Turning 50 and Things

07.01.2024

What can I say for the month of June? Each day was passing and getting me closer to my birthday. I had anxiety and waves of panic about turning 50. 

All the promises I made to myself for my 50th were falling apart and my promises were slowly crumbling. One was to lose the weight I gained quite easily during the peri days and with the lack of motivation nothing was falling into place. I felt like I let myself down and therefore let others down. 

I always put the most pressure on myself and that knocks me down even further. I never could shake that. It’s drilled into my thought process but I’m trying to get better. 

So let’s see, those who truly know me know that I don’t like surprise parties or having too much attention on me. I was the girl that never wanted to open gifts in front of anyone and didn’t like people singing happy birthday to me. I always felt bad about that because I know how much people want to sing and make you happy. In fact, I love doing that for others and hosting. It makes me feel good inside knowing I can bring joy and happiness to another person. I understand that joy so I feel horrible feeling the way I do about that. I haven’t changed even as I grow older each year that seems to stay the same. 

But I made a few dear friends this past school year and they treated me extra special leading up to my birthday. 

It all started with a PA appreciation dinner which was such a sweet gesture and treat. We got to have dinner out with the group that helped each other during the school year. It was a special thank you. We had many laughs and great conversations. Not to mention a creepy lady photographer making us pose in interesting ways all to sell us framed photos. Which of course was purchased as a memory of the 2023-2024 school year. 

During this wonderful dinner the lights would flash and loud birthday music would kick on. I was frantic and my cheeks felt warm until the staff walked to another table. I felt relieved but each time that happened I got a little nervous. The meal was almost over and all of the sudden the music kicked back on once more with the sounds of waiters singing coming in my direction. I couldn’t help but stare at the wall while turning beet red. They got me. This crew really got me. I know it was kind of them so I tried my best to go with it. They are a great group of women and I am lucky that I had them to share another year of middle school.

The emotions continued with the 7th grade BBQ celebration, followed by the last snack sale of the year, and saying good-bye to our 8th graders. I was humbled by the kind words I received by students with some asking permission to give me a hug. The words, “I will miss you” made me feel so appreciated. 

And just like that the last day of school was here. It was time to say good-bye to some amazing staff and 8th grade parents who will be moving on to a new school with their kids. 

At the same time realizing my 7th grade beautiful miracles will be entering 8th grade. It will be their final year at Twain all this happening on the day I turned 50. 

It’s been an emotional roller coaster. From highs to lows and everything in between. I feel as though we just started our tour for middle school and now we will be entering 8th. Very soon we will begin the high school process along with the stress that comes with it.   

I’m afraid to blink as so much will change when I reopen my eyes. 

And just like that, the school year ended and I turned 50. I guess it’s not as bad as I thought. As for the promises to myself, it can still happen. 

Baseball, Ballet, and Gilmore Girls

I feel like I’ve been dropping the ball lately. There are so many wonderful things going on and that have gone on. There are definitely a few not so great things but we will focus on the ones that keep us smiling and moving forward. As for the rest, I will privately reflect and get better. 

Let’s see, we had Giovanni’s playoff baseball game which he rocked, causing the team to go into extra innings by tying at the bottom of the last inning with two outs, two strikes and no one on base. He got on first, stole 2nd, 3rd, and came home, scoring the tying run bringing the game into extra innings. Although his team lost, we made up several runs and kept the game alive. I LOVE baseball and enjoy watching it so much but watching my son play and hearing his name being cheered by his team and families filled my eyes with tears. I’m so proud of him. He definitely was MVP of that game and of my heart. 

From cheering and on the edge of your seat excitement of the playoff game we made our way to see the graceful, beautiful beats, modern dance, and flowing ballet of Cobble Hill Ballet. Isannah had two wardrobe changes and two performances at the theater and man were they amazing. 

Each year Isannah performs, whether it’s the Nutcracker or her Spring Shows she leaves me in awe. Absolutely speechless from her poised and graceful performances. I’ve watched her grow each year on stage. Each year she gets stronger and stronger. Her improvement can not be explained on paper but watched through each movement she makes. She is truly breathtaking and I am so honored and proud to be able to see it all. 

