Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras

This time last year I had just returned from a wonderful weekend getaway to Venice for Carnivale with my friend Theresa.  We had an amazing trip, just us two girls.  I think we were both surprised by Carnivale.  I think we were both expecting Mardi Gras - like New Orleans style (I know I was).  But, it's nothing like that.  In fact, I would call Carnivale a family event except for the crowds making it difficult for small children.  Carnivale is all about the costumes, elaborate beautiful costumes and about fun.  Not a puking frat boy in sight!  It was fantastic and I'm so glad to have experienced the celebration Italian style and with Theresa.

Of course we all know this grand celebration leads up to the season of Lent - Fat Tuesday is about feasting and partying - one last hoorah before the fasting begins.  As I mentioned, this year I'm giving up complaining for Lent.  I've realized lately how much I complain about little things and I want to change that.  Each day I'll be writing three things I'm grateful for to remind myself just how blessed I am and how little I have to complain about.  I'll be sharing these things with you so that you know I'm actually doing what I said I would.  But here's a disclaimer - some of the things I write may sound a bit sarcastic, as if I really want to complain but I'm spinning it in a positive light.  And this will be true - this is my goal - to take a situation I would normally complain about and see it in a new light.  So please know I am not being sarcastic, I am truly trying to change my outlook on things.

I'm also giving up wine.  Whoa, I can't believe I just wrote that in public.  I love my wine.  I look forward to my wine.  I live in Italy where wine is cheaper than water and soda!  And this year, for 40+ days, I'm giving it up.  I feel a bit weak kneed just thinking about it (does this mean I have a problem?).  I knew if I didn't put it out there for some accountability I would never stick to it so here it is.  Heaven help me.

I'm also giving up being lazy.  Exercise begins tomorrow, no excuses.  I haven't worked out in the two years I've lived in Italy.  Did I tell you I had to go and buy a new pair of jeans because I can't button any of my pants?  Embarrassing.  By Easter I'm going to be out of those "fat girl" jeans.  And no I'm not using Lent as a diet plan - I overindulge and I don't take care of my temple and it's time to stop.  Plain and simple.

So let's talk about something positive, all this change that's going to happen tomorrow is making me a bit nervous.

Today was a great school day for Lewis!  He's getting more comfortable with reading and he's doing most of his math at a 1st grade level.  And William actually wants to participate now so I'll need to come up with Preschool level activities for him.  Things are looking up!  We're inheriting a phonics program from a fellow homeschooling family and I can't wait to get started on that.  Today was one of those days I get why people homeschool - I hope to have more of these.  I go back and forth between feeling it's absolutely the right thing and thinking I'm going to screw up my kids.  Only time will tell.

Paul is off to Belgium today for a meeting, he'll be back on Thursday and he'll be bringing Neuhaus chocolates.  I am not a chocolate fan.  I have never really liked chocolate - until Belgium.  I drove from Germany to Belgium to visit my friend Jennifer and she was kind enough to take us to Brussells for a tour and some chocolate tasting.  We stopped at the Neuhaus store and she went in first for a small bag.  She came out and took a taste of the "house specialty" and promplty said "I have to go back and buy more".  When it was my turn, I bought a box of the same chocolates and almost wept right there on the sidewalk.  I think the Hershey company should be sued for using the word chocolate to describe that junk they're peddling.  Don't waste your calories people - that's not chocolate!  I asked Paul to bring only a small box back since I'm not indulging - the hard part will be sharing with the kids.  They too love these chocolates and to tell the truth I'm not so sure their taste buds are mature enough to appreciate these divine little morsels.  These kids love cheetos for heaven's sake!  How can they really appreciate these treasures?  I also asked him to bring a box back for my friend Jennifer, maybe she'll share with the kids.

And in other good news, it looks like someone has requested to fill Paul's job here in Naples when it comes open in October.  This certainly makes it easier on us and we can reasonably expect to be out of here on time.  Where are we going?  Who knows.  We likely won't know for a while, this process is painfully slow.  I think Paul will contact the detailer next week with two jobs he's interested in and see what response we receive.

Now I'm off to bed - I get the whole bed to myself!  (which is really only fun for one night and then it gets lonely)

Here are today's 3 things-
1.  I'm thankful to have a very generous husband.
2.  I'm thankful to have too much food and the ability to buy new pants when I overindulge.
3.  I'm thankful to have such wonderful friends.

Buona Notte!

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