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a little update from Virginia

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Friends, I’m sorry.  We’ve been in the States for almost a week now and I haven’t managed a single post.  Here’s a quick attempt at an update, and then later in the week I’ll hopefully have more news, photos, and… the most amazing giveaway this blog has ever seen.  (I’m especially excited about that one!)  In the meantime, here are some fun photos from this past weekend and a little update on life.

Anyway… we’re in Virginia!  We left Sicily on Thursday after a whirlwind, last-minute decision to fly commercial instead of taking our chances with free military flights.  After Elliott spent hours on the phone calling military terminals, he could tell that it would be unlikely that we would be able to fly all the way home on Space A/military flights.  With the chance of being stranded in Spain or Maine with two lusty-lunged, jet lagged children, we opted for the last-minute bargain on Delta flights.  This mama is so glad we did!  It’s good to be “home.”

We were especially keen to get home because of Reunions this past weekend at the University of Virginia.  Elliott graduated in 2003 and I graduated in 2008, meaning that this year is his 10-year and my 5-year reunion.  How could we not go back for that?!

We had a fabulous weekend visiting with so many old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen since we “walked the Lawn” at our own graduations years ago.  More wonderful friends of ours — Will and Johanna — offered their house as our home away from home, and that’s just what we needed with two little children and jet lag.  We spent the weekend visiting our favorite old haunts in Charlottesville, reuniting with some of our favorite people, and dreaming about moving back there one day….

If you were there this past weekend, it was wonderful to see you… and let’s not let too much time go by before we meet again!


Waving at the pilot as we boarded in Sicily &
he slept on my lap like this all the way from Rome to Paris


Charlottesville City Market early on a Saturday morning!


A photo that I stole (hi, Kim!) from a lunch with some dear friends.  Kelly (far left), Tara (next to her), and I were all in nursing school together at UVA… and now we’re all grown up, married, and have kids!


Lena and Gil met and loved our friends’ children: Sasha on the left and Cornelius on the right.


Hanging out in the Center for Christian Study with Cornelius… which we all hope they will be doing again as students in about 18 years!


My dear friend/roommate Abi and her new baby Lucie (Gil was born on Lucie’s due date!) &
Auntie Jess (now a nurse in Charlottesville) snuggling with her nephew for the first time

13 :: in DC, family, friends, Instagram, life lately, travel, University of Virginia, Virginia, weekend

life lately

I haven’t shared any Instagram photos recently, so I thought that might be a fun way to start our Thursday!  (Follow me here or search for @beccagarber on Instagram if you’d like more frequent updates.)  These are from the past month and include a few from this week when my sister was visiting.  (She left this morning — boo hoo!  We love you, Auntie Em!)


My baby and her baby doll… and now all she needs is a plane ticket!
& Sunday morning post-church photo… the only successful one in a whole lot of failures (thanks to Lena’s ‘tood)


Sibling love one weekend morning; we were trying to be quiet so Daddy could sleep in!
& I bought these pants soon after I had Gil because I just believed I’d one day fit into them.  Happy was the day when I did!


pretty in pink ombré
& Saturday morning book-reading in bed


gleeful over a chocolate bar from Nonno, the owner of the general store in our town’s piazza
& Bacio-flavored gelato on a weekday morning… don’t mind if I do!


so beautiful in her dress from her to-be-uncle Charlie
& one handsome fella’s first time in the Bumbo seat


welcoming our friends’ new little baby Eden!
& so adorable in their new summer hats


a “birth day”/welcome home cake I made for Baby Eden
& they’re up to something…


Auntie Em is visiting!!!  We had the most wonderful time with her in town this past week.
& another granite (Italian ice) date on a warm afternoon


our Memorial Day: a cookout with friends & a trip to the pool with Auntie Em (and a little surfer dude)


Lena got her first pedicure yesterday!  She might have smeared nail polish on her face…
& a trip to the mall to buy a new swimsuit


What are you up to this Thursday?

3 :: in family, Instagram, life lately

the great-grandparents come to visit!

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We were so excited to have my grandparents (my mom’s parents) visit us for a few days this week.   They had just finished an amazing tour of Sicily with Grand Circle Travel and so — without the pressure of “seeing Italy” — we could all sit back and savor the moments together.  I absolutely love my grandparents and treasure any time I’m able to spend with them.  Some of my happiest childhood memories come from hot summers spent in their beautiful home in St. Louis, helping my grandmother bake cookies or watching my grandfather in his woodworking shop in their basement.  It was a huge honor to host them in my own home, to cook food for them in my own kitchen, to welcome them into everyday life with my own family.

Here are a few sweet moments from their visit.  Above on the left, Gil and his GG (great-grandmother) enjoy lunch on base.   Above on the right, Lena pages through a beautiful wooden bookthat her great-grandparents brought her.  Thank you, GG and Great-Grampie!


