Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family


Week at a glance:

  1. first experience with Greg working from home! {this is going to be a new phase for us, on weeknights and Sunday afternoons}
  2. typical date night –> madly running errands all over Charlotte, one of which was the long-overdue purchase of a new vacuum {one day we are going to buy a Miele, but for now we settled with a middle-of-the-road Bissell with excellent user feedback and a good HEPA filter}
  3. vacuumed the apartment! {grin}
  4. had a quick coffee date with Mary, continuing in Passion & Purity
  5. started using My Fitness Pal {love the iPad app!} to record food/exercise in an effort to be a little more health conscious
  6. spent an enjoyable morning visiting Diana Nunez and her lovely daughters in their new home
  7. attended the Bella Torah Kol Nidre service as a family, dressed entirely in white {per tradition}… Greg wore white slacks and a shirt, along with his kittel; I wore a white eyelet skirt with a ruffled Loft wrap top; and Sophia looked like a tiny angel in her white Ralph Lauren pjs {the description is necessary because we neglected to get a picture, due to the solemnity of the occasion}
  8. observed Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, with {parts of} all five of the traditional prayer services – truly a day spent in prayer! {the berry & I did not fast this time… maybe next year I won’t be pregnant or nursing 🙂 }
  9. broke the fast with the Squicciarini/Spurlock families + Isaac, Brock, and Mr. Wright… bagels, lox, fruit, cheese, and a cherry tomato clafoutis made by moi {yummy, but anything would have tasted good}
  10. met Christine at Natural Blendz on Monroe for a “blue mango” smoothie followed by thrift store shopping
  11. started building our sukkah! {Greg is using the same pipe/lattice method as last year so the construction should be pretty fast}
  12. went out alone {after Sophia went to bed Thursday night, leaving her daddy here to work}… savored the carefree nature of browsing through a store with no car seat, stroller, or diaper bag {grin}
  13. had a really nice long conversation with my mom-in-law about the upcoming holidays
  14. challenged myself {along with Hannah Lorence} to walk 4 miles at the greenway in Piper Glen, and did it!
  15. made plans… {1. our “tapas & tabernacles” event next Monday; 2. what Sophia & I are going to wear to Julianna’s wedding; 3. October’s Rosh Chodesh celebration; 4. a babysitter for Sophia during Julianna’s rehearsal dinner… etc.} {help!}
  16. spent a quiet Erev Shabbat here with Greg, perusing a section of Legislating Morality {Geisler/Turek} relating to abortion
  17. yet to come: lunch/portion discussion with friends, finishing our sukkah, and making soup in preparation for tomorrow night’s party!


Baby, Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

more reasons to smile

beautiful berry!

Week at a glance…

> welcomed Julianna & Peter home from KY
> tried new food! Thai fish cakes… interesting texture
> got a super sweet email from one of my friends that made my day {thank you Hannah!}
> date night errands with Greg…
> lunch with my big brother
> made progress in Passion & Purity with Mary; discussed “does G-d want us to be happy?”
> joined a fun group of girls to support the National Network to End Domestic Violence by donating gently worn underwear to women’s shelters in Charlotte, an event publicized by Soma Intimates in Southpark {rewarded ourselves with lunch afterwards at Earth Fare}
> took Sophia to visit an orphanage {Thompson Child & Family Focus} and told her about children that don’t have mommies & daddies
> had a girls day out with my baby! {pedicure + eyebrow wax… 2 things I haven’t done since before she was born}
> got a package I’ve been waiting for {a pretty photo book of Sophia’s baby pictures… surprise gift for Greg’s mom!}
> visited a new cafe in Pineville with my mother-in-law, sipped Tazo Lotus green tea in the sun
> had dinner at The Residence with family + the Stelzls {my cousins}… always enjoy conversation with Uncle Dave!
> made the decision {with Greg’s approval} to donate 10″ of my hair to an organization supplying cancer patients with wigs {nervous about it! But my hair grows very quickly, and has gotten very long… seems like an appropriate time to cut it for a good cause}
> we got approved for a mortgage {the house search is officially under way!}
> yet to come: dinner with my niece {I became an aunt when I married Greg… we have a niece and nephew in Massachusetts. Alexis is visiting Nonni for a few days}; first Bella Torah service since the July break; and second week of our liturgical prayer discussion on Saturday nights!


