🙏🏽Sometimes We’re Thankful for the Little Things, this Time I’m Thankful for Some Big Things💔

Last weekend Gina came home, by herself, to help clean out my mom’s house and to visit her grandmother at her new place…IMG_4300My mom sometimes forgets my name, but she never forgets Gina’s name…needless to say, she was thrilled to see Gina!!IMG_4230It just so happened that last weekend was my son, Victor’s, 42nd birthday…so we celebrated down the street from where VJ, as we call him, lives in Providence, Rhode Island, at Waterman Grille…IMG_4224An amazing hamburger and fries!!!IMG_4291But this post is about VJ, the condo that he is rehabbing and furnishing, and the amazing person that he is!!  First of all let me tell you, when he was 3 weeks old he underwent open heart surgery for coarctation of the aorta…for that, which is a huge thing, I am truly grateful that he survived that.  Five years ago he underwent yet another open heart surgery to replace a heart valve with an artificial one, after having a brain aneurysm when infection entered his heart and went to his brain…another huge thing that he survived and I am so very thankful for!!  So with these things that he has lived with and survived, nothing is so painful than him living his life with bipolar…right now he is taking medication and is at a good place, but he went through many rough times that were so very painful for him and for us…he often says, going through a brain aneurysm and heart surgery was nothing compared to living with bipolar…and for this, which is another big thing I’m truly grateful for him being well adjusted and at a happy time in his life❤️  VellosMight I also say that while all this was going on he owned a restaurant for 15 years!!!  This is a photo of VJ with my mom and dad in front of his restaurant, Vello’s!!   Also, VJ is the one that talked me into taking care of my mom and dad in their own home for 10 years…there were 5 of us taking turns staying overnight for the past 8 years, with him sometimes staying 4 or 5 nights in a row…who can do that?    I’m so thankful that VJ did that because my siblings and I could never have done that, we would have gone mad!!!



VJ has been out of the restaurant business for about 2 years…now he owns 2 condos in Boston that he rents out to Air B&B that he renovated and furnished.  He lives in a condo in Providence, Rhode Island and is in the process of renovating and furnishing it…  This is the beautiful dark wood finished staircase going up to his 2nd-floor condo…Livingroom So this is the view you see when you open his door…at first you might think, looks a little messy, then you start looking around and the mess turns into treasures…like the fan, he ordered online to match the living room, it’s a midcentury Eskimo fan!!  He describes his style as quirky…but I would call it midcentury sentimental! The ladder might look like he was doing a project and forgot to put it away, but it actually came from my mom and dad’s cellar and VJ remembers seeing it leaning against his grandfather’s workbench and has good memories of that and wants the warm feelings in his home:)  Also, each picture hanging on his wall has a sentimental value and story…such as the photo of him and me when he was 2…I remember taking him to Sears to pose for that picture!!  IMG_4280VJ made this table out of pallet wood, with metal edges and metal legs… IMG_4254He built a bench to fit into the walkout bay window area, it has storage underneath.  He ordered the colorful pillows, reminiscent of the pillows his Nana had in her home:)lampThe 2 floor lamps are midcentury style and he ordered them online, along with the couch, the cabinet is from Target, he painted it to match the decor!!coasters These are coasters that have old fashion library checkout cards printed on them, he got those online too!!  He made the coffee table from a vintage ammunition box.  fireplaceThe fireplace is a work-in-progress, but for now, he stores some decorating books and LED candles on a rolling cart!!IMG_4246Another picture wall, with lots of family photos, a vintage mirror and round clock…the photo in the middle, of a little boy sitting on steps with a baby, is VJ and his sister a few days after she was born:)IMG_4247This shelf is in his tiny kitchen, again a vintage fan he purchased online…the kitchen is a work in progress, as you can see the gray paint that he is testing…IMG_4262The tins are from his grandfather’s collection of tobacco cans with one “Victor” coffee can, the pitcher is from his grandmother’s house…IMG_4249The stack of pots and pans were bought at Savers, vintage pitchers and glasses hold utensils!!phone tableIn a corner of the living room an old telephone table that was at his Nana’s house that he has fond memories of, vintage telephone books, from places that mean something to him, are piled up under an old rotary dial phone…  This is just a small sample of how VJ can transform a space into something special, like the person that he his…

me & VJ

And so it is, during this Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful for the big things in my life, for this little boy surviving all his hardships and growing into an amazing, sentimental, giving man, who has touched so many lives for the better…


