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Hello, old friends! It has been so long since I’ve posted. The past month has been so exciting and exhausting and joyful, and I wish I’d taken more time to share it. I will try to catch up this week, and I’ll be making a point to post more often now that things seemed to have settled down a bit.

So what’s been going on? Well, Stuart and I made things official and got engaged, I sewed a bunch of books for artist Richard Tuttle, enjoyed the last few weeks of summer, started decorating the nursery, began my last month of work, and last weekend we were joined by our best friends and family for a very special baby shower. I’ll catch you up on the other stuff later this week, but first – the baby shower!

Julia, my gracious shower host, had been planning diligently for months, and on Friday she arrived with her sister Laura for the big weekend. They had planned the food, the activities, made delicious apple cupcakes, and taken care of pretty much everything in between. I was so grateful to have them here, and I’m thrilled with how everything turned out.

We had initially planned an all-female shower, but this (happily) wasn’t how things turned out! My dad, along with Stuart’s stepdad, youngest brother, grandpa, and a couple of male friends (and of course, Stuart) all joined us for the day and it was great to have them there.

Julia served fresh fruit, apple cider (brought in all the way from Oswego by Caito), homemade iced tea, and two savory appetizers – baguette baked with goat cheese, walnuts, dates, and pears, and a puff pastry stuffed with caramelized onions, pears, and bleu cheese. They were amazing! We had Laura’s apple cupcakes for dessert, along with a fun cake made by Stuart’s aunt. It was all so lovely.

After snacks, we opened gifts, friends decorated some little white onesies with fabric markers and paint, and then the “secret” activity started. Julia had asked all the women we invited to write a note of advice or well wishes for me as I prepare for birth and motherhood, and for each guest to enclose a bead with their card, gift, or note. The sentiments were so sweet and heartfelt, and I teared up more than once. To receive advice and sweet words from 3 different generations of women and some of my best friends on earth was so special to me. I will keep the necklace of beads with me during labor and through those tough moments of early motherhood to remind me of all their support and love. Julia got me a beautiful scrapbook to keep all the notes in, and I plan to print some photos and add some other things to make sort of a pregnancy scrapbook before the baby arrives. I made some last minute favors, loose chai green tea with nutmeg packaged in homemade tea bags with kraft paper tags. They were adorable, though in hindsight I would’ve made them days in advance instead of the hour before the party! Still, I was glad to be able to give something to all our generous guests.

It was such a special day. I’m most thankful for all the ways people pitched in to help make everything come together. Julia and Laura’s flawless planning, cooking, and hosting, Erin’s beautiful invitations, Stuart’s mom’s help getting the house cleaned up the day before, my dad and stepmom for driving 3 and a half hours with a lovely new crib for baby (and my dad and Stuart’s stepdad spending the afternoon setting it up!), Caito’s drive in from Oswego just to spend a few hours celebrating with us (and giving Stuart his favorite gift- a Charles Bukowski onesie!), and everyone else, local and far, who came to celebrate with us on Saturday afternoon. THANK YOU!

And now, the photos!