Today I am continuing Honor’s story by sharing her baby shower. When we threw our own baby shower back in February, I wanted to use our shower to not only celebrate me as a mother of (now) two but a way to celebrate and bless mothers everywhere. I know so many expecting mamas have had to cancel their own due to social distancing regulations, so now is the perfect time to share how exactly we plan to honor and bless mothers during this time!
As I mentioned before, nearly nothing about our pregnancy has gone as we planned. Just a little over a week after finding out that we were having a girl at our gender reveal/birthday/going away party, we moved from Louisiana to Southern California. Moving in the middle of our pregnancy was something I did not expect way back in January 2019 (when we first heard from the Lord about our baby girl). We knew it was the Lord instructing us to go, but it was not an easy move. Even though we were in the will of God with relocating during our pregnancy, we really experienced a ton of pressure. I would not call these events attacks, but rather, troubles that sought to squeeze us to the point of crushing us.
We faced a lot of unexpected challenges, with the weightiest being that I was admitted to the hospital for contractions and bleeding during the week of Christmas. I was 25 weeks along, and was so afraid of losing our baby girl. Her heart rate also kept unexplainably dipping, which prompted several visits for monitoring and bed rest for ten days. As I shared over on my Instagram, Joshua and I clung to Jesus and we rallied our family and closest friends to pray with us. Loss felt so incredibly close, but my faith felt incredibly strong. It was so powerful to believe God when loss comes beating down your door.
We pulled through that week, but continued to encounter health problems throughout the month of January. Looking back on the pressing that occurred, this Scripture comes to mind:
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
My health problems began to escalate with swelling and headaches, and fears of preeclampsia were beginning to rise up. My hospitalization and health challenges prevented us from traveling back home to Virginia (to my family) or Louisiana (Joshua’s family) to have our baby shower, which left us to plan our own baby shower here in California. Even though we had a lot on our plates, I knew that the baby shower simply could not be about me and the baby. Being pregnant again brought up fresh memories of my last pregnancy as a single mother, and I just knew that I wanted to use our shower to honor mothers (whether single or married) walking through one of the most fragile and precious seasons of their lives- pregnancy. Our pressing would not crush us to destroy us, but would only produce an anointing for God.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. … Therefore we do not lose heart. … For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16, 17.
We decided to have a coed baby shower in Pasadena at Madeline Garden.
Madeline Garden, a historic venue in Pasadena
The theme was “French garden party” — think French blue, blush, florals, and gold — and we asked our guests to arrive in garden party attire. I actually read and speak a little French (having minored in it in college), and really adore the colors and the symbolism that the palette meant to me in this season. I was really attracted to florals during my pregnancy.
Our French garden party invitations featured a RSVP card requesting guests’ brunch selections.
When guests arrived, they were greeted with our welcome sign.
Welcome sign: Etsy
Madeline Garden has a ton of rooms to choose from. We ended up choosing this room, as it really evoked the French theme we were going for.
Runner: Etsy, in French blue, hand-dyed by the shop owner | Floral arrangements: DIY
One of my favorite touches of the shower was the mini sparkling cider bottles. They doubled as favors and decor, and I included little tags that kept in line with the theme.
Bottle tags: Etsy
We even used my own personal bike as decor, by just adding a basket and filling it with some flowers.
We had friends and family come from all over – Hawaii, Ohio, Atlanta, Virginia, Texas, Seattle, LA, San Diego, and all throughout Southern California. We gave our guests time to mingle and catch up when they arrived.
Lawyer baes from LA, Seattle, and Atlanta
We had two icebreaker activities. The first was “Dear Baby,” which invites guests to write a “letter” to the baby expressing their hopes and dreams for the little one’s life. I still have mine from Raegan’s baby shower all the way back in 2012, and they still bring me to tears when I read them. I wanted to repeat the same icebreaker for Honor. One day both of my girls will read the sweet notes our friends and family wrote to them.
Dear Bébé (“Baby”) Letter: Etsy
The second icebreaker invited guests to break into teams and put together 8 postpartum baskets for expecting mamas! Everyone loaded the baskets and wrote out a note of encouragement to the mamas-to-be. I wanted to put together baskets for expecting mamas, rather than just the babies they are carrying, because mamas are often an afterthought. The postpartum period is such a fragile period for mothers, and for those who are single and find themselves alone, it is crucial that they have care and support. Besides the touching notes, these baskets contain additional amazing items:
- My beautiful dear friend Nadra Cohens‘s book “Follow the Leader: Journeying Into Motherhood…Step by Step With God.” Nadra was a single mother for seven years, and now is a married mama with a blended family, a Certified Lactation Counselor, doula, and birth photographer. I have read this book, and love how Nadra’s testimony pushes mamas to learn how to parent by the Holy Spirit.
- One Cross-printed blanket from Modern Burlap. I love this “Mama Owned, Women Run, God-driven” company that creates Scripture-printed blankets, apparel, and other products. I reached out to them to ask if they would be willing to donate blankets for our postpartum baskets, and they shipped them with without hesitation. What an amazing heart!
- Tucks pads
- One peri bottle (the hospital may give you one after labor and delivery, but it is good to have an extra one at home)
- One pack of maxi pads
- Mesh panties (which can be washed and re-used up to 10 times)
- Of course, the basket itself, which can be used to store postpartum care items for mamas or babies
These baskets are so special, and I want to give them to 8 expecting mamas these baskets. See how you can enter our giveaway for the baskets below!
Guests working together on the baskets
Sweet notes from guests, including the one on the right from Raegan <3
After the icebreakers, our guests enjoyed high tea as an appetizer.
Joshua, Raegan, and I enjoyed ourselves so much!
From there, we moved into brunch! Joshua is a huge fan of brunch, so we really enjoyed our meal. They even made special non-alcoholic drinks for us.
From there, we played Baby Jeopardy, a favorite of ours. Guests were divided into two teams and competed for the most points. It was a blast!
Things got pretty competitive, but still friendly!
After our game, we enjoyed desserts while we opened gifts! The dessert table featured French treats like macarons and macaroon cookies! A special shoutout to my sister for arranging the desserts and decorating the cake.
Cake topper: Etsy
Even though we are all the way across the country from our family and endured lots of pressure at this time, God still saw fit to send friends and family alongside us. They truly blessed us, and were such a bright spot in a tough season.
Our amazing friends of 10 + years!
The ladies came from near and far to celebrate Honor
Joshua and his friends looking sharp
Our amazing friends and family
A special thank you to my stepmom, who was a shower host
Are you or someone you know pregnant and need extra support due to finances or being single? With Mother’s Day coming up, and with so many baby showers being canceled, I want to give away a postpartum care basket to 8 pregnant mamas! I am also including 30 newborn-sized diapers AND scripture cards that Raegan and I made: these are verses I prayed while in labor with Honor!
You can get a head start on the giveaway (to be announced on Instagram later today!) because you read this post! To enter:
Subscribe to this blog + Comment below with the due date of the baby and what makes motherhood beautiful to you!
I will randomly select 8 winners! The winners will be announced on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10th! Limited to the United States! Please only enter if you really need it, no shame here!
Photos: Susy Shearer Photography
Florals and Decor: DIY
Cake: Purchased at Stater Bros.
Macarons: Purchased at Whole Foods
Restaurant: Madeline Garden