I’ve been looking forward to the past two weeks since about six months before Phoebe was born! We wanted to wait as long as we could before putting her into daycare, and I had three months of maternity leave from work. We decided that Dave would spend two weeks of his yearly vacation at home with her once I went back to work full time. Then we recruited! Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton agreed to come out for a week during the third week of July. And Grammie and Pappy took the last week of July. That provided a weekend of overlap, which was the perfect time to baptize Phoebe.
My mom, known as Grandma Hazelton, is also known as the Reverend Elizabeth Hazelton. We wanted Mom to baptize Phoebe, her first grandchild, so we checked it out with our church and found that Mom was welcome to both preach and baptize. Our dear church friend Gladi is on the worship music team, so she helped plan the service. Dave was signed up to play his sax and our friend Katie would play clarinet.
We even got the talents of Bruce Hoelter and the Halftones! Many of us staunch Lutherans love A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, so we included that along with some of the traditional baptismal hymns. One of them, Go, My Children, with My Blessing was sung at our wedding by my friend Adam. And the tune was sung to my brothers and me every night, with different words. So we were expecting a very meaningful worship service. We also had the joy of several more family members in attendance: my aunt Martha flew out for the occasion, our honorary family the Otts (Jennifer, Lee, and Alexander) were able to come, and Dave’s dad Dave and his wife Sandy (Grandma and Grandpa Gribble) drove their new car all the way here! Phoebe is a lucky little girl—well loved by our birth families as well as our Colorado church family and assorted friends.
But let me back up. Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton arrived on Friday, July 16. Dave went to the airport to get them while I put Phoebe to bed and worked on grading final papers. It was so good to see them! Grandma immediately went up to take a look at the sleeping Phoebe. Saturday morning, they were up early, ready to play.
On Saturday, I had time to finish grading my papers even though we went into town and walked around the Boulder Farmer’s Market. We picked out some vegetables for a stir-fry and ate lunch in the market. It was such a hot day! But Phoebe successfully ate some milk from a bottle, beginning a streak that would continue throughout the week. (Thank goodness! It had really stressed us out that she wouldn’t eat during Dave’s two weeks with her.) On Sunday, we went to the early service and then hung around waiting for Dave to finish playing during the second service. (It was Latin American Sunday, so he was playing his sax.) It felt great to be done with my Phoenix classes! I was actually able to enjoy the day off. Some other highlights of the week included Grandma’s sixtieth birthday. We went out for dinner at Hapa, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Boulder. Then she opened her presents: a Kindle DX and the case for it. Pretty cool! One night, we had chicken paprikash for dinner (thanks, Grandma!) and on another we had a pot roast. Grandpa, Phoebe, Dave, and I went down to open mike night on Wednesday, and we ate Chinese one night. My parents just loved spending time with Phoebe! Every morning she woke up her usual cheerful self, thrilled to swipe at Grandpa’s fuzy (moustache in Slovak) and drool all over Grandma’s shoulder.
Jennifer, Lee, and Alexander planned to come over on Friday night when they arrived in Denver, but they got caught in some bad weather in Chicago and spent three extra hours in the airport. We spent the evening grocery shopping and thinking about what we’d need to prepare for dinner on Saturday and the party on Sunday. Saturday morning we all got up and started chopping and cooking. The Otts came over in the morning and we heard from Mom and Don that they were also stuck in bad weather in Chicago, so they’d be at least a few hours late. Dad and Sandy were still on the road, and Martha was going to see the Garden of the Gods before coming over.
So we had some time to work on the food. When everybody started arriving, we hung out on the deck. We made hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner and ate the potato salad Grandma had put together. We also had strawberry rhubarb pie—thanks to Sally at work for the rhubarb, already cut up! We had fun playing with Alexander in the yard. He seemed to have the best time pushing choke cherries through the gaps in the deck floor. Everybody dispersed to their hotels for the night.
On baptism day, my dad drove Mom and Dave to church for the 8:00 a.m. service, and then came back for Phoebe and me. I actually got to sleep in for an extra hour or so! I gave Phoebe a bath and we got ready for church. I had bought myself a new outfit, which I don’t do very often, so it was fun to get dressed up. We got to church in plenty of time and put Phoebe into the baptismal gown and bonnet that Grandma Hazelton made her.
The service was exactly what I had hoped for all those months! We were surrounded by our family and our Colorado family—the kids came up to watch the baptism, so Phoebe’s friends were all nearby.
Mom’s sermon was enjoyed by the whole congregation, and we both got a bit choked up during the baptism.
(Phoebe cried until the part in which the water was splashed on her head. She’s always loved her bath, so I wasn’t too surprised that she didn’t mind having a wet head!) After church we took a bunch of photos and then headed home.
A short video of Phoebe’s baptism.
Mom, Dad, and I pulled together five quiches and a savory bread pudding in the kitchen while guests arrived. (Thanks, Susan and Marpoo, for your help with the food!) We had a fruit salad, pickles, olives, and cheese, deviled eggs, and peanut butter squares. Quite the feast! Phoebe wore a dress that Dave’s Grandma Hoot crocheted. She looks gorgeous in peach. However, she slept through much of her party. Everything wound down by evening. The Otts left for the airport and our friends for their houses. Some of the relatives headed to their hotels. We sank into the couches with relief. It had been the perfect day I had imagined!
On Monday morning, Dave and I drove our new car (as yet nameless) to get Grammie and Pappy from the hotel.
They drove us to work and then went to the house to do the baby handoff with Grandma and Grandpa Hazelton. I got to see Mom, Dad, and Martha again for lunch, and then we said goodbye. They were headed up to NCAR and then to the airport. Monday night we had dinner and the Gribble grandparents stopped by to hang out for a while. The rest of the week was really nice. We had dinner at Tutti on Tuesday with both sets of grandparents, and then Dad and Sandy were headed home via Mount Rushmore. Grammie did some cooking for us: a yummy pasta and vegetable dish one night and marinated chicken with broccoli the next. We finally made it to Efrain’s for dinner on Friday—that’s a particular favorite! Grammie and Pappy had a ball spending time with Phoebe. They went on walks, headed to the coffee shop, and played in the farm for hours. We were sad to see them go on Saturday morning, and while they’ll certainly miss Phoebe, they’ll be glad to get back to their normal-sized bed! Dave had a rehearsal at church, so I drove them to the airport. We came home and I took a nap. (It had been kind of a hard night—Phoebe’s schedule is a bit off, due to teething and guests, we think.) We had dinner and Henry’s first ice cream cone with the Johnsons.
Today is Sunday. Dave played his sax at the African service at church and Phoebe and I took the bus home. My uncle Lee happened to be working at his Denver office this week, and he had some extra time, so he came over. It was great to see him! We don’t get to very often.
And here we are. Phoebe starts daycare tomorrow. She’s probably more ready for that than Mommy. I’ve been missing her during the day! But she’ll enjoy making friends and I’m enjoying being back at work and doing grownup stuff again. It’s amazing to think that five months ago, we’d never met Phoebe, and now she’s a chubby, happy baby, ready to start daycare! Change never ceases, so we just keep trying to keep up.