Tag Archives: parents

Sylive’s Naming day

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I was lucky enough to be asked to conduct Sylvie’s Naming Day. Dan and Kate have been friends of mine for quite some time and I conducted their wedding along with a number of weddings for other members of their family. Since then I have been named the family celebrant! I was privileged to be able to conduct Sylvie’s sister Astrid’s Naming Day when she turned 1 and so it was such a special thing for me to be able to conduct Sylvie’s Naming day too, also timed to Celebrate her 1st birthday!

Dan and Kate thought about the name Sylvie when Kate was pregnant with Astrid. Kate tried to convince Dan that Sylvie was a great name, but Dan wasn’t keen on Sylvia, which Kate insisted would be the ‘proper name’ so it never happened. Throughout Kate’s pregnancy with Sylvie, Kate and Dan worked through many name options and although Sylvie arrived so late they still hadn’t decided on her name. After she was born they played with three names and in the evening finally settled on Sylvie, Kate compromising and ditching the ‘a’ in Sylvia.  Sylvie, from Sylvia, is a french name meaning from the forest. (See the gorgeous forest themed cake at the end of this post)

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Sylvie has made Dan and Kate more relaxed, patient and understanding parents. Sylvie gets far more cuddles to sleep and co-sleeping as they are well aware of how fleeting these days are. Dan and Kate can now understand completely why the youngest child is always the baby to their parents. Sylvie’s favourite person has always been Astrid. From birth she has kept her eye on Astrid, eager to learn how to do all the things Astrid does, playing, walking and now dancing too! Sylvie has always loved to move and was on the go early. She even started walking while holding onto Astrid even though her sister was trying to escape!

Her big loves this first year have included looking at her favourite family photos, climbing, “reading”, playing in her sister’s kitchen, baby doll Cailin, getting messy outdoors and just being all over Astrid. She loves to make kissing noises, waving at anything that moves and is a big koala style snuggler. She loves Ryan Adams and starts “dancing” as soon as she spots the cover artwork.

Dan and Kate chose their very close friend Miranda to be Sylvie’s mentor. Miranda has been friends with Kate for almost a decade and they have travelled together. She was the witness at their wedding and has always supported both Kate and Dan on their parenting journey.

Dan and Kate had a passage chosen to be read during the ceremony for both girls.  A lovely Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It was a beautiful day and a great time to catch up with lovely friends, and the the extended family of these wonderful people that I am lucky enough to see at these special occasions.

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Being a Mum has changed my life.

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Being a Mum has totally changed my life. Not only in the most obvious ways, but in all aspects of life. The way I react to things, the way that I look at and deal with people, the way I think about and analyse things, even the manner in which I think of myself. The way I react to the news, the way I see my future and the way that I feel about some things in my past. All have changed.

In my celebrant work I meet many amazing people. People that I am better for knowing. How lucky am I, to meet and get to know these wonderful people that otherwise I might never have met. On one of these days I met a small boy who made me realise that becoming a mother had indeed changed me, in ways that people could never have told me or explained to me. I shed tears for this small boy that I met and spoke to for merely minutes. Knowing things about him that in the past I might have thought were sad, now as a mother, were heart wrenching. We sang some songs together, I just wanted to hug him and hold him close. Of course I did not do that. I smiled at him and asked him about his kindergarten.
On another day at my sons music class, I saw a mum who’s baby is being cared for by his Grandparents. This particular time she is there and their interaction saddens me. The way that he doesn’t really know her causes me to think about her for the rest of the day and long into the next. These things I would not have noticed before being a Mum, and if I did notice I probably wouldn’t have given it much more thought.
No one could ever have explained this to me, there are mushy poems out there about how you will look at and fall in love with your child, how you will never look at your partner the same way after you see his gentleness with your child, blah blah blah. Yep I understand all of that. Most people do. But no one tells you about the the deeper things that it will make you feel. They don’t tell you how you will cry about news stories that you wouldn’t have thought twice about before or the empathy you will feel towards another parents pain when something terrible happens to their child.
My sons Type 1 diabetes diagnosis took some of these things to the next level, the hospital visit and the diagnosis have changed a lot of things for me. The worry for him, the fear for him, and the gratitude that I feel knowing he is ok. I worry about this disease that he will live with for the rest of his life or until they find a cure. I worry about kids picking on him when he goes to school. Will he look after himself when he is a bit older and do all of these things for himself? (I worry a lot, lets be honest)  You only have to spend some time in the Royal Children’s Hospital to realise that this is by no means the worst that could happen to him. This is manageable and will be part of our ‘normal’ in no time, and it takes me back to the empathy I feel for those parents whose situation isn’t as manageable as ours.
I find myself telling myself on so many wonderful occasions to cherish this moment, remember this, ‘photograph this with your mind’ as I want to be able to draw on this memory in the future. It is a time that I feel full and complete and blissfully whole. I remind myself that this too shall  pass and I need to hold on to this memory in a special part of my mind. I’m really not sure how to do this effectively. How do we remember all these wonderful moments?

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Standing when the Bride walks down the aisle

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What do you think? Should everyone stand when the Bride walks down the aisle?

