Sacramentapolooza Hough-style

Sunday was a huge day for the Hough family. Isaac received his First Holy Communion and our littlest one, Jonathan Phillip was baptized! Isaac had been preparing for his big day all year in his faith formation classes at church. Thanks to his wonderful teachers, Ms Roseanne, Ms Carolyn and Ms Missy, he was well prepared. Brian had spent some time with him doing what they referred to as “First Communion boot camp.” He was so excited that he could hardly sleep! He couldn’t wait to be able to finally receive Our Lord in the fullness of the Eucharist. He was also pretty excited to wear the new suit that my mom had bought for him. All that I heard for two months was, “When can I wear my new suit????” and “Pleeeeeeeease can I wear my new suit to school?” He already has plans to wear it for Halloween. He wants to be James Bond…I have no idea why.

He did look pretty snazzy!
 

As for our little Jonathan Phillip, well, we had been preparing for his Baptism since the moment that we knew that he existed! My mom helped me to find the perfect little outfit for him and thanks to her, he looked pretty cute too. When we bought it, he was so tiny. He has been growing and growing and I was starting to get a little bit worried that his outfit wouldn’t fit him. Thankfully, even though he gained about 5 pounds ( which incidentally, is quite a bit when you start out at only 7 pounds!) it fit him perfectly. Actually, I think that Jonathan is the only one of our kids that actually fit into his outfit! Usually they are swimming in it. Here he is in all of his complete cuteness!

 
 While the boys looked very handsome for their big day, I was not so lucky. I was having trouble finding something to wear and once again, mom to the rescue! She had a really pretty dress that fit and I was able to nurse in. I was so glad to have something that fit and Jonathan was glad to be able to eat throughout the day. I woke up extra early so that I would have time to actually get ready. I wanted to have some time to myself to do some basic primping. You know, I wanted to do things like tweezing and shaving and curling my hair and putting my makeup on at home…not in the car on the way to church like usual! I even had the time to give my toenails a quick coat of polish. I must admit, my hair looked really pretty! It turned out exactly how I was hoping! I was so happy. I even used extra hairspray to ensure that my curls would make it through the day.I should have know right then… My hair did look great, at least it looked great until I stepped outside into the torrential downpour. By the time Coley and I had unloaded everything from the car into the basement of the church, my hair was a sticky knotty mess. (Insert sad little pitiful sigh here.) Oh well, I tried. I know that it didn’t really matter what I looked like, but I just wanted to feel presentable. Maybe the next time!
We had booked the basement of the church for the party, which was right after the First Communion Mass and the Baptism. This worked out really well because I didn’t have to worry about cleaning my house or figuring out where to put everyone. The preparations for the party actually started at the beginning of the week at my Mema’s house. She was so sweet and offered to show me how to make homemade bread for the party. It turned out really well. Everyone asked me how I made it and I had to laugh because Mema doesn’t use a recipe. She would just say “Add a handful of this” and “a little of that.”  There was no measuring involved! I was thrilled with how it turned out. We will see if I can do it again without Mema standing right there to tell me what to do…I have my fingers crossed! And while I was glad that it turned out so well, I really enjoyed spending the day with my Mema. My mom and I made the lasagna that day while the bread was raising. It was really good too. It should have been since the name of it is “The World’s Best Lasagna.” In addition to that we had a ton of other food! There were lots of appetizers, fruit, veggies, chicken, hot sausage, cabbage and noodles (which stunk up the whole church…whoops!), cake, cookies and desserts. Thank you everyone for helping to make it so nice! Coley helped me so much to get all of the fruit and vegetables cut. Once that was done I put my church clothes on and got the baby dressed. By this time Isaac was a bouncing ball of nervous energy. He was zipping all over the place. I could tell that he was excited,but a little bit anxious. To be honest I was feeling the same way.  I was waiting for Brian to get to the church with the rest of the kids on time. I was hoping that there was going to be enough food. I was hoping that the kids would behave during church. I was hoping that the baby would sleep through mass. I was hoping for a lot of things.
Father Dan told of the parents of the First Communicants that there would be seating for the parents and the kids receiving First Communion only. If you had any other children they had to sit with someone else. This made me nervous because of Jonathan. He isn’t exactly thrilled about taking a bottle and I didn’t know how he would do during mass. My mom volunteered to sit with the kids for us and my aunts kept Aiden (aka the wildcard) downstairs with them during mass. It worked out fine. Mom got the baby to fall asleep. My aunts kept Aiden busy downstairs, which meant that we could actually focus on mass.
I kept getting choked up. It was so amazing and overwhelming to see my little boy kneeling there preparing himself to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. He is my active, loud, boisterous boy, but he was so quiet, so focused. He was ready for this, but I wasn’t sure that I was! Where have the last eight  and a half years gone?! And then I looked over at my sweet sleeping little baby. He was so peaceful and calm. It was as if he, too, was preparing for his upcoming sacrament! He was preparing to be fully welcomed into our church, into God’s family. Wow! What a day!
Here he is, receiving the Eucharist.

