Friday, July 24, 2015

Zoë's blessing day (July 12)

I suppose that since I wrote about Rachel's baptism it's only fair that I write about Zoë's blessing, which happen nearly two weeks ago. We blessed Zoë on a Sunday afternoon after church, outside in Grandma and Grandpa's yard. It was a beautiful day filled with sunshine and many of my favourite people.

My dad and Grandma Layton were the first guests to arrive, aside from some of Andrew's siblings, who were mostly helping set things up (bless them). Here's Great-Grandma Layton holding her newest grandbaby:

Zoë was fussing for her so she was passed off to Bumpa (Grandma lacks the arm strength to bounce babies much these days).

Meanwhile, Uncle Jacob and Aunt Shayla were bouncing Riley:

We set up several canopies in the yard, including one for the kids. Benjamin and Kayl quickly claimed the only two kid-sized chairs:

Here's a video of Benjamin and Gavin playing "drums" on the table:

This is as close as we got to a four-generation picture for baby Zoë:

Great-grandma Layton, Rachel and Zoë on Bumpa's lap, Benjamin on my lap, Miriam beside me, and Andrew behind us
One day Rachel's going to regret making silly faces in every single photo we take of her.

The blessing was short and sweet; the circle was large and inclusive. We had Daddy, of course, and Grandpa and Bumpa, Grandpa Frank, Uncle Matt, Uncle Rod, Uncle David, Uncle Patrick, Uncle Jacob, Uncle Morgan, and Uncle Bruce in the circle. And the bishopric member whose name I've completely forgotten...

Zoë wore the dress that I wore on my blessing day, which was handmade by a friend of my mom's friend, Diane Mora. I need to put Zoë back into it and take a picture of just her in the dress; we didn't get any on her blessing day; she was far too busy being passed around!

Here I am pictured wearing it on my blessing day, August 4, 1985:

Auntie Josie was the next baby to wear this dress. She claims there aren't any pictures of her wearing it but I happen to know that there are because I've seen them (I wore my pioneer dress the day she was blessed—to church, yes. I loved it so much. There's a picture of me wearing that dress, holding Josie wearing the blessing gown). I'd have to hunt through boxes in the attic to find one; perhaps I will one day (or maybe my mom knows where one is and will scan one in for me...pretty please).

The next baby to wear this dress was Rachel and then, of course, Miriam.

After looking at pictures of the older girls wearing the same outfit, I think it's almost safe to say that Zoë does resemble Rachel (and me) a little more than she does Miriam (and Andrew). As Andrew said to his parents while we were playing games a couple nights ago, "Zoë's not 100% Heiss."

"Is there something you need to tell us?" his parents joked.

"No!" Andrew said. "I mean...Nancy's genes actually did something in Zoë."

Fingers crossed they did because they totally missed showing off much of anything in Miriam and Benjamin! Lazy genes...

Speaking of Benjamin I was thinking about how fun it would be to have another little boy wear his blessing outfit one day, but then I remembered that when he was blessed he was still wearing preemie-sized clothes and we're not doing that again so hopefully he'll be the only one to ever wear it!

Anyway, we were blessed to have so many family members come out to support us. Here's Zoë with Aunt Marie.

And here's Andrew visiting with Uncle HWSNBN (He Who Shall Not Be Named) and Auntie Emily (holding Maren):

Here's Benjamin about to jump into Rosie's lap. He loves Rosie. Anytime he sees a picture of her he says, "I uv her!" And anytime he sees her in person he tells her, "I uv you!"

Here's Auntie Katharine and Auntie Sarah (and Riley), visiting with Grandma.

Here's a few shots of our set up:

Notice the three long canopies and three long tables?

I will never be able to notice how many long tables are at an event without thinking about this newspaper article about my Great-Aunt Zilpha's wedding reception (published in the Raymond Recorder on 26 Feb. 1937):

Newspapers were so quaint back then, detailing who visited whom, and how many tables were set up for wedding receptions. It's a small-town paper, but still!

Anyway; we had three long tables and a kid table, so I'd say Zoë's blessing was well-attended.

We took a million pictures, of course. That's a my-side-of-the-family thing, so much so that when my family was visiting at my cousin Carlie's house (without me, sadly) and it was time to leave her boys said, "Quick! Let's get out of here! They're going to start taking pictures!" Because of course we would! Our grandma never let us leave her house without first taking a picture of everyone gathered in front of the fireplace. She took pictures of everyone every time she saw them, even at their funerals (she always took pictures of the person in the casket and I always thought that was weird).

So, pictures. We took them.

Here's Aunt Marie playing a bit of Sabbath soccer with the girls (it's still reverent if you're wearing dresses, right?):

And here's Aunt Marie (Andrew's side) talking with Uncle Bruce (my side) in French:

Aunt Marie is from France; Uncle Bruce served a mission in France in his youth and later lived in France, and he just got back from an 18-month mission in Mauritius, where he spoke French.

