Thursday, May 21, 2009

Charlie is Baptized and More...

It's been another busy month. Could it be that life is just busier now? Hmmm. Yes! And happily so.

Charlie is three months old tomorrow! He's trying to hold up his own head and has started cooing. We've even had several seven-hour sleep stretches at night (hallelujah!). He's charming the pants off of us.

Here's a recap on the last month:

Rob's family came for a fun long weekend. Rob smoked ribs in his new smoker. Papa Tom and Aunt Nicki met Charlie and got to see an official Pants Off Dance Off with their own eyes.

My dear friend, Buffy, visited from Rockford, IL -- she's amazing! It was so fun introducing her to Charlie. We talked for hours into the night (I didn't even mind that I had to get up a few hours later to nurse) and we had a fun girl's night at a Franklin "Meat 'n Three" restaurant. It meant the world to me that she spent that time with us. She flew home on Sunday to spend Mother's Day with her sweet daughter, Ellie, and her husband, Dan. Meanwhile, Rob treated me to a special pancake breakfast and made a delicious salmon dinner. Mother's Day is a bit bittersweet for me -- it's amazing to be celebrated for the most rewarding job I could ever hope for. At the same time, I also miss my own mother very much. As the sharp pain of her loss has softened a little bit with time, I focus on celebrating the memories I have with her, sometimes through tears. On remembering the incredible childhood she and my dad created, on the life lessons she taught me ("God has a sense of humor..."), and on the close friendship we developed in my adulthood.

Then we made the big trip to Peoria this weekend for Andi's Bradley graduation and Charlie's baptism! Andi was honored several times over in her ceremony; we were so happy to be there supporting her! And we pulled in without a minute to spare (as I opened the door, I could hear Andi's voice over the microphone beginning her speech)... It was a ten hour drive in 88 degree weather, traveling in a car with broken air conditioning. Four hot sweaty bodies. Madeline begging for water like we were in the Sahara Desert. Then without warning when we hit St. Louis, the temperature dropped 30 degrees and switched to rain. The windows fogged up; Rob was frantically wiping the steam from the windows with a diaper. During the final 30 minutes, Charlie cried so hard, he threw up! Which scared Madeline enough to cry too. Rob and I caught each other's eye and couldn't even find the words... Finally, we pulled up and I ran in -- with frizzy hair, smeared make up, covered in Madeline's lunch and the contents of Charlie's diapers (so much for the cute sundresses I brought along). But we made it! And most importantly, Andi was amazing (and very worth the trip)! Our friends, Dan and Claire, were generous hosts, graciously allowing our entire family to use their house as "home base" for the weekend. After Friday night's pinning ceremony, there was a brunch and a graduation party on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, we baptized Charles Robert in the church where Rob and I were married and where Madeline was also baptized. The power of it hit me as the Pastor held Charlie and walked him up and down the aisle, asking the congregation of several hundred to take Charlie under their spiritual wing, so to speak. One young girl reach out and touched Charlie's foot, and a three-year-old boy asked his mom if Charlie was Baby Jesus. The best part was that almost everyone was there to witness the moment -- my grandma from Arkansas, my aunt from Spokane, my dad and Ning, Mollie, Andi, Rob's grandma (who met Charlie for the first time!), mom, dad and sister, Kyle, and Grandpa Craig. Madeline came to the alter with us for the ceremony, playing with my pearls and gently yanking on my hair. Charlie wore the ivory knit outfit that Rob was baptized in 30 years ago!

That brings us to the present. Summer's officially here! Our neighborhood pool opens tomorrow and the outdoor festivals have begun. We're so excited to see our terrific friends, the Sullivans, on Sunday!


Jamie said...

Meg, what a wonderful month you've had and the pics of the kids are absolutely fantastic!! You look great too, love the new hair cut! :) I can't wait to see you all in person soon so all the kiddos can play together!

Chelsea said...

I hope your mother's day was filled with wonderful memories of your mom. She would be so proud of you to see what an amazing mother you are!

Oh, I feel for you on that drive. We've had a few "hairy" travel experiences like that ourselves. The destination makes it worth the trip though, right? How wonderful to be there to celebrate with Andi and also to have all your family there for little Charlie's baptism. Baby Jesus? That's great! Gotta love kids...