LIONS AND TIGERS AND MORE, OH MY!

I'll never be able to express my gratitude for this day. Thank you to the hostesses, Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan. I was in shock from the get-go. Walking in, I wanted to cry-- it was like entering a safari-themed paradise. There are moments of life you just know you will never forget. This was one of mine.

Every woman's experience with pregnancy is different. I've had specific landmarks that transformed me emotionally along the way. There are the obvious brilliant moments: hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling the baby kick and seeing the 20 week ultrasound.  Naturally, there are the moments that set you back emotionally, too. It's not all easy. Then, there's a landmark that ties it all together: the baby shower. Suddenly, you grasp this is happening. I'm really going to need nipple cream and gripe water and diapers and wipes! And here surrounding you are a village of loved ones that want to help celebrate that baby inside you and share their own tips with you.

It was fun to "show the bump.". I haven't been wearing super tight pieces during this pregnancy, so this was a shift in thinking for me. My dress definitely enhances the baby bump, but it is a baby shower, so no better time to do it. And although I went through several choicesI decided on blue by Seraphine Maternity.

Not only did I have my local friends' support, but friends and family flew in, too.  

 CLAUDIACRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

CLAUDIACRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

My Aunt Evie, Aunt Toni and Mom flew in from Texas.  How amazing is this giraffe?

 courtesy of steven jang

courtesy of steven jang

That cake pictured behind Steven Jang and me was zebra print inside when we cut it! The details!! 

Mom and I flanked by the wild animals! Kaley's whimsical imagination never ceases to amaze me. And her party planner, Lauren Tatum Events, never fails to execute. So happy you were there to capture these moments in time, too, Claudia Craig Photography.

From left: Michele Bell (high school bestie), Kara Holden (friend for over 20 years!), Dylan Parker (another high school bestie), Alisa Brownlow Absmeier (another friend for over 20 years), new mom Amy Davidson, and fellow pregnant ladies Ali Fedotowsky and Lacey Chabert!

I tried hard to relish every moment... there were so many details to take in! As I enjoyed my favorite mocktail (hilariously, auto-correct keeps telling me that is not a real word) of Sprite, soda water and lime juice, I got to say hello to everyone that attended under a glorious tent sheltering us from the Southern California sun that afternoon. And when I say everyone, I'm including the giraffe and zebra that roamed the grounds on stilts.  Even after we moved inside for High Tea, we got to watch them perform through the windows. 

And no stone was left unturned. There were sentimental surprises throughout the day. Each guest was asked to write the baby a birthday message on custom notecards numbered with years of his life.  The humorous tidbits or words of wisdom were sealed for him to open each year (and momma to cry, I'm sure!).  Also, guests were asked to bring a book to start Baby Henricks's  library collection, which his older brother, Huck, is already enjoying. 

Also, I have to thank Michele Bell for organizing a pair of Rothy's flats for everyone to take home as a nod to my "seamless transition" into motherhood. How adorable! Not to mention comfortable. 

The morning after the shower, I woke up wishing I could go back and freeze time. Even for just fifteen minutes! It went by so fast. That's when it hit me that this pregnancy is almost over. I pray everyday this baby will be healthy entering the world to start his own journey. But, God has given me this last bit of time to indulge in the process of taking care of him inside me. He is with me where ever I go. Never again will it be this way.  I didn't understand when other women tried to tell me to enjoy the pregnancy. Embrace the changes. But, now I do. It's a miracle happening. And that morning after the shower, I realized I am going to miss it. I want to cherish these last weeks of carrying him. All the little frustrations of body aches and exhaustion... they will all be over soon. And he will be here.


What are you tips or notes of wisdom you would pass on to a friend at a baby shower? I would love to read them, so leave your comments.