The Big 3-0

My favorite snugglers.
My favorite snugglers.

After the excitement of baptism weekend, we were all pretty exhausted.  Luckily, I had the foresight to plan the baptism during maternity leave, so Bonnie and I pretty much coasted through the last two weeks of my leave and spent a lot of time taking pictures, naps, and smiling at each other. It was easily the best two weeks of my life.

Having fun with the fish eye lens.
Having fun with the fisheye lens.

For those of you who don’t know, Steven and I were born a day apart. I am older and wiser and he is younger and cuter.  This year, we both turned 30. Gulp. I didn’t have a TV sitcom reaction to turning 30, but I have to admit it was nice to have Bonnie around as a distraction. When I stop and think about it, I can’t really fathom the fact that I’ve been on this Earth for 30 years. How is that possible? Have I really been working for 8 years already? Staying in Manhattan has made it feel like I never really left college – until I’m around college students. Steven remarked that he used to think he could pass for a college student in Aggieville, but now that he has Bonnie, he thinks the jig is up. Though technically he is still a Grad student, so who knows.

Blowing birthday bubbles for Mom
Blowing birthday bubbles for Mom
Eyelashes!
Eyelashes!

For the past several years we’ve gone to Kansas City for birthday weekend to eat BBQ and watch IMAX movies and do some serious shoe shopping. We had planned to do that again this year, especially since I’m still trying to figure out how to dress this rockin’ new Mom bod, but after baptism weekend I just wanted to be still. So we decided to party at home and finally get cable for football season. That’s right.  I made it a whole 2 weeks into the season before giving all my money to ESPN.  Sorry, Bonnie. Maybe college will be free by the time you get there?

Bonnie's first chip! (Not really! Don't freak out!)
Bonnie’s first chip! (Not really! Don’t freak out!)

On my birthday, my dear friend Jamie came to visit. Jamie is an important character in Bonnie’s story, because she set off the chain of events that led to Steven and I getting together. On a Tuesday in September 2007, I went to Jamie’s house where I met a friend of hers who stole my heart for all of 10 days. I was smitten and then devastated (as all things go when you’re 22) and wrote a short story about the experience for my Fiction class. The story was an epistolary, and the date of the first letter was September 26th, Steven’s birthday. Steven liked the story, sent me a two-word message on facebook, and now, 8 years later, we have Bonnie. Let that be a lesson to you actual college kids out there: when your friend invites you over for sangria on a Tuesday night – just say yes.

I also got an iPhone for my birthday (used, thanks Linda!) so here is the traditional
I also got an iPhone for my birthday (used, thanks Linda!) so here is the traditional “Mom paying attention to her phone and not her baby” photo.

On Steven’s birthday we drove to Salina to meet up with his Mom who also has a birthday in September. (All the best people are born in September. And July.)  We dressed Bonnie up for the occasion, and then went shopping for diapers and Ziploc bags and Kleenex at Sam’s and stopped at Old Navy to buy Bonnie some clothes. We went in for socks, and came out with 4 pairs of pants, a dress, a shirt, and 11 pairs of socks. It was truly insane, considering we have three tubs of hand-me-downs from the 5 older girl cousins in the family.  But at least baby clothes are cheap?

Birthday hugs for Nana.
Birthday hugs for Nana.
All the pants we bought had bum ruffles. I dare you to resist a bum ruffle. We should've never gone in the store.
All the pants we bought had bum ruffles. I dare you to resist a bum ruffle. We should’ve never gone in the store.
Days of the Week socks. So cute, but SUCH A BAD IDEA. Adds at least 5 minutes to our morning routine, every morning, not to mention folding laundry. We are the rookiest of parents.
Days of the Week socks. So cute, but SUCH A BAD IDEA. Adds at least 5 minutes to our morning routine, every morning, not to mention folding laundry. We are the rookiest of parents.

We spent the rest of the day taking pictures of Bonnie, watching football, eating Thai food, and generally basking in the glow of being 30 and having a Bonnie. Steven declared it the best birthday yet and I must agree. If you have to turn 30, I highly recommend having a Bonnie first. She really does make everything better.

Bonnie wears overalls.
Bonnie wears overalls.
Parents take excessive pictures of the excessive cuteness.
Parents take excessive pictures of the excessive cuteness.
Child is unimpressed.
Child is unimpressed.
Child gets revenge on picture-taker Dad by pooping on him. On his birthday. Welcome to parenthood!
Child gets revenge on photographer Dad by pooping on him. On his birthday. Welcome to parenthood!

Bonnie’s Baptism Bash

Phew! Sorry guys. It’s been a busy few weeks and all I’ve felt like doing is staring at Bonnie. You’ve seen her, right? So you understand.

On Sunday, September 20th, Bonnie had her first sacrament. She was baptized at St. Thomas More, the church where Steven went through RCIA and got 4 sacraments in one week and officially joined the Catholic church. The church where we had our wedding blessed. The church where we led our first marriage retreat. Deacon Wayne presided over the baptism and it was so special because he was one of the few who knew about our miscarriage journey as it was happening. It was a great day, made even greater by the huge number of family and friends who were able to be there to celebrate Bonnie’s big day with us.

Bonnie with her Godmama Betsy.
Bonnie with her Godmama Betsy.
Somehow I ended up hiding behind Steven for most of the baptism pictures. Here's proof that I was there.
Somehow I ended up hiding behind Steven for most of the baptism pictures. Here’s proof that I was there.
Action shot.
Action shot.
Lead actors.
Lead actors.

Before Bonnie was born I had all these plans for her baptism. It was going to be this huge elaborate event and everything was going to be perfectly planned and executed. I quickly learned how silly that was. It was hard enough in those first few weeks to get three people to church, let alone plan an event around a service. So even though I sent out the announcements late, and forgot to put RSVP directions on the invitation, and put all the cards in one bag so that I have no idea which present came from which person, it all worked out. People came, people ate, people held Bonnie, and I was deeply humbled by our community of family and friends.

Bonnie and Sonya.
Bonnie and Sonya.
Bonnie and Uncle Billy.
Bonnie and Uncle Billy.
“It’s my party and I’ll sleep if I want to.”

There was a period while Mom was sick and then after she died that I disconnected from people. I kept to myself, watched a lot of TV and slept in on Sunday mornings. I was incredibly lonely, but I couldn’t find my way out. Simple small talk that used to energize me felt like running a marathon. I was uncomfortable everywhere and constantly anxious. I thought it was just me, just part of growing up and joining the censored working world. It wasn’t until Steven joined RCIA and we started going to mass regularly that I realized I had to let go. I needed to be open and let myself be vulnerable with people to get any sort of joy. I hear it all time in homilies and podcasts now – we need to be in relationship with one another. The human spirit craves interaction.

My sweet family.
My sweet family.

So thank you, sweet family and friends, for showing up and supporting us and telling us Bonnie is beautiful. You make this life infinitely better.

The whole crew! No wonder the church was full to bursting that Sunday.
The whole crew! No wonder the church was full to bursting that Sunday.