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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Ava Marie

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Clara Rose

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Gabriel's ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Twins ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Pregnancy tickers

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look up!

I moved all of the "PAGE TABS" up to the TOP of the blog, so that they will hopefully be easier for everyone to find & navigate around. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Time to give Thanks...

This week in school we've been learning about Thanksgiving and I had a million laughs courtesy of the kids, but this one made me laugh again tonight, so I thought I'd share a little "Quip" from one of my boys.

What is a Cornacopia also called, boys and girls?

A Horn of TW-enty (instead of PL-enty)

And what does PL-enty mean?

It means it has TW-enty somethings in it.
So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm sitting here realizing it's been a while since I've put up a new post.  Things have been a little "busy" but I needed to take the time and list a few things that have happened recently and some of the many things that I have to be thankful for.

Since I last posted, the night of the 10th I mentioned I was feeling a little "under the weather".  Well, all that day I was thinking about this "big meeting" I had that night at my principal's house.  I finished up my paperwork and dragged myself over in slippers and jeans.  Everyone had known I wasn't feeling too well and just simply wouldn't let me off the hook to just stay home for the night.  I was on my way there and remembered that I was supposed to pick up soda, so stopped off on the way dreading being late.  Well... as I drove up I thought there seemed like a lot of cars, but I was a bit out of it, so didn't really think much of it.  As I walked in (decked out in my comfy slippers) I saw a table FULL of great food and thought, "Well, that's just like Celia.  She always outdoes herself with a great spread" 

Then I saw a cake that looked something like this...
...I was a little suspicious.  One of the ladies yelled "Surprise" and astounded, I realized this was NO curriculum mapping meeting (thank GOD), but way better!!!  My friend Sue leaned over and whispered, "In case you didn't put it together, yet, this is your Surprise Bridal Shower"
A party for ME???? YAY!!! 

I had a great time and thinking about it I am thankful for all my thoughtful co-workers who were so INCREDIBLY generous to Shaun and I as we prepare to begin our new life together.  I thank God for you.

After that I was blessed in finding out that a friend of ours is a florist and volunteered to do all of our flowers as a gift to us.  I mentioned hesitantly the size of our wedding party, not including parents, etc...  She didn't flinch, but just said, "Whatever you want".  What a blessing!!! 

My dear friend, I am thankful for you!!!

I also found out that a friend of the school is going to generously let us use their chateau in New Hampshire as a Wedding gift to us. 

WOW!!!  See what happens when you put the wedding planning into the hands of Our Lady???

After that, Shaun and I headed out on our first really long road trip. 

We were going to our Engaged Encounter Retreat (since the one in our area got cancelled, we were encouraged to head out to a different one).  We did get to spend quite a bit of time together as a 6 hour drive was enhanced with traffic enough to turn into a 10 hour drive.  We didn't really notice how long it became because time seems to fly by when we're together, but the weekend left much to be desired. 

I am thankful that we both love and understand our faith enough to realize how much of what was being taught (or not taught) was not in support of church teaching.  This was unfortunately discouraging, because we felt like the other couples were sort of "jipped" BUT I was thankful to be the only woman there who found her fiance in prayer in the chapel every morning and throughout the day.   I was thankful and proud when he (who barely talked at all) spoke up and defended the faith when it was being clouded by ambiguous teaching or suggestions to the couples that the church allows "choices" towards immoral actions.  I was thankful as we walked the parking lot praying our rosary that I had a man who would lead me to heaven.  I was thankful that he did not hide his love for me from anyone and was proud of me too. 

On the ride home, to make matters even better, we got into a minor.... what's the difference between a minor and major car accident?  A medium car accident.  Maybe it was like a medium.  Anyhow... this "pleasant" (not) man who was in a little too much of a hurry decided to cut me off (on my right) and take a sharp left hand turn... into the front of my car.  Then he lied to the State Trooper and said I drove into his car!!!  I still can't figure out how I'd rip my bumper off driving into him?  It's sort of like saying at the event of this accident: 

"But officer!!!  She backed up into ME!!!"

 ...but anyhow.  I was thankful that I wasn't married to THAT guy!!!  And I was thankful for how calm Shaun was through it all.  I was thankful no one was hurt.  I was thankful I could still drive home.  I was thankful that our police officer's name was "Santa Maria" (so we gave him a miraculous medal and prayed for him). 

We stopped at an old Carmelite Monastery along the way that I used to pray in many years ago when I lived in New Jersey while working at a home for unwed mothers. 

