We had my baby shower in our shop on October 13, 2013...also 1 day before my 30th birthday! It was a beautiful fall day, which was a good thing because we sure put a lot of work into the shower. My amazing husband worked so hard at cleaning up the shop, it didn't even look like his man cave on shower day! When your hubs is willing to cover up his tools in the name of a baby shower, you've got it made! He also helped me out with several crafts...I love Pinterest and have some good ideas, but I'm just not very talented in the craft department. I blame it on my lack of patience (in this department anyways) and a short attention span. He also helped me decorate...love him so much! My sisters threw the baby shower and did a spectacular job decorating the place and serving a delicious lunch! Fall is my favorite time of year, and I loved the "our little pumpkin" theme. Here is a collage of my favorite pictures from that day:
here for a link to the album.
The guys enjoyed lunch at a local bar & grill followed by some trap shooting while all the ladies had fun at the shower. We began with introductions, and then enjoyed a delicious lunch of roast beef and turkey sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, veggies, pink cherry salad, and pumpkin fluff dip. After that we played a few games (a baby word scramble, measured my belly with toilet paper, and played "The Price is Right" where everyone guessed the price of a few baby items that lucky Stella got to keep), and enjoyed desserts-cake and cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, mini brownies, and delicious bakery cookies. I made a raspberry sherbet punch and an apple cider punch...which were thankfully both good because I'd never made either before! Then it was time to open presents. Each guest brought a book instead of a card and dedicated it to Stella. Being a teacher and avid reader, this was my favorite part of the shower. She has quite the library started already, and I can't wait to read the books to her and tell her all about who they are from! Great Grandma Norton even found a book called Stella's Big Girl Potty! I'm sure that will come in handy in a few years! Every guest also filled out an advice card for me to keep. I really really enjoyed reading them. I am so thankful for all the gifts (which are all FINALLY washed, cleaned, and put away!), but what I truly treasure are the pictures, the memories, and the advice and support of all our loved ones. It was a perfect shower and I'm humbled by all the love (and honestly people...not an open spot there) that fit in our shop that day!
No matter how much you plan for something, or how well things are going, bad stuff is inevitable. Nothing is perfect, you just have to enjoy each beautiful moment and pray for strength during the ugly ones. Despite my amazing shower, a few awful memories will forever accompany that day. Such is life. My sister was unable to attend the shower due to a funeral of a wonderful man. She helped me out before and after, but was upset by the circumstances. I told her that often the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. I continue to pray every day for comfort during a difficult time for the family and friends of a special guy.
And I put "Fall" in the title of this post in quotations for two reasons. Yes, one was the adorable "fall" theme of my baby shower, but the other reason is a dark one. After returning the tables and chairs to Mark's work after the shower, we decided to carry in the rest of the food, have a piece of cake, and call it a night. I grabbed one pan and headed across our gravel drive towards the house. And somehow I tripped. I don't know if it was my pant leg, a bigger rock in the driveway, the darkness, or just pure pregnancy clumsiness, but I went down hard. Now, kinda funny and no big deal...unless you're 8 months pregnant. Falls can be fatal to the baby...and even mom in some cases. In the split second I had as I was going down all I thought about was "save Stella, save Stella" so I threw the pan and put my hands and knees down. They took the brunt of the fall but my belly, big as it is, did bump the ground. I immediately started crying, I guess you could say hysterically. It wasn't the pain...although I was bleeding everywhere pretty good...it was the sheer fear and panic of harming my baby. Mark came running out and helped me into the house. After washing me up he called the hospital and told them what happened. Of course it was 7:30pm on a Sunday night. They said if I'm not losing fluids or bleeding and can still feel the baby move, everything should be OK, but I was welcome to come in and they'd hook me up to a monitor for 4-5 hours. I decided to drink some water and lay down and wait for movement. Thankfully she was as active as ever. We closely examined my belly, there wasn't so much as a scratch on it. After enduring endless peroxide on my wounds, we decided to stay at home. I did re-schedule my doctor appointment for the next morning just to make sure all was well. Despite being banged up pretty good, my Stella was just fine. Thank God. My doctor told me to start walking around like an old person. Actually not too bad of advice. I've slowed down a lot since then, and Mark won't let me carry anything anymore. Even if you feel fine, being pregnant requires you to take it easy. I'm much more accepting of my limitations now, because NO task is more important than growing a healthy baby.
So...I hold close the dear memories of my baby shower, I learn from the bad, and I carry on. Because really, that's all any of us can ever do. So...here's to all the good times you plan for, all the bad things you don't, and the strength the Lord gives you to make it through both.