On Friday, the baby shower posse (consisting of Jennifer, Sue, Marlena, & Marlena’s very patient husband Tim) requested that Bobby & I evacuate the house. So off we went for dinner & the night in Greenville. We stayed in the Westin Poinsett, a beautiful historic hotel in downtown about 45 minutes from our house… it was actually where I stayed with my bridesmaids for my bachelorette party. After dinner at Smoke on the Water (fried green tomatoes… yum!), Bobby & I headed up to the room with plans to drop our bags off. Yeah, didn’t happen. We ended up cranking down the air  & just chilling. Literally :). It was such an odd feeling knowing that there was party preparations happening at our house & I wasn’t there… I’m ALWAYS there when there’s party prep going on. And Tim called to ask Bobby where he kept his ladder. Bobby told him the locations of both the ladder & the beer fridge.

The next morning, we checked out & stopped for breakfast, then headed home. Such a surreal feeling, knowing that I was going to my own baby shower. A baby shower. For my & Bobby’s baby. I had my outfit all picked out, but that morning, it didn’t seem right. Mama would have loved my black dress with pearls… so black & pearls it was.

We arrived an hour before the shower was scheduled to start, & I’m glad we did. It gave me an opportunity to fully notice & appreciate all the perfect, painstaking details. I love details, I THRIVE off details cuz I’m a freak like that :)… wanted to make sure that not even the smallest thing slipped by me. We were greeted by a lovely handmade wreath on the door, with a sign reading “Welcome to the nest.” Walked in & was completely overwhelmed by the amount of time & effort that went into this event. You know when you can’t say thank you adequately enough? Yeah, that was so me.

Here’s a few pictures that’s just an example all the little lovelies… so, so beautiful.

The cake was pink & white striped with cream cheese frosting roses. There were tulle & tissue paper poufs hanging from the lights, with crepe paper rose kissing balls (handmade by Jennifer, Marlena, & TIM!). The guest list was a wishing tree… each guest wrote their wishes for Rose & tied them onto the branches. Rose’s cradle was in the living room to hold the gifts, & there were tiny edible bird nest favors for the guests as they left. Really, it was perfect.

And the guests… there were 30 people there. Old friends, a couple of new friends from church, & many of Mama’s friends. I felt close to Mama the entire day — I know that she was there. As we opened gifts, people told stories about Mama… funny stories, sweet stories, & there were many tears shed even by the people who had never met her. Rose is Denise’s grandbaby, and that fact was reiterated again & again. And although I know it, I know that Mama’s close to Rose, it was comforting & incredibly heartwarming to hear Mama’s friends say it and acknowledge it. One of Mama’s best friends came through the door & the first words out of her mouth were “Denise dressed me today!” She & Mama used to go shopping together, & she specifically picked an outfit that Mama had chosen for her. Another one of Mama’s friends couldn’t make it on Saturday, & she came by during the preparations Friday to drop off a gift. When Jennifer thanked her for making such an effort, she replied “Well this IS Denise’s grandbaby. Of COURSE I had to come by!” People stayed and stayed… it wasn’t one of the typical baby showers that we all go to where you stay your allotted time, hug the guest of honor, & escape. Many of the guests were there for more than 3 hours, laughing, visiting, looking at Rose’s nursery, going back for more food…

And the gifts… so many gifts. Many of the gifts were off our registry — such a relief of have so many things checked off my list. And many of the gifts were special things, things that you can’t register for. One of Mama’s friends, the one who wore the outfit that Mama picked out for her, made Rose a beautiful crocheted blanket. And Jennifer bought Rose a doll… the same doll that Mama bought Maggie. A wonderful lady from our church dropped a gift off & had to scoot, so she wasn’t there when I opened hers. It was overwhelmingly thoughtful — the card read that she had been waiting for a special baby to give her gift to, & Rose was that baby. She gave Rose a blanket made by her grandmother & a handmade cloth book that her own children (now starting college) played with. How do you even write a thank you note for such a meaningful, irreplaceable gift?

And the final gift was from Mama. For years, when we watched a movie or just sat around chatting, Mama always had her knitting needles click-clacking away. Nobody really knew what she was working on… if we did ask, I don’t remember what she said. Right after Mama left,  Jennifer dug through Mama’s sewing basket & discovered two beautifully knitted white baby blankets, with her knitting needles stuck in an unfinished third. And because we know Mama’s Rule of Three, Jennifer knew who they belonged to — me, Jen & Sue. Jennifer made me promise to use it for Rose, to not put it away in a special place & make it into an untouched shrine. And I will use it, just like Mama would have expected me to. I’ll wrap Rose in it, & tell her who made it for her, & who loved her so long before she ever existed.

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