Now that I’m in my 60’s, I can honestly say, even though going through hard times in our lives seem like they’re never going to end, when we look back, they taught us lessons and made us stronger… Yes, even for the big, tough times I’m truly grateful… 



18 thoughts on “🙏🏽Sometimes We’re Thankful for the Little Things, this Time I’m Thankful for Some Big Things💔

    1. My goodness, you’ve had an “exciting” life and are blessed with two wonderful children. Gina is the picture of you and VJ…God bless him (and you and Victor) for all the medical issues you faced. He is a strong, and handsome young man, and it looks like he’s inherited your gift for decorating. How awesome. I want to wish you and your whole family a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Nancy!! Yes, we’ve had an “exciting” life, but I didn’t tell all, there was more that went down at the time he had the aneurysm, but that will be a story for another time!! I’m truly grateful every day that things worked out so well!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving❤️🦃


  1. Half the battle is being able to find the blessings amongst the tough spots. It’s easy to miss what is right in front of you if you don’t force yourself to look for it, and choose to see the blessings. Thank you for the reminder, and for sharing this post. You are truly blessed. Kudos to you all for working so hard to keep your parents out of a nursing home. I have the greatest respect for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comments!! Yes, I think we need to look for the silver lining in all situations, it helps from getting bitter too🤗 It was truly a team effort to keep my parents home as long as we could❤️ Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family🦃


  2. Carolyn,
    Creativity and decorating talent definitely runs in your family!! I love all the special things in VJ’s condo and the fact that many have a story behind them. You certainly do have much to be thankful for. Without tough times none of us would appreciate what we have. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Regina, lots to be thankful for and appreciate👍 By the way, we love Traditions for my mom, a great place for her, I went on your recommendation❤️ Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your lovely family🙏🦃


    1. Thank you Janet❤️ I know you’re no stranger to tough times, makes us appreciate the good and easy moments🙏 I can’t thank you enough for your kind support with my mom, it means so much to us❤️Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family🦃


  3. VJ is such a unique person, it does not surprise me that his home would be so unique and sentimental. He is so strong to be through so much and lucky he has Victor, Gina and you to support him. Loved the blog. I got to see what was in some of the packages that showed up at Mom’s everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marilyn❤️ His condos are very unique, almost like a museum, all I want to do is walk around looking at everything and listen to all his stories about where he got things!! Hopefully, you’ll get to see them in person!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Carol,
    A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to VJ. He was a really good kid, dealt with a number of health issues (I remember the aneurysm connected with the heart and how scary
    that was), and is now a really fine young man. I know you and Victor are very proud.
    I wish VJ the very best. His condo expresses his sensitivity and love for family. He must have inherited some of his decorating skills from you.
    The picture of your mom and Gina is great. Your mom looks well and happy(I hope she is) and Gina looks a lot like you .
    Warmest wishes to you, Victor, and your family for a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

    With love,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Lucille❤️ Yes, I know you remember, it was scary, but everything turned out okay and VJ is happy and healthy now:) My mom is doing as good as can be expected, her health is amazing, but her memory keeps failing…I don’t know which is worse, the body or the brain failing, it’s all very hard to handle, helps to have her in assisted living with memory care!! Always love to hear that Gina looks like me❤️ We’re thinking of you during Thanksgiving, enjoy the season🦃🎄


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