It’s been a whole year since I first locked eyes with Justine. She’s brought much Joy into our lives. She’s often quiet – taking in her surroundings and the actions of her older siblings. Within the last few weeks, however, she has found a high-pitched screech as her voice. She is heard. She is loved and everyday I’m reminded how beautiful my life is with my babies. Riley and I are grateful. We are joyful. We are hopeful and hope-filled.
We attended another birthday party for a young friend this afternoon. The kids played and I watched as Justine tried to eat mums, Avery played in the sandbox and Ayla laughed with friends. Our time on this earth is too short to not spend it with those we love. This weekend was a reminder of that.
Cousins who cherish each other. Friends who find common ground. Children who make big eyes at yummy food. Aunts who offer to help. Uncles who cook delicious food. Grandparents who play pass. Siblings who hug and guide. They are all of influential importance.
Due to many scheduling conflicts we headed to the Apple orchard early this year. This was Justine’s first year picking apples this side of the womb and she enjoyed an apple while we picked. Ayla successfully reached some big red Cortlands. Avery was content watching while he sat in the wagon with Justine.
We have made a tradition of picking apples each year. Traditions give Hope for the future by establishing memories. We can look back and remember.
We visited Riley’s grandmother this morning. She’s 93. Her mind fails her but she looks good. If her hands could tell stories, I’m sure they’d write several books. Justine’s hands are 10 months young. She is just beginning her story.
A person’s hands carry babies, wash dishes, tighten bolts, solve problems, drive boats. They tell stories. Visit your older relatives to hear their stories. They’ll be happy to share and you’ll be in awe of their testimony.
Ayla has had quite a wonderful summer. As the trendy saying goes: she’s been living her best life. In part this is in thanks to the best grandparents, best neighbors and best cousins.
She’s been to Mr. Jim’s and Miss Patsy’s pool several times. We’ve visited some different Maine lakes. She’s strawberry and blueberry picked. On Monday she was on the local news with a cousin talking about sunscreen.
She sometimes thinks I’m mean for not letting her watch more shows, but I think (and hope) she’s learning there’s so much more to life than that.
*The two top photos were taken by my neighbor, Patsy
We visited Lake St George State Park today. The more years I add to my age the more I realize all of the wonderful places there are in this state, country and world. It was a beautiful day and the lake was warm. Ayla swam and Avery tried to catch fish. We spent time with my mom and dad, aunt, uncle, and cousins. After our day at the lake we enjoyed delicious ice cream at John’s Ice Cream.
I thought it would be appropriate to introduce Saint George for this Saintly Saturday. He was a martyr and patron saint of soldiers.
“Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.”
We had one last quick visit with family this afternoon. We met family we’ve never met this weekend, including this cutie with Avery.
We headed up north for a family reunion on my dad’s side. It’s great to see family I haven’t seen in a while and to meet relatives I’ve never met.
It was special to see my great uncle, my grandfather’s only living sibling. When I see him I see my grandfather and I smile.
This weekend was one filled with family and I always cherish our time together – especially seeing my best friend cousins. They are always my favorite. While it’s great to see my beautiful family, it feels like there is never enough time. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I stopped by my grandparents’ farmhouse on the way out of town and found Memere sitting in her rocking chair. She said she was processing the whole weekend. Her eyes were moist, already missing the family that left. It’s a whirlwind of a good time and when the dust settles we have memories. I can’t wait until next time.
“When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.” ~Ogden Nash
It’s not as negative as it sounds, but the kids act different with the grandparents around. Cue: eye roll.
Everyone loves the visit, though.