A Joyous New Year

2018 has started off as a joyous New Year, with our first three days spent in our home town of Chicago.  Our most recent visit was one of the best we’ve ever had.  Matilda has added a whole new level of specialness to our visits home and this Christmas and New Year was no exception.

As part of this Chicago visit, we first hosted Matilda’s baptism.  The rest of the visit was spent catching up with family and friends and celebrating both the Christmas and New Year holiday.  We were in Chicago for three weeks, and I am so thankful to my parents for hosting us.

Aside from the baptism, some of the highlights of the trip included:

Matilda interacting with other children

As Matilda is almost one year now, she is at a very fun age.  She is chatty (though not speaking real words), mobile, and very interactive.  Her personality is really taking shape – both the good and bad parts. 🙂

She interacted with many other kids this trip – my nephew, my cousin’s children, and my best friend’s children.  Her interaction with her cousin, Adrian was the funniest, though.  Adrian has an extremely sweet demeanor.  We were teaching him to share toys, and while Matilda liked the toys, she liked Adrian more.  She kept grabbing his shirt collar to pull him closer to her.  That act frightened him a bit, so he would slowly scoot away.  It was hysterical to watch, and perhaps a preview into their relationship down the line.

Catching Up with Friends

Since we were home for 3 weeks, I got to spend extra time with my best friends.  We weren’t rushed like we have been during past visits. It also allowed for visiting friends I see less frequently, such as my friend Jordan who lives in Washington, DC.

Spending Time with Family

This extra time gave us real quality moments with our families.  Staying with my parents exposed them to the funny nuances and quirks of Matilda’s personality, and gave them a glimpse into our daily interactions with her.

We helped my sister move into a beautiful new home and were able to personally share in her joy and excitement.  And I visited with aunts and uncles more frequently than in the past.

It was so nice, in fact, it felt like we had moved back to Chicago!

The Food!

I can’t forget our beloved Chicago-style food.  Hotdogs and beef sandwiches from Portillos, pizza from Pizano’s and Barnaby’s, Mexican from the local hole in the wall…it was awesome.  The problem, however, is the extreme weight gain that occurs eating food like this.  Oh well, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. 🙂

Sadly for us, all 3 of us caught a nasty cold the last week we were in town.  We had to cancel our NYE plans but it ended up meaning a great night in with my parents.  We ordered Wildfire steaks for take out and I still made us all dress up to ring in the New Year.

Cheers to another great visit home – my sincerest thanks to my parents for hosting us and letting us take over their house!

And cheers to a great New Year!

My Baby’s Baptism

We hosted Matilda’s baptism yesterday and it was such a wonderful day.  We organized to have her baptised as part of our Christmas visit home to Chicago.  Tony wanted to have her baptized in his childhood church and that’s exactly what we did.

In many ways, Matilda’s baptism held a lot of similarities to our own wedding in Paris.

Months in advance, I coordinated with a local seamstress to have my wedding dress turned into Matilda’s baptismal gown.  The final result was absolutely breathtaking and it confirmed for me that I made the right decision in “cutting up” my wedding dress.  We worked with a woman named Mary Catomy and I would recommend her to anyone.

baptism

Paris Wedding

baptism

Chicago Baptism

The paperwork and coordination was also very similar to our Paris wedding.  Given we live in Zurich, we had to attend a baptismal class at the English speaking church of Zurich.  The certificate of that class was then sent to the church in Chicago.  We also had to coordinate the registration of my sister and brother-in-law as the Godparents. For our wedding, we had to take our pre-Cana courses in Chicago and send that documentation over to the church in Paris.  We have spent quite a bit of money in postage!

The church we selected to host the baptism is St. Viator parish.  Tony grew up in this church and it meant a lot to him to have Matilda baptized here.  I had never been inside and was stunned when entering.  It is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen in Chicago.  What was even crazier to me was the stained glass behind the alter. I feel it looks very similar to the stained glass at St. Germain L’Auxerrois, our Paris church.

baptism

St. Viator

baptism

St. Germain L’Auxerrois

The ceremony was very special to Tony and I. Matilda was an absolute star and we felt so blessed to have in every way.  We finished the great day by hosting a late lunch at La Villa, also one of Tony’s childhood favs.  This is where the similarities between our wedding ended, though, because we did not eat pizza for our wedding meal. 🙂

We thank God and our family for being a part of Matilda’s special day.

baptism

baptism

Baby’s First Haircut

Matilda received her first haircut right before our visit to Chicago.  As Matilda has grown, so has her hair.  It’s a lovely reddish-brown color (still trying to figure out where that comes from…) and was starting to curl around her ears.  With us having her baptized in Chicago, we wanted to ensure she was properly coiffed. We thus began our search for a child’s hair salon in Zurich.

Lucky for us, we had spotted one during a recent visit to Sihl City.  It was bright and colorful and had cars and chariots as “seats” for kids to sit in.  The location is called Cut & Sirup and interestingly, they also cut adults hair.

Anyway, we called to make an appointment and booked “My First Haircut”, complete with diploma. At 24 CHF, it was a deal as far as Zurich is concerned.

We placed Matilda in her “car” and she sat patiently as the lovely woman (named Vanessa) draped a princess-style gown around her. Matilda kept flapping it about as she tried to get her little hands free.

haircut

haircut

Vanessa was very patient and careful with Matilda. Matilda was overall well behaved sitting there, but had a few moments where she tried to swipe Vanessa’s hand away. We tried to keep her preoccupied, and the iPad sitting in front of her (below the mirror) helped in the distraction.

haircut

haircut

The end result was great.  Matilda’s hair was cleaned up and the annoying curling near her ears was finally gone.  The diploma included the date of her first haircut, her name and a small ziplock of her hair clippings. I know I will remember this small but special moment for years to come.

Matilda was pretty pleased with her haircut too. 🙂

haircut

haircut