Bologna, Italy. The city I call home. Picture taken from the Due Torri
After my Christmas tree post I noticed I was preoccupied with the not so awesome things of Italy. And I felt bad. I don't want to focus on the things that are hard, not to say that I won't have those hard times come along every now and then, but why focus on the events that I just don't have control over? I can't make things magically be the same as the States so I need to think more about adapting. It's been 4 months since we moved her and I would like to think that I have fallen into somewhat of a routine. I just need/want/ constantly remind myself to have a better perspective. For a couple of days now I have been thinking about all the things I LOVE about Italy. And I want to share them with you.
*Living so close to a big and beautiful park. Walking around is always calming and Taryn has learned all about the swings, slides, and enjoys watching the other children play around her.
The colors of the city. Red, yellow, & orange buildings all complete with their green shutters. I love how old the city is that thinking about just how long these buildings, towers, and generations of families have been here.
I love Taryn. I love that she is my little buddy. There is a permanent spot on my hip for her. I love that she is with us for this adventure and that she brings endless smiles to our faces. She is a gift from my Heavenly Father and I am lucky to be her mother.
The city of Bologna at night. The city lights and the old buildings cast a magical spell over the night. There's a special feeling you get as you stroll over the cobblestone as the sun sets over the historic buildings. I always catch myself sighing and taking a deep breathe-taking it all in and putting it in my head as a lovely memory I hope to never forget.
The endless beauty of trees, hills, and day to day living. The fruit markets, the meat shops, the giant rounds of cheese for sell. The angry bee sound of the vespa's, the constant jabber amongst the Italians. The smiles given to Taryn from everyone walking past, and the little boy who greets me with, "Buongiorno"
Being a mother in Italy. I was told that the Italians love babies, but that no one has babies here. Not true if you ask me. I'm constantly smiling at the adorable babies that pass me in strollers and the little boys and girls dressed to the nine's on their way to get there Saturday treat. I've learned a lot about mothering since I've moved her and I continue to grow. I'm glad I have this one on one time with my daughter and that I get to share this experience with her. I've learned about foods, parks, play times, nap times, teething, sleep habits, etc... We truly simplified our lives when we moved here. We left a lot of "things" behind in Arizona and it has allowed me to focus more time and attention on Taryn and being her mother.
My new friends. Why the picture of all the baby jackets? Because one of my sweet friends is letting me borrow some of her daughter's warm winter jackets so I can keep Taryn extra warm. I'm learning a lot about what it means to be a true friend. My friends have so much wisdom about life and I feel like a sponge- soaking up every word- when I'm around them.
Fresh fruit. I've heard other students state that "nothing lasts here. It all goes bad in just a few days." Yes, it's true. And that's because you are buying the freshest, most ripe fruits and vegetables. Most italians do their shopping for only a couple days at a time and they use EVERYTHING! No need to buy green bananas so that when you finally remember to eat one, their perfectly ripe. Here, you buy a banana and eat it for lunch or the next morning. Otherwise, all is lost :)
The quality time that Tyson and Taryn have been able to have together. Taryn and I were reading books on our bed before bed time when we heard our front door open. Tyson had just got home and Taryn smiled at him walking through the door. She shimmied off the bed, walked over to Tyson and threw her hands up ("pick me up"). Once she was in his arms she laid her head against his chest and said "Da- da." If I wasn't smiling so much I would have cried. It was the sweetest thing to see how much Taryn loves her Dad.
The history, culture, and endless amounts of Churches on almost ever corner. I can think of 3 major churches that we live within 5 minutes walking distance of and it's always fun to see the piles and piles of cars going to Saturday night mass. The art that adorns the walls and the numerous sculptures are truly breathtaking.
My little family. I love that I am here with them. I love that Tyson has the opportunity to be here. I love that despite how hard it was to leave, we knew this would be the start of something great for our future. The hours spent at the library or at school may seem endless but I remind myself often that Tyson is doing this for me, for Taryn, for our family. And I know he has sacrificed a lot to be here in Italy. We can make it through the hard times together and we have each other to laugh with during the great times.
And cheese. I know there is plenty of cheese in the states but here it's just different. Expensive cheese that you would have to go to a special store back home for are super cheap here and found in your local markets. Paolo introduced us to Certosa- a spreadable cheese which we eat with crostini's all the time and there was a cheese that Tyson ate while with his Economics class at a restaurant (because everyone dines out while discussing their class projects- hahah!) that I've been dying to try and find out the name of. We have now had two dinners that revolved around cheese, crackers, lunch meats and fruits. I pull out my knife and cutting board and we pile the cheese, or spread it, on crackers and eat all we can. I have a separate shelf in my fridge just for cheese and it's almost always overflowing. Taryn eats it all up too and loves to pick up the little pieces I cut for her with her fingers and feed herself.
I should mention the Porticos because they literally saved us in the hot hot August weather when we arrived here. Who ever made it a law that the side walks have to be covered was brilliant. There is so much more but I've already spent days working on this post so I'm just going to call it good. Maybe there will be more love for Italy posts later.
Scripture Reading: Helaman 14:7-8
Activity: A day out in the city with the family
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 7:14
A Baptism at Church and an unplanned long walk home that I really enjoyed
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:6
A favorite Christmas Story