Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sláinte!

+JMJ+

Happy feast of St. Joseph! I wish that I had something insightful and timely written up for this special day commemorating the head of the Holy Family and well-known patron Saint of husbands and fathers. Instead, I'll simply guide you to Daniel Stewart's reflection I read earlier and loved about St. Joseph & Overcoming the Fear of Fatherhood...while I continue playing "catch up" and offer you all a recap of that other important feast day we recently celebrated - St. Patrick's Day!

Some of you may recall that my husband is a convert to the Catholic faith; when he entered the Church on Easter Vigil 2012 he chose St. Patrick as his patron and namesake for confirmation. I grew up loving my Irish heritage (however small it may be!) and celebrating the well-known feast of the much-beloved patron Saint of Ireland, but my love for this feast day only grew when it also became the feast day of my then-fiance/now-husband. 

I rarely do as much as I'd like to in my efforts to live more "liturgically" (it's a daunting, ongoing effort I can only achieve with baby steps), but St. Patrick's Day is one feast that our family never fails to commemorate. By the time Tuesday rolled around I had instructed my husband to decide what he wanted for dinner on his feast day and I had secretly plotted to run some errands while he was at work so I could surprise him with some decorations.

After some successful trips to HomeGoods and the grocery store (which heavily relied on keeping Gabriel content with a special bribe of cookies I bought along the way), I returned home with a happy springtime tablecloth, fresh flowers, and some sparkly green cut-outs of shamrocks that I planned to use in a home-made banner.

At some point that morning I sat down to take a few pictures with Gabriel in an effort to document our St. Paddy's Day green. He had so much fun laughing at my phone that we basically held an impromptu photo shoot.

He insisted that his (naked) baby doll be in the photos, too
A blurry image of his giggling self
I told him to say "cheese" and I'm pretty sure he heard "cheeks"
because this is what he did next! Too cute for words.

Once Gabriel went down for his afternoon nap I got to work changing out our tablecloths, making a banner from the shamrocks, and putting together a small but festive display on our table. The centerpiece was a combination of the flowers and some special St. Patrick decorations that normally reside in our bedroom.



Because the shamrock banner was hanging in the windows, I couldn't capture an image of the entire display until it got dark outside because everything was silhouetted during the day.

Ta-da!

Michael had requested that we swing by the store to pick out desserts, which we did shortly after he got home from work. We already had dinner planned out at home, but while we were out he admitted that what he really was craving was...Chinese food. 

I can honestly say I don't think I'd ever had Chinese food on St. Patrick's Day before, but it was my husband's feast day and that's the special meal he chose so we made it work by eating at a nearby restaurant instead of returning home to cook (no cooking, no dishes to clean, the toddler ate well, and my husband was content so that's what we call a win-win-win-win).

Somehow I'd managed to get through the entire day without letting Gabriel have any screen time (which I consider a 28-weeks-pregnant and winter [no spring here near Boston yet, friends] miracle), so when Gabriel begged to watch his beloved "liiiines" (lions - aka The Lion King) Michael and I said yes. After all, we skip all the scenes that are remotely dark or distressing which makes it less than 35 minutes long. ;) Those next 35 minutes were so precious to me as Gabriel crawled into my lap to snuggle while he watched and I shared some undistracted conversations with Michael.

St. Paddy's Day snuggles with my boy(s)!

Finally, I made sure that we captured at least one good family photo in our St. Patrick's Day attire before everyone changed into pajamas.

Sláinte from our family to yours!

Our family was blessed with a very happy St. Patrick's Day and I can only hope you and yours experienced the same. Sláinte!

"May your troubles be less
and your blessings be more
and nothing but happiness
come through your door."
-Irish blessing

2 comments:

  1. Stephanie, what a thoughtful heart you have. I'm sure Michael was happy to be surprised.

    And hey thanks for sharing the article. I read it and couldn't have loved it more.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Andrea! The funny part is that he was hardly surprised because he happened to check our bank statement online and saw "HomeGoods" and immediately thought to himself, "oh, St. Patrick's Day decorations." LOL He knows me too well. :P Glad you liked Daniel's article!

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