Baked Jeans

Baked jeans and a bunch of things, that’s what this post is made of.

Back in the olden days when the weather was warmer in March and April we would often take a drive to our family cottage for Good Friday.  (Our church rents so we can’t hold a traditional Good Friday Service.)  It was usually our first view of the cottage after the winter, and we would stop for breakfast on the way up and just have a great day.    So this year we decided to do that again, but thought we would also spend the night  –  for fun.  Ha.   But it wasn’t all fun,  because for some reason although we KNEW there was still snow at the cottage, we didn’t exactly prepare for it.  So the kids played and got soaked playing in the slush without snow-pants and ended up having to spend the rest of the day indoors.  We had packed light since we were only staying for one night which meant the kids had to change into their pj’s and we may have all gotten a little cranky from being stuck inside for the rest of the day.   And then what is a mom supposed to do when faced with a bunch of wet jeans in a cottage with no washer or dryer?  Well she bakes them in a convection oven at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes.   Who knew baking jeans would be so easy, or so smelly (that’s ditto for the socks, but WAY stinkier).

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Backing up now to three weeks ago – I had the opportunity to go to SickKids and share our Ava story with a group of people taking a palliative care course.  It’s such an honour to be asked to go and Jason and I both feel it’s just a small way that we can give back to the hospital who gave so much to Ava.  It’s always a pleasure to be there and meet with some of the wonderful people that we got to know while we lived in Toronto.  It actually really makes me miss my time in Toronto and I look back with a little bit of longing for those days when Ava was alive and we saw our Toronto people regularly.  But now I’m just happy for any opportunity to see them and I also have to thank my dad who comes with me because we had such a great day together and I love the company and I love not having to drive in Toronto in my not-so-small vehicle.

And now backing up all the way to the end of March (backing up seems to be a common theme here) – we had 3 inches of snow early one morning on a day that warmed up pretty quickly.   Will, Sarah and Sophia headed out the door as soon as they could and built these 7 snowmen… one of each of us.

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snowmen

But since it warmed up so quick, the snowmen starting melting and first we saw daddy topple, then I bit the dust, and noses all fell off and it wasn’t pretty.   That afternoon the girls and I went and ran some errands, and when we came back, Sophia got out of the vehicle and ran into the yard yelling, “Is Ava still alive?”   I laughed out loud.  Oh dear sweet Sophia, I wish, I wish Ava was still alive.  But as for your baby snowman, it may have died.  Life can be harsh. 🙂

And staying on the subject of life being harsh, yesterday at church they mentioned a conference coming up next weekend at Harvest Oakville by Paul Tripp called When Suffering enters your door.   He says that we shouldn’t be surprised by suffering, it’s a universal experience for all humanity… and they showed this clip – which I HIGHLY recommend because it quickly explains how Jason and I were able to have the hope that we had in the face of our suffering.

Which brings me back (one more time) to a quote that I found when Ava was sick which I blogged about back then as well, …

In the mid-16th century Francis Xavier (1506–1552), a Catholic missionary, wrote to Father Perez of Malacca (today part of Indonesia) about the perils of his mission to China. He said,

The danger of all dangers would be to lose trust and
confidence in the mercy of God… To distrust him would
be a far more terrible thing than any physical evil which
all the enemies of God put together could inflict on us, for
without God’s permission neither the devils nor their
human ministers could hinder us in the slightest degree

And a great verse from Romans 8:18

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Suffering if something that we all will  experience at one time or another, but praise God that through Christ, it never has to be without hope.

Amen!

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Two Months

It’s two months today since our sweet baby Ava died, which means it’s been two months since we held her and kissed her and said good-bye to her.    And I look back now and I marvel at how God gave us the grace to let Ava go that day.   How we were able to hold her and wait for the end to come without completely breaking down.   God carried us with amazing incredible strength and for that we can look back and praise Him, even in the midst of the pain of that day.

