Julia's Baby Shower (recap)

Julia's Baby Shower (recap)

As you’ve probably already read, here, my sisters, me, and my grandma all hosted a baby shower in honor of my mom and my soon-to-arrive sister Julia, due Easter Sunday. Lauren was the official photographer, so she used one of the shots for a photography challenge she’s doing with Petra and I. (if you guys haven’t figured it out yet, Lauren, Petra, and I are all on the same cross-country team, and we live fairly close together, thus allowing for all the great photo shoots πŸ™‚ ) Here’s a rant story of how the shower and everything came together. πŸ™‚

Sometime in late December/early January, my grandma Carol (my dad’s mom, learn more about her and her company here) called my sister, Sarah, and I together to tell us that she wanted to plan a surprise baby shower for my mom. Julia will be baby #12 in my family! My mom (read her blog here) is a wonderful encourager, as well as a selfless mama who doesn’t complain or get frequently stressed out. Though she’s fantastic at staying calm and positive in hard situations, she really needs encouragement and displays of love. I mean, come on, wouldn’t you if you were pregnant with your 12th baby?! So this shower was a brilliant idea, and my grandmother deserves all the credit.

It was a little while later when all of us kinda came to our senses and realized we needed to get a move on with this thing (lol). So I started designing the invitations, which, under normal circumstances, would have been intensely stressful. But the past 3+ years of me learning design through trial and error finally paid off and I was able to use the same basic template as an invitation set I’d made a couple of summers before. They looked like this (addresses/personal info blurred for privacy πŸ˜‰ ):

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Thanks to that, the design was pretty much stress-free, but the guest list and sending out the invitations were far from it. Since we were working literally under my mom’s nose and still trying to surprise her, we were limited as to how well we could shop, print, and brainstorm. Eventually, after much stress on my part, the invites got printed up and looked good, and we got the guest list somewhat finalized. With my scattered brain, I’m sure there are people I should have invited but forgot. I’m really sorry. It’s not that I don’t like you or that I meant to forget you. It just happened, and I hope you can understand that!

We sent out 80 invitations. But, *clears throat*, the actual person count numbered 120. When Sarah finished adding up the numbers and told me that final count, I think I went pale and my heart stopped for a few beats. How are we going to feed so many people? How are we going to keep so many people from telling my mom? were some of the questions in my head. After RSVP’s were pretty much finalized, we were looking to feed 75 people. I was scared, excited, and . . . mostly scared.

Three days before the shower, my grandma took Sarah, Abbie, and I home with her in order to get some shopping and thorough planning done. My to-do lists (rather, my brain on paper) took up five notebook pages, and as they got checked off, I felt a little bit of pressure inside me ease. I always forget how much I tense up at these sorts of things until they happen.

Finally, it was the night before the shower, and we were getting everything packed up. My grandma’s SUV was crammed to the absolute limit with food, luggage, and people. I remember commenting to Sarah, “I should just put everything of extreme importance in the video camera bag, because that’s the only thing I will definitely not forget.” It’s true, because even involuntarily cameras take first priority a lot of times in my life. *grins*

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Normally, I would’ve had our actual camera for these things, but it would’ve aroused too much suspicion on this particular occasion. My dad did smuggle it into my mom’s bag for me (so I would have it when she arrived at the shower), but I was basically entrusting the whole of the photography aspect of this event to Lauren. *sighs with relief* And boy, did she live up to my expectations! But more on that later. πŸ™‚

The preparations for the shower at our church (where it was to be held) couldn’t have gone better. I had asked several girlfriends in advance to come help us cook/decorate/whatever, and I think it was one of the reasons the whole thing didn’t flop, not to toot my own horn or anything! I also asked one very kind lady at my church, Corinne, to bake the cakes for the shower, and another lady, Nancy, to decorate. Both went out of their way to help us, and I’m so grateful! I must brag on Nancy for a moment: she is so fabulous at decorating and helped us pull it all of without a hitch.

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The lovely centerpieces :)

The lovely centerpieces πŸ™‚

I assure you, this table got more full as time went on!

I assure you, this table got more full as time went on!

She’s also fabulous at staying positive and encouraging people. Yet another thing she does extremely well is serve. Serve, serve, serve, and without a complaint. The shower would not have been the same without her! I’m so grateful for all the help we received in the areas of preparation.

Now, for the full explanation of what happened with my mom. Everybody at the shower was asking and I (in the craziness of everything) was like I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know could someone tell me where my sanity went?!?!?!?! But now that I’ve figured out where my sanity ran off to and put it back where it belongs, I’m ready to make it clear. My mom knew bits and pieces about the shower. I’m sure she knew more than even she lets on, but I know for a fact she didn’t know how big it was going to be. On the morning of the shower, my dad sent my mom and my two youngest sisters out “shopping”. He asked them to stop by our church on the way, to “pick up a check”. I’m not sure what all my mom suspected, but all suspicions were clarified when she saw the big “BABY SHOWER” sign we put up by the front doors of the church. She walked in, along with my little sisters (who admittedly got quite confused in all the hullabaloo, poor dears), and was greeted by a large crowd of loving friends who all came and brought an insane amount of gifts!

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As all the events started kicking into full gear, I retreated to the kitchen to make sandwiches and breathe. Nancy helped me and Lauren ate bananas beside me. For some reason, I’d used up all my social juices after greeting people with smiles and hugs.

Usually, I’m able to stick it out for a whole event, being somewhat extroverted (I’m not extremely this way. But I’m definitely not shy.) and at least friendly to people. But today . . . I think I was just done. All I was good for now was making sandwiches lol.

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I don’t think the people invited to the shower could’ve loved on my mom more than they did that day. Julia received 75 outfits and countless other various gifts.

SO MANY PRESENTS!

SO MANY PRESENTS!

My little sister, Micah, beside my mom.

My little sister, Micah, beside my mom.

I love this shot! All the little girls surrounding my mom, helping her open gifts, were too cute.

I love this shot! All the little girls surrounding my mom, helping her open gifts, were too cute.

It would not surprise me if thousands of dollars went into this beautiful baby and her beautiful mama that Saturday. The only explanation for how well things went off is the grace of God, because I can assure you that it wasn’t me! Now, here are some photos from the shower, all taken by Lauren. Lauren, thank you! I couldn’t love these photos more. And the photographer behind them? Well, let’s just say she’s well loved and definitely not taken for granted.

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How did I get so lucky to get a friend like her? Thank You, Jesus. On to the photos, then!

I love this cute banner :)

I love this cute banner πŸ™‚

We had all ages at the shower, which was super fun.

We had all ages at the shower, which was super fun.

My mom <3

My mom <3

A sweet mother-daughter moment between some friends who came :)

A sweet mother-daughter moment between some friends who came πŸ™‚

Miss Micah.

Miss Micah.

Yes, they do! Lol

Yes, they do! Lol

Me. I was happy, which is good. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be lol!

Me. I was happy, which is good. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be lol!

My sister, Sarah.

My sister, Sarah.

Group pic! From right to left: Sarah, Abbie, Anna (on my mom's shoulder), my mom, Micah, and me.

Group pic! From right to left: Sarah, Abbie, Anna (on my mom’s shoulder), my mom, Micah, and me.

All of us with my wonderful grandma on my dad's side.

All of us with my wonderful grandma on my dad’s side.

All of us with my equally wonderful grandma on my mom's side :D

All of us with my equally wonderful grandma on my mom’s side πŸ˜€

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Let’s finish off this post with laughter! I had so much fun and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make this possible. Most of all, I’m grateful to Jesus, who gives me reasons to sing and smile and be joyful!