The service and baptism itself were lovely and sweet, it was both strange and wonderful to look out during the sacrament at the congregation, made up primarily by our whole huge family, all gathered there to celebrate and pray for this rosy-cheeked little boy of ours. They all came, his five cousins, fourteen aunts and uncles, eight great-aunts and uncles, a number of second-cousins, four grandparents, four great-grandparents, and finally my best friend Lisa (who feels like family) and her husband.
They all came. During a Viking's came nonetheless! (That was not on purpose, not that I pay any attention to those kind of things.)
Being a part of this loving, supportive, friendly, all-up-in-everyone's-business-kind-of-family is AWESOME. I love it.
Yes, we had to rent a community center to celebrate with everyone, and no I didn't get to talk to everyone one-on-one, but those aren't real problems. Not when you are surrounded by all these wonderful people who all want to be a part of your children's lives.
Our family is our greatest blessing in life.
My little cousin Julia, my own Goddaughter, was literally at the beck-and-call of 3-year-old Gus all day long. She kept him happy and safe (from himself) and mostly out of trouble.
Dan's sister Heidi took care of Louie when we were all busy cleaning up, he was really tired and cranky by then, having missed his first nap in the morning and being well past the point of needing to go down for his second.
Well that baby passed right out on his aunt Heidi after a good session of bouncing and swinging. She's been around babies her whole life and clearly has the touch.
My sister-in-law Dannell brought along tubs of legos and toy trucks to keep the kids entertained all afternoon. This woman is invaluable in my life, she always knows exactly the thing that I most need and she takes care of it.
My mother-in-law and brothers and even my pregnant sister-in-law helped fold up chairs and sweep up the room and make it look like we had never been there.
My mom did the dishes and organized the coolers and pretty much played the roll of hostess when I was unable.
My dad and father-in-law carried loads of gifts and food and supplies back out to the car at the end of the day.
Even the little kids helped out, Tim and Julia and Kari, and James (well he's not a little kid) all went out to the playground during clean-up, and played with Gus on the teeter-totter and pushed him on the swings.
Oh, and did I mention that my 20 year old brother-in-law and his GIRLFRIEND drove here from college in Wisconsin to be there for Louie's day? And at some point before today they went out and bought a "Baby's First Bible" and keepsake picture frame, and then even wrapped it up all pretty. 20 years old. IN COLLEGE.
I mean seriously. These people! This family! How did we get so lucky?
Godmothers Lisa and Maria
Cousins (all of them but Marcella)! From left, Abby, Lucas, Matthew, Gus (who is only sitting still because Aunt Dannell gave him a sucker), William, and Louie.
6 year-old William after a series of pictures sitting here: "How much does this kid weigh? 50 lbs?!"
Sorry Val, you have no face in these pictures, but you still look happy!
Oh my gosh, what a happy, joyous kid. He was such an angel in church, well a squirrelly little angel that required sippy cups and puffs and toys and finally in desperation a small leather camera case in order to stay happy. But he did! Stay happy! :)
You do not want to know how much this cake from our local bakery cost. When she told me while standing there after I had ordered it, I just couldn't bring myself to cancel and walk out, maybe out of pride, even if that's what I probably should have done. Next time we hit up Costco. (But I will say, they listened to me with the decor! I told them gray and yellow, simple, modern, NO FLOWERS, and they did as I said. Not like the other local bakery who made the cake for Gus's baptism. My NO FLOWERS request resulted in a GIANT cross made all out of... FLOWERS covering the entire cake. Dan brought it home the day before, calling me on the way home saying, "They didn't... exactly... follow your instructions about the flowers.")