The precious Blood

Deep in prayer
 
This last picture just makes me smile. The little boy with Isaac is Jarret, my good friend Becky’s son. Becky and I became friends when Isaac and J were in Good Shepherd together at church when they were 3 or 4. To see them go from little preschoolers to these handsome second graders was almost more than this hormonal  mom could bear. Becky was the Eucharistic Minister giving the Precious Blood . When I came to her our eyes met and I knew that she was thinking the same thing that I was… Our little guys are growing up.
There was another person who was really proud of Isaac that day. We call her the “Bubba Lady.” SHe is a sweet lady that goes to our church. She has loved Isaac since the first day that we took him to church. She came up to me after that mass and held her hands out and said, “Hand him over!” I didn’t know what to do. We were still pretty new at our church and I didn’t know who she was, but I figured she was alot older than I was and if she tried to make a break for it I thought that I could take her. She did this after every mass until he was too heavy  and squirmy for her to hold him. We didn’t know her name for the longest time so we just called her the Bubba Lady. Once we found out her name we told her what our name for her was and she smiled. She was very tickled by that. She brings little treat bags every week for her “Bubba Boy” and his brothers and sisters. She has loved and fussed over all of our kids, but Isaac is still her special llittle guy.I begged her to come to his party and she refused. She didn’t want to be a bother, but I did manage to get a picture of them together.
Isaac and his Bubba Lady.
We also managed to get a family picture of the eleven of us. Jonathan was definitely happy, but you can’t win them all. I figured that 10 out of eleven smiling was pretty good!
Once this picture was done, it was time for the Baptism. Whenever Brian and I find out that we are having a baby, we immediately start praying that we will find the right godparents for that particular baby. Sometimes we feel led to that decision right away and sometimes it takes a while. For Jonathan we kept praying about it and praying about it, waiting for that peace that settles over us confirming that we are making the choice that God is leading us to. We had talked about it and I suggested my cousin Alexis and he suggested his friend Bobby. We looked at eachother and just knew…that was it! Those two were going to be Jonathan’s godparents, at least they were if they would agree to it. I called Alexis and when I asked her if she would do it, her response immediately confirmed our choice. She shrieked and said “Yes! A million times YES!” I immediately knew that she was definitely the godmother for our little JP. Brian asked Bobby after their Men’s group meeting and he also said yes. When I saw him the next day at church I thanked him for saying yes and he said, “Thank you for asking me! Although you might want to think about your choice since I just had to go back into the church because I walked out without blessing myself!” I started laughing. He too was just the godfather that Jonathan needed. Thank you God for leading us to these two young adults so alive in their faith. I just know that they will share their love of God with our little guy and help to guide him in the right direction! They might have their work cut out for them! Our sweet little angel baby screamed throughout the entire Baptism! It was kind of my fault, I admit. I tried to nurse him between mass and the Baptism, but I only had enough time to make him realize that he was hungry, but not enough to satisfy him. I basically just succeeded in making him really mad. Whoops!
He really let out a scream when father poured the water on his head. His little arms flew out and he was really mad!

The godfather, Bobby

Alexis and Bobby with JP

Alexis and her little godson

 
Here is our happy little guy in the fancy onesie and cross necklace from Nana Rose and Grampa Rose.

He looked so sweet in his little outfit. I was really worried that it wouldn’t fit him. After I took this picture, I told him that he could now gain as much weight as he wanted because his Baptism was over and he fit into his outfit.

I’m sorry, but he is so cute! This smile is what makes it ok to be awake at 3 in the morning trying to get him to sleep. This smile is what makes it ok to change 9 million diapers a day. This smile even makes it ok to clean pee or throw up off of my shirt for the 8th time in a 10 minute period. This smile is what makes me so thankful that I said yes to my husband 11 years ago.
 