And we still miss Ava so much, and the ache in our hearts hasn’t gone away.   And grief keeps sneaking up on us, where one minute we are fine, and the next minute we are in tears.   I see her pictures and I just want to hold her and kiss her and love her, and then I just hope that when she was with us, I loved her enough.   I know I tried to spend as much time as I could with her the last few months when she was in hospital, but I obviously couldn’t be with her 24 hours a day if I wanted my other kids to remember that they had a mother.  It’s just that now I wish that it had been possible for me to have never left her side.   Although I’m grateful once again for the support of friends, and it helped that one of my friends who is a nurse on 4D kinda scolded me when I  asked if I loved Ava enough when she was there.  🙂  And I do know that when I wasn’t  able to be at the hospital, Ava was receiving a lot of love from the nurses and they were so good to her.    I really do think it’s more of a case of me wanting to give her some love right now (oh what I would give for a cuddle with my baby!) that makes me wish I could have given her more then.   But the reality is that Ava didn’t feel good alot of time and when she didn’t feel good, she didn’t want to be held.  And she slept so much too.  She was just a sick little baby,  who has now left all that behind and is free from her body of death, and is now enjoying the glory of God in heaven.  Praise God.

And it’s kinda sweet, but our little Sophia is the one who tells me that she misses Ava the most.   She’ll look sad and I’ll ask her why, and she will tell me that she misses Ava. Actually for the past week she’s been telling me that she misses 3 things…. the stray cat that was hanging out around our house for a while (and thankfully found a home elsewhere), Ava, and our friend’s dog named Duke who she hasn’t seen in a while.   Sophie makes me smile.

We were really fortunate to be able to spend some time together at the cottage this weekend.  Some friends were there for a bit as well and the weather couldn’t have been nicer if we had ordered it online.

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And yes, Jason was able to borrow the Gator from work and it certainly did alot to enhance Jason and the kid’s enjoyment of the weekend, I’m glad you noticed.

In other news, Erik managed to break his arm almost two weeks ago by falling off the swing… rather inglorious actually as he wasn’t really swinging and in his own words said that he just forgot to jump off.  Oh Erik.    After the fall he was in  a lot of pain that seemed to be getting worse so off to emerg we went.  I was a little worried about going there seeing that it was one of Ava’s favorite spots to hang out, but all it did was managed to feel very familiar.   Now because Erik wasn’t top priority, we had to wait a while and after a few hours Erik didn’t seem to be in much pain anymore and i was kicking myself for running to emerg so quickly because I was starting to think that it was nothing.   But thankfully when the doctor came in she diagnosed a buckle fracture and fitted Erik with a splint.    He’s been great about wearing it and taking on and off himself so it hasn’t been that bad.  But it’s our first broken bone and I hope it’s our last!

William also distinguished himself last week by coming in 5th place in our school district’s semi-final Cross Country meet.  Jason and I were very proud and were also glad that all his running around inside our house has finally paid off.  Next week he is off to the finals and I’m already nervous for him, but he’s a pretty good sport and I know he’ll be happy whatever place he comes in.

So life isn’t slowing down for us.  But even though it’s been two months since we lost Ava,  praise God He is holding on to our hearts and we are doing OK.   We miss her like crazy, but we are doing OK.

the Silver Lining…

Well we have been at the cottage for four days and now and it’s so very peaceful here.   Being here is definitely the silver lining that coats that little gray cloud in my heart.   And I think the best thing about being at the cottage is that life doesn’t really move on when you are here… well it does in the way that every day is a new day.  But the cottage looks the same to me as it did 17 years ago and times seems to move so slowly here.  This is just what our family needs… space and peace to just process what happened and time to be together and comfort each other.