The effort and dedication these two put into what they love fills me with joy. 

We also celebrated birthdays on birthdays. Too many to list. We celebrated the lives of family and friends. 

NJHS ceremony and recognition. School field trips, and many volunteering experiences. 7th grade has been quite the year. Getting to know moms through our PA volunteering has been a blessing. I met some really loving women that I hold dear to me. Friendships made this year have been rewarding. We were even gifted a dinner to celebrate all the hardwork and dedication the PA puts into our school. It was a night of laughs, stories, and gratitude. Another night that is placed in the book of happiness and growth. 

We can’t forget the Gilmore Girls mother daughter trip we experienced together. I personally always wanted to explore the small town feel of a real Stars Hollow like in the series but never had someone to share it with until now. I introduced Gilmore Girls to my daughter and she was hooked as I was all those years ago. From the first episode the bond we were making was becoming even stronger with each episode. It was a story and a journey I wanted her to experience. There were heartbreaking string pulling teaching moments and happy beautifully executed love, hope, encouragement, and friendship moments. All in one it was the best part of education on life and the bond of a mother and daughter. This is what I was and am sharing with my daughter. 

We enjoyed take out in our room at the Inn. Stayed at the most perfect place. Enjoyed the town’s center, the green, the gazebo and more. We checked off every box on this beautiful trip. It was about our exploration together of the tv show we love so much. A weekend I will never forget. 

Last night was our last episode of the series. The cries were loud and the hurt of saying good bye once more was felt as strongly as the first time and for Isannah her first time was now. It’s hard to let go of a series you bonded, learned, and became friends with every character but as all things this too had to end. 

Fear not though, A Year In The Life is ready to be watched. Isannah is lucky that she didn’t have to wait 10+ years for that much needed continuation. Now to mentally prepare for each and final episodes once more before the Gilmore Girls tour is over but in our hearts will always remain. 

We have so much more but there is much to do as another school year will end in just a few days. 

Thank you for walking on this journey with me and through every moment we’ve shared together. 

Until next time…

What I read and how I truly feel

“Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.
I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or sleep.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
Never-Quite-Right-Ness,

She whispered very gently:
Could you just love me like this?”

I read this today and thought how hard that really is. It’s so easy to love others from your children, husband, family, and friends. It’s easier to give advice to those you truly love and give it freely when they need it most but when it comes to yourself.
Well, that seems the hardest.

Why is it that the amazing helpful advice you give others doesn’t apply to you when it should?

How is it so hard to look at yourself and smile most of the times?

I always wish that my children and those I truly love could see themselves through my eyes because then they would know how truly beautiful and special they are. But when I look at myself with those same eyes I don’t see that worth or that light.

Sometimes it just all hurts and it’s hard even when the people around you bring so much love and hope into your life.

Just me thinking about loud.

Kindred Spirit

This past weekend I got to experience something I never thought possible.

Let me start by saying a book came alive to me. I felt every emotion and traveled beyond the words of the story. Mostly because it was true. The feelings of happiness, sadness, loss, but through it all hope. Because of love, hope and faith remained. 

I listened to the stories of those along the way and felt as though I was witnessing it all for myself. I knew once the story was over I had to find my own journey by visiting the place it all began. The pull I felt through each page led me in a direction I soon had to take. 

It was something I felt I needed to do either alone or with a friend that could understand all that I was going through. Someone that could share my journey with me. I was lucky to have one that wanted to experience it too. 

In order to understand what I was feeling she had to read the book and she did. We spoke about the many firsts we would both go through together. 

It had been so long since I traveled alone. My children are 12 and I haven’t traveled alone since I was pregnant so this was a big step for me. My friend never flew on her own so this was a first for her as well. 

The journey began with a letter. A letter I began writing to myself to try and put into words all the things I have been feeling and tried to put on paper the memories, most were lost, that I could remember. I was taken to a place that I blocked years of my life I couldn’t remember and still can’t. I did my best to sit and search within myself which was difficult. I stopped writing on many occasions because things felt too hard. I realized I had more gaps than I thought which made me feel lost. 

