Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 19, 2010: A Very Special Day for the Ghents

Miriam's Baptism - quite possibly the most beautiful day we could have ever had! We had planned for Miriam's baptism shortly after her birth, knowing that we had a lot of factors to consider: out of town family and friends, church happenings, and the size of the baptism dress:)

1- Family and friends: both siblings and their families are out of town, and we wanted all of them to join us. We even wanted Jeff (my sister's husband) to actually do the baptism since he's an ordained minister. Jeremy's sister and family just happened to have a fall break so we were trying to work with that too. I also have a great friend, Kimberly, who lives in Mississippi and is very special to me. She's always been right by my side as quick as can be, and it worked out that a good mutual friend of ours was having a shower that Saturday before, so her trip would kill several birds with only one drive! So, September 19 it was, and we were sure everyone could make it.

2-Since I work at the church, a busy church at that, we had to work around the calendar to avoid congregational meetings, communion, special activities, and other things that normally happen in the worship services. Thankfully, Sept 19 avoided all of those and was practically the only date THIS FALL that was going to work for that.

3-The Baptism Dress was so special - it's the one that my sister wore, then me, then Grace, then Sarah. It would only be right for Miriam to show it off too! We wondered at one point if we were to have a boy what he would wear...simply because this was such a special dress for all other baptisms - but it certainly won't work for the boy in the's got pink rosebuds on it! But Miriam certainly looked gorgeous in it!

So once those three things were set - we were good to go. The day was so wonderful with the service, and all of our friends and family, along with our church family, stood to support us in the child rearing of Miriam so that the fear of the Lord would be in her and she would come to know Jesus. What a sweet moment to see her annointed and prayed over. God has great things in store for our little one, that we're certain of. Part of the baptism message included two of our favorite scriptures: "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it" from Psalm 118:24. That was mom's most quoted verse during her 22 months of brain cancer. Actually, the morning of her first surgery (before we actually knew what she had), the first thing she said when she woke up was that verse exactly - and mom NEVER knew scripture enough to memorize and say it. But it stuck, and has since become our claim in life each day. And it was definitely appropriate for Sunday! Jeff also included this passage which we have been praying with Miriam in mind since her early weeks of life. Dear God - bless this child with a fear of you and we praise you for the covenant you have made with her! Thank you for showing us a sign of this through your baptism of her on Sunday!!

Dad and his lady friend (:)) Brenda joined us and got a special Papa/Brenda picture with us. What you can see: Jeremy's doofy looking tie - he dipped it in the greek dressing lid and stained it :( My favorite tie of his, he wasn't too disappointed.. What you can't see - Miriam is wearing bloomers with her monogram MGR on them - Brenda's gift to her. How sweet!

After the service, all 40 of us were treated to lunch at Old Town Bistro where Stacy, the owner, had us in the Palmetto Room. It's was BEAUTIFUL and so nice, since there was a wedding there the night before. Our meal was excellent and everyone was able to enjoy great fellowship. The best part - we didn't even have to pay a rental fee, any extra taxes, nor gratuity for such great accomodations! Go visit them, during the week for lunch is best, as their lunch specials are ridiculously cheap!

What a day - couldn't have been more beautiful! God was truly rejoicing as another one of his children was being baptized (and joined by Miriam's future husband, McCord, just a bit down the road as he was baptized too) I couldn't believe the day was over, but it was so special for us. Video technology wasn't around when I was baptized at 6 weeks 28 years ago, so I don't know what it was like. But we got video of this service - I can't wait to share it with her!!!

Miriam's First Beach Trip

Our family has been blessed with an outlet for my beach needs: when my grandmother remarried when I was in 8th grade, she married a man who had a beach house. It's in NMB in a quiet little residential (retired) neighborhood across from Hwy 17. It's close enough and far enough away that we get the best of both worlds. For many years, that's where we've gone - no more hotel/condos for us! The downside is that we have to clean up and vacuum the place before we leave (and a lot of times when we get there too), but it is nice not to have to pay for anything. Jeremy and I have had the opportunity for the past four years to get there at least twice a year - the week before Memorial Day (aka, Black Biker Week) and the long weekend of Labor Day. This year was neat because our friends, The Whites joined us for the Memorial Day trip in May when I was 7 months pregnant, and then Dad, Sis and the girls joined our new family of three in September. This was the first vacation I have spent with my sister in almost 15 years!!!! My, how time changes things! Here are some photos from our shoot on the beach right before leaving. Funny story first: We had dressed Miriam in a "USA" onesie with a cute red skirt for the photos and as soon as we found a parking spot and I was getting her out of the car seat, we had quite the experience. Miriam's ENTIRE diaper and clothes were soaked and spoiled - almost every square inch - in poop. She had been on an antibiotic and experiencing a little diarrhea and when I say little I mean A LOT!!! So, we had to change her from her cute supportive Labor day outfit to a simple onesie. But, they were cute pictures anyway :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Year 28

Can't believe it! I've turned another year older and moved on to greater and better things.....
Saturday, September 11 was the big celebration - or at least the day for the reason for the celebration. See, in my family, birthdays were a big deal. Well, not just big, HUGE! If your birthday was coming up, the special treatment had begun. In our house, momma used to joke that we celebrated "birthday kwanza" (I think she enjoyed it more herself than anyone else). The celebrations began at least a week prior, and most of the time ended on your birthday day, or the day after. That way, everyone could celebrate with you when they were able. And for my birthday, I shared it with my cousin Kim, so there was always the following:
-intimate family party (with mom, dad, sis)
-extended family party (with aunts, uncles, cousins (and kim)
-friend party
-work/school party

I use "party" loosely, but there was always something involved to celebrate. This year was no different, but instead of several days of celebration, it was like celebrating EVERY HOUR FOR THREE STRAIGHT DAYS!!!! My wonderful friends Terri and Michelle took me for lunch to Nishie Gs (love the fried squash), then J's parents took us to City Tavern (great tilapia and garlic fries), went shopping with my good friend Ann Louise on Saturday, dad and Brenda took us to Longhorn Saturday night, then J and I ate Fatz (with my free bday meal coupon, of course!) on Sunday for dinner. The best part - we only paid for J's meal at Fatz ALL WEEKEND! What a cheap way to eat a bagillion calories and get my fried-food intake for the year in such a short period of time.
I don't care - it was all worth it. The best part of this year's celebration: I had a little sweet Miriam to remind me of the beauty of birth. I thought about how mom must have felt each year we celebrated birthdays because I felt that this time. (I already can't wait to celebrate with Miriam on her birthdays). There's such an excitement about the specialness of the day that you just can't tuck want to celebrate as much as possible with those you love. No wonder Mom invented "birthday kwanza" - I'm just sad mine is over until next year.