The girls were baptized on Sunday, January 15, 2011. We invited all of our close friends and family to join in what we called our baptism celebration. We wanted to celebrate the double blessings God has given to us, and we are overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving with these undeserving gifts. I tried not to think too deeply about what the day meant as I went through the motions that morning. I know that sounds funny, and I certainly understand and treasure what baptism means. However, if I really thought about how thankful I am for these girls, I'd be an emotional wreck all day. When the girls were born, I had my moment with God (and many others since then) when I, with deep emotion from the bottom of my heart, gave thanks to him for the health of the girls. Few moments in life have brought me to this level- my marriage, the birth of my children, my pleading with God to cure my mom's cancer, etc. God chose me (yes, ME!!) to be the mom of two beautiful baby girls and a handsome boy, and I can't thank him enough. When I doubt myself and wonder if I can handle it on some days, I keep reminding myself that he chose me because he knew I could do it. He gives me grace and mercy when I mess up as a mom, he gives me patience I never thought I had, and peace about the little things that would normally make me nuts. He knows what I need when I need it, and I'm thankful that I could promise in front of our church family and friends that as for our home, we will serve the Lord. No matter what. So, today, we celebrated. Celebrated blessings from above. Celebrated with our church family as they also promised to help raise our children. Admitted that we can't do it on our own, and that with all of us together, we will raise our children to know and love the Lord.
Enough heavy stuff. One thing I wanted to make sure I documented was the story of the girls' dresses. I'm not sure where I had this idea, if I had seen it somewhere or read about it, but I was interested in having the girls' dresses made out of my wedding dress. We have a girl baptism dress in our family that my mom wore when she was a baby, and since then many people have worn, including myself. However, when you have twin girls, that poses a bit of a problem. So, after thinking of lots of options, I decided to look more seriously into getting the girls' baptism dresses made out of my wedding dress. I found a woman locally who hand sews baptism/christening dresses, and she was willing to do it for me with only a little over a month's notice. The dresses turned out more beautiful than I ever could have imagined! Every piece of the dresses and their bonnets came from my wedding dress. This was also a huge part of what made the day special for me. In order for her to make the dresses, I had to take my wedding dress out of preservation, and it wasn't really that hard to see her cut it apart. I'm guessing the girls weren't going to want to wear my dress when they got married, and that this would be a treasure for them to keep forever. Maybe these dresses will get passed along in their families for many generations to come. Maybe not. However, it meant the world to me to share my wedding dress with them on their special day. It was worth EVERY.SINGLE.EXPENSIVE.PENNY.
Attempt #1 of a family picture with the girls wearing their bonnets
Mommy and Makenna
Mommy and Makenna again
Daddy and an unhappy Maya
The grandmas setting up for the party
Just the girls with Mom and Dad
Attempt at another family photo- this one wasn't so bad!
Maya Grace Rysdam
Maya's baptism- with the podium blocking the view. She cried after the water was placed on her head, perfectly on cue! :)
Makenna Anne Rysdam
Makenna's baptism. She also cried perfectly on cue after she felt the water.
Our family of 5!
We shared this special day with 2 other families. God is good!
I love this picture. I love it for a few reasons. First, because it captures an unposed moment when Andy was kissing Maya. I also love it because it shows Jamie Ring in the background on the stage. Jamie was one of my former students from my very first class at CCES. She has the most beautiful voice, and I found an awesome song for her to sing. I was honored that she could share this day with us, too!
The food all ready. If you know me, you know we had enough to feed at least double the people we had. Lots of variations of tacos and enchilada casseroles in the past week! :)
Another picture of us with the girls (who were much calmer now that they were sleeping)
The girls in their seats with my MIL and her friends
Love these babes.
Picture with the cake- notice that Kaden is already eating the dessert
My parents with the girls
My parents with all their grandchildren. I'm so thankful they could be there with us to celebrate this special day!
Andy's mom with the girls, who aren't looking too happy! :)