Baby Baggage

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've been packing and laundering and packing and sorting and packing Matilda's clothes all week in preparation for our Easter trip to Nashville! We leave tomorrow bright and early at around 4am. So, really not so much "bright" as it is "early" seeing as the sun isn't up yet (is God even up at that hour? I'll let you know.)
It has been quite the chore figuring out what to bring and what not to bring for Miss Matilda. This baby, as you can imagine, is quite stylish and has the wardrobe of a seasoned clotheshorse (atta gal) but what to choose for the trip is a daunting task. She is at a tricky in-between-sizes phase, for one, where she is 5 months old but they only seem to make 3 month or 6 month clothing. Basically this requires me to squeeze her into half her outfits like a little polish sausage, or leave things roomy while rolling up the cuffs. I've found a few "3-6"month items (a rather elusive category in baby fashion) and those mostly seem to fit her well.
The weather can be a challenge as well. Luckily, it is supposed to be beautiful while we are there - even hitting highs of 80 degrees - nearly unheard of for this time of year in Nashville. Most of her "fitting" clothes are still long-sleeved, so we might be leaving with sleeved items that turn into cut-off sleeveless wonders by the time we return. (I kid...I think.) She has plenty of onesies + pant combos, so we'll just bring along a sweater and hopefully have our bases covered. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?
But, the hardest thing about packing for a baby is that the frequency of outfit changes is almost entirely unpredictable. Some days (let's call them "miracle days") we get through an entire 24 hours in one outfit (well, 2 outfits if you count jammies, but that change is on purpose). Other days...well, it is just a question as to which end of my child ruined another outfit. I got home yesterday to find her in a new outfit than what I had left her in and just nodded and asked Katie (my sister-in-law/nanny/saint/the super-aunt) "Spit-up or doody?" Yup, another outfit bit the dust.
So, when you are trying to plan for multiple occasions, with a series of days away from the many outfits do you plan for her to average? I think the most she's ever gone through is 4 or maybe 5 outfits in one day. So...packing for baby basically requires the skill in "overpacking". I'm certain that I have entirely overpacked this child.
There's the short sleeve, the long sleeve, the sweater, the navy outfit for photo-session-with-cousins #1, there's Easter dress #1, Gram is bringing Easter dress #2, there's the outfit so-n-so gave her and the dress from that other person, there's fancy socks, non-fancy socks, tights and the shoes-that-will-never-stay-on-her-chubby-feet-but-will-look-pretty-for-a-photo...not to mention extra diapers, wipes (we'll buy more when we're there) blankey #1 and snuggly glow worm and krinkly-elephant for plane distractions. Hmmm...boy. I hope we still have room to actually bring Matilda along.
Well, wish me luck! It's up, up, and away for us tomorrow! I will return next week with a full report, as I will most likely not have time to blog while I'm away. Keep up with us on my facebook and I look forward to sharing in future posts!
Happy Easter!

Labor of Love

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We recently had our "Bradley Class Reunion". "Bradley" is the birthing method Josh and I chose to follow. It is a 12 week program that walks you through more-than-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-birth and preparing for baby. It was immensely helpful and I would highly recommend it to any expectant mothers out there looking to get ridiculously overly-educated about what the heck is going on with their body and their babies. We particularly chose it for its involvement of the father. In fact, the book that supplements the class is called "Husband Coached Childbirth"...and they aren't kidding. Just as Josh how exhausting it is to support someone through labor - I can attest to his superb skills, along with the relaxation techniques I learned, that kept me going through my nearly 15 hour unmedicated period of labor, with contractions coming every 2-4 minutes straight. (Roar, I am woman).

Ironically, though we spent hours and hours preparing for a natural labor, the only two students who could make the reunion ended up with c-sections! The class was small - only 3 couples - and 2 of us ended up in the OR, much to our chagrin. The other couple was able to have a homebirth with a midwife, so kudos to them and many congrats on the use of their Bradley-learned-skills put into practice! I was sad they weren't able to make the reunion, and our instructor was sick and unable to come as, us c-sec gals got to finally catch up and compare well as meet each other's precious little bundles (now, nearly 5 months old!) It was awesome to see each other, now as parents, and literally look at the fruit of our labors laughing and playing with each other.

