I have to tell you right up front that Mac and I are SO spoiled! It is really humbling and amazing to feel so loved by so many friends and family members. I'm totally biased, but I think this little guy did a great job of picking a family to join that's going to love him to pieces. We may all be crazy, but we love it each for it!
A few weekends ago, I headed up to the little river town of Clarksville, Missouri (about an hour and a half North of St. Louis) for a family baby shower for Mac. The shower was held at the Clarksville Station Restaurant, part of Overlook Farms. The shower was hosted by my mother-in-law, my mom and my (soon-to-be) sister in-law and they went ABOVE and BEYOND. I'm not kidding when I say this may be the nicest shower I've ever been to.
First of all, the weather way gorgeous. Maybe a little too gorgeous. When we planned this April 1st shower, we never expected to have a day full of sunshine and temperatures in the 90s! We fully expected it to be dark and rainy and have the shower indoors. However, the beautiful weather allowed us to move to the party outside on the patio, surrounded by all the gorgeous wisteria. What a stunning location!
The theme of the shower was "birds and bees" - specifically, ducks and bumblebees. Perhaps this is my not-so-secret attempt to get my unborn child to like ducks and not want to kill them, like my husband. But don't tell him I said that.
The invitations were from Trinity Street Studio (on Etsy) and started the yellow and gray trend.
My amazing sister-in-law Lindsey did all the decorations, from bee hives, fabric, duckies and flowers on the tables....
...to pinwheels, daisy pomanders and decorated onesies on clotheslines...
...to personalized advice cards (not to mention thank you cards)...
...to bubbles hanging from the rafters...
...to the little jars of honey as party favors.
Pretty incredible, huh?! I was blown away!
My mom brought the cupcakes, punch and the brownie pops.
This officially put me over the edge.
I was crying...and I'm crying again now just thinking about this.
How do I possibly deserve to be loved this much?
Sticking with the "bee" theme, the restaurant gave me a gift package of home-made honey-infused bath products from a little boutique in Clarksville called "Bee Naturals."
We even had a couple real bees show up. Luckily, they didn't bother anyone. No ducks showed up though...slightly disappointed in that.
As the guests started showing up, I got so emotional. Most of these people have known me my entire life. As embarrassing as it sometimes is, it was wonderful to hear their stories of what I was like as a kid and all the hell I can expect to get from my kid when he gets here.
Apparently, if Mac's anything like me, he will be a complete mama's baby and throw wild dramatic tantrums when left with any baby-sitter.
He'll be easily bribed to do anything with chocolate or candy.
He'll insist on picking out all his own clothing/outfits, no matter how bad they look together.
And he'll love to use big words at a very early age and say things like, "We should go to the convenience store to put gasoline in the automobile."
It was also pretty fun to see my cousins and friends with their little ones.
I got to meet Baby Alexander for the first time.
At just a few weeks old, he's the newest addition to the family.
And Jayme is already such a good momma.
Alex and Mac are going to be ski buddies. His mom and I are already looking forward to the days when we can take our boys on ski trips. They're moving to San Francisco this summer, so we expect to make a trip out to California to visit soon.
Alex's cousin Taelynn is just a few months older and was a big hit at the shower!
It doesn't get much cuter than that!
And my best friend from high school brought her two beautiful girls.
I don't know how these two are so grown up already...I swear they were just born yesterday.
After mingling for a while, it was time to eat.
The food was absolutely OUTSTANDING.
Chicken salad sandwiches, fresh fruit...
...grilled vegetables, bruschetta, flatbread and goat cheese stuffed mini tomatoes.
I had three plates full.
After lunch, we took a few minutes to snap some family photos and pictures with the guests.
I wanted to get pictures of Mac (in bump form) with all his relatives and friends.
Plus, I love having these photos to print off and put in each guest's thank you card.
Me and my mama.
My beautiful mother-in-law, Grandma Bonnie.
My grandmother and Mac's soon-to-be great-grandmother.
My stepmom and my mom.
Me, Mac and his three grandmas!
Aunt Jeanne, Ryan's best friend's mom.
My best friend from high school, Amanda, her mother (my second mother) Terri and her girls.
My Aunt Jane - she drove in all the way from Jefferson City!
My Aunt Nadine, with her daughters, Jayme and Cara and their little ones.
My stepmom Kelly, her mother Barb and me.
The Holtsman side of the family.
My mom and her good friend Jan.
My very first boss, Barbara.
Her and her husband hired me to help out in their flower shop when I was in high school and basically adopted me into their family.
My cousins Jenny, Suzy and Jessica.
The Lenz side of the family.
Just the girl cousins.
Me with Ryan's aunt MaryAnne and cousin Monica.
My sorority sister and good friend, Kirsten.
My mom's best friend, Liz.
And then it was time to open presents!
Lindsey made another AMAZING diaper cake.
This one was covered in bees and ducks.
She should seriously think about going into business with these cakes - they're amazing!
I'll spare you the play-by-play and just touch on a few gifts.
I think I've mentioned my husband's obsession with Superman...
Apparently, as a child, he wore a Superman cape for years.
So, this Superman onesie and bib are perfect for Baby Mac.
Barbara's daughter Emily makes these - they're available in her Etsy shop (So Abigail).
She makes the CUTEST stuff!
Super soft blankets.
Cowboy boot socks.
Lots of camo.
Hooded ducky towels!
The tiniest diapers I've ever seen!
This one's titled "Don't Lick the Dog - Making Friends with Dogs"
So appropriate for our house!
And stuffed animals.
Then, before I could blink, it was over.
How does that happen?
I didn't want it to ever end.
Thank you SO much to all my amazing family members and friends.
I am so incredibly lucky to be a part of such a loving and generous group of women.
And a GIANT thank you to the hostesses for all their hard work and generosity.
Bonnie - Thank you SO much for absolutely EVERYTHING. I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law that I adore and that's so thoughtful and giving. Thank you for raising my best friend and giving me the best husband I could ever ask for. I'm so proud to be part of your family.
Lindsey - You are so talented, thoughtful and caring. Mac is VERY lucky to have you as an aunt and I know you'll be such a wonderful role model for him! I cannot wait for your wedding and to see all the amazing things you do for it! But mostly, I can't wait for you to be my sister.
Mom - Thank you for being my mama. You're so much stronger and smarter than you even realize. I'm so excited to be able to give you your first grandbaby - you've only been hounding me over this for 15 years. You're going to rock at being a grandma!
Baby Mac and I are forever grateful to each of you for making us feel so special and loved.
My cup runneth over.
*All photos by Amanda of Amkar Photography