My Kind of Baby Shower
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When someone truly special moves to a different city, and when that someone is a glue amongst her lady-friends, we all suffer a little. Enter Mrs. Kelly Mathis Hellenga. Boo hoo.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of lending my in-laws home to a few lovely ladies to host a baby shower for Mrs. Kelly. I literally did nothing to contribute to the party except secure the location (get father-in-law out of the house asap) and fight with my daughter. And of course, during a brief lapse in toddler negotiations, thoroughly enjoy a perfect afternoon party. There has never been a better Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar to date.

Beef jerky straws, pickled everything
Beef jerky straws, pickled everything

Betsy provided the bar with, as you can see, a wild array of Bloody additions, pickled onions, olives, celery, lemon, lime, spices, hot sauces and the deal-sealer, beef jerky straws. On the adjacent table, mini sliders (served cold blew my mind yum), deviled eggs, crudite, peel-and-eat shrimp and an entirely stocked Mimosa and wine bar, fresh juices, and crispy breadsticks.  This is just the bar folks. Not the meal.

Meghan's beautiful mason jar arrangements as party favors
Meghan's beautiful mason jar arrangements as party favors

Meghan chose the lovely navy tablecloths and beige napkins, arranged these striking mason jar floral favors, one for each party-goer to take home, picked the striped red straws to complement the color scheme, and managed the brawn to set it all up. Sierra, with the help of Meghan's grocery stop, whipped up food for forty all by herself. (I'll let Sierra share her post on the mind-blowing menu).

A real ugly location in Malibu
A real ugly location in Malibu

When someone as significant and special as Kelly bowed out of our L.A. female force, we took it hard. We're taking it hard. Clearly staking her mark on all our hearts, if it weren't for the baby growing in her belly, her man's life settled in Atlanta, and a desire to be closer to family in South Carolina (okay, okay) we would have forced her to stay. But dammit, that baby's being born and raised in the South. I ain't got no problem with that.

Always the rainbow
Always the rainbow

It seems as if pregnancy is something in the water lately, as I can claim six friends who are currently with-child. SIX! Three of them at this party! Sweet Kelly in red and purple...

The always lovely Claire in yellow. Jesse and Betsy, already mothers of young boys,  I assume are thrilled to not be pregnant.

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steph8

Sexy Shannon in black with TWIN boys. Insane, right?

Celebrating not being pregnant
Celebrating not being pregnant

Lola and Sarah and I enjoying some champagne, just before Vesper gave me a bloody lip, (kind of) accidentally. The joys of parenthood!

Back to the shower.

Speaking of twins...
Speaking of twins...

Then we have this tall drink of water, Laura, and her stunning daughter Ginger in the most inspired look of the day, carrying a diaper cake. If having children scares you, just channel these two...  the kindest, gentlest angels of all.

Celebrating a new life coming into this world is a wonder. First time motherhood, while scary and daunting, is one of those rare jobs where endlessly thankless moments are made valuable in the smallest, tiniest smile. I can't wait for Kelly and Shannon to experience it for the first time, and Claire all over again. As soon as a milestone is met, another challenge awaits.

Saying you want to have children is one thing. Living it, marking your growth (and age) alongside these little people, dating yourself by their developments and breakthroughs is quite another. Then you get to put a Superman hat on a little boy amongst forty emotional, hormonal women. And you win.

Little Flynn the charmer
Little Flynn the charmer

What a day! Thanks to Pearly, my rock of a Mum-in-Law, for lending her beautiful home for this special day. Thanks to the Guest of Honor herself for these gorgeous pictures. Thanks to Sam, my husband, for taking my Ded-in-Law to golf so he didn't overhear the hen party and all our cackling.

Most importantly, thanks to Betsy for the Bloody Mary ideas, especially these.

Hotties
Hotties