this day, last year {a photo album}

while much of the world {especially in the media} might have spent the day thinking and talking about the historic capture of one of the most notorious people in history {whose name i don't need to hear one more time before the day is through} exactly one year ago today, i've been reflecting on something entirely different... something that i like to look back on, as it holds very fond memories for me.

i might have gone the entire day and not remembered that on this date last year, my twin sister hosted a baby shower for me in her lovely home with close to forty of the dearest women i know. but as the news was being broadcast this morning, i overheard one of the anchors mention the date... may 1st, 2012. it immediately had me remembering back to one year ago... a date {and day} that will always be special to me.

i'd love to write so much about that day here. {and i probably still will, by most people's standards... because i tend to ramble}, but because it's already 9:30pm, i will have to keep it to the basics. i really wanted to spend more time on this post since it is essentially a photo album for the collection of my life's albums... one that contains some of the most special images that i own... some of the sweetest memories i have. {it only took me one year to put the album together! *sarcasm*}

a friend who came to the shower took the pictures, so unlike the majority my posts, i am not the person behind the camera. but that's okay. this will be a slightly different look back through the looking-back glass... not lifted from an old post... not the re-use of an old photo i took. rather, a look back to a past day and memory from exactly one year ago. i grabbed the photos off of facebook in order to assemble them in more of a collage-like fashion for my blog, so i apologize for the low image resolution/quality. but hopefully they are still clear enough to see what a lovely home my sister has {perfect for a sweet baby shower} and to see in my face how much i treasured this day.

i started out with the above photo, because it captures how i felt the entire day... overwhelmed {in a good way} at all the love and support that was showered on us by family and friends as we got ready to welcome our first child into the world... in what would be just over a month. it was taken while my mom was officially starting the shower with a word of prayer. i could not keep from crying, having such gratitude in my heart... feeling very honored. oh, and i can't forget... hormones had surely taken my emotions captive, so even if i did not feel gratefully overwhelmed, there probably would have been waterworks anyway. {it's not quite flattering a photo of me... but it says so very much, so i had to use it anyway.}

well, rather than write more here, i'll start with the photos and add some captions as needed for explanation as i go. there are many photos {perhaps more than most people care to look at}. but as i said, this is a photo album {which is often what i use this blog for} that i really want to have done sooner than later... before i forget the details of the day and can't write them down anymore.

a little mini cake made specially for me... B for baby, bird, boy {'cause i had a strong sense it was gonna be a boy} and blessed!

isn't that food spread amazing? you should have tasted it, too... every single thing was so delicious! i think my sisters and mom spent hours and hours preparing all this!

how sweet are these little letter cookies? and the egg nest cookies, too!

do you like how i coordinated my manicure to the color theme of the day {which is also the color scheme of the nursery}?... wardrobe/style orders from the hostess. *smile*

these flower pots were one of the party gifts that my sisters made for guests. each one held a little "believe" tag, because the word believe was meaningful to me throughout my pregnancy and had become very special to me. aren't they so cute? and how wonderful they look on my sister's spectacular fireplace mantel! could be in a magazine, no?

they also made the party favors you see below... filled with chocolate candy eggs like the ones in the nest cookies...

so much beautiful detail went into everything! 

i love this. it was a big bird cage filled with cloth and disposable diapers. the purpose in this was for a game where attendees could guess the number of diapers in the cage, and the one who came closest to the actual number of diapers would win a prize. i thought it was so adorable and whimsical.

but my absolute favorite decor among all that was done for my shower was this...

how special, gorgeous, fun, sweet, adorable and creative is this? my sister got these bird/branch decals {which go with the theme of my nursery} and put them on her newly stripes-painted dining room wall {which she painted just for the shower}. then she surrounded the decals with this ornate vintage frame. i just love this! i gasped and almost cried when i saw it. she seriously outdid herself when it came to the decorations for my shower. and i'll never forget it!

this was another beautiful thing she did. she framed some colored/patterned papers {just like she did with the decals} and posted blank cards for people to write something on... like a note of encouragement or advice for the mama-to-be. above the frame were the words "with God all things are possible"... a theme for myself who once thought i would never have a child. this time, i did cry when i saw this. it was truly special. after the shower was over, the cards came down and went into a little keepsake album for me and baby-on-the-way.

the last really thoughtful and wonderful thing that my sister did was buy an inspirational book {of which believe was the theme} and used it for the guests to sign into... rather than a traditional guest sign-in book. this meant so much more to me than just a book with a list of names in columns. and this way, guests could write little messages, too... which they did. i treasure all these things which were not just a wonderful part of that shower, but are with me still today... and will be with isaac long after i am gone.

