Tag Archives: family

Christmas 2012

This Christmas season we traveled to Chicago to celebrate with Alyssa’s family. The trip had a bittersweet beginning as we attended services to honor and remember Alyssa’s great-grandmother, Nana, who passed away a week before Christmas. She was by all accounts the true matriarch of the family. A genuinely remarkable woman, it would be impossible for anyone who had met her to not remember her sense of humor and beautiful smile.

Living in Nashville the last several years, these two northerners have had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit with a forecast of 65 and snowless in December. So we were both happy to see some flurries our first day in the Windy City.

There were of course the epic family get togethers complete with karaoke and dancing.

One of my favorite parts of going to Chicago in the winter is that my in-laws live on a pond that is perfect for skating when it freezes. My skating skills aren’t necessarily on par with the rest of the crew. However, I did get a pretty decent hockey lesson from Alyssa’s dad, and even helped (at least I tried to) protect the turf in a neighborhood pickup game.

Alyssa on the other hand grew up figure skating and is pretty awesome on the ice.

Alyssa and I became Aunt and Uncle this year to twin boys, and even though we hated missing their first Christmas we’re so grateful for technology that let us see our little buddies!

We went downtown to check out the city’s holiday lights.

Train reflections

Hope that you all had a great Christmas with loved ones!


Hotel D

Source: acehotel.com via Kathleen on Pinterest

We may not have 5 stars, a swimming pool, or even a Yelp page for that matter…. but since the 1st of the year, our house has been a bit of a hotel!

We have had the privilege of hosting 3 sets of guests in the past 3 weeks! I never thought January was a month of travel, but lately we have had a handful of traveling friends and family members.

When Chico and I were house hunting, one of our main goals in finding THE place was that it could be a home away from home for our friends and family. Our place definitely does the trick and we love having guests over!

I love to entertain. It’s something I’m not a pro at yet, but hosting has given me quite the practice. Hospitality is an area I want to continue to grow in- good meals (trying to work on this one!), good conversation, and good companionship. We look up to Charlie & Andi who started The Art House– they are always serving those around them and really embody these great qualities.

As much as we like to joke that we are “Hotel D”, we really do enjoy the company of our friends and family!

2012 is filling up fast, so you better book your reservations now! 😉

I Married A Gamer…

We just got back from spending a few days in the northeast with my family for the holidays. It was filled with lots of laughter, food, and as usual in my family – games.

For those who don’t know my family we are a competitive bunch, and it has been known to get heated over the occasional game of spades. Alyssa, however, not so much, and must have been in shock after witnessing her first DiCicco family game night years ago. But she hung in there and has since started a new tradition in our house called “Alyssa winning everything”.

You see she someway, somehow finds a way to beat all of us in the most effortless way. And this doesn’t just stop with games. She has been known to win a contest or two; and not just little things – I’m talking computers, gift cards … I seriously think we need to start playing the lottery.

Well last year my fam was introduced to a new game called Quiddler – it’s a sort of word game that involves cards. Let’s just say Alyssa didn’t make any friends at my house. She was easily the champ, and this year my brother introduced us to a new game called Farkle (yep I know…it sounds ridiculous).

It’s a dice throwing game that has some strategy to it, but more importantly requires luck. Right off the bat I knew we were in trouble; Luck is Alyssa’s specialty. And sure enough the woman can roll some dice! My dad gave her a little bit of a run, but when the dust settled she beat us…beat us bad.

Here are a few pics from our Farkle extravaganza:

Look out Vegas here we come! What are some of you favorite party games?

5 Reasons I Love Thanksgiving

In the words of my favorite New Girl, Jess- “So what are you all gobblin’ about? Turkeys?”

The time has come.

It’s Turkey Time.

Here are 5 reasons I love Thanksgiving:

5) Eating Mashed Potatoes. (And eating in general.)

Don’t get me wrong. I love the turkey part of thanksgiving, but the side I look forward to most is the mashed potatoes. Regular or Sweet, they are so delicious. Especially since I don’t make them for myself often (even though I just did like 2 nights ago… but that’s beside the point!). Point is- before this year, I didn’t cook dinner very often and having a delicious home cooked meal in front of you to devour definitely has it’s perks. Lots of them.

4) Baking Pies

I started this tradition last year and I’m planning to continue this one! I kind of became obsessed with baking pies last year. So much so that when a dear family member of mine dropped my pumpkin pie while taking it out of the oven last year, I scrounged up some kitchen ingredients to conjure up a new one (without having to go back to the store, I might add). Who knows, maybe this year someone will get a pie in the face. It’s always an adventure.

3) Shopping! (But not on Black Friday…)

You know me- I LOVE shopping. As the weather gets colder, the want for a warm sweater and scarves is always on the back of my mind. Hitting up some of my favorite shops that aren’t in Nashville while I’m home is always fun- H&M, Tradewinds, Aldo, etc. Heading out before Thanksgiving or the Saturday after Black Friday has always been my plan. I have never shopped in stores on Black Friday- it kind of scares me! It’s hard for me to even go to the grocery store on a normal weekend with the crowds. You can’t avoid getting in someone’s way and let’s face it- other people are always in your way, too.

2) Reflecting on the year and things I’m thankful for.

This year has seriously been a whirlwind! I’m so very thankful for pulling off an incredible wedding and getting married to my best friend! For the roof above our heads, for the food on the table, and the friends and family around us… God’s really blessed us with so much!

1) Being with FAMILY!

As some of you may know, our families live far away from us. Spending time with them during the holidays means so much! Plus, they both live in colder climates- so it really does feel like fall when we come out to visit. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without them!