Sunday came bright and EARLY after a long (and extremely AWESOME) Saturday, but these three were still all smiles and so excited for the big day ahead. I love how excited that the girls have been about Radley's big day at church (even if Emmy was a bit confused).
Gigi and Pops were obviously there to celebrate...
and We5Kings couldn't have been prouder of our big kid.
He has seriously grown not just physically, but has really become a great big kid. He is thoughtful, he is kind, he is inquisitive. He says the best prayers - he includes God in his thoughts and he asks for His presence in his life. He is such a joy to raise and we are so honored to be his parents.
We arrive at church in time to snap some pics before grabbing our seats (because we needed two rows) and dropping him off.
Since mass is a sacred ritual, they asked parents to refrain from pictures and I was so upset. BUT they asked for one volunteer to take pictures so parents could still have memories of the morning and not be a huge distraction throughout. I happily offered my meager skills and ended up being so nervous! I couldn't use flash and as much as I try to use manual settings, I'm just not very skilled, but I did manage to capture some memories of the morning.
After the Gospel, Father gave perhaps his best homily I have heard. He asked the children what their favorite picture of themselves has been - to really think about that picture and what made that moment so special. He then shared his favorite picture and I think every person in church figured it would be a picture of him at his first communion. We were wrong - he pulled out a picture of himself with Mother Teresa.
I just teared up at the beauty of it. Catholic or not, you can't deny the beauty that this woman represents in her love for Christ. And he met her. He spent time with her. GAH! I can't even imagine.
He challenged us all to live our lives filled with Christ - and that when you do, your love will glow from within. You will spread joy to others. You will also grow with Jesus and in that growth become His hands and feet, heart and soul and a shepard of His works.
I, selfishly, loved the front row seat into their experience. They all took this morning so seriously and being able to capture these moments (even if a bit grainy) was such an honor.
Being Catholic can be frustrating - I will be the first to admit that my beliefs are challenged and I get frustrated with how unwelcoming we can seem. But I could never deny the beauty and holiness in our practice of worship. The reverence of kneeling and the recognition of His sacrifice for us.
I loved seeing them unprompted clasp hands and recite the Our Father and prepare for what comes next.
They did have a professional photographer on hand to capture the kiddos taking communion, so I was stationed at the challis as they accepted the wine. Radley **maybe** got a splash on his lips but he definitely avoided taking any drink - and I understand. I was in college before I did this weekly.
We ended the morning with a sweet reception hosted by our Women's Guild. Father came by between masses to offer his congrats and take pics with the kiddos.
We are so lucky to have so many people love and support the kids on these special occasions. Both of Radley's godparents were there, Cristina and Kailyn, the Munsons and even Jenni and Karli made the early morning drive to celebrate. Now that's love.
Such a special day for him.
And no better way to celebrate than over delicious food with the best framily around.