Lately, it seems as though we’ve been hitting new milestones with Phoebe almost daily. And we got another good one yesterday -- her baptism.

Kates and I put in a lot of late hours over the weekend preparing for the big day -- I don’t think we made it to bed earlier than 12:30 a.m.; and then we were up every morning by 7:30 …‘Course that doesn’t include me taking off to the Cubs game on Saturday (... They got clobbered. Hello, Troy Glaus ... ). But Grandma Perry was here to help in my place …

While Kates worked inside the house and ran errands, I spent all day Friday outside, cleaning up our yard and gardens … Which leads me to a story in itself: I’d been out all day, mowing, trimming, etc. I knew the city’s yard waste site closed at 6 p.m. and kept a close eye on the time as the deadline drew near. I could’ve taken our yard waste around 5, but I got into trimming another corner of the yard, and figured I could still get to the dump if I finished by 5:40. … So I finished at 5:45, packed my bags in the car as fast as I could, and started toward the dump -- which, as frustrating as it is, is on the opposite side of the city. And I proceeded to hit every stoplight on my way. Grrrr! …

As I got closer, I kept glancing at the dashboard clock -- 5:57, 5:58 -- I was hopeful I could make it … Then, after another stinkin’ stoplight, I rolled into the yard waste entrance at 6:01 p.m. -- just as the attendant was starting to close the gate. But does he wave me in? Nope. Instead he shakes his head and continues pulling the gate closed. When I make eye contact with him and throw my arms in the air, he points at the sign prominently displaying the site’s hours. I know the dang hours, but I’m barely a minute late and you haven’t closed the gate! … The guy wouldn’t even blink. I was mad.

That was Friday … Kates spent Saturday preparing the celebratory food with her grandmother, while Ryan and I ventured to the Cubs game.

Sunday was our big day … Phoebe was her happy-go-lucky self as Kates got her ready and dressed her in her long, flowing white baptism dress -- which she got from, of all places, baptismdresses.com. Though the accompanying bonnet made Pheebs look like, as Kates’ father pointed out, a little puritan.

When the time came for the ceremony, Kates’ youth choir processed down the aisle and sang a response in the tune of “Morning Has Broken” -- which was a total surprise to us. Orrin and Stephanie joined us at the altar, along with Kates’ father, a pastor who we wanted to be a part of the ceremony …

Phoebe remained content throughout the blessing, and didn’t shed a tear -- even when our pastors hunked a handful of water on her head. Kates’ father was so gentle about it and wiped barely a couple drops on Phoebe’s head. Our other two pastors practically poured a cup full on poor Phoebe.

No matter. The experience was a joyous time for us that made our eyes well up.

After church, family and friends gathered in our backyard for the sunny afternoon. Kates made her Indian Barbecue, and we had a gargantuan sheet cake that was oh so rich with frosting. … The babies played, we took family photos. It went too fast, though. Now I'm feeling sorry I didn't get to talk to our guests as much as I would've liked.

Orrin was the last to leave at about 4. … Kates and I put things away and then wasted little time crashing on the couch, exhausted from our weekend. We didn’t wake up until almost 7:15, played with Phoebe and then put her to bed.

Now here we sit tonight … We’re watching the Olympics; the U.S. swimmers just pulled out an astonishing come-from-behind win to beat France in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Michael Phelps has his first gold medal.

It’s been a great, great day …

And now we must get ready for the next chapter. Phoebe goes to daycare this week.

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