Dump Truck Party

When you have a little boy that loves trucks and playing in the dirt, it's not hard to figure out a theme for his birthday party.  :)  For his second birthday, we got him a new dump truck (or five) and a pile of dirt and the party setup was pretty much done!

As you can see from the invitation above, we instructed the kids to wear old clothes so that they could play in the dirt!  Other than the dirt pile, my decorations and set up were very minimal.  The party was originally scheduled for a Saturday but with rain in the forecast, it got moved to Sunday at the last minute.  Of course, then it was sunny and hot, so we tried to make a shade canopy out of a tarp for little kids to be under.

Before I go any further, let me note that, like with every other birthday party we've had, I had a photographer come take pics of the fun for us.  Most pictures in this post are credited to Kasey McAlpin.

Oriental Trading was my friend when it came to decorations and favors.  I just ordered the construction theme stuff they had - caution tape, caution slap bracelets, construction glasses, flimsy plastic hard hats, and the cutest little orange cone cups I ever did see.  Matt picked up the Caution signs from Home Depot or Lowe's and I "scribble scrabbled" (Katie Wynn's term) on them literally minutes before the party started. 

Thomas certainly did not need any new toys - he already has tons! - so in lieu of gifts, we asked our guests to bring a package of socks.  We later donated them to the Memphis Union Mission - a shelter for homeless men that provides them with a place to sleep and a clean pair of clothes each day.  I feel certain that they appreciate the new socks very much!  At the entrance to our backyard, I set up a wheel barrow with a sign for Construction Crew Socks so our guests would know where to leave them.

The nice thing about it being from 3 to 5 is that I didn't feel obligated to serve a meal.  We had cake, ice cream, and drinks and called it a day.  

Quick attempt at a family photo before our guests arrived.  Not sure it was successful.

Now usually, Thomas is all about playing in some dirt.  But, he's shy like his sister and had just woken up from a nap, so he wanted nothing to do with it for a while.  In fact, for the first 30 minutes or so, I worried that the party was a big ol' flop.  

My sister-in-law, Erin, arrived with my nephews and they were the heroes that saved the party!  Those boys weren't scared to get dirty and it just took seeing them for all the other kids to realize they could go really play in the dirt too.  Phew! 

Here is a gallery of lots of pictures of the kids playing in the dirt.  Use the arrows on the sides to scroll through!

I had orange plastic cones out around the dirt pile (leftover from Katie Wynn's car wash party) that ended up making great shovels for the kids.  Glad I thought to get them out! 

When kids weren't in the dirt, they were busy swinging or playing in our hand-me-down playhouse.

Across the yard from the dirt pile, we had a wash station set up to clean off dirty hands and feet.  Everyone got a quick rinse before cake and ice cream.

My nephews had to get a complete scrub down, but I let my Dad handle that.  :)

With everyone clean, it was time for cake!  This was probably one of the easiest birthday cakes I've made.  I iced a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, used crushed oreos for some dirt and plopped on a couple of construction trucks.  The orange cones were the candles.

Guess who got shy again when everyone started singing?

Matt just blends in with all the kids.  :)

Our photographer needed to leave shortly after cake and ice cream, so we tried one more time for a family picture.  I'm not sure these are any better than the one at the beginning of the party!

I also had her get the four grandparents because I feel like I never have pictures of them!

Now, just because the photographer left, does not mean the fun ended!  The rest of these pictures were taken by either me or my mother-in-law, Patricia.  

After cake and ice cream, Thomas decided he wanted to check out that water bucket one more time.  It was only seconds before he climbed in it to play.

Eventually he found the hose and figured out how to use it.

The bigger kids wandered over to play...

...and for once in his life, little Thomas was in charge!  He had the hose and could spray them any time they got too close to his water bucket.  And oh, they squealed and ran!  It was too funny and too much fun!

Consider yourself warned: steer clear of Thomas when he has a water hose!

