Last weekend I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Jen. She’s due in early August, so given that we bust out of the Godforsaken state of Illinois like banshees with our hair on fire the first chance we get come June, I threw together a shower for the Mommy-to-be a little earlier than normal. It didn’t matter though. Jen’s sporting the most adorable baby bump you ever did see, and she showed up on Sunday dressed to the nines, complete with wedge heels, a Tory Birch handbag, with enough smiles and energy to make me feel like a Granny, not an Auntie. Together with Patrick, she’s going to be a great parent.
I decked the house out all week leading up to the big event. With nothing more than leftover decorations from Kahley’s confirmation party and a few things I picked up in the dollar bins at Target, I transformed our abode into swirls of pink and tulle, ready to welcome in the newest little family nugget.
Daffodils from my garden graced the entryway. Don’t be fooled – I’m no Martha Stewart. Far from it. Just ask anyone here that day an hour before the guests arrived while I ran around taking pictures in my robe with a wet head.
The nice thing about a small shower? I used the dining room for the third time in a year instead of just walking by and wistfully wishing I threw fancy dinner parties.
Since every pregnant woman on the face of the earth LOATHES unsolicited advice, I figured we’d write it down so she can throw it away if she chooses.
Guests started arriving just before 2:00, and we immediately retreated to the deck to soak in the gorgeous Spring day.
Excuse the rough “Baby Baby” swag. I crudely cropped out the last four letters of my banner, because to some her name remains a secret. Sorry Franchis, my lips are sealed! 😉
My mom came Saturday so she could help me prepare the food. We kept it relatively simple and light, with lots of vegetables and tasty nibbles. My personal favorite:
Fresh Summer Rolls from Iowa Girl Eats, with a Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce. They were a little tricky to assemble, but once I got the hang of working with the Spring Roll wrappers they came together a little easier. I’d definitely make these again.
Another one from Kristen Porter, aka Iowa Girl Eats…
…her Fig and Prosciutto Roll Ups that I highlighted on Try it Tuesday a few weeks ago. These are great, but I actually found that their punchy flavor was lost with all the competing vittles. If you make these, serve them as the only appetizer or snack so their awesome salty/sweet flavor profile isn’t lost.
I whipped out one of my own – my Zucchini Squash Pastry. These flew off the platter!
And I must have been in a hurry since this one is a bit blurry – Caprese Skewers with a Balsamic Vinaigrette drizzle.
Lovely Aunt Tricia brought some fruit salad to round out our lunch? Dinner? I called it Linner, as we ate around 3:00.
Dessert cupcakes and macarons complements of a local bakery…
…and airhead me forgot to snap a photo of a delectable, rich Lemon Tart I made to accompany the cupcakes for dessert. Coming soon on Try it Tuesday!
I also whipped up a Strawberry Thyme mocktail punch that we sipped while everyone arrived. A certain Princess requested it for her graduation party, so thumbs up for that concoction as well, and be on the lookout for its appearance on an upcoming Apéritif Friday post.
We ended the day with presents and reminiscent thoughts of our own pregnancies. There’s something about the presence of a new Mom that makes us all revert back to the days we carried around our babies, anticipating their birth and wondering how our deliveries would unfold. Would it be love at first sight when we finally held that screeching little alien who invaded our body for nine months? Or would it take a few days and weeks to warm up to the most important job we’ll ever perform? Oscillating feelings of dreadful anxiety compete with euphoric anticipation in the mind of a pregnant woman. Nothing in life compares to pregnancy and childbirth, and it’s just one of those things a person has to experience in order to fully understand and appreciate it.
I can tell you this: the love these two share with one another will transcend to their new baby girl when she makes her arrival in August.
And this nut job Auntie will swoop in and spend hours inhaling her, summoning all my willpower to not eat her up. Newborn baby. Is there any better tactile creature on the face of the earth? I think not. I want to smell her, swaddle her, rock her, rub her peach fuzzy head, and kiss her to the moon and back already.
Crazy Aunt Jen