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.

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Paris Wedding

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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.

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St. Viator

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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

My Sister’s Wedding

Two weeks ago I was blessed to be a part of my sister’s wedding in Chicago. I think I am still in awe of that entire week which is why it’s taken me a bit to get back into the swing of blogging. I think that and the jet lag.

It is amazing how I managed to jam pack a million things into 10 short days but those additional details are for later blogs. This one is to focus on that magical day of May 30th.

Back in early 2009, Tony and I had a simple engagement party – a bar in Chicago with a private back room for anyone that could join. That was when my sister first met Tony’s cousin Alex. Alex is very handsome and my sister is gorgeous so it’s no wonder the two locked eyes.

Fast forward to 2010 when Tony and I had our Chicago wedding reception. A little alcohol and small push from Tony’s dad was all that was needed to get these two together. 5 years later my husband and I stood beside them at the altar, I the matron of honor and my husband the best man.

This celebration was made all the more special for us because of the additional uniting of families. We officially extended our circle even further and my emotions ran high.

The morning started off a bit sadly. After a week of gorgeous summer weather, the day of my sister’s wedding was the one day that was rainy and cold. That couldn’t dampen my sister’s spirits, though. She was joking around, smiling like crazy. We started getting our hair done and hers needed to be set awhile to keep the curls. She walked around looking like little Orphan Annie for a good hour. Every time I looked at her I laughed and I threw on “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z just to go along with the storyline.

A few hours later all the bridesmaids were dressed and ready to go. Last but not least was getting my sister into her stunning and very poofy gown. My mother and I slowly draped the dress over her head and as my mother started to zip her up I started breathing very heavily. This was my first time seeing my sister in the gown in person – photos I had been sent during the alteration process just had not done her magnificence and her glow justice. My mother gave me a stern look that said “Don’t you dare start crying or I will start crying and we just did our makeup”. I buttoned myself up quickly.

Her photographer was snapping like crazy and then it was off to the church. Before I could blink it was time to line up and the music started. Off the first bridesmaid went. My sister and father were hiding in a confessional room so they weren’t seen before my sister’s big entrance. I could tell my sister was struggling to hold it together just like I was. A final hug and then it was my turn to walk.

As I looked at my husband ready to meet me half way down the aisle I felt the wind knocked out of me. It was like I was reliving my OWN wedding – my husband waiting for me, tears in his eyes (kudos to the hair and makeup ladies!) and then us walking to the altar. We situated ourselves and waited for my sister to arrive.

The doors opened and there she was, walking nervously and with my dad, a big smile on her face, trying not to cry. I wish I was able to see Alex’s face but this was the first of a few times that day that I let myself cry. My sister, like most girls, has had her heart-broken in the past, me as her sister there to pick up every piece, and today was the day she had always dreamed of. All of those heart breaks had led to this amazing man who was part of an already incredible family. I just couldn’t be more overwhelmed with love and pride for my darling sister.

The mass went quickly – the priest was hysterical, which really helped break up the super emotional parts. Thank goodness for him otherwise my makeup would’ve been caput by the end of the mass. Their vows were another time I cried. I was looking over my sister’s shoulder at Alex and my husband and brother, making sloppy faces. Alex started crying because I was crying. My husband and brother were laughing at my screwed up faces. And my sister was crying because Alex was crying. Oy!

At the conclusion we hopped into the limo and tried to find a covered spot outside to hide from the rain and take some photos. There was a great gazebo across from the Glenview train station and Alex lifted Danielle in all her poofy glory from the limo to protect her from the puddles. We took some frozen, windy and wet photos and then Danielle and Alex posed with some cute umbrellas. We then finished up the photo session at the dinner hall and I of course had to insert some of my photos ideas. Her dress and veil were just too pretty to not capture properly!

And then the fun began.

First were the announcements. I believe my mother had already allowed herself some martinis to calm her nerves so she looked extra lively waltzing into the hall.

My husband and I did a little twirl as our names were called, and our adorable niece and nephew made a grand entrance with some large balloons. After Danielle and Alex were announced they cut the cake and the mic was passed to me. It was officially Matron of Honor speech time. Tony and I had practiced doing our speech together and it went off without a hitch. Everyone was laughing which was the intent – I had shed enough tears!  Some of my favorite parts were talking about how my mother and I each had books that needed to be thoroughly read by Alex to understand our complicated nature. Also Tony and I “confused” each other with our toast by not knowing what to call Danielle and Alex – cousins? In-laws? I also just loved being up there with my husband. We now had an official foursome and where we would spend Christmas would never be a question again.

After we finished the mic was passed to my dad who of course made me cry for like the 5th time that day. He doesn’t get emotional often but he has a very strong bond with my sister so his voice kept cracking. That gets me every time.

Then the dances happened and the floor was open to everyone. My husband went missing since he actually thought it was his own wedding and floated from table to table talking to people. I did the same but made sure to spend an adequate amount of time on the dance floor. I also pulled the “it’s for the bride” or “I’m the MOH” at the bar one time too many times for my own good.

When the night was over I looked around the ballroom and sighed happily. I don’t think my heart could have been more filled with love and content than at that moment. My sister was officially in my family two times over. We were there for each other on our most important day. Our relationship has never been stronger and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for us all.

With all my love to Danielle and Alex, this blog is of course dedicated to you.

Wedding Photo