Monday, October 26, 2015

A New Creation

Eleanor Catherine was baptized in Christ last Saturday! Sacraments make me so happy to be Catholic. I love involving all my senses in the practice and celebration of my faith: tracing the sign of the cross on my tiny daughter's velvety head, hearing the beautiful words that claim her as a child of God, the delicious smell of holy Chrism that lingers for days.




{lots of tears as my mamma sang a beautiful arrangement of "Jesus Loves Me" after the baptism}


Eleanor is blessed to have a surplus of godparents to love and pray for her: my little sister and her husband (not Catholic, but committed Christians who are officially called "Christian witnesses"), and our dear friends Adam and Lauren from college, who are currently stationed in Japan with the Navy. Nolen and Ben looked so so sweet holding her. Even though they're only approaching their first anniversary now, I can't WAIT for them to have babies of their own! And they brought the loveliest, most thoughtful handmade gifts!




Ben made the cross out of Michigan cherry wood, with Eleanor's initials and baptism date, and my sister made this rosary with beautiful green beads she found at a local shop! It feels like a symbol of Eleanor's spiritual growth. Such special treasures for her.


{the whole gang}

Afterward, we hosted a luncheon to celebrate with family and a few friends. Hosting approximately 25 people at your home less than two weeks after having a baby calls for two very important things: help and shortcuts. We had lots and lots of amazing help! Here's what we served:

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches (via A Spicy Perspective) <-- So good. Seriously. Make them.
Green Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Dried Cranberries
Kettle Chips
Apple Slices with Caramel Dip (via Five Heart Home)
Veggies and Hummus
Cake! (from the grocery store!)


I made the beef (a double batch), the caramel sauce, and roasted the squash the day before, so all I had to do on Saturday was get things out and heat them up. Easy peasy. It was an awesome day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In Praise of My Postpartum Body

The world tells me that my postpartum body is something to be ashamed of and hidden away.

That I should do everything in my power to get "my body back."

Let me tell you something: my body never left.

My body is the miraculous, shapeshifting form of a woman. Always has been, always will be.

My body is still mine. It was mine in the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester. It was mine in the proud swelling and high energy of the second trimester. It was mine in the heartburn and stretch marks and exhaustion of the last few weeks.

My body built a baby. And then my body did humankind's hardest work to bring that baby into the world.


I don't want my pre-baby body "back." I bear the marks of a woman who has been on a journey, an adventure.

I'll keep this body, with its aches and scars. I've earned this body doing my life's work.

My body and I are good friends. If I listen, it tells me just what it needs. Rest. Water. Good food. Walks outside, a little longer every day. The embrace of my loved ones. Laughter.

My body is strong, capable. I will carry it with pride, because it is a great gift, and through its mysterious, miraculous transforming I have received the most precious gifts of my life: my beautiful daughters.