Monday, July 24, 2017

Baptism Blessings

Good Afternoon from QuintLand!

My gracious it's been a whirlwind summer.  I don't think I even have words for how tired yet simultaneously exhilarated I feel.  Exhausterated?  That's exhausted and exhilarated--yep, that's me.

I'd love to tell you more about the baptism of Ava, Clara, Millie, Luke, and Isabelle.  Michael and I always knew we would want it to be a small, private service in the church near our home.  We aren't much for a spectacle and we realized that baptizing five kiddos in one church service would make for quite a long service for any churchgoer.

Michael's friend and college roommate for many years (Nick) decided to begin the process to study to become a priest in 2012.  Nick has been a force of good in our lives.  His kindness, generosity and general love of life have brought such joy to Michael and me.  We have memories of bonfires at Nick's house....memories of playing with Nick's golden retriever George outside under the shade of his front yard oak tree.  I even have a memory of going to dinner with Nick and Michael on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.  We could barely walk down the mall without some of Nick's friends (or students) stopping to say hello and offer a hug.  Nick taught Spanish before he became a priest and parents/students alike are attracted to his kindness and genuine care of others.  When it came time to baptize the quints, we could think of no other man to welcome our children into the love of Jesus.

Having studied for several years now,  Nick recently became a deacon in the Catholic church and gladly accepted our invitation to baptize the children.  We realized then that this baptism was going to be one of the most special days of our lives.
Michael and Nick on our wedding day in 2011

Nick is even an excellent dancer!

So now that we had a very special man to baptize our kiddos, I started to think about what they would wear.  You must remember that I'm from Alabama, so christening gowns are truly an art form (and an investment!).  I'm pretty sure you can claim a southern christening gown on your taxes as an asset.  It's that important!

Well, looking at my need for five christening ensembles and our meager family budget, I started to worry.  I wondered about borrowing from friends.  I wondered about renting (is there even a market for that?  Rent the Runway baptism style?).  I wondered about defying tradition and wearing something more casual (my mother would NEVER stand for this).  I wondered about buying one outfit and baptizing them one weekend at a time (so five baptism weekends?  No dice.  My catering budget would be through the roof!)  As I chatted with mom about this, she understood my worries.  We wanted the children to look like the angels they are, but we simply didn't know how we would afford custom outfits for all of them.

Well, God sent us an angel.  A very, very talented angel--a company by the name of Linens by Loraine in my hometown of Selma, Alabama.  Linens by Loraine has done beautiful custom work for my sister's children and one day as Mom was chatting with the creative genius behind the company, something beautiful happened.  Linens by Loraine offered to partner with our family to create baptism ensembles.

Without ever seeing the children in person, Linens by Loraine created five custom ensembles.  All in the course of five weeks.  I measured each of the children and sent metrics to who I called the Angels in Alabama.  The Angels took these measurements and created five masterpieces.  These masterpieces are French hand sewn, complete with French lace.  All of the handwork was done by Sarah Catherine.  If you are ever in the market for beautiful custom work for your children, please check out Linens by Loraine.  They can be reached at 334-872-4467.  They can obviously work with clients from any location!

Thanks to Linens by Loraine,  each child looked absolutely perfect.  We hosted Michael's and my family for a reception afterwards.  It was truly a joyous gathering as we welcomed our children into the Christian faith.

When I was a child, my home church had a very special Easter service.  They would build a cross out of wood and cover it with chicken wire (yes, I'm southern.  I know).  Then, all of the children of the church would bring flowers from their mother's yards and put them into the wire of the cross.  The cross transformed from a cold, wooden monument into a blooming reminder of God's love and redeeming sacrifice for us. I wanted to recreate this for the quints'  baptism.  A good friend built the cross and mom and I covered it with flowers.

I'm thrilled to show you more photos of the children and their beautiful, angel-made outfits:


My friend Carla with Millie

My friend Claire with Clara

My soon to be sister-in-law Thea with Luke

Deacon Nick with Isabelle

KK and Ava

Ava loves getting dressed up

Millie waits patiently

Millie loving the attention

Michael and Luke

Our blessed insta-family of seven

The Boltons

The Baudinets


Extended family of Baudinets


Millie with her godmother, Aunt Bridget

Yes, we have five sets of godparents!

What a beautifully made bonnet!




Luke--love his little boy's hat!




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