I will be having three baby showers for Caleb: one from work, one from church, and one from family and friends. The family and friends shower was the first, hosted by KarenN last Saturday. It was such a great shower!
As I got ready on Saturday, I told Jon, "You know, I'm really looking forward to this shower, because everyone there loves us, and already loves Caleb!"
And it's true. Most showers, there are the random people there--maybe they don't know you that well, or had to ask "girl or boy?" before they ran out and got a gift. There are the friends you haven't seen in awhile, and so you haven't really gotten to catch up with them. But this shower, well I'm pretty sure everyone there is a faithful reader of this blog, and gosh, I think every one of them had already been showering Caleb with gifts throughout the whole pregnancy! So it was a special group.
One of the greatest joys of the day was having my mother-in-law, Mary, make the 7-hour drive for the sole purpose of the shower. She came in Friday night, left Sunday morning, and we kept her busy all day Saturday!
Because Mary was there, Jon and I got to the shower early, so we could visit with her. She brought out a bag full of Jon's things from when he was a baby--including his baby book and some beautiful clothes that were used as part of the shower decorations. Looking through all those things was neat, and I can't wait for Caleb to play with toys his daddy played with.
KarenN's house was beautiful--as always! The shower was a luncheon, and the tables were set with china and roses everywhere! The placemats and napkins were even made from baby-related fabric. The food was delicious: twice-baked potatoes, stuffed bell peppers, chicken lettuce wraps, fruit-kabobs, and yummy chips and salsa (Leanna's contribution, because she knows an event is not complete without chips and salsa!). The cake was a three-layer chocolate cake, baked and decorated by soon-to-be Uncle Dave.
After eating, we played games. The first was guessing the baby food in the jar, which I'm familiar with. The second was guessing the baby names of animals (kangaroo baby is a joey, for example). That was fun because I got to pick the animals from a list Dave and Karen put together, and call them out to everyone else. An owl baby is an owlet...how cute is that! And Margie knew that one from working with the owls at the zoo. (Below is a pic of me tasting the baby food. As a side note, I was incapable of closing any of the jars correctly. Let's hope I figure that one out eventually.)
After games we opened gifts, and I was overwhelmed with everyone's gift-giving. I love to give hand-made gifts, and I received many hand-made gifts as well! I also received gifts from people who weren't there: moms and aunts of those who attended. And thoughtful gifts from those who knew what I needed, either from their own experience or because they know my taste. And gifts that were obviously items gathered over time.
The final gift was coordinated by Leanna: a book of memories. Each shower guest (and some who couldn't attend) wrote a memory about me, the personality traits that were evident in that memory, and why those traits would make me a good mom. They all included photos, and Mary was passing out the Kleenexes about half-way through! That book will be something I will always cherish. It stung a little to realize that many of these character traits I had let go of during pregnancy; I'm become a mountains-out-of-molehills, my-way-or-the-highway, 7-months-of-PMS kind of girl. I'm thankful for the grace that my family and friends give me, and for KarenD's assurance that things will eventually be back to normal! I know there will be days when I will need that book as a reminder that I can do this, and that I have a family and friends who are there to back me up all the way.
We finished off the shower with cake and chit-chatting. Overall, it was the perfect shower, full of love and support. It couldn't have been better! Thanks, KarenN, for hosting such a beautiful shower, and to everyone who participated in some way.
I'm including two slideshows. One is of the shower in general, with all the decorations and pics of everyone who attended. The other is pics of most of the shower gifts as they're opened. I know some people could care less about seeing those, and some would love to see it all, so that's why there are two separate shows. If you click on the underlined name of the slideshow in the bottom left of each one, you'll be directed to the Picasa albums, where you can see the pics full-size. Enjoy!