Sunday, May 31, 2015

Benedict is Baptized!

For the first time in weeks it rained all night and hasn't stopped yet.  But we're taking it as a sign of the Holy Spirit pouring down because Baby Ben is Baptized!!!

We've never actually had a Baptism this early but last year I learned that "Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it." (Canon law 867)

We've had our children all Baptized within the first month…I knew it was to be done "soon" after birth...but had no idea there was an actual time frame given.  I wish I had known that sooner!  So, in that spirit, we tried to schedule it as soon as possible.  What is absolutely awesome is that we got to have sweet Baby Ben Baptized on Trinity Sunday and the readings were just perfect for a Baptism.  Not only that, but today is also the day we will complete our Consecration for him to Mary (in the normal calendar May 31 is the feast of the Visitation).  
What an amazing gift.

Look at this sweet babe!  The gown is five generations old on Brian's side and is such a treasure.  Underneath THAT is the gown from our side of the family made from my grandmother's wedding dress.  We've got lots of tradition, y'all, so our kids get double robed ;)  

The night before, in preparation for his big day, he got his first bath.  

Some excited and proud big brothers

And he's in!!  This was the only good shot of the actual Baptism…our priest is too quick and my camera too slow ;)

So blessed to have my sister and brother-in-law to Godparent our sweet baby boy.

And I love that John Paul and Michael were able to serve at such a special Mass for us!  Our parish isn't perfect but there is so much I love about it and we are so blessed to be there.  That priest is the same one who was associate at my parish while in high school.  He first introduced me to Steubenville which was the catalyst for my reversion to the Faith (and my Marriage!).  It just so happened we ended up moving to the area where he is pastor at a different parish.

Everyone sort of semi-looking?  Not bad.

For the first time ever I realized a few weeks before he was born that I could make a Baptism cake and freeze it for the big day.  I don't know why I never thought of that before.  All I had to do was ice it.

Being so soon after the birth, I kept things very simple with just a small brunch for Godparents and grandparents at our house after.  Which, because of the pouring rain, actually worked out better than a huge family party.

And now more fancy shots from our fancy little photo shoot:
I remember a nun in college saying that the angels stand in awe before a newly Baptized baby.  I do, too.

I don't know…trying to be artsy.  Or something.

A tired out but freshly cleaned and anointed disciple, 
Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thank you, God, for so many undeserved blessings.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Don't Let Me Forget

Don't let me forget.

With every babe we've been given, the reality grows stronger.  I may not do this again.  The magnitude of the gift, the fleeting moments of this crazy time.  There are no guarantees.  Only right now.  I don't want to forget.

And I don't want to forget not just because I may not do it again but because I can't do you again.  This is your time.  The time of you.  To soak in not just what a miracle it all is but the unique miracle that is you

I want to remember the matching top crinkles of your sweet ears.

The dark fuzz of your shoulders and the softer than soft cheeks.  The lips that beg to be kissed.

The loll of your head after a nurse and despite my attempts to fix what looks so uncomfortable, your return right back to that same position.

The mid-doze smiles and grimaces, random sighs and dainty squeaks.  The softer than silk gloss of your newborn hair.

The wrinkles of your toes and the surprise in your eyes when your tiny limbs are let loose.  The tiny remains of vernix trapped in a few creases.

The stork bite.  The button of a nose.  The lines of milk that dribble and dry to your chin.

Even the strange things.  The reptilian peel of your newly born skin.  The ridiculously long fingernails.  The things that in fancy newborn photo shoots might be mourned or airbrushed out.  Those too.  I want them all. 

They are you.  This gift.  

Even the hard things.  The waves of melancholy and hormonal rushes that without warning sweep over my being.  The afterpains.  The sore engorgement and muscles that ache.  

The toe-curl of a bad latch.  The frustration of those moments when you root and snort though what you want is waiting right in front of you.  Even the agony of a wave of labor as you came into this world.  I don't want to forget.  Because it was all you.  

Being here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

May I Introduce You?

We're so so happy to share with you our newest blessing!

Introducing our sweet Benedict Raphael
"Blessed Healing of God"
Born Friday evening May 22 at 8:08 p.m.
7 pounds 1 ounce, 19 inches

Footling breech vaginally birthed (no, really).  

This whole pregnancy I had a different feeling about this birth.  I couldn't place my finger on it so we just planned as best we could for normal but I guess there really was something to that.

