Sunday, June 26, 2011

She made it!!

My girl made it all the way to the top of Katahdin!! They were scheduled to hike on Saturday, so they got up bright and early Saturday morning only to be greeted by downpours. They decided to reschedule the hike to that night. I wasn't too crazy about that idea but since I had no way of getting in touch with anyone I just had to deal with it. So I had a glass (2) of wine and then went to bed and prayed till I fell asleep. A night hike is something that more experienced hikers do and since my baby was hiking for the first time in the dark I was one very nervous and worried Momma! I knew the Lord was watching over her as well as her uncles and Daddy and one very special Angel but it was still tough.

The entire family were meeting at Pelletier's Restaurant at 1pm so I kept busy with the other kiddos until it was time to leave. When I got to the restaurant and laid my eyes on Ava I wrapped her in a big bear hug and then cried tears of relief. She was a sight for this Mommas sore eyes! She looked beyond exhausted but she was still standing.

I can't even begin to describe how proud I was of that girl! Shawn said she did awesome, not one complaint. The only trouble they had was when they reached the top and it started to hail and Ava got very cold and ended up vomiting so Shawn let everyone know they needed to head back down after they scattered their Dad's ashes. Shawn and his twin brother had to keep huddling with her between them to warm her up and her Uncle Jeff gave her his jacket but she made it back down that mountain.

I noticed after they got back home and Ava was showered and rested that something was different about her. This trip, this journey that she took matured her, brought her closer to God and gave her a confidence she didn't have before she left. Shawn said he bonded with her like never before. He said he had such a good time with her and was so very proud of her. As worried as I was I am so glad she was able to make this trip with her Daddy and uncles and cousin, it will be an unforgettable memory for her and for Shawn.

Friday, June 17, 2011


This weekend is a bittersweet weekend for my hubby. This weekend he, his brothers, our oldest daughter, Ava, and our oldest nephew Reece will take Paw-Paw's ashes to Mt. Katahdin. For those of you that don't know, Mt Katahdin is a mountain in Maine, it is one end of the Appalachian Trail. Before Shawn's dad passed away he expressed his wishes to be cremated and his ashes to be spread on Katahdin. Every year all four brothers along with their dad would camp at and hike up Katahdin on Father's Day weekend. So on this weekend we will celebrate the father's in our family by paying tribute to a great father who is no longer with us in this life.

Because the hike to the top of Katahdin is 9 miles Shawn and I felt we needed to prepare and test Ava to make sure she was capable of handling such a rigorous hike. Last month Shawn took Ava and Anabelle up Cadillac Mountain on a 4.5 mile hike, they did awesome!! They had such a great time and couldn't wait for their next one! We decided to try them on a longer hike, a 7.4 mile hike up Cadillac and to go camping the night before so she could have both experiences.

So last weekend we headed to Mount Desert Island for the girls first camping trip and my second camping trip ever!! We had such a wonderful time! We left the two younger kiddos at home with my parents and spent some much needed quality time with our big girls. We built a campfire, and set up the tent and our picnic table.

We then headed out for a walk on one of the trails at the campground. We found an Amphitheater where the girls put on a short impromptu dance show for us!

After our walk we went back to camp and cooked our steaks, roasted our marshmallows and then snuggled into our tent for some light reading and a good nights rest. We woke up the next morning to the pitter patter of rain on our tent, and since hiking in the rain isn't really any fun and can be dangerous, we decided after breakfast to pack up and head out.

We figured we would just drive around the island for a bit since we were already down there and had some time. We came across this trail called Wonder Land, it was pretty short and the rain had lightened up so we thought we'd check it out.

It was a lovely little trail that lead us to the ocean and then looped back to where we parked our van.

We also went to see one of the lighthouses on the island and some of the beautiful old Carriage trails as well as some of the ginormous houses! Overall it was such a great weekend and the girls had a wonderful time despite the rain! We will definitely be doing some more camping and hikes this summer!