Each time I was ready to try again, a little more came to light. My friend and I finished our letters at the beach house. That meant we were ready to make our journey to Kindred Spirit. A mailbox located on Bird Island tucked away in the sand dunes but visible along the beach the closer you reached it. There were two benches on each side of the mailbox. Benches that people could sit and read the letters, journals, and postcards people placed in the mailbox. Some were so painful you had to take a moment before reading it again. Some were sharing happiness, and some were encouraging, uplifting, and reminding you that you are amazing. All the letters I read touched me in a different way. 

Let me rewind a little. When my friend and I got to the mailbox there was an elderly lady writing in the journal. She was so sad. You can see the pain on her face and the hurt throughout her body language. When she was done writing she placed the notebook in the mailbox and began talking to my friend and I. She told us about her son that died an hour and 10 minutes after he left her house to buy her a birthday gift as that day was her birthday. My friend and I couldn’t help but cry along with her and try to be there as best as we could. After she walked away trying to find answers and looking for signs of her son in seashells or anything she could hold on to. 

I opened the mailbox and began reading her letter. Let’s just say my insides caved in with pain. 

Once we were done reading letters and reflecting, we made our way back down to the beach in the direction of our beach house. Along our walk we were approached by people asking if we knew where the mailbox was or if we had seen it. We proudly said yes and directed them to Kindred Spirit. So many people are making their way there. Wanting to share their story. It felt so beautiful knowing we were part of their journey in some way. 

We did it. I couldn’t believe it. We created another moment in time and we did it together. 

Thank you Melissa for sharing this experience. This adventure with me.

2023 – March for Babies – Gio and Isa’s Miracles

Today did not go as planned because of the steady rainfall that at times dumped on your head like buckets of cold water but that won’t stop us. Gio and Isa’s Miracles is still holding strong and we will continue to fund raise and come together once again. 

I want to take a moment to recognize someone that has been there for me from day one of when team Gio and Isa’s Miracles was created. She has been a constant every year. Standing beside me and carrying our team when it was small or large she was there. She always reaches out and always stays in touch. No matter what is going on in the world or what could stop us from forming, she is there. She creates beautiful signs, brings fun things and joins in all the games and fun with Giovanni and Isannah. When they were small she always had them laughing and staying busy and as they grew she never pulled away. She is always there. She is my aunt Cat and Giovanni’s Godmother. She’s my other half in many things. 

There is someone else that stands by me and has been by me since it all began. Came to my rescue when I felt I was drowning and burying myself during the tough times alone at home with two babies on apnea monitors, one colic, and one that always wanted to stay awake. My mom has been my best friend and life support through it all. Days I would call her hysterically crying while she was at work and she would leave to come straight to me. 

I have many incredible women in my life and I feel blessed. My cousins and aunts that have joined us for our walks, I thank you. Sometimes once or alternating each year, there is always family standing by us. 

Thank you for always sharing my spirit to keep Giovanni and Isannah’s life continuing strong and honored.

To all those who donate, give support, and put up with my many posts, emails, and tags during this time, I thank you. 

You can still donate. It’s not too late. 

https://www.marchforbabies.org/caramia626

Goodbye 2022!

As 2022 comes to an end I wanted to take this time to thank all those in my life that have been there. Those that, no matter what life throws our way, make time to check in. I want to thank my amazing small circle, just knowing they are there helps me breathe easy and allows me to smile. No matter the time that passes in which we don’t talk or see each other, I know they are there and that’s what matters.
This year as many years in the past had its ups and downs. I’m thankful that we got through any of our downs. I know they are still coming but focusing on the good and learning from the bad keeps us strong.
I wish I had more time in a day to see all those that mean so much to me, but as life takes us on different journeys we miss opportunities but we gain hope and love that we will find a path that leads us together.
We’ve had loss and new blessings with each birth that blessed us. Through tears of sadness then tears of joy, we experience it all. Sometimes together or sometimes alone in silence.
There are so many things I would like to express but there’s not enough time nor space so I will leave it here. Get ready to begin a new year.
Here’s to hoping we continue our search. Continue our path to life with all its emotions. We are here now so let’s celebrate all that we have and all we can share.

