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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

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Backyard days...

Cari has a great theme this week, "Girls" (it's my daily theme)

You all know me and "pictures"... I take a ton.  I have to tell you that partly is because our house/apartment burned down when I was 13 (later that year my grandmother died.  Yes... we were VERY close).  It was a tough year.  Day after Valentine's day our house burned down (we were lucky to make it out alive) Finished Junior high.  Later that year I started High school and after moving at least 5 more times as we struggled to pick up the pieces (yes... in one year) my beloved Grandmother died.  Tough year.

When our house burned down we lost ALL of our photographs.  Baby pictures... everything.  Since then we have had some returned through family members, but I still remember losing all of the originals and there are whole periods of my life where there are no photo records of (some would think this a GOOD thing I suppose).  I think that even though I always loved pictures... this is one of the reasons I REALLY love to record my days.  I know all too well how frail my memory is and how quickly time goes by and don't want to miss it or forget one bit.

Yesterday I went out quickly to water our little garden and took some pictures of the girls while we were outside on a beautiful June afternoon.  The temperature was just right, the breeze was blowing the laundry on the line and it was all together lovely. 

Because we live in the city for now we have almost NO bugs here.  No mosquitos.  No ticks in our backyard.  So little Clara was placed down on the soft grass as Ava ran round her in bare feet (much to the distress of my Portuguese neighbors who get very concerned when they see me outside in bare feet ALL the time.  I hate to tell them that I've always been a toes in the grass kind of girl...allllwaaays ...and it's probably not going to change) and I watered our vegetables. 

Just a lovely memory and some beautiful faces that I simply had to capture!

My Mother's day gift from Shaun (there are two!)

Look at that little one in the background...
 See her?  What's she doing?

Her new favorite thing...

Picking flowers!
(On any of the night's Shaun comes home early, he takes Ava for a walk through the neighborhood while I make dinner.  It's one of their special times together.  When she returns she comes clutching stems and heads of flowers she's collected along the way in her little fingers.  We give them a "drink" of water, place their straggly heads plucked so lovingly into a small vase and they who would have bloomed and perished without ever being noticed at all ...become our bouquet for dinner ...more beautiful to me than the most exquisite arrangement.)
 See Clara on the grass?
(The baby stroller was a gift from a neighbor...)

Barefoot in the grass!

The scooter was a recent gift from a friend who's girls outgrew it

(Hand-me-downs are great reminders of how fast they grow)

We would have never seen this little flower, but it's importance did not escape her...

Can't you just hear the squeals of laughter!?

How's it going baby?

Doing good, big Sis!

Here's a hug for the road...

Everything is new.  She was mesmerized by the sound of the birds and airplanes and blue sky and laundry flapping and Ava laughing and grass beneath her... ALL becomes new in the eyes of a child...

Enjoy your summer days!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A few catch ups...

I know I've been spaciously blogging lately and you all know why

For some reason, those 1st 3 or 4 months are a doozy and full of baby loving... and lack of sleeping...and getting back into the "groove-ing".  I still feel behind the eight ball (what exactly does that mean by the way?) but wanted to post a few "catch ups" before heading to bed tonight at a decent hour.


For quite a while little Clara has been a total night owl and kept me up as late as 5am. 

I'd go through the whole day with Ava and Clara...
watch Shaun come home from work...
go through the evening...
watch Ava go to bed...
watch Shaun go to bed...
listen to them both sleeping on the monitors for hours...
listen to Shaun wake up for work...
and finally have a baby who was ready to sleep.

Soooo I'd kiss him good-morning/goodnight/good-day at work and head to bed. 

Two or Three hours later Ava would wake at her usual time to start the day.  She's a great sleeper, but UGH.  Add weeks of sickness to our home and you had a recipe for one super tired mommy.

Though it really was special special time with Clara, it was tough and I knew it (and I) couldn't (and wouldn't) go on forever. 

She seemed to know it too, so I have to say "thanks be to GOD!" (and to all of you who have been praying for this intention) that our little Miss Clara Rose is finally starting to head in at a more decent hour (anytime before midnight is wonderful).  She usually goes up now around 11:30 and stays asleep (whereas earlier attempts only marketed a catnap and a baby ready to party "one more time").  Tonight she even went up in bed by 10:30!!!  (Thus my ability to sit down and write a "catch up post")

Thank you Clara. 

Thank you God. 

Thank you all you pray-ers who prayed for a little more sleep in the Fullen home... it's working.

During my out of the loop-ness, I didn't get to post about Shaun's Birthday!  So glad to celebrate another one with him.  We do "birthday-WEEK's" in our house to help spread out the celebration and take the stress out of getting it all in one day. 

Ava helped me bake his cake this year!
 1st we wash our hands...
 Read the directions...
 (can't leave out her sister!)

Get SO excited we're baking for DADDYYYYY!!!!
Add the ingredients...

Mix it all up with determined concentration...

Get all proud that we've gotten this far...
Mark it with a "D" (for Daddy)...

And put it in the oven for BABY and ME!

What are you looking at?  You would have done the same thing!

"LOVE-ing" birthday wishes...

(What you don't see behind the scenes is that it took like 3 days to get the cake finished, frosted, and find an evening where Shaun was home early enough for Ava to have cake before bedtime.)

The same weekend as his birthday, we celebrated Mother's Day!  It's so great to be able to celebrate this as an actual "Mom".  We were all getting over long lingering colds and I was given the great and much needed gift of "sleeping in" that day and


was more cherished than any other gift I could have received. 

Later on that day we went to the Zoo with the girls for the first time. 
 (Ava making the elephant sound and raising her "trunk")

 The ducks had just had their babies!

 We were watching the seals.


Here, Ava's signing "Cat" when she saw the bobcat.

 "Moo" for the camera!

We saw lots of different animals (too many to picture here) and Ava had so much fun.  Best of all, it was FREE!  Our local libraries offer free passes to the zoos and museums if you reserve them and we had gotten passes and were finally able to go.  It's just big enough for her!

Upon our return I made a simple book for Ava with 4x6's and a couple of jump rings to help remember our trip. 

Ava has suddenly grown into such a "big girl".  I forget sometimes that she's little older than 1 1/2 as she seems so much older sometimes.  She's really funny and has such a great well rounded personality.  Best of all, she's such a GREAT sister to her baby.  Every morning merits a big smile and a genuinely excited "HI BABY!" with a great big kiss.  Clara now responsively smiles at Ava and watches her every move.  I hope they will be great friends.

Here's a video from this morning.  Forgive the "immodest" Shaun, but it was like 90+ degrees in the house and no one was around (except for the video camera).  He's going to LOVE that I posted his farmer tan.  You can see that Ava will leave Clara out of NOTHING, though.

Clara's getting so big as well.  She loves to eat and nurses a ton but the chunky, pinch-able legs are totally worth it and that rosy grin ...oh I just can't get enough.  She's rolling over easily now and tries to push herself up with her feet to a crawling position.  I put her down in one spot and turn around to find her someplace else.  She has places to go for sure!  She does WAY more stomach crunches than mommy and is eager to sit up and stand up.  She loves to be held and smile and squeal and giggle.  She is the epitome of baby cuteness and is rewarded for it with bottomless kisses.  We just love this little Ava look alike!
(this is Ava at the same age)

Check out this...
Which one's Ava?
Which one's Clara?

Which one's Ava?

Which one's Clara?
I gave hints, but there's such a strong similarity, huh?
The new/old house.

It's at a standstill.  After the asbestos cleanup episode, we found ourselves nearly $10,000 behind what we'd planned and have simply run out of money at this stage of the game.  Still we were able to do a lot of important work to get the house sound and dry and a new roof, new windows and a dry basement are an improvement.  Nobody likes spending a ton of money on stuff you won't necessarily "see" and that doesn't make the house much "prettier" but it's important stuff, so be it.

We did take some great birdhouses that Shaun's Uncle Dave had given us and hung them at the house. 
(These are not ours)

They're all moved in and the birds are loving them.  Ava loves to visit the house and dig in the dirt and boy is there plenty of dirt. 

We did plant a few flowers in the back but have no water to water them with, so mother nature will have to help them have a fighting chance. 

Speaking of Uncle Dave, we had a lovely visit with him and Shaun's, Auntie Louise today.  They are too funny those two and in some ways are the older version of Shaun & I.  Uncle Dave is kind and quiet, hard of hearing with a simple, sweet and generous heart (like my Shaun) and Auntie Louise is the gracious, lively chatty one, always welcoming who brings a lot of fun and laughter wherever she goes.  I'm definitely the talker of Shaun & I.  We love living close enough to visit them.

Auntie Louise is also one of my biggest "blog-fans" of the family.  I always think no one really reads it, but she always tells me that I should write a book or a newspaper column.  Who wouldn't want to be around someone who validates you like that? 

See what I mean?


Spring always makes me want to get out and grow things!  Today we went to the cemetery where Shaun's grandmother and grandfather (whose home we live in) are buried and planted some flowers. 

We were LONG overdue.  We used to go all the time, but haven't been in a few months.  We both felt the need to return.  We make it like a little picnic. 

Cemetery's can be lovely places to visit.  They remind you of what's most important and are usually beautiful, peaceful places to spend a while visiting, praying, planting.  We prayed a rosary before we left, the girls fell asleep in the car and we called it a day.

We've been doing a lot of planting at our house (the one we live at) too.  I'll post on that soon as I think it deserves it's own little blog moment, but hopefully all is going well in your worlds and thank you for being patient while our life shifted gears for a bit! ...uh and through this LOooong blog post (gotta get it in while I can).