I am a lucky momma here in florida! Most days are beach days, even in January! With Mother's Day around the corner we thought we'd put together some of our sites beach themed goods for beach mommas like myself!
Love this shell bag so much! The perfect solution to sandy messy seashells in the bottom of your beach bag! Mesh bottom so you can dip it in the ocean to clean off your shells before heading home! Also great as you are walking along the beach to tote your shells in, because two hands are usually not enough to carry your treasures:)
To see all our beach momma pics visit
Been waiting for the right time to write this. But I don't think there will be a right time. Waiting to have some sort of Devine revelation before writing but don't know when that will come. So hear it is, raw and real. A beautiful and sad story that is my story. And maybe yours. This is why I'm writing this, for you, who have lost one of your twins, before they were born. So you'll know you are not alone. I write for my beautiful daughter who I stare at now as she sleeps, so beautiful, such a dream you are sweet girl.
My road to motherhood has been a mix of ease, heartbreak and faith. My first born, my only son, came quite easily, 2 months after we were married we found out we were pregnant! Everything was just so simply perfect about becoming a mom, so when he turned a year we tried again. I was pregnant for a week when the two lines turned to one. Just an empty sac. So we tried again, after many tears. And the next month, same thing . There were many tears again, and the beginning of me feeling like all was lost. After another year, we tried again. Another empty sac, bleeding for days, and a broken heart. I know this story is one that happens to so many, I wasn't going to give up!
We spent the summer on beautiful block island, opened up our second shop, and I felt so relaxed, and positive there. Had to try again, and this time my 3 year prayer was answered! I was pregnant, there was a heartbeat and yes, I worried, every single day until I held my beautiful daughter in my arms.
I spent the years following just soaking up all the beauty of these babies of mine. Feeling so blessed! With some encouragement from my kids saying they wanted a baby we went for it:)
Here I was 34, if we were going to do it, no better time. Was I elated to find out I was pregnant, a heartbeat, one Healthy baby growing! But I worried, how could I not. I was sick, not your normal sick, beyond not well. Headaches, extreme fatigue. Migraines. Belly aches. I told my then ob, who never was serious, never listened to me really, the kind of physician you should run in the other direction from. But because he performed my csection last time, I felt scared to follow my gut and find a new one.
In my next appointment, where an ultrasound was not necessary really, he offered it, and I of course said yes, to comfort myself.
Well, to my surprise there were two babies. One had been hiding before. Separate sacs, separate placentas, both with heartbeats. Fraternal twins. It was as if I was in someone else's life to see and hear this.
I asked if there was anything different I needed to do...less movement, more food, more vitamins, a specialist I should see. I was 34 at the time. No they said, just act like any other pregnancy.
The terrible belly pains continued, to which the office said was normal.
The sickness, the elation, the stress, the dreams were all so so deep.
Many calls to my obgyn, and many times I was dusted off, but my gut said something wasn't right, mostly to protect myself I think, in case something was wrong. It's a defense you create when you have been through miscarriage before.
My next appointment my heart became so broken and so scared that no words could explain the pain. One baby had passed at 15.5 weeks judging by the measurements. Almost 3 weeks prior. I was carrying an angel. I am carrying an angel. But one baby was still alive. But they couldn't tell me if that would remain.
The grief was so so deep. I spent the next days sick in the bathroom, crying behind closed doors, in the arms of my husband, holding my two children as they cried. Trying to be strong. Because until I got to the specialist (which I should have seen long before) I had no idea if the baby still alive would stay in, if she was healthy, so many unknowns? Broken hearted.
The day of the fetal specialist appointment is one I won't forget. How can I look at this ultrasound? How can this be happening? please let this be a mistake. But it wasn't. I was carrying an angel.
But it turned out that I was also carrying a beautiful, healthy baby girl, who was moving, and waving and kicking, and already so beautiful. And because of her position, she was on the bottom, there was a great likelihood she would be able to be carried to full term! A miracle!
I switched my primary obgyn, to an amazing female doctor, named dr. Young. She made all the difference for me. She went above and beyond and I only wish I had met her sooner. Each passing appointment my precious girl got bigger and bigger, and my chances of carrying her full term became a closer reality.
This was no easy feat to carry a baby who passed, and one who was so very blessedly alive. The emotional strength needed to absorb that everyday was difficult to say the least.
I blamed myself, really I still do, maybe I stressed to much, maybe I needed to rest more, maybe I needed more help, maybe I wasn't eating enough. But truth is I'll never know. I had to move on. Be tough. And fight for this baby to be born.