Now, here's what I have to say about childbirth. No, no, I'm not gonna get all graphic on you - no need for panic. What I mean is, in my journey to find the best method of preparation for bearing a child, I can pretty much sum up in this: educate yourself on everything, expect the unexpected, and enjoy the experience. I think these are all valid things you can actually choose to do...the rest is up to God, your baby, your body, and your doctors which are entirely unpredictable until you are in the midst of it.

It seems that there has never been a more open time for options in the world of birthing than there is today. There are women that schedule their c-sections months in advance to accomodate their (or their doctor's) schedules...and there are women having natural water births in the middle of their living rooms. There used to be no choices at all - the doctor would just tell you what to do. Then, "to get the epidural or not to get the epidural" was the question. Now, women are taking the decision-making into their own hands, dictating a "birthplan" to their doctors, midwives, doulas, and husbands as the authority over their own birth experience.

A lot of good has come from this movement. I'm a big supporter in educating yourself and becoming your own health advocate. I think there is a lot of wisdom in listening to your body and learning about what it is trying to tell you. I also think, however, that I'm no expert when it comes to medical emergencies. I know that birth is not a typical "emergency" and there is often no cause for alarm or stress...but, I also know that I would have had more stress if I stayed in an environment that was not equipped for the unknown. This is certainly a decision each woman has to make for herself (with great input from a supportive husband, I might add)! Simply put - there is no "one right way" to have a baby. That's just the truth.

I am all for the natural birth experience. I wanted it, I prepared for it, and ultimately I had it for several hours. I'm also thankful for the time we spent educating ourselves on the various scenarios that might arise during labor. It saddens me that several mothers I've talked to look back on their birth experience with regret or disappointment instead of the wonder and joy they hoped for. I've had several different reactions to my having a c-section, ranging from "they are the best way to go" to "it's too bad you gave in" to looks of horror or pity. I haven't been surprised. The road to childbirth is paved with all kinds of criticism. It truly can bring out the best and the worst in some women. I tried to remain level headed throughout my pregnancy - always hoping and preparing for the best scenario while educating myself about the various crossroads of decisions I might (and did) have to face.

After 15 hours of unmedicated labor, 4 more hours of labor on pitocin with an epidural, and then a c-section after failure to progress...I couldn't be happier with my 3-versions-of-labor-in-one experience. Here's the main reason why: I decided long before my water broke that it was going to be a beautiful day.

Did every little step along the way go perfectly as I would have liked? Of course not. And I wouldn't have had it any other way. I embraced the drama from the beginning - from the excitement of the water breaking just like it does in the movies (turns out sometimes it DOES happen that way!) to the tearful and prayerful decision to go forth with the all led to the perfect ending: meeting my daughter.

If I had one piece of unsolicited advice to pass along to future mothers, it's to remember this: As long as you go home with a healthy baby that's yours...your birth was a success!

I kept that mindset from the begining and handed the rest of the stress (which I had no control over anyway) to God. He knew exactly how Matilda was supposed to arrive, and He was with us every single step of the way as we approached 5:03pm on that Sunday evening we finally met her. Now, who could ask for a better day than that?

Baby on Board

Friday, March 19, 2010

I recently read this article about flying on an airplane with babies. I found it rather timely since we are approaching this milestone for Matilda soon - we're flying to Nashville for Easter!
Now, I know that most people in daily life smile when they see a baby. But, when you get on a plane, you are essentially taking residence on another planet for the time being. A planet in which babies are the equivalent to hostile alien lifeforms. People who would usually "ooh" and "ahh" and ask you "how old?" or "what's her name?" now glare at you with menacing looks of fear and disgust. They will give you a sympathetic nod at best, as if you recently fell victim to a terminal disease of noise and inconvenience. It's true - no matter how cute your bundle of joy may be - she is an unwanted passenger on the flight to anywhere.
What's a parent to do?
It's certainly not a fair fight. We've all been on a flight that has had a crying baby. I've even been on a flight with a throwing-up baby (worse). In the rather anti-baby article, they offer a series of advice that is supposed to help:

Tips for parents with babies

• If a baby reacts to the changing cabin pressure, give it something to suck on -- a bottle or a pacifier, for example -- when the plane is taking off or making its initial descent, Shu said.