By the time our guests left, the kids were soaked from head to toe.  Better than covered in dirt, though, right?  It was a good party and fun was had by all! 

Book-Themed Baby Shower

I have had the pictures uploaded, resized, and ready to go for this post for over a week now, but I keep avoiding writing it.  Case in point: I wrote the previous sentence two days ago and then Xed out of the window and walked away.  I think I'm avoiding writing this because our Book-Themed Baby Shower was SO cute and so, SO fun but my pictures are pretty terrible.  And there are hardly any of them.  It was a Pinterest party without the Pinterest photographer.

Of course I didn't take a picture of the invitation, but we have to start with it because it was so stinkin' cute.  Maybe one of my favorites.  I get absolutely no credit for it whatsoever except for finding it on etsy.  It came from Merrily Designs and the picture of the invitation below is one I stole from her shop - all credit is hers.  

The library card alone is super cute and fit perfectly with our book theme, but it's the tiny details in this invitation that I really loved.  Like, that the card catalog number was the Mom's due date.  Clever!  And that the red circle around the note to bring a book instead of a card really looked like someone took a red marker to it.  But my very favorite detail was that the two names marked out in black (also very realistic looking) were the parents of both the mom- and dad-to-be with their birthdays beside it.  So it looked like their parents had checked out this same "book" right before they were each born!  

My friend Catherine and I were cohosts for this shower and we chose the book theme after Casey (the honoree) said she was obsessing over all the children's books.  It was a no brainer, really.  I took to Pinterest to hunt for some ideas only to find that this very theme had been done before.  Like, a hundred times.  Oh well.  That only made it easier on us because we could copy ideas!  This post from Craftiness Is Not Optional was incredibly helpful because she provided FREE printables.  And they were adorable and required no work from me other than to print them.  I LOVE that.  

So with each invitation that we mailed out, I included this cute bookplate that I printed from the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog.  This picture is also stolen from her post.  It was a great way for each guest to label their book because I'm sure Casey could not remember who gave what when she got home! 

Because Casey was traveling in from out of town, this shower was in the evening.  I did have the forethought to snap a few quick pics earlier in the day while I still had a little bit of natural light.  The mantel was really easy to decorate - just add books!  Of course, there is a particular boy at my house that enjoys ripping covers and flaps off of books, so I had to really dig for books that still looked decent.  Luckily this shower was in January so all the books they'd received as Christmas gifts were still in good shape.  I also added a string of lights to add to the festiveness.

On the coffee table, I added a pouf of fabric (very Suess-ish, dontcha think?) with some Swedish Fish that were labled as "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Swedish Fish."  And it only made sense to have that book on display too.

The kitchen table had a simple centerpiece of flowers, a stack of books, and blocks spelling out the name of Casey's baby boy.  

All of our food items were named after books!  And the complete menu was listed on a big stack of books as our centerpiece.  

In case you can't read everything in the picture, we had:
--IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE (cookies, obvs)
--MADELINE's madeleines (found at Costco)
--GOODNIGHT MOON pies (homemade - marshmallow cream sandwiched between two 'nilla wafers and then dipped in chocoloate)
--GREEN EGGS AND HAM and cheese sandwiches (these, so delicious)
--JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH tart (this recipe - good, but will be better this summer with fresh peaches instead of frozen)
--THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR's fruit (fruit tray)
--CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM salad (chicken salad, made by my Mom, taste-tested by me)
--CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (frozen meatballs in a crockpot with grape jelly and chili sauce)
--HEAD, SHOULDER, KNEES, AND melba TOESt (a bit of a stretch, but melba toast and crackers to go with the chicken salad)
--THIS LITTLE PIGGY in a blanket - (pigs in a blanket by my girl Sister Schubert)
--THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT's forbidden garden (veggie tray with dip)

Our menu items were chosen by a combination of food+book name combos we could come up with and books we owned between the two of us.  Some things were left off because they were too similar to other items (GO, cornDOG, GO! for example).  In the end, I think I had to purchase three books.  Just add 'em to our collection!

