Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anna's Baptism

Yesterday, January 7th, 2012, my little girl was baptized.

The baptism was at 10:00 a.m. so we woke and started getting ready right away. Anna made sure to eat breakfast before changing into her white dress. Matthias was very good and didn't even throw a fit about getting dressed like he usually does. Everyone was excited. We were supposed to be 15 to 30 minutes early so I decided we'd leave the house at 9:30. The church is very close.

I did Anna's hair and curled her bangs and cleaned the house because we were having people over afterword for a lunch. At 9:25, I told the kids it was about time to go and they came to me and Anna had red Halloween makeup smeared in several places on her beautiful, expensive-ish white dress! I freaked out a bit. I didn't yell but I just said "Anna! Your dress! What were you thinking?!" and she still maintains that she has no idea how it got all over her dress. The day before, our new little puppy Scout

had gotten into the Halloween makeup, just the stick of red, and had chewed it up all over the carpet in front of the bathroom. It was also all over the bathroom floor. I think that somehow, the dress met the floor and that's how the disaster happened. I was so upset about the dress. I tried cleaning it with cold water but it wasn't working too well and we were already later than I'd wanted to be. So I wanted the kids to get together for a quick picture and they did and that's when I saw that Matthias had wet his pants. Are you kidding me? So I had to find him a clean pair of pants and calm him down because he always gets upset when he gets caught and oh my goodness. Then they got together for a picture.

all cute as if everything was perfect. The red is at the bottom of her skirt so you can't see it. And here's one of just the princess:

if you look very close, you can see the makeup. There's more on the other side that the picture doesn't show. But. Isn't she radiant?

So then we left to the church. The roads were covered in a light dusting of snow. That was kinda special because we haven't really had any snow this year. Yesterday's snowfall doesn't really count either, but it was special, I thought, that the roads were covered in white on Anna's baptism day.

We arrived and someone from the Stake immediately helped us figure out what to do and where to go. We went to the dressing room and found a jumper thing that would fit Anna and she changed into it.

There were five or six kids getting baptized that day. The children and their fathers met in a classroom just to go over the order of the baptisms, and all the dads practiced the baptism with the kids. I was the only woman in there! I think I was invited because Anna wasn't getting baptized by her father, and so I was there to be her parent. My brother Chris was there too since he's the one who baptized Anna. I enjoyed watching Anna practice with Chris. We were all then dismissed back to the chapel. Before we got there, I snapped this wonderful photo:

I love them!

Then we went to the chapel and Mom was just arriving. The baptism service was to begin in 10 minutes, so I rushed Mom to the dressing room to show her Anna's dress. She brought her bleach pen at my request, and while she saved the day and went to work on Anna's dress, I ran out to the car to grab the bag with Anna's towel and change of underwear, etc, that we'd left in the car. I made it back to the chapel just as the Stake representative was welcoming everyone.

Anna was the first to be baptized! After some songs and some talks, we all went to the Relief Society room and the font divider was opened. Anna and Chris went into the font and all the little cousins gathered at the front of the room on the floor, close to the font, as is tradition, so they could see it happen up close. But then the kids' heads were in the way of my view, so I stood. And as my brother raised his arm to the square and said "Anna Danielle Montano," I got teary.

This was my baby! My little baby newborn, and now she has chosen to be baptized, and now she's old enough to be baptized! I was filled with such pride, such honor of having such a faith-filled daughter. Then Chris said "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." and into the water she went, immersed completely, and all her sins were washed away, and she was baptized. She emerged a clean soul. And now, because of that baptism, she can repent of her sins and be forgiven EVERY TIME she makes a mistake.

After that, I went into help her out of the font and we returned to the dressing room. She was cold. She was happy. She was cute. We got her dried off and dressed again. I wished I'd packed her detangler spray. When she was ready, we went to the primary room for her confirmation.

