A Rosary Shower for Baby

I have so much updating to do, including finishing my posts on the mother/daughter event.  Where did the time go?  As the summer draws to a close, I am getting more excited for fall and our coming child, as well as overwhelmed, by everything I must accomplish in the next three months.

Every child is a cause for celebration and a special gift from God.  I wanted to do something for this baby to celebrate the amazing joy that has come to our lives through this pregnancy. Despite all the difficulties and complications I have faced over the years with every pregnancy, I still truly have enjoyed being pregnant whenever I have been blessed to be so.  However, there is something truly special about this pregnancy.

I have not had one single complication or issue, it has been smooth sailing the whole way.  If I were only about six years younger, it would be considered a picture perfect pregnancy.  It has been a great blessing and gift, and my husband and I are just overflowing with joy and happiness.

One of the members of my online pregnancy group posted the idea of a rosary shower.  It seemed like just what I was looking to do.  So, I sent out evites to the special ladies in my life from church and long time friends asking them to gather for a rosary to pray for baby.

Every new baby is a cause to celebrate. Come celebrate with us as Jennifer gets ready to welcome her new child.
Please join us for a “Visitation” where we will pray the joyful mysteries of the rosary for Jennifer, Drew, and Baby.

The Annunciation –Like Mary she has conceived and will bear a child

The Visitation – Like Mary, she has been blessed and prayed and trusted in God to give her children

The Nativity – We will celebrate the birth of her child

The Presentation in the Temple – Like Mary & Joseph, Jennifer and Drew will bring their child up in the Catholic faith, beginning with a baptism

The Finding in the Temple – Jennifer and Drew will teach their child to proclaim the messages of the HEAVENLY FATHER

Please join us for a tea and light refreshments.  This is NOT a gift giving event, only a chance to gather and pray.  Thank you.

I truly enjoy fancy tablecloths with linen and lace.  Pink is my favorite color, always has been. I agonized over whether to use a pink or blue tablecloth, though.  Pink because it is so pretty, blue for Our Lady.  I knew either one would leave people reading into my choice, when it had nothing to do with the baby itself.  I was relieved when I realized we needed two tables.  So, I used one of each.  
I even broke out the good china, silver flatware, and crystal glasses.  Some of my guests were a little afraid to use such nice pieces.  If a miracle baby isn’t reason enough to use the good stuff, I don’t know what is.

A dear friend from church brought me this beautiful rose.  It made the perfect centerpiece.  Have I mentioned that pink roses are my favorite flower?

I was blessed to be able to have the pilgrim statue this week.  She was really the only decoration I had for the shower.  I found my mother’s pressed rose rosary and her Infant of Prague statue to complete my display.
I was so happy that my best friend and college roomie was able to make the long drive for the shower.  We are like sisters and often got mistaken for twins in college.  There are many things that computers mess up, and quite honestly they often complicate life instead of fixing it.  However, a computer randomly matched us up and it couldn’t have been more right.  Kim is the perfect compliment for me as far as friends, and one of the only people I would ever willingly choose to be my roommate. I always joke about playing the lottery to win millions, but truly I have already won the best lottery there is.  I not only ended up with the best roomie ever, I have a best friend for life!
I have not perfected the art of entertaining, serving, AND photographing events.  Photos always seem to fall off the radar for me.   However, I wanted some photos of the event.  My Comare (Godmother) always takes pictures of the food at events, then we discuss the amazing menu.  She was sick the day of the shower, so I wanted a photo for her.  I was rushing, and am not quite tall enough to get a good aerial view, so this is what I ended up with.  Please, believe me, it was much more impressive in person.  We dined on Gluten free goat cheese, cherry tomato, and purple basil pizza, zoodle cucumber salad, homemade caponata (an Italian eggplant stew), roasted chicken, farro salad, gluten free blueberry lemon cake, vanilla meringues, hazelnut chocolate wafers, and lemon tartalettes.  
I also found it funny that I discovered this delicious, yet incredibly easy, recipe for caponata for the first time. For generations, my family has been paying exorbitant prices to buy little cans of the stew imported from Italy.  It is a family favorite, but we only ever had it at major events and holidays because it cost so much for so little.  All this time, we could have just made it in the slow cooker.  Wish I could have brought a pot of it to my grandmother, she would have enjoyed it so, and was always my best cheerleader.

So, rushing around and trying to take photos before anything got moved led to very blurry photos.  My little set up looked so lovely, if I do say so myself, with my crystal stemware, pretty, blue china, crystal ice bucket, and selection of drinks on a beautiful cream table cloth.  Please, close your eyes and imagine.  I purchases a couple of French sodas, my favorite splurge drink ever. (You can keep you wine and fancy mixed cocktails, I’ll savor my French lemonade soda.) a delicious peach nectar, and seltzer.  What’s that you say?  There’s no tea at my tea party.  Well, you are correct.  I got so caught up in everything, I forgot to make it.  Mea culpa. No one missed it, though.
I have been acutely aware of my grandmother’s absence this pregnancy.  I miss her so very much and wish she could be here to share in my joy.  It seems difficult to comprehend that this child will never know my parents, nor my grandparents who have meant so much throughout my life.  My heart aches for them every day, but they will only be vague stories and old photographs to my baby.  I prayed on my grandmother’s silver rosary and wore her MOM bracelet that my mother had bought her.  
I also wore coral beads that I discovered in the jewelry box I inherited from my grandmother.  There isn’t anything very special in there, all her fine jewelry was stolen in a burglary over two decades ago, however it is priceless to me.  I love to go in there and explore to find a piece that matches my outfit. The best part, though, is when I pull out a drawer or open a side, it still smells like her, and for that moment she is close to me, like she never even left.

A friend gave me a beautiful swing that her daughter has outgrown.  It couldn’t be more perfect.  Another special blessing.  Teddy is keeping it warm for baby.  Despite all that has been lost, every goodbye that I have cried through over these past eight years, there is still so much hope and joy to be sought.   Last year, beginning at Christmas 2014, was a heartbreak of a year.  I lost my mother and my grandmother in four and a half months.  I bid goodbye to my grandparents’ home just two weeks later, my favorite place on this earth, as a child, and the most welcoming little space I ever knew.  My heart was shattered, my soul crushed, I reeled from the intensity of the loss, and the trauma of watching the two most important women in my life slip into the hereafter.  I was determined to make 2016 a fresh start, to find my joy and purpose once more.  Now, after all those who I bid goodbye, I am preparing to welcome a new little love.  Life truly is a circle, and God has been so good to me.
Stay safe little one, Mommy longs to hold you close, but for now rest well deep within me and remind me that the best is always yet to be!

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