Here are pictures from the food table.  We displayed each book by its corresponding menu item.  The colors from our table decor were kept to a minimum since we knew the food and books would add lots of color.

We couldn't have all that food with nothing to drink, now could we?  Keeping with the book theme, we had BLUEBERRIES cocktails FOR SAL.  Specifically, blueberry mojitos.  And they were good.  :)

Another free printable that I used from the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog was this really cute alphabet book.  I printed a page for each letter of the alphabet and they were sized perfectly to fit in an 8x8 scrapbook (purchased at Michael's on sale).  Throughout the party, guests were invited (nee, ordered) to color a picture or two to represent different letters of the alphabet.  Mom and I had done a few in advance as examples.  Some of our guests were really great artists!  Others might not have gotten into it as much.  (Ahem, I'm looking at you, Jenny, Miss N is for Nothing.)

Here are Becca and Sara taking a break from their coloring.

And the aforementioned Jenny coloring in Catherine's beach ball.  

Y'all, I'm not kidding, those two photos above are the only decent "people" shots I got.  Shame.  None of the glowing Mom-to-be with her belly bump.  (Well, none of her not mid-bite or mid-sentence and that's just not fair to her.)  None of me and Catherine as hostesses.  None of the honoree with her Mom, the soon-to-be grandmother.  All I have is a bird's eye view of everyone in my living room before Casey started opening gifts.

We had a small crowd which made the shower intimate and so fun.  There were lots of stories told and so, so many laughs!  These girls are friends from my college days and I didn't realize how much I had missed them!  

I'm normally opposed to shower games but during my pinteresting, I found a couple trivia games that were too fun to pass on.  Probably because children's books are such a huge part of our lives right now!  Catherine and I quizzed our guests on two different topics.  She did "Alternate Book Titles" and they had to guess book titles from descriptions like "Emerald Yolky Food With Accompanying Pig Product" and "Unsightly Aquatic Bird."  Those were Green Eggs and Ham and The Ugly Duckling in case you couldn't figure them out.  My trivia game was about nursery rhymes and included questions like "What did Jack burn when he jumped over the candlestick?" and "How much wool did the black sheep have?" (Answers are his toe and three bags full.)

I hate that I didn't get a picture of our prize platter!  Quick story about Casey - in college, she kept a copy of Everyone Poops in her car and backseat passengers were invited to read it aloud on their journey.  Quite the ice breaker, I tell ya.  Obviously we had to work this book in to the party somehow!  So after we tallied up who had the most answers to our trivia questions, I carried out a tray of poop...raisinets, milk duds, hershey kisses, and mini twixes!  Sarah was the big winner so she got her own copy of Everyone Poops to take home...but not until after she read it aloud.  :)

We didn't let our other guests go home empty-handed.  Each left with two party favors - one was a bag of bookworms that I assembled and the other was a bookmark made by Catherine.  (The bookmark was another free printable from Craftiness Is Not Optional and this is her picture below since I forgot to take one of ours.)

For Casey, I ordered this book tote bag from Honey Bee Tees because it was perfect for her to carry all of her new books home in.  How could I not get it??

Like I mentioned earlier, we had such a good time together and I didn't realize how much I'd missed sitting around talking with this group of girls.  Someone else needs to have another baby so we can have an excuse to do it again!

One last note: this shower was held in January and Casey was due in April.  We should still be 6 weeks out from meeting Baby James but he actually made his big debut yesterday!!  Casey went into labor just a couple days shy of being 34 weeks.  After delivery, James was quickly whisked away to the NICU where I'm sure he'll have to spend several days until he is strong enough to go home.  Will you say a prayer that that happens sooner rather than later?  Pray that his lungs are fully developed so that he may breathe on his own and that he has a healthy appetite and likes to eat well.  And also, pray for Casey.  Can you imagine not getting to cradle your newborn son in your arms?  I cannot.  Let's hope she gets to cuddle with him soon!