Above left: Gil and GG chit-chatting at the hospital on base.  We spent 5 hours there one morning due to my poor grandfather not feeling well for most of his visit!  Thanks to excellent care at the hospital on base, though, he has a clean bill of health to head back to the States today.  Above right: I can only hope to be as hip as my grandmother when I am 79.

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Scenes from one early morning: Gil yawning (after only being up for an hour… typical) and Lena and Grammie enjoying a tea party.


Today we took a walk through our town, showing Grammie/GG our favorite spots.


One of our favorite places in town is definitely La Biscotteria Siciliana, where Grammie enjoyed her last chocolate gelato before leaving Italy.


Lena and I, meanwhile, celebrated the coming of warmer weather with cups of granite, or Italian ice.  Lena had pistachio, I had almond and strawberry, and Gil just looked on with all the wisdom of a newly-minted 3-month-old.  (Happy 3-month “birthday” today, Gil!)


Above left: My two munchkins staying busy while everyone else watches black smoke puffing out of Mt Etna through the kitchen window.  Above right: Post nap time snuggles with my loves. becca-garber-playtime-pizzeria

Above left: Afternoon playtime.  Above right: Dinner tonight at Donna Fortunata.  Love you, Grampie!

These pictures just make my heart melt.  What an incredible gift to have my grandparents visit us overseas!  I know I’ll treasure these memories for myself and for my children the rest of my life.

Are your grandparents still living?  What did you do together the last time you saw them?

17 :: in family, Instagram, life lately, Sicily, visitors

life lately

Well, it’s been three weeks and still no internet in our house… sigh. I see the Telecom truck in our neighborhood regularly, but the fire must have done some serious damage as they still don’t even have an estimate about when it will be fixed.  “Domani, domani, tomorrow, tomorrow, they say.

But life has been busy and full with my mom visiting from Virginia and we’ve made do without internet quite well (to my own surprise). Now we’re enjoying a beautiful getaway in a rented villa on the Sicilian coast. More pictures later this week! For now, here are a few more Instagram photos from around home in these early weeks with little Gil.

becca-garber-instagram-2 sweet sleeping newborn
& big sister love in the morning 2013-02-284 one of my favorites from these early days
& miso soup (hard to find in Italy so this will have to do!) 2013-02-283 my sweet little family
& Saturday morning means pancakes and eggs for breakfast! 2013-02-282 my little love
& he looks like he’s up to something 2013-02-280 ok, can’t get enough of the sister/brother snuggles!
& perfect little hands in the lamplight 2013-02-2711 reading, knitting, and snuggling with a wide-awake newborn… lasted about as long as it took to take this picture
& I spent hours of my day (and night) walking this little man to sleep 2013-02-288 reading by the fire
& oh that precious smile! 2013-02-287 Siena and Lena appropriated the toy basket
& just walkin’ around my house with a baby in my arms 2013-02-286 journaling and coloring on the balcony on a sunny February morning
& somehow he stayed awake through all of Moonrise Kingdom 2013-02-285 chubby chubby cheeks!
& Lena teaches Gil how to wear Mama’s glasses
7 :: in family, Gil, home sweet home, husband, Instagram, Lena, life lately, motherhood

life lately

Wow, I took quite the blogging break here!  Our internet went down on Friday morning and — after a million phone calls and several no-shows from the Telecom technician — I learned it was because a neighborhood fire took out the line.  The whole neighborhood has been without internet for almost a week.  Welcome to Sicily… or just welcome to life?!  I’m sitting in the library on base now enjoying a sleeping baby as I type.

To catch us all up on life, here are some photos I took with Instagram since Gil came home.  You can find me on Instagram for regular updates around our home.  Thanks to my iPhone, I still have some internet access over 3G even when our wireless is kaput!

becca-garber-instagram-home Gil in his car seat on the way home from the hospital
& Lena sees Gil at home for the first time. 2013-02-028 Snuggling with my baby after we brought him home
& family story time begins… for the rest of their childhoods! 2013-02-281 Elliott got called into work for several hours when Gil was 3 days old and I was on my own with two kids.  Yikes!  We survived… with a few tears and a bloody lip.
& reading a story to her brother. 2013-02-280 “Hi, Geeel,” Lena says excitedly every morning
& those tiny, precious little hands! becca-garber-instagram-5 Greeting him after she woke up from a nap
& “Hold it?” she asks and puts out her arms to cradle him. becca-garber-instagram-3 Dance party in the kitchen to Fun’s “We Are Young”
& giving Gil his pacifier while I change his diaper. becca-garber-instagram-1 Father and son
& wide awake at 3am! becca-garber-instagram-4 New family normal: holding a baby, playing games with a toddler, and folding laundry
& Gil’s first ride in the swing (ie. the lifesaver). becca-garber-instagram-6 Kiss!
& I enjoyed reading Wild by Cheryl Strayedwhile nursing Gil that first week.


I’ve missed you all!  What have you been up to this past week?

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8 :: in family, Gil, Instagram, life lately

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