07/17/2012 at 8:14 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, family | 6 Comments

Sophie still smells like church.

On Sunday morning after the priest anointed her with water poured from a shell we found at the beach, she looked up at him in confusion and then grabbed a wad of her hair as if to say dude that’s mine. With a chuckle, he rubbed oil onto her head and then draped the sweetest little white bib on her chest and declared her to be baptized.

The ceremony, which took place at a special little church in the mountains that has a deep history in our family, was beautiful.

Lily was baptized there, as well as Laura and me. My grandparents were married there, and we said goodbye to my dear grandfather about 10 years ago in that tiny, lovely space.

I glanced over at the pew he always sat in and remembered watching his gentle hands hold the hymnal. I smiled at Nana playing the organ beside the altar. I felt the love of our family and friends gathered around us. I remember the priest saying words like “grace” and “light.”

I will never forget Sophie’s sweet face in those precious moments.

And of course, the hair:

Here she is with her godmothers. How lucky we are to have these two in our lives!

Lily and Olive found treasures outside the church after mass while all the grown-ups milled about and snapped photos.

Back at the farm, Sophie’s second “baptism” took place, a special induction into the family tribe. My dad gave her the name Agaliha, which is Cherokee for “sunshine.”

Here Lily is, feeding Gretchen the goat and delighting in all the natural wonder of that beautiful space nestled deep in a valley dotted with the prettiest purple wildflowers. The lightening bugs put on quite a show that night, as we sat rocking on the porch staring out into nothing.

And Miss Sophie? She was unstoppable. Wobbling over to see this animal and that. Crouching down to dig in the dirt. Climbing the gate to the cow pasture. And, thanks to Auntie Julie, taking her first ride on a bike.

My heart fills a little bit more each time we gather in the mountains, and Sunday was no exception.

So very blessed.



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  1. Oh so beautiful! I remember how fragrant & pungent Daniel smelled after we had his baptism. Part of me wondered if the smell would ever leave & another part didn’t want it to. Looks like a beautiful day for your sweet family!

  2. Looks like an amazing day!

  3. Beautiful!

  4. Everything about this post makes my heart so happy. I hope you frame some of these moments!

  5. Looks like you have some very special traditions…the place in the mountains looks beautiful!

  6. couldn’t have asked for a nicer time…suzanne and bobby should have my thank you note before sat although words are certainly inadequate for all their gracious hospitality…we need more like them in this world for sure

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