Car Wash Party!

Before we start this post - have you left your guess for the Tie Challenge?  If not, please do so!  He's still going strong but it looks like more ties have been worn than are left to go!


I finally have Katie Wynn's birthday party pictures to share!  After Thomas's Petting Zoo party last June, she spent the whole summer asking A) if it was her birthday yet and B) if all the "amimals" would be at her party.  I had resigned myself to the fact that we were just going to have a repeat of Thomas's petting zoo party since that seemed to be what she wanted.

But, we couldn't really get the timing to work out with the Petting Zoo.  I knew there was a cute vintage ice cream truck that could come to her party so I started really talking that up.  We would have a backyard playground party at Mimi's and Poppy's house like last year but this time the ice cream truck would come and serve treats.  Easy.  Done.  She was excited about the ice cream.

And then I was perusing Pinterest one afternoon and saw the cutest idea for a car wash.  Our kids play in their Cozy Coupe cars nonstop when we're outside.  At first, I thought I'd tuck away the idea for next year but then it hit me that I still had time...the party was still two and a half weeks away!  

Honestly, I was kinda glad to finally get excited about planning the party.  I found super easy plans online, got my Dad and Matt on board (they are the best), and before the weekend was over they had two car washes assembled.  Then it was my turn to decorate them.  The hardest part was finding pool noodles since summer was over.  I ended up spending more than I would've liked by buying them online, but the dollar stores didn't have them anymore.  Special thanks to Lala and Poppa (Matt's parents) who helped me decorate in the heat of our garage!

All the info you need to make one of these on your own is in that link I posted in the last paragraph.  We only modified the plans to make it a little wider.  I used a shower curtain from Target for my flaps and the sponge balls came from Oriental Trading.

I had a helper while setting up for the party.  In addition to the two car washes, we also set out buckets of soapy water and big sponges.  I got them for super cheap at Dollar General!

When Katie Wynn woke up from her nap and got to come outside to see it all set up, she was so excited! 

Now on to the party pictures!  The ones above were taken from my phone.  Credit for the following ones goes to Kasey McAlpin.  Disclaimer: from these pictures, it will look like the birthday girl did not have any fun at all.  I assure you she did!  She is SO incredibly shy around big groups of people - especially when everyone tries to talk to her.  Neither she nor Thomas actually rode through the car wash while our guests were there but she went on and on that night about how fun her party was and when she could have another one.

 Matt and I dressed with the understanding that we might have to be active participants and get very wet!

Matt and I dressed with the understanding that we might have to be active participants and get very wet!

 I bought this gas pump off Zulily on a whim and it arrived a week before the party.  Perfect timing!  And it worked great with the theme!

I bought this gas pump off Zulily on a whim and it arrived a week before the party.  Perfect timing!  And it worked great with the theme!

Watching guests start to arrive while building a tower of sponges.

 I love that Levi drove his present up to Katie Wynn!

I love that Levi drove his present up to Katie Wynn!

Thank goodness for my nephews!  They wasted no time jumping on their bike/trike and riding through the car wash.  It helped the little kids understand what to do!

Isn't this the cutest picture of them washing their bikes together?  Sing it with me..."workin' at the car wash..."

I'm pretty sure those bikes were squeaky clean when they went home.  :)

Ever the shy one, Katie Wynn opted to supervise her friends instead of really participate in the fun!

Here are a bunch of snapshots of all of our guests at the party.  So fun, right?!

I LOVE these of Davis and Addi Clare filling up their gas tanks.  :)

I love the one below on the right of Thomas...it looks like he's bracing for cold water impact!

 Grant doesn't even have to get out of his car to clean it!

Grant doesn't even have to get out of his car to clean it!

 Watching from a safe distance.

Watching from a safe distance.

 Bren is serious about detailing her bike.  :)

Bren is serious about detailing her bike.  :)

How fun is this group action shot?  Wax on, wax off, boys and girls!

Awesome shots of Everett driving through the water!

