I find ladies’ parties irresistible, especially when they celebrate life. This week I hosted one to celebrate the coming of an unborn baby, first child of my friend Kayla.
Sherry adds the finishing touches
Here are some things I am (slowly) learning about the hosting bit:
- Ask for help!
* My new friend Sherry (who worked in a bakery for lots of years) brainstormed and helped with food. She had super ideas, and decorated the sweetest cut-out cookies in baby shapes.
stuffing diapers with people's notes
* My friend Renee did a smash-up job being in charge of activities. We played an alphabet game and a guessing game with each other’s baby pictures, had time for spontaneous prayers of blessing for the expectant mom, and wrote notes of encouragement or advice to put inside newborn-size pampers as a gift for Mommy.
* My sis-in-law April planned lovely decorations. More below…
* My friend Carla brought a tray of food so I’d have less to purchase and prepare.
* The day of the party, my friend Alma offered to watch my two preschoolers for the morning, then surprised me by an invitation to stay for lunch so I’d have less work and cleanup at home.
* My friend Shaunda agreed to be informal photographer, so the guest of honor could get a CD of pictures later without having to snap them herself.
It was lovely to watch everyone doing what they are good at, and the teamwork was thrilling.
2. Work with fresh as much as you can.
blackberry-lemon tarts and chocolate covered strawberries
springtime. lavender and pale yellow. violets. jewel-bright fruits and vegetables. lemons. berries. tortilla pinwheels with cold-cuts and lettuce. garnishes of parsley, kale, and real flowers.
3. Decorate with what you have. (April is good at this!)
hosta leaves. tree branches. tissue paper pompons. an indoor clothesline hung with baby outfits. pansies planted in paper party boxes or second-hand teacups—they doubled as prizes for the games. dandelions floating in crystal goblets. baby shoes scattered here and there.
4. Borrow rather than buy.
a beverage server. six tiki torches to line my lane. (the party was supposed to be out of doors!) an extra tablecloth.
5. It’s okay that it won’t be perfect.
Truly, it wasn’t: the weather didn’t cooperate, the store-bought corsage was quite ugly, i forgot to plug in the coffee maker in time, a little boy puked, and my house was crowded.
Hurray for humble pie, and the generous flexibility of guests!
I hope someday this baby will look through his (or her) Mommy’s pictures and know again how loved and anticipated he was, even before his birth.
Whoever receives a little child in my name receives Me.
A party is an easy way of receiving. Harder is the moment at which my own “little child” is dancing on the couch, snatching items off the decorative clothesline. Oh Lord…