It was a prayerful Lent, but I realized toward the end (as I always do), how much I need to grow in holiness and how much Our Lord loves me... deeply. Shaun & I made it through without breaking our TV fast (ok, we did on Sunday's but that was it) and praying practically every morning and night together, going to Mass more frequently at our new parish (which had a lovely evening mass and we were often actually able to go together) and trying our best to offer our days back to Him. I realized once again the many ways I need to love Jesus more, but find this year that I have tremendous gratitude for His unconditional love for me and patience as I slowly grow. I also find my motivation to grow spiritiually to be spurred more by love and less by "obligation", so that what I do is more ...heartfelt... even if I don't feel much. Shaun is steadily growing and always an inspiration to me. It's definitely a shift to realize that now I'm responsible for helping another person (not just myself) to get to heaven. THAT is something I need to work on. I feel like Shaun is the one waking me up to pray in the morning and happily pulling me along to Mass or say a rosary. He LOVES Jesus and Mary SO much (and I hear him tell them often)... *sigh* thank God for him, but I just hope I can become the wife he deserves for he's such a good man.
We had a beautiful Easter this year! Celebrated with Shaun's Mom and family at her home on the Saturday before and enjoyed watching all the little ones crawling into my lap and going a great Easter egg hunt prepared intricately by her (despite the rain).
On Easter morning it was so beautiful to come to the church all decorated with gorgeous lilies and hydrangeas with the cross covered in beautiful flowers.
This brings us into not only the Easter Season, but the Lovely month of "May"... ie: "Mary's Month". I really enjoy this time of the year and teaching all my little ones about our "Queen of the May". It was beautiful to see our parish May Crowning done in such a simple humble way that I'm sure made Our Lady smile. Hopefully one day, our little one can participate in such an event
During the month of May we have also been able to see Shaun's nephew, Samuel recieve his First Holy Communion
A few days after Sam's 1st Communion, we headed back to Worscester for his nephew Martin's confirmation (for which Shaun was the sponsor). Here's a few photos:
We've also been trying to take advantage of the low interest rates and refinance, so we've been busy with appointments, number crunching and appraisals. I'm NOT a "number" person, but... must say that I've learned a LOT and it's amazing how God gives you the sacramental grace (even in your weak areas) to help your family. Hopefully we'll be able to really pay our Mortgage down MUCH sooner without as much strain on us financially.
We're rounding up the year and coming to a close and with the last month rolling quickly by, I must say even with Spring Fever, I'm SO proud of where the kids I teach have come and feeling bittersweet about this being my last class. Thank God they were a GREAT one! 25-3 year olds every day leave me pretty tired at the end of it all, but have taught me SO much about getting ready to be a Mom myself.
Working hard every day, taking time to go to basketball and softball games and practices, out for "father-daughter dinner dates" & help Cheyanne with homework he's out early and home late. He's also healing up since his surgery & goes to physical therapy at least twice a week. He seems to be getting better and better for sure (but slowly...) Keep up the prayers and I'm sure he'll be ready to hold our little girl when the time comes.
So... for those of you who haven't heard, Mother's Day weekend Shaun & I found out what we're having!!!
As you all know, I originally did not want to find out until the delivery, but Shaun was practically coming out of his skin.
On Wednesday the 4th of May, we went for our 18 week Ultrasound.
There the envelope stayed for the next few days.
I then dropped the envelope off to the baker who would be making Shaun's birthday cake & asked them to put pink frosting inside if it was a girl
and blue if the results said it was a boy.
On Saturday evening we all gathered for a birthday gathering of family members and some of our closest friends. It was a wonderful time with children everywhere and happy sounds flooding the house. When it came time to sing "Happy Birthday" and cut the cake everything stopped and everyone leaned in close with cameras and phones poised and ready...
It's a....GIRL!!!! We exclaimed as we saw the PINK frosting.
Shouts of happiness filled the air and cameras started clicking! My Mom had brought me Pink roses "from the baby" for Mother's Day and my mother-in-law had already bought a pink sleeper outfit (so cute) and brought it out right away.
What a beautiful time to find out while both celebrating Shaun's birthday AND Mother's day. We're SO excited. Though we would have been happy with either a boy OR a girl (or both) ...Shaun has a soft spot for little girls and it's so nice to be able to use her name. Shaun's daughter, Cheyanne seemed excited to know she's getting a little sister when we called her and immediately said, "Oh! NOW I can help Marijanna go shopping!!!"
YESTERDAY... I went for another Ultrasound (they couldn't get all the pictures and measurements they needed at the 18 week one) and got to see "Ava" putting on a show! Here are some pictures of the Ultrasound pictures.
Please pray for us during this happy time and know how much we appreciate all the support we have been recieving from all of you. You have made this time SO special. I feel like I'm bringing her into on big family with LOTS of auntie's and uncles to shower her with love. Can't wait to meet her!
A Baby Girl!!!
In honor of our Blessed Mother, "Ava Marie Fullen" will be her name...
(although if we have some great desire to change it... we still can!)