Mia Rose and her stinky toes,
Green/blue eyes, and button nose.
Princess gowns, tiaras, and sparkly heels,
Cheerleading skirts, bracelets, and ear-piercing squeals.
Cornsilky blond hair pulled back in a pony,
Your birthday dinner will be delicious with Nana’s macaroni.
Eight years you’re here, from baby to young girl,
They’ve passed like a blur–an awesome pink whirl.
I wish you many happy things for the coming year,
That breeze you feel? It’s me–I’m near!
My favorite niece you’ll always be,
Even though they say you’re just a little pujie.*
(drawing by P’s niece, Sara, age 9.)
Baci e abbracci
*Family joke. My grandmother used to call something smelly a “pujack” which she told us was a smelly goat; it’s been shortened for Mia, because, you know, she’s little and all.
I was working at a certain family amusement park, passing out laser guns and explaining why it’s not appropriate to hit people in the darkness of the game room, when from the corner of my eye I noticed my brother–in blue hospital scrubs carrying something blue in his hand– and my mother–bearing fried food–approaching.
I knew this surprise family visit, capped by my brother’s beaming (and I do mean *beaming*) face could only mean one thing:
I had a nephew.
My sister-in-law had called the night before to say her water broke and that she was going to the hospital, but that bouncing baby boy didn’t make an appearance until after one in the afternoon the following day.
And since then he’s provided countless smiles, laughs, hugs, and kisses as well as the all-important concept of “hugging you down,” a bear hug/tackle best carried out on the floor and with a running start.
Some of my fondest memories involve my nephew, my now-deceased grandfather, who was sure that he was the only one that could get the little guy to sleep (he was right for a while there) and Kit-Kats, which Pap insisted were not candy because of the wafers involved (that made them cookies, and OK to give him darn it!).
I can’t believe eleven years have passed since that wonderful day when you taught me that I really was a “baby person” after all. Amazing what a cooing smile can do.
And so to Michael, my favorite nephew, I wish you a happy, happy birthday and a year full of joys, big and small; I only wish I could be there to share this day with you (except for the getting braces part–you’re on your own there).
I miss your hug-me-downs terribly.
Baci e abbracci
Two weeks, many gorgeous bags, and 91 (wow!) comments later,
we have a winner in the Bella Bags E-Party and Contest!
I’ll be in touch shortly about your bag.
And you can thank P as he’s the one who drew your name from the basket.
Thanks *so* much to all of you who participated by commenting and/or buying a Bella Bag–and special thanks to Marcía, the wonderfully talented bag lady (hah!) who made all this fun possible.
I’m off to bed now my peeps (it’s after midnight where I am!).
Right, um, I know I said I wouldn’t be around, but I have some things to share:
2. Looking for a quick end-of-the-summer getaway in which there will be flying fruit? Put on your best Gallagher plastic and read my post, The World’s Biggest Tomato Fight: Bunol’s La Tomatina at TomatoCasual.com.
3. Hankering for a bag o’ books and bath goodies? Head on over to Welcome to My World of Dreams where you could win such a bag (if you’re a US or Canada resident) or a $30 Amazon gift certificate if you’re international like me–I didn’t read too closely the first time around, but Judy Thomas was lovely enough to come over here and point out that we’re *all* invited to the party celebrating the launch of Long and Short Reviews no matter where we live! Woohoo!
5. And finally, have you reached the end of the Internet? Don’t know what else to read? Here are five posts/blogs I recommend:
- 5 Powerful Reasons to Eat Slower at Zen Habits. This kind of builds on our discussion about obesity and weight loss from a little while ago but comes from a different angle. If you haven’t seen this site and are remotely interested in becoming a more peaceful, productive, happier, oh just better person, this is a great place to start.
- Introversion at Crazy Dust in My Coffee. Being quite an introvert myself, I love how Ally Bean broke this down so that even the most extroverted of extroverts can understand–or at least I hope they can because I don’t think it can be explained much better.
- The Seven Virtues: Charity at The Verge. I could link to any one of former-Italy-expat Jennifer’s posts and sing its praises, but since I love this particular one so much, here you go. I’ve never seen another blogger who incorporates fine art so seamlessly into her posts. It’s too beautiful for words, really.
- Mysteries of Life at Burnett’s Urban Etiquette. This post is from a while ago, but I adore it as I do all of this Miami Herald contributor’s stuff. James Burnett has a knack for pinpointing exactly what I want to say about a given topic *or* giving me a new perspective that I hadn’t considered. I think that’s cool, so you should read him.
- Also, my naval is pretty at The Moon Topples. These are Maht’s (grudgingly given) answers to a meme about what he likes about himself. I just heart the way Maht expresses himself through his various creative mediums, and I think a lot of you will too. If his answers to a meme made my recommended list, you know he’s good.
OK, now I’m really vacationing from the blog. If I ever have children, you think separation anxiety might be a wee bit of a problem?
Still wishing you were here!
Just a quick note to direct you to an interview I did with My Melange: Infusing European Culture into Your Lifestyle.
Check me out, would you? Be forewarned that I’m about to get in your face! Hah!
You’ll understand in a moment.
Wish you were here!
[tags]ionian sea, sea, calabria, montepaone, southern italy[/tags]