** Please note: If you want the experience of a real gender reveal party, take your time reading this. And don’t scroll down! The surprise is towards the bottom. 🙂
On Saturday, we celebrated Skittle by throwing a Gender Reveal Party. And what a party it was! I have been so lucky to have experienced many wonderful, beautiful moments in my life (as well as many sad and difficult ones), but May 18, 2013 is definitely in the Top 10. It was an absolutely perfect day. I have imagined and dreamed of this party for months, long before Skittle was ever conceived. On those days when we were TTC and I felt hopeful, I allowed myself to picture this day when we would be surrounded by people we loved and we’d cut into a pretty cake and get the sweetest surprise of all. And much to my wonder, that’s exactly how our party went. Nothing went wrong. Everyone was a perfect addition to the party dynamic. Cupcake didn’t have any meltdowns or scream at the people she didn’t know well. There was no lull in the conversation. It could not have gone any better, not even by one bit, and that makes me so extraordinarily happy.
And do you remember this post, when I was planning my daughter’s birthday party and was disappointed to learn that so many people wouldn’t be coming? I was so hurt and I felt rejected and unloved. Well, this weekend, I am happy to report that there was not even a smidgen of that. Of the thirteen individuals/families, we invited, only three did not come. We had a house full of fifteen adults, one toddler, two newborns, and two dogs (only one of which was ours, thanks to my in-laws who insisted on bringing their gigantic pooch along, too). Included in our guests were my dear friends Lillian and Leigh, my mom and her two best friends (whom I have known since I was a toddler), my in-laws, one of my aunts, one of my cousins and her family, Honey’s best bud (who was the only one to bring a gift — and it was amazing!), and my sister and her mom. So many people were there to celebrate with us, and that meant more to me than anything else possibly could have. I felt so loved, so valued, and I think Skittle did too for all the kicking s/he did!
And so today, friends, I invite you to a Virtual Gender Reveal Party in our own little corner of the ALI blogosphere… Won’t you join us? No RSVP needed!
Come in, come in! A white board by the front door is adorned with one of Skittle’s recent ultrasound photos and the sign reads: Almost time to see, which will it be? A bouncing baby he or a pretty little she? We’re so excited you’ll be here as we learn the Big News! If you’re in a hurry, feel free to rush through the party and see the big revealing NOW…but we do hope you’ll take your time, sit for a while, and celebrate all the joys that a party like this can bring. Please leave your shoes at the door.
Your hosts are wearing:
The dress was an Easter gift from my mom and you may remember the necklace from this post. I can’t wait to add an October (or September?) birthstone this fall! I also wore a pregnancy loss remembrance bracelet, in memory of our Teddy Graham. He has not been forgotten. And in the spirit of the cute owls that helped to inspire our party theme, Cupcake is wearing this for our party:
Isn’t she cute? And no detail has been forgotten, friends, right down to the matching Mama & Daughter toenail polish:
Would you like something to eat? To drink? There’s plenty and I don’t want you going hungry! Perhaps you’d like some pita chips to eat with our delicious feta dip? Or some crackers, cheese, and nitrate-free deli meat? Or do you care for the Trader Joe’s chocolates, which are my personal favorite? And we have punch and spa water to quench your thirst! Please help yourself and make yourselves at home. Our home is crowded, but there are plenty of places to sit. Get comfortable! All the fun will begin soon.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have gone with a pink and blue color theme for this party. It may not be original, but it sure was easy. When you’re pregnant and have a toddler at home, you have to simplify somewhere! But there are other decorations you may want to notice, too. Photos from our six ultrasounds are hung on the wall. And this posterboard, too:
My husband also bought some flowers from a market in the city. He thought he was buying pink and blue flowers, but when he arrived home, I informed him they are pink and purple. Oh, well. Aren’t they beautiful? I especially love the calla lily.
And of course, there’s the cake table (the crowning glory of our party), setting here to build the anticipation and intrigue. Or perhaps is it here to anticipate us all? I may not have been the one to bake and decorate the cake (we went to a professional) or even the one to design it (I have Pinterest to thank for that!), but it’s still my pride and joy because it was exactly what I wanted. I am completely tickled with how perfect it is! What do all of you think?
