Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tilly's Baptism

Ty and I decided before the craziness of the holidays, we'd like to go ahead and have Tilly baptised. It was such a special day for us. No matter your religion or how you go about things ... dedication, sprinkles, full immersion ... to me, and for the sake of this blog, that's just details. For all parents, the moment symbolizes the same thing. Me and Ty, our families and our church family are vowing to raise Tilly in the Christian faith, to be an example to her of how Christ calls us to live and to teach her about God until she is of the age to be confirmed in her faith and accept him as her Savior. Whew, that's a lot of responsibility!

For the first part of the service, Ty and I made our vows to Tilly. As we were preparing for this day, I wanted to get a christening gown for Tilly to wear. I didn't know of a family gown, so I thought we would start a tradition with Tilly's gown. Ty's mom, Margaret, surprised me with something so special! She had saved the gown Ty's great aunt Helen made for Margaret's baptism, and Ty's sister, Mandy, was also baptised in the gown. It is a gorgeous, delicate linen gown that dates back roughly 60 years. I love that Tilly got to wear it and will be able to pass it on to her own children one day.

Next came the water. Let me just say, Brenda St. Andre sets up for our service each week and she is heaven sent. For each baby's baptism, she has the water warm so the reaction is more soothed than shocked. Tilly stuck her tongue out for most of her baptism, but aside from that and a few whimpers, she did great.

Following the baptism, JoAnn carried Tilly down the center aisle as the congregation sang a sweet lullaby to her called, "God Claims You." I've never managed to make it through a single baptism without getting teary eyed. The song says,

Tilly Ann, God claims you
God helps you, protects you, 
and loves you, too. 
We this day do all agree, 
A child of God you'll always be.
Tilly Ann, God claims you, 
God helps you, protects you, 
and loves you, too.

After the song and an inevitable room full of teary eyes, the church prays collectively for Tilly and makes their vows to her. We are so blessed to attend a church filled with young families. After all, it takes a village!

Following the service, we had several friends and family members over for lunch.

I find any occasion worthy of cake pops and cookies from Alyson Foreman at Aly B's Bakery. She did precious pink, sparkly cross cookies and circular white monogram cookies.

I put out a few special childhood mementos from mine and Ty's childhood, such as my first "real" jewelry that my parents gave me as a little girl, and Ty's thumb trophy that he was rewarded with when he stopped sucking his thumb.

I couldn't resist putting out Ty's scuffed up baby shoes, too.

We were so grateful to have the Taylors there to help us set up so everything would be ready as friends arrived for lunch. Doesn't Knox look like such a mini-Marcus? 

The Guletts also came over for lunch. Just a couple of weeks before Tilly's baptism, we got to take part in the baptism of their third child, Cooper. I cried at this service, too.

Of course, Aunt Mandy and Ruby Belle came over. Everyone says Tilly looks just like her cousin, Ruby Belle. I can accept that. RB is such a pretty little girl and is growing up so fast.

Tilly fell asleep soon after we got home, missing most of her party. Thanks to my aunt Robbie for changing her and putting her down for a nap. Once that was done, Ty was free to head things up at the kid's table. Other than being slightly too tall, this is where he belongs! Following lunch, the kids all filed into the backyard to pick limes off our lime tree and toss them in the pool. My favorite part was seeing Georgia Gulett (pictured above in the orange bow) kicking limes off the tree in her Sunday smocked dress. You gotta be rough and tumble to hang with the boys sometimes!

Our friend Kristen described watching your child's baptism as magical. It was nothing less than just that. I will never forget those special moments with our friends, family and church family. We are blessed to have such an amazing support system, people who love Tilly and are invested in raising her as a child of God.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Three Months and a Baby

I'm back!

You'd all but given up on me, I'm sure.

Let me start by saying, this time off has been wonderful. I have fallen madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with my little girl. I will be unable to recap the past three months for you, but I'll do my best to give you a synopsis.

Tilly Ann was born Aug. 7 at 2:04 p.m. After three days of contractions that would progress to the point of getting ready to grab my hospital bag and then they would suddenly stop, I called Dr. Tynes and said, "Let's do this." We went in at 5 a.m. that morning, they induced me and things went well and quickly all day and then there was Tilly. It sounds far more simple than it actually was!

{This was taken right when we got to the hospital. You can't tell, but I was a nervous wreck!}
There were a few delivery room debacles. The nurse telling Ty to call Dr. Tynes because we were ready for her to come deliver, like immediately, and Ty dialing the wrong number! The anesthesiologist getting ready to administer my epidural and accidentally cutting himself on the glass vile. Thankfully, he is one of our good friends, and we can now harass him about this to no relief.

After Tilly's birth, we spent the first hour alone, just the three of us. The hospital plays a sweet lullaby over the hospital's speakers to announce the arrival of a new baby. It was music to my ears! 

I wouldn't trade these moments for the world, but I knew I wouldn't be able to hold off the Netherton and Jordan families for much longer. Our room was full of family and friends to celebrate. People sent flowers, cookie cakes, clothes. ... and good thing on the clothes. As much preparation as I had done, I wasn't ready for a six pound baby. None of the clothes fit, so we needed some preemies. Tilly was completely healthy, just one day shy of her due date, but small.

{I'm amazed at the amount of stuff we acquired at the hospital}

{Our precious cargo couldn't hold her little head up for the car ride home}

Now for the fun part -- coming home! I've loved, loved, loved becoming a mom. Trying to figure out bath time, nap time, sleep schedules, breast feeding -- those are stripes I've earned in the past few months.

I love Tilly's sweet cuddles, her smiles and giggles. It's the most rewarding job that not even the stinkiest diaper can phase me!

I love seeing her experience new things and grow and change. A newborn will make you realize how quickly life moves. Someone told me the other day at church that Tilly changes every time he sees her. It's so exciting, but makes me a little sad, too. It's going by too fast. I want to hit pause and hang out here a little longer!

But, life doesn't afford us a pause button, so I'm doing my best to savor each moment. The frequency of my blog may suffer, but I'm a little wrapped up at the moment.

Now, I'm about to do the crazy mom thing and show you a million pictures from the past few months.

{Tilly getting some sun and napping in Ty's lap}

{Bundled up after our first bath like a cute burrito}

{Tilly and I going for our first stroll through the neighborhood. I never realized how many pot holes and uneven sidewalks there are in South Highlands until now!}

{It was never difficult to tell if Tilly was satisfied after eating.}

{Tilly and Knox meet for the first time. We laid them in Tilly's crib and they both started sucking on Tilly's hand. We were just happy to see them share. They are six weeks apart, but LJ and I were highly amused at the size difference.}

{This is one of Tilly's first documented smiles. She would often smile in her sleep, but this was one moment that she melted my heart.}

 {Two-month shots are the devil. I'm still not sure who cried more, me or her. But there's nothing better than sleeping on Daddy's chest when you don't feel good.}

 {Tilly loves hanging out with her cousins Beckett and Ruby Belle. A few weeks ago, we were together with some of our other friends and their children. RB was quick to tell the other girls, "No, that's my Tilly."}

 {Tilly and Knox decided to coordinate Halloween costumes this year. It was great for this one photo, but Knox was sweating in his monkey costume and Tilly pooped in her banana, so that was short lived.}

{You gotta start 'em young around here. Tilly decided to show her Tiger spirit for our walk on a recent game day morning.}

{This is just about the best feeling in the world. I love cuddling with this sweet girl.}