This date, as with the Childbirth Express class, has been on my calendar for months. It seemed so far away for so long (just like my impending due date) that it seems weird to have it over already.
I was genuinely surprised when a total of 22 people RSVP’ed with a Yes to Sheryl’s baby shower Evite. In the end, though, only a dozen people could make it — Aaron’s aunt and uncle had to work, his one cousin with a car had to work (which took the rest of them out of the running), Aaron’s brother had to work, my BFF from junior high ended up unable to wrangle a 2½ hour trip with two little ones, and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone. Although I missed them all, I think it worked out better with a smaller group: we all fit around one hibachi table, and I was able to socialize with everyone without feeling like I was slighting anyone too much.
The evening started with appetizers and dinner at Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. I hadn’t been there for a couple of years, maybe, and had forgotten how much fun watching the crazy hibachi chef can be.
Almost everyone else had something from the grill; Aaron and I got sushi. Along with the appetizers that Sheryl ordered, I think we were all stuffed to the gills after dinner. And cake. Oh, my.
After dinner, most of us drove around the corner to Starbucks for the opening of presents, since Sakura wasn’t amenable to having us take up valuable table space (and there really wasn’t enough space for proper present-opening, anyway). Starbucks was pretty deserted, so the dozen of us didn’t feel too bad about invading for a while. I opened presents, girlie giggles were had by all (even the guys), and I really enjoyed connecting with everyone in a slightly more intimate and less noisy setting.
After all the presents were opened, I thanked everyone for coming and let them know that I wouldn’t be offended if they opted to leave at that point. I knew that Traeonna wasn’t feeling well after getting a tad sunburnt that morning/afternoon, and Erika needed to take eight-month-old Naomi home before she got too cranky (she was such a trooper, though, through two hours of dinner and maybe an hour of Starbucks). The rest of us hung around and talked about the random stuff that friends talk about.
Mark and Rocky took off after a while (she’s still experiencing first-trimester fatigue, so I didn’t blame them in the slightest), and we all hung around for a while longer before I just couldn’t hold my yawns in anymore (I’m experiencing third-trimester fatigue myself, and every night is an early one these days). Aaron and I got to take the cake leftovers home, along with all the cupcakes that didn’t get eaten due to the last-minute cancellations. (EVIL. Pure, delicious evil.)
That was a super fun time, and a perfect fit for my style in general. Sheryl and Amy were fantastic co-hosts (props to Sheryl for doing most of the legwork, being the local one and all), and they totally planned an evening that fit my personality and my social preferences. I had such a great time reconnecting with people I hadn’t seen in a while, and feeling loved and appreciated is always a good thing, too.
At the time of this writing, I’ve posted all but Aaron’s iPhone photos to my Flickr. We brought multiple digital point-and-shoot cameras and passed them around to everyone to get lots of pictures… and here they are.
(For a blast from the past, check out the pics from my bridal shower from Spring 2003, also hosted by Sheryl and Amy.)
Thanks again to everyone who showed up, and who wanted to show up but couldn’t. You all rock. I feel seriously loved, and you’re all welcome to stop by sometime in late October or November to meet our little one — just be sure to set up a date and time with us first, or you’re likely to spend some quality time with cranky, sleep-deprived parents and a potentially fussy newborn.