It was a wonderful weekend filled with family, friends and faith. It all got started on Saturday with a full day of activities for us all. Ken and I attended a brunch meeting at Brenda's house for talking about the children's ministry at church. Ken is a part of Faithweaver Friends and I am the Nursery coordinator, so lots to say and thankfully Xander slept through the whole thing and Ariel played with the kids. Breakfast was yummy, and thankfully lots of fruit for me.
Then we came home at noon where we met up with Leah. Ken was going to watch her son Asher and Ariel while us gals and the babies went shopping! Leah had gymbucks to spend, as did I, so it was so much fun to go with someone. We had a blast and we shopped till we dropped. I got a few things for next year for Xander and Ariel at Gymboree and then spent my Baby Gap gift card on some long sleeve onesies for Xander and a cute fall/winter church dress for Ariel (who didn't have one long sleeve dress that fit in her closet!). Finally, I got a great deal (plus I had a gift card) on a parka and matching snow pants for Ariel at Please Mum, and Leah got a set for Asher as well. The babies held up well, Xander slept in the snuggly and woke up to eat and coo for a bit.
At home, Ken had fun with the kids. It was so nice of him to do that so I could go out and have some fun, thank babe!
Then we had dinner and headed over to Dad and Rita's to see Uncle Bill, Aunt Penny and Papa! We were excited to let Xander meet his Great-Grandpa finally. Papa seemed pretty taken with the little guy. It was very special indeed.
Ariel took a bit to warm up to Papa, of course it has been awhile since she has seen him.
While everyone visited, Ken and Xander disappeared and this is how I found them. Like father like son.
The next morning was CRAZY! First we dropped Ariel off at Sunday school, then picked up the food trays at Safeway and took them to Dad's, then I dropped Ken back at the church so he could set up the video camera and greet. I stopped in at Aunty Fran's because Aunty Marg was visiting with Papa and couldn't make the dedication and I knew she wanted to see Xander badly. Of course she was THRILLED and so excited by the surprise visit we made, so it was worth the effort. Then it was back to church to change Xander into his fancy outfit and nurse him so he would be a happy boy.
While I was at the back of the church rocking Xander, a big announcement was made by Brad, sharing that Andrea was engaged! Yay! So it was really becoming an exciting Sunday indeed. Once Xander was mellow and happy, we joined everyone and got ready for our cue. Ken went up first and shared why the song 'The Lorica' was so important and special to us.
When we first sang it in church, it was the first time I had felt Xander kick inside me. I was really taken by the song and knew it really was something special for me personally, and Ken as well. Then we found out our Worship Pastor's wife had written it, and that was a cool surprise. When we suddenly lost Nana, I found it to be a song of comfort to me. The only place I could safely cry (so not to upset or scare Ariel who was very fragile at the time) was in the shower. After the tears, I would find myself singing the lyrics ...
Be above me, as high as the noonday sun
Be below me, the rock I set my feet upon
Be beside me, the wind on my left and right
Be behind me, oh circle me with your truth and light
Truly they were words of comfort when I was hurting and calling on the strength I needed to get through this pain of losing her. Then when Xander was born and we were face again with the then unknown health concerns I was facing with my heart. I was crying in the ER rocking Xander crying out 'why' to God. When Ken left me briefly to call the family, I found myself again sobbing and quietly singing...
God's ear to hear me
God's hand to guide me
God's might to uphold me
God's shield to hide me
Against all powers deceiving
Against my own unbelieving
whether near or far
It kept bringing strength and comfort in such challenging times, like a way of praying when I didn't know the words to say. The song is based on the words on St Patrick's breastplate, and it felt like it became a song that was written for Xander as well. He was in the battle with us, and then with his birth, we discovered the hole in my heart that we wouldn't have found otherwise. Like I mentioned before, his name means 'Protector of Mankind' and his birth has protected me from possibly things to come that could have happened had this not been found. God knew that was his purpose and the timing of his birth. We are so thankful for his faithfulness, and his hand over us all.
So Ken shared much of this in his own words and then it lead into Gayle and Roy singing the song while Kara danced to it. At the beginning she even had Xander in her arms, truly a moment that really brought it all together. So here it is to share with you all, and following it is the actual dedication, although its hard to actually see us.
Here is a picture of us at the front that my Dad took. Ariel was doing her, I'm afraid of Pastor Dave routine and hid some of the time, and then would turn and wave at the family sitting in the front rows. Haha.
Our little family!
Ariel was very pretty that day, I loved this dress and was thankful it was such a warm day allowing her to wear it.
The party following the dedication was great. Lots of yummy food...
... yummy cake! (I was icing and decorating it early that morning, gack!)
Xander helping us cut the cake Ariel was dying to eat. She kept asking when she would get some jelly bean cake all morning. Haha.
Xander was pretty mellow and happy, especially since he kept getting passed around and cuddled (his favorite thing!) He cried only when he was hungry and wet, what a boy!
Ariel enjoyed spending time with Lala, I got a cute picture of them.
Uncle Mike and Aunty Jo with Xander.
It was a fabulous day and it slowly came to an end as Bill and Penny took Papa back to the island, and everyone else went home. We hung out a tad longer to visit and then packed up the kids and came home.
This morning was a harsh wake up call when the morning came sooner than I was ready for. Xander has been up a few more times in the night to eat, growth spurt I guess. It was a school morning, so I had no choice but to roll out and get the house moving. Even Ariel was laying on the top stair saying she was wanting more sleep. Thankfully she got moving fast and soon was perked up. They are talking about Thanksgiving in class this week and made this adorable turkey! I told her we are having Thanksgiving at Grandpa and Rita's house this weekend and she now wants to bring him along to give to them. Aw.
In the afternoon I took the kids outside to the little grassy area by our place to take some pictures to make up our Thanksgiving cards with. These are some of the pictures I got...
My pumpkin princess. Can I say how happy I was that her cute sweater from last year still fit!
My little pumpkin sleeping in the leaves. His sweater one piece matched hers perfectly!
I love this one, sometimes you just get lucky! Hee.
Well, its ballet tomorrow and weigh in day, which I don't think will be that great, especially after the 'cheating' I did yesterday at the party, doh! Oh well, there is always next week. Lots of other things this week, including my visit with the cardiologist again and some fabric shopping with Stella. I shall keep you posted with all the updates on things.