Ten Years Ago, Part 4: Our Wedding Day

We were married on a cool Friday evening in July – for someone who doesn’t like to be outside when it is hot, I was chancing an outside wedding in July. We had picked the date only a few weeks in advance, I bought a dress on Clearance that needed no alterations, we ordered a cake and flowers and we hired a caterer to serve food and drinks. The wedding was at Scott’s parent’s house – we stood on the front steps and our guests were in the front yard. We invited 30 people – family and our closest friends. My brother and sister-in-law drove in that day and stayed with us and my friend Sarah flew in for a few days and stayed with us as well. They were our first guests in our new home.

I spent most of the wedding day with Sarah. We woke up and made French toast and had a quiet breakfast. Then went to my parent’s house to get my dress and the cookies from my parent’s house and delivered everything to the Scott’s parent’s house. Bill and Ellie were setting up a canopy in the front yard since there was a chance of rain and finishing the decorating.  Ellie made an arch over the front porch and it was perfect! Sarah and I headed home and took showers and I painted my toenails. Scott was gone, taking care of his own errands.

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My Dad dropped us off at the hair salon and my friend Briana picked us up and drove us back to my house. We played with her girls for a little while, and I did my make-up. Then I helped get the girls ready to go and Sarah and Briana dressed for the wedding. As we drove the short mile to Scott’s parents, he was driving back to our house to get ready for the wedding. I greeted family, dressed and then opened the necklace that Scott had left for me. I posed for pictures and watched the guests gather in the front yard.



My entrance was from the garage and my aisle was the sidewalk. My dress was perfect and the delicate pink roses in my simple bouquet were beautiful. My Dad walked me to the front step where Scott was waiting for me. After the ceremony we had a champagne toast and posed for lots of pictures. Then we walked all the way to the backyard to eat and spend time celebrating with friends and family.


We ate delicious cake and cookies and as some of the guests were starting to leave we had a quiet dance in the kitchen. At the end of the night we were sitting in the living room surrounded by some of our favorite people – relaxing, laughing, opening our gifts. I found a comfy seat, kicked off my shoes and enjoyed a tasty beverage.

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Our wedding day was planned in just a few weeks and couldn’t have been more perfect if we had spent a year on the details.

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Ten Years Ago

Jen and Scott


Ten years ago we said “I Do”

And started a wonderful adventure together


Nine years ago

A little blonde girl with all the words was welcomed into the world


Eight years ago

We were learning what parenthood was all about


Seven years ago

A little girl showed us a magical place


Six years ago

You said OMG! And I grinned ear to ear


Five years ago

Two wild boys graced us with their presence


Four years ago

I went halfway around the world

But you were by my side every minute


Three years ago

We found a new house… with a playroom…with a door… that closes

And we made it a home


Two years ago

We were promoted as a family


One year ago

I forgot who I was

But you were there to remind me


Today we celebrate 10 years of marriage

And more love than a lifetime can hold

I love you with all my heart and can’t wait to see what the next ten years hold



Patience at Age Five

It was finally Ruslan’s turn for a Mommy day and he was excited to go to the Pirates game with me. There would be undivided attention from me, the promise of a treat, and he would get to run the bases after the game.

We arrived early enough for him to run through the giant inflatable obstacle course. And when we walked through the gate he got to meet one of the Pierogies – he was very excited!


It was almost time for the game so we bought hot dogs and headed to our seats. Rulsan quickly finished the foot long hotdog and settled back in his seat to watch the game.


We made it through the first inning before he starting complaining. I’m hot, followed by resting his sweaty head against my arm. I want my cotton candy now – I reminded him that we would buy cotton candy when the 3rd inning was over. He shuffled and climbed on me and asked for cotton candy every five minutes and cried – it is never going to be time for cotton candy. Being patient when you are waiting for cotton candy is very hard.

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Eventually the 3rd inning came and went and we bought cotton candy and returned to our seats. Ruslan was much happier after that and stopped complaining as much about being hot. There was an occasional request to go home until he was reminded about running the bases.

ruslan-pirates7 ruslan-pirates8The Pirates won and we headed off to find the end of the line to run the bases…it was a very long line. I let Ruslan know that we would be waiting for a long time. Are you sure that you want to wait? Yes, I want to run the bases! It was a while before the line started moving and then it was slow - we waited for close to an hour. When we finally reached the front of the line, he took off running. He flew from base to base and was thrilled to tell me how many kids he passed when he was done!

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Ruslan didn’t complain at all while we waited. Being patient when you are waiting to run the bases is easy.

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Science is Only My Second Favorite Subject

Juliana knows that I have a science degree and talks about me being a scientist (I’m not) and asks me where I keep my hidden lab with all of my potions. And for some reason that all adds up to her thinking that I want her to be a scientist. Granted I want her to like science of course.

