwich.

chocolate chip cookie cup bite

Things You Will Need:

  • Cookie Dough – I used two squares of pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough for each chocolate chip cookie cup
  • Muffin Tin
  • Butter
  • Ice Cream of your favorite flavor
  • Chocolate Syrup or other toppings

cookie dough ball


1.     Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the cups of a muffin tin with butter, so it’s easier to remove your finished product.

2.     Form two pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough squares into balls, enough to fill each muffin cup or as many as you want to make (or if you make your own cookie dough from scratch, make the balls a little bit larger than you would for one cookie).

3.     Fill each muffin cup or as many as you want to make with your cookie dough balls.  Using a small spice container or your hand, press down the middle and thin out the sides to conform to the shape of the muffin cup.

4.     Place muffin tin in the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.  When you remove the muffin tin, use the small spice container again to press down into the middle of the cookie while still warm, so that you can re-shape it.

5.     Let cool for 10 minutes and carefully remove your chocolate chip cookie cups.  Fill with ice cream and/or toppings of your choice and serve immediately like a sundae.  Or fill with ice cream and/or toppings of your choice and place in the freezer for a few hours.  Then, enjoy like you would an ice cream sandwich, no spoons required.

choc chip cookie cup top


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