shortly after i told people i was pregnant, my college friends (many of whom still live in lower michigan) asked if they could throw us a shower. being home for christmas would be the only time that was doable but monster wouldnt yet be in the "viable" category. i was a little nervous, but in the end i figured that i was lucky enough to have friends who wanted to do this for us, who would make it fun, and it was the best way to ensure i was able to see them when we were back in town.
so, newly married sarah kindly hosted the shower at her house in ann arbor and the college friends who were going to be in town (boo, no georgette or ntina) were invited, with their significant others. i was really excited about that part, boys were going to be at the shower, which meant i got to see EVERYone and dave could come.
so, we arrive and most of the party is already there mingling in the kitchen. we say hello to everyone and then the men and women separate to do their own versions of hanging out. miss julie arrives and starts making the mexican feast i was promised and jody starts mixing up the booze. very kindly, i am presented the first drink (a "mamarita") before the alcohol hits the mixing materials. and things start heating up. the cooking, the chatting, the eating, the laughing...and laughing...and laughing.
when everything was done, we sat down to a full table of friends and a mile long mexican feast. homemade taco shells, grilled marinated chicken, beans, cheese, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole. yum yum yum! now that the boys were back in the mix, the conversation wandered to different areas and everyone had a great time. but the fun continued...
(me and monster at the shower; table of friends toasting monster over yummy mexican food)
after our bellies were full, the games came out. now, normally the cheesy bridal and baby shower games bore me and decrease my enthusiasm for said event, but our games were kept to a minimum and were directly tied to themes that i am attracted to: poop, gross mystery food (and the faces that people make while eating them), celebrities, and random oddities of the creepy varietal. namely these would be: 1. the "hersey squirts" game, in which chocolate bars are melted in diapers and people have to smell and stare at them to guess which chocolate bar it started out as. 2. the "guess that baby food" game, in which baby food jars are stripped of their labels and everyone is given a spoon to taste and determine what whole food the mystery mush started out as. 3. the "link the celebrity parents with the wacky baby name(s) they chose for their child(ren)" game, which is self-explanatory. 4. the "ice baby" game, in which each person gets a special ice cube placed in their drink. frozen into this ice cube is a creepy naked plastic baby. when your ice cube melts, you yell out "my water broke!"
as you can imagine, it was seriously hilarious to watch people play these games. and the guys were beyond amusing. so cute how they really got into it...it is a competition after all. and for the girls, it was really sweet to learn that each game had been headed/organized by a different person (even those who werent there played a part. thanks!). it was such a team effort to put the shower together that i felt the love even more from each part of the evening.
which brings us to the presents, i was totally blown away. first came the goo-goo part of opening all the tiny baby items people had purchased (some of the males floated away to the tv at this point, i cant blame them). they did a good job in the variety department of getting onesies, sleepers, blankets, bath time stuff, safety stuff (thermometer, nail clippers, etc), a baby sling, childrens books, etc. but then...at the end of all the oohing and aahing, there was an envelope. inside, a wad of cash that looked like i hit the jackpot in vegas. and we have, in the friendship department. this was an extra boost of money from the group so that we could buy some bigger baby(s) items like a car seat, crib, stroller, etc. crazy awesome, and very very very generous.
normally, an event where i am part of the center of attention makes me somewhat anxious. in larger groups i always feel that the kindness/thoughtfulness/gifts that typically accompany those events vastly outweigh my ability to show the adequate expressions of gratitude. alone, i am fully able to appreciate and comprehend the gravity of each persons gestures, but in the group i find i am totally unable to externally express my feelings. now that ive had some time to digest it all, here goes...
we had a fantastic time at the shower. in my opinion it was absolutely perfect. or perfect for us. there was swearing, drinking, laughing, friends, great food, fun and games, and men. i highly recommend the men part. without forcing them to be gushy, it was great to see them so actively involved in the chatter and games and whatnot. they surprised me with their tolerance and interest and baby knowledge (!) and it added a new fun twist to the shower atmosphere. plus, seeing dave and his reactions to both the games and the baby items was totally priceless. great way to go into parenthood united. hes right there with me every step of the way.
and as for the ladies, my friends, they were fabulous. everyone was my favorite version of themselves: jody was the captain of booze, mixing and making sure everyone was always topped up. julie was the mexican food guru who was full of sass and crazy stories. sarah was the organized hostess who cleans everything during the party. jen was the enthusiastic person whose smile and giggle can erase any negativity. and missy made sure there was never a lull in discussion, always ready with one of her million questions. :) seriously, i was in heaven with it all. as we wound down the night, the women again in the kitchen, i was seriously sad that i had to leave. leave the kitchen, the house, ann arbor, or michigan and be without that network of people. im very lucky to have you all (including georgette and ntina who couldnt make it, but were definitely a part of the shower, the experience, and the warm, fuzzy feelings) and monster will be lucky to know you. thanks a million.
(the ladies of the shower: jody, missy, me, jen, sarah. julie had already left. georgette and ntina were there in spirit.)