well, those were some of my favorite photos of the day as far as actual photography goes. but it's the people that really made this day special, so i had to share those photos, too.

so without further ado, the people pics...

every female belonging to my immediate family was there, and this is the bunch with me in the center...  you can't miss me... i'm the one with the mammoth grey belly! on the left is my sister, then sister-in-law. to the right of me is my twin sister, mom and another sister-in-law.

and of course, i was not allowed to hide from the camera as the guest of honor. so i had to do the traditional "show how big the bump is" baby shower pose.

and he still is big! this was taken a whole month before he was born, so imagine how much bigger i got! now he's almost a year old, and has kept up with his larger-than-most-babies stature. ever since he's been born, he has had to wear clothing sizes at least two months ahead of his age. *sigh*

here are some photos that were taken while all were sitting around chatting and eating... while we waited for the last guests to arrive.

me with a sweet friend i met through one of my jobs. she is one of the dearest women i know... and recently engaged! woo hoo!

the last two shots above are of me with my sister-in-law... my husband's brother's wife. she had just had a baby {you'd never know to look at her} eight months before these photos were taken. {remember the sweet laundry girl in one of my most recent moving pictures?... isaac's cousin.}

this is my mom with one of her oldest {as in known the longest} and dearest friends, who i have known most of my life.

two sweet ladies who i used to work with... the one on the right is a friend i get together with from time to time. it was special to have her there, because she was the one who convinced me to go get my pregnancy test seven months earlier when i was suspicious that i might be pregnant.

now that everyone had arrived, it was time to sit in a big circle {good thing my sister has a gargantuan place!} and play some baby shower games.

when the games were done, it was time to open gifts. there were quite a few there... i think it took me a good two hours to open them all.

the package on the right was one of my favorite wrappings... my older sister's handiwork.

i remember feeling so exhausted by the time i was done... it's quite different than when you are opening all your wedding shower gifts. babies really zap all that energy. of course, i was ten years older than when i got married, too... so that might have had a little to do with the diminished energy. anyway, these are the shots from that part of the shower... 

i really hoped to get the book, i love you stinky face, because i had read it to my sister-in-law's little girl a few months prior, and loved it! sure enough {because i told her how much i loved the book after i was done reading it}, my sister-in-law bought it for me and gave it to me the day of my shower. books for isaac were among some of my favorite gifts that day. i had hoped to start a nice little library for him, and after that day, it was more than just little... it was quite substantial. i want isaac to be a reader!!

on the left, i'm holding up a vintage stuffed bear that one of my dear friends and former co-worker gave me. she knows me well. in case you can't read the onsie... it says, "this shirt is daddy-proof"... and it has arrows with labels pointing to which limbs go where. mr. b. got a kick out of that! 

that little string bean i'm holding on the left is one of my favorite gifts that day, as it is very sentimental to me. my dad collected these little guys before he died... i'm not sure why. perhaps it was because he had five grandchildren at that point, and was reverting back to his childhood through them? anyway, my mom held onto them all after he died. she saved this one for me and gave it to me that day. it means so much, because i often get sad that my dad can't meet isaac and vice versa. but this little plush toy gives me a sense that part of my dad was given to my son. it's silly, really. but it's symbolic of the memory of my dad and sharing that memory with my child.

it's difficult to see in the photo, because my moving hand is a blur, but this little nest with three baby birds is a finger puppet that my twin sister gave me. i love it... especially since the theme of the nursery is birds.  

this was another very special gift i received... from two women in my church choir. one commissioned the other to make it. it's a keepsake book that was entirely made by hand. the photos do not do one bit of justice in showing all the work and detail that went into it. but it is amazing, i promise! and it was done specifically with the colors and theme of the nursery in mind... orange, chocolate brown and whites/creams... "sweet vintage bird" being the theme. 

here is another handmade, commissioned keepsake gift... this time, from my sister. it's a keepsake box, and it is more beautiful in person. i really love this box, and it's already full of keepsakes for isaac.  

and yet another commissioned gift... also from my sister. it's an infant onsie with a custom illustration that my sister had put on. my friend {who gave me the vintage teddy bear} is the one who illustrated it. isn't it hilarious? isaac wore it once, and then he grew out of it... like most his clothes. 

done with the gifts... finally! {if i had time, i would write in detail about every single gift... especially the ones that were hand-made or picked out specially or customized for us... the sort of gifts that were not baby necessities from the registry... though those were just as appreciated.}

at this point, any guests who remained {and were patient enough to sit through all that gift opening} just sat or stood around and chatted more. and of course, we took lots more pictures!

