Monthly Archives: June 2015

An Italian Escape

Today is my sixteenth wedding anniversary, and I am packing for our trip to Italy. FullSizeRender(13)We were married in Rome, so it is fitting to be flying there tonight. I’m extremely excited to take our children on their first trip to “the Continent” (and to my favorite country outside of our own).

We are starting in Rome (with a side trip to Pompeii), and then going north to Venice, and ending our 12-day trip in Lake Como in the picturesque town of Bellagio.27919363_s

Of course, our kids are only twelve and fourteen, so I suspect they will not have the stamina to take in all the sights and guided tours available. Fortunately, they’ve both studied ancient Rome in Latin class, so they will likely be more versed in history than I am at this point.

I confess, one of my favorite things to do in that country is eat! Pedestrian, I know. But I love pasta! When you next see me, I will be a few pounds heavier.  Hopefully all of the walking around Rome, Venice, and Bellagio will help burn off some of the extra calories.

39675254_sI think I most look forward to the few days we have planned on Lake Como. Isn’t it pretty?

I will be posting photos of our trip on my Facebook page, so if you care to follow our journey, check out the page.

Until July 9th, Bon Giorno!

XO-Jamie

Summertime Sweet Tooth

The summer solstice has come and gone. It’s officially summer!

Those of you who’ve been following me for a while know of my rabid sweet tooth. I’ve tried–many times–to break or curb it, but it’s hopeless. I’m addicted to sugar. As vices go, I suppose it’s better than alcohol or shoplifting, although it doesn’t exactly do wonders for my waistline. Nonetheless, I choose to embrace it.

Now, any dessert connoisseur will tell you that there are seasonal desserts. One wouldn’t bake a spicy pumpkin pie in April, right?

Summer calls for light, refreshing desserts, like strawberry shortcake (I bake a good one with homemade French whipped cream). Or perhaps you prefer a fresh fruit sorbet? Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 5.23.14 PM

No matter the season, I still favor somewhat hearty desserts. Imagine my delight upon finding this yummy creation: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie.  Better yet, no baking involved!

My husband and kids love ice cream, so I’m positive this will be a hit in my house.

I’d love it if you’d share your favorite dessert recipe with me. One can never have too many options when it comes to the best part of any meal!

xo-Jamie

Resilience in Parenting

As a mother, I make many parenting choices every day. Some are relatively minor, like what kinds of groceries to stock. Others, like when to give your kid enough rope to hang him or herself, require more thought and impose bigger risks. For me the most difficult challenge is handling the uncertainty–the not knowing whether I’ve made the right choice until it’s too late to reverse course.36637400_s

This semester has been a real test. For the first time, my middle-schoolers both decided to prioritize their social lives over academics. My husband and I made the conscious decision to buck our natures (and the New England trend) and let the kids’ grades flounder. Our rationale? Middle school would be a better place for them to stumble and fall (and learn the consequences of their actions) than high school.

Well, we’ve stumbled, fallen, and are getting up a bit bruised. I’ll admit, I feel a bit depressed and torn about the parenting choices we made. IF, next year, the setbacks motivate them to work harder and strike a better balance among their various interests, it may have been worth it. However, if the defeat causes them to give up instead of motivating them to “overcome” the setbacks, then my husband and I have failed terribly.

In the great scheme of our lives, rationally I know these are relatively common and minor issues we’re dealing with compared with many parents. Still, no parent likes to watch their kid struggle. I think the reason it’s extremely difficult to stand aside and make them find their own solutions is that we can’t “see” the outcome and “know” all will be well. We can only hope, pray, encourage, and lead by example.

In the meantime, like my kids, I, too, need to dig deep and find my own resiliency so I can live to parent another day!

Whether you choose to micro-manage your teens’ lives or hand them the reigns, how do you handle a setback (drinking lots of wine is NOT an acceptable answer–LOL)?

xo-Jamie