Tag Archives: communion

Anchored In Christ ~ A First Communion Celebration

Two weekends ago Holden made his first holy communion. Two years of CCD brought him to this point and he was looking forward to this sacrament….tired of “just” getting a blessing at communion and ready to receive the body & blood of Christ.

We worked on his banner together over Spring Break…he did the layout and I did the hot gluing.


I spent months looking for the right dress pants, shoes and tie. One day while killing time I popped into Janie & Jack and found some brown trousers on the clearance rack for under $20. And while we were enjoying a holiday stroll through The Grove back in December, again, I ran into J & J and found some darling brown wing tip boots for half price. Once we settled on the anchor icon, I knew I needed to locate a tie with said symbol and found one in navy blue from Hobo Ties on Etsy.


No photos were allowed during the ceremony, but here he is with Father Albert after mass…



{Jay just happened to already have a dress shirt with anchors on it! I found Elliott’s sailor inspired dress at nautica.com for under $20. My skirt is Lauren Conrad from Kohl’s, top from Old Navy, pearl & gold statement necklace is from Target and fedora from Kmart!}

Holden had team pictures and a baseball game later that afternoon so we had a quick lunch at In N Out and shifted gears. For his special dinner, later that evening, he choseĀ Lucille’s for ribs.


We hosted a brunch the following morning to celebrate our sweet communicant.

I found some simple little anchor notecards at Target for the invitations and that quickly became the theme of his celebration brunch ~ a nautical nod to this very big faith milestone.


I had a couple pieces of wood laying around in the garage and decided to make a sign with the Hebrews verse that prompted me to go with the anchor icon for this special occasion…


I put a light coat of white on it to give it a beachy, white-washed look, hand wrote the design in pencil and then pained over it with metallic gold and navy blue paints.


I don’t have a good picture of them, but the party favors were a faux succulent pictured on the mantel to the right of the sign and a little bag of peppermint Lifesavers. The succulents were a huge hit. Everyone couldn’t believe they were artificial and was glad they required absolutely NO water!


I saw the Lifesaver idea on Pinterest for a nautical baby shower and had the little paper treat bags, but wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. The mints were perfect and I added a little label with the verse Jeremiah 31:24 ~ “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint”.

We have a huge vintage Cinzano poster in our dining area that I covered with wrapping paper to give this space a more cohesive and festive look…


I also hung 2 of these navy paper lanterns over our huge dining table.

The paper plates, napkins, straws & cups are all from either Target or Home Goods. I picked these up months ago knowing I’d most likely go with navy blue & some shade of green.


Fortunately being close to summer, it was easy to find anchor goodies!


{large anchor from Marshalls and “Let’s Set Sail” sign from Home Goods}


For the brunch, I tried to keep things simple. We had a couple baked egg casseroles {one with sausage, cheese & sourdough bread and one with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and hash browns as the base} They were both a hit, however, I think most of the guests enjoyed the Mediterranean one a little more.


I also made Monkey Bread and should have made two as this stuff is ALWAYS popular and the first to go…


Fruit salad and mimosas are always a must for brunch…


Lolo & Lola ordered a 10″ marble Nothing Bundt Cake and there wasn’t a crumb left!


Holden was blessed with so many wonderful keepsake gifts of his faith, gift cards and a telescope from Gramma Kathy to look into the heavens!

It was another wonderful milestone on his faith journey and I am sad that it’s over. The next big one is confirmation in high school!

In the meantime, we’ll continue religious education and faith formation.

Glory to God in the highest.


Over Spring Break it hit me that Holden’s First Holy Communion was less than a month away and I hadn’t given much thought to his reception and invitations!

I had a color scheme in mind {mostly navy & green}, but not really a “theme”. As I was strolling through Target last week, I spotted these Mara Mi notecards and immediately knew that an anchor was going to be the icon for this big milestone in Holden’s faith journey.


“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” ~ Hebrews 6:19


I’ve also been on the hunt for a tie to complete his outfit for the big day. I immediately searched on-line for an anchor tie and settled on this one via Etsy…



Trying to keep the decor simple and use things I already have. Did a search for FREE anchor printables and found this one that I adore and ties in with everything…



Moving right along…..

