Friday is Saint Patrick's Day and it is kind of a big deal for our family. It has nothing to do with our Irish heritage, which is very small and honestly questionable because the genealogist of the family kept making new discoveries about our origins - at first we were 1/16th Irish and then it changed to Dutch and then back to Irish again - only our German, Czech, Lithuanian, and Polish ancestry is indisputable. It's probably safe to say that the only Irish in us is due to our relationship with the University of Notre Dame, our alma mater.
No, the reason Saint Patrick's Day is such a big deal is because Matthew makes it a big deal. He is very into feast days and no other feast day in the house is as great as his own! Being that his middle name is Patrick, he has been pining for Saint Patrick's Day for weeks. He has already asked me multiple times whether I am planning on hosting a green-themed surprise party to celebrate HIM on Saint Patrick's Day. Or whether he will receive gifts for HIS feast day. Or whether we will plan a fancy dinner in his honor on HIS feast day. I've calmly tried to explain that Patrick is not even his first name, but his middle name! And while I appreciate honoring the Saints after which our children are named, if we treated every feast day for both the first and middle name of each family member as if it were their birthday, we would be eating cake constantly.
I am planning on teaching the kids a lot about the life of Saint Patrick during the day on Friday. However, I also want to share with them a bit more about their older brother, my first baby that was lost to us during the early days of pregnancy. I felt so strongly that the baby was a little boy, so Paul and I named him Patrick Michael. Matthew's middle name is after in honor of his older brother, without whose passing Matthew's conception would not have been possible. Thus, Saint Patrick's Day is actually more appropriately our baby Patrick's feast day and seems a fitting time to discuss his short but meaningful life with our children. We'll see how they take it as they're still a bit young. But truly, that little soul, whose face I have to wait until heaven to see, is at the forefront of my mind whenever I hear the name "Patrick".
And so, we will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day this year as we always do. We will eat Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Soda Bread; we will enjoy our time together as a family. But this year, I want to make the day even more meaningful by remembering, sharing, and reflecting on my first little angel baby whom I love and miss dearly. It's an odd thing, to still feel such grief yet also to feel so blessed that it happened because I now can clearly see how God executed his plan for our lives through that experience. He called my little baby to himself so that we could welcome Matthew into our arms, leaving us to both grieve the loss of Patrick while concurrently rejoicing in the blessing that is Matthew. We have another angel baby named Emma Grace and wouldn't have our Emma Rose were it not for her passing. Like I said, reflecting on that experience leaves me with such a mixture of emotions. But I think it's time that Patrick and Emma's story be shared with their siblings.
Sorry for that stream of consciousness.
In addition to our normal eats for the day, the kids and I made a fun snack mix to share called "Leprechaun Bait". It was Matthew's idea to make this mix after spying it online while I was browsing through Facebook. I initially thought it sounded gross - Lucky Charms and Mint M&Ms? Gross.
But, being the sucker I am, I let my son talk me into purchasing the ingredients and whipping up this monstrosity of sugar for the children. After we were finished, I decided to try a handful and then I just could not stop eating this. It is good. Like really, legitimately good! It took all my willpower to adhere to my Lenten resolution of no sugar and not eat an entire bowlful all by myself after the kids were in bed. It's seriously addicting. And the kids all agree!
The recipe calls for using a whole 3/4 cup of JUST THE MARSHMALLOWS from the Lucky Charms cereal. I did actually spend quite a bit of time picking every, single, marshmallow out of a box of cereal which ended up totally about 1 cup. Then, I had to throw away the box and keep the remainder of the marshmallow-less cereal in a plastic container so that the kids wouldn't get all excited that we had Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast and then cry upon discovering that all the marshmallows - the best part - are missing. I actually like the cereal without the mallows so that's been my breakfast this week.
I encourage you to give this a try. It'd be a great snack mix to make for a classroom or office party. I am slipping bagfuls into Matthew's lunch during the week and he has loved having it for snack time.
barely adapted from Wishes and Dishes
7 cups Corn or Rice Chex
1 cup Lucky Charms cereal
1 cup crushed pretzels
1 11.4ounce bag dark chocolate mint M&Ms
1 11ounce bag white chocolate chips or melting discs
¾ cup of JUST the marshmallows from Lucky Charms box
In a large bowl combine Chex, 1 cup of Lucky Charms, pretzels and M&Ms.
In a heatsafe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power. Stir and
repeat until the chips are completely melted.
Pour the melted white chocolate over the cereal mixture. Stir carefully to combine, as to not crush the Chex. Continue stirring until the mixture is completely coated with the white chocolate. Sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup of Lucky Charms marshmallows.
Pour mixture onto wax paper or parchment paper to dry and spread it out. Let it sit for about an hour to give the white chocolate time to set.
Store in an airtight container.