My years as a classroom teacher and a school counselor were rewarding and worthwhile. I was able to create a nice balance between my family and career. And although my work sustained me, it never defined me. I worked in schools for a number of years before and after being a stay-at-home mom. But it was the stay-at-home mom thing that was the thing that defined me, the thing I most closely identified with (and still do) — the wife, the mom, the homemaker, the love of our family and the appreciation for our daily happenings, which makes our upcoming empty-nest all the more magnified. (Understatement.)
Of course, through my years in the schools, I experienced many moments of inspiration. I valued my opportunity to collaborate with a great many people. I worked with wonderful students and their supportive families. I had principals and colleagues who were the best of the best. Yet despite all the goodness surrounding me, I was ready for a change. The right side of my brain had grown increasingly antsy, and it was time to do something about it. This was not an easy decision, and it was not something that happened overnight. I allowed the idea to incubate for quite some time. So when it finally came time to “begin again,” it had come after much soul searching. Scary? Yes. Going for it anyway? Yes.
Like every other big step I had taken in my life, I was again ready to act on the idea that we are born with the right to be happy. The idea of evolving only brought me to a new level of happiness.
I was ready to see what was next beyond the boundaries of locker-lined hallways and school bells that chimed every forty minutes. I was ready to let things steep, simmer and marinate, in my kitchen, as well as my life.
Which brings us today. With the support of my biggest cheerleaders — my adorable hubby, Dominick, and our three beautiful children — I am approaching the next chapter of my life with eyes and heart wide open. I have retired from education to pursue other avenues that speak to my heart. Namely, writing, cooking, photography and volunteering. I have started Ciao Chow Bambina, a blog about family, food and fun from my Italian kitchen.
You could call me a foodie. Many of my fondest, most vivid memories of childhood include the gorgeous food, the amazing aromas and the gifts of laughter that were created in the kitchens and around the tables of my Italian grandmothers. When I think back on the feasts that were produced in their teeny-tiny galley kitchens my heart races and my stomach yearns for their eggplant parmesan, fried meatballs, and multi-tiered lasagnas that "looked so easy" and tasted so delicious!
If I can convey through my words and photography the warm, cozy feelings I experience just thinking about the special moments of life, I'll have done my job!
Ciao Chow Bambina is about creating beautiful images. This is personal. Thank you for sitting at my table.