Thanks to all the lovely ladies who made my one and only baby shower awesome. I wanted to celebrate with all the strong, amazing women in my life. It was my last hoorah before being thrust into motherhood with 4 babes.
I decided to hold my shower at Back Beat. It is a local record and book boutique that I adore. The owners are knowledgeable and friendly (well friends). They have turned this small little store into such a cozy loved spot. Thanks Christine and Dan!
In lieu of preparing a massive meal or hiring a caterer, I asked each guest to bring a small item to share. These are the kinds of ladies that are all amazing cooks, foodies. My friend Nicole made an amazing cake inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Abs made cupcakes and adorable shortbread cookies in the same theme. Krista prepped amazing wontons. Sarah-Jane a magnificent dip. Erin brought a delish punch. Kate an apple dip goodie. Miriam delicious tarts. There was more but I was too busy enjoying to keep track.
Just me and the girls hanging out.
PERSONAL THANK YOUS TO MY GUESTS
Alyssa: You are the godmother to all of my precious babes and have followed me on my motherhood journey since day one. I love you to bits and I will always remember your surprise. Coming all the way from Ottawa to share this special day with me brought me to tears. I love you so much.
Abs and Jax: You are one amazing duo. You both brighten my life and get me in ways that no other could. Thank you for the cute little moustache tights and birdie tights. You get me!
Chenoa: Thank you for coming to the party and accepting my desire to get to know you more. I look forward to our school journey with our babes.
Kate: What can I say? We are two peas in a pod. Your generous gifts extend beyond the cuteness from the party. I can't wait for her to sip from her Alice and Wonderland cup and wear the cute little onesies.
Anais: You are a stellar mom and artist. I am blessed to have you in my inner circle. Your gift did wonders for soothing me while in labour. Allen now uses it to calm the babes while reading stories by candlelight.
Amanda: For a while there we were both part of the mom of three club. You are doing an amazing job! I appreciate you so much. Thanks for gifting exactly what I asked for ;)
Nicole: Uh! Spending all day making me a shower cake while sick. Stellar. Love the baby milestone cards. I am using them as Ivy reaches these milestones, although sometimes I get a little behind.
Krista: First of all...can you make me those wontons everyday of my life? Thank you for not only making three amazing babes that my babes get to have the pleasure of playing with, but for being an awesome lady. The girls went mad over the gifts and claimed some as their own. Ivy frequently wears the tie at the end sleeper (why did I never use those?) and most nights, when we remember, we use the 365 question book. The girls are eager for a question.
Miche: You are such an amazing Mama! I have watched you do your amazing job of raising two boys for 4 years now in awe. You are a woman of grace, with no complaints. Beautiful through and through. I love you to bits and wish I had an ounce of your style and design ability. Thank you so much for the handmade onesies (it was Ivy's first piece of clothing). Lipstick is so sexy and the plant rests nicely on the mantle in a glass skull.
Miriam: I adore you so much. You welcomed me with open arms when I came to this lovely town. Makers gonna make! The first item of clothing I bought was a beautiful dress made by you for dear Charlotte at Christmas time. I am so amazed at your talents and your unrelenting love for others. You have not only gifted me with your presence in my life but you are beyond generous with clothes and items for my babes. Thank you so much for your gift for Ivy. Definitely well used.
Sarah-Jane: You are a rock in my life! I have shared so much of myself with you and it is nice to know that you accept me for all that I am. You never ask for anything in return. Love you.
Reyna: Love you babe! I am glad you are in my life and that my daughters have the opportunity to grow up with such a great role model. Love you. (P.S. thanks both you and Sarah for the lovely gift card - plan to use it shortly).
Erin: You are such a great addition to my life. I love your spirit and your desire to help others. You have amazing children and it is amazing to see your influence in their special lives. Thank you for making it to the shower and showering me with love.
Christine: Thank you! Thank you! For letting us host the party in your store. The handmade blanket and mobile and the thoughtful gifts for the babes were awesome. I look forward to spending the New Year in Back Beat sipping tea and chatting with you.
Our Christmas traditions are simple and not related to the birth of Christ. We are not religious, so I wish as a family we could call it something else that reflects our tradition of observing Santa's visit. But we choose to call it Christmas to make our lives easier - I honestly get a little tired of explaining all our "alternative" choices all the time.
1. OUR ADVENT: For weeks before December, I searched Pinterest in hopes of finding a cool advent calendar. I found some really neat ones. There were a lot of envelopes and hanging art pieces. This year I was so not in the organized mode having been 38 weeks pregnant and about to deliver a baby. I couldn't commit to putting together 24 days of activities and gifts. So I purchased a silver box from the dollar store and superglued a circular piece of wood to the top. Each night the Papa and I would write a countdown number on the wood and inside would place an activity (write letters to Santa, make cookies, sing carols). We dropped the ball at 8 days in. Next year I'll give it a better try.
2. SANTA LETTERS: Each year since Charlotte was a baby "we" have written a letter to Santa. I have saved each response from the busy overweight jolly man. My mama always did this with us when we were children and I always remembered the joy I felt in receiving one.
3. TREE DECORATING: We don't have an artificial one, although I had one as a child and white ones get me all giddy inside. The first snowfall in December usually means tree getting day. This year we stalled because we had little funds and went hunting in the forest for one. We failed. (The Papa ended up hauling 3 babes to the grocery store in the wagon and hauling a grocery store tree back). Each year the girls decorate the tree. Charlotte, our eldest, finger knit colourful yarn one year and that serves as our colourful wrapping. The Papa is obsessed with tall trees and usually gets an 8 footer. Regular Griswald Family Christmas. Each year we also cut the bottom of the trunk and turn it into an ornament.
4. CHRISTMAS EVE: Music is played (usually Raffi and She & Him). We eat a delicious vegan dinner consisting of faux tourtiere, stuffing, vegetables, homemade cranberry sauce and gravy. Christmas stories are read, hot chocolate sipped by the fire and kisses. Notes to Santa are put out with cookies and milk. We never forget the reindeer.
5. CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, Something to read. Santa is also good about bringing the item each girl wants and a sharing gift. Our babes are working really hard on their sharing. That is it. Well and stockings full of candy and fun.
6. CHRISTMAS MORNING: The babes wake us up early morning. Gifts are usually sorted and then ripped open feverishly. The Mama takes photos. The Papa puts on the Coffee and music. We are full of joy and happiness.
7. CHRISTMAS DAY: Spent eating, making food, lazing around. There is copious amounts of candy and watching of "Home Alone".
I'd love to hear your traditions. I love Christmas and the bringing together of family. I always dreamed of having Babes to pass on the Santa tradition. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas regardless of what you celebrate.