Baby, faith, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

valentine’s day / tu b’av 5772

focused on our baby

My sisters and I have been doing a “31 Days of Prayer” project, praying for our husbands with a different focus each day, and today is the halfway point. Coincidentally, it’s also Tu b’Av, the Jewish Valentine’s Day… so I have to take a minute and rave about my husband. What this project has shown me so far is how incredibly blessed I am to have Greg in my life! As I look at the focus for each day, I find myself praising G-d because I recognize these qualities in Greg. We’ve prayed about spiritual disciplines, leadership skills, loving righteousness/hating evil, faithfulness in marriage, a pure heart, character qualities for success, wisdom in finances, integrity, a teachable spirit, self-control, uplifting words, and choice of friends. I am thrilled that Greg’s love for G-d is demonstrated continually! He sees his morning prayer time as the most important part of his day. He constantly studies/memorizes the Scripture. He has a compassionate heart and gives money or time wherever he finds a need. He works tirelessly to support us. He leads our family with wisdom + decisiveness. He is quick to provide my every need, whatever it may be. He is truly a devoted husband. I love you, Greg! You are so good to me, far more than I deserve. Happy Tu b’Av!

Week at a glance:

  • observed the 9th of Av with appropriate mourning, prayer, & reading Eichah {the book of Lamentations}… no fasting for the berry & I this year
    “Restore us to Yourself, Adonai, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old…” Lamentations 5.21a
  • talked to Miss Madison Hackett for HOURS!
  • made it home safely from our trip {very impressed with Sophia who did so well in the car, even on an 11-hour drive}
  • skipped date night this week, since we drove home all day Monday, and had Peter over for a social visit instead of his usual berrysitting responsibilities
  • unpacked from the aforementioned trip, no small matter now that there are three of us! and replenished our pantry/fridge
  • met Julianna for conversation {house shopping!} + wild blueberry tea right before she left town
  • spent an evening with my parents sipping port {Greg} and catching up with them
  • heard an interesting new Bible theory {two arks, not one, in the wilderness – one holding the tablets, manna, & Aaron’s rod; the other carrying Joseph’s bones}
  • took care of five returns that had been waiting around here and got $100 back {you’d be surprised how many people hear me say “I have a return to make” as I hold Sophia’s car seat and respond with a joke about how “you can’t return those here…”}
  • got an antioxidant boost {beets + carrot juice!} at Earth Fare with Christine and Mary
  • saw Greg’s mom when she stopped by Thursday afternoon, bringing us freshly ground coffee
  • reorganized the bathroom closet/cabinet {seriously, one of the highlights of my week… why? 1) was able to throw a bunch of stuff away, 2) both places needed a good cleaning, and 3) it’s a thousand times more neat + easy to use now!}
  • finished reading The Sabbath out loud to Sophia… our first book together {besides Hug Hug}
  • yet to come: erev Shabbat at The Residence with a fun group of Texas friends, a quiet day together, and the start of our 4-week discussion series on liturgical prayer!


PS: added a picture to last week’s post… that one was done on my phone as we drove to Kentucky.

Baby, Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

babysitting vs. mothering


I used to think having kids would be like full time babysitting. Turns out it’s not, at all! Which is somewhat of a relief. I liked babysitting, but only in moderation. There’s no sense of “when I’m done here, I’ll get back to my life,” because this IS my life! I suppose it’s the difference between caring for a child and raising a child. For instance, it’s not particularly pleasant for a babysitter to deal with poop {I always dreaded it} but I am thrilled when my own baby poops. I have never been so excited for a baby to wake up, just so I can watch her smile up at me. I am continually thankful for the great blessing of being able to stay home with her and spend our days together!