• If you can afford it, always buy a seat for your infant, instead of holding the baby on your lap, Shu advised. It's safer, and you'll have more room to maneuver, she said.

• Beware of trying to sedate a baby with over-the-counter children's medications. "People will try things to make babies sleep, like Benadryl or decongestants to help with the ears. In general, those medicines aren't recommended for kids under 2 years old," Shu said.

• Be prepared. Bring everything you need to keep a baby content, including toys and changes of clothing, and be ready to rock your child or walk around the plane with them if they cry, Bartell said.

• Always make an effort to quiet a crying baby. "If other people see you trying, even if you're not succeeding, they will feel at least you're ... doing your best to stop it. And they'll have some sympathy for you," Bartell said.

I appreciate the tips - many of which have been handed down to me from other parents and our pediatrician. The article puts much emphasis on the importance of good parenting and the resposibility of the parent to make sure their child's behavior "does not adversely affect" the people around them.
Okay. I mean, I get it. I've been "those people" up until now and no - it isn't fun to sit next to a screaming child or a kid kicking your seat. And, yes, often times the parents of the children could be a bit more attentive. However - for the parents out there who are simply doing their absolute best and their kids are not misbehaving but simply being kids...where's the compassion??? Instead of making it alright to let people turn their noses up at the parents - could we not encourage a call to action? A call to kindness and concern?
In other words - give me a break!
I remember when that poor little baby threw up on that flight I was one was more embarrassed than that mother. My heart truly broke for her, even if I was trying to retain my gag reflex at the same time. Some things are simply unpredictable.
I will do all I can to keep Matilda calm and happy - but sometimes that includes letting her "talk" (happy squawking) and "razz" her little lips (making lovely, spitty/tooty noises). Not to mention the occasional whafting of unpleasant odors my darling one can express. I'm not saying it goes without consideration for others - but I'm not making any exceptional apologies for bringing my baby with me on a flight.
So, look out Southwest Fliers from LAX to Nashville...there will be a baby on board. You can't say I didn't warn you.

