Friday, September 18, 2015

Party on!

 Saturday was party day for Pete's big 50th birthday.  I planned a party in his mother's backyard.  I had tons of help from all of his sister's, which made it completely amazing!!

The tables were beautifully set (by Tina) -- the center piece was my favorite!

My husband does get a little crazy about leftovers...

The goody bags had small bags/boxes of sugar cereal (apparently my husband lived on the stuff as a kid--who knew?) and a Baskin-Robbins gift card.

I made the picture above for him.

The decorations were really creative and a lot of fun.

Again with the cereal...

The only hitch of the night was the brief rainstorm that hit mere minutes after I set the tables with the name cards, ruining them all. It seemed to only hit in Saratoga of course.  My sister-in-law Tina to the rescue--she re-printed them all for me in time for the party.

The caterer was too outstanding for words--unfortunately this was the only picture I got of them!  It was catered by Oak and Rye in Los Gatos.  They arrived with their own wood fired oven that they set up in the driveway.  All the cooking for the evening was done outside in the little kitchen area they set up.  More on the food later...

We had a full bar, complete with bartender-- I highly recommend hiring a bartender if you are having a party like this.

The birthday boy was quite surprised when he showed up.  While he knew he was having a party, he knew nothing of any of the details and was shocked.

A great picture with Pete, his mother and his 5 sisters.  Another picture was taken with me too, but I didn't like it.  Boo to that.

Pete with one of his childhood friends Scott.  Really I just loved the photo bomb by Tina in the back.  Lol

While it is hard to tell  because of the dark, but the lighting was beautiful for dinner.

I did not photograph dinner, but I should have.  The first course brought out was a delicious gem salad.  This was followed by a steak with succotash and chimichurri sauce.  The servers placed each course in the middle of the table, family style.  After the steak came the pizzas--yes, pizzas!  4 different kinds, all made in the wood fired oven.  I thought I was going to burst, but they were all too good not to try.

While I sweated for days, and had to down a couple of drinks prior to my 30 second welcome speech, Pete hopped up, unplanned and unscripted, and proceeded to give a tear jerker of a speech that talked about how each guest in attendance was special to him.  Bravo Pete!

It wouldn't be a Contini party without a game from Lisa.  The game for the night was "Are you smarter than a pediatrician?"

Cake time!  We also had a dessert made by the caterer-- strawberry and almond panna cotta.

How cute if that cake though?

The party ended with Pete hopping in the pool.  Not sure what possessed him to do so, but a lot of alcohol was involved!

Happy half century Pete!  Hope the 2 day hangover was worth it!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

50 never looked so good!

Happy 50th birthday to Pete!  My God--a half a century!  I can not imagine.  Luckily I am much younger so don't have to for a while.  Lol.  Just kidding Pete!

 You were an adorable baby!

And an adorable teenager-- I totally would have had a crush on you back then!

You are a great little brother and son.

I love how you have shared your love of sports by coaching our boys on various teams.

You can still tear it up on the slopes!

You have been the best husband and father I could have imagined.

fastest time of the day!
50 years old and the oldest in our morning Crossfit class--still beat us all in class today!

And look how hot you are at the beach!  50 has never looked better.

I love you tons and hope I get to love you through your next 50 years.  Happy birthday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Day of School!

Seriously, it feels so wrong to say that in the middle of August!  Oh well.  6 more weeks until Fall break.

Our traditional first day of school picture- 3rd grade, 6th grade, 8th grade and 11th grade

To compare, here they are in Pre-k, 2nd grade,  4th grade and 6th grade

 Everyone's new shoes!

 Zach is in 11th grade--an upper classman!  Clearly an upper classman is way too cool to have his picture taken outside where people may actually see the event.  Whatev.

 Joey is in 8th grade this year, big man on Bret Harte campus.

 Vinny is in 6th grade in his first year of middle school.  I figured he would want to walk to school with Joey, but he wanted to ride by himself.  Bret Harte is not going to know what hit them with this kid.

 And finally Christopher.  He is in 3rd grade, my lone child at Graystone.  I think he is thrilled to finally have the school to his self.  Hopefully he will no longer be called "Mini Vinny" anymore.

He has Mrs. Cho this year.  None of my other boys have had her for a full teacher, but Vinny had her for math only in third grade.  This is the teacher that sent Vinny home with a red slip for "dancing in class" (it was Gangam Style).    We had Chris practice some dance moves for her.  Lol

He was pretty mopey getting out of the car, but was happy as can be to see 2 of his good buddies in class.

Have a good first day everyone!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

And the Tony goes to...


This past weekend was show weekend for Vinny and he did amazing!

He was the lead Troy Bolton, in High School Musical.  This was a huge jump after being Munchkin #2 in The Wiz a few months ago.  But he worked hard, singing High School Musical songs non stop around the house (I still can't get them out of my head!)

May I present Vinny Contini as Troy Bolton!

The entire show was fantastic!!  I admit I was so nervous the first half of his first show that it was hard to enjoy.  I was actually sick to my stomach for him.  He had so many people rooting for him in the audience--what if he sucked??  I knew he could sing at home, but that is very different than singing on stage, while dancing, in front of 150 people.  But he killed it!

From the right- Ally who played Kelsi, Kristina who played Jacki Scott, Vinny, and Aiden who was Troy in the other cast

Above is Vinny with the 3 other kids in our carpool-- a total blast driving these kids to theater.  One night Pete drove for me--shortly after I received a text from him- "Omg.  They all 4 talk non stop and sing with every song on the radio- it's like having a carload of Vinny's!"  I cracked up-- Yep, Vinny is a theater kid!

Vinny with Bella, his Gabriella.  She was a total doll and had an amazing voice!  These two really hit it off and clearly were having a blast together up on the stage.

Vinny was supported by an enormous following!  Below is just a portion of the friends and family who came out to support him:

Aunt Fran and Nani

Cousin Analisa (and her boyfriend Christian!)

 His kindergarten teacher- the fabulous Gretchen Jung.  Vinny's first taste of theater was the Mother Day Mice play in her kindergarten class!

Vinny, age 6 years old, in Mothers Day Mice

Vinny with 3 of the boys from his baseball team-Franky, Wills, and Evan (and of course Christopher)

The Healy and Case families
Grandma Liz and Aunt Gina came from Southern California

Many other cousins (and aunts!)

And the list goes on- The Landines, our nanny Mona and her grandkids and Aunt Lisa.  Vinny was so excited to see all the support.

I made the gift bags above for our carpool kids-- a bag of brownies with the HSM school logo on it.

For my own star I did something different- an idea I borrowed from my lovely friend Suzie.  I bought a fake bouquet of flowers from the Dollar Store, glued mini pieces of candy in the roses, then wrapped it in red and white ribbon. Vinny loves Starburst and Hersheys so I went with that.

A clip of his singing:

Vinny, you are a star!!