We had been looking forward to having Nolin baptized for a very long time.  In an adoption situation, you have to wait for the adoption to be finalized before you can proceed with a baptism.  After his adoption was finalized, we then had to find a time when all of our family and friends would be able to make the trip because it was important to us to have as many of the people who are important in Nolin’s life to be there for his big day.

The only thing that I am disappointed about is that Nolin will probably not remember how special and exciting his baptism weekend was.  I don’t think we could have planned it any better and in typical fashion, he stole the show.

The fun started just as I was about to hang up with my sister Wednesday night.

What do you think about me trying to book a flight to Orlando?

Of course that would be fantastic, but with only two days planning time and two full houses, I thought this could be tricky.  Somehow she managed to pull it off and we officially had a full house (Nolin lost his play area as that became Erin’s room).

Friday night I left work to pick my mother & father, grandmother and brother up from the airport.  To ensure her role as matriarch and guest of honor, Nana rolled off the plane in high-heeled boots and dressed to the nines.  We made our way to Don & Teresa’s house for a quick bite to eat and then my brother and I went back out to the airport to pick my sister up.  I guess there is something about fathers & daughters because my dad quickly made an excuse as to why he should join us on the car ride to the airport.  So off we went back to the Orlando airport, just like the Clampetts.

Saturday we all kind of headed out in different directions.  I took Erin out to run some errands (once again, my dad suggested that he ride with us because there may not be enough room in the other cars we had later in the day).  We missed the farmer’s market in Winter Park, but in honor of Axelle we all met at a French bakery in Winter Park that we always wanted to take her, but never made it.

Then I got the call…it was our friends Jeremy and Heather who were coming from Jacksonville to visit.  He told me the day before that they would be in town between 1 and 2 pm on Saturday.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got a call at 2:00 asking if we were home…whoops.  I had been so good on timing everything out except now…we packed up my car and made a mad dash home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up and hanging out until Jenn arrived back from the beach at about 5:00 with a new (stage 2) car seat.  Awesome, just when you figure out the first one they make you get a new one…and so the struggle began (again).

After about 30 minutes of sweating and a few words that may or may not be suitable for TV, I grabbed Nolin’s godmother Lindsay for help and guidance.  Seeing as she had been to this rodeo a few times before I figured we should be good.  Lindsay’s first suggestion is that we should try reading the directions…they really weren’t any more helpful than my attempt at following father’s intuition, but at least we figured out how to get the straps pulled through the seat.  We continued pulling, adjusting, checking and pulling some more. Yet the car seat still sat there ready to go flying out the window at the first turn.  This really can’t be that difficult I did graduate from College.

The next thing we saw was people flying out of our house and taking off…what?!

Yes it seems that they were all leaving for our dinner reservations and had forgotten about us.  I caught Jenn before she left and she proceeded to tell me that we did still have our old car seat for one more night (which Nolin was already comfortably strapped into)…while I was very relieved that Nolin wouldn’t be like a pinball bouncing around the back seat, I did think that would have been a nice piece of information to share prior to me spending the last hour taking on the child safety industry.

We headed to an awesome little Cajun restaurant in downtown Sanford Two Blondes and A Shrimp.  It could not have been a better setup.  Although there were 17 of us, it felt like we were all just sitting around a big dinner table.  After an amazing dinner we headed across the street to the Hallerbach for a taste of German music, dancing and there may or may not have been a boot passed around.  Nolin was a trooper, he had a huge smile on his face as he growled at everyone.   I am pretty sure he realized this party was for him. Jenn later summed up the night in one word, “beautiful” and I’d have to agree.

Finally the morning of the baptism arrived.  I woke up at 5am after having a dream that we were all sitting around watching TV and forgot to go to the baptism.  To my surprise our whole house was up, showered and ready to go by the time we needed to be there.

As we waited for the service’s procession to start, the Deacon walked over and simply said, “Godparents first and then parents.  You’ll walk down to the left like we practiced”.  We all looked at each other…do what?!  We didn’t practice.  I thought that was why we were supposed to be here early.  Jenn and I had gone to an information session about two months ago, but we didn’t remember what we were supposed to do.

Luckily we got through without too much embarrassment.  As the Deacon announced Nolin’s name it happened.  The moment that I had been nervous for.  Nolin got a big grin on his face and growled.  The whole place started laughing, I turned red and I heard my brother whisper “this may be a baptism and an exorcism”.  One would have been bad enough, but he continued and when he wasn’t growling he was talking “ba ba ba ba ba”.  In typical Nolin fashion, he stole the show.

We headed back to Don & Teresa’s after the baptism for a nice brunch for everyone who attended and spent the rest of the day just realizing how lucky we are.

Me, Nolin, Jenn, Nolin's Godmother Lindsay, Nolin's Godfather Lee
Nolin and his Grandparents Don & Teresa
Nolin & his Great Grandmother Nana and Grandparents Buster & Karen
With The Deacon