Kate and I live in Pennsylvania with our two kids a piece. We shuffle them back and forth to each other's houses for playdates and supervise occasional facetime conversations where the camera on each hand either shows a close-up on a child's nostril or no child at all (our kids like to have races around the houses against each other to see who can get back to the iPad first).
|gender reveal via facetime|
We wanted to organize a baby shower for Allison, the Grandma-to-be (also lives in NC), the aunt-to-be (didn't let international borders stand in her way - she currently lives & works in Panama!) and all of Allison's neighbors and local friends.
But we knew too, that not everyone that cared about Al and this sweet boy of hers would be able to make the haul down south to join us, so we got to planning a Traditional and Virtual Hybrid Baby Shower.
Since Al and Matt are expecting a boy, we took a cue from Allison's Dad's sailboat to settle on a sailing theme for the shower.
We created two invitations, both using Paperless Post. The traditional invitation included all the standard details for a shower including registries, place/time, and a section to RSVP. The virtual invitation stated the details date/registries and in the place of an RSVP, we supplied a link to a sign-up for the virtual shower.
Guests were then able to log into SignUpGenius to choose a 15-minute time slots during the evening (after the traditional shower) to connect with Allison via their preferred choice of technology (facetime, skype, or google hangout). In the instructions, we asked that guests try to get their gift to Allison in time for the virtual shower so that she would be able to open the gift with them there.
Weeks before the shower, I also sent out mailed packages to confirmed virtual guests that included some cards for them to complete (that we also had at the traditional shower). The cards asked why Allison would be a great mother and the best parenting advice that they've ever heard/received. They were instructed to use the stamped envelope to return the letter to Allison before the virtual shower (with a big "ALLISON DO NOT OPEN THIS!" on the back of the envelope).
Finally, in early December, Kate and I kissed our babies and husbands farewell and made the trek down south to celebrate our very best friend and that sweet baby boy bump. The trip wasn't bad considering I talked (literally) the.entire.ride.down (I need more adult interaction, HAH) and we had clear skies after waiting to leave Saturday morning instead of Friday night.
We made it all the way to Apex unscathed and spent Saturday night beaming over Karpy's adorable belly, stumbling upon a town parade, and noshing on delish dinner together. No matter how long is spent apart, it's always like no time at all when we get back together.
On Sunday, we all got up bright and early and got to preparing for Baby Shower day. Traditional shower would be from 11am until 2pm with an hour of rest before the start of Virtual shower time slots scattered between 3pm until 6pm. We were all set and ready to go before anyone arrived. We had light brunch fare of waffles and croissant sandwiches with some desserts and a beautiful cake brought by the Grandmother-to-Be.
Grandma, Aunt Joce, and a surprise out-of-town guest all arrived first (Allison's godmother came all the way from PA as a surprise!). We got some photo ops in front of our Ahoy! It's a Boy! banner and used our 'guestbook' life saver as an adorable belly frame:)
The traditional shower was beautiful and simple. It was so amazing for Kate and I to get to meet all of Allison's neighbors and friends here in their town. We felt so grateful to meet and laugh with the people that will be surrounding our best friend with support and love for those first weeks (the rotten 8!) It was a afternoon filled with smiles, love, and excitement.
|baby shower mad libs|
|toilet paper - belly measuring game|
|rice & pin game|
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Our girl spent the afternoon showing off her bump, giggling, and opening gifts with all the people who love and care about her but couldn't make the trip for her shower. It was such a fun way to spend the evening after the shower still sort of relaxing but with the added bonus of seeing familiar and happy faces.
We decided at the end of the day that both showers were a success! Allison and Matt have quite a bit of assembling and organizing to get done before that boy makes his appearance late next month:)
Kate and I were so grateful to get to spend the weekend celebrating our best friend and were both moved to tears (read: to sobs) when we received our thank you from Karpy in the mail.
|Katie's baby shower in 2009, My baby shower in 2010, Allison's baby shower in 2013|
So many years as best friends, so many memories, challenges, scary stuff, and awesome stuff. But always shared together. We are the luckiest.