Everyone was busy washing their cars and having fun when all of a sudden, we could hear loud music and this cool vintage ice cream truck pulled up!

Katie Wynn was so pumped about the ice cream truck.  She constantly asked me about it beforehand and I told her she would get to climb on the truck and pass out the ice cream to everyone.  One day at daycare I told her to tell her teacher what we were gonna do for her party and she responded with, "There gonna be uh ice cweam twuck and I gonna pass out!"  I had to finish that sentence for her teacher...that she was going to pass out ice cream, not fall out from excitement! :)

Are we surprised that when it actually showed up she got scared and needed me to hold her?

This is about as good of a family pic as we could get.  

Before we climbed onto the truck, the driver (her name escapes me but she was so nice!) gave Katie Wynn a present.  It was the cutest mini replica of the truck made out of paper that she opened up to reveal a chocolate cupcake!  It was seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Then Katie Wynn and I climbed into position and got to work - there was ice cream to be eaten!

Here we are settling up with the ice cream truck at the end.  If it looks like we're in deep deliberation, it's because we were trying to decide which ice cream treats we wanted to stock our freezer with for later that night!

Our photographer, Kasey, was only able to stay for the first hour or so of the party, so her pictures stop there.  Thank goodness for Lala being there with her camera to pick up where she left off!  Here are more snapshots that she captured.

Do you remember back in June at Thomas's first birthday party when Katie Wynn had face-planted on the driveway and had a scraped up face?  Well, Thomas did the same thing for her party!  His scrapes were a little fresher - he fell right before the event started - so they weren't scabbed up yet at the party.

He didn't let a couple of scrapes keep him from enjoying goodies from the ice cream truck, though.

Note to self: don't hand the birthday girl a bright pink ice cream bar until after we're finished taking pictures next year.

This was the first time we'd really done the whole open-gifts-in-front-of-friends thing and my goodness, they were ALL excited to see what Katie Wynn opened.  :)

Our party came to an end after we finished with the gifts.  Good thing too because after playing in the water on an overcast day and then eating ice cream, there was lots of shivering going on from our little guests.  :)

I love that we have these carwashes now!  They broke down easily for us to store flat in our garage but will be so easy to pop back together next summer when the weather heats back up.  And if anyone else wants to have a carwash party, please borrow our supplies!  

Petting Zoo Party, Take Two!

When Katie Wynn turned one, we had a petting zoo birthday party for her.  It was so much fun that we decided to do a repeat party for Thomas's first birthday.  I had already made up my mind that that's what we'd do, so when I called the girl that brought the animals to KW's party and learned that she no longer did birthday parties, I hit the internet to find another petting zoo.  At Katie Wynn's party, we had a pony, a bunny, a couple of chickens, and a donkey and we were really pleased with that.  But for Thomas's party, I hired Happy Times Farm and let me tell you, their petting zoo is LEGIT.  

Their website said they would bring around 30 animals but I'm not sure that it registered with me just exactly how many animals that is!  And I think we had way more than that.  Let's see, there was a pig, 4 baby ducks, 6 of the softest rabbits ever, 3 guinea pigs (I think), a couple chickens, a llama, a horse, a donkey, a goat, some kind of small cow, and about 25 sheep and lambs.  By my count, that's closer to 50 animals!  They pulled up in a trailer and just kept bringing animals out and setting their pens up in the yard.  Then they opened up a small compartment and out ran all the sheep.  It was crazy!

Before we get into all the animal petting action, let's back up just a little to the party decorations.  And by "decorations," I mean the very few things I set out the day of the party.  I tried to keep things simple for this party.  I did zero crafting, no sewing, and no major baking (just a quick cake for Thomas!).  In fact, I got on Oriental Trading and ordered every single thing from them, including the party favors.  The invitations we sent out (this design from etsy) had blue gingham on it so I used that as the color scheme.  Oriental Trading came through with plates, napkins, and cups to match!

