Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grace's Baptism

I have put off blogging about Grace's big day for so long that now I can barely remember it!!
Luckily, a few days after her baptism, I wrote Grace a letter.   Here's an edited version of what I wrote:


I am so proud of you for getting baptized.  I have so many things i want you to know and remember about that day.  So, bear with me here...

It was such a beautiful day.  The weather, which had been threatening to rain, cooperated nicely.  Your Grandpa Ashworth and Grandpa and Grandma Allred were here, along with Karen. and Tommy, Julia, and Nathan.
Grace with her living grandparents

Your Grandma Allred made you a beautiful quilt, in your favorite color--blue.
Grace with her beautiful quilt, handmade by her Grandma Allred

Julia and you went for a walk to Walgreens to get some white nail polish (which you'd insisted upon, to match your white dress) and while there Julia bought you the pearl headband that you ended up wearing.
Grace getting her nails painted by Aunt Julia

As you were getting ready, you told me several times that you had butterflies in your stomach.  But as nervous as you were, you were still so kind to everyone who came to support you.  And there were so many people who came--friends and teachers from school, friends from soccer, friends from girl scouts--all because you're so great and they love you!!
A few of the friends who came over to our house for dinner afterwards

You had a soccer game that day at 11am, then Abby's game at 1pm, then your baptism at 4:30.  It was a long day for an 8 year old.  

My cute little soccer star!

The whole crew at Grace's soccer game, before her baptism

You looked sooooo beautiful in your dress.  You wanted your hair in a braid down your back before the baptism, and then just to wear it down with the headband after you were baptized--and you looked so cute both ways!

You and Dad practiced at least 5 times, if not more.  In the front room, after Family Night and other times, too.  You wanted to be sure that you knew exactly what to do.

Originally you and your sisters--all three--were going to sing "I'm trying to be like Jesus" but then, after a small blunder at your elementary school talent show weeks ago, you announced that you would not be singing at your baptism.  And then, the morning of the baptism Eliza announced that she, too, was not going to sing.  So it was left to Abby to sing  a solo--which she did.  And it was beautiful.  She was so nervous, in fact she asked me right before if we could change it to just one verse, which we did.  But she did such a great job.  I hope you remember what she did for you--she looks up to you so much and really would do just about anything for you.

Braelyn, who was your first friend you made when we moved here 7 years ago, shared this day with you.  We've watched you girls grow together these past seven years, and it was so fun sharing the day with her and her family.  She got baptized first, and then you were second.
Grace and Braelyn--friends for 7 years!

Braelyn, Grace, and Serena (friend from her soccer team)

The water was cold, as I'm sure you'll remember.  My eyes filled with tears when your dad said the prayer.  Hearing YOUR name, my baby girl's name was just so exciting and enough to make me want to explode with joy!!

You'd asked me to say the closing prayer, but I'd been struck dumb--quite literally.  I've never lost my voice before.  And I doubt I'll ever lose it again.  I firmly believe that I lost my voice that day because I'm too loud and overbearing, and without a voice I had no choice but to shut up and just let you have your day--all to yourself!  Sometime here at the house, after the baptism, it came back.  It was too coincidental to be anything other than divine intervention. :)  

I was so happy to be the one to help you out of the water.  The bathroom was FREEZING cold--the AC was so high.  And you were shivering so much.  I got you dressed as quickly as I could, hoping to warm you up.  You were so cute in your dress, your headband, your pearly-white fingernails--I just felt so much joy and happiness...and mostly you just felt cold :)
The next day, when Dad asked you to write down some of your thoughts, you told him, several times, that all you could remember was that it was cold.  After hearing it so many times, it finally just really hurt his feelings, and he got really upset with you, which in turn made you upset.  It was the exact opposite of what he was trying to do.  He felt bad.  You felt bad.  And I was worried that all you'd ever remember was your Dad getting mad and the water being cold.  But I've noticed, as the days have passed by, you've had more of a chance to think about the parts of your baptism day that meant the most to you.  And i hope that you'll always realize just how awesome it is that you have a father who honors his priesthood and was able to baptize you!!
I love you.  So much, Grace.  You are just an amazing girl.  You are thoughtful.  You're considerate of how others feel.  You want to do what's right.  You try so hard to be kind to your sisters--even when they're totally bugging you.  You're helpful around the house.  You're really good at communicating (as long as you're in a good mood :).  And have righteous desires--desires to understand and obey God's commandments.  I feel so lucky that God has given me the role of being your mom.  I hope we'll always be as close as we are now.  Chances are there'll be few ugly years when adolescence hits...but as long as we can pull through that, we'll be golden :)

I love you!!  --Mom"

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