My tools, my honest tools...my husband, who switched jobs to be home more to help me, my amazing dr's, meditation, everymothercounts blogs on miscarriage (to know I wasn't alone), my god, my kids, and my true friends.
My precious little girl was born one week before her due date by planned csection, because we truly didn't know what to expect with regard to our passed away baby, and we wanted to be sure there were no unexpected complications. And because I didn't think my heart could take the specifics of this delivery. It was too emotional.
The unexpected thing about my delivery is that there was no sign of the baby who had passed. Just a placenta was all there was.
And my baby girl, my tough, amazing, beautiful baby girl was here! I held her and kissed her, the moment so full of emotion! She made it! And all my sadness disappeared. All of it.
My kids held her so close, they had been so worried the entire pregnancy. The way they looked at her was the most beautiful moment of my life.
So here I am, my baby girl is almost 10 months old. What have I learned?
To trust my body, to trust the plans this life has for me, to let myself grieve, to let myself rejoice, to smile, because everything is going to be ok. It is my destiny. To raise my daughter to understand these things.
My biggest fear now is that she will feel alone as she gets older.
My purpose is to let her know she never is. For all my kids this is my purpose. Everyone has a story my sweet girl, and yours begins with one simple thing. You are a miracle. You are so meant to be, you are everything to all of us, and I could never feel like anything is missing from our family when I see you.
And for anyone going through this now. I'm so sorry you are. We are bonded. Know you are not alone. Forgive those who mean well with their words, but they don't make you feel better. Trust me , I know. Until you have been through it you just can't fully understand the emotions. Forgive yourself, forgive others, pray for strength, allow yourself to grieve but allow yourself joy. Laugh, smile, and count yourself as blessed. You carried an angel. This is sacred.
Don't feel ashamed, hold your head up and feel beautiful.
The hardest thing for me now is seeing twins. These days they seem to be everywhere. And I honestly feel like a failure every time i see or hear the word. But I don't dwell there, How can I? It was not my destiny. Mine is In my arms.
Be happy! This will be hard some days. But This life is yours! Choose happiness. My best to you.
If you missed my blog post from yesterday regarding czech republics odd and in my opinion disrespectful tradition of whipping women on their behinds and dousing them with water in exchange for eggs or alcohol, on easter Monday, head to yesterday's blog to see...in response I have come up with a few alternatives that I think would be much more appropriate to evolve this ancient custom. I'm all about customs and traditions, but anything condoning the hitting of girls and women should be non existent.
Can you imagine our world if we had not abandoned many traditions from the past!
It is customary during this czech Monday whipping tradition that the men sing a song demanding eggs as they lightly whip women's rear ends, we have another idea much more respectful if we may... How about a serenade! How lovely it would be for the men in the village to go door to door and sing a lovely easter song for the women!
And here is another idea, how about if Easter, the religious holiday that it is, is celebrated for what it actually is. And maybe Monday could be a day to reflect on Jesus's resurrection, and yes, celebrate the beauty of this time of year!
So today I was supposed to be researching beautiful Czech traditions for Easter, my grandfather was czech so I was looking forward to this! I did find a few, but Easter Monday traditions in Czech Republic did not sit well with me! all I could think about while trying to write about beautiful eggs was this archaic tradition.
So let me get this off my chest.. If you haven't heard about this read on, because it is something people should know about!
There is an ancient ritual where women are hit on the rearends with whips made of willow and doused with water all to encourage fertility. While some continue to take this tradition lightly (which I personally will never get how hitting women and disrespecting them is at all fun) I thought maybe some of today's men might take this to a different level. A simple google search turned this video up and I'm in shock. Disgusted. How is this legal? Maybe tomorrow I can focus on the beautiful czech traditions, but for now this Easter Monday one is just stuck in my brain as being so wrong. Your thoughts my friends?
Today's blog is all about Poland! My grandma Lou is polish and I always enjoyed her delicious polish cookies and kielbasa during the holidays! I love sharing these recipes with my kids now and feel a special connection to her every time I make her recipes! But I wanted to learn more, and I sure found it! Hope you enjoy learning more about Polands Easter festivities!
Can you believe these gorgeous eggs?! This art is called Pisanki, and is an ancient polish tradition. This elaborate coloring of Easter eggs is a celebration of life, as the egg is a symbol of life in Poland. I'm in awe of these, simply beautiful. We used to sell polish ceramics in our shop and these are very reminiscent of those! You can read more about this custom here http://onecellonelight.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/4612-desk-of-dr-hildy-celebrate-polish-pisanki-easter-eggs/
To this day in Poland, on Saturday people bring a basket of traditional foods to church for the priest to bless them. This food will be eaten Sunday morning after mass. This tradition is called Swieconka! It is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions. Inside you'll find ,hard-boiled shelled eggs, ham, sausage, salt, horseradish, fruits, bread and cake. Prominently displayed among these is the Easter lamb, usually molded from butter and colorful pisanki. Common foods brought for blessing include: eggs, bread, butter lamb, salt, horseradish, ham, and sausage. The food blessed in the church remains untouched until Sunday morning.
