Gillean is six months older than me. We grew up side-by-side and carted our baby dolls around and imagined our futures. One of the biggest reasons I moved from Brooklyn to LA was because I knew that she would get pregnant at some point sooner than later and I wasn't going to be able to stand being across the country from her - only able to see that baby once or twice a year.
I was in NY for her bachelorette party and her bridal shower so when she told us that she was pregnant (I was one of the last to find out because she knows that I can't keep a secret for the life of me), I called dibs on throwing her a baby shower. Our other cousin, Colleen, wanted in, too, and then the grandmas wanted to help and then my mom is my right hand woman, so she helped, too.
Gillean and her husband, Eric, picked out gray, pink and gold for the nursery and he has the same obsession with triangles that I do, so I threw them in like confetti.
I hand lettered the invite and had them gold leaf pressed on pink paper.
We held the shower in my parents' backyard in Phoenix and had the most perfect weather.
I had an Oh Baby! cake topper made to match the invitation and loved it so much that I made more so that I could offer them in the shop! My mom made a delicious zuchini cake and gluten free / dairy free cupcakes (both recipes you can find on the mama-to-be's own blog!) and we wrapped the cupcakes in cute gold cupcake wrappers. She also bought the coolest gold luster dust to put on the desserts to make it look like gold leaf.
I went with simple florals - my dad cut a branch from a tree and I added a few extra greens and carnations.
We created a mom-osa bar (because CUTE!) // champagne for those who could have it and then various juices, sparkling water and berries to top it off.
The blessing beads were one of my favorite parts. I am not a fan of baby shower games - they have always made me so uncomfortable - what very pregnant lady wants to be measured in toilet paper? I am so lucky to be in a family where we discuss our spirituality and relationship openly with each other. I thought about the total miracle that giving birth is and how it would be so special to make the celebration prayerful and meaningful. I looked up different ideas on the internet and saw an idea where each guest brings a bead with them, says a prayer with it and then a necklace is made for the mama to wear in labor.
I couldn't really see Gillean wearing such a thing, but it led me to this amazing idea! I bought silicone chewy beads like those used in all the teething necklaces I see at all my friends' houses. We gave one bead to each guest for them to say some prayers for Gillean and baby Emma. Then, I made a teething necklace for them to use over the next couple of years as Emma grows and she can carry all the prayers of her community of women around with her!
Since the present opening was going to be the main event (who doesn't love to see all the cute baby clothes!) I wanted to make it extra special. I got gold letter balloons with Emma's name and a clothing rack from Ikea. We got gray hangers to hang gifts (plus they were on her registry - win/win) and I decorated the corner of the rack with a pretty floral piece. Gillean sat in my grandmother's old rocking chair and I paired it with a cute faux fur rug from Ikea as well.
In between the gift opening, we had toasts given by Gillean's mom, her mother-in-law, her husband's grandmother, her best friend and my mom! We prayed over her, gave her motherly advice and reminded her that she's not in this alone.
She had lots of helpers to open all the gifts!
The other activity that we had was a wishing chandelier. My mom cut all the fabric pieces and hung them on a circular cooling rack. We had more strips of fabric so that each guest could write a wish/prayer for the baby. Those fabric pieces were hung in the center of it and then it will be hung as a mobile above the crib in their nursery.
We added a gold triangle onto small votives to give to each guest. I created a tag with a prayer to Saint Gerard, who is the patron saint of expectant mothers. When Gillean goes into labor, everyone will be notified, so that we can all pray for an easy delivery and healthy baby.
Now we just wait for Emma to arrive into our family that already loves her so!