So considering it is Tuesday this is a little late, but thought I would recap our weekend anyways because it was a really good one :)
Saturday we ventured out with the baby (still always a little daunting no matter how many times we've done it) and actually stayed out with her for a solid 6 hours comprised of multiple stops which I consider a tremendous victory. First we checked out RVA Antiques on Lakeside because we are looking for two new dining table chairs to go with our benches (our current ones are on the squat side and make you feel like a 5 year old when you sit in them). They had a lot of awesome things that piqued my love of consignment, but unfortunately no chairs that worked. The baby hung out happily in the sling the whole time and received numerous compliments (I cannot tell you how many older people remark on the sling and say this exact same phrase "I wish they made those when I had babies"). Since we didn't find any chairs we figured we might as well console ourselves with beer, so we headed to Hardywood. It was packed due to some event, but while we were trying to find parking we noticed the new and adjacent Castleburg Brewery so we decided to head there instead. There was a huge group with multiple babies in tow (always makes me feel better because I think some people think it's inappropriate to take a baby to a brewery, and to those people I say you are wrong, but that's a topic for another time).
I had the cream ale brewed through some contraption that infuses it with the flavor of raspberries and strawberries (not girly AT ALL). It was nice and light and refreshing. My husband had a sampler and I loved the Wit that came with it. Wheat beer really is the best beer in my humble opinion. After the brewery we headed to Carytown (I KNOW, so ambitious right?). After a quick bottle feed in the car (so nice to be able to do that again) we took the baby in the stroller and spent a nice couple of hours walking in and out of shops while Ryley napped. We finished off our excursion by grabbing a cake to go at Shyndigz (for the next day, not just for our dinner, although I would get an entire cake for dinner from Shyndigz because they are that good) and then dinner to go from Stella's Market (can they please open up a second location in Goochland!). It was a perfect little Saturday.
Sunday was a little more exciting because of the fact that we decided we couldn't risk Ryley's soul going to purgatory a moment longer and got that baby baptized. (Totally kidding just in case you think I might be a totally hardcore Catholic who believes such things)
In some ways I am honestly surprised I wanted to get my daughter baptized. I don't have anything against baptism, and I was baptized and raised Catholic (17 years of Catholic school if you include my nursing education, that's A LOT of catholicizing). I just have not really been a "practicing" Catholic for a long time, like a really long time. Like the last time I regularly attended mass was when I was a teenager. And honestly I don't care what religion Ryley practices as an adult (shh, don't tell the deacon who baptized her that!) I don't care if she is Buddhist or Muslin or Christian or a Scientologist (actually, scratch that, if she is a Scientologist I will kidnap her to get her deprogrammed and maybe kidnap Tom Cruise along with just because). I think belief is beautiful and necessary. I think anyone who believes in a higher power believes in basically the same thing, no matter what name we may give it. I think religion is important for little kids because it gives them a sense of security when their brains can't really grasp abstract concepts. I don't like when religion starts telling people who they should hate. I don't like when religion discriminates or gets involved in politics. And so since the Catholic Church at times does such things, I wasn't sure if I would want her baptized. But then I thought about how important being Catholic was to me as a kid. I remembered how safe I always felt at St. Bridget's, how secure and loved the church made me feel. And I wanted her to have that to, and it meant a lot to me that she would be baptized in the church I grew up in.
Plus Catholicism is strange in that even if you don't practice regularly you never really shake it. It has a secular, cultural component in much the same way I imagine Judaism does. My mom was Catholic. My grandmother was Catholic. It's a part of my family's legacy and part of who I am forever. I may not go to church on a regular basis, but I still feel Catholic, particularly when it comes to soul crushing guilt. And why wouldn't I want to pass on the heritage of soul crushing guilt to my daughter? (Useful for keeping her out of trouble in her teenage years!)
She actually did much better expected during Mass. She sat happily on my lap during the first half, shamelessly flirting with the people in the pew behind us. She of course started to get fussy during the actual Baptismal rite when we were standing in front of the entire congregation, but babies being fussy during baptism is kind of a rite of passage. She didn't mind getting the water on her forehead (she really loves her baths) and didn't mind getting anointed with the oil either. Our only slight hiccup was that my husband took her out to the lobby during communion because she was crying and forgot that there was a blessing for the parents after Eucharist. The priest called us and the other family getting baptized up to the front and my husband and baby were literally MIA. There were a few panicked moments when I thought I would have to go up by myself (AWKWARD, particularly during the part where the father is specifically blessed), but luckily Rob and Ryley made it back just in time.
It was a nice service, and I it did mean a lot to me to see her baptized in the church I spent so much time in as a kid (I went to school in an attached building next door and we had weekly masses there, plus any special event like graduation, Christmas concerts, etc). It also meant a lot that she was able to wear a dress my late grandmother made for my sister to get baptized in. My Richmond grandmother was there too, so it felt like one of those moments where you really see how important the ties of your past our to your children and how necessary it is to pass along those ties.
After church we invited everyone back for that quintessential Catholic breakfast of bagels and lox (okay fine, not exactly Catholic, but really yummy!). We got bagels from Cupertino's (seriously the best bagels in Richmond, and that comes from my husband who is a Northerner who takes bagels seriously) and smoked salmon and fixings to go with. We also got the aforementioned Shyndigz fruit cake (just so, SO good)
We used my grandmother's china for the first time, which felt extra special since she was there to use it (a lot of special heritage/ancestry/passing on to the future generation moments on this day, which made my Southern heart happy). We also had some beautiful flowers courtesy of my mother's garden.
Ryley is very lucky to have two awesome godparents in my older sister, Lucy, and my husband's best friend, Jon. Lucy gave Ryley a beautiful illustrated bible from the Black Swan bookstore. It even has pages in the front for writing in important dates in a family's history and I know we will treasure this and Ryley will as well.
And Jon gave Ryley a beautiful Mary pendant necklace that belonged to his grandmother.
Like I said Ryley is a very lucky girl.
We ate to our full and drank mimosas (now that is a Catholic tradition, the drinking part at least). And then we spent the rest of Sunday in a food coma. We did attempt to put the baby in a the little baby pool we bought, thinking she would like it since she likes baths so much. The result...
Overall it was a really great weekend with some really special moments that I will remember forever. Particularly the cake :)
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for all the big and little things in life.