I’ll say the weekend began on Friday because Jeff took the day off in part because Shelby was sick and also because he wasn’t feeling great but figured he could help clean in anticipation of my parents’ arrival that afternoon.
After cleaning and lunch (and a run to make a payment for me) my parents arrived shortly before the boys got home from school. My dad stayed with Jeff and Shelby as my mom and I walked to meet the boys at the bus. They were really excited their grandparents were waiting for them when they got home.
That evening we went to Sears Landing for dinner and enjoyed a nice seafood meal. We’d never tried the restaurant before as it’s small and usually very crowded in season (which we’re on the cusp of) but we were able to get a table and enjoy a view inside (it was too chilly to sit in the outside area, even with the plastic siding pulled down!).
The next day Joseph and I had hair appointments and my parents took William to the grocery store to pick up lunch items. I didn’t do before and after of me but I did of Joseph.
This is what we were going for and I think she did a great job:
After our haircuts, we went home and had lunch. Joseph and the adults had subs. Shelby ate Doritos. William ate a peanut butter sandwich and mac and cheese.
After lunch we watched Home which my parents had never seen before and enjoyed. Since it is William’s favorite movie, he really enjoyed sharing it with them.
Movie time over, my mom, Joseph and I headed over to Infant of Prague for Confession since it was closer and had an earlier time. Infant of Prague also has a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel which was perfect for our Penance. It also gave Joseph some time with the Blessed Sacrament before he made his First Communion the next day.
We headed back home and went out to Rick’s which is a sports bar/restaurant dedicated to Pittsburgh sports, in particular the Steelers. We decided to go with meatier meals than our Friday fare (bonus points as it wasn’t completely intentional to go to a seafood restaurant on Friday).
We came back home to rest up for Sunday.
Sunday morning, Joseph came downstairs at 6:30 AM (according to my parents) in his suit, ready for his big day. Nevermind that 6:30 was five hours before the start of Mass! We had breakfast and got the other kids and ourselves (all the adults ready) for Mass.
When we got to the Church, (30 minutes early, as we were instructed) the kids were excited but Joseph had a much more muted excitement. You could tell he was taking all of this very seriously. I sat with Jeff and Joseph’s Godmother, her husband and son on the first row. My parents had Shelby and William and sat with Jeff’s parents. Also in attendance was Shelby’s very first ever occupational therapist and her husband who are members at our parish. This was also their regular Mass but she’s known Joseph since he was a year old and was very excited to share the day with us. I had originally thought that our associate pastor would be celebrating this Mass (we love both our priests) so I was surprised to see our Pastor (also Shelby’s Godfather) was the celebrant.
Shelby did exceptionally well, she needed to get up just before the start of Mass and so my dad took her out. She proceeded to take him on a tour of the entire Church/School campus. They made it back just after the Offertory and she made it through the remainder of Mass in the pew and got to see Joseph make his First Communion.
The parish has a no photography policy during Mass but these were some of the highlights of the day.
If you look closely you’ll see almost all the grandparents (my dad was taking these pics), all three kids, Joseph and his Godmother, his Godmother’s son, his catechists and his class.
Following the Mass, the parish had a reception for the children with cake and lemonade and gifts for the children from the Knights of Columbus and Ancient order of Hibernians. Joseph got a First Communion Candle, a St Joseph Missal and prayer card for before Communion, a Rosary and his official certificate.
We wanted to celebrate some more so we all went to a downtown Wilmington pizza place called Slice of Life. Joseph had wanted pizza for his celebration and they had other menu items as well. We enjoyed a great meal and friendship. But what happened at the end of the meal was one of the highlights of my day.
The waitress came up and knew we were celebrating something and said, “I’m not sure whose birthday it is but happy birthday!” When I told her it was Joseph’s First Communion her face lit up and she said, “EVEN BETTER! That’s awesome, congratulations buddy!” and high fived him. She was young (in her 20s) with a nose ring and not the first person you’d expect that reaction from based solely on physical appearance and age.
We are all exhausted, blessed and grateful after this whirlwind weekend. It was an especially rough Monday morning to get up but we managed it! Thanks to everyone who prayed for Joseph and our family on this very holy celebration.