 We used the lemonade stand that we built for KW's party again and I added some plastic gingham flags from Oriental Trading.  It was Anna's idea to put the inflatable animals on top.  :)

We used the lemonade stand that we built for KW's party again and I added some plastic gingham flags from Oriental Trading.  It was Anna's idea to put the inflatable animals on top.  :)

 These inflatable animals were awesome and I think I got something like 12 of them for ten bucks!  Most of them went home with our party guests but we still play with the sheep and cow that were left over.

These inflatable animals were awesome and I think I got something like 12 of them for ten bucks!  Most of them went home with our party guests but we still play with the sheep and cow that were left over.

 We requested donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in lieu of gifts for Thomas.  We were able to send a good-sized check to them after the party was over!

We requested donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in lieu of gifts for Thomas.  We were able to send a good-sized check to them after the party was over!

Now, on to the fun party pics!  Like most one-year-olds, Thomas had no idea that all of the hoopla was for him.  (Katie Wynn, on the other hand, though it was all for her.)

Oh, before I forget - just like with Katie Wynn's birthday parties, I hired a photographer (Kasey McAlpin - find her on Facebook) to take pictures throughout the party.  She gets credit for all the photos in this post!  Also, Katie Wynn had a busted up face from an accident on the driveway (read more about it here) so her face was scabbed up at the party.  

I'm not going to try to narrate these pictures - there are way too many!  Just enjoy these snapshots from throughout the party.  And, if you see one of your child, I probably already have it printed to send to you!  (Click on any image to see it bigger.)

When it came time to eat, we made sure there was hand sanitizer readily available!  Just like the decorations, we kept our menu super simple: hot dogs, chips, and drinks.  That's it!

We gave Thomas his cake as everyone finished eating, and it was kinda a non-event.  The slight breeze kept the candle from staying lit so we couldn't even help him blow it out!  I put animal cookies on top of the cake and, in hindsight, that was a bad idea.  He just pulled off one of them and wanted to munch on it.  Anna finally smooshed his hand into the cake but he didn't like having it on his hands at all!

After Thomas had his cake, I brought out dessert for everyone else: Parker's Water Ice.  It's one of my very favorite treats!  It's like a sno cone that's the texture of sorbet.  So good and so perfect for a hot day!  Of course, the parents may have been cringing at the bright red and bright blue - hopefully all clothes came clean!

Since we had a photographer on hand, we took a few quick family pictures.  I would've tried to get more but we were all so sweaty that I didn't think it was worth it!  

As our little guests said goodbye, they got to pick out a couple of farm animal books to take home with them.  (Thanks again, Oriental Trading!)

With our guests leaving, it was time for the animals to load back onto the trailer and head to their next event.  We waved goodbye and with that, our petting zoo party was over.  :(

Since the party, Katie Wynn has asked at least 12 times if Thomas could have another birthday so that we could do it again.  And every time we go to someone else's party she asks if the "amimals" will be there.  It's safe to assume that she had a really good time!  Who knows, maybe we'll be doing it again.  But first, I've got to figure out how to explain to a two-year-old that her birthday is still months away...

International Baby Shower

My friend Catherine is from here in the U.S.  Her husband, Roberto, is from Belgium.  They met in France.  Together, they have been to who knows how many different countries and speak 4 (5? 6?) different languages.  So, when it came time to throw a party for the little boy they're expecting next month, it made sense to go with an international theme!

Now, if you're like me and not very well-traveled, an international theme means...globes.  And maps.  And that's about it.  But I can totally work with that.  

I hosted the shower with my friends Sarah and Dana.  I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the invitation that Sarah did because it was the cutest little travel invite ever.  One side of it said "The world awaits you Baby V..." and so I thought it would be good to tie that in at the party.  I had a pack of map scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and I used the 4x6 pieces to make bunting flags that I glued letters to.  I used jute twine to string them together and attached the banner to the mantel.

Here's a closer up image of the map paper.  It was really cute!