My Dad was the one to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and bestow upon her the gift of the Holy Ghost. In the circle stood Dad, of course, Chris, Cameron, Casey and my friend Jeff. When the blessing was done, Anna hugged Jeff, and then started to leave! Chris pulled her back so she could hug everyone else. It was cute. It was only because she hadn't seen Jeff, yet. He and his family were late and missed the baptism, so she was basically just greeting him. But it was funny.

Anna's primary teacher from last year was there and gave her a gift, a journal, with a beautiful note the teacher had written. That was sure nice of Sister Hipwell.

In attendance were: Myself and Matthias, Mom, Dad, Cameron, Casey, Melanie and her kids Morgan and Lydia, Chris and Christine and their kids Kaien, Emmy, Ammon and baby Ezra, Kim and Kadin, Jeff and Astrid and their kids Samantha and Gabriel, Patty from the primary and her daughter Anne, who is Anna's age, Brother Ross who was the ward rep- he's a new bishopric member in our new ward, and Sis Hipwell. Oh and Brother Ross's son Brennan who was in my primary class last year, and whom I just adore. The ward members left right after the confirmation and the rest of us stuck around for pictures.
the first one is sans myself because I was taking the photo. The next one is sans Melanie for the same reason.

And here's Mom (me, duh) and the girl of the hour:
 Dad who confirmed her and Chris who baptized her. They are so weird about smiling.
 I told them they should work on smiling and this is what happened.

After the pictures, we all headed to my place for some lunch. Anna and Matthias wanted to ride with Kimmy so I drove home alone. And I reflected on the morning. And my heart was filled with joy and peace and love, and I felt like what happened that day was exactly what should have happened that day, and that God was aware of us and aware of my daughter's choice, and that He approved of it, and was pleased with it. And I remembered my own baptism on March 4, 1989 and how great it felt at the time, and how a cried a single tear during my confirmation.

It was truly a beautiful joy-filled morning.

The Lunch didn't go over quite so well. I didn't have enough beef for the taco salad, but there were plenty of beans, and I also forgot to get paper plates, and I didn't have enough plates for everyone!!! Some of us had to wait for someone else to finish before we could eat! I felt bad, but most everyone was very forgiving and understanding, and didn't hold it against me. I love my family, truly. In fact, most of my guests didn't complain at all. I'm so grateful for them.

After lunch, I presented to Anna her baptism gift from me. I wrote a book for her. It's not professionally printed yet, but it will be. I read it to her and my guests (poor things). Anna loved it, and so did my Dad! Everyone but Jeff & Astrid and Chris & Christine took off one second after I finished reading it so I began to beat myself up about it, thinking maybe I should have read it to just Anna after everyone left. But I kinda wanted to make it a big deal for my princess, I wanted there to be witnesses to what I felt was a very special gift to my daughter. I worked very hard on it. But it wasn't FOR anyone but Anna and I started to worry that my family and friends thought it was selfish and dumb of me to force them to hear it. And then I tried to remind myself that it doesn't really matter if other people approve of my choices as long as God does, and presenting a gift in the way I wanted to present it wasn't a choice that bore any eternal consequences. I was pretty much going crazy over it, worrying about how my family saw it and trying to console myself, when I got a text from my dad. He said it was a "wonderful story" and he thinks Anna will love it more and more through the years. And with that text, my anxiety over the issue was dispelled and everything was okay. I was very grateful for it!

I'm a little crazy but that's okay. The important thing is my baby girl was baptized. That night in her bedtime prayer she thanked our Father that she was able to be baptized and asked Him to help her not to make any mistakes for the rest of her life, and that if she did, to help her repent. It was very sweet and perfect for a prayer just after baptism. I love that little princess.

1 comment:

Quaero Veritas said...

Wow that was long. Anyway, in that first picture I was intentionally smiling that way. ALthough I am not a good intentional smiler in general. And check out Morgan and his posses. Does Melanie teach him that?