Lets start with this weekend! Ava and I went Apple Picking for the first time with a friend and her son.
As I suspected, she was a "little" young to climb trees and pick apples, but she did love looking around at everything from the security of the Moby Wrap and tasting the picks which I was actually able to get with the use of both my hands (thank you Moby!).
It was supposed to thunderstorm, but we braved the forecast and boy did we luck out because there was NO storm, just a beautiful Autumn Day full of memories.
Down the street from the Orchard we picked at, was Acushnet's annual "Apple-Peach Festival" and we enjoyed walking around, visiting the crafters, smelling the eatables, and listening to the music. What a nice day!
I stopped at the local farmers market and passed about 20 yard sales on the way home. The sleepy baby in the backseat kept me from stopping (and spending).
When we got home, Ava helped me unload and taste the apples.
I feel blessed to live so close to the country where we can enjoy simple pleasures like this.
On Sunday, I was running a little behind after Ava slept late, but arrived just a "little" late to Mass. Our Pastor loves Ava so much that without thinking, when he looked out into the congregation, he was so happy and surprised to see Ava that he just broke into a great big smile and waved to her from the front of the church. I think then he realized where he was, but I couldn't help laughing inside at his impromptu gesture. He loves her so much. Everyone is so kind at our parish and welcomes her like family. Ava sang SO loudly at Mass that the organist announced the final hymn and said "Seems somebody already IS singing, so why don't we all join her?" Ha! She definitely knows how to make an impression! Here's a picture of her singing in the backyard when I was trying to take pictures for her birthday invitation.
Maybe this is what she was singing:
"My Mom keeps sticking me in this BAaaaasket!..."
"With all these Ballooooooons...'
"And since I can't get ouooooouuuut...."
"I'll sing, I'm turning ONE SOOOOOOoooooonnnnn!"
Meanwhile, Shaun's been working A LOT! He's been working nights and the past few weekend's as well. He doesn't like to work Sunday's but can't always refuse when he's running the job. So, somehow along the lines, we made a family rule that even if we need the money (um... like if we're renovating a home), if he has to work on a Sunday we just give that money away to a charity or someone who needs it... and then just trust that God's never outdone in generosity. That way it doesn't seem so bad because he's not agreeing to work just for the "financial" benefit.
I honestly don't know how he does it! He's amazing! Lately he's been working nights, so he's gone by 5pm (or earlier) and home around 2 or 3am. Even though he's technically working nights, he still leaves early many days of the week to drive over an hour away to both check on the job he's running during the day to make sure all will be ready when he comes back at night and then continues on to pick up materials he needs from Boston ...AND still try to visit with Cheyanne when she gets out of school if their schedules connect.
When he can't, he misses her so much. So, he could get home at 2 or 3 am, sleep for a little, get up and drive back up to Boston and I won't see him till the next morning (when I'm unconcious). Then Friday comes and he works through the night, comes home to sleep for 3 hours, gets up and goes back to work all day Saturday and again on Sunday.
He still finds time to make it to Mass before or after work and go to his Holy Hour(s) at 4am. And never complains...
We speak on the phone throughout the day and Ava talks to him then. She's so used to hearing his voice on the phone that she grabs the phone regularly and I'll ask, "Who are you talking to?" and she'll say, "Da-ddy, Da-DA!" and pretend to talk to him "Da-da? Da-DA!! DAddaadadadaaadaadaada..." . If I try to take the phone from her, sometimes she bursts into big fat tears.
Here he is after coming home briefly (after getting up at 3am today to go to Adoration and then up to Boston to get ready for the job tonight) and returning just in time to get the baby up from her nap. He just loves her so much.
After working till exhaustion, he came home Sunday night with these for me. I was loading the dishwasher with a baby around my ankles when he walked in, so tired ...and flowers in hand. I thought, YOU are the one that deserves these! How did I ever end up with such a wonderful, thoughtful man? I am blessed.
Sunday night while we were relaxing on the couch, Ava took her first steps! I was so surprised and honestly didn't even realize what was happening at first because she was SO steady. Then after a few steps I said, "Oh my gosh, she's not holding on to anything! Honey, she's walking by herself" But by the time Shaun looked down, she'd already grabbed onto the couch. We clapped and clapped and she clapped for herself and got this great big smile on her face. She was SO proud! I tried to get her to attempt it again, but no go. So we didn't force her. Great job baby girl!