Following this very special weekend is Elliott’s big double digit birthday celebration so I am in full swing with the party planning. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing our kiddos at their parties & celebrations with friends and family.

Feeling anchored and extremely blessed.


Tulle Time ~ A First Holy Communion Celebration

This past weekend Elliott celebrated her first holy communion.

When given two dates to choose from, I decided to go with Saturday the 11th of May so that it would fall on Mother’s Day weekend. My in-laws and mom would be in town and we’d all be able to celebrate Mother’s Day together for the first time, as well.

But honestly the focus was on our sweet, sweet almost 8-year old and her special day.

I really can’t put into words the pride and joy I felt. We were given several blank cards to choose from at the communion retreat and instructed to write our child a note and give it to them the morning of their mass. I tuned out the hustle and bustle, sat and wrote her words from my heart, took her aside and had her read it. She immediately gave me a hug and said, “Thank you, mommy!”

She was confident. She was ready.

Some days she fights me when it’s time to go to CCD, but I’ve never backed down and every time we arrive and I walk her to her room, she runs in and doesn’t even say goodbye. I’m OK with that.

She’s memorized all her prayers and even got 100% on her cumulative quiz. She performed her first reconciliation like a {pro} in early February. I had NO doubt that she was going to make us just as proud as she received her first eucharist.

And proud we were….




{We found her dress at Nordstrom. It’s actually an Easter dress and was a fraction of the cost of their communion dresses sold on-line. I wanted simple and classic, yet with a twist and I think this was perfect. Her little shoes are from Payless and her veil is from the parish gift shop. ~ Thank you to Lolo & Lola for her dress and Gramma Kathy for her cross earrings and matching necklace! XO}

Jay and I hosted a little dessert celebration that evening and I had so much fun planning and preparing for that. Obviously.

I found some sweet notecards at TJ Maxx and used those for the invites. Again, I just format the text and run them through the printer for a “professional” look.


Of course the main color of the day was WHITE so I tried my hardest to stray away from the bright, vibrant colors that I love so much. I knew there was going to be some tulle involved since, to me, that is so light and delicate and reminiscent of the veils worn by the little girls.

I covered our huge Cinzano picture in brown mailing paper and then hung a few embroidery hoops from the tulle. I found a small remnant of while polka dot fabric at Joann’s as it complemented the little dots on her dress.


I’d also seen a balloon chandelier on Pinterest and went off memory when putting that up…


I had no idea what I was doing…just picked up a bag of 10 gold {accent color} balloons and some white iridescent curling ribbon, blew up the balloons, cut a long piece of ribbon, curled the bottom half of it and hung it with tape on the ceiling so that the curly part hung down. Simple as that. I hung all 10 balloons over the center of our big table.


We decided to just do desserts and drinks and I wanted everything to be white. I went with my favorite sugar cookie bars, white chocolate covered strawberries, white chocolate covered pretzel rods, TJ’s vanilla meringues and at the last minute we picked up an ice cream cake for the kids.





It was just lemonade for the kids and beer and wine for the adults…


I finally picked up the stemless wine glasses I’ve been wanting for years for the occasion.


I wanted all the families to go home with a little something so I found some small wall plaques at Dollar Tree, swapped out the ugly ribbon and repackaged them. I think we all can benefit from a little reminder of FaItH & hOpE once in awhile.


FAITH is inspiration for the future.

HOPE never falters or gives up.






The kids chalked up our court with the help of the street lights. Elliott desperately wanted me to take a picture at 10:30pm, but I had to wait until daylight to best capture her work…


Here are some other favorites from the day…









Thank you to all who came to the church for the mass and to our home to celebrate and for all her precious gifts ~ perfect reminders for her down the road of this special day and tokens of our faith.

It was a truly blessed day.

Can’t wait to do it again in two years with Holden.

Stressin’ About Shoes

Elliott is receiving her first holy communion this weekend.

It’s a big deal.

I know this because I just went through it myself about 6 weeks ago.

She’s been preparing for this since October and she is so excited. Her catechist has done such a fantastic job this year paving the road to her first reconciliation and now her eucharistic sacrament. I think it helped that she watched me being baptized, confirmed and receive at the Easter Vigil. She is ready and we can hardly wait to witness this solemn, yet powerful, milestone.

