How Sweet It Is!

Elsa celebrates her first birthday!

Let me introduce my friends here to one of the most precious joys of my life: my niece Elsa Beatrice.

The first girl baby born to my family in her generation (after enough boys that we’d given up), she’s been the pride and joy of our family. This past weekend, little Elsa celebrated her first birthday. Her aunties wished from afar that they could be present for the celebration. Gratefully, Elsa’s mommy is a top notch photographer who immediately shared several beautiful photos of the big day. Not the same thing as being there, but it’s impossible to look at this photo and not imagine the joy of that party.

I have similar photos of my own boys — now young adults — at that same age and covered with the same amount of sugar. And perhaps the “Give the one year old full access to as much frosting as he/she desires and then grab cute photos” tradition holds true in your home. It’s one of the few moments when a mom doesn’t yell, “No!” or even suggest, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?

Looking at little Elsa scooping up the sweetness took my mind to one of my favorite Psalms:

How sweet to my tongue is your promise,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 

And today I’m asking myself why I don’t indulge more frequently in the things that bring me pure joy: moments of silence, lingering hours of reading, time before the Blessed Sacrament, long walks just for fun, coffee with my girlfriends or even the simple satisfaction of snuggling on the couch with my hubby and doing nothing. We get so busy in the “to do” lists of life that the blissful times fly past us all too often.

In the weeks leading up to Advent, I plan to take my cues from little Miss Elsa. I’m going to dive in to every possible moment of sweetness and make the most of them. I’m going to get good and sticky with the pleasures of this time of the year, and leave the evidence all over my face so that everyone else knows how happy I am and wants the same for themselves. Yes, it might be messy. Certainly, it will be memorable.

I love you little Princess Elsa! Happy Birthday!

Auntie Lisa

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.