And finally comes Easter Monday! While we are all back at work and school the polish are busy pouring water on each other! (My kids dream!) Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year. The refreshing tradition has its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD. Photo by Associated Press.
My children's names are so very Italian! But yes, don't let that fool you, little Salvatore, Giovanna and Susanna are one quarter german! My grandmother is german and so today we'll explore Germany's Easter time! Germany is such a magical, whimsical, traditional culture with regards to how they celebrate holidays! I hope you'll enjoy today's blog:)
On Thursday before Easter, the day of the last supper, it is traditional to eat something green. In Germany, Maundy Thursday was also known as Green Thursday. The name was not due to the color green, but from the close association to the German word for "grief" or "weeping". Many families would eat only green vegetables, spinach in particular, as a way of humbling themselves before God. Here is a simple german green soup to try http://www.kitchenproject.com/german/recipes/Suppe/Grundonnerstagsuppe/index.htm
Easter in Albania, it's not something many people know about! Nor was it anything anyone could even mention, let alone celebrate while Albania was a under dictatorship. What a sad, sad thing to be told what religion you had to be and to be punished if anyone suspected you believed in Christ. Even in a country that is 70% Muslim (as my father is) you can now celebrate as you like! Amen to that!
And so today, Easter in Albania!
I'm a proud Albanian American, and I hope todays post will give you a little glimpse into one half of me:) Samantha Dauti Azzarelli
Albanian food, I think, is somewhat of an undiscovered treasure for most of us in the United States! Very similar to greek food, with its focus on fresh ingredients! Look at these beautiful peach shaped albanian cookies, perfect to add to your Easter table! They are gorgeous! A great recipe can be found here http://momwhats4dinner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Peach-Cookies.jpg
Raki! A good ending to an albanian celebration, or maybe a good beginning! Either way seek this specialty drink out and bring a truly unique albanian drink to your table. An albanian specialty is the mulberry raki. Often made by families in their own homes, raki is a distilled spirit unique to each family.
Have fun incorporating some of these albanian customs into your Easter celebrations!
This week we thought we would discover the authentic ways different cultures celebrate Easter! In our house alone we are 5 cultures plus American! We thought it would be fun to discover how Easter is celebrated in our cultures in Europe! Since we are 5 cultures in this house there is a good chance you may find yours here too and learn a bit about the authentic ways each culture celebrates easter! First up, Italy!!
As with most Italian celebrations food is at the heart of Easter! Food and religion actually intertwine beautifully during the Easter season in Italy. Here is a great overview on the Italian Easter food tradition.
What we love about the italian table at Easter is that the food is the decor, the centerpiece is the food!
A great little article! Some fun italian Easter food traditions.
whether your campagna is Italy, France, England, or here in the US, the key is bringing the spirit of the region into your home. It's more than just buying an Italian vase or buying a sign that says "vino" it's about the colors, the style of furniture, the creatures, the plants, the flowers, and smells of the region that truly inspire. Examples... Italy is so varied in it's landscape, from Tuscany, with its tall trees reaching to the sky, or grapes and lavender permeating the air, and fresh baked bread lofting from shops...bringing in a lovely painting of something you would see or find there makes it true, with walls painted an earthtone or adding some lavender in terra cotta planters, simple things make the biggest impact. Or Sicily, with its citrus tree campagna's leading to private beaches, again, a painting inspired by the region, with bowls of lemons or limes, and perhaps a jasmine or lemon scented candle to give you the experience of being there. Here in the U.S. we have so many many beautiful campagna's (countrysides) many surrounded by flowers and lakes, mountains, and even beaches. Clip some wildflowers and pop them in a mason jar, well placed art of farmyards, roosters, and birds you'd find in your favorite campagna, or maybe a lovely birdhouse to welcome them:-) It's all about simplicity, breaking down all the little elements you love about your favorite getaway and bringing them, authentically into your home...here are a few of our treasures that inspire us...
If you look closely at our site you will see that everything is inspired by spring! We love this time of year...little creatures everywhere, flowers in full bloom, scents filling the air, and Easter! Here are a few new items you may love to add to your Easter decor collections this season and for many to come.
the gathering garden, gifts inspired by nature