As soon as we decided to go with this theme, I hit up Matt's parents for some paper maps.  They always use maps when they travel so I had a feeling they had a stash of them at home.  Patricia was kind enough to bring me a whole stack of them when they visited last month!  I used them to wrap up books (cookbooks to be exact...) to use on the tables.  You can see a couple of them here on the coffee table.

We thought these wafer cookies looked European-ish.  Catherine is probably shaking her head no as she reads this but at least she didn't laugh in our faces.  

On the opposite wall from the mantel is our tv armoir...and that's about it.  I really need to move this giant blank wall higher up on my to-do list.  It's so sad and empty.  But at least I decorated the entertainment center, right?

Here's a close-up of the onesie that was hanging on it.  I didn't think to make this until the night before the shower and I'm so glad I got it done because it turned out so cute!  Catherine and Roberto haven't decided on a name yet (the downside to speaking multiple languages is trying to find a name that's pronounced the same in all of them!) so I couldn't have fun with monograms or names on tiny clothes, but this allowed me to at least make them something

Then, the morning of the shower I had another idea to make a onesie to hang on the door that said "hello" in both English and Flemish.  I could've just texted Catherine to ask her how to say hello in Flemish, but I wanted it to be a surprise so I turned to my buddy Google.  And that's when I found out that a Flemish "hello" is just "hallo."  Not much variation there...

So I switched to "hi" for the English part and I think it still worked.  Part of me wanted to add a post-it note that pointed to the "hallo" and said, "This is Flemish.  It's not misspelled."  

There was a brief moment in our early party planning when we thought about making international foods.  Or at least Belgian foods.  I'm glad we came to our senses and stuck to what we know because Belgian cooks we are not.  That might've been a recipe for disaster.  

The party was from 12:00 - 2:00 so we were able to serve lunch-ish foods.  We made mini ham and cheese sandwiches (to die for!), spinach pinwheels, apples and caramel dip, snap pea salad (so light and fresh!), spinach dip, and the yummiest ooey gooey chocolate chip brownie bars ever.  

My friend Emily worked her baking magic again and whipped out these globe cookies.  Aren't the perfect?!  Don't look too closely at those continents.  ;)

In the kitchen, we served a delicious blue punch - aka "Ocean Water."  I'm kicking myself because I totally forgot to make a cute little label for the dispenser.  The punch was a concoction of lemonade, sprite, and blue raspberry juice and tasted so good!  We served it in mason jars that were topped with maps and festive straws.  I did freeze blueberries into ice cubes to add to the drinks, so maybe that makes up for my lack of signage?!

Dana and Emily both brought globes that we were able to use as decor.  How cute is this one on top of a pile of maps?

On the kitchen table, we set up an activity for our party guests.  We provided newborn diapers and sharpies so they could write funny or encouraging notes for Catherine to read during those late night diaper changes.  

I provided a few examples to get the ball rolling.  :)

By the end of the party, the diapers were filled up with messages!  We told Catherine she had to wait for the baby to arrive before she could read them.

We bought inflatable globes to use as party favors (most of the guests have kids of their own that would probably enjoy playing with them). Dana had the cutest little vintage suitcase that we used to display them in.  

I am totally cracking up at this sign because that "Holla!" was totally supposed to be "Hola!"  He he...oopsie.  

As usual, I did a horrible job of remembering to take pictures throughout the party.  I only got a few and most of the ones I did get are blurry.  Grrr.

This was Catherine's first shower and she got lots of great things for Baby V!  I know she has more showers to go but hopefully she's already feeling a little more prepared for his arrival.

The shower ended at 2:00 but the fun didn't stop then!  Some of my college friends stayed the night for our annual get-together.  I loved having our house full of guests for the night and always enjoy getting to see them all and catch up.  We always pick up right where we left off!  Of course I didn't take any pictures so just picture girls in jammies munching on handmade tamales and sitting around discussing everything from snapchat to baby names to the Duggar family.  :)

Can't wait to meet Baby V soon!!