We ended up birthing at the hospital after finding out the day before that he had unexpectedly flipped breech.  It's a pretty crazy whirlwind of a story infused with God's grace and provision and heaps of His peace.  We arrived at the hospital at 7:54 and he was born at 8:08.  I'll share the whole story soon, I hope!  We were able to be home by the next afternoon and are trying to soak up this precious time.  The older brothers are in love.  

Thank you so very much for all the love and prayers.  What could have been a very scary situation was just saturated with His goodness and I know much of that is due to all of your sweet prayers (as well as the expertise and care of my amazing midwife, her assistant, and several other wonderful people).  I didn't forget to pray for you, too.

For now, we nurse and rest and nurse and gaze and nurse and change and nurse and eat and nurse and snuggle and nurse...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Soaking It In {pretty, happy, funny, real} - vol. 69

Today in our little neck of the woods it is absolutely beautiful and so I sit on our porch trying to soak it all in as much as I can.  And I get to share a little piece of it here.

Remember how last year we got one (as in 1) pear off of our dozen trees?
This year, barring some horrible freeze, we're set to explode!

See those baby pears forming??  Aren't they sweet?

So many.  We'd get a lot already but since we had none last year, it's even more than a normal year.  Thousands.  Be prepared, local friends.  Come late August we'll be begging you to take them. 

Oh, and remember that whole bee thing we've been talking about?
You guys.

We have bees!!  
I'll have to do a more in depth post at some point and don't you dare go thinking we know what we're doing but...bees!  We ordered two nuc hives and had only "sometime in spring" given us as the reference to when they would be ready.  I predicted they would be ready the week I was due and sure enough...

This weekend was insane and part of the insanity was Brian and the older boys going out at dusk Saturday night to pick up our bees and bring them home.  We were already exhausted from a long day but Brian and John Paul stayed up until after ten getting the bees situated in their new homes.  I wish I had been able to get pictures of the process but they were working by flashlight at that point and I was deflated in the tub from such a crazy day.  John Paul was amazing, though.  No fear.  He knew exactly what to do and how to do it and guided us through the process of installing the hive.  

We're really excited about it.  This could be such a neat hobby or it could flop and this could be one of the most expensive (but educational?) experiments we've ever done.  We shall see!

A scene from earlier in the day.  Michael and Luke were called in to lunch and had picked heaps of goldenrod from the field to bring back with them.  Happy.

I did have to break it to them that goldenrod wasn't a good house flower.

And a scene from a few days ago that I had to include because it is a happy day indeed when our farmer plows the fields behind our house. 

 The boys are hoping that they'll plant corn this year.  And yes, they were too close.  Way too close.  So I took a picture…and then called them in ;)

Brian replaced the chicken fence and I think it looks great.  The old one was made from tree branches that were finally beginning to rot out and fall over :)  We filled it up with lots of straw and grass clippings and we have happy chickens.  Except for that one that got killed by a hawk yesterday.  That chicken is not so happy anymore.  She was one of our routine escapees and the boys found her body by the coop just before dinner.  We weren't sure what had gotten her since the body was left but during dinner I flew out of my seat when I saw a hawk come to perch right on one of those posts, presumably to get the rest of her or to pick off another bird.  I'm sure it was quite the entertaining site to see us all run outside to scare it away...

But, um, the rest are still happy :)

On hawk patrol.  This kid thinks he's tough as nails and that he can do anything.

Remember how gray and cold and dreary it was just a few weeks ago?  Thank you, Lord, for this.  Help us to soak it all in.  
That patch in the middle, if you can see it, is what used to be our garden.  After thinking it through we made the sad decision to forgo a garden this year.  There is just too much other life going on and we needed to replow a whole new area to plant since this fence, too, was rotting out and falling over…it just didn't make sense and would've been more than we can (sanely) handle right now.  So if anyone wants to share some of their garden's harvest with us later on…well, we'll have pears to trade? 

And this.  Because I can't let it slide through that someone in our house turned 35 this week.  Thirty five.  And John Paul made the annual birthday brownies all on his own this year so apparently someone else is growing up, too.  Brian didn't get a birthday buddy like he was hoping so it looks like we'll have three different May birthdays in this house to celebrate next year!

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {pretty, happy, funny, real}
Hope you're having a beautiful Thursday!

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