2018 – Our first year in New England

2018 was a year full of changes and adventures. We felt so blessed for the smooth move to Rhode Island at the beginning of the year and are constantly humbled to see God’s hands and all He has given us. I’m grateful for the challenges we faced that brought us closer together and to our Savior. The highlights and challenges of the year: seeing Luke go from crawling to taking his first steps in our new home to walking and running, Luke going from mild to wild, celebrating his first birthday, summer walks at the park daily, going to the beach once a week, Luke started taking swimming lessons, Seth’s new job, Luke’s first real cold, weaning Luke and transitioning him to solids, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Luke and I getting hit on the freeway by someone who had moved from Ohio to RI the previous day, Seth’s long study hours and work hours in the summer, mice found in our apartment twice, exploring Boston, Connecticut and Rhode Island, going to the Arctic Monkeys concert with Seth, making new friends from church and library and having a wonderful next door neighbor, having both families visit including Eduardo, Lauren and Eleanor, sailing in Newport for the first time, serving in the Portuguese branch and being instruments in His hands to help the youth in our class, acquiring a new skill (translation), trip to Vegas (stayed at a 5-star hotel – Four Seasons) and Utah, Seth passed his 3rd actuarial exam, first Christmas in RI, and passed my citizenship test. When I look back, I learned that when we give of ourselves to others, we indeed find ourselves and see miracles in our lives. We love our little family so much and the life we have. We love being surrounded by so many great people. I am looking forward to 2019 and all the exciting things that will bring!

First Christmas at Home Away from Home

December was a month filled with Christmas songs, decorating, crafting, baking, shopping and wrapping gifts, mailing out Christmas cards, reading Christmas stories, and visiting friends. It was so special to spend our first Christmas in Rhode Island as a family and wake up home on Christmas morning. Christmas was so magical and I wish I could relive this day again. Luke makes everything more magical and fun. We love our little family, our families, our friends, and the Savior. He is the light of the world. Our hearts were overwhelmed by the love of our families and God’s blessings as we sat by the tree, opened gifts, played with Luke as he opened each toy, made breakfast and dinner together, lit the fireplace, heard Christmas songs, read and watched videos of the story of Jesus Christ’s birth. I know Luke won’t remember these moments but the love and joy he felt will forever be with him.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffin (yields 12 muffins)


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 lb banana (about 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnammon
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Blend bananas, add them to a bowl and mix them with eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Add remaining ingredients except for baking power and soda. Add them at the end. Topping: add a few oats.

Bake for 5 mins at 450F. Then, 20 mins at 360F. (25 mins total)

Luke’s First Pumpkin Patch

Our Fall has been filled with so many fun things and we are loving this season in New England except for the wind that makes the weather twice as cold. We realized the trees have gotten to the prettiest tone of colors this week while we were driving to Clark Farms. This was one of the funnest things we’ve done together and the highlight of trip was going down the slide with Luke on my lap several times. He kept running up the hill to go down again… and again and he would smile and laugh every time! We played hop dots, walked through a corn maze, fed pigs and donkeys, drove cars, and played with pumpkins.

First Fall Days

My favorite season is here and we are so happy to enjoy Fall in New England for the first time! Seth took his third actuarial exam today after long hours of study and we are so happy to relax and enjoy this 3-day weekend. We went apple picking to celebrate this evening at the Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown, RI and Luke had the best time picking apples, playing with them and running in the fields. It was a beautiful Fall evening!

Pool day with Luke

About two weeks ago, I had a special experience when I was talking to Seth about making new friends here in RI and I decided to pray for us to meet new friends, which I hadn’t done very often. The next day, I receive a text message from Jennifer and Michelle and they both had invited us to go do something fun together. In the evening, we also met a sweet neighbor at the parking lot and through her we ended up meeting another neighbor from the Dominican Republic and her son which I had been wanting to meet since we moved here back in February. I know what it feels like to have a prayer answered and it amazes me the love Heavenly Father has for me.

Family in town!

We love having family visit us! The happiest boy was Luke who had extra love and attention all week. We visited Yale University in New Haven, watched the World Cup and walked in downtown Providence, rode bikes on  Block Island, and went sailing in a private charter boat in Newport!

Luke is learning to share his food and especially likes to share when he doesn’t want to eat it! 🙂

Frank Pepe’s first location! Luke ate sooo much pizza and wanted more and more after we had finished eating!

Yale Campus is full of beautiful, old buildings and incredible architecture. Several former US presidents attended this university.

My 28th Birthday!

This week was one of those weeks that just filled my heart with joy! I love celebrating my birthday and my parents were so sweet to take time out of their busy lives to visit us! I love looking back with gratitude at the previous year and looking forward with faith for great things that are yet to come. Feeling so grateful for God’s blessings in my life and His guidance in our lives. The last year brought me more than joy as I have become a mother and as my family and I moved to the east coast. This was the best birthday I’ve had yet – spending time with my family with my husband, my son and my parents in Rhode Island. They took me to a delicious French bakery in Federal Hill, Rhode Island’s own Little Italy, and it brought back good memories of my days in Siena. Then, we headed south to Narragansett beach where my favorite beach is in this part of the country. It was the perfect sunny day and ate lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the ocean and listening to a live band! Luke played on the beach in the evening and had a blast as he started walking recently. He finds joy in everything and loves the sand and the ocean. To end the night, my parents took us to a fantastic Italian restaurant and Luke fell asleep on the bench while we were eating. What a HAPPY day!

These photos were taken at Judith Point, a beautiful picture spot by a lighthouse.

Luke is on the move!

Luke has been walking while holding on to things for a while and this weekend (July 29th, 2018 – 13 months old!) he is finally taking lots of steps and walking more than crawling. Still falling but so confident at it and enjoying walking more than ever. We are thrilled for him and can’t wait for this new chapter of his life!


I  have breastfed Luke since he was born up until a few days ago. I have been weaning him for a couple of weeks as I decided to do it gradually and as of this week, he is completely off breast milk and eating real food and loving it. He is the hungriest baby ever! He will rarely refuse food especially if it something he likes. When I started weaning, I had a mix of feelings as it was hard to not have him so dependent on me anymore and breastfeeding was a very special bonding time with my boy. And not to mention that he would never refuse my milk and sometimes would request feedings! I cannot express in words how grateful I am that I was able to breastfeed him for 13 months. I appreciate it even more because of how challenging the journey was. Luke and I “wrestled” together and we did not give up when it seemed almost impossible for him to learn and for me to be diligent to keep trying. I remember those days when I was exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, and feeling like I could not do something that I really desired for my baby. Breastfeeding Luke has taught me to be patience, to sacrifice, to give of my time and love, to recognize that God places people on our path, to pause whenever I was out and about or in the house to feed him and to slow down and remember that nothing else was more important than him. It was a learning experience for me that when we do not give up and put our trust in our Heavenly Father with unwavering faith, He will give us strength to do hard things and to be stretched to the fullest. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to nurse your baby and to literally nurture him with nourishment and love. The Lord’s tender mercies are real and those days will be forever in my heart.