In the LDS church, we don't baptize babies, but we do give them a baby blessing. Because baptism is a symbol of making change, accepting Jesus Christ as a personal Savior and exemplar, and trying to give up the not-so-nice parts of ourselves, the church has kiddos wait until they are at an age of accountability before they are baptized so that the event is meaningful. Babies are pure and lovely and don't have not-so-nice parts, so we give them a blessing that announces their name for the records of the church, and blesses them with certain bright things we hope for their future.
We wanted to record Marcos giving Gigi her blessing so that we would have it for our records, but of course there was a technological glitch and nothing was saved! Fortunately, a friend of ours writes incredibly fast and was able to catch the entire blessing nearly word for word. This was taken from her notes:
Marcos blessed Gigi that she would know that her parents love her, and that she has been born into a loving and caring community. He blessed her that she will be confident in her relationship with God, that she will have the courage to do the right things, and that she will have the gift of discernment so that she will know how to choose. He also blessed her with a giving heart; that she may be generous and quick to serve. He blessed her to look to Jesus Christ for an example, and that she will be a leader who lifts other's hands when they need help, and who will be meek and teachable. Finally, he blessed her to have a close relationship with us (her parents), to trust and listen to us, and that she will look to those who have gone before her as an example.
The night before Gigi's blessing Marcos was very nervous about messing up on his English, but he did a beautiful job. Seventeen priesthood holders stood in a circle around our baby and held her up during the blessing, and she quietly looked around and sucked on her fingers. That's the part I was nervous about - her being calm!
Most often, baby blessings are a reason for family members to come together, so when my dad told us that he and Emili would be driving down from New Jersey to visit on the weekend of July 25th, we scheduled Gigi's blessing for that Sunday. The couple on the left are our friends who drove two hours from Greenville to attend the blessing. Because there were four families coming to Gigi's blessing from other parts of North Carolina, our friends the Austins were super duper kind enough to help us host a lunch after the blessing so that we wouldn't have to send our friends home hungry after church! The Bramwells came from Wake Forest...
The Hills came from Raleigh...
And three generations of the Day family came from Greenville! This picture below cracks me up: if my calculations are correct, between all of the families present (there were a bunch of nieces visiting from out of town), there were 19 kiddos under the age of 16. I can't even imagine the chaos that our tiny apartment would have been if we had not been able to have lunch at the Austin's house... thank. you. so. much.
And of course, the next best thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to take a nap. Once we changed Gigi out of her Sunday dress she was ready for a snooze. So were the members of the Day family.