Upon arriving we instantly met this beautiful irish woman named Anna who was miraculously cured from cancer after spending many many many hours before the blessed sacrament.  Even her Jewish doctor declared it a miracle and cannot explain her healing.  She said something that moved me, "I felt Jesus was calling me to the chapel in my sickness to console HIM ...I realized over time that it was really so that HE could console ME!"  He told me it was the power of the holy hour.  All those holy hours.  She was absolutely lovely.  I was thankful for meeting her.  I was thankful for her healing.  I was thankful for her sincere prayers.  I was thankful to be able to do a holy hour and hear the sisters praying beautifully in the background. 

I was thankful it was one of their "Eucharistic Adoration" days and we arrived at JUST the right time.  I was thankful for the opportunity to re-live so many memories of being in that chapel and praying for God's will for me... now I was sitting next to "him" (Shaun) beneath a beautifully carved wooden statue of St. Joseph on the Feast of Christ the King, thanking Jesus for being King over my life and all that is in it.  Through Anna, he showed me once again that He deeply loves us and has a plan for us. 

Thank God for that silly accident or we would have never met Anna ...or come in time for Adoration!!!  See how God works in mysterious ways???

I was thankful for the nice long ride home (but not quite as long as the one down) to spend with Shaun.  I was thankful we all made it home safely.  And I was really thankful when I saw our familiar "Paul Revere sign" hailing our arrival to New Bedford:

...because I was REALLY tired and this sign meant we were really close to home.

This week I was thankful for my little children that greet me each day with exhuberant hugs and kisses.  I really just love them and love spending my days with some of my favorite people in the whole world.  I am thankful that they were SO good this week for me.  I am thankful to teach in a Catholic School where I can teach about the faith and talk about Jesus openly.  These kids are my joy!!!

I am thankful for the best co-workers ever.  Thank God he sent them to help me through each day.  I am thankful that among the million other things, Mrs. Cardoza finds my coffee cup all day wherever I happen to leave it and refills it regularly for me throughout the day.  I am thankful that Mrs Beaudry is so good at figuring out things before they happen and seems to be able to anticipate my every need, so I can teach the kids.  I am thankful for Jennie and Monica who are SO awesome with the kids and whose helping hand makes everyday SO much easier.  I am thankful thankful thankful for all my children. 

Well... There are a million more things to be thankful for, but that's it for tonight!  Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

So it's another Wonderful (rainy) Day.  The kids have gone home for the long weekend and unfortunately I think I've caught some sort of bug ...and yet I still feel lucky enough to have the opportunity to rest tomorrow if needed!  It's sort of like my body knows when it's "allowed" to get sick.

Just thought I'd share a funny from my little Ryan.  We must be talking about the wedding a lot because today when we were saying our Hail Mary's his little "lightbulb" lit up and he said,

"Miss Marijanna?  I know why Mary is called Mary!" 
"Why, Ryan?"
"Because she was Mary-ied (Married) first!"
I just smiled and thought it was the cutest thing.

One of the other little girls who was in my class last year gave me a hug this morning and then looked intently at my left hand hand. 

"Why do you have that ring Miss Marijanna?"
"Because I'm getting Married, Melody"
(All excited) "My MOMMY has a ring like that Miss Marijanna!  She got it from my Daddy!"

I just LOVE kids.  They're making this whole thing SO much fun!

Moving along...

So, everything's "moving along".  I'm SO happy that I've heard responses from so many eager to come share our joy, including family members I haven't seen in YEARS!  I started counting the numbers and it's about 280 so far that have confirmed coming!  That's great.  Keep the responses coming in.  If you're able to bring something from the Pot Luck page... awesome.  I'm really trying not to "worry".  Shaun always says, "God commands us to pray ...but he forbids us to worry."

I've been asked how "the wedding plans are coming" and I always say, "They're coming! (thinking about the million things constantly floating through my head). 

Shaun when asked answers... "I don't know.  Good I guess"  Which just cracks me up.  I think overall, I've felt relatively "calm".  We've been praying and spending time together, but both have very hectic schedules to keep up with.  We keep thanking God for the gift of work. 

I've just been "plugging along" and honestly have a LOT of peace.  God has revealed over and over again how much he's helping me to plan this wedding.  In fact I have the most wonderful and "frugal" bridesmaids who are helping me figure out how to do things beautifully without spending much and the most supportive "school parents" who are so eager to help that they volunteered to make about 600 of one of the favors.  They are THE best ladies ever.

That being said, I AM getting excited.  Seeing Shaun all snazzed out in his tux this weekend (we picked out tuxes) got me all goober-eyed.  I don't think I'll ever get sick of looking at that face.  A friend once remarked "rugged can be fun" and is!  He's just perfect for me.

