Counting Down

We’re starting the Baby Clock around here with three weeks to go until due date. And we started it off with a happy weekend.

I called dibs on giving Kat’s shower pretty much thirty seconds after she announced baby on board. I love giving showers because what could be happier than sharing the anticipation of a life together (wedding) or a new life (baby) with female friends and family? For me, it’s one of the sweetest of rituals.

And for me, the weekend starts off with a short work day on Friday to make room for a workout before the kids come up for dinner. Since Kayla has a meet on Saturday, that means pasta for the runner. I happen to have red sauce I made from Jo’s garden tomatoes bagged in the freezer–so that’s easy.

It’s nice to have the kids around at the end of the week, to catch up on what they’re doing, and how they’re doing. I can report Logan’s gained another inch. It’s so cute how he kind of leans over to hug me now.

As the shower’s on Sunday, I have all day Saturday to prep. And I have two young men to help out in Logan and Colt. I admit I wasn’t sure if Colt would really pitch in, but boy, did he. And Logan’s a solid workhorse when motivated.

Pavers and walkways swept, deck chairs cleaned, trash out, this hauled up, that hauled down, kitchen floor scrubbed, and chairs, chairs and more chairs carted into the living room for an expected party of about 40.

Thanks, guys!

I have (personally stuffed) a boatload of party favor bags waiting in the backroom, along with some of the gifts sent here, the game supplies and prizes organized, and many, many bottles of champagne chilling.

And the cake arrives. Oh just wow!!! Kat wanted a dinosaur theme, and Lacy the amazing baker has created a truly delightful masterpiece. I have to do a driveway happy dance when I see it.

Dinolicious!

Then hold the dogs who are just as delighted with her and the scent of her dogs on her shoes while Logan runs up to open the door so she can carry the cake inside. She takes it down to the laundry room where I’ll close the door to keep the dogs from sampling it.

Wake to rain on Sunday, the all-day kind. But that’s not going to dampen the party. Natoma (Gifts Inn Boonsboro manager and excellent caterer) arrives with her daughter Hannah to set up. At Kat’s request the dino theme continues with some cute touches like dino-shaped chicken bites, dessert ‘Dirt’, dino gummies, blue punch (it’s a boy, after all) and a terrific array of food.

No one’s going to leave this party hungry!

Laura arrives with the flowers I asked her to pick up–and pick out. So, so pretty, all those rich fall colors. Just perfect. Sarah comes early, too, to lend a hand.

Dogs, sad for them, now locked on the front deck so they won’t enthusiastically jump on arrivals.

The house starts to fill, time to pour champagne, wine, sparkling blue punch. Time for girl energy and hugs and greetings. When the guest of honor arrives, she’s glowing. A sweet ritual, yes, but also an important one, one that celebrates women, their power, their bonds, their strengths.

And more special here, Kat has such a lovely and diverse circle of women in her life. From our Kayla at sixteen, to women in their 70s, from college friends, work friends, aunts, cousins, a woman she met Panera and bonded with over knitting.

And so my house is filled with joy and love, with laughter and female voices.

Game time!* A little baby word scramble to start–and we actually have one contestant who got every one. Some brain in there. For the next game–listing songs with Baby in the title, we have a tie between spa girls (obviously veteran game players!) Nicole and Kat. I have to run up to the One More Room for another prize. The final game has all those women holding a card to their foreheads and trying to draw a baby without looking. Mama-To-Be will judge the winner.

Most turn out like you’d expect. But two somehow managed to draw actual babies. This is quite the skill and requires another trip to the One More Room for yet another prize as it’s another tie.

Game winners!

Time for more food!

I let the dog off the deck, and–as I should’ve known–they sneak into the house. The ladies are just as pleased to see dogs as dogs are pleased to be seen so I let them stay for a bit.

Then banish them outside.

It’s time to open all those wonderful gifts.

Such fun, and all those adorable baby things. Jo had suggested we request a favorite book in lieu of a card to start the baby’s library. While there were a few duplicates, it’s amazing to me how much variety. So many beloved children’s books piling up. My choice, Where The Wild Things Are, as I read that one over and over to both my boys. Now my boy can read it to his.

