My daughter in law, Lacey, is expecting in a few weeks. A month ago she was supposed to have a baby shower, but it fell through and Lacey was understandably disappointed.
My sister was having none of that. As soon as she learned of the cancelled shower she went to work putting one together for Lacey, herself. As surprise shower no less.
She contacted family and friends to attend. She and my niece made beautiful decorations. With the help of my brother in law and my other two sisters they put together a nice spread of food, arranged a beautiful cake, had punch (and naturally, sweet tea), and put it all together in a rented hall back home.
And they did it all without Lacey and Anthony ever knowing a thing. Did I mention we had to keep it secret for a month?
And here's another one of those looks to let me know we would be discussing this deception, in more depth, on the ride home. And of course, my sister laughing about it.
Anthony and Lacey thought we were going back home for one big birthday party, for all the September and October birthdays in the family. There are many. Since "back home" means a drive of more than an hour and a half, one big party seemed logical, right?
The party was supposed to take place at one of my sisters. We met at my mom's ahead of time though. I got out of the house to get to the hall before Anthony and Lacey arrived with my mom, an hour later.
My mother came up with this story that a close family friend, Anthony's first-ever sitter, was in town at a family get together and wanted to see Anthony's little girl, Ally. On the way to our "family birthday party" they were going to stop at the hall to see Deb for a few minutes. Always happy to oblige his granny, Anthony agreed.
While twenty of us gathered in the hall, the door opened and in came my nephew, then my mother, and then Lacey. She was expecting a family reunion of a bunch of people she didn't know, and she walked into a party, decked out in pink and gold, that she said later, " looked like she was crashing someone's baby shower. "
And then she realized it was her baby shower.
It took Anthony a minute to process the scene, but his surprise was obvious.
The look I am getting in the last picture is when he realizes I have been lying to him to cover this all up, for a month.
Of course he quickly dismissed my deception when he saw the food.
Everyone who attended was generous beyond compare, and indeed showed baby Amelia a bounty of gifts to get her started in this life. Anthony and Lacey were both humbled and grateful.
I got to spend some time with a couple of my oldest friends. There's never enough time, ever. I love you girls and miss you more than you would ever believe. So many memories with these girls. Where does the time go?
Back to the shower.
There was this monster cake. Jim cut each piece very large; more than I could finish.
But let their be no mistake. This is, hands down, one of the best party cakes I have ever eaten.
Well played, Hayley.
Claire was huge help in making the decorations happen. She's a pretty talented young lady and a wonderful niece.
Aunt Karla, Aunt Deb, Aunt Deniesa, Cousin Heather, and some Gresham littles even made it. Been awhile since I'd seen them and catching up was good. This shower was the first gathering of this kind we've had back home, and close enough for them to attend. We usually do this stuff in Missouri and that's a pretty good drive for them.
Everyone had a great time chatting and catching up. One of Heather's littles is not so little anymore. Where does the time go?
Deniesa and her wee ones.
And of course one of my wee babes had a blast in all the commotion.
Some more of the decorations Hayley and Claire worked so hard on.
Of course no family gathering or batch of images is immune to at least one shot of the wild inside of Marcy or Amanda. This day, it was Marcy who obliged. "Give me a smile", and she does, the biggest one she can muster.
Amanda was content, this time, to just flash that gorgeous grin.
Sweet, dear Elly. What more can I say? She's just a lovin child and was so good to help keep track of Ally all day.
Hudson just hung out being adored. This child is such a snuggle bug it's unreal.
And of course, Deb was there. She's been "family" for as long as I can remember and really was Anthony's first sitter. Always smiling. She, my mother, and Rose make a good trio. Partners in crime for many years now.
Zoey had fun reading the blog about our last family get together. She doesn't get much internet time but I hope she enjoys this blog as well.
Hunter was illusive and managed to dodge the camera more times than I could count. It's a shame too. He has a cool looking new hair cut which shows off what a handsome young man he's grown into.