Date Night!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ok, so this blog is overdue, but instead of writing during my free time over the weekend, I spent it with this super-fresh guy I husband.
Yes, this helpful stranger I've been living with over the last four and a half months is more than just a baby daddy, more than just the trash man, the dishwasher, the laundry carrier, and the Tivo setter ("um, does this girl do ANYTHING herself?")...he's also the super suave man I happen to be in love with. Oh yeah, remember that? What's it called, romance?
Josh and I had our first, official, compensated-a-trustworthy-couple-for-keeping-our-baby-alive "date night" this last weekend. I was totally looking forward to it, storing up anecdotes all month to pour onto my husband that had nothing to do with spit-up or teething, and hyping myself up for using human adult words like "Merlot" or "breath mint".
I even decided to get all dolled up just for the occasion. I dusted off the red suede pumps Josh had given me on our first Christmas together and squeezed my wide, post-pregnancy clown feet into them. (I used to think "sexy" when I wore these all I think is "how many steps is it from the car to the restaurant?") Nevertheless, it was worth it. I looked good.
I finished curling my hair as I watched Matilda in her bouncy seat. She looked up at me, smiling and it reminded me long ago of watching my own mother prep herself for a night out with my dad. She would fluff her newly permed, blonde hair as she ironed her denim jumper (hey, this was hot in the eighties!) and I thought she looked beautiful. More importantly, I remember her feeling happy with herself and my dad looking at her adoringly. While I may have cringed at their doting at the time (and they can still turn my stomach, they are just that in love to this day) I appreciate the principle it instilled in and dad come first.
Date night is more than just a relief from the stress of parenthood. It's more than just an excuse to spend money on a ridiculously priced bowl of cheese (though Twisted Vine's baked brie is heaven!) It's valued time spent reconnecting with the one person God has blessed you with to help keep you in tune with who you are meant to intentional time to restore your sense of need and longing for your spouse (and appreciation!) and a chance to unwind and laugh yourself silly with your true best friend.
Yes, Josh and I had a fabulous time. Great food and stellar conversation makes a few hours go by in a beautiful blink. Granted, it was not easy to leave my screaming child in the arms of another (I'm still not sure who I felt worse for when I left - Matilda or Sue & Tom - who were so gracious but will probably bring ear plugs if they return). But, date night is a deserved necessity for every couple...especially parents.
Sure, dating has always been fun. It was fun to date Josh as my boyfriend, more fun as my husband, and now as the father of my baby it is a special time wholly unique to us as a couple. It certainly helps keep priorities in perspective, knowing that we are not only investing in our marriage, but in our family - returning to Matilda as a healthy couple (not to mention sane members of society) ready for any challenges she might offer us, cute or otherwise.
Who knew those little red suede pumps would be the perfect prescription for mom-stress? I'm sure that date night was the first of many more to come...maybe even enough to nauseate my own daughter.
One can only hope.

Love Hurts...and so do shots

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well, that was terrible.
We just got back from the doctor and Matilda had her 4 month check-up which included another round of shots. She had three shots, 2 in one thigh, 1 in the other. OUCH! The only question is - who did it hurt more - her or me?
This isn't the first time she had a shot, she had to get the first round at 2 months and Josh was unable to make that appointment due to work. This time, I was sure to nail down his schedule in advance and make sure he could accompany us. Going to the doctor in general - not fun. It is a whole morning filled with waiting, waiting, and more waiting, topped off by an ending filled with screaming terror and confusion.
There is nothing in this world like seeing your own child in pain. How terrible. Because the shots were given in her legs, I held her hands and got close to her face, both Josh and I trying to distract her with comforting sounds of "Ok, hold still, it's okay, you're alright" all the while I'm thinking in my head "We can send a man to the moon but we can't make a stupid vaccine into a yummy juice form for my baby???"
The doctor counted down from three...and in that instant, her sweet little face turned from ignorant bliss to utter shock, fear, and pain. As she went into the "ugly cry" I had to take a deep breath and softly say to her "this will make you healthy and strong, hang in there, almost done".
There was never a more direct correlation in my heart at that moment to knowing how God must look at me sometimes. There are many analogies I'm learning as a parent that directly relate to how our Heavenly Father must view us as His children...and today's example is one of the most powerful lessons in my life.
God loves us so much that He's willing to let us hurt.
When we can't see the big picture - when we don't know why things are happening and it all just seems unjustified and wrong - when we look up at God and say "How could you let this happen?" it's not because God has forgotten us. It's not because He's distracted by something more important or that He just doesn't care. In fact, I think it pains God deeply to see us suffer through it...but He knows better. No, He knows BEST. And He wants the best for me!
Sometimes God has to vaccinate me from myself, from temptations, from bad decisions that I don't yet know the consequences of in order to help me grow stronger, and allowing life's lessons to mold me into the person that can best serve Him.
And, just like a vaccine is often a strain of a greater illness that prevents us from getting the full blown disease, God often lets us learn small lessons, even get hurt and suffer through them, so that we don't have to endure some kind of greater pain had we not had the chance to learn the lesson.
It certainly pained me to watch Matilda get her shots today, but knowing the big picture and being there to comfort her allowed me to focus on the greater good instead of the temporary bad. I'm so thankful we have a loving God...
I'm also thankful for baby Tylenol.

