Yesterday was our pastor’s birthday so after Mass we sang happy birthday and they had a huge basket to collect birthday cards. Frances, my three year old daughter, somehow got the message that it was God’s birthday. She couldn’t stop talking about it and had to tell everyone. “Today is God’s birthday and my mom forgot to take a card. But don’t worry, we are going to make a cake. A chocolate cake.” I tried to explain a few times, but she didn’t care so then I decided that since God’s mercies are new every morning, and God was before all time, that every day we could celebrate God’s birthday. We made chocolate cupcakes and we sang happy birthday to God and it was beautiful.
Kids love to celebrate and they especially love birthdays. As time goes on, birthdays can become a little more dreaded. My 35th birthday is next week. Frances talks about it almost every single day. I get antsy. I don’t know if it’s because of the marker of time and I begin to judge what I did or did not accomplish over the last year. Or if it’s society’s pressure to be young and carefree. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a child’s view, I can see how beautiful it is to be alive! Another year of life! Another year to love and be loved. Another year of experiencing hard things. Another year of experiencing great joys.
In this past year, I have produced a book, made a huge adjustment in a business relationship, celebrated my daughter’s first year of life, advocated for my daughter’s medical needs, got pregnant, moved to a new state, experienced the great loss of a miscarriage, lost my uncle to addiction and suicide, and am slowly trying to make our house a home. This week our book will finally begin to make its way into your hands - such a wonderful birthday surprise!
And tomorrow we will be releasing a few new products (which I said would happen last week, but our photographs didn’t make it back in time). My birthday is the same day as the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi so I grew up with a special kinship with him. And I love that even people who aren’t Catholic are drawn to him. We have already launched our Saint Francis Swaddle Blanket and our Saint Francis Crinkle Book and now we are launching TWO new blankets like our best selling quilts. For years people have been asking for a bigger size and we finally made one! The design is of Francis, the animals, and Assisi. You’ll see the Basilica, Italian Cypress trees, purple herons which live in the area, and cornflowers and poppies that cover hillsides. It’s available in the standard size as well as a large size that can fit a twin size bed. I also designed prints to pair with these blankets in case anyone wants to use them to design a child’s bedroom!
We are also releasing our long awaited punch needle kits and paint your own Jesus statues. I loved doing projects as a child (and still do!) and wanted to create some things for older children to connect with our faith. The punch needle kits are based on the sacraments - a shell for baptism, bread and chalice for first communion, and the Holy Spirit dove for confirmation. Of course these could be done for any time and anyone. The kit can be given as a gift or you could complete the punch needle and give it to someone completed to hang! Don’t be intimidated by it - it’s actually quite easy to learn and fun to do!
Lastly, the DIY painting Jesus statue. We made them with children in mind, but they aren’t only for kids. Paint him and then set him on a night stand, book shelf, or prayer area! If you want these for a group, there will be tiered pricing for higher quantities.
Also, the book is still available for pre-order and for those of you who already purchased, books will begin shipping on Thursday!!
Blessings to you and yours,