Cake! Countless pictures have been taken of that cake, and more than one bemoans cutting into that work of art. However, what’s inside is just as fabulous. Kat’s favorite strawberry shortcake. Mmmm.

As guests leave, more hugs. Pals load all those baby gifts into cars–and Kat’s still glowing. I get one more rub of that beautiful baby bump as the next time I see Kat will be at the birthing center.

Nora


*I played no games.  But took photos. ~Laura

Did I miss the games?

36 thoughts on “Counting Down”

  1. I got all friendly vibes from this email. It must have been a wonderful party. Best wishes to the soon to be new Mom and Dad, and may they have a very happy birth day.

  2. Wow! What a production! Kat looks fabulous, and who wouldn’t at such an event. Nora, you look as happy as Kat! Laura, good for you. Being photographer is enough. Can’t wait to read Nora’s posts when the baby comes. I hope the dogs got to sample something, poor things.

  3. That was a beautiful cake. Sounds like a wonderful shower. We have a lady in the office who is due October 17 – pretty close to Kat’s due date – so we are all on high alert. I can only imagine what Kat’s nursery looks like.

  4. What a lovely shower you threw for Kat! The cake was just amazing and what a great idea with the books!

  5. I love the glimpses into Nora’s life! Best wishes for a happy and healthy baby. Good for you, Laura! Having a practical excuse not to play the games.

  6. You are a smart gal, Laura. let no one tell you differently 😉 so you took the pictures – I love the last one: gorgeous photobomb like 😀 – and skiped the honored tradition of letting others go up on the games’ scoreboard 😉
    Last night, I dream of Kat, Nora… and Mia. Should put Face the Fire book down and just wait for baby-dragon to arrive avoiding lively dreams and let everyone rest a lot before he arrives… being this spoiled in advance he’ll be the Prince of Dragons ❤️
    Nora doesn’t throw dull or nice parties. They are all the Party-of-All-Parties and this was no exception ❤️ 👶 ❤️
    Sending Happy vibes on Kat’s way. You go girl 👩‍👦

  7. Amazing job ladies! LOVE the cake and made me love it even more hearing strawberry shortcake. May I make a suggestion to have one of those available for girls night in November?! HINT, HINT! I just realized hint and thin have the same letters. I don’t care about thin with that cake LOL. May Kat and Jason’s baby boy be brought into this world in an easy way for mama. Healthy, happy and already loved to the moon and back. Hope to see pictures at girls night!

  8. I’m so glad the Baby Shower went off well. I remember my daughter’s shower, though it was almost 11years ago. She had a co-ed shower, as many of her high school, college and sorority friends live out of state, as well as her favorite cousins. They came to the shower, then visited their respective families in NYC the rest of the weekend.
    We did the “Bring your favorite book” thing as well. I waited, as I wanted to make sure my future granddaughter had the books I considered essential. “The Boxcar Children”, “Little Women” and ” Anne of Green Gables”. Since no one brought them, I joyously did after the shower and they were the first books I read to her.
    Enjoy the Birthing Room experience. I did! I was almost as tired as my daughter when it was over, but it’s truly a miracle! I took my granddaughter’s first picture, which became their Holiday card, as she was born Dec 9th.
    Wishing your Kat a safe delivery and healthy baby.

  9. What an absolutely adorable and fun sounding shower. That cake was pure artistry, and Kat looked so happy and indeed glowing. I can’t wait to hear about the arrival of that oh so important little man!

  10. What a beautiful cake! It is a pity to cut into that artistry. She looks like she can give Ariel a run for her money. Best wishes for an easy birth, and a healthy mama and baby.

  11. Fabulous dinosaur cake! And strawberry shortcake – heaven. The favorite children’s book was a wonderful idea to start the baby’s library. I will share that with my reading friends.the food sounded delicious, the flowers were autumn perfect and what’s a baby shower without games. Mama-to-be, Kat, was definitely glowing. You do good parties, Nora. And Laura does good photos. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Beautiful cake, and strawberry shortcake, my favorite too! Glad it was such great fun. Happiness and blessings to you all.

