With love from the whole family and blessings from above

There are plenty of things we don’t know about babies before they are born.

We don’t know the color of their eyes, or the size of the feet; the texture of their hair or what they like to eat. We don’t know if they’ll like scrambled eggs, country music, basketball, classic movies, or ballet.

We don’t know what word they’ll say first, when they’ll reach for our hand or take their first step.

What we do know, from the depths of our old, swelling hearts, is that they are loved in that profound and universal way that spans generations and splits the curtains of eternity.

I saw that Saturday afternoon at a baby shower featuring the greatest of aunts and uncles, first quality second cousins, two soon-to-be aunts and a soon-to-be uncle and, well, me, a grandma-to-be so excited I can barely write the words.

Aunts from each coast flew in, and another one generously opened her home to host us all. The mom-to-be’s cousin arrived after working an all-night shift at a hospital.

Thanks to Paired Experiences, we ate delicious food and played thoughtful games that captured our family’s shared competitive streak. In the end, the mom and dad-to-be finished in first and second place, which seemed fitting. That baby will be raised by a couple of smarty pants.

Woven among the theme and the gifts, the chatter and even the games, were references to the grandparents no longer with us (and one who is still very much alive but unable to join us due to a respiratory infection). They set the gold standard in grandparenting and we’re looking forward to having as much fun and loving as deeply, proudly and indiscriminately as they did.

So, here’s to you, little baby. You have been feted by your Midwest relatives (and will be celebrated soon by your East Coast relatives too) with love from the whole family and blessings from above.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to wrap my arms around this adorable couple! (Vince would have wrapped his arms around them too but it’s deer hunting weekend in Wisconsin). Fortunately, we’ll all be together for Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for.
Paired Experiences worked their magic on the food, the ambience and the thoughtful decor. We all took home party favors, wildflower seeds we can plant, tend and watch bloom in honor of that precious baby.
We ate well and, thanks to the party favors, we can know that our baby is currently the size of a pomelo.
Donna is a great Great Aunt and gifted the newest generation with copies of Grandma Mary Jane’s stories in Highlights Magazine.
Vinnie and Danni came up with this onesie, just the sweetest nod to Grandpa Ron.
Great Aunts Melissa and Cary and second cousin Sam. Oh, baby, you’re not going to believe how many cool relatives you have! (And this is just the Midwestern half. Wait ’til you see the East Coast clan!)
Great aunts Jenny and Robin, with second cousin Rachel (a first-year, first grade teacher and all-around awesome person), can’t wait to meet you, little one.
The games got competitive and I was right in the mix until the Celebrity Baby Names portion, which I bombed.
Soon to be Aunt Katherine is in Europe and couldn’t make the baby shower but I think you can see how excited these three are to welcome a new baby to the family!
The bros (Vinnie is at work).
They did everything — planned the party, made the food, set everything up, cleaned everything up.
I kind of want to host another party just to experience another Paired Experience party.
Oh, sweet baby, you are already so very loved by so many people!

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