Haiti Love

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In lieu of a post, today I'm asking all of you to consider giving just $10 to Haiti...
I know, I know, you're thinking "What difference does it make?" or "I already gave!"...but, my friend Kelly is there RIGHT NOW with a team from her non-profit. If you visit their website TODAY and give to Haiti then she will personally make sure the money is used to buy food for the families in need there.
For more info on her extraordinary on... this is the email I got from her this morning. Prepare to have your heart MOVED:

hey em,
things here in haiti are amazing. we've landed in the midst of some of the most genuine women i've ever had the honor of meeting. we're at an orphanage where all of the children have to sleep outside. there's a huge white tent filled with babies under 1 year's sooo hot in there. beside that, there are a huge row of tents where the ladies (caretakers) and the orphans live. we've been in tents as well and had an amazing chance to realy enter into the lives of these caretakers and orphans. You all know that my heart of hearts is to come along side those who care for others and to let them know they are not invisible and that we see them and we want to honor them.

Tonight, i would say, was one of the most significant nights of my life. I wanted to find a way to honor these women. Most of them are living here at their tents with the orphans. The reason? Because their houses were destroyed in the earthquake. They work around the clock because day after day they are finding children in the rubble. They have had an 80% increase in children in 2010.

Here's the beauty...

They LOVE the kids so well. In the tent where so many infants lay one beside the's soo hot. And when one is finished crying another begins. It's a recipe for tempers and impatience to brew. But not these women. At each cry, they take the crying baby, feed the baby, and read psalms over the baby. Then they move to the next. Meanwhile, other ladies are outside handwashing clothes, carrying buckets of water, making dinner for kids and for us, teaching the older children in a pre-school that is behind the orphanage, and i could go on and on with their demand of duties.Oh, and they make 5 bucks a day...they work 12 hours a day. They don't make much now because of how many orphans the orphanage is having to care for.

They are so steady. I can't explain it. They just love endlessly. The amazing thing too is about every hour they all gather in the middle of the yard and they sing hymns and they all pray out loud. I would have to say it is the most beautiful thing that has ever graced my ears. I wake up to them singing. I fall alseep to them singing. And I know that when a baby wakes me up at 2am, they are nursing it back to sleep.

Prayer. Wow.

So, I wanted to find a way to honor them. It's so easy to come here and go straight to the cute little kids and ignore the caretakers. The heart of The Oak Project is to honor those who are caring for others.

I approached the director and I told him I had a very American question to ask him. He laughed and I went on to ask if he knew of a pizza place around town where we could get pizza's for these ladies and give them tasty food and a night off of cooking and cleaning.

And guess what? Domino's is in Haiti! Today we went to the Domino's in Puert au Prince only to find it had collapsed during the quake. Pier (the pastor of the orphanage) assured me there was one on the mountain we could go to. So he, myself, melody and tracy set out on a mission. He shared a lot with us about Haiti and Haiti since the quake...i could write a book about what i've learned. But one of my favorite bits of information is that many of the ladies we were serving tonight had never had pizza. The poor live on rice and beans so this was going to be a treat.

We arrived back at the orphange and set it all up. We bought beautiful flowers at a street market for them. They were bright white and beautiful. We bought them each their own soda and tracy picked up some chips a hoy chocolate chip cookies just to top it off!

They all gathered together and before we served them we told them why we wanted to do this. I told them not to feel guilty...I know that they were thinking that money could have gone to something else or to others. But I reminded them of the story when the woman broke the expensive perfume at the feet of Jesus. The critics cried out that the perfume could have fed many of the poor...but Jesus made it clear that there is a time to be extravagant and crazy in our giving...and i told them that tonight this was the best way we could find to honor them. As I was giving my little pre-dinner talk I said to them, "You have amazed us. You love these children so well even with the deep grief you carry in your heart. I know that it is easy for groups to come in and only see the children, we want you to know that you are not invisible to us and you are the ones we see."

