Thursday, January 31, 2013



If you want to be treated with kindness, then go to Morocco.

During the days that 007 worked, I ventured out with the kids. We rode the fancy, new train out to the beach and playground. I got a little nervous and took what ended up being the wrong train the first time, but everybody came to my aide and pointed me in the right direction, along with giving my kids plenty of smiles, hugs, and treats.


At the beach, some guys let Graham in on their game of pick up soccer.

Alaina really wanted to play, too, so they let her get out and kick the ball a bit. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the company I keep when traveling,

but I seem to encounter nothing but friendly people wherever I go. 

The friendliest of all, though, were in Morocco. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I was nervous. It would be my first time setting foot on the continent of Africa.  A place I've heard about all my life and always wanted to see. I didn't know what to expect of Morocco. I knew it would be nothing like Kenya or the Africa that most of us imagine when we hear that word. No elephants, giraffes and lions, just lots of people.  I didn't know how people would treat us or whether I should cover my hair. Then, the US Navy told me I couldn't announce on the internet where we were going because 007 was going there on a mission. So, I got nervous.

We were greeted by several members of the Moroccan Navy and led through the airport like royalty. We were loaded on to a nice, new van and escorted by a police car and two motorcycles. The drivers risked their lives swerving into crowded intersections, holding up their hands, and stopping traffic for us.

We arrived to a lovely hotel in the heart of Casablanca where everyone smiled and took our luggage and kissed our babies. We were given a room with a view and a four-course meal. It felt like a dream. Not the Morocco I had envisioned.


The next day, we were loaded onto a shiny bus with a tour guide and escorted through town and allowed inside the third largest mosque in the world.



After the mosque, we were guided through a typical market. Every person we encountered was kind and welcoming.


After a day with the tour guide, I was excited to venture out on my own with the kids while 007 attended to his mission during the week.

And that is where I'll leave you for now.

To be continued...

Monday, January 28, 2013


Fear not, my friends.

We are home.

Safe and sound after a wonderful adventure in Morocco.

And tired.

I can't wait to fill you in this week.

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 18, 2013

if I told you, I'd have to kill you

I was really excited about blogging during the upcoming week. I was going to reveal to you that we're going on an exciting adventure tomorrow and I planned to be very diligent and post something every single day so you could share our experience. I couldn't wait.

My bubble was popped last night, though, when I was informed that it is ill advised for military personnel to announce over the internet their travel plans to this particular country.

I asked 007, and he told me that I can go ahead and say that if I told you where we're going, I'd have to kill you.

I've always wanted to say that.

So, you'll just have to wait ten whole days until we get back here to Naples. Then, I promise to tell you all about it.

And, please. Don't worry. We'll be safe and we're not actually going anywhere dangerous. Plus, I'll be traveling with Bond. James Bond.

I've always wanted to say that, too.

See ya'll back here in ten days or so...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

happy 30th

I'm so glad you were born.

Yes. That is my beloved one proudly displaying his food. I chuckle at the thought of what he might say to Graham if he caught him doing that.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

10 months

Alaina is 10 months old.

Ten whole months.


She has learned the fine art of standing in her crib, which has made nap times pretty interesting. She's also really good at getting around with her army crawl and she likes to try to pull herself up on everything.  She's also growing her two top teeth. Pretty cute.

All of these are things my friends' babies her age have been doing for awhile, now. She is taking her time. It's like she knows that I want her to stay little forever.

Take it slow, Alaina.

Life is short.

You wouldn't believe it by looking at that smile, but this girl can cry pretty loud when she's upset. I'm talking ear piercing please make it stop right now kind of loud.

The other day, Graham unexpectedly dropped his Lego Starwars ship. It inevitably broke. He inevitably cried. I picked him up to console him (he's over half my size), and Alaina flipped out. She gave him a funny, yet concerned look at first. Then she started to cry. My friends were over, so one of them picked her up. She just cried harder. Then Graham tried to cry louder. Then Alaina got louder and louder. I just held them and laughed and eventually we were all okay.

Thankfully, she doesn't get upset too often. When she does, she can always be consoled. 

She seems to enjoy life very much.