It is quite traditional for people to stand when the Bride walks down the aisle. When I speak to brides about this, it is something that they either feel very strongly about or sometimes it hasn’t even crossed their mind.

I am hearing more about people who want their guests to remain seated when the bride enters. However, there are other people that I have been speaking with that really want that moment when they walk down the aisle for everyone to stand.

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People have stood for the bride for years and even if you don’t want the guests to stand, they will because that is what people believe that you do when the bride walks in. Some people will wait for the Mother of the Bride to stand. This is their cue that they are then to stand. Then when the Bride and her father reach the Groom, traditionally people wait for the Mother of the Bride to be seated also. You can make this simpler by having the celebrant ask the guests to stand and be seated.

I have read some forums where they are talking about having the celebrant, or whomever is conducting their wedding, to ask people to remain seated. Some people are saying that it is because they don’t want all of the attention, or they think that it is unfair that no one is standing for the groom.  There was talk about people not all being able to see the bride.

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It’s totally up to you and if you don’t want people to stand that is fine. There may be a reason for it, like one of your relatives is in a wheelchair and you don’t want them to miss out on seeing you walk down the aisle. Make sure that people know, ask your celebrant to mention it or if you are having printed programs you could request it in there.

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If people like the idea, but don’t want the Groom to miss out, he could always have his parents walk him down the aisle or the Bride and Groom could walk down the aisle as a couple too.  Remember there are no rules.  Do what you want.

What do you think? Does it matter to you, should people sit or stand?

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Thank-you to Corey and Alastair from Vision House Photography for the photos on this blog, you can check out their website here, and keep up to date with all their latest weddings by following them on facebook.

 

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Children’s reaction to a Wedding

 

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Now days it is not unusual for one or both parties to a marriage to have children, either together or from a previous relationship. Children are not always over joyed when the parents decide to marry. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you are thinking of including children in the marriage ceremony, and different ways that you can do this. I have blogged about it before, but there are things that you really need to consider. Children will react differently to news of a wedding for many reasons and no two children will react totally the same. There may be many varied reactions from the one child too.

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Age may play a role as to how they react or how much involvement they want to have in the wedding. Some small children may be extremely excited about the idea of a wedding, they may love the idea of dressing up and be quite happy with the relationship in which the parent is in.  They may be at an age where they are not comfortable in being the centre of attention. Not wanting to take an active role in the ceremony may have nothing to do with their feelings about the parents relationship, but everything to do with the child themselves. Sometimes adult children are really pleased that their parent is happy and want to do whatever they can to make the day exactly what their parent wants it to be. In saying this though, sometimes adult children can be the most childish of all when a parent is remarrying. Even more so than a primary school aged child!

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Some children see the news of a wedding as confusing. Where will they now fit into this new family unit? Will there be room for them in the new family design? Sometimes this really signals to the child that there is no hope at all that their birth parents will reconcile. As impossible as this concept may seem to some parents, some children may still hold onto hope that miracles might happen. A wedding puts an end to any idea that maybe things might go back to the way they were. If a child has lost a parent it may be confronting for them. Like they are betraying the memory of a parent if they are excited or really very fond of the new parent, or about the upcoming wedding.

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Have you heard of any helpful ways to help children adjust to a wedding of a parent?

Thank-you to Untamed Images Photography for the use of their images on this weeks blog, check out their website here and follow them on facebook here to see sneak peaks  of all of their current weddings.

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Roles of a godparent

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What is the role of a godparent? What do you think that a godparent should do in the life of the child that they are the godparent to?

Recently my husband and I were honoured to become the godparents to our second godson, for me it is such a wonderful and special moment and am always proud to tell people stories about my godsons.

I know that people don’t always choose the title of godparent, they use others like mentor, or Guardian. It used to be that the godparent was part of the christian faith, and was responsible for overseeing the religious education for the child and caring for the child if they were orphaned. Nowadays it is not all about religion, it is about the people that the parents choose to take an interest in the child’s upbringing and personal development. It is not as often the people the parents choose if something were to happen to them. This needs to be stated in the parents will.

In this day and age what do we expect of a godparent? I posed this question to a few people lately and got various answers. Some of the people I spoke to told me that they don’t know who their god parents are, they are people that their parents used to be friends with. They are no longer friends with the parents and no longer in the life of the child.  A lot of people that I spoke with chose siblings for the god parents of their children for that reason. Others chose multiple people, and some long time friends that had already been in their lives for countless years. People that I spoke to said that the godparents that they have chosen for their child are not necessarily the people that they would want to raise their children if something happened to them.

I take being a god parent seriously. I think it is about being there for the child. Encouraging the child, and letting the child know that you are there for them. Allowing that child to know that they are loved and that they can come to you for help, advice and as a confidant. I know that the advice may not always be what the parent may give but sometimes this is a good thing to get different perspectives and  they can use you as a sounding board that might not be as emotionally invested in what they are asking about. I want to be the person in the life of my godsons that listens to them  when they speak and encouraging them, praising them when the do good things, reinforcing positive behaviour and teaching them right from wrong. I want them to know that they can come to me when ever they need to talk about anything, serious, funny, silly, any reason at all.

What do you think are the important roles of a godparent in the lives of their godchild? Are they the people that you want to raise your children if you were no longer around to do so?

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