Chloe was chief in charge of picking, which is a dangerous job for a 2 year old, we like to live on the wild side. She did such a good job, we ended up with 24 pounds which was enough to fill a few jars. Just as we were about to leave we were able to hitch a ride on the tractor to get back to the car (which was great because I was pretty sore just from pushing Claire the one way). Farmer Tom was so kind to help hoist Claire up and everyone moved around to make room for us. It is moments like that, when nobody makes a big deal about it and you just get treated like a part of the group that feel so good and go a long way toward the normalness that we seek. We got a little tour and the farmer even stopped to pick teddy bear sunflowers for all of the kids. Both girls absolutely loved the ride on the tractor and it was the perfect close to our little adventure for the day. Farmer Tom wrote about here it and if you look closely in the picture of the tractor with the wagon, you can see Claire sitting in the middle surveying the land.
Could it be? Did we have a super normal fun filled weekend as a family? Yes, yes we did! When we first moved up here (and I was under the impression that Claire was a typically developing child) I was so excited to take her out to the farm, to cook with her and raise her to know where food really comes from (hint: not your grocers freezer!) As you might have guessed, that whole dream got interrupted when our life slid sideways with the whole rett thing. Saturday morning we got up and all headed out to our spectacular farm for their u-pick tomato event. We had never taken Claire out because of the situation with her wheels and all of the soft dirt associated with farms and I am so glad that we finally just decided to do it because it was awesome! As it turns out, everyone in our family likes to eat tomatoes right off the vine with a little salt, even Captain Awesome who has sworn off tomatoes for as long as I have known him, I had to get a little photographic evidence. There is just something so nourishing to both the body and the soul to be where your food comes from. Every week we get a big bag full of lovely produce from this farm and it was such a treat for everyone to get to see and smell where it comes from.
As you might imagine, we were all pretty tired after all that fun so we went home to rest and get ready for our next adventure, which was only 2 hours away! Yes, us doing more than one thing in a day much less week, who knew that we could have so much fun?!?! After we all had a good nap we packed back up and headed to the beach for Erica’s 21st birthday bash! From the sounds of it you might think that this sounds like an event that might not be appropriate for the girls, but it was. We met Erica at Kid Quest (the super awesome hang out/respit house that has saved my life a million times over) She and Claire both have a converse shoe fetish and that was just the beginning. As soon as we got there Valerie (Erica’s mom who works at kq and loves Claire a whole lot) whisked Claire off to do introductions to everyone and I got to hang out and chat, which is something that I don’t do frequently, but I could get used to it! Chloe quickly found the sand toys and it was so awesome to experience various people, some that I knew and others that I didn’t come up and play with her. Claire hung out with Natalie while Jared went to get a closer view of the bait ball feeding frenzy (you can see it in the background). We all had hot dogs that were cooked over a big fire pit along with all the normal picnic food like potato salad and watermelon. As it got later we sang happy birthday and it was time for cake. Despite the cake being chocolate, after one bite, Claire clamped down and didn’t want anymore. I saw that there was a little smirk in her face and asked if she was just holding out for smores. She laughed out loud and beamed with the brightest smile. Our friends around all laughed at what a clever and funny little thing Claire is. I quickly found some marshmallows and made my way to the fire to make what was the first smore for both Claire and Chloe. As the two of them ate them, covered in gooey wonderfulness, the fog started to blow in and the sun faded. I looked around and we were surrounded by some of the best people that I never knew to dream of. Here we have been fighting to get back to normal ever since our world got tipped upside down about five years ago and we have arrived. I am not sure exactly where or when it was that we stopped trying to make it back and just started living and enjoying a truly blessed life, but I do think that it was somewhere between a tractor ride through the tomato patch and Chloe going down to the water to free a hermit crab with a friend, none the less, we made it. With that, hello fall, I can’t wait to enjoy you!