Although last year when we were here is when we received Ava’s initial diagnosis (we had driven back to London) and my memory is playing tricks on me.  I still seem to recall the pain that we felt last year, and sometimes I feel like I must still be pregnant and waiting for Ava….  but it’s only for a nanosecond before I know that Ava’s already come and already gone.   But being here and spending time with family and with God is helping to ease the hurt.   And if I hadn’t forgotten my camera cord I could show you a picture of what we see everyday, but I did forget it, so I borrowed a pic from last year….

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When I do find my camera cord, I will show the picture of me that Sophia drew in the sand… what a laugh, that little turkey.   Today Sophia and I were walking and I said, “Sophia, guess what?”  And she replied, “Oh mom, I hope you’re not going to say you love me again.”   Apparently I’ve been telling her I love her too much, and so this four-year-old daughter of mine asked me yesterday if I could limit myself to just telling her that I love her once a day.   I’ll repeat, she’s a turkey.   But that is another part of the silver lining… our children.     I was so focused on Ava for so long that I didn’t realize how much I missed my other kids.   This time has been so wonderful connecting with them and getting to know them again.  God is good.

It’s funny being here in another way though because  I remember a few weeks ago sitting outside in the court-yard of the Ronald MacDonald House and shutting my eyes and trying to pretend I was at the cottage.     But now that I am at the cottage,  sometimes I find myself wishing that I was back in Toronto with my sweet baby.  I still really miss Ava and I can’t believe she’s been gone two weeks already.  It seems like it was just yesterday.

But I’m keeping in touch with my friends back in TO.   My friend Tanya and I talk almost daily (Aleeda’s mom) and once in a while in the evening when I’m blue, I call up to Ava’s ward at Sick Kids and chat with the nurses.   I miss them as well and I’m glad they don’t mind talking to me because it’s my 4D therapy…haha.     Tanya and I became really close back in our days at Sick Kids as we were living the same life as mom’s waiting for hearts for our sick babies, and even back then we talked about how our friendship was going to be the link back to that life if anything should happen to our girls.   it’s hard to have a life you’ve been living – even if it’s not the most ideal life – just ripped out of your hands and thrown away.  All the relationships and friendships that were made in Toronto and our lives there are now over.

But we have plans to go back and visit soon and I am looking forward to seeing Tanya and Aleeda again.    Aleeda is coming up on 4 weeks tomorrow since she received her heart.   And she is out of critical care and back up on 4D now, but is still struggling.    Because she was so sick when she received her heart, her progress is slow, but it’s steady.  But please keep her in your prayers as they try to get all the kinks worked out.   Tanya is being amazing as always looking after Aleeda, as well as Aleeda’s new baby sister Britton.  But I know it’s not easy and I know that every day they have to stay at the hospital, is another day they aren’t all together as a family.    I just pray that Aleeda and Tanya’s and their family’s life can start again soon on the outside as they have been there so long.

I apologize if I’ve rambled tonight.   But even though it’s only been two weeks since we lost Ava, this little silver lining is bringing back some joy into my life.  And praise God once again for being able to bring joy – even in the midst of pain.

A tiny vacation

So I’m pleased to report that Ava still is doing amazing.  She is spending quite a time off her CPAP these days and she is happy and full of smiles.  It’s kinda strange in a way because her weight still seems to be creeping up, which would make us all expect that she is holding on to some extra fluid, but she’s not acting like she is fluid over-loaded.    So we’ll just take it as it is, and praise God and continue to wait for a previously loved heart to come our way.

And Jason and the kids had a wonderful time away at the cottage with my parents and my brother John and his family.  I talked to them everyday and although I was missing them like crazy, I was so happy to hear that they were having an amazing time.

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kids

And they were originally planning on coming home on Thursday, but as I was leaving Ronald MacDonald House Thursday morning I happened to stop and talk with one of the staff, and she informed me that the Toronto Health Unit had decided to keep the house closed another 5 days due to the Chicken-pox scandal that I had written about earlier.   I was kinda annoyed to hear this news because it means that Jason and the kids would be coming back to still nothing going on at the house…  no summer program or craft room and no home for dinners, nothing.  So after I told Jason the news, my parents graciously offered to let them stay at the cottage until Saturday…. which was great for Jay and the kids, but I was kinda sad because I was already missing them so much and now I wouldn’t see them for a few more days.

