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Showing posts with label First Holy Communion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First Holy Communion. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Girl's First Communion Party

Our youngest child had her First Holy Communion this past weekend, so we threw a small party with family and friends afterwards.  I let our daughter choose the decorations, and Party City was the place to shop.  They had all kinds of decorations in pinks, blues, and gender neutral colors.  We got a package of 3 of these Chinese lanterns which we hung from chandeliers in the rooms downstairs and the hallway.

They sold various sizes of these plates and napkins, plus paper cups for the children.

Our daughter was especially keen on the hanging cardboard Communion cutouts with shiny pink metallic string which we hung from windows and door frames. 

I saw some beautiful white cupcakes on Pinterest arranged in the shape of a cross.  Party City had silver cross cupcake liners and pink cross cupcake toppers, along with the silver tray, pink candy sprinkles, and silver shimmering food color spray for the top of the icing.  Ours weren't as pretty as the ones on Pinterest, but they did turn out better than they look in this picture, and they were all gone by the next morning.

My older daughter and I had saved a number of food pins to make for this party until I sat down and faced the reality that there was no way I was going to have time to make all that food.  I was barely home last week to get laundry done and the dog fur swept up.  So I resigned myself to the typical lunch time fare of deli meat/cheese sandwiches, fruit & veggie trays with dips, barbecue meatballs in the crockpot, chips and more dips, mixed nuts for those of us trying to stay away from carbs, and more deviled eggs (because our hens are still giving us a dozen eggs/day.)

But I did make this pink party punch that I saw on Pinterest that some cool mom made for her daughter's Shopkins party.  I forgot to take any photos before the party and then I had my husband go around photographing when the more popular foods and drinks were nearly devoured.  This is so simple.

Pink Party Punch
Mix 2 liters of Sprite, 2 quarts of pink raspberry lemonade, and 2 quarts of cactus twist sorbet.  That's it!

Eleven children were at our house celebrating that afternoon, and they all looked so awesome.

But that only lasted for about five minutes because everyone eagerly changed into play clothes for some light saber/Nerf gun wars in the yard and pastures.  You can't see him in this photo, but there was an escaped billy goat out there in the midst of these battles, just minding his own business and chowing down on dandelions.

We all had a great time, but the day was bittersweet for me as we watched our last child take her First Holy Communion with parents holding fidgety babies and toddlers all around us, and it hit me that this is the first time I was there with my arms empty.  And this would be the final time we would be experiencing this special day with one of our children.

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

To the Church, a Party, & the Hospital: A First Communion Story

As we are preparing for our youngest daughter's First Holy Communion later this month, my mind keeps returning to the night she was born, which also happened to be the same night we celebrated her older brother's First Communion.  As joyous of an occasion that the Sacrament is, this was one twenty-four hour period of time I would definitely not want to relive.

Let me preface this day with some facts:

Fact #1: Our daughter's due date was still a week away, but I typically delivered my babies about a week early.  All I could think about was my water breaking in church while we were standing in one of the front pews, leaving my family mortified.  Or I would go into labor earlier in the day, and my husband and I would miss the entire event.  I did some earnest praying all week that the birth of this baby would hold off until after our son took his First Communion, and preferably wait until the end of the party we were having at our house afterwards.

Fact #2: A stomach virus went through our house that week, and it was the worst one I'd ever seen in my family.  Every two days, a different family member was sick around the clock for about forty-eight hours.  Nothing stayed down, and with a house full of toddlers and young children, this meant a lot of disinfectant used throughout the house.  I was exhausted from being up all night with little ones and constantly washing sheets, mopping floors, wiping down walls, and comforting children and a husband who felt absolutely miserable.  But I hadn't gotten sick myself.

Fact #3: When I had the appointment with my midwife earlier that week, I mentioned this illness to her and said surely I wouldn't get sick while I was in labor.  That God would be merciful and spare me that at least.  The midwife looked dubious, and said she couldn't guarantee that, but she had seen women who had a similar virus, and the vomiting helped induce the labor.  So along with praying that labor would wait until after First Communion, I also began fervently praying that this stomach bug might somehow skip right over me.

Two nights before the big day, our eight year-old son came down with this virus.  I honestly thought we were going to have to back out of it.  But he rallied and was fine by the day of the Mass, and miraculously, we had not a single sick family member in our house by the time all of our company arrived.  Only our six year-old daughter and I had been spared.  I felt tired, heavy, achy, and as if I would pop at any moment, but I hadn't gotten sick, and I hadn't gone into labor.  We would all be at the Church, and no one would miss our son's First Holy Communion after all.

And everything did go according to plan.  Our sixteen year-old son was an altar server at this special Mass.  We were all there to witness it, and take pictures, and celebrate this Sacrament with our second-grader.  Then we came home and celebrated some more with lots of good food, toasts of champagne, cake, gifts, and family.  I was still nervous about going into labor and getting sick, so I ate very little.  Our guests began going home around eight, and we had cleaned up the kitchen and gone to bed by a reasonable hour.

That didn't last long, however, because I awoke around midnight with that dreadful feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when of of those viruses hits.  And it was horrible; like, in the top five worst nights of my life kind of horrible.  Then my water broke.  And then I started to cry.

Since this was my sixth baby, and we lived twenty-five minutes from the nearest hospital, my husband didn't want to wait around.  Fortunately, my parents-in-law were spending the weekend with us, so we left the children in their care while we headed to the emergency room with a large bucket carried beneath my chin the entire time.

We checked in at the hospital around two in the morning, and I learned that I had a long way to go.  Labor coupled with a stomach virus has got to be one of the lousiest combinations ever.  But one good thing came out of it: Zofran---which was in my IV drip continuously for many hours.  It didn't stop the nausea completely, but it was definitely an improvement.

I won't go into all the details of the labor and delivery, but I will say that the eleven hour labor won second place for my worst birthing experience.  It was only topped by her red-headed brother who took a full forty-eight hours of incredible pain before he finally made his appearance.  I went into this labor intending to tackle it naturally like I'd done with most of my children (even the red haired one.)  I had this noble notion of holding my Rosary beads and praying a Hail Mary through each contraction, but after a couple of hours when I could barely even breathe through the pains, I abandoned that idea.  And I asked for the pain meds, which I had never done before.  Then when I was finally far enough along, I asked for the epidural too.  And finally, around 11:30 AM, our youngest daughter (and last child) was born, fifteen hours after her brother's First Communion party ended.

So as luck would have it, it turns out that I didn't miss out on anything...not even the stomach bug.