They told me we were getting together to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday.
And we were.
But first we were celebrating something else!
My husband and his sister pulled it off--a surprise baby shower for me and this sweet little one currently residing in my big belly.
I didn't suspect.
Until I saw a long table of food in the house. "No told me we're having a big party for Dad...."
Then I saw the smiles of so many women whom I love.
And they yelled, "surprise!"
It was really, really fun.
Aaron called his sister in January with the idea and asked her for her help.
She pretty much did it all.
Now that's some kind of sister.
He owes you big time, Jessica.
And while Aaron could never have pulled it off without his sister's help, I am very impressed that he started the planning so far in advance.
I love the man, but he is not known for his planning skills.
In times past when he has tried to plan a party for me, it has gone something like this, "hi, I'm planning a birthday party for Greta. It's tomorrow."
He knew I've always secretly, and not so secretly, wanted a surprise party.
And what better time to surprise someone than when she is 7 months pregnant and in need of a little pampering?
Thank you, babe. Really. A big, huge thank you.
It was kind of overwhelming. In a good way.
After I hid in the kitchen and cried for a minute or 2, I managed to collect myself enough to take a few pictures. (it's hard to take pictures of an event that's in your honor)
The food was amazing. Lots of my favorite things.
Like The Leek and Goat Cheese Tart.
Everyone kept calling it "Greta's recipe". While that made me feel awesome, I gave full cred to Molly.
Not only did Jessica outdo herself with food, but she rocked the decorations as well.
This is on of my favorite fabrics. I used it on the curtains in the kids' room.
She used it on the table.
And on these mobiles. Cute, cute, cute. More pics and a little tutorial on how she made them over on Picnics tomorrow.
She gave me some to take home and they look perfect in the kids' room.
There was a lot of attention to detail.
Like these, my favorite Easter candies: Cadbury mini eggs. Oh how I love them.
Did I mention that Jessica has 4 kids, ages 8, 6, 2 and 6 month old? And she did this shower for me at her house? All while having to take breaks to nurse the baby and take care of her family.
She blows me away.
Thank you Jessica. You gave me such a wonderful gift. I love you.
Oh, and the presents were pretty nice too. More on those tomorrow.
(no the pram isn't mine. but isn't it adorable?)
But honestly, the very best part of the day was being surrounded by so many people who I love.
I know how busy these ladies are. They have kids, husbands, baseball games to go to, birthday parties to host (the night before and that very morning) weddings to plan, 1.5 hour drives and all the other things that take place on a Saturday.
And they all set aside time to be there.
It was the sweetest gift of all.
And yes, I'm still crying every time I think about it.
I didn't get pictures of everyone because, like I said, it's hard to remember pictures when there is good food to eat, people to visit with and presents to open. I did manage a few.
Up above is one of my favorite blogging buddies, Betsi, of My 3 Little Birds.
She has walked with me through a lot of crud in the past year. Her friendship, via the world wide web, has been a true blessing to me. She drove her tied, pregnant self a long way to be there. It was so fun to see her.
And my little brother came, and brought his fiance.
(who made baby these adorable booties)
Ben left with the dads and kids--I guess 6 kids, 8 and under was better than a roomful of women and lots of pregnancy talk. But we did get to visit a bit.
This is one of my favorite pics of the day.
There were 5 pregnant women there.
3 of us went through miscarriages at the same time last year and are all here, pregnant again.
God is so good.
2 of us have a picture together like this at my fist shower, and now we are both ready to give birth for the 4th time.
It's a lot of babies.
And that's a lot of happy.
One of my all time favorite artists is James Taylor.
My mom, sister and I love him so much it borders on obsession. (we've seen him in concert 10 times)
And one of his songs, "Shower the People You Love With Love" expresses the way I try to live my life.
I want to show people I love them. I want them to know I care about them. I want them to know they are important to me.
Call me lame to have a James Taylor song as one of my life mottos, but just listen to it--it's good stuff people!
I know. Cause I was showered with love.
And it was really, really good.
I have much to be grateful for.
PS. Other songs that I'd like to be an expression of my life:
What are yours?