This was Bobby’s gift for Jonathan. Further confirmation that we did indeed pick the right godfather for our baby. Not only will he grow up with a deep love of faith, but also a deep love of the black and gold.
Sunday was a whirlwind day, filled with faith, food, family and friends. These are the things that I am most thankful for. These are the things that I am truly blessed with . Thank you God!
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Mother’s Day 2011…aka Falling all over my kids, literally!

I look forward to Mother’s day every year. I love to see the kids huddle together to plan what they are going to do. I especially love that for that short time, they don’t fight! This year it was more of a Mother’s day weekend. Saturday started the festivities off with a tea at an adorable Tea House in East Brady called The Henry House. It was Joan,  my mother-in-laws idea, and it was a great one. Joan’s sister June and their mom, Gramma Hughan also went as well as my sister-in-law Denee and her girls, Breanna and Kaylee.  Coley, Hannah, Gianna and I went also. There were two others in attendance…the tiniest Hough boys, Jude and Jonathan. It was such a nice time. It started with the first course, that consisted of fresh fruit and scones with a Chantilly cream that I would bathe in if I could…it was that good! Delish!!!
This was the second course, the Savories. There were three different kinds of sandwiches, shrimp salad, turkey pate and a tomato, bacon crescent roll that was to die for!! The final yummy course was the dessert course. Strawberry cupcakes and cheesecake brownies with a chai dessert tea. The food was delicious and we all had a wonderful time. Thank you to my mother-in-law for arranging the whole thing. We loved it!
Kaylee and Gianna
Denee with her oldest and youngest, Breanna and Jude.
Denee and her beautiful girls who are growing into such lovely young ladies, Kaylee and Breanna.
It was so nice to have this time with my girls, especially with Coley. Things aren’t always smooth between a mom and her 15 year old, but I am blessed with her, bumps and all! 
Another really neat thing that you could do at the tea was to dress up in fancy hats and gloves and beads. Hannah loved it. She kept trying on the different hats. It was so fun!
They looked so cute in their fancy accessories! We even managed to talk Coley into getting prettied up!
Here is Jonathan, obviously he was less than thrilled with the tea and all of us! He was sound asleep for a good part of the lunch. One of the funniest things that happened, was when I was holding little JP and the sister of the hostess asked if she could hold him. I handed him over and she ooed and awed over him for a minute and then very innocently asked if he was my first!  We all got kind of quiet and I could sense everyone trying not to laugh when I replied, ” Nope, he’s our 9th.” Her jaw dropped and she said, “NO! Your 9th?!? Really?” In her defense she was genuinely surprised and very sweet about it, but it was pretty funny. I never get sick of hearing that. I am sucking it all up while I can, because alot of the time, people tell me that I don’t look old enough to have 9 children. I am not stupid ( regardless of what my kids say!) I know that the time is coming when I WILL look old enough to have nine kids, so for now, I smile.
This was a very cute picture of Joan and June (Yes they are twins!) with the girls.
Here is the whole crew… minus JP who was asleep in the jeep at this time.
I love this picture of me and my girls.
After the tea we headed home and prepared for the next part of the Mother’s Day Extravaganza. We went to Chad and Denee’s house where Brian and Chad cooked dinner for everyone. We had yummy steak and chicken shish kabobs, with veggies and rice and strawberry shortcake. They also made burgers and hot dogs for the kids. I ate so much that I thought that I was going to explode.
The next morning I woke up at 7:00. I could already hear the kids up and scurrying around. I had to go to the bathroom, so Brian checked things out and gave me the all clear. I didn’t want to ruin any pending surprises. I headed to the bathroom and then crawled back into my bed with a book and my baby who needed to nurse. I eventually got a little bit restless because I knew that there were a million things that I needed to do to get everyone ready for church on time. I gave Jonathan a bath and picked out his clothes and the slipped into the little boys’ room to pick out their clothes as well as Hannah and Gianna’s. By then Coley came back to my room and told me that they were ready for me. YAY! I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for me! I had no idea what to expect. She told me that they were waiting for me on the front porch. I headed down the steps and tripped over one of DJ’s ginormous tennis shoes and fell. I heard a very loud crack and felt excruciating pain! I had sprained my stupid ankle. So much for the kids surprising me! I managed to surprise everyone (including myself!) with my grand entrance! Brian helped me back up the steps and onto the couch and got me some ice. Once things calmed down, I tried again and with Brian’s help I actually