We decided to get our tuxes from "Main Street Formals" and Robert, the owner is awesome.  I feel very comfortable with our choice.  The place has a cute little history that you can read on the site.  Feel free to check it out:

We also got to hang out with Auntie Louise & Uncle Dave this weekend over breakfast at Cobblestone's (best EVER)  It was great & I LOVED all the stories of when they met, married, etc... and looking through old photo albums.  59 years of marriage and still so in love... gives me great HOPE! 

It was also Shaun's daughter Shanlee's birthday and he got to spend some time with her.  It was so imporant that she know how special she is to him.  He's the best!

On to Wacky Wednesday tomorrow!  Let's see what adventures it holds, shall we?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Busy Week!!!

So... it's been another busy week and is nearing a close (though it's not over yet).  I told myself that even if Mr. Shaun T. Fullen thinks I'm crazy for feeling the need to excersize, I was going to start actually using that gym membership and going... starting in November.  We joked as we were watching "Swamp People" and snacking on JAX & Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt that most women at this point in their engagement would be freaking out and starving themselves... not me.  Instead, I say "Can we at least compromise and put the bag between us you little JAX hogger!"

On Monday, it began, though.  I have the BEST Maid of Honor who gets up and meets me at 4:45 in the morning to go to the gym.  Have I ever mentioned I'm NOT a morning person?  Nope.  I wax & wane between complete zomified non-responsiveness & unbridled chatter about nothing.  Poor thing.  Hope she still loves me by the end of this!

 ...some mornings I think I'm just gonna look like this on the eliptical... but overall, I'm happy I'm going and feel much more productive in the am & alert at morning Mass.

Monday was also "All Saints Day" and I dressed up as Mother Mary with my kids.  They were Super CUTE!  I wish I could show all the pictures but... legalities... you know!

It was quite a feat taking these 25 to Mass for the first time... in costume.

At school the kids have been helping me get ready for "My wedding".  We do a LOT of planting in the classroom all year long and have already planted nine containers of pumpkin seeds (from our carved jack-o-lanterns), 4 containers of apple seeds, 2 Maple trees, 2 containers of "pop"corn seeds ...oh, and ONE orange seed (one of the girls saved it from her lunch & wanted to plant it)... but they've also been helping ME to plant favors/decorations for the wedding. 

We planted 150 Spruce tree seeds (please grow) and a dozen Amarylis bulbs... that I REALLY hope grow.  We even prayed Hail Mary's for them.  They're all excited about helping me and I wish I could show you all the pictures (but don't have permission from the parents), so I'll just show you a few where you can't really see the faces:

"Today boys and girls, you're going to help me plant AMARYLIS bulbs!"

"For your wedding?"


"I'm coming to your wedding" (repeat)

"I hope so."

"Who are you marrying?"

"My friend Shaun"

"I know Shawn!!!"

"Not that Shawn... (looking at little Shawn) though I love you too Shawn"

"I love you TOO Miss Marijanna" (repeat 25 times)

"Ok, lets get back to planting..."

(whispering) "I think she's using us for slave labor!"

"Voila!"  (Please grow & BLOOM... by Jan 1st!)

...Just a little window into our world!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good times!

So... things are moving along on the "wedding planning" front.  Dresses getting ordered, Tuxes getting fitted, shoes getting bought, songs being chosen, invitations getting sent out... etc... you know all those little details that could make anyone crazy and ask: "UGH!!!  WHY didn't we go to Rome, just the two of us?"...

...but in the midst of it all, we find time in our busy schedules to make room for each other. 

This past Sunday we went to Adoration & breakfast as usual & off we went fishing.  Usually it's just quiet time for us to enjoy each other and this week was cold (I do NOT like being cold).  So I bundled up with about FIVE sweatshirts, had Shaun do the dirty work of baiting the hooks...

...& we cast away. 

It was a BEAUTIFUL Autumn morning as we watched the day begin together.

We sat chatting about the wedding and how happy we were to spend the rest of our lives together.  How gorgeous it was that day as geese flew by and river otters swam under our poles (one even stuck his head out and gave a "good morning" chirp before he swam on) and I thought about how much I wanted to always remember these times together.

Things weren't quiet for long, though!  The fish started biting!

First this one...

Then this little guy made a valiant effort to eat something half his size!
(Had to commend him for trying)

Then another...

And another...

and FINALLY right before we left, I pulled in this guy!!!
(FYI:  If you look very closely at the 2nd pic you can see my FAVORITE thing I ever caught on the end of a fishing pole on my left hand!)

Overall, it was an awesome morning.  Off we went to Mass & spent the day together... which as always FLEW by. 

BUT... Lesson learned?  No matter how crazy life is, don't forget to make time for each other!  You never know what (or WHO) you might catch!

...till next time