In the past few weeks I was able to see family and in just the past few days shared new adventures with Giovanni and Isannah like I did when they were small. And the best part is we got to share some of those memorable moments with some of the best people in our life.
Thank you! Thank you 2022 for opening my eyes to things I was missing. For helping me get a little stronger and for teaching me that things will pass and do.

To all those who added a little something on my journey, thank you! You know who you are and I am blessed I have an amazing support system.

The Nutcracker 5

As the whirlwood of the weekend fades away I am able to finally process it all and put pen to paper. Well, fingertips to keys. This weekend was Nutcracker weekend for Isannah and she was beaming with excitement. All her hard work and dedication led up to this moment. From her Saturday rehearsals to her long run throughs it all came together this Saturday with her first show. 

She danced throughout the house any chance she had to move. From leg raises to the leaps  and twirls, she did it all. Ever gracefully dancing around any room she entered just to practice. 

She loves doing what she does and she loves ballet. This past weekend was what it was all about. She was ready!

As always, I had a ticket for each one of her shows. I couldn’t imagine not being in the audience or not supporting her in every way. The only difference was this year was the first year I volunteered to help backstage. I was nervous at first but as I went to my station my shoulders relaxed and I felt at ease knowing I was right where I needed to be. Being backstage opened my eyes to a new view of the show. Watching the rehearsals and seeing all the kids rush and get dressed. Asking for adjustments and help with costumes. The giggles and excitement was apparent in all they did. After helping with costumes and hair, it was time for me to make my way to my seat. Right when I got there the lights dimmed twice alerting the audience that the show was about to begin. Then the lights slowly went down and the stage lit up. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotions. 

As each vignette began I reflected on all the past parts Isannah had. When the mice made their way to the stage I imagined Isannah as a baby in that group of little faces. I remembered the enthusiasm she had knowing she had a part in the Nutcracker. She was a mouse years ago when it all began. I remembered how enthusiastic she was to be a part of it. As I watched the show her baby face disappeared and I was brought back to this moment. Seeing her face in each past roll that made their way to the stage made me feel the same as the first. The anticipation knowing she would be up in just a few more dances had me on the edge of my seat. And then the all too familiar music began to play and there she was. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I watched as she gracefully moved around the stage. Her arms were perfect and the positions beautiful. Through tear filled eyes I watched as my baby girl was no longer a baby. She was a beautiful tall and strong ballerina. The song ended and she made her way off the stage. I just sat back in admiration of her.

I saw the show a total of 4 times that weekend and each time I felt the same. She was amazing. From her facial expressions to her emotions with each move she made, I was in silent wonderment. 

The amazing teachers and staff at Cobble Hill Ballet make it all happen every year. They are wonderful and so are all the kids big and small. Thank you for all the direction, support, and spark that started Isannah’s adoration of the ballet. 

I love this girl of mine. Leap and fly as high and far as the wind carries you. I’m so proud of you.

What a weekend! 

Roller coasters…life.

Roller coasters. I don’t like them. Never enjoyed them. Not knowing what’s coming. You are steady and then you are high and flying to be suddenly dropped with twists and turns and then just like that you are back up. It’s scary, exhilarating, makes you anxious, sick to your stomach, fear immediately slaps you in the face, and then just like that it’s over. Your heart is still beating but it feels like it’s about to come out of your chest and then you are still. The world is still and you can breathe steadily again. 

I feel like I just described how life is. Maybe that’s why I don’t like roller coasters. You are hit with the realization that all these feelings happen to you daily and continue throughout your life. 

The past few weeks I was riding one intensive roller coaster but I was stuck on the fear and sick stomach feeling part. Trying to make it all stop but the attendant kept the ride going. 

The fear was real and I wanted so much to be in control but I wasn’t and you have to realize you never truly are. Things don’t always happen when you want them to. They happen when they are supposed to. No matter how much we wish or pray, you just have to go through it. Fear and all. It’s the only way to get to the other side and learn from it all as you look back. 

When the people you care about are sick and suffering all rules and plans go out the window. Your mind immediately goes to the worst case scenario and your thinking gets impaired when fear takes over. You keep yourself in check so you can begin taking all the steps needed to help make things better. Make sure you catch things and prevent them from getting worse. It’s a lot of back and forth, self doubt and you feel helpless most of the time, like you can never do enough. 

