Welp. My best friend is pregnant. Twenty-three weeks along, for the precise among you, and I am really excited. So excited, in fact, that I enthusiastically hit the subscribe button to receive the same watch-the-baby-grow emails that she does. They arrive every Monday and include savory details such as ‘your baby’s pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily!’
I actually do find them fascinating and always nod along as I read which developing organ is being highlighted. Does baby have functional eyes yet? Perhaps the fingernails are making their embryonic debut as we speak! It all feels pretty randomized to me, as though there are little toes and ears popping out, willy nilly, in there.
Moving to the point. Because a) my friend is fantastic and b) I wasn’t able to throw a wedding shower when she got married last June, organizing a baby shower was a no-brainer. I want her to have the experience of an ooh’ing and aah’ing community surrounding her as she gestates. Sometimes the pure bustle of excitement really frosts the cake, y’know?
I’m piecing together ideas and am excited to throw the best gosh darned party ever. The theme is woodland animals … but in simple and modern way. Animal silhouettes, geometric shapes, bright colors. Since I haven’t been to a baby shower in years and entertaining people I don’t know isn’t always my forte (introvert alert), I have been jotting down suggestions from all kinds of sources. Including you. YOU! Favorite shower games, best Etsy shops for decorations, appetizer recipes, the works. Tell me your secrets.
Fringe garland | Confetti Sunshine (DIY)
Gold animal cupcake toppers | The Sweetest Occasion
Baby jar favors | Sugar Tot Designs (DIY)
Modern woodland invites | Me!
Birch straws | Kikkerland
Confetti balloons | Kojo Designs (DIY)
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I have a special fondness for pulling over on road trips to see silly sights. Before we left for Ohio last week, I declared to O that, joy of joys, maybe we would see a sign pointing towards the worlds largest something on the way. Without anyone expecting our arrival and with a full week to fill, there was nothing to hinder our adventure-seeking on the open road. Largest ball of yarn, largest ball of wax, largest ball of anything. I was ready for it. On the outward drive, nothing caught our eye. On the way back, however, O suggested that we stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Why not? Hershey may be a bit pedestrian, but it still tastes good and I’m not one to turn up my nose at a free sample. Whaddya know, right inside their brick walls we found the world’s largest (ahem: commercial) candy bar and candy kiss. The singing cows, proclaiming that milk chocolate was ‘moooo-tricious’ as we rode through the faux factory on a gigantic plastic sled were pretty great, too.
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After one of our weekly roundabout discussions on vocation and whether either of us will ever find just one life-long career (“no”), the subject changes to my three year old niece. After I finish a story I recently heard about her, I look up to see O with a sly look on his face.
“Do you think she’ll get a job before you do?”
I have a job, of course. Two of ’em, actually. But I occasionally- most commonly when I am sitting on my couch in my pajamas at one o’clock in the afternoon- feel a little wobbly about the fact that it can appear I don’t. I make my own schedule, travel frequently and wake up a handful of hours after most adults alarm clocks go off. The best part about being a photographer and a grant writer is that no one tells me when to work. The worst part about being a photographer and a grant writer is that no one tells me when to work. This week, I actually have a schedule. My photo season is starting with a bang: three shoots in Colorado, three in Connecticut.
Stepping onto a plane for the first time in a couple of months, I cross my fingers for a good flight, one that doesn’t leave me white-knuckled and convinced that the machine is gonna go straight down as soon as it gets the chance. I view air travel much as I view large cats; unpredictable at best. Watching a video of a plane crash a a week ago? Probably not my wisest decision.
Driving around Denver- a place I grew to love lustily during my six years there- I marvel at the fact that while I miss it here, I am suddenly confident that we made the right decision to move. Even these pretty mountains I see as I scoot from one shoot to another can’t change my mind. We wanted to try something new and we went for it. I do keep looking over at the backpack on my passenger side seat and wishing it was O, though. Photography is much more fun with him.
After an engagement session for two good friends (cowboy boots and vintage farm machinery included) I head over to the home of dear friends. Their six year old has plastered the door with ‘I LOVE YOU EMMY!’ signs. Valentine’s Day came a little late this year.
Back home! A guy on my last flight looked at me with disdain when I told him I don’t like airplanes. “There was this gal on my last flight and she kept breathing funny because she was scared. You’re not THAT bad, are you?” he asks. I smoothly change the subject to something that will allow me to display my conversational wit instead.
Now, two more shoots in our new hometown and we’re off again. I got a solid 24 hours in Connecticut this time. Today is the start of O’s spring break, so woo hoo! No parents, no rules and two 30-ish year olds on holiday! Except that there will be parents; last night, in a splendidly casual conversation, we finally decided to drive to Ohio for the week to see his family and buddies that stuck around after high school and college. “Hey, you’re on break!” “Yeah!” “I guess … well, do you want to drive to Ohio?” “Let’s do it!”
We packed in 15 minutes and, have I mentioned? Life is great.
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