    Stephanie
    #professionalromancefan

  13. That cake is marvelous, and I just can’t figure out how it’s strawberry shortcake! But I think of biscuits split in half with fresh strawberries piled on top with those words; maybe this is actual cake with pureed strawberries mixed in?

    and I LOVE the idea of the books! Tried to reach back mentally & think what was my favorite way, way back then: Would have to be “Go Dogs Go” by Dr. Seuss for very young. I also vaguely remember a Golden Book about a sweet little puppy….but what was the title??? and later: “Wizard of OZ” which was all I read for one month one summer. And then as many in the rest of the OZ series as I could find.

    Thank you for sharing all the fun with us!

      1. That title is familiar, Stephanie, and may be it, but I just can’t be sure. It’s only about 60 years ago or so! But thanks!

  14. Congrats on a wonderful party for the mom-to-be. Many warm wishes for a speedy delivery of the next loved grandson. And much appreciation for Lacy, the fabulous cake wizard, as that cake was a joyous work of art. Having owned a bakery and watched my son labor over many fabulous cakes, I congratulate Lacy on her artistry and dedication to detail. Fab job! Thanks to Laura for making our look-ins possible. You are surronded with a wonderful team, Nora. Enjoy every moment of the wonder to pcome.

  15. Love the detail on the cake . Great idea on books rather than cards will have to remember that one! Best wishes for mom and baby on the big day!

  16. Sounds like you guys had a blast! Love that cake and what a great idea to have books in place of cards!

  17. Love Kat’s dress, so becoming for the mom to be.
    As a former cake decorator and cake decorating teacher that cake is a A+, kudos to the creator. I think books for the  cards is a trend that is wonderful, we did it for my grands and friends too.

  18. How perfect is this!!!

    Wishing Kat a speedy delivery and a happy, healthy boy!!! Fortunate indeed to be born into such a welcoming circle of people!!!!

  19. Hi Nora, Laura and Kat,
    Oh it just doesn’t seem possible that baby count down has started, but I am sure that Kat says it’s been enough time and she’s probably ready to get it done.
    Have a safe delivery Kat. I am cheering for the entire family here.

    Laura your a whiz with the camera. Your photos are always amazing. I would skip the games too. Better fun snapping pictures of all the fun moments and memories that will be a treasure trove of love for years to come.

    Nora I love hearing about your parties. They are always as much fun for your readers as your guests. OK maybe not quite as much fun as actually being there but a great second!

    I’m not sure exactly what the due date is but it would be awesome if Kat had her little boy on my birthday….. October 11th (hint hint)🤗
    Just playing around but wow I would just love to share my day with that sweet baby boy.

    Take care and I will be thinking of all of you. Lots of hugs, Beth

  20. What a wonderful shower filled with love, fun and happiness. I love the idea of giving books. I pray that all goes well with the remaining days of pregnancy and the birth of your grandson.

  21. Nora, I love your perspective on wedding and baby showers – very refreshing. Thank you for sharing the fun and the fabulous cake with us.

    Laura, so glad you prefer taking pictures over playing the games, they are amazing, as always.

    Kat, thank you for sharing your journey with us! Looking forward to seeing your precious baby soon 🙂

  22. My dad is a Halloween baby. I can just hear Kat saying omg, no! We’ve had some great parties for him. Wishes of good health for mama and TBD, with a speedy and easy delivery. Awesome pictures, Laura, I’ve always managed to dodge games by being the photographer – good move. Lovely shower!

  23. The shower looked like fun. I’m sure Kat received many great presents. You will have such fun with the new descendent and I am so jealous. Hopefully, my son will make me a grandmother while I am cognizant of what is happening around me! Enjoy the newcomer. Looking forward to pictures. Best wishes to Kat, Jason, and TBD.
    Mickey

  24. That is without a doubt, the cutest cake I have ever seen. You are clearly the queen of showers……. yet another super power for Nora.

  25. How funny I too met many friends at Panera in Fort Collins Colorado. We do beading, or what ever craft is drawing is at the moment probably have down this for 10 years. I love your books, love being a grandma to 8 kids ages 19 to five! The way you can switch gears and write all your different storylines is amazing to me. Thanks . Enjoy that new baby boy!!

  26. Such wonderful pictures! Kat, you look better than most of us did in the last month. Have an easy labor and delivery. Looking forward to the baby update from the most excited grandmother ever (except me)! That cake…. exquisite!

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