This is one of the only pictures I got of Uncle Patrick (he's not very into picture-taking). Uncle David is holding Benjamin, and cousin Rosie is holding Miriam.

And here's a better picture of those four:

Miriam loves the name RoseMarie; she's always naming toys RoseMarie or Rosie. She also loves RoseMarie her cousin, but sometimes she forgets who she is (because she only has a few memories of her). Before we left for Utah, Miriam was talking about naming one of her toys RoseMarie so I reminded her (again) about her cousin RoseMarie.

"You have a cousin named RoseMarie!" I said.

"I do?" Miriam asked.

"Yes!" I said. "Remember? She's a grown-up cousin; she's tall and she has long blonde hair like you. You met her when we went to Utah for Christmas."

"Oh, yeah!" Miriam recalled. "The girl with the lice!"

I told Rosie that we'd have to make sure to make some different memories about her during this trip, and I think we succeeded. All my kids adore her.

Auntie Josie had a hard time making friends with Benjamin in December and though he seemed to like her just fine the first little while he spent with her he started thinking it was funny to shy away from her the  last part of the week. She had a hard time getting him to agree to be in any pictures with her and when she asked him if he loved her he said, "NOOOOO!"

There's a cute video of him being cruel to her but I'll have to have her upload it or something because I'm a luddite and can't get it off my phone. Here he is actually agreeing to be in a picture with her:

And this picture was just too great to pass up:

Fortunately, Josie knows not to take his antics personally; he's just being silly.

My cousin Mindy flew out from California with her kids and they showed up to the blessing as well. Here's Cali (10) with Rachel:

And here's the one picture I got of Benjamin with Abby and Bridget (being photobombed by Jacob):

All three of these little ones were born in 2012. Abby and Benjamin were both in the NICU for weeks and weeks (Abby has cystic fibrosis; Benjamin was premature). Benjamin's the oldest (June 3), then came Abby (June 17), and a few months later, Bridget was born on Halloween during Hurricane Sandy.

I asked Benjamin to put his arms around his (second) cousins for a picture but he shouted, "No!" and ran away, so Jacob said, "Don't worry! I'll do it! It would be my pleasure!"

Here's my mom, with Zoë on her lap, visiting with my Auntie Judy:

Aunt Judy and Uncle Wally (along with Elizabeth and Mindy and their kids) got lost and were so late that we blessed Zoë without them (otherwise Uncle Wally would have been in the circle, I'm sure).

Here's Mindy with Zoë:

And Emily with Benjamin:

And now for family pictures...

The Heisses—everyone was there except for Uncle Cory who was at work:

Back (L to R): Jacob, Todd holding Gavin, Morgan holding Maren, Reid, Andrew
Front (L to R): Shayla, Katharine, Sarah holding Riley, Rachel, Emily holding Miriam, Karen holding Benjamin, Nancy holding Zoë (and Kayl's sitting right up front)
And one more for good measure (everyone's in the same order):

Here's Josie, Patrick, me, and David:

We didn't take a picture of the Laytons because there were only a small number of us there. While we were only missing Uncle Cory from the Heiss side, on my side we were missing: my dad (who'd left to take my grandma home), Kelli, Allen, Amy (and Scarlett), Matthew, Andrew, Stephen, Olivia, Sabrina, Abra, Deklan, Piper, and Malachi. We haven't all been together...ever.

So...instead we just took a picture of whoever was there, a my-side-of-the-family picture with aunts and uncles and cousins and kids:

Back (L to R): Andrew, Rosie holding Benjamin, Patrick, Bruce, Josie, David holding Miriam, Jacob, Wally
Front (L to R): Me holding Zoë, Mindy holding Abby, Cali, Myrna holding Rachel, Elizabeth holding Bridget, Judy
And here's an Andrew's-side-of-the-family picture:

Back (L to R): Andrew, Matt, Rod, Todd, Nikki, Frank, Reid, Jacob, Morgan holding Gavin
Front (L to R): Nancy holding Zoë, Katharine with Kayl, Karen holding Rachel, Sarah holding Miriam (where is Riley?!), Shayla holding Benjamin, Emily holding Maren

Andrew's family isn't ever quite as excited about picture taking as my family is (my grandma has us all trained well) so we had to go inside and take pictures with those who didn't participate in the family pictures. Grandma Pat didn't want to be in any pictures at all, but I told her that it would be important for Zoë later and that she didn't have to see them if she didn't want to, so if you're reading this, close your eyes now, Grandma Pat! Pictures of you are ahead!

And here's the one picture I got of Dave, talking to Aunt Becky. They both skipped out on family pictures as well!

It was a wonderful afternoon; so nice to see so many people we love!


  1. Nice photos! I think Rosie and Josie have Grandma Layton's smile/expression. I saw them at once in that second picture where Grandma Layton is looking at the camera.

    1. You're right! I'd never noticed before but I can see it now.