family

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[photo from a trip home that i might have staged.]

[and my valentine's roses make an encore from monday]

[hot, creamy coffee to start the morning]

[dried bouquet from the 'rents... they sent them 'just because'. love them. :]

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[my mom just sent me this plate in a care package {thanks mom!}. it came with black ribbon but she gave me extra red so i could switch it out for v-day]

[ravioli ..holy cannoli.. my mom made this for my dad last night as an early valentine's day dinner. dad snapped me this pic before he dove in.]

[a pic I sneaked of my sis hard at work during our girls pizzelle night]

[flowers vince sent my mama]


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[grapefruit]

For me, whenever I see a grapefruit I always think of my grandpap. He ate a grapefruit for breakfast every single morning after returning home from mass [which he faithfully attended at the crack of dawn each day] . There was a quiet comfort in this ritual; I remember his silver jagged edged spoon, the sprinkling of sugar to sweeten the tangy fruit. When I was little I couldn’t stand the taste of grapefruit, it was too tart for me. As it is with most things, I developed an appreciation for it as I grew up.

It’s funny how the smallest, seemingly insignificant, moments are the ones you hold onto the tightest. This is one precious memory I’ve tucked away and will have with me always.

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[this fur coat is really coming in handy]

[maybe if i stop waking mom and dad up in the middle of the night, santa will bring me cheese this year]

[welp, for now i'll just stick to the fluffy white stuff]

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[mom + dad]

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On this Veterans Day I’m very thankful for two things: airplanes and our soldiers. Sending love to my grandpap Eddy Esposito who served in World War II and my great uncle Robert Morasco, a member of the Army 10th Mountain Division who was killed in action in Italy during World War II. Thank you to our brave soldiers who courageously fight for our freedom every single day and enable us to live in the best country in the world.

I’m also grateful for planes and, in particular, Southwest airlines. Southwest made it a breeze to fly home for a quick trip at a price that didn’t break my [fragile] bank. While waiting for my flight, Southwest offered postcards for people to write a message to our troops.

Let freedom ring.

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[d.a.e.s.]

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I love taking pictures. There is nothing better than having once-in-a-lifetime memories captured forever. I recently invested in a new camera and put it to work on my trip home this weekend. This will, without a doubt, become my new obsessive hobby [it already has].

By the way, fellow Chicagoans, if you’re on the market for a new camera or just want to poke around a camera shop, I highly recommend Wolf Camera at Clybourn + Sheffield. Ask for Josh M., he was so very helpful and honest. In a word, my experience was fantastic. I’ll be back for some of the [free!] classes that came with my camera purchase.

Here are some of my favorites:

[vintage dior blazer that my brother used to wear in middle school. it fits perfectly and is coming home with me. thanks evan!]

[brigham our trusty, cheese-loving chocolate lab]

[beautiful birthday cake a few days early]

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[mamma mia]

When I say my mom is the best in the world, it’s no exaggeration. She is the laundry doing, dinner cooking, tissue getting, tea making, knows what you need before you realize it yourself kind of mom. She is just spectacular.

My mom knows everything. Of this, I’m convinced. I remember asking her when I was 15 or so if she could read my mind because it was absolutely uncanny the way she anticipated everything I said. It was downright spooky. When I was hiding something she knew it, and I knew that she knew; it was this kooky unspoken communication that only a mother and daughter can understand.

Growing up, if we ever felt the slightest bit sick, Mom would encourage us to stay home, tuck us in under our cool, clean sheets and say, I’ll bring up some tea. Get some rest. Moments later we’d have a cup of hot, sweet, milky tea waiting for us with honey and some cookies. I treasured these stolen moments with her. She was never the type to question if we were faking or not – and for this reason, we never took advantage. Our mom was on our side, she loved us more than a mother should, and we didn’t need to test this out. We already knew.

I’d also like to add that my dear dad is equally fantastic and the two of them have shown me what it takes to make a lifelong partnership. My parents met at the age of seventeen, married at twenty, and have been together for forty-two years and counting. They’ve lived more of their lives being married to one another than not, take that one in for a second. My family is so lucky. To see the two of them together, it’s as if they met yesterday. They still flirt, they still laugh, and they love each other completely.

My mom [along with the rest of the fam] only lives 5ish hours away. Despite the distance, she still makes me feel special, whether it’s a sweet card or a filled-to-the-brim care package with unbelievable goodies like basil plants, fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, and Halloween decorations [and that was just the latest one].

I think it is so  true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but the truth is I miss my mom, everyday. If your mom is close, let her know how much you appreciate her.

To my dear mamma mia, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of how much I appreciate YOU. I love you more than words.

To you out there, give your mom a call, a prayer – or if you’re lucky enough – a hug,

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[ode to andrew]

Blogging is fun… unless your domain host is a royal mess [coughcoughFatCowcoughcough] and causes your site to crash on a whim for no apparent reason. It becomes exponentially frustrating when there is no foreseeable solution to the problem after emailing, live-chatting, and speaking with multiple customer service representatives to the point of stalking. Must… breathe…

That’s when having a tech-savvy brother really comes in handy. My brother Andrew single-handedly saved my sanity when he swooped in and, with a wave of his magic mouse, transferred me to a new host [who I absolutely love... bluehost I'm talking to you] and adeptly maneuvered through hopelessly confusing html-codes to ensure that, through it all, I would retain ownership of my precious domain navyandcream.com. It was like a busted up custody battle and thankfully, we came out on top. One victory for the little people!

Andrew, thank you for being my knight in shining C++ code.

My first ever post is dedicated to you.

[photo above was taken in positano along the amalfi coast on a family trip to italy. the four siblings from l to r: andrew, evan, jessica, + elizabeth.]

To family,

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