Monday, January 24, 2011

Showered with Books

The day after Christmas my amazing bridesmaids hosted a second bridal shower for me in Seattle. The timing was a little bit difficult being right after Christmas and all, but it was the only time that all 5 of my bridesmaids would be in town at the same time, so we went with it. Unfortunately, it also meant that several friends who were flying in and out of Seattle around Christmas were unable to come. That was a little bit of a bummer, but there was never going to be a date that would have worked for everyone!

The shower was held at the Seattle Yacht Club and it was still decorated and festive for Christmas - we aren't doing anything Christmas-y at the wedding, but the decorations really made the shower feel extra celebratory. I've mentioned before that my bridesmaids are all girls that I went to elementary school with - I've known them all since we were 10. It felt so amazing to be surrounded by them and several of their mothers (including one who is my second mother - I even sign cards to her "from your third daughter").

My wonderful second mother. Her daughters are MOH S and Bridesmaid K (the ones whose birthday is on Mr. EB's and my wedding day!)

It ended up being really nice that there was a smaller guest list as we were able to all sit at one table - we had lunch and laughed while catching up with each other (I hadn't seen one of my bridesmaids in over a year!).

I have no idea what was so funny, but there are a series of these photographs - this was the least ridiculous!

My girls had decided to make this a book themed shower and they asked that everyone bring a book related to marriage or relationships. Now, I have to admit, I was a little bit concerned when I first heard about this theme. Part of me had expected that this would just be a regular bridal shower, with no theme beyond that, and another part of me was concerned that I was going to end up with 5 copies of Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed (which I do want to read, but I don't need 5 copies of it!). However, I have to say that my friends and family picked some of the most amazing and touching books - and there were no duplicates! Even more special than the books themselves were reading the cards and stories behind why a particular book had been chosen.

Mr. EB's sister wrote the nicest note welcoming me to the family and letting me know how happy she is that I'm marrying her brother. I'm pretty sure I hit the in-law jackpot.

Every gift I received was chosen specifically for me, by people who have known me nearly 20 years. I should never have been worried - how could you when you get a copy of Jenny McCarthy's Love, Lust and Faking It (from my second mother, no less!)? Or 1001 Escapes? (this book has been an excellent resource in trying to figure out where we want to go on our belated honeymoon!) I also received a copy of The Modern Family Cookbook, which was printed in 1943. It's hilarious, and contains some amazing "creeds" at the beginning of each chapter. For example: "Happy family relationships are part of my responsibility; therefore, I will save enough energy to do the job of being a happy and helpful hostess to my family day after day." And "Stretching the food dollar is part of my responsibility; therefore I will take such care of foods that none will spoil. I will use left-overs with thought and skill." They made me laugh when I first read them, but the core of the creeds throughout the book is something that I really appreciate - taking pride in creating healthy and delicious meals for your family. I'm not saying that I'm always successful at doing that, but it's a great thing to look through now and then!

But the most amazing book that I received is one that appeals directly to the attorney in me (or perhaps more accurately, the law student that's still inside me!). One of my bridesmaid's dad is an attorney and he is someone I have always gone to for advice when I need it, and to answer questions when I have them. He and his wife had a copy of Brand's Justices' Code for the State of Washington - from 1902. They gifted me a copy of all of the laws of the state of Washington as they existed over 100 years ago. I choked up many times during the day at the thoughtfulness and generosity of my family and friends, but this one still takes the cake for me.

Mama EB looking at the Code along with Bridesmaid C and her mom, who gave me the book.

Besides the books, I also received a few things off of our registry - specifically two glass pitchers from two already married friends. They each remembered I gave them glass pitchers for their showers and were returning the favor! (Do you have a go-to bridal shower present? Glass pitchers are apparently mine!)

After opening the presents we had more time to eat, drink, and fill out cards that my sister made which asked people to give me some advice for a happy marriage, as well as their favorite memory of me. I've saved them all, but I haven't quite decided what to do with them yet - they certainly deserve a better permanent home than the envelope where they're currently residing!

We finished the afternoon with a few games (I am horrible at identifying spices, fyi!), but all too soon the party was over. It was just so nice to spend the afternoon with some of the most amazing women I know, women who have been there for me for the last 20 years, and who will continue to be there anytime I need them for the next 20 years (and hopefully much, much longer!). 

MOH and sister EB, Mama EB and me

Still no idea what we're laughing about, but I'm anticipating many photos of my bridesmaids and me like this at our wedding!

There's a good one of us! Bridesmaid C, Bridesmaid K, MOH and sister EB, me, Bridesmaid N and MOH S 

All of the guests! Many thanks to my wonderful friend C (far left standing) for taking all of the photos in this post. Thanks C!

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