First of all...today begins my favorite month of the year! I love, love, love October! I love the crisp fall weather. I love the changing colors on all the trees. I love turning on the oven and bringing out the recipes for soups and slow cooking oven meals. I love apple picking and picking out pumpkins at our local orchard. I love turning all the apples we pick into pies, and crisps, and homemade apple sauce.
This is a month filled with power house saint feast days! Just this week alone celebrates St. Therese, Guardian Angels, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Faustina. The lives and writings of these 3 saints have touched my life in very special ways over the years...and I always appreciate my Guardian Angel! (We joke that Peter must have 3:)
My wedding anniversary is also this month, so I get to look forward to a little alone time with Jay to remember that special day and reflect on all our memories over the last...wait for it....20 years! I can't believe we have been married that long! But, more on that later in the month....
I have some really special goals this month. I promise I will elaborate over the next few days...it might even take the whole week!
I am concentrating in a special way this month on living in the moment through the eyes of faith. This theme has been percolating in my heart for the last few months and I have been trying to wrap my head around it. I don't have it all worked out, but I'm jumping in with two feet anyway.
It will make this October even better!
Today was a beautiful fall day. After 3 days of rain I was so ready to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine with Luke. The idea to go to the zoo popped into my head. Felt like a good fit. So, after we got ready for the day, off we went.
This is the first time I've taken Luke and Kate to the zoo by myself. I was looking forward to the adventure. I even remembered my camera!
Since my focus is to "Live in the Moment"(LITM) this month, we went through the zoo on "Lukie pace". I let Luke lead the way and just followed along and redirected when necessary, which was hardly at all.
The train was getting ready to go on its first ride of the day as we walked into the zoo. I had tickets left from our last visit so I asked Luke if he wanted to ride. He was a little hesitant until I told him that Kate and I would ride, too! After that, Luke jumped right on:)
Kate wasn't so sure about it at first, but they both ended up enjoying the ride. The attendant was nice enough to snap our picture at the end....I'm thinking that I have a new facebook photo!
After the train ride, we wandered around the zoo for an hour. We stopped for a snack when Luke wanted. We stayed by the animals for however long, or short, Luke wanted. It was so cute. When he was ready to see the next animal, his squeaky little voice would let me know, "Let's keep going, Mommy." We counted the pigs and the goats and the cows. He helped push the carriage for a while. No rushing, no plan...just together time.
Luke spent some time climbing this rock over and over again towards the end of the zoo. He had a lot of fun:)
When we were done with the zoo, I asked Luke if he wanted to go to the playground for a while. Luke was thrilled. Up the ladder, through the tunnels, down the slides he went for another 40 minutes. I did have to encourage him to leave because Kate was ready to go. Luckily, there was a front end loader working on the elephant cage and the elephants were hanging out in the grass next to the chain link fence near the playground so Luke was willing to check it out on the way to the van.
My favorite fall leaves were featured on a tree in front of the zoo. I love the orange leaves!
A smaller, but still significant "Living in the Moment" moment happened right before we went to the zoo. Andrew had forgotten his english binder with his homework at home this morning. Since the zoo is a mile from the boys' high school, we dropped the binder off for him. Andrew was in study, which he generally spends in the Campus Ministry Office. Andrew saw me pull up and he called to me from the door. He was with one of his best friends.
Andrew looked so happy and "in his element"...which is a big deal for my most introverted, sensory defensive son. It was a little "God wink"...just knowing that the sacrifices that we make for him to be at that school are worth it because he is thriving. I was grateful for that little moment.