Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Very Special Woodland Baby Shower for a Little Lady

I am so excited to share this shower with you. It has been a shower that has had so much love and heart put into it. We were so excited to get to celebrate a precious baby girl, who we have been praying for for many, many years.

In an outhouse, out in the middle of their "off grid" property, their lives changed forever. They saw the hope that finally breathed reality into a dream. The answer that they had been waiting for for so many years, the reality that in 9 months, they would be bringing home a baby. No eyes were dry when this answer to prayer was revealed. God has a way with timing.

So we decided to throw my sister in law and this sweet answer to prayer a shower. We planned, we worked, we baked.... and would you believe the day of the shower Portland got covered in ice? We were crushed to have to cancel such a special day. And while rescheduling the original huge sized shower wasn't really possible, we were able to scale back and do a more intimate family affair.

Then we had to cancel our second attempt at having the shower! Third times a charm right?

Personally, it felt rich and so full to be surrounded by the family that looked to Christ, day in and day out, and prayed for Him to bring them a baby in their arms.

Because of their love of the outdoors, and because of where and when they found out that they were pregnant, we absolutely could not resist going with a woodland theme to commemorate. Only, we wanted it girly, girly, girly....and girly.

I think we achieved it.

There were lots of branches, lots of wood pieces, lots of sweet white woodland animals.

I fell in love wit this fabric flower garland you can find the instructions here, and then handed over the instructions to my sisters and mom. I can plan and dream, but needles, thread and I just don't seem to blend well....that, and finding the time with two boys needing me 24/7. So I delegated, and am glad I did.

They did such a good job! And the colors were even better than I had envisioned!

The whole feel of the shower was very whimsical, nothing too perfect and slightly rustic.

My mom even had the cute idea of making moose munch, and having pretzel twigs. Have I ever mentioned how much my mom and I like themes.....

But seriously, who can resist homemade moose munch? Definitely not I.

We also served finger foods (because bite sized foods are more fun) along with plenty of sweets, and a fizzy pink punch.

Oh the food, there was so much....we had originally planned for close to 40 people...and since most of us had already bought ingredients for the original shower date....we served enough food for...40 people.

After much tweaking and changing, this is the final menu I came up with:

- Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip: (this is the same one we always serve, and it is always one of the first things cleared out. This is the recipe here that I use, the only changes I make is I add the 1/4 c of mozzerella in the dip and add extra on top...more cheese never hurt anybody)

- Mediterranean Pasta Salad: My mom made this one, and it was soooo good! I am definitely adding it to my list of things to make for parties, potlucks, and dinner. You can find the recipe at Mel's Kitchen.

- Chocolate Crostini: made by Shannon, way to go little sis, they looked beautiful and were really good. I found the recipe here, at Food52.

- Crab and Mango Salad in Phyllo cups: Ok, I was dying to try this recipe, but I just couldn't plop down 14 dollars/lb for crab, so I cheated and used canned crab....not imitation. People seemed to enjoy them, I thought they could have used a little more flavor, and next time I think they would look better if I used chopped red onion instead of the green. But they are a nice make ahead party food (the salad is best if made the night before, then fill them in baked frozen phyllo cups right before serving) I used this recipe from the Food Network.

- Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with a shallot vinaigrette: This is one of my favorite salads, it's different, unique and is stocked full of yummy things like roasted beets (I cheated yesterday and used canned), avocado, goat cheese, cranberries, candied pecans, and a homemade shallot dressing. I cannot for the life of me remember where I got the recipe, but will share it with you when I have more time. :)

We also served some of Nancy's mini Quiches because they are easy, and people always seem to like them. I feel like I am missing something, and possibly am.

One thing I cannot forget to include are these.

My, oh my...hello lovelies.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Oh man, these were almost the death of me. I actually called up my sister in near hysterical sobs (for the record, i had only gotten about 2 hours of sleep the night before), the frosting that I had made previously was completely separated and I could not get it remedied.

Let me back up, I had previously spent 3 days making these cupcakes for her first shower....THREE DAYS! I had to make the cupcake twice, because my tired brain forgot to add the baking soda, which I found out, is absolutely necessary. I made the salted caramel sauce for the filling on a different day...because, let's be honest, with two little ones there is no way I can spend several hours baking on top of making dinner. It just doesn't happen. And then I made the frosting on another day...because it can be quite finicky...but absolutely worth the fuss. 

After the first cancelled shower, we tried to reschedule for the following week at my house. This is two times that I prepped and planned and tried to keep my house looking presentable with two little tornadoes. Enough to turn me into a basket case.

Then the night before the second attempt we had to cancel yet again! My mom was super sick, and my house fell under that nasty cold bug that had been floating around. My mom offered to have it at her house, because there was no way I would have been able to try it a third time around here. And since the only day that seemed work was another month out, I quickly stashed everything but the caramel sauce in the freezer and crossed my, more like begged God to make it work! The cupcakes survived, but unfortunately the frosting did not. And I found myself in the middle of an ugly cry the morning of the shower.

Thanks goodness God gave me such a wonderful husband, he ran to the store to get the pounds of chocolate needed to make the frosting. And after wiping my tears, taking a deep breath, I went to work, praying the ENTIRE time that that frosting would turn out. I think God heard the desperation, and He answered. :)

So they only took a total of 5 days to make...please don't let that scare you. They are worth it. And so is this baby girl.

And her pretty mama....

Can you say, glowing? And so proud of that bump she carries her wee one around, tucked in close to her heart...ah, I miss that.

We also had presents, with all things girly.

Those shoes were given to my mom from my Grandparents church when she was adopted. I just loved all the special pieces that my mom found and thought to include. It really brought such a sentimental sweetness to the shower.

It's always fun for me to see so many girly outfits, bows, and ruffles. I'm not used to that around here, and so I try to soak it up when I get the chance.

 "Yay, she has clothes to wear when she's in the hospital!"

We had to send in the troops to help unwrap the big ones, that belly makes bending over pretty much impossible!

All done....and taking a breather.

Oh man, that belly! Completely gorgeous in every way.

 And then just to wrap it up, a few shots of family that were able to make it.

 I can't help but include this one of my dad, he is always in there with us, helping us get the food out....I think secretly he knows, if he helps, he gets dibs and seconds if he wants ;)

Overall, it was a very blessed day. everything finally came together just as we had envisioned, we got to celebrate this joyous little girl, and pray over the growing family.

Can't wait to meet you sweet baby girl! Praying for you to continue growing in strength and sweetness. And awaiting the perfect timing on your entrance into our world and hearts forever.


  1. What beautiful pictures and a delightful celebration! I can't wait for new baby pictures. The feet, please take pictures of the cute little precious baby feet!

    1. Thanks Robyn, I'm a sucker for feet too....I will make sure to get lots of them! :)

    2. I should feet...not grown-up feet, they kind of gross me out, ha ;)

  2. This made me teary. What a perfect, special blessing for them. I'm so happy for Ryan & Elaine. :)

    1. Anna, I wish there was a "like" button :) i couldn't agree more, we are sooo happy for them, it's been a long road.

  3. How cute Woodland Baby Shower! Just loved entire decorations. Those table centerpieces are super cute. I will save this idea for my sister’s baby shower that I am planning to host on next weekend at one of her favorite outdoor party Chicago event venues.