Just as those words came off of my lips, they ERUPTED in applause...screaming and shouting with joy. We were all in shock and in tears. They would not let go of their flowers. They held them tight even as they ate. After they ate, they began clapping and shouting and they grabbed us and we all shouted, danced and clapped together.

One of the women said, "kelly, kelly, come take my pictures and you can show everyone you know how happy i feel right now!"

One by one they would come to us with a translator and say to us that they are so thankful for what we have done. They would say that they would now pray that God blesses us for what we did for them.

Okay, you realize we're talking about pizza and some encouragement...right? I can't wait to show you guys the video.

Anyway, I feel very confirmed that these are the people God spoke to me about before I left for Haiti. Turns out, they've been praying for God to send an "esther" to be a voice for them in the states. I told the women and the pastor and his family.... that when I advocate for Haiti...they will be the Haiti I advocate for.

The Oak Moms are in love with the women and we are excited to see what God has planned for us as we begin walking in relationshihp with these wonderful people.

One of the ladies here is named Andrea. Tonight as we were dong the pizza thing another part of our team went to her local fellowship and took dinners to the families there. It was crazy when we went to the grocery store today to buy for these families. Each family can be fed for FOUR days and it only costs ten bucks. They get rice, beans, noodles, tuna, salt, coffee, creamer and a couple other items.

I wrote to you guys because you are leaders and I wanted to ask if you could tell people you know to go to for the next 24 hours and donate 10 bucks and we will take that money direclty out and buy a family four days worth of food.

Tonight we had to turn away a lot of the families at andrea's church and we want to go back before we leave and be sure that those families are provided for.

There's so much more to tell.


Pardy Pooper

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm wondering if there's any moms out there who might know where I could find a full-body-size diaper for my baby???
I seriously don't know how so much ugliness can eject from something so small and cute. I really don't mind changing diapers - I guess they are right - there just is something different about it all "when it's your own". And I should know. As an aunt to 7 and a previous nanny, I've powdered and wiped and diapered my fair share of others in the past. Not that those children weren't lovely and endearing, but they certainly kept my gag-reflex in tune at times.
Diapers take up such a short-lived time in our lives, yet when you are living with them they are a consuming nuisance of necessity. I'm so thankful they aren't like they used to be - I can't imagine adding "don't stick child with safety pin" to the list of inevitable injuries I could inflict on my child.
And, though I admire and respect those who commit to the duty of cloth diapers - I bow down to a different god and thank the heavens for huggies and pampers and whoever it was that invented those little stick-em tabs on the disposable diapers.
Still, they are pricey and stinky and I think the word "nag" must have somehow originated from a term meaning "woman who perpetually, consistently, and limitlessly asks her husband to take out the 'poopy trash' day after day even right after he seemingly just took it out". (Sorry honey, I love you).
I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining - I knew the magnitude of the odiferous task when I signed up for it - but I am amazed at how quickly one adjusts to such a job, and how nonchalant we become regarding something that becomes so taboo to disclose as we mature into private adults (which I'm also thankful for). Maybe it's because as we grow we just do so much more as people. Literally, we learn and function at whole new levels, unlike the 3 simple tasks we knew as babes: eat, sleep...poop!
I know we have a long road ahead. There are many outfits to be ruined, many accidents to be had, many linens to be washed. I'm amazed at how much joy I find in being needed for a task I would cringe at doing for any other individual on the planet.
My Matilda might be stinky - but I don't mind. She's mine.
Still - I really am serious about that full-body-size diaper...


Thursday, March 4, 2010

A couple weeks ago our pastor started a new series in church titled "Follow Me". Much to my generation-XYZ-surprise, it is an exploration of Jesus' ministry through each of the gospels - and not a marketing ploy for someone's new Twitter account. But, that got me thinking, if Jesus were living, breathing, and being alive as a human here in this time with us today, would Jesus be working His iPhone daily, updating His status and "gathering Followers" right alongside Ashton and Conan and the rest of us?

What would Jesus Tweet?
Here's just a sampling of what went through my mind...

