Babies!

The Sunday before last, Erik and I had a very important social engagement honoring this styling guy:

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Henry is Erik’s first cousin once-removed, he lives two blocks away from me, he let me study him for my final grad school project, and he turns one year old this month! To that effect, Erik and I suited up in our Sunday best and headed to church for Henry’s baptism.

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Apparently, baptisms were very popular that day. I’m not sure what the standard is (this was probably my second time in church for a reason other than someone’s wedding), but about 7-10 babies were being celebrated! Henry got his swim on and kept a smile on his face the whole time:

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And within moments of being released, he and his pinstripes were off and running. No one could keep up!

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Following the service, Erik and I snagged a ride with Erik’s Uncle Jim out to Staten Island where Uncle Jim and Aunt Lois had prepared a phenomenal post-baptism first birthday soiree at their HOUSE (capitalized because it is a real, live, free-standing house, and such structures excite me very much after 10 years of NYC apartment-living!).

I walked in and saw veggies, and my heart sang. I beelined for the sweet red peppers and tzatziki yogurt dip.

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I admired the dinner table …

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… but I did not touch it because it was not yet time!

I contented myself with the gorgeous display of appetizers: spanakopita and sweet meatballs with currants, mmmmmmmm!

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I also took a stroll out back and cried over the garden that is not mine:

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Lois’ veggies are well on their way!!!

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(I stopped crying over how impressive the garden is when Lois gave me a big bag of fresh picked salad (including romaine, arugula, and mesclun) to take home with me.)

As soon as I saw full plates making their way onto the patio, I ran inside to assemble my own with string beans and veggies, apricot-glazed (I think?) chicken, onion foccacia, and lots of fresh fruit:

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Look at those colors! The hallmark of a perfect meal 😀 I had seconds, obviously.

We digested on the patio for a while. I admired babies. (Surprise!)

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There is so much space at this house!

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When the raindrops started to sprinkle down, we moved inside for the best part of any birthday party: cake time!

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Henry came out for a quick cameo to appease the singing crowd …

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… and then he was whisked off to bed while the rest of us pounced!

The cake was chocolate with real strawberry slices between the layers and buttercream frosting. I got my corner piece:

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The party wound down around 6 or 7, and Lois packed up a whole grocery store of leftovers for us to take home: ham, green beans, potato salad, fruit, cake … not to mention my fresh-picked garden salad. We didn’t even have to go shopping for food since Monday’s lunch was taken care of:

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When Erik and I got home from the party, we went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood in an attempt to work through some of the extra belly weight we were carrying around after that feast. Nighttime in the Slope is unbeatable … except for, maybe, nighttime on a beach 😛

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