Sunday, July 5, 2009

Amazing Grace - How Sweet the Baby Shower!


As the dull buzz of my alarm sounded on my nightstand, I felt a smile creep upon the corners of my mouth as the baby kicked against my tummy and the realization of what day it was connected in my mind. A day to celebrate, cherish, photograph and remember as one of life’s most fun events – the girlfriend baby shower!

Normally slightly hazy and resistant to the obligation of rising, I caught site of my sassy pink dress pressed and ready, perched near the bathroom door. Tucked near the corner was the array of shoes I had strategically been testing the night before, along with my favorite pieces of costume jewelry strewn about the dresser top. Practically squealing with delight to share the majority of the day with my nearest and dearest, I trotted down to the kitchen to start the day off right with a little protein for the wee one. Grabbing the Kashi and milk, I spotted the darling invite my girlfriends had so lovingly created, taking in the gentle colors, vintage trim and scripted words. With another heartfelt squeal coupled with a gleaming smile, I raced up the stairs (ok, swiftly walked) to begin preparing for the day.

Hours later, I was greeted by “she’s here, she’s here – the woman of the hour!” from my dear friend Jenny as I breezed up the drive balancing an enormous diaper cake and hostess gifts for my incredible friends. Surrounded by blooming flowers, perfectly placed d├ęcor, lavender-scented candles and gourmet cooking, I stepped excitedly into the door and was immediately greeted by some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. Ice water was placed carefully into my hands, my purse whisked away and after grateful hugs and cheek kisses were shared with the hostess, I was on my way to mingling with the more than 30 girls who were gracious enough to attend and celebrate our son-to-be.

As the moments passed, I was amazed and humbled by the acts of grace going on all around me. Katie, with a purposeful look, walked quickly about the room capturing golden moments with my camera, understanding I would want every detail documented. Leah straightened the gorgeous arrangement of flowers, all the while answering questions about her beautiful new home and where the ladies’ room was located. Natalie and Jennie flitted about, making sure mimosas were plentiful, each woman had a new friend to talk to and that seating was fit for a queen. Jenny sat cross-legged in front of me with trash bag in hand, plucking away the gorgeous green and blue paper designed specifically for baby as the embarrassing display of gifts was opened one after another. As Gina stood by scribbling fiercely to make thank-you note writing more manageable, a crew of girls whisked away the generous gifts to my awaiting car, making this shower-planning event look like something they do every day. Surveying the room, I was awed by the amazing women who surrounded me, each such an important part of my past and for always, my future. Sharing their love, smiles, stories of children, college memories, career woes and even making new acquaintance with those they had not ever met. As my eyes filled with gentle, warm, tears, I thought to myself – “I am the luckiest woman in the entire world.” My guess is this is what Oprah would call an “ah ha” moment – to realize that not much else matters in this world than friends, family, life’s journeys and the amazing gifts that are brought about in times of celebration.




As these amazing women jetted off to their next celebration or to save the world, nurture their family or manage the millions of things they are responsible for in life, I kicked off my shoes to help the tireless hostess’ with cleanup. We reminisced upon the day, commenting on the plethora of items now available for babies, the changes I was going through, the women they had been so pleased to meet through this encounter. And again, I thought to myself – THIS is what it means to really live. And for the first time, I felt the passion and life’s maturity fall upon me as I thought to myself that I could truly die today and feel I have lived the most abundant of lives. Now how many 29-year-olds can say that? It wasn’t the presents, the food cooked with love, the energy spent in creating the euphoric event for all, but the women – the girlfriends that make that thought become a forceful reality. So here’s to you, amazing women in my life, for always being there when it counts the most and for giving of yourselves in countless ways. May life’s journeys constantly remind of us what really counts and may we always celebrate each other in good and bad. I owe you a lifetime of celebrations for helping to make me what I am today and what I hope to be tomorrow. I love you!

PS: View the nearly 100 photos on http://teamchoatephotosite.shutterfly.com/

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