Thursday, September 10, 2015

Brooke's Big Day

The theme for Brooke's first birthday party revolved around The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. And while the past 12 months have seemed more like a speeding train than a crawl to me, the theme seems to fit. The evolution from tiny baby to toddler is as startling as the evolution of caterpillar to beautiful butterfly.
Brooke Jaylin Ladd arrived at 6:57 AM, Thursday, September 4, 2014. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 20 inches long. These days, she walks - or runs - everywhere and seems destined to follow her Mommy's footsteps as the designated family climber. (Jill caught her trying to scale the pantry shelves within the past couple of weeks.)  
We got a review of the monthly snapshots via our own hungry caterpillar, and her cake also featured the theme. 
Kinley was rather delicate with her "smash" cake on her first birthday. Brooke was anything but delicate, necessitating a bath after her enthusiastic eating spree. I guess she was taking the Very Hungry Caterpillar theme to heart. She was very hungry for cake!
The family portrait we took before church may have had the same "color story" as one we took right after she came home from the hospital ...
September 2014
but adding another wiggly girl into the mix made for more outtakes than the one from a year ago.
September 2015
It was a busy and meaningful day for Miss Brooke and family. Sunday was also Brooke's baptism day at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka.
I know that not every denomination believes in infant baptism. But it is part of our United Methodist tradition.
In December 1985, Jill was baptized at the Stafford United Methodist Church.
And just like with Brooke, grandparents were there to witness the sacrament and stand alongside as the parents continued a heritage of faith. (One of my regrets about Sunday was not getting photos of Brooke with both sets of grandparents and the five great-grandparents. But there wasn't really time at the church before the next service began. We should have done it at home, but we didn't.)

During an infant baptism, the parents confess their belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and commit to nurture their child by teaching and example:
... "that the child may be guided to accept God's grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly and to lead a Christian life."
But it's more than just Jill and Eric and their families. The church family at Susanna Wesley also commits to this child. Before the service, I had watched families with young children barrel headlong into the sanctuary. I watched older congregants make their way slowly down the aisles, pausing to say hello.

During the baptism sacrament, the congregation says together:
With God's help we will proclaim the good news and live according to the example of Christ. We will surround Brooke with a community of love and forgiveness, that she may grow in her trust of God and be found faithful in her service to others. We will pray for her that she may be a true disciple who walks in the way that leads to Life.
That is a powerful legacy of faith. And as Brooke's church family and birth family gathered for her baptism and birthday, I was thankful for the legacy of it all. Second year ... here we come!
A little cousin love!


  1. I don't even know you but I teared up reading this post! What a special time. I'm right behind you-- my kids are 24 and 21, and the oldest is getting married in a week. My children walk with the Lord, and I know theirs will too. Life is good, isn't it?

    1. Thank you, Carol! I am sure you are busy, busy with the wedding plans! Enjoy every moment of the special day. My daughter had good advice before her wedding day. She and I are planners. We had everything organized and tabulated in a 3-ring notebook. But she told me to remember to relax on that day and enjoy! Let the people we hired do what they needed to do and let the rest fall into place. (I probably should have been offering the advice, but she's smarter than I am in that area - ha!) I will offer the same advice to you. Have a wonderful and blessed day! And, yes: Life is good!

  2. Can't believe she is a year old already! Love your header photo--Go CATS!

    1. Me either! We had them this weekend when their parents were at a wedding. Oh my! She is busy, busy, busy!

      I took a lot of photos to get the flags flying just right. It was from last year.