Olive's Baby Blessing

July 08, 2020

🌿 blessed 🌿

When the pandemic cancelled our dreams of a big family gathering for her baby blessing in Oregon, I felt really sad bc we couldn’t give Ollie the celebration she deserved - the big gatherings & beautiful luncheons I’d seen countless other friends host for their children. And I felt like I had done something wrong since she was already 8 months old and much older than the usual age. I wanted to do everything I could to make our small event as special and symbolic as possible. We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon to snap a few pictures to remember her blessing day by - we just took these on our phones and they turned out so much better than I expected!

(Ollie is doing this new hand on her hip thing and it's 😍)

Her Dress

I had originally planned to get her a dress, but when the one I liked was no longer available, I had the little prompting to sew one myself. I always loved the idea of making my future babies’ dresses, but it seemed easier to just buy one when I was overwhelmed with everything else going on. I didn’t have a pattern and hadn’t sewn in 5 years, but all I wanted was a simple linen dress. It didn’t turn out EXACTLY like I envisioned but my little sentimental heart loves that Ollie has a little handmade heirloom from the day, especially since we couldn’t have the celebration we wanted.

Her Name

An LDS baby blessing also officially gives a child their name, so I wanted to intentionally include the symbol & reason behind why we named her Olive/Ollie. It’s more than just a cute name for us - she is named after two ancestors from both of our families and we loved the symbol of the olive in scripture, mythology & literature. I found an olive leaf crown and included pictures of Zach’s great-grandmother Olive (on the left) and my great-grandmother Ollie (on the right). We used the pictures on the day of the blessing and soon they’ll be hung up in her room.

Her Blessing Day

The actual blessing was incredible. While it wasn’t the big traditional celebration I pictured, it was so much better this way - simple, quiet, sacred and in our own home. It was a very small group - only our parents, Zach's sisters, and our bishop. The blessing circle was just Zach, his dad, and the bishop.

I love that we were able to do it in our home - something I wanted long before the pandemic. I was also able to hold Ollie during the blessing - another long time dream of mine! While I loved participating by making her dress and planning the day, I really valued being a physical part of the actual blessing. We were so worried she would get fussy and squirmy because she usually can't go more than a minute without whining or yelling. She gets bored easily and does not like having hands on her head. I was really worried that morning about how they would be able to bless her.

They first tried putting hands on her head and she started moving to get away, so Zach asked the men to move their hands to her shoulders...and she was totally fine! And she didn't fuss the entire time! She looked up at her dad almost the entire time and Zach had his eyes open, so they were just looking at each other during the blessing, which makes me weep when I think about it. Once and awhile she would turn and look at me, which also made me tear up. 

She felt like a literal ball of light in my lap. I just kept thinking about how miraculous it was that she was in our family, how she was sent from Heaven for a purpose...and I just kept looking at her and saying "she's an angel" because that's how she looked. Her countenance was so bright - a literal ball of light is the only way I can describe it. I am so grateful Zach wrote the blessing down because I was too overcome in my own thoughts to remember every word he said.

Treats & Decor

Up until about a week before the blessing, I had planned to go ALL OUT - I was going to get a pipe & drape, make a custom backdrop, have catering for a big spread....just basically overcompensate to make myself feel better for having such a small nontraditional gathering during the pandemic. After talking it over with Zach, I realized how ridiculous it was to have all of that set up for....7 adults and a baby. Zach helped me figure out why I felt the need to make a big production and helped me understand that I didn't need a big deal party to impress our families or to make Ollie feel loved. Instead of a big catering spread, I ended up making a simple treat table.

Everything on the table was intentional - a olive branch, the pictures of ancestors Olive & Ollie, a picture of our baby Olive, some of our favorite treats from a local bakery (hello Kneader's brownies!), and then a dozen custom sugar cookies with her name and some olive leaves. We originally hoped to have some other treats, but the other bakery was closed over the holiday weekend...so I called an audible and added fruit tarts and cookie bars from Kneader's too. I didn't go too crazy getting items for the table - I already owned the cake stands, platters and white pitcher (all from Target). All I bought was the white tablecloth & picture frames (also Target - those white frames were only $4!), and the garland (Amazon).

I really wanted custom sugar cookies for the blessing - something unique to remember the day by....but I am queen procrastinator and almost everyone I contacted was already booked up. Thanks to the magic of Instagram, I found a local cookie maker 10 minutes away who was able to fit me in - she made these beautiful cookies with just a couple days notice! If you are looking for incredible cookies at a great price in Utah, check out Monica's Cookie Shop! All I wanted was her name and some olive leaves, so it was a fun surprise to see Monica use her artistic talents to bring it to life! I saved a few because they were too beautiful to eat!

I had one other garland in the pack I ordered, so I hung it over our mantle (near where the actual blessing took place) and added a little jokey message to our letterboard 😜.

While this isn't what I imagined when I was pregnant and I wish we could have thrown this baby girl a beautiful big family gathering to celebrate her, I really loved how simple, small and sacred Ollie's blessing turned out. I loved how we were able to focus on the origins of her name and be intentional with our choices. And above all, the most memorable part was the few minutes of the actual blessing - in those few minutes, I wasn't thinking about her dress, or crown, or decor, or treats. None of that mattered. We were all focused on our little family and feeling our Heavenly Parents' love for Ollie.

We feel so grateful that our parents & Zach's youngest sister made the long trip from Oregon to be here with us. I hope that when Ollie is older, she can see these pictures and these faces and know how much we love her.

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