I pray that Shawn and Ava and the rest of the group get safely up the mountain and safely back down and that this weekend turns out to be everything the boys are hoping it will be. Happy Father's day to all you Dad's out there. We miss you so very much Paw-Paw.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Communion

On May 15th, my oldest daughter, Ava made her First Communion and was Confirmed. She did such a wonderful job, very reverent and respectful. I couldn't be more proud of this sweet, thoughtful, intelligent young lady. I think she really gets how special this is and really wanted to partake in receiving these sacraments. I don't think I got it at this age and sometimes I still don't feel like I get it. I am proud to call myself Catholic and I'm proud to raise my family Catholic. I'm so grateful that there are so many resources out there for learning more about my faith as an adult. There are so many blogs out there that encourage me to relearn my faith. My favorites are Conversion Diary, Betty Beguiles, Melanie Pritchard, and my local pick and most recent addition to the Faves list, A Gift of Grace.

I'm grateful that I have all these women to look to for inspiration, and help on raising a Catholic family in today's world. It's both a difficult time and a wonderful time to raise a Catholic family. Difficult for obvious reasons, we live in a world that is morally corrupt, a world that doesn't hesitate to end an innocent life because they were conceived at an inconvenient time. A world where less is more in terms of clothing, and most people don't know the meaning of the word modesty. A world that sells everything with sex and makes "hooking up" a very acceptable and normal part of the single life. A wonderful time because there are many resources that help us understand the teachings of the church, many people who are being re-educated in the faith and are passing that on to their own children. Larger families who are open to life (including ours) are making a big comeback. There are more young men being called to the priesthood that are listening! When I was younger I never wanted to cause my children to stand out and go against the grain because that would make their lives more difficult. Now that I'm all grown up I realize that my children do stand out and do go against the grain, because they have more then one sibling, are (for the most part) well behaved, well mannered, well dressed children that listen and obey and have a heart for God , and that makes me the proudest mom in the world. We love you Ava Lusena and you are everything we ever could have hoped for in a daughter!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Memorial Day

Happy Belated Memorial Day my bloggy friends!! How was your Memorial Day? Did you watch a parade, grill out in the backyard, go to the beach, visit a memorial?? I was blessed to be able to spend this Memorial Day weekend with my family.

We started the weekend off with some dinner at my mother-in-law's with my hubby's twin brother and his family and thier younger brother. Then we headed up the road to the ballfield where they all use to play Little League for a fun family game of Softball. Even Maw-Maw took went up to bat and we discovered that she's pretty darn good at hitting the ball!

On Sunday we had all of my hubby's family here at our house for a lovely cookout. The kids played outside for hours while the guys hung out around the grill and the ladies alternated tending the children and the kitchen. I love having big gatherings here, it reminds me of when I was a yound child and all of my Mom's family getting together. It was always my favorite thing to do, and is still some of my fondest childhood memories. Little Landon spent hours with his big cousin Reece, he is such a special young man. I have been able to watch him grow from the time he was born and now he his 13, taller then me and quite a handsome guy.

It was also a little strange to have everyone here excpet my father-in-law. It was really the first holiday gathering with everyone since his passing and he was definately missed. I kept expecting him to walk into my kitchen and strike a conversation about the Lord, his greatest passion. I have to admit, I use to try to duck out of these chats at times, but now I truely miss them. It's funny how true the saying "you don't miss something till it's gone" really is.

On Monday my oldest, Ava, was in our town's parade, she walked with her softball team. It was a very short parade, from where we were standing we could see the beginning and the end at the same time..... After the parade went home to relax for a bit until my family arrived for our second cookout of the long weekend. Being an only child, my family's gatherings are much smaller but I'm working on making up for that with my own larger family!! ;)

Overall it was a wonderful and blessed weekend, and reminded me how greatful I am to all the men and women who have served our country, including my father, father-in-law, grandfather, and grandfather-in-law. Thank you to all you have done and continue to do for this great nation.