It was quite exciting to celebrate two new holidays this year: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and not for the reason that I had expected. There were, of course, more presents. I just love gifts, both giving them and receiving them, so any occasion for more presents would be enough to get me excited. This past week my mother was in town to visit
us her only grandchild (wink), and my favorite activity that we did together was the surprise we prepared for Tad for his first father’s day (a few days early on Friday evening).
When Tad came home from work, this little beauty was there to greet him:
A new BBQ grill! This is truly a gift that keeps on giving for our family because we are fortunate to live in a place where we can grill all year long. We bought the grill at Home Depot and learned that they will beat any competitor’s price by 10%. Thanks to my handy iPhone, I saw that Lowe’s was having a sale. Instead of making a trip to another store, we were able to purchase it for $85 off the listed price. You bet I’m shopping around then going back to Home Depot in the future!
This little girl did her part by being a champ during our Home Depot shopping trip and taking two good naps while we cleaned and set up.
It was my brilliant mom’s idea to surprise him, so our efforts began with scrubbing and cleaning our patio. The Rubbermaid chest of drawers on the right originally looked like this, but with an added four years of dirt and grime from grilling. Previous cleaning attempts were unsuccessful, so we attacked it with bleach and most of the grease came right off. Then I gave it two coats of RustOleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze, and it looked even better than brand-new! It matches with our recently purchased patio set, and Tad even thought I had bought a new one because it looks so nice.
The final addition was more for me, because I’ve been intrigued by succulent plants lately. Tad thinks they’re funny looking, but I think it completes the look.
After overcoming his surprise and hearing our rendition of hauling that heavy grill from the parking lot up a few small flights of stairs and onto our porch, we of course put him to work for a great dinner.
Grilled pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes rubbed with olive oil and truffle salt, grilled peach salad with peach vinaigrette, and one of Bobby Flay’s cocktails. Even my gourmet mom was impressed.
As the grill surprise was on Friday, we had more fun to come on Sunday. It started out with a great morning worshipping the Lord at church, and Hayden was even a cooperative girl in the nursery. Afterward, we came back home so baby girl could have a nap and we put the grill/griller to work again for lunch: Sage Cheddar hamburgers with bacon and avocado. We managed to get a few family pictures too.
Another exciting first was giving Hayden her first taste of rice cereal. She’s been keenly watching us eat for a few weeks now, so I thought it would be fun to try out. It definitely made for some good laughs and silly pictures/videos.
I think she felt a little bit like a victim of a new bazaar kind of treatment, but I guess that’s the way it goes the first time around. I’m actually really looking forward to making homemade baby foods and feeding a messy, squirmy baby, and I know its right around the corner for us.
Finally, as the culmination for a weekend of celebrating, we headed back to our church’s evening service, where we participated in the Parent Dedication. Before the congregation and Papa, Marmee, Grammy, Aunt Mollie, and friend Heather, we dedicated ourselves to “nurture and train her in the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.” We realize this is a very high calling, and as parents (and total newbies at that) we will often fail, but it is such an encouragement to have our friends, family, and church body supporting and praying for us.
Of course the little rascal lost a shoe on the journey to the front of the church 🙂
With Papa and Marmee
As we celebrated Tad being a father (an amazing one) and a few weeks ago myself being a mother, I find myself thinking more about the blessings of parenthood than about how much we deserve to be recognized. Its true, we do only have one baby who after a rough first two months turned into a total angel, and I’m sure a few more kids down the line I will demand a bit more accolades, but Tad and I are constantly in awe of how fun and special it is to be the parents of Hayden. I don’t know why I was so surprised, after all,
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” ~Psalm 127:3
Parenting our little girl definitely feels like a reward; this is in direct contrast to my presuppositions about having kids (see previous post). More than anything, we can now better understand God’s love for us as His children, which infinitely surpasses our love for Hayden. He knows every detail of our lives and thought in our minds. He chose us as believers before Creation so that we might bow our knee before Him at the appointed time. He allowed His own Son to pay the brutal penalty for our sins, and forgives us even as we continually sin against Him.
What a great calling we have to love our daughter a fraction as much as we are loved by our Heavenly Father. I’m sure I will better understand this when as a toddler she will need more instruction and discipline, and in the teenage years when she becomes more independent and we think we’re cooler than she does, but for now I will revel in the joy of parenthood, and pray for God’s help to nurture Hayden in the way of our Savior.