Week at a glance:

  • went to Sunday brunch + live music with Uncle Peter at Rooster’s
  • transitioned Sophia out of our room, a big development! {she’s sleeping about 9hrs each night now}
  • enjoyed date night at Starbucks pouring over homeschool catalogs & talking about curriculum, followed by a fun workout together
  • visited Healthy Home Market with Mary & scheduled final photo shoot with her for next Tuesday
  • went swimming at Grandma’s house! {but not under water this time}
  • made packing list for TN/KY trip {we leave Wednesday}
  • found Sophia in crib with no pants on… don’t know how she managed to get them off
  • spent time with Christine {“glowing” green smoothies!}, Joshua + Julianna {wedding details!}, and my mother-in-law {afternoon tea!}
  • started a new book {The Committed Life, Jungreis} and a new month {Av}, plus a “31 Days of Prayer” project with Madison & my sisters
  • yet to come: Erev Shabbat dinner with my ‘in-laws-in-law’ {the Spurlocks}, lunch tomorrow with Hannah & Matt Lorence + baby Noah, and my cousin Sarah’s high school graduation


PS: Congratulations to my friend Paulina Dodd and her husband AJ on the birth of their first child, a beautiful baby boy! {Azaryah Josiah Dodd, 10lbs!}

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Planning, Squicciarini family

preparing for baby: waiting

Still waiting.

Finished my labor book today! It has a bunch of visually motivating pictures, with room for journaling thoughts during labor if I feel like it. A huge thank you to Julianna, Christine, and my mother-in-law Jeannine Bartos for showing they cared by taking the time to select + contribute pictures for me! Meanwhile, Mary has made me a 4-part playlist on iTunes, starting with energizing songs for the initial stage of labor and concluding with sweet, softer music for when the berry meets us.

The amazingly friendly people at Trader Joe’s have sent me a lovely pink orchid in celebration of Raspberry! {via Julianna, who has been doing my grocery shopping} LOVE it!

Spending the rest of this evening with my darling husband, still just the two of us.


Baby, Bartos family, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family

seven months pregnant

A week ago, we had just said goodbye to our very first houseguests! Madison Hackett and her brother Cole came to stay with us for a few delightful days, and because they were so easygoing + amiable, we had no trouble fitting them in the apartment. Greg & I met the Hackett family at one of Tim Hegg’s conferences in Atlanta, November 2010. Madison and I have kept in touch through email ever since then. We enjoyed our guests so much –  the visit seemed over too soon. The last night they were here, we had a fabulous time out at The Cowfish {sushi + burgers} with the Squicciarini 4 and a few other friends!

That same weekend we attended a double bar mitzvah down in Rock Hill SC, for Timothy and Isaac Gordon. It was a really neat ceremony! If Raspberry had turned out to be a blueberry after all, I would have probably felt more of a personal connection with the details, thinking ahead to when we would plan our own son’s bar mitzvah. But she is very much a girl.

Then Sunday was my baby shower! My mother-in-law hosted a lovely afternoon shower for the ladies of Bella Torah. They brought me some beautiful gifts: adorable baby clothes, diapers, bath supplies, books, toys, a playpen, and even a handmade quilt! Greg’s mom gave me the cutest baby swing, which has a detachable bouncy seat, and we agreed that she’ll keep the swing at her house while I keep the seat {so Raspberry can watch while I cook dinner}.

It was a special treat to see my friend Autumn Munoz at the bar mitzvah and my baby shower, visiting from her new home in Curaçao. Autumn is expecting a baby girl just a month after me, to be named Moriah Arielle.


Bartos family, faith, Planning, Wedding

wedding countdown: 60 days

Today is the 2 month mark!! 8 weeks to go.

Mom & I had a great talk this morning about the logistics of our simple, yet elegant, reception. We’re slowly working out all the details of food, beverages, layout, etc. Then we went shopping for housewares!

It was a day of moms… I spent the evening with my future mother-in-law! I took Mrs. Bartos to the museum for her first peek at the wedding venue {she LOVED it!}, and then we headed uptown to check out a possible place for the Pre-Wedding Party* to be held the night before the wedding. We had a fantastic time together! It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to catch up and have one of our planning sessions. The place uptown is very modern and contemporary. I think it’s the perfect location for a cool party!

*Isn’t it normally called a Rehearsal Dinner? Simple answer… we’re not doing a rehearsal that night, so the event becomes a Pre-Wedding Party {PWP}.