But than Jason called me right back with this bright idea of me hopping on a bus to Parry Sound as soon as I could  so I could join them at the cottage for two nights and then come back with them on Saturday.   What a great idea!  The nurses encouraged me to go, and so I got my act in gear, and  at 2:30 pm I was on a bus headed North.  Now I always hate leaving Ava, but feeling torn comes with the territory of having a child in the hospital as well as healthy children.  And to be honest, I feel much better about leaving her when she was feeling better rather than leaving her when she isn’t doing well.

So Thursday night I was reunited with my family, and on Friday I got to enjoy a full day of beauty that is the lakes and trees and rocks of Northern Ontario.   I think God’s timing is perfect.  It was just wonderful to get away from the city and relax and refresh and gain some perspective again on our situation and know that God has a plan and is keeping us in His hands.   I love that He knew I just needed to rest and spend time with my family and my parents, and God arranged it perfectly.

And so today we came back to Toronto.   The girls and I went to see Ava this afternoon and she was again, very happy and full of smiles.  Isn’t God good?   We really attribute her turn-around to prayer, and God’s goodness.   Just two weeks ago I was sure that we were losing her, and now she is feeling better than she has felt in ages, and it’s astounding and amazing all at the same time.

We feel so blessed as a family and I’m so thankful for even just a tiny vacation.

Amen!

And they’re off…

So today.   Well, this morning when I called the hospital first thing they told me that Ava  was currently sleeping but had woken up previously and had been very irritable and hard to settle.   Because of this they decided to start her on a morphine infusion, to see if a constant steady supply of morphine would better manage her pain, if pain is indeed her problem.    I thought I had better head to the hospital, so after Jason did a quick Sunday devotional with the kids I left to go see Ava.

And Ava seemed settled when I got there, so that was good.  But I hadn’t been there long when I got a call from Jason telling me that a child at the Ronald MacDonald House had come down with chicken-pox.   Now this might not seem like a big deal, but when you living in a big house full of immune suppressed kids, it’s not a good thing.  So in order to control it, the RMH has  cancelled every gathering for at least 5 days…. meaning no summer program for the kids this week, no craft room and no ‘Home for Dinners’.   Oh man!   It was certainly a depressing thought for Jay as it meant he was faced with keeping the kids occupied this week without any help from the RMH, and probably not much help from me seeing Ava hasn’t been feeling well.

Something had to be done, so after a quick phone call, we packed up Jason and the kids and they left after lunch today to join family at a cottage up north for a few days.  It was perfect timing and I’m so glad that Jason and the kids will actually have a fun couple of days, rather than stay here and be bored.

So now there are gone and it’s just me and Ava again for a few days.   The up side to this is that it means that I am able to spend as much time at the hospital as I need too without feeling torn, and I can enjoy a few quiet evenings by myself without feeling guilty. 🙂

And I was glad I was able to stay late at the hospital tonight, because Ava woke up around 6:00 pm and was happy to be off her CPAP and sat in my lap and looked around for quite a while.  I thought she was tired out soon after and tried to put her back to bed but she didn’t want to settle, so our really kind nurse suggested taking Ava for a walk, and Ava loved it!   Now, I think I mentioned that they put Ava on another infusion of a anti-anxiety med the other day, Midazolam, but after looking it up tonight I’m going to request we stop it, because when Ava is awake she seems a little stoned and I don’t like it.   Plus, I think she is just as irritable on it as she was off of it, if not more.     Anyway, after Ava’s walk she was finally happy to go to sleep which I was happy to see.    So it seems that she was feeling better tonight, but the real test will be tomorrow when her big diuretic will have worn off and she just might retain more fluid again. I hope not!