We’ve been shopping and selected her dress with Lolo and Lola. She chose her veil all on her own {I zipped my lips ~ promise!} at the parish gift shop and we tracked down Monsignor Mike to bless it. We’ve been practicing taking the host and sipping the wine at home.

And then there was the shoe issue.

She wanted sandals with HEELS.

WHITE sandals with heels.

Like these…


I said absolutely not and may have played the {sandals are not allowed} card.

I just couldn’t do it.

Her dress is darling and extremely simple. I wanted her shoes to also be classic and sweet.

Without heels.

I scoured several stores ~ Famous Footwear, Kohl’s, Target, Wal-mart {just couldn’t go through life knowing I purchased her first communion shoes at Wal-mart, sorry}, Marshall’s and Ross.

Then a mom that I totally adore and value her style and taste mentioned that she got her daughter’s shoes at Payless and that they had several styles to choose from. I immediately logged on and clicked through the white dress shoes and found these cuties…


Delicate little ruffles with the ever so tiny sparkle of a few rhinestones.



AND they were $5 off.

ANNNNND when I got home and showed them to her she squeeeealed, “They have heels!”

Win. Win.

Everyone’s happy and she’ll be an inch closer to the ground ~ at 7 {allllmost 8} years old, that is a good thing.

I suppose one could argue that the higher the heels, the closer to GOD………

Cannot argue with that.


Looking forward to your day, Elliott Elizabeth Aspiras…Saturday, May 11, 2013 is going to be so, so special.

It’s NOT about the shoes anyway.


Hi friends!

Can’t believe it’s been over a week since I posted….I was doing so well and then things got extra busy I guess.

Two weekends ago I took a little getaway down to Carlsbad and attended a ladies retreat that was hosted by Mission Hills Community Church. Some friends {Richelle, Julie, Stephanie & Amanda} were extremely involved in the planning and I was fortunate enough to partake and enjoy the fruits of ALL their labor. As I mentioned before, this weekend away was my Christmas gift from Jay and it couldn’t have been more perfect.


The theme of the retreat was “Blessed” as quoted in Jeremiah 17:7.

The decor team transformed the meeting room at The Carlsbad Inn into a colorful place of worship with burlap, adorable buntings and banners, milk glass, hoop art and the retreat’s color scheme ~ aqua and yellow. Every eyesore in the room was covered with beautiful antique and vintage pieces for the most pulled together, cohesive atmosphere.


Little handmade cupcake liner flowers peeked out of Mason jars and watering cans…


We were spoiled with all sorts of treats…tote bags, beautiful handmade journals, logo’d insulated plastic cups, darling coffee cozies and the most lovingly made {blessed} signs as we wrapped up and said goodbye to a wonderful weekend!




We had the chance to make necklaces with hundreds of little graphics and designs to choose from. I chose a seashell to remind me of this special weekend meeting and visiting with women all with a breathtaking ocean view as the backdrop.


It wasn’t too bad waking up to this view two mornings in a row…





We ate like queens with the most thoughtful continental breakfast spread each morning as well as Panera for lunch and a dessert table each night that was to-die-for.

For dinner we were on our own to explore the town of Carlsbad and pick from loads of little restaurants all within walking distance.


It was truly a weekend that I will remember forever. I met SO many sweet, godly women, but one of them will always touch my heart ~ thank you, Maria, for our chat. So grateful that HE paired us up and I had the chance to get to know you and hear your testimonial. XO


Upon returning home to my little family that I missed so, was the usual Sunday evening frenzy followed by a busy week ahead.

We missed soccer practice the previous week due to a day of illness, but were ready to get some practice in for our first games this past weekend…


{One Ninja & one Pink Panther}

I also attended a first holy communion retreat with Elliott this past Saturday. She painted a glass, made a quilt square and kneaded her own unleavened bread to prepare for this sacrament in a couple months.We both thoroughly enjoyed it and I almost snuck a glass and painted one myself! So fun….



Today, and everyday, I am counting my blessings. They are most definitely abundant and I no doubt recognize them.

Today I am blessed with new friends, a stronger faith, a healthy family and so much more.

I hope you’ll take a little time out of all the craziness and chaos and remind yourself how blessed you are!

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross