How in the world can a baby shower turn into one of the greatest days of your life? - PEOPLE. We had 60 people walk through our doors to celebrate where we are today before we experience all that comes with parenthood. We have no idea what to expect, but we know that for the rest of our lives, our thoughts and priorities will not begin with our own needs - so why not party our way out of this season! Brian and I got to be surrounded by our people before our tiny little person makes her entrance.
It's harder than you'd think it would be to go against the traditional baby shower, even for someone who has no ties to "normal" or what you're "supposed to do". But there were a few things that drove our decision to go for it. Some are deep and intentional, and some are just hilarious.
1. WE LOVE OUR PEOPLE- At our wedding, we narrowed the guest list down to people who we both knew and people we wanted to influence our children. As this new season approached, we couldn't help but think that this celebration should celebrate those very people who cheered us on three and a half years ago. When we pray for who our daughter will be, we look around at the people we love and speak out the gifts they have that we want our daughter to know and learn ... not from us, from them!
2. I AM TERRIBLE AT OPENING GIFTS IN FRONT OF PEOPLE- I have anxiety about gifts. I never feel like I have the right reaction and it stresses me out to have everyone's eyes on me. So, we asked our friends and family to not wrap their gifts, and we displayed them instead. This ended up being so fun and took pressure off of me to think of other things to say rather than "cute!", "thank you so much!" and "awe". We saved paper, reclaimed some years of my life, and we took the focus off of the presents, and redirected it to our guests.
3. MEN & WOMEN CELEBRATING TOGETHER - I absolutely love the women in my life. ADORE. But Brian and I are both excited and scared and freaking out about having a baby, and we wanted the opportunity to celebrate together! That means surrounding ourselves with women, men, families, kids, and giving Brian the chance to be celebrated. I mean, I didn't do this alone...
4. TIME WITH PEOPLE WHERE TIME IS LIMITED- We've got 7 weeks or so before baby, and something we think about a lot is how to get time with everyone before the big day. I never thought a baby shower could be the answer, but it WAS. We got to hug on everyone and catch up, show them around our house, and welcome them into the chaos.
5. SUPPORTING LOCAL VENDORS-
FOOD: We love food, we love happy hour, we LOVE local everything, and this was a great chance to share some of our favorites with our friends. One of our favorite date night spots (for the sweat pants and no makeup days) is Phil's Ice House. We used to go get burgers and dream of getting a housewarming party catered by them if we were ever able to buy a house. Naturally, when we had to decide on food, we knew exactly who to call. While they could have declined my request 18 hours before the party, asking for 70 mini "78704" burgers on their busiest day of the week.... they was gracious and kind and the food was a hit!
CAKE: Goodness gracious this was the best cake I have EVER HAD. Sugar Mama's Bakeshop, you outdid yourself. Chocolate cake with heaps of frosting from heaven, glitter icing... I mean come on. I came home from work on Monday and our house smelled like cake, so I grabbed a fork, opened the box, and relived the experience all over again.
THE KEG: Couldn't have a kegger without a keg! Maybe I couldn't enjoy it, but we wanted our friends to have a great beer to enjoy. Thank you Hops and Grain Brewing for our party centerpiece, it looked great in the crib, and people raved about the beer.
6. LIFE: Life is too beautiful to be serious all the time. I have life growing inside me and I want life around me! I went to the corner of our backyard and watched people laugh and talk. I memorized faces and sounds, whispered "thank yous" to the sky, giggled as our pastor's family wrestled in the grass, and my heart... my heart was alive.
7. ACCOUNTABILITY: This is 100% true. I thought if we had the party at our house, I would be less likely to procrastinate putting the nursery together. The night before the party, I finished putting up the art and shelving... and the crib arrived 15 minutes AFTER the last guest left the party. The planner in me and the procrastinator in me are always fighting for my attention. To both of them I say ... get over yourself!
8. BECAUSE WHY NOT: Run with your ideas, step outside the box, put yourself in the way of beautiful moments. Stress does NOT have to be a part of the equation- but fun can be.
Happy stories, sad stories, dramatic, sorrowful, and joyous stories- every story is a love story... and here are some of mine.