It must be everyone’s prayers, but I feel at peace tonight… even with my family away and my baby not doing that great.    Isn’t God good?   It’s a new week and we’ll just wait and see what God will do.   Again, we appreciate and covet your prayers!

Thankful

So rather than blogging, I’ve been spending my time wracking my brain trying to come up with a new blog name.   Just in case you hadn’t noticed, in about 7 weeks or so this blog name won’t be accurate (see previous posts)  as there should then be just the 7 of us.   But that name just doesn’t have the same ring to it,  plus it’s already taken.  So if anyone has a good blog name idea they would like to share with me, please do so and put me out of my lame-blog-name-ideas misery.

But back to this post now that I am actually writing…. we’ve been enjoying the fall here.   I of course love the cooler weather (keeps me from swelling) although when the forcast for this past Thanksgiving weekend showed very cold and rainy – I was worried about it being a little too cool, especially since we had been planning on spending the weekend at the unheated cottage.   But Jay and I always cook our goose by telling the kids days in advance that we are going, and even though we half-heartedly tried to talk them into an exciting weekend at home, it didn’t fly and  so we went.   Not to mention the rest of Jason’s family was going to be there and if we didn’t go we’d miss out on Thanksgiving dinner – and that certainly wasn’t going to happen.

So we went, and were chilly occasionally, but for the most part had a nice relaxing time.   And the turkey was amazing and the pumpkin pie was all that it should be so the cool weekend was completely worth it.  We even got some beach walks in and attempted a picture of all four kids together.  Since our expectations are always low we are never disappointed when everyone isn’t looking at the camera and smiling.  We take what we can get. 🙂

For Jason and the boys this was their second weekend away.   The weekend before they and a family friend Patrick headed up to a canoe/camping trip up North at a place Patrick has been going for over 20 years.  He took his boys when they were young and Jason used to go with them occasionally, and now it’s so cool that Jason and our boys are going.

I had no desire to go camping in my condition, but when I saw the pictures I was a bit jealous,  it was so beautiful up there…

And the boys absolutely loved every minute of it.    And I was so glad that they could spend some quality time with their dad before things get all crazy here and our family gets separated for a while when we’re at the hospital with new baby.

And how are we doing other wise?   Pretty good everything considering.

I’m still dealing with my own failings of not being able to see my own limitations and so I know I’m trying to do too much, and when I do I get tired and cranky.  But there really seems a lot to do!   Being pregnant with number five at my age is no joke in itself apparently.  But God is being faithful and He’s giving me grace to get through each day and even though the first week of December is coming fast, with His help I know I’ll be ready.

And this is the time of year to be thankful… and there is a lot to be thankful for.   I’m starting to realize that in tough times thankfulness and gratitude are great ways to keep one’s heart humble and joyful even when it’s tempting to focus on the problems and feel all discouraged and down.

I was encouraged this weekend when a friend who just went through a tough time had the same thoughts and shared them with me – that it’s so much better to focus on the support and comfort that God has provided during a rough time instead of just being focused on why God isn’t fixing everything for us.   And I think that’s the key for us too.

And there are so many things to be thankful for!  The list would go on and on – and actually I’ve just inspired myself to start a thankfulness list for when I get discouraged – nice!    I’ll definitely be putting on this list that I’m truly thankful for a God who never leaves us or forsakes us.  I’m thankful for so many amazing friends who have come along side me to do all sorts of things, like take care of my kids,  help me pitch my junk,  garden for me, provide emotional support and even shop with me!   And Jason and I are also blessed with four healthy kids and parents that love us and support us no matter what.

How can I not be thankful?

And focusing on God’s goodness towards us does feel much better than focusing on what is going wrong.

And so I can truly say today that even though I’m still sad and it’s not fun to be faced with a baby that’s going to be born  neeeding so much medical attention,  there is still joy and I’m very very thankful for all the good things in my life.

Distraction…

So believe it or not, while all the previous posted events were unfolding in our lives, we were actually on vacation at Jason’s family cottage on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron.  And far from ruining our vacation, we could even see God’s hands in arranging to have us up there as opposed to being at home while everything happened.  A beautiful distraction in the midst of a storm.

And looking back, it was a wonderful time, a chance for Jason and I to grow closer together and to just enjoy the four beautiful healthy children God has already given us.   And knowing that we have a rocky road ahead, with the crazy balancing act of caring for kids that we already have, while dealing with a child with a heart problem, we enjoyed the opportunity to make some memories and pour out some extra attention on them now.

Here is Erik waterskiing… he’s crossing the wake now and we’re so proud…

We don’t get to ski that often, Lake Huron is barely ever calm enough, but when it is, watch out, you can bet Jason will put a boat in the water quicker than you can  say ‘motorboat’.

Jason really wanted to teach William to ski this year, and he got up!  He didn’t stay up though, that whole instinctive pulling his arms into his chest was his down-fall each time, but at least he got out of the water thanks to grandpa coaching him…

Sarah is still content to just go tubing…

And Soph loves her boat rides…

This is one of our favourite parks…

Sophia opted to get her face painted one morning in town, our little butterfly…

Oh Sarah, our resident rascal…

Good thing I got a picture of Erik’s card-house before it fell…

The kids enjoyed some quality time together playing cards under the awning…

Sarah made some lunch for herself, with everything neatly laid out… all she’s missing is the banana for her wrap!

My brother and his wife and two girls stopped by one morning for breakfast one morning on their way through…  sweet little blondies…

And who can resist a baby… not Sarah!

A dad and his kids…

And a mom and her girls…

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful time together, a shelter from the storm and for the 4 healthy children you have already blessed us with!

Playing Hookey

Last week was the kids last week of school.   But they weren’t there to enjoy it.   Instead of tarmac and portables, my kids were feasting their eyes on this…

That’s right campers, we pulled our kids out of school for the very last week and went to the cottage and  it was one of the best decisions we ever made.   In fact, when I told all the kids teachers what our plans were earlier in June, they all looked at me without hesitation and said ‘No problem!”.    Report cards are done,  things are all wrapped up and they are basically just trying to keep the kids busy so it was no skin off of their back.

So don’t tell anyone but we would love to make this a habit.  🙂

We went to our favourite town and hiked on our favourite trails and even played at our favourite park.

Sarah found a little someone who I’m sure she wished was real…

And I got my picture taken!  I was there, on vacation with my family really!

And then we got to celebrate Erik’s birthday there!   Our boy is 9!

Erik does the best reactions when he opens gifts.

And who wouldn’t have a face like that if you were 9 and opening up a model rocket from your grandpa.   And then on his actually birthday a plane from Oma and Opa…

And we celebrated with the traditional birthday pumpkin pie which was delicious even in June and it’s just so great to see this child of ours growing up and he makes me proud.

So enjoying family, the lake, friends and July the 1st with the most enjoyable, most random display of fireworks I’ve ever seen in my life,  made this little extra vacation we snuck in one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had.

It pays to play hookey.

May Notes

Wow, another post from me and it hasn’t been a month since the last one!      I know I’ve been treating this blogging business very shabbily, but things are looking up because blog ideas are slowly working their way into my head again and I’m feeling the urge to let them out.   And I enjoy blogging when I have time to do it, but these days time seems elusive, and extra time, well that’s almost non-existent.

But thankfully there was time last weekend to go to the cottage for the Victoria Day long weekend.  I love the first visit of the season where we catch up with all our friends we haven’t seen all year and we get re-acquainted with the cottage and the beach.    This year the upper cottage is getting a major kitchen renovation so Jason and his dad were busy with that all weekend,  so it meant that the kids and I had to suffer on the beach without him, enjoying some amazing May beach weather while daddy slugged it out in the cottage.      And even though I’m sure he would have loved to have spent more time with us, he’s never been a guy who can say no to a project, so one more project on the go, here we come!