these three ladies form the group that i consistently go out for breakfast with. {actually, we've not done it in a while... we're all finally leading busy lives that don't leave much time for our get-togethers. *sniffle sniffle*}. we all drove in to the city together to attend my shower. it was an honor to have them all with me. the one on the right {on my left} is the photographer for most of these pictures.

my sweet sister-in-law {who was then just engaged to my brother} was reading some of the books i received to the young girls there... which they really loved! she has a beautiful voice... perfect for reading stories... which is probably why she gets so many gigs for being the voice of books on c.d. 

above is my sister with her only daughter... who also helped tremendously with the shower planning and giving.

one of the things that made my shower special was to have some of the children of some of my closest friends be there, too. on the left, my very sweet friend brought her very newly born son... just two months old at the time. and the photographer's sweet daughter was there... the new best friend to one of my sister's chihuahuas. on the right is one of the breakfast bunch i was talking about. she has two very beautiful daughters, and it was so much fun to watch them that day.

here they are again...

precious, no? when i see these girls, it makes me want to have more kids so that i can have a girl, too! isaac would make such a great big brother.

i loved these photos of me and my sis... we were just sort of goofing around and having fun. those are the best kind of photos. i think my earring was caught in her hair or something.

but seriously...

i love her! she did so so so so so so so much to put this shower together and make it magical and memorable. people still talk about her place to this day. it's like walking into an anthropologie store, only better. so imagine how sweet my shower was. it was a hike to get there... but so worth it. everything that she {and my mom and other sister and sisters-in-law and niece} did for my day was way beyond what i expected and so perfect.

my sweet cousin and me.

some of my favorite shots from the day... my mama and me... three generations. i love these!

here is that lovely, dear friend i was talking about who had just had a baby. it's so nice to have a friend that close who also has a son that close in age to isaac. we try to get together often... not just for our own sake anymore, but for our sons', too!

my mom's only sister was able to attend, even though her r.s.v.p. said she could not. it was a delightful surprise! 

as the shower wound down and many guests started to trickle out, we were all tired, but very glad. this is one of my favorite photos of the day. these two ladies are my dear sisters... my only blood sisters. i cherish them more and more, the older i get. and now that isaac is here, they both love him so specially, each in there own unique ways... one a mother herself, the other as the aunt that is so much like me, yet so different. it's truly special to watch them with him. my older sister brings out a very soft docile side of isaac and gets him to sort of cuddle with her. my twin sister brings out a very fun side of him, and gets him to smile and laugh like no one else i know can.

after all the gifts were opened and cleared away to load into cars, this is what remained on the gift table...

i had not seen it when i got there, because it was completely buried under gifts. it's a photo of me taken around week 38 of my pregnancy. my sister had printed it and framed it in this beautiful bird/branch frame... which i sadly did not get to take home with me. *wink* but it was still so sweet to see this sitting there after all the commotion had died down. 

i truly felt like a guest of honor that day... and honored, i was! i will never forget it. and now that i finally finished my little quite large photo album of that day, i will remember it in vivid detail.

whew! that was a lot of work to assemble and write! {it took so long to do that the date of this post is actually may 2nd, because i did not hit the publish button until after midnight. *frown*} but it's something i have wanted to do for an entire year! what a special day! i have been to lots of showers for many different people. and i can honestly say, even if this one had not been for me, i would consider it the nicest shower i have ever been to. it deserves an album like this, at the very least. {just as i have always proclaimed about my sister's home, if photos were taken with a high-end professional camera by a professional events/interiors photographer, the design and creativity of this shower could have been featured in a magazine!} i'm guessing this is the only time i'll ever have to put an album like this together. even if we ever do have kids again, one normally doesn't have showers with subsequent pregnancies. and i'm so okay with that... it makes this one all the more special to me.


beth said...

showers the second time around are just as good. with my second one, they waited until HE was born to have my shower. so with my baby in my arms we were loved and showered with gifts...everything blue that time....and it was amazing !!!

georgia b. said...

good point, beth... i guess if i ever have a girl, i'll get at least a small shower since i have no girly baby things. although, we purposefully registered for all gender-neutral things with isaac, as we did not know if he would be a boy or girl before he was born. so in reality, there is not too many things i would need in addition. but i'd certainly take it if someone threw us one anyway! =)

Deborah L. Tisch said...

This is a beautiful post. I love that you are celebrating every minute of being a mom. That first image of you actually brings happy tears to my eyes.

Sending you love and blessings..

georgia b. said...

thank you so much, deborah. so sweet of you to say.

Photoholic said...

This party looked so wonderful!
Were these pictures taken by your nikon d40?