a simple confession...

"Each morning when i open my eyes I say to myself:
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be.
Yesterday is dead,
tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.
I have just one day,
and I'm going to be happy in it."
-- groucho marx

This is what i had to remind myself as i made the transition from the US to Italy. the confession is this. the move was never easy...easy to make, physically or emotionally. i've might have made it out to be a seamless, effortless move with little or no hiccups. there's been obstacles both big and little that had made me regret the decision to move abroad. And especially living in this particular part of italy. when you imagine gentle weather and sunflowers swaying in the wind, that you're shocked to discover many days of bad weather and serious issues with the region's infrastructure. real things that wake you up from the italian dream. 

in the begining, living abroad had taught me that i was much more attached to the american lifestyle that i ever imagined. never thought of myself overindulged or spoiled but i missed the little things that made life very easy. for example, closets and electrical outlets. 

sounds silly, but you never know how attached one can be to this particular use of space and convenience so greatly appreciated in the states. getting used to the idiosyncracies of a new place is daunting...there were a lot of tears, sweat and threatening to pack up and go home. there were other things that pushed me to my limit, like living in a home with no insulation in the cold winter months, having to deal with a gas company that continuously tells you they are going to fill your nearly empty gas tank "domani" {tomorrow}, mold growing on your walls, a damp basement, crazy driving and finally, stories of doom and gloom as well as the anxieties of the other families around base which if you listen to them enough can make you crazy. you sound surprised...don't be. Remember, i blog about what makes me happy and complaining about closets or electrical outlets is just plain STUPID!

all those problems have worked their way out. i'm not living in a dump with moldy walls. the place is fantastic but it took an open mind, a lot of {house}work and patience to work all these things out. I just decided one day...when i was just too exhausted to think, complain or cry... to sit back...to take the bulls by the horn and create peace & harmony out of chaos. 

here's an example of my to do lists...

1.  open french doors to air the house out and let the gentle breezes in
2. hang laundry out on my balcony while gazing at the sea
3. clean up after breakfast while listening to the birds outside our window
4. empty the dehumidifier's water pail before clearing out space in basement for a new play space & workspace for me & the kids to play and create.
5. have mozzerella di bufala for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks
{a new obsession and if you've ever had it you'd understand!}
6.  wrap up the day with glass of my new favorite bianco on the terrace.

I hope that when i leave italy that i will miss it, as i've missed all my other duty stations.


fun in ravello

more fun in ravello

fun in ravello

wise guys...having some fun on a short day trip to ravello which by the way is breathtaking. i thought positano was beautiful! hmph, wait till you see some of my snaps of this beautiful town high on a mountain top in the amalfi coast.

OH, and the drive is an adventure all by itself. riding through all the amalfi coast is spectacular but for a person afraid of heights, like me, it can be tricky. these places are lovely but the roads connecting the towns are SCARY!!!! most of the images taken while military man is driving are shot through my fingers or one-handed because i can't seem to pry my white-knuckles from the door. it's actually pretty funny. so, when we arrive to a town i am so relieved and take hundreds of shots.

these are two of my favorites while letting out some steam from a very long drive to ravello. the staff at this restaurant, as all restaurants throughout italy, are warm and friendly. they really make you feel at home. the distance from our house to ravello is relatively short, however, the traffic is fierce with lots of stops along the way. no one usually complains because the stops are a great break from the twists and turns of the road and the views are relaxing.

now for a preview of what we saw...

scala {view from ravello}

scala {neighboring town to ravello and named for the thousand steps it takes to reach the mediterranean sea}

beautiful ceramics

a view from the car {white knuckles in place}

secret garden

and a secret garden.

we vowed to come back...maybe, i'll bring a blindfold for the drive up next time.


paris haze

paris haze

life's been busy...bustling...our senses are exploding....sampling everything...going places. while the sites around me are  in technicolor, i really like to capture it in black and white. our trip to paris was fantastic and what we could do and see in the city was interesting. i traveled to paris the first time over 15 years ago as a chaperone for a group of my high school students.  this trip with a toddler, preschooler and eight year old was....well...interesting, yes, interesting. i was eager to show them the paris that i fell in love with and they were happy to stay on the euro disney property having breakfast with the Donald and Mickey. military man was pretty content with that, too. 

not me...i needed to see her once again. this how i remembered the city from thousands miles away on the other side of the atlantic. OR i could be going through a "picasso" phase. he had his blue phase...i'm going through black and white. my favorite images have been this particular one taken in paris and the other taken in london. 

the volcanic ash set a mood throughout the entire city. at first glimpse of this image through the view finder i was disappointed at the lack of luster but on the screen is sparkled.  

makes me want to be sitting on a balcony on the champs elysee enjoying the city from up above. 


children do & say the darnest things

so, ignore my last post. i had a momentary lapse of insanity combined with the creative black hole that i've fallen into which sparked a hasty decision. things are definitely changing, however closing this space after contributing two years of our family's time without a back up plan was just plan dumb. sorry, about the confusion.

and to be perfectly honest, it was wonder boy and military man who brought me back. mm had the most disappointed look on his face and wonder boy did something yesterday that made me quickly change my mind. he was toting one of my cameras around his neck, just like his mommy, and looking for the beauty around him. he took me to the side and said, "mommy, can we look at these together and if they're good enough, can you put them on your blog?" {frozen mommy moment....i was rendered speechless} yes, i'm a sucker for the men in my life and become a spineless jelly fish when i disappoint them.

i didn't have the heart to tell him that i had ended it {momentarily} and that his work would not be displayed for everyone to see. he was just proud of himself at that moment. his little comment brought the realization of parents as role models to full fruition. they do what we do not what we say. we've heard the old addage so many times before...it's become cliché. however, it's simple message holds true.

for the longest time we've had toddlers in our household and parents out there can relate to this...we think that we can get away with our imperfections and flaws with nobody noticing, however, living with an eight year old things have changed. we are forming a pre-adolescent and we need to keep this in mind when we go about our day. maybe, that's the big change in our life that's been brewing without  me pinpointing it. i've noticied it, now, and keeping my finger on it.

well, there you have it a brief explanation on lizabee & co.'s resurrection. it took a boy and his mother's camera to bring it right back.