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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

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The last few days...

The last few days have been "full". I started nannying for three beautiful boys and have had a great time with them. We've been enjoying the beach a lot! Thank GOD because my feet are like little "balloons" and my toes are beginning to look "sausagy". Any ideas to reduce swelling??? I keep thinking it's not "that big of a deal" and the pregnancy overall has been really not that bad as far as discomfort has gone... but the other day my feet swelled so much that I couldn't feel my toes. Felt like I had rubber bands around them. Since then I've been trying to elevate a lot more!

On Friday, I helped pick up some flowers for the upcoming Corpus Christi procession.

On Saturday, Shaun's daughter Cheyanne was in a Basketball tournament and we enjoyed going to watch her play. (These are old pics.  I didn't have my camera for this tournament)

On Sunday we helped get ready for the Corpus Christi procession sponsored by Our Lady's Chapel in downtown New Bedford.

We decorated the streets with flowers...

...for Our Lord.

My guy!

The preggo!

The Corpus Christi Procession is an annual celebration in honor of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We truly believe that He is REALLY present under the form of bread and wine and when we process through the streets on the feast of Corpus Christi, we bear witness to this truth in prayer and song. I actually didn't walk this time. I drove my car to transport people who couldn't walk the whole procession and followed from behind. We prayed the rosary continuously as we drove along.

I was touched by a number of things but one particular memory is of these three little boys playing in the park who stopped what they were doing and ran over to where the procession was going by. They dropped to their knees in the grass and began blessing themselves. The boy in the middle was blessing himself and pointing up to the sky and then towards the monstrance, as if to say "That's Jesus" to the boys beside him. He couldn't have been more than Seven. So cute. I gave him a thumbs up as I drove by and he smiled as bright as the sun and gave me a thumbs up back.

The other thing that I found so sweet was that two of my students live along the procession route. They've seen me in previous years. This year they sat out on their front steps to wait until I came by. They didn't see me (because I was in the car) so they gave a bottle of water to one of the passers by for me. (Reminded me of what they say about the reward for they who offer one glass of water to one of the Lord's disciples.  Blessed are YOU Hooda family!)  Then when they finally saw me at the end of the procession, they ran up to me and gave me flowers through my window. So beautiful! I just LOVE children.

In the evening Shaun & I went to a graduation party for one of the kids I used to work with in the St. Anthony Youth Group.  Can't believe she's GRADUATED! 
The following week was full of children. I had up to 6 to fill my days and they did fill them!

Shaun was busy with work and Cheyanne's games. He loves spending time with her.

Wednesday, my Auntie Leone from North Carolina was visiting with my Uncle Ed and cousin Eddie. Eddie is everyone's FAVORITE in the family and truly a remarkable person. He has downs syndrome, but we just think he's one of the most special people to ever come into our lives. We had a wonderful lunch and visit talking over all sorts of things, including their visit to Lithuania, my cousin Leone's ("little Leone") new son, funny stories of my summer I spent with them when I was twelve, how time flies and more. Before we knew it, hours had passed by and they sadly had to leave. Come again soon!
Eddie & I on my front porch
Eddie & my Mum
He LOVES his Auntie Marianne!
"My Marija", Eddie & Mum
Shaun, (Myself), Eddie (not visible) Mum & Auntie Leone chatting at the table
Eddie & his humor
Auntie Leone & I
Eddie, Mum, A. Leone, Me, Shaun
Eddie, Mum, A. Leone, Me, Uncle Ed (aka: "Mr. Manners")

As soon as they headed out we got ready for our friend "Fr. Jeff" from St. Killians in New Bedford to come to dinner. Shaun's the BEST "Steak-maker" EVER on the grill, so we enjoyed Fr. Jeff's company over great food and lively conversation.

On July 1st my Mum and I had breakfast together, pedicures and shopping/errands.  It's nice to have her so close by now.  It was also Shaun & my 6 month anniversary!!! We couldn't believe it! Where has the time gone??? (And I'm still behind on my thank you cards. I know it's not proper etiquette, but I'm late sending them... Oh well, I'm working on it) Shaun-boy came home with flowers in hand. What a sweetheart! I hope the years don't go by TOO fast. I just love my time with him.

On Saturday, the 2nd we enjoyed our day together. We began our morning by going to watch my good friend Julie Hamel swim the Buzzards bay race. She did AWESOME and placed 5th out of 29 in her age group. She was at the further end of her age group and had never done the race before OR swam in open water, so as far as I'm concerned, that's not too shabby! She trained for a while and did such a fantastic job that I put a book together of the photos I took of her as a gift. Here's the link: Julie Swims the Bay! and a few photos:
 Getting suited up
 My Brother Michael (Julie's boyfriend)
 Almost ready!
 And they're OFF!
 Just as we arrived by car, she was coming in!
 You did it Julie!
 Got her medal!

 Me (6.5 mo. belly shot) & Jules
 Her fans

 Michael & Julie
 Julie & my Mum
 Shaun boy & Mike
 6.5 mo belly shot ...we look like we planned our outfits...
 LOVE this guy!

 My smile says "I'm so proud"... my eyes say "I'm NOT a morning person!"
 Julie w/ Brother Jay
 THIS inspired me.  He finished before a LOT of those in his group.  How???

We then cleaned the house to get ready for Our Lady to come. What's that you say? Our Lady? Why yes! We are having our home enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which basically means we give our home and our lives to Our Lord and his Kingship. We ask for his protection and grace over our lives and our home). Our Lady comes first to prepare our home for her son.

On Saturday night a group called "The Men of the Sacred Heart" (including our good friend Joe Amaral) came and brought a beautiful statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with them to visit our home for a week. We prayed the rosary together and talked about what the enthronement means. We already have two beautiful images of The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary in our main room that we bought for ourselves as a "Wedding gift". They were painted by a young artist who read the encyclical from John Paul II to Artists.  You can purchase them by looking up "Smith Catholic Art" or just go here:

We've been praying the rosary every night at 7pm (for those of you who would like to join us!) and had different friends coming to join us. My mother has been coming every night as well as our good neighbors. Tonight some of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate came and prayed with us. Find more out about them here at their website:

Next Saturday, Our Lady will go to the next home that is awaiting her and a statue of Our Lord will come instead. We will pray 3 days in preparation for an Enthronement Mass to be said in our home next Wednesday night. Feel free to join us!

Sunday the 3rd, we attended a Baptism for two of the students from my school. I was so happy to see them be baptized and finally become "Children of God" officially! You can read about it on their mom's blog here: Payton & Phoebe's Baptism

The 4th was pretty quiet for us. Shaun & I had the day off so we went to Mass together in the morning to thank God for the gift of our freedom, then out for breakfast a couple of errands and out to go fishing! Shaun caught a large mouth and I a miniscule small mouth Bass.

We just had a super quiet day and enjoyed the fireworks around the house. I think we were both pooped and wanted an early night sleep. Couple of old fogies huh?

So far this week, Shaun's been hanging with Cheyanne and spending some good "father-daughter" time playing mini golf after work, playing catch, softball and dinner dates. I think he's an awesome Dad and love to listen to him talk about her. His whole voice lights up when he's talking about his girl.

I truly hope they have an awesome Summer together! As for the rest of you? Enjoy YOUR days as they fly by!

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