If you have a moment in between bites and sips of our refreshments, we hope you’ll take some time to participate in the activities we’ve planned:
There’s also a voting board! Please cast your vote and wear your sticker with pride, though don’t be surprised if Cupcake tries to steal it from you…
There’s still a little time before the cake cutting, so let’s play! Last call to add names to the suggestion basket… (And if any of you really do have names you’d like to contribute, please leave them in the comments. We’re still open to any and all ideas!) A few of the best BOY names that are given: Jarrett, Hayden, Ryan, Nicholas. And a few of the worst: Horace, Bubba, Fred, Billy Bob, Saddam, Gunther (even though that one makes me think of Friends!), Oscar, Aiden, Elmer, Hugo. And a few of the best GIRL names: Isabella, Olivia, Madison, Hope, Quinn, Charlotte, Roxy. And a few of the worst ones: Beulah, Henrietta, Macaroon, Rhino, Hermione, Olive, Seven, Sapphire, Griselda. I’m so thankful for all of these suggestions…they’ve given me a lot to think about!
And on to the candy count…we have two winners! There are 318 pink candies and 283 blue candies in that jar and we are proud to announce that the winners are my friend Leigh and my mama respectively, even though neither of them were really that close. A $10 Starbucks gift card as a prize for each!
Our house is crowded, our living room is full, the food is half-eaten and dirty plates litter our counter….but there is laughter in this room. Warmth. Smiles. Loud conversation. My mom is holding my cousin’s little guy, just six weeks old. My 10-week old niece is asleep in her carseat in the corner. I can hear our little dog scratching in the back of the house, because we’ve locked her into the bathroom for a couple hours and she can smell the food. My sister and cousin are discussing their recent adventures in new mommyhood. Honey’s buddy is giving my mom a hard time about hating the name Oscar. Lillian is giving me all the details about her recent trip to the coast and Leigh is reading a story to Cupcake, who has finally decided that all the people here are her new best friends. I do ask that you please ignore the constant chatter of my mother-in-law, who has a way of interrupting every conversation. And if my father-in-law starts to tickle Cupcake into a frenzy of shrieking laughter, I have earplugs I can hand out. But can you tell that everyone is having a great time? I almost hate to interrupt all the fun, but there is a little business to get to…
Please, won’t you all gather ’round the table? It’s the moment we have all waited for! The anticipation is killing me. I can’t stop myself from clapping my hands and bouncing on my tippy-toes as I wait for everyone to drop what they’re doing and join us in the kitchen… But alas, it is time to cut the cake!
Can you feel the suspense? With Honey and Cupcake beside me, I saw (literally) through the tough fondant and feel my heart clench as I catch a glimpse of the color. There are cheers when I bring up the cake cutter to make a second cut and colored crumbs come into sight.
And it’s a….
A girl, you guys. Skittle is a she! (I’ve posted the proof on our Skittle page.) I have a post planned to explain all the ins and outs of how I feel about this, but suffice it to say, I am on Cloud 9. Truly! I could not be happier and, in that magical moment when we learn a little bit more about our newest family member, the emotion in the room is palpable. There were tears in my eyes as I hug Honey.
I am over-the-moon with our news and can think nothing more than of the little baby girl kicking away in my womb, but before all of you leave and this party comes to an end, there are a few more things to get out of the way…
Team Blue (a.k.a. The Losing Team), would you please put your names in one basket? And Team Pink (The Winning Team!), would you please put yours in the other? A name will be drawn from both and there are prizes involved!
First, Team Blue (of which there are eight players, plus Cupcake and myself, who don’t really count)…
And for Team Pink (just five players, plus Honey)…
I hate for parties to end, and this one was so fun! Thank you all for coming, for celebrating with us, for sharing in our joy. Forever and ever, you all will have been part of one of the sweetest moments in my life.
I feel a little sorrow now that the day is over and the party has passed, now that this long-anticipated event has come and gone. I can’t help but be filled with melancholy, knowing that unlike with Christmas (which also makes me a little desperately sad afterwards), things like this don’t come once a year. Really, I don’t suspect that I will ever have another party like this in my lifetime. That’s a little hard to think about.
And yet, there are other things to look forward to. Other good memories that will follow. So much awaits us right now!
In fact, I believe the best is yet to come.