Especially life with Graham.

Happy 10 months, Alaina.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

la macchina

Our car broke down last week on the way to Florence with Libbey. Fortunately, we were at a gas station when it broke and were able to get it towed to a nearby mechanic. We had to leave it there all week so they could replace the starter and the alternator. Which translates into me being car-less this past week and some homeschooling for Graham. More on that, later. Maybe.

This also translates into the Ramblin' Fam packin' back up tomorrow to hit the road in the black car to go fetch the white car.

"Why not make it a wine tasting trip?" asks my beautiful husband.

So, that is what we are going to do. Grab the car. Taste some wine. And turn a broken down car situation into something pleasant.

After all, you know what they say... When life gives you lemons...

Thanks for the picture, Megan

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

sorella di mio marito

Hi, Libbey.



I miss you.

I'm writing this for you not so that you'll remember all the remarkable churches and art and architecture and pasta and cappuccino and scooters and cobblestones and landscapes and idiosyncrasies that create the charm and magic that is Italy. I know you'll recall all of that with or without my help. Rather, I am writing so that you'll remember your time with your brother and his family, The Ramblin' Fam.


I want you to remember that time in Matera when Graham wore little green elf pants all day and Alaina wouldn't sleep in our cave hotel and I coughed up several lungs and got grumpy and forgot to bring the baby formula and Alaina almost lost her mind at 5 in the morning because there was no milk in the room. No milk until Tony got frustrated and just went out despite my insistence that nothing would be open on a Sunday morning in a little town in Italy. He thew his hands up in the air, turned around, and, to his astonishment, found several jugs of milk sitting on a chair just outside our room. Christmas miracle. And Alaina's first go at real milk. Success.


And then, of course, there was Christmas at our house when you got to be Santa and we carried on your family tradition of eating sausage fondue and you got caught up in a world of Legos. Best of all, though, was when we were all together, gathered 'round the computer listening to the joy in your other brother's voice as he told his engagement story to us. Bliss.



Hope you don't mind my stealing your photo, Matt and Emily...

 Obviously, you won't forget seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. Oh wait. That's right. The line was endless. Endless on the one day we had scheduled for you to see the Vatican. Good thing you tossed that coin over your right shoulder into the Trevi fountain, though. Because you will return to Rome. You must. 

Hopefully, you remember going to Pompeii with Tony and discussing his future plans while you sat in an ancient fast food joint (and then got kicked out of the ancient fast food joint).  You're on your own with that one, though, because I wasn't there. I was tending to the children so that they would be happy and healthy as we rang in the new year at our friend's house. Don't forget the fireworks, Libbey. The fireworks! Or the champagne and how it left us feeling like toast the next morning when we were supposed to drive to Florence.


 I know Florence will never leave your memory. Not because of the Duomo or the David, but because of the ride you got to have inside our car on (not in) the back of a tow truck on our way there. If not for your excitement coupled with Graham's, I would have gotten grumpy again. How could I, though, when you exclaimed that riding on (not in) a tow truck was the highlight of your trip to Itlay?

Oh, and then we got sick in Florence. Blah. Barf. Ruined an entire night and day and another night for Alaina and me, but you skated by with just a couple of pukes. Lucky.

I also don't want you to forget the millions of times we stopped for bottles and how Alaina has to have her milk at just the right temperature or she won't drink it. Remember stopping at two cafes on the drive to Positano to get it juuuust right? Or how Alaina wanted nothing but your arms when you first arrived, but then took a turn and decided she wanted all mom all the time? Or how she got better and better at squirming around on the floor with her army crawl each day you were here? Progress.

 Or Graham? And his Grahamness? How he desperately wanted a belt? All the Nutella you ate with him? His constant questioning and desire to converse? I'll never forget walking in on you in our little kitchen in Florence. You were telling him all about how eating healthy food now will allow him to grow strong so he can eat more sweets in the future. I love your logic. Delightful.

I can only hope you enjoyed your time with us as much as I loved having you here. You're one in a million. You're certainly the only person I'd ever let give my child a slingshot for Christmas.

Come back real soon.

I'm gonna need your help with this one.