Bcuz I first luv u, that's why!

Just walked on water, that's how I roll. @peteluvsfish Chin up!

OMG is an awesome G.

Loaves + fish = nom nom nom!

Just cast demons into...get this...wait for it...Swine! LOL!

Water into wine = mindbomb! @weddingirl55 ur welcome!


@johnnybgood I dip you dip we dip! Thx for the baptism!

Raised @Lazarusawesome from the dead! Go high five that guy!

I heart Samaritans! Just ask @wellWoman!

Remember when that storm just quit out of nowhere? That was me! Peace @doubtingdesciple!

What a sight for sore eyes! @blinddude1 and @blinddude2 can see again!

Anyone else hear that rooster crow? @peterepeat...Can't say I didn't warn you!

The tomb is empty! Sorry missed you @mmagdalene and @simonpete - had to spread the news!

Good to see my bros again! @thomasdoubter For realsies!

Hmm, let's just say I'm glad that the Bible doesn't limit Jesus to 140 characters or less. :)

Easter [Dress] Hunt

Monday, March 1, 2010

This last weekend we went on a major hunt for the perfect first Easter dress for Matilda. I know it is a little silly - obviously not the meaning of Easter at all - but I'll take any excuse to doll my girl up and have her be extra frilly for a day.
What began as a simple task (get the girl a dress) ended in spring-time mayhem. Turns out, they don't find much use for Easter dresses before the age of 12 months. We went to three different stores before we even found a dress that was in her size!
Finally, after finding one, returning it, finding another and getting to the very end of my husband's wit (he was such a trooper)...I found the perfect dress. It's lovely - peach and lots of silly tulle that I'm sure my baby girl will drool all over. But, I honestly chose it because it reminded me so much of my favorite Easter dress growing is exactly the same pretty peach color.
We always dressed our best for church growing up. I almost always wore a dress and so did most of my friends (who went to church), so I don't ever remember it being a point of contention with my parents. Very different from today when I get out my "nice jeans" every Sunday!
Even so, Easter was different...special...and I loved picking out a special Easter dress every year for the occasion. One year in particular (the peach year) I think I was in second grade and we had been to Mexico over Christmas vacation. Now - I'm not talking plush Mexico, like Cabo or something - no, this is the exotic land of Progresso, Mexico on the Texas border where you bargained for everything and prayed that you didn't go home with more than you bargained for (literally - like a good case of Montezuma's Revenge, if you catch my drift).
On our day trip there I had found the loveliest of dresses and my mother said I could get it if I saved it for Easter. I eagerly agreed and after haggling over a few pesos in price, the dress was mine! It was white on top with a big peach skirt requiring bunches of tulle to hold up the scope of the twirling material. It tied at the waist with a big bow in the back and had puff sleeves. I think I was going through a "Anne of Green Gables" phase because those puff sleeves were quite captivating (any AoGG fan will catch this reference).
I remember my mom taking our picture that year, my sister having her hair especially hair-sprayed high for the occasion and my brother resembling some guy out of Miami Vice with his white jacket cuffs cinched up to his elbows. My bangs took up half my head and were perfectly curled under creating a lovely shelf of hair just above my ears. The sun was shining, my basket was full of candy and our yard was spotted with brightly colored eggs yet to be was a wonderful morning. And I, in my lovely peach dress with matching white gloves and patent leather shoes was ready to take on the, at least Sunday school.
Now, don't get me wrong, as Easter approaches I will talk more about the true meaning of Easter (Candy of course! Just kidding). I don't want you to think a pretty Easter dress in anyway overshadows the recognition of Christ conquering our plight against eternal death and separation from, no. But still, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to look your best on a day meant for celebration!
So, while she doesn't have bangs to curl or matching gloves (she would stick in her mouth anyway) my Matilda will be wearing a lovely peach dress this Easter...and someday she will look back at the pictures and say how silly her mother was for sticking her in such an elaborate get-up for only one morning. Maybe she'll even write a blog about it. :)
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