Here are the few pictures I took – I have a very real fear of getting sand in my camera so that hopefully explains the lack of beach shots.

It was so nice of Grandma to come up and suffer with us with our lack of running water on Monday, but we took the kids to the market which they just love because they just can’t resist the allure of junk.  Here is the new and improved Sophia…

Complete with new shades, bracelet and ring.     Definitely things on the must-have list for 3 year olds this season.

And then before we knew it we were home again.  But the nice weather has made our pool nice and warm much earlier this year then normal and so we’ve been swimming after school everyday which has been a huge bonus.

And we’re not the only ones who are enjoying our pool this year.  We seem to be co-habitating with wild-life as a pair of ducks have moved in.  And not only  have made themselves at home, but decided that my flower bed would make a great nesting place… ACK!

You only see the daddy duck here, because mama duck is sitting on her eggs.    Silly ducks.  You can’t raise ducklings in a pool!   I read today that baby ducks can drown in a pool because they can’t get out, so I’m a little concerned for the future, but I guess we’ll see how nature plays this one out.     Mama duck  is pretty good about staying put when we are in the pool, she was sitting on her eggs all day today,  and just leaves in the evening to go eat and hang out at the local stream, which is where she SHOULD have built her nest.    But hopefully when the ducklings are hatched that is where she will move them.  And if she doesn’t I imagine that we might have to intervene and help them all there.   This should all  be interesting, I’ll keep you posted.

And talking about babies,  I fell kinda hard for this one this week…

My newest niece about 5 weeks old.  So cute, so snuggly and of all my nieces and nephews so far reminded me the most of  my babies,  and it just felt so nice holding that sweet little bundle.

So I think we are caught up so far for May.  Sophia’s birthday in on Tuesday, so there will definitely be a birthday post coming your way soon!

Our wonderful (Not Thanksgiving) Weekend

We really enjoy going to the cottage in the fall, but when we went last weekend it was more with the fond hope that the weather would still feel like summer.   It didn’t, until the day we left which seems to be the way things roll at the cottage.     We had taken a few extra days to make it a long weekend and I know that I remarked more than once that if we had brought and cooked a turkey, it could have passed for a Thanksgiving weekend no problem.  The weather when we got there Wednesday night was downright chilly and Thursday was cold and very windy,  but the light was beautiful when the sun managed to peek out from behind the clouds.

When I ran back into the cottage after taking this shot my feet were almost numb, because weather or no weather I refuse to wear socks and shoes on the beach and look like a renter even on a Thursday in mid fall when there isn’t a soul around.  That’s my pride, or maybe it was just me being lazy and not wanting to find my flip-flops.

By the afternoon it had warmed up a little more and we were able to spend more time outside, the kid played in the sand…

suitably bundled of course, and later that night Jason had fun with the camera…

I do enjoy a good landscape photo…

Seriously the clouds and the lake really made us feel like we had suddenly been transported into mid October. So we were thankful when the wind calmed down Thursday night and it was great weather on Friday to do some hiking.


Just a daddy hiking with his girls…

And someone obviously worked very hard to make this bench out of sticks along the trail and as it was a bench made out of sticks on the trail, it had to be sat on by the children and as their parents we dutifully took the picture the situation required..

As an aside, someone was joking the other day about not having pictures of the youngest child. But I have to admit that in all honesty, I probably have MORE pictures of Sophia than of the other kids. Maybe it’s precisely because she is the baby and I feel I have to capture every second before she grows up on me just like the rest of them.

On Friday night we were joined by some good friends with their four kids and their pop-up trailer.   They soon settled right in…

The kids love having other kids to play with and they kept each other entertained for the rest of the weekend which was nice for the parents!

So that was our weekend. Nothing too thrilling or exciting, just a fun relaxing weekend with family and friends not eating turkey and pumpkin pie, which is too bad,  because that would have been delicious.