I don’t know if it’s just me, but being eight and a half months pregnant and experiencing my own baby shower is really a moment I’ll never forget, and a lot of this is thanks to my superhuman Mom and family. My Mom pleaded with me to throw a baby shower for Oliver, and I conceded knowing that it’s the only time I’ll ever have a “big” baby shower surrounded by all my friends and family. My only request was to keep it simple and easy. Mainly because anything that requires lots of socializing and time on my feet seems to be harder on my body now, which feels like a rotisserie chicken on a spit in the Miami summer sun. Thankfully, Mom held the baby shower at Peacock Garden Cafe in full air conditioning, and kept my role very simple: eat, relax, chat, enjoy, soak it all in. She, on the other hand, went above and beyond getting the shower to look like a highly-repinned Pinterest board. In short, it was incredible.
I picked the travel theme for Ollie’s baby shower for several reasons. You may know Matt and I have an interfaith marriage. He is Jewish and I’m a Christian. One of the stories I told at the baby shower was that when I was growing up as a young girl, envisioning my future child (who I had already had a list of names for) I never imagined him getting circumcised at home on the same table that might hold plates of bagels and lox with heaping bowls of onion cream cheese. I also said that many people may think that I grew up as a southern “Virginia girl,” even though I could easily argue that the Washington DC area is more metropolitan and progressive than Miami (and without a southern accent), I had to correct their assumptions.
Earlier that morning, I dropped my Mom off at the restaurant to get set up for the baby shower, and I went back home to walk Spunky, take a nap, and get dressed for the event. I pulled into the pebbled driveway of our rental home, ran inside to get Spunky, and walked him down the street. Halfway through the walk my Mom called me, “I lost my phone and I think I left it at your house. Can you check and bring it back to me at the restaurant?”
When I walked back home to check where Mom’s phone was, I was halfway down the street when I heard gospel music blaring! Now I know I live close to Beulah Macedonia Baptist Church and it was Sunday morning, but this was loud. Maybe they were rocking out early? I recognized the song straight out of The Color Purple. I got to my house and the song transitioned into a new one: something out of a new rap album. Not classic. This was a new rap song I’d never heard, which is not surprising given I had no idea what a “dab” or the “stanky leg” were until my Mom educated me. I thought, maybe the yard worker next door was playing his music while he worked? I began circling the music, which seemed to be coming from under my parked car. How could the sound could be coming from my house…my car?
My Mom’s phone had fallen under my wheel and I had driven over it! The phone was broken and the music was blaring at 8 in the morning! I felt terrible for running over her phone–it must have fallen out of her purse when she was getting in the car–and I died of laughter. My Mom’s gospel and rap playlist was blasting on a Sunday morning and I’m sure, woke up my surrounding neighbors (sorry!).
The reason I’m sharing these stories are because Matt and I want to raise Oliver in a world of color. We want him to travel and experience new cultures, form his own opinions and choose his own religion. We want him to have a funky playlist like his Gigi, enjoy fresh challah dipped in warm brisket sauce (for some reason Matt’s family calls “brisket” what we call “pot roast” up north–so confusing!), and enjoy trying to find the pickle ornament in the Christmas tree (our German Christmas tradition). We want him to be him!
This is why I chose the baby shower theme of travel. If there’s anything in the world that I could wish for our son, it’s to be kind, yes, but also to see and experience the world for himself, because Matt and I both believe that’s the best way to learn and grow.
A couple of my baby shower highlights were:
- Donut cake! Oliver got his name after a lucky dutch donut served on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, Olliebollen! TMI but it happened to be the night we conceived and the joke was on us when we said, “If this donut works, we’ll name our kid, Ollie!” When I had the choice to serve cupcakes or a cake at the shower, I picked a donut cake! The donuts were custom made from The Salted Donut and my sister-in-law did a fabulous crafting job with the roses made of maps!
- Baby book suitcase. Instead of cards, we opted to have the guests bring their favorite baby book to start Oliver’s library. My Mom had the genius idea to display the books in vintage suitcases (travel theme on point!), so when the party was over, all we had to do was close up the suitcases and take the books home.
- Travel photos. Images of Matt and me traveling around the world were displayed on every table. So cute!
- Display table. No gift wrap needed! This saved the guest the hassle of wrapping, saves the environment, and also allows me to spend time with my guests instead of opening the gifts in front of them.
- The guests! Thanks to all my friends and family who came to shower baby Oliver and spoil him with so much love! This was totally the baby shower of my dreams! Simple, sweet, and travel-inspired.