Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Shower: A Purposeful Reflection

I’ve been a bit absent the past week and a half or so, because my husband and I just returned from a weeklong trip to Colorado on Wednesday.  It was wonderful to be able to spend time with our families and my mother and aunt threw me a very sweet, classy baby shower. 

Having experienced several big events in the past few years (my mother and grandfather diagnosed with cancer, graduating from college, getting married, expecting a baby), I have been reflecting recently about how celebrations and major life-changing events bring out the best and worst in people.  Many people, both family and friends, who I would have expected to be there for me and my family suddenly dropped out of our lives.  The heartbreak that I felt because of their noticeable and deliberate absence cannot be described.  Yet other family members and friends amazed me by the depth of their love and kindness, using every opportunity to reassure us during the difficult times and celebrate the joyous occasions.
A few particular people reminded me this weekend of how grateful I truly am for the people who God has placed in my life (and in the life of the little one growing inside me).  They showed so much love toward my child before he/she has even entered this world!  Although I tend to be someone who accentuates the negative (a true pessimist at heart), I am going to try to be more purposeful in reminding myself that while I may have a small family and few friends, the ones I have are wonderful and bring such joy into my life: 
My mother gave me a beautiful baby shower.  She’s been searching for months for everything duckies to ensure an adorable yellow ducky theme to go with my nursery.  Not only that, she has been going to garage sales every week to look for clothes and other items for the baby and has sent us several boxes so far (we also brought some back in our luggage and she is planning to bring more when she comes after the birth).  She knows that money is very tight for us and wants us to have everything we need for our little one.  I was so nervous to tell my mom we were planning to have a child and then later to tell her we were pregnant, because she felt that we should wait until we were more financially stable, but she has been nothing but wonderful since she found out.
My aunt flew from out of state to help my mom host the baby shower. (She even made these adorable chocolate covered cookies!)  I’ve always been very close to my aunt.  She only has a son, so I’ve always been her little girl and she was so thrilled to find out I was expecting!  Her son and his girlfriend are expecting their first baby only a month and a half or so after me, but she has gone out of her way to make me and my little one feel special and I can tell that she is truly as excited for my baby as she is for her own little granddaughter on the way. 
A friend of my aunt, whom I think I’ve met once, made a quilt for the baby and sent it to her to bring to the shower.  Someone who barely knows me spent hours making something for my little one?  Her generosity and kindness remind me that many people still view babies as blessings and gifts.
A friend of mine from high school took off from work not only the day of the baby shower but every day that I would be in Colorado.  She knew I would be busy and would only have the time to see her once other than the shower, but she took off the whole time so I wouldn’t be stressed trying to fit her into a small timeframe.  Although I never saw her very often even when I lived nearby, she has never missed an important event – birthday party, engagement party, wedding events, graduation, etc.  She is one of my most loyal friends and I can always count on her to be there. 

My brother-in-law’s girlfriend flew out for the weekend to attend the shower and to meet my husband and me.  She had previously met my mother-in-law and her sister (only once), but other than that, knew no one at the shower.  I give her a lot of credit for willing to spend hours with people she just met, but she was gracious, helpful and genuinely very excited for my husband and I.  My husband and I absolutely adore her and we hope that maybe someday she’ll join us as part of the family.  (Incidentally, they met on Catholic Match, the same place my husband and I met, and I’m starting to think of it as a miracle maker!)
My husband’s best friend flew out last weekend and went with him to the Rockies game (the “male baby shower”) while the ladies were at the baby shower.  Although he was in Colorado to visit family, he made sure to coordinate the trip to coincide with when we would be there as well.  It meant a lot to my husband to have him there, and I always enjoy his company as well.  And even though he wasn’t part of the “official” baby shower, he brought us a gift – how incredibly thoughtful for a single man!  It makes me very happy to see that my husband has a good friend who will be there for him too.

My oldest friend (we’ve been friends since I moved to Colorado in fourth grade) organized for several of my friends to pool their money and buy me the stroller/carseat travel system we registered for!  What a generous gift (it still wasn’t cheap with five people going in on it).  And if this gift wasn’t enough, she also made a scrapbook for my husband and I of our relationship – she’s been saving mementos since we started dating three years ago to put in the scrapbook (including stealing the place cards off our head table after our reception). 


  1. Such sweet pictures! What a beautiful party your family and friends put on for you. :)

  2. What cute pictures! You can really tell your Mom put a lot of effort into your shower. You should feel so blessed.

    I completely understand what you mean about being surprised by the hurtful and selfish actions of people you thought were close. Before Abby's surgery only 1 of my siblings talked to me to say she was praying (I have 5 siblings), I don't know why the others didn't. That hurt.

    It's so tempting to dwell on the negative, I know I tend to. But I guess at the end of the day we have to just forgive and move on with life. What do you think?

  3. What a beautiful shower!! The quilt is so pretty and so thoughtful. I love the duck theme!! And all of those cookies and cupcakes look delicious!! Hope you had a blast!

  4. Jennie, it's amazing that some people seem to purposely stay away during difficult (or celebratory) times! My mom had a friend who would stay away for six months after my mom went to the hospital and when she found out she had cancer. She'd call again once she thought my mom was all well and could do "fun" things with her again. I couldn't bear to see how hurt my mom was by it - thank goodness my mom finally stopped returning her calls! I'm much more willing to forgive the people who hurt me than the people who've hurt my loved ones!

  5. You got lot for your baby shower which definitely makes your baby shower wonderful.Yellow ducky theme is nice.Pooh Baby Shower


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