A Colorful "Baby Wash"

Welcome, Christopher Hudson!
About a month and a half ago, a sweet little boy was born to a family in our church. He joins a family of three sisters and a brother. His brother was especially thrilled for a little brother, and I know there are lots of fun times ahead for those two!
So Amanda and I thought it would be fun to host a baby shower, to celebrate this new life, and who doesn’t enjoy a good ladies afternoon?
We brainstormed, started our own secret board on Pinterest and both decided we liked the same theme. We are book lovers, and Hannah, Christopher’s mom, is also an avid reader. So we decided to go with bright colors centered around beloved children’s books. On the invitations, we requested that people bring children’s books instead of cards, so Christopher now has the beginnings of his own personal library!

A week before the shower, I was chatting with Cassandra and Hadassah (C’s sisters). Hadassah said she was so excited about her mom’s anniversary that we were going to have a party for and Cassandra quickly corrected her: “it’s not an anniversary, it’s a baby wash!” Baby wash, baby shower, whatever.

We chose fun foods that corresponded with childrens’ books and then bought the cute little food tents here.

I think Pooh got it right:
I tried my hand at a diaper cake and was disappointed when the diapers I ordered were patterned on the outside, making so my completely white cake vision couldn’t come to pass. I would suggest if anybody tries this, make sure they get plain white diapers.
We played a number of games throughout the afternoon. The first one was the “Don’t say baby” game that lasted throughout the whole shower. The sign is a bit hidden on the picture but the idea was to not use the word “baby” and the punishment was having a clothespin taken off. It was amazing how creative some people were with using synonyms to get their point across! The person with the most pins won.
We played a few others as well. There was a Points in Your Purse game and then a baby food tasting/guessing game. I think we were all a bit appalled at the nasty baby foods that people feed their infants 🙂 I also found a game on Pinterest using book titles and rewriting them and having the guests figure out which book it was. For example: The Unsightly Aquatic Fowl is the Ugly Duckling. 

After playing the games, we cut the cake, made by the talented Leah, also from our church. How cute is this? And the details were just amazing!
Big sister certainly approved!

After eating the yummy cake, Hannah opened the gifts.
We all had a lot of fun and Christopher was well-celebrated. He was passed from one set of arms to another all afternoon and we never got a picture of him. But here is one from his photo shoot when he was less than 36 hours old:
 I find I am becoming more and more like my mother and grandmother. As I was cleaning up after the party, I just about threw the food tents in the trash, but couldn’t bring myself to do it 🙂 They were only used once, and are in great condition, so if anyone wants them, contact me with your address and I will send them to you at no charge. They would be perfect for a birthday party too. I just think they are too cute to throw away and if someone can use them, I will gladly send them to you. It’s first-come-first-serve so whoever replies first gets them 🙂

That’s all for now!
Vicki
photo credits go again to my talented sister, Kelly
UPDATE:
The cards have been spoken for, and will soon find their new home across the ocean. If you want to order them, the link is above. The lady does customized orders, so you can play around with the food names.

Unexpected beauty~

I saw it yesterday in the face of a sixteen year old boy/man. Bravely, he held back the tears, but his trembling chin gave it away. I saw it in the face of my sobbing 10 year old cousin, raw grief coursing down his cheeks. I saw it the beautiful, strong face of my aunt, who had carried on so selflessly and tirelessly. I saw it in my uncle, the terrible ache of losing a mother.

It was heartbreaking. A husband shouldn’t have to bury his only daughter and wife in seven years time. A son shouldn’t grieve his sister and his mom . A grandson said goodbye to his grandmother, while standing beside the grave of his mother, who died seven years before, when he was only nine.

The raw grief and heartbreak was terrible to watch and experience. Kathy’s life was so full of life and vitality. The slideshow playing during visiting hours were full of action and joy. She lived a full, rich life, and she was very loved. We laid her to rest, and celebrated her life, in a way that I think she would have approved of. In fact, I could almost hear her laughing and saying in compelling, Kathy-ish tones, “hey y’all, look down there!” as she saw it from heaven.

However, on the flip side of pain is a strange kind of beauty. The gut-wrenching pain is the result of having loved and having loved deeply. Love is beautiful, and in a sense, it purifies and beautifies the pain. How sad is the death of the unknown homeless man who dies in the alley, alone and un-grieved. Nobody grieves him because nobody loved him.

Pain is inevitable when one loves and so the two walk hand in hand. The stronger the love, the deeper the grief. Pain, the outworking of grief, is therefore a celebration of deep love. And when we grieve and shed tears and mourn a passing, it’s our last way of saying, “I love you.”

And speaking of beauty….the same juxtaposition of beauty and pain existed somewhere else, on a hill, on some boards, with some nails. We often see Jesus’ crucifixion from His point of view and not the Father’s. I think God knows a little something about heartbreak too, and about a love so huge that it gives itself away. I think His heart broke too, as He watched his only Son suffer away, for crimes He didn’t commit, to make His family bigger still.

He understands pain, He sees the beauty, and He holds us close. That kinda gives me chills.

Vicki

photo credits go to Kelly, as always 🙂