Shortly after hosting our visitors in mid-February, I traveled to Texas for two glorious weeks of sunshine and milder temperatures. The main purpose of this trip was to return home for a baby shower, but also to enjoy one final solo trip home before I have my constant companion. I reveled in the one-on-one time I got to spend with each of my sisters and parents, knowing that come May, visits home will forever be changed. I'm thrilled to be starting this new time in my life, but being the baby in the family, it's been a little difficult for me to give up this status to now having a baby of my own. Luckily, I've had lots of years to prepare for this (I am 30 for crying out loud!) and so many wonderful opportunities for quality time with my sisters and parents during my many extended overseas visits the past 6 years.
|My fantastic hostesses|
The baby shower was held in Bryan the first weekend I was home, and my two friends Allison and Kelly took the lead on the planning, while Laurel and Mandy helped a great deal with the logistics and day-of prepping. As they all lived out of town and had to travel to Bryan the day of, I stressed to them that I wanted this to be a simple, no-fuss cake and punch affair. So, the day of, I was quite surprised to see that they had planned a travel theme for the shower! All the details were so adorable and Allison did a great job gathering the decor to include an antique suitcase, a travel-themed diaper cake and actual cake, a globe, and a 'cargo' mini-suitcase for cards. I am so blessed to have such incredible friends and sisters who took time out of their hectic lives to throw me this shower in my hometown. Oh how they spoil me!
|Main table decor|
|'Cargo' mini-suitcase for cards|
|Diaper cake Allison made - the details were incredible!|
|Standing next to Baby C's name banner - it's 99% official - at 30 weeks.|
|Charm and me - she was so sweet to open up our home for the shower, as the hostesses were all out-of-towners.|
As most of my high school and college friends are scattered throughout the country, the attendees were some family and lots of family friends. I was so excited both my aunts and cousins could be there, as well as have the opportunity to catch up with many neighbors and life-long family friends.
|Aunt Robin and cousins, Carly and Macy|
|Allison and Kelly|
|Sister pic with Mandy and Laurel|
The day of the shower was absolutely gorgeous and we were able to sit outside in the courtyard to enjoy our cake and open gifts. Due to traveling back to Europe, I had requested to receive gift cards, but also got some adorable clothes and other items. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone and immediately felt much more prepared to plan for this baby.
|Adorable "Mom's Treasure" outfit - one of the many pirate-themed gifts|
|My diaper bag - a gift from my sisters|
|Lar made an appearance at the end of the shower with my sweet nephew Boulan|
|Charm and Aunt Nean after the shower|
This weekend was not only a great due to the shower, but also for the wonderful family time we were able to spend together. Especially with my sweet nephew Boulan. I got to meet him for the first time when I was home for Thanksgiving and he was only 5 weeks old. Now at 4 months, he's grown so much and is such a good, sweet, happy baby. He loves to smile and his little expressions will just melt your heart. I can only hope for a baby as good as him.... but I'm not going to hold my breath. Braxton spent the weekend with Jason at his parents, but I was able to hang with him during my next weekend's visit to Austin. At two, he is such a toot, but is still absolutely precious. I'm so thrilled that Baby C is going to have two boy cousins to play with and learn from that are so close in age!
|My newest nephew, Boulan - wearing his "I heart Aunt Cathleen and Uncle Jon" onesie|
Considering we're planning a transcontinental move the same time as having a baby, prior to returning home in February, I had done essentially no baby-prepping. This trip was the perfect time for me to focus us on 'all things baby,' and finally start thinking about prioritizing what all I will need for the first 6 weeks of his life, and what we'll need for after we return Stateside. Luckily, having an older sister with two boys, has been a huge lifesaver. Laurel's advice and knowledge has been indispensable, and not to mention all the amazing hand-me-downs I'm getting. I'll never have to buy one piece of clothing for Baby C.... ever!
In between hanging with friends, eating lots of Tex-Mex and chillaxin' with my mom, I spent lots of time sorting through Laurel's baby items, ordering the essentials off my registry, and starting the baby book (I make no promises it will ever be finished, but I'm going to start this adventure of mommy-hood optimistically thinking it will be completed at some point in his lifetime). I knew that once I returned to the NL, I would be consumed with moving prep, last-minute travels and soaking up the last few remaining months of life in Europe. I have six weeks to go in my pregnancy, and while most people at this point are putting the final touches on their nurseries, I am nesting in a different way - purging my house of unnecessary items for the move and looking to acquire those last remaining must-have items from Europe. I figure once we get to Oklahoma, I'll have eons of time to prep the nursery and do all those things I haven't been able to do here. In the meantime, I have two more sets of visitors to look forward to, final fiestas to plan and a new car to break in.
Throughout our relationship and marriage, Jon and I have recognized that we like to make things as difficult as possible, and having a baby is no exception. Actually, it just wouldn't feel right any other way. We began this European adventure by marrying and moving to Germany a week later, so it's quite fitting that we're ending our time here by having a baby and moving Stateside 5 weeks later. Let the fun times begin!