This is when your chest feels heavy and your heart hurts. Why is it that you alone put the worst pressure on yourself? You want to do so much for others and care with all you have but when it’s time to turn it around in your own direction it’s nearly impossible to do. It’s all coming to light. 

The drop is making its way to steady itself again. We are finally at a plateau so we will let this ride and take it all in to give you time to regroup. Stay focused and make sure you are ready for the next rise and fall. But until then I’m going to stop this ride and stand for a moment.

Graduating Class of 2022

06.17.2022

It’s taking me a little time to try to put into words my many emotions about a day filled with love and imagining the many new things that lie ahead. 


Graduation day. There was so much excitement, butterflies and nerves leading up to this day and just like that it was here. 

As I helped Giovanni with his tie I could feel the tears filling my eyes that I had to focus even harder to see what I was doing. Looking up at his face, his suit and reaching for his cap and gown, it was so hard to hold back the many tears I knew would be falling not before too long. 

He was so ready and excited to put on his cap and gown. Once he was dressed he looked in the mirror and saw the complete set. I watched him as he smiled with approval. His eyes lit up and he stood proudly. I stared at him and watched every move, listened to him breathe and grow as I did while he was laying in the NICU. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Looking at him I knew soon it would be the end of his time in Elementary. I didn’t cry. Even as he walked away knowing his sister was next. 

Isannah walked in the room with her flowing dress standing tall and waiting for her cap and gown. As I adjusted her gown and helped her with the cap, I held back my tears still. She looked up at me and knew just how I was feeling. As if she gave me a look of understanding. I didn’t cry. 

We made our way to the school seeing so many familiar faces. The kids left me and families waited in line to enter the yard. Everyone was talking and smiling but I felt their hidden emotions. It was time to take our seats and suddenly playing through the speakers was the graduation song. We all patiently waited as we looked around wondering where our graduates would be walking towards us. People looked in different directions and suddenly all the talking stopped and the cheering began as they walked around us. I was overcome with emotions. Isannah was leading the grade while holding the American flag. We made it here. We all made it here, 5th grade graduation. Both sets of grandparents were here making another beautiful memory for us. One that we will take with us always. 

The speeches began. Sweet, encouraging, funny and passionate. Names were called and graduates accepted their diplomas. It was a feeling like no other. The tears I was holding in up until that moment escaped me and the endless emotions grew stronger. 

This was it. This was the moment they worked so hard for. They were graduates. I kept repeating in my head, they are graduates. It’s all unfolding around me. The many faces filled with love. The love swirling all around us. A truly joyous and humbling occasion. 

Hugs were given. Teachers and staff were appreciated and photos were captured. 

This was it. They are saying goodbye to a home that kept them safe, learning and growing for the past several years. Remembering that first day, only 4 years old and now 11. 

I couldn’t have imagined a better day. 

Here’s to the 5th grade graduating class of 2022! We did! 

Totally 80s Auction

From ponytails to fluorescent bands. Neon colors, Pac-Man, and Adidas gear everywhere. Surrounded by music blasting, bodies moving and I Want to Dance with Somebody filling the night sky. Laughter and smells of alcohol on the breaths of friends you just met and those you have known since the beginning of when it all started. Joy, laughter, everyone coming together for one beautiful cause, to raise money for a school, a community that has been our second home for several years. 

Welcome back to the 80s Auction. A bittersweet event. Seeing the many faces that fill the halls of our elementary school. Teachers and staff, past teachers that have grown into beautiful friendships, staff that make it all happen, volunteers bringing families together for a night out after two years. 

There are many things to take in through this experience. Many positive, loving and knowledgeable moments, and a very few not so pleasant but the quick resolve and support helps keep the positive flowing. The genuine love and care from teachers we’ve had can never be put into words just how appreciative we are. 

Little moments of growth between friends, not friends, and then friends again all come together. 

This night here, looking around, all I can do is smile, and maybe quietly shed a few tears because I know this school year is coming to an end. Soon Graduation, Senior week and all the beautiful festivities that follow. 

What a night! What a few years.