One evening she was doing her science homework and I sat down to look over the questions. She turned to me and said, “Mommy, I really like science, but science is only my second favorite. I just love math too much!” I sincerely hope that the love of math and science continues.

Second grade was a great year for Juliana. All of her best friends were in her class and she loved her teacher. She recently told me that from the very first time she met Ms. S way back in Kindergarten, she hoped that she would have Ms. S when we got to second grade. Here they are the week before school started and at fun day at the end of the school year.

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Second grade was another year of straight A’s. This year she was invited to join the gifted program at her school (it starts in 2nd grade) which was an interesting change for Juliana. She is used to being the girl with all of the answers and the first one done with every assignment. In the gifted classroom activities (one morning each week), she was forced to find new ways to solve problems and think. Toward the middle of the year, Juliana would cry before school on gifted days. She would ask to stay home until lunchtime because the work was too hard. By the end of the year she started to take it more seriously and seemed to enjoy it more.

second-grade-deskThis was also the year of so much reading – you can read more about the “Reading Queen” and her reading journey this year. By the end of the year, she was reading on her bus ride when “a book was getting to an exciting spot” – that tells me that reading is starting to become enjoyable.

At some point this year Juliana started writing plays. She would write on the bus and at school when she was done with her assignments. She asked her teacher if they could have a performance. Once she had the green light from Ms. S, she assigned parts to her very willing friends and spent all of her recess time practicing lines with them. Both Kindergarten classes were invited to that inaugural play and the Principal attended as well. Her original version of the script is handwritten on lined school paper with illustrations on each page – a cherished keepsake.

During the last week of school, the class acted out Juliana’s second play. This one was even more elaborate and included props, including this boat that Juliana and one of her friends sat in for part of the play.

second-grade-playShe carries a folder of notebook paper with her so that it is always available for writing down ideas. I hope that her love of story telling continues to grow.

Speaking of growing, Juliana is wearing the same jumper in this picture. It was well below her knees at the beginning of the year.

fist-lastSecond grade was another great year!

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Summer is Off to a Good Start

The boys finished preschool almost two weeks ago and Juliana is hours away from finishing second grade and we have already jumped right in to summer fun!

The boys spent a day with my Dad on an adventure which included a new playground (new playground, aka playground they have never been to, is the best!)

The next day my parents took the boys to TownTown where they visited the Fort Pitt Museum and the Point Park Fountain, ate lunch at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and finally played in the water at PPG Place.

Juliana had missed out on the fun for those days, so next we went to Kennywood Park. Wyatt passed the next height threshold so he is tall enough for the Music Express and the Racer Roller coaster, and Juliana passed the final threshold and is tall enough for every ride. Wyatt was so excited to ride both and we rode in the last row on the Racer. As I told Juliana – we aren’t middle row people. The highlight of the day was the Turtle. All three of them had so much fun and the boys laughed non-stop. Ruslan kept putting two thumbs up on the ride which I have never seen him do before.

Next Juliana had the chance to go to the Arts Festival with a friend on a perfect Saturday. There was festival food for lunch, impromptu gymnastics practice on the Point Park lawn, playing at the fountain, face painting and ice cream.

So far we are off to a great start to summer fun!



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Happy Father’s Day


Happy Father’s Day from Juliana, Ruslan and Wyatt to their Dad, G and Papa! Thank you to Scott for everything that you do for our children!





Remember when they looked like this? (DAD Series 2011, 2012, 2013)

. . . → Read More: Happy Father’s Day

I Love These Happy Faces


Today was exhausting and wild and happy. At one point Wyatt was holding my hand as we walked when he stopped. He wrapped his arm around me, looked up and said, “Mommy, this is the best day ever!” And then we continued walking. I love making these kids happy!


. . . → Read More: I Love These Happy Faces

10 Years Ago, Part 3: We Bought A House


The house was never officially on the market. Scott’s Great Uncle was the original owner of the house and the family decided they were ready to sell it in April 2004. It was located in Forest Hills, less than a mile from the house that Scott owned at the time. Scott’s mom took us . . . → Read More: 10 Years Ago, Part 3: We Bought A House

Preschool Comes to a Close and the Next Chapter Begins


It’s a big week for the boys. The end of preschool, graduation and kindergarten screening. Wyatt was proclaimed the most improved over the year and it sure has been a big year for him. From the parent-teacher conference in the fall where I fought back tears the entire conversation and the weeks that I got a call . . . → Read More: Preschool Comes to a Close and the Next Chapter Begins

Brothers Stick Together


Ruslan and Wyatt are complete best friends. Given a choice they will spend every waking moment together – playing nicely, chasing each other, fighting over toys, snuggling to watch a movie together. We attended a Build-A-Bear workshop birthday party last week and all of the children were sitting in a circle together. The party coordinator . . . → Read More: Brothers Stick Together