I know people have been asking me about this post, and I am sorry it has taken me a while to write it. I am a procrastinator through and through! However, I did really want to sit down and write this because I want it to be a part of my story, to be documented here for me to look back on years later.

I had two baby showers – one in Ohio where I am originally from and one here in Maryland where I currently reside. One benefit to having family and friends in multiple locations is multiple parties!

First, I had my shower in Ohio. This event was planned by my sister, my mother, and my stepmother and boy, did they do an amazing job! (No pun intended.) They all worked tirelessly to bring this party together and to make sure it went without a hitch. Besides asking for some initial input from me, they refused to allow me to participate in the planning process because they wanted me to be surprised by the final result and to enjoy my day.

We went with a woodland theme for both of my baby showers as well as the nursery. My husband and I are both avid outdoor lovers and we hope to raise our son with the same love and appreciation for nature so it seemed only fitting. My sister planned the invitations, the games, and enlisted some local businesses to provide the most adorable cake pops! My stepmom, master of all things crafty, put together all the decorations – from the adorable stuffed centerpieces to the paper lanterns and everything in between. My mother provided food and ensured no detail was missed during set up. Then the party began!

Our local chapter of the DAV graciously hosted our shindig and set up went smoothly. The shower began with me greeting all the amazing people who took time out of their day to spend with me and then we were off! My sister had set up a book for the baby for everyone to sign as the guest book. Then, the guests pounced on the delicious food and I may have pocketed a few cake pops to take home to my husband. Next, we played some games!

Note: I typically loathe baby shower games. They tend to revolve around disgusting concepts (eating things out of diapers) or they make the guest of honor feel even bigger than she already does (guessing how big around the mom-to-be is). I wanted none of that at my party and my hosts came through! The guests were given sheets to suggest baby names (we still haven’t picked one) and were asked to write advice for mom and baby. These were adorable keepsakes that I am glad to have! Next, we played a game where you had to guess the costs of various baby items – you could clearly tell who amongst the group had kids already and who did not! We also had a diaper raffle so I am well stocked on those!

Finally, we opened gifts! This is any mom-to-be’s favorite part and I loved everything I received! I have never seen such creative gifts! Everything was extremely thoughtful and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I received plenty of clothes for Baby Gill, toys, diapers, wipes, odds and ends, and more! I was surprised with a car seat from my grandmothers and my parents pitched in on a crib! It was all above and beyond. My favorite part of the gifts were the books. You should all know by now that I love to read and I am hoping to pass that trait on to my son. Therefore, we included with the invitation a request for each guest to buy him a book and to inscribe a small note inside for us to look back on over the years to come. It was interesting to see not only the books that everyone chose, but the meaningful notes they included inside. We wrapped up the afternoon by passing out gifts and thanking everyone for coming. All in all, it was a lovely time and I cannot thank my family enough for putting together such an A+ event!

The following week, I had my shower here in Maryland. This baby shower consisted of mainly friends and my husband’s family since they are mostly located in Virginia. While the party was held at my home, my sister-in law hosted it with the help of my other sister-in law and my mother-in law. My sister-in-law owns an event planning business, Nightingale Events, and wrote a beautiful post about my shower over on her blog – check it out! However, I wanted to write it from my perspective as well so keep reading!

Again, I was asked for initial input on what I wanted and then was forbidden to participate in the process. They even went so far as to kick me out of my house the day of so I would be thoroughly surprised by it all!

I stuck to a woodland/nature theme for this shower as well and they did not shy from the challenge. One of my sister-in-law’s is all about all things nature and floral so she roamed and rooted up beautiful floral and greenery to make the decorations and centerpieces throughout the space! My other sister-in-law runs an event management company and her organization and attention to detail did not go unnoticed! She planned the games, decorations, and everything in between down to a tee! My mother-in-law made a lot of the food and helped with setting up the beautiful shower!

We started the day off greeting guests and making introductions. The hosts had set up a keepsake “tree” where the guests were asked to place their fingerprints and sign their names – such a unique guest book idea! There were also little blocks laid out for everyone to color and decorate for Baby Gill and a calendar to guess when I would have the baby. Everyone participated in these activities while making passes through the kitchen for delicious sandwiches and cupcakes!

Next, we moved on to the games! Again, I had expressly forbidden some games but the games my sister-in-law came up with instead were a true hit! We played a game where we had to guess what various animals’ babies were called – more challenging than you think! We then played Baby Jeopardy which was a hoot (and my team won)! Finally, we moved onto Baby Gift Bingo while I started to open presents.

I was once again astounded by everyone’s generosity and thoughtfulness. We received so many adorable outfits, toys, and countless books! One of my friends made us a blanket for Baby Gill and my husband’s father and stepmom surprised us with our travel system! They also generously gave us the same glider and ottoman that she had used in her nursery with all his siblings! We wrapped up the shower with thank yous aplenty and sent everyone on their way!

Overall, both of my showers were amazing and more than I ever could have hoped or asked for. My sisters and mothers went above and beyond making sure that I had a memorable time and that Baby Gill received nothing but love and kindness. I am sure to look back on both days which so much fondness and I can’t wait to read Baby Gill so many stories and dress him up in so many outfits! A baby shower is a truly selfless gift to give any mom-to-be and I could not have dreamed up anything better!