made it outside to see the best mother’s day presents ever! There was a swing for outside (which I have wanted forever!!) and it was covered with little gifts from all of the kids. There was jewelery made by the girls and Noah. There was a hammock from Aiden, tea from the girls and candles and candy and a necklace from DJ. JP got me a mug that said “Whoever made up the saying “Sleeps like a baby” didn’t have a baby!” So very appropriate!!! There were lots of beautiful homemade cards as well as a homemade potholder from Isaac. Coley had put together a beautiful power point slideshow with pictures of all of the kids and sayings to me from each of them. It was beautiful! I loved every second of it! Once I was showered with all of my gifts, I hopped back into the house and we had homemade muffins and coffees and tea for breakfast. Everyone got ready for church and we were on our way. Unfortunately, my little tumble down the stairs set us back and we were running late. When we got to church Brian dropped us all off at the door and said that he would bring JP. I looked right at him and said, “Do NOT forget the baby!” He laughed and pulled away. Since we were late the only place with enough empty seats for all of us was in the front row. A few minute later Brian slipped into his seat and I looked at him in disbelief…”Where is the baby?!?!” I mouthed to him. A look of pure terror washed over his face and he bolted right out of the church!  Seriously!!!! He forgot the baby! I can’t even say anything to him, because he felt terrible about it. And since we were sitting in the very front row, everyone saw what happened and he’s not living this one down for a looooooooong time! Poor guy. He stood in the back with Jonathan for the first part of mass and then Aiden started to act up so I took him back and traded the noisy toddler for the peacefully sleeping infant. Fair? Nope, but it was Mother’s Day and my foot hurt, so I figured I could. Besides that, I wanted everyone to see that the baby was no worse for wear despite being left behind. The funny thing is that Brian always jokingly says, “We have all nine, give or take a few!”  He doesn’t really mean that!
After church, we headed to Mema’s for lunch with my family. It was so nice to see everyone. The food was great as usual and the company was exceptional! It was a beautiful day so the kids played outside. Brian played ghost in the graveyard with the kids and Gia came in smiling and out of breath. “Mom! Dad is playing with us and he is the fastest and sneakiest ghost ever!” She was beaming with pride. His earlier indiscretion was forgotten and he was once again the most awesome dad in the world!
Since my mom and Mema share May 15th as their birthday we usually celebrate Mother’s day with  a cake for them. My cousins and I had all gone in together to get Mema earrings and a necklace to remember her 75th  birthday. Her kids and my Poppy got her a wii and a laptop. Seriously, how cool is my grandma!? Not only does she have a facebook page and a cell phone and a laptop, but she has a wii! She’s so awesome!
After the cake and ice cream we headed back home where I happily plopped on swing with the baby and nursed him while I read my book. As I was icing my stupid foot, I began to think back over the last few days and smile. Not only did I receive many wonderful gifts, but I have such sweet  kids. They are my real gifts. And while I loved the cards and my swing and other neat gifts, I was struck by the fact that each one of them gave me a little gift that they probably weren’t even aware of. Little Jonathan is smiling and cooing and started to laugh. He found his hands and gets so excited when he realizes that he can make them move! Aiden has finally learned the word “Sorry” and has started to use it…after he hits or pinches or bites. But hey, it’s a start! Noah came into my room first thing on Sunday and gave me a big hug and said, “Happy Mudders day Mommy! I love you so much!” Coming from a rambunctious four year old who I usually have to beg for a hug, that was very special.  Gianna’s card with the tulips on it, was made just for me because she know that they are my “most favorite flowers.” The fact that she knows that and wanted to give me something that she knew that I would like was so sweet. Hannah made me a beautiful crown out of dandelions to wear because she wanted me to feel like a queen for Mother’s day.  Isaac just kept hugging me. For my little 8 year old boy who is always trying to show how grown up he is, his hugs are few and far between. I cherish every one of them. Jake and DJ put together my swing ( with some help from Brian). They were up very early working on it, just for me. Thoughtfulness from a teenage boy is a special gift in and of itself. And last but not least, to have an entire weekend that Coley and I got along without any major parent/teen drama was wonderful . I loved having her smiling face around! I am blessed beyond blessed! I am also so very thankful for my husband who has made me a mother. Without him none of these things would have happened to make my weekend the wonderful time that it was. I am loved and that is the best gift of them all.