Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Nora

{look at that freshly-baptized cuteness!}

This Sunday, Nora June's godfather held her over the baptismal font as her friends and family watched. The holy water washed over her sweet head as the priest blessed her in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Even though she's just two months old, at that moment, Nora became new.

We had an incredible weekend, y'all. Friends from across town, all over Arkansas, and a whole state over packed into the front pews of our little church with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts. They were there to support our baby daughter on her very special Baptism Day. Decked in the same pretty white gown I wore a mere 29 years ago, Nora looked beautiful. After professing our faith along with her godparents, Tim and Rebecca, we told Father Alphonse what we wished for our daughter. We asked for her to be baptized into the Catholic faith, to receive blessings for a wonderful future as a child of the Lord, and to start her journey in faith.

She was not the happiest baby during all of this, but she later said she was crying with the joy of the Holy Spirit. I believed her.

{Also, she totally stopped the minute the water touched her. Thanks, Jesus!}

Once her little head was wiped, she was presented as the newest member of our church's parish and the choir sang a song that actually included her name. Then I forced every single family member and friend who showed up to cram together in the front of the church and say cheese for this epic photo:

One of my kids is looking in another direction and another is screaming at the top of her lungs, but despite that I'd say it was a success. And it's one of my favorites from the weekend. I wanted to be able to remember that Nora was loved by so many on this special day and a photo of their faces usually does the trick. We're a good-looking bunch, aren't we?

Once I finally released everyone from their photo op positions {after several family variations and poses, of course}, we all loaded up and traveled to my parents' house for an amazing luncheon of soup and salad. Now, earlier in the week my mom and I talked decorations. For the boys' baptisms we didn't really go all out. We just made sure everyone was fed and had a place to sit. I shared these memories with her and told her I didn't plan to fancy up the place at all. She asked if she could do a little and I told her to knock her socks off.

Let's just say she wasn't wearing any socks.

I didn't take many pictures of the decorations because there were close to 30 people to mingle with and my poor Nora was a little fussy and in need of snuggles. I'll paint you a picture, though. I know how much you like that. Imagine white lacy tablecloths embroidered with tiny pink and blue flowers draped across three large tables in the living room. Pink roses and white snap dragons were arranged in a bouquet and in small vases surrounded by pink napkins on the food table. Oh, the food table. Yummy crusty bread, delicious meats and cheeses, three different hot soups, fruit, veggies, and the most gorgeous baptism cake you ever did see!

{Look closely at Owen's finger in the photo on the right. You see it? Yes. Yes, he did.
Also, best family photo ever. Oh, that Nathan.}

After we all had our fill and then some, most of us adjourned to the back porch to enjoy the summery September weather. We watched all of our kids play together and talked about how odd it was that we were grown-ups, a common conversation when with friends we've known since we were Nathan's size. They played on the swing set until the sweat was dripping and kept going back for more. As we watched, we happened to notice that out of the six godparents we have chosen for our children, five were present. Therefore, I demanded to capture the moment. My brother had to work in another state, but he was going to be in the photo, too. Make. It. Work.

{Click to enlarge and see how smashing Tommy looked at his wedding.
He just happened to wear the same suit to Nora's baptism.}

Bridget and Tommy go with Nathan, Abby and Scott go with Owen, and Tim and Rebecca are the newest members of the club, helping nurture Nora in her faith. Not to toot my own horn, but I think we made some spectacular choices. All six of these people are big parts of my life and the lives of my family. Whether it's through support in my church, someone I've known since the day he was born, or kids who became our brothers and sisters in the second grade, they are part of who we are. They have helped shaped our character and our faith and I can't wait to watch them do the same for my children. For me, this is what being a godparent is all about. It's not just sitting in the pew together, it's helping these kids become more like Jesus Christ in everything they do.

I wish this for all of three of them and I thank each one of you who have vowed to help in this journey.

I pray that I can improve my faith as my babies grow in theirs.

Happy Baptism, Nora June!

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