When my husband and I were newly married more than a decade ago, we started attending a church that was about 20 minutes away from our house. We went to a meeting of people who wanted to attend small groups. They broke us into groups based on where we lived.
All the central people should sit over there. The northwest people over here. The northeast people should go there... MOST of the people who attended this church lived in those areas.
And then there were the people who lived to the south. We got in our little group, which might have included three or four couples at most. The only ones I remember were P and G. They seemed to be maybe 20 years older than we were, but they had sparkling eyes, warm laughs and so much excitement in their voices that we barely noticed.
They had moved to the area not so long before that after spending 14 years living in Bolivia. We found out they lived only a few miles from our house. And so started a friendship that doesn't come along very often in life.
We don't have many friends like P and G. They just dig in and become part of your life without dancing around the outskirts or asking for permission.
They would drop by our little two-bedroom townhome without any warning. They asked us questions. They gave advice. They said things that needed to be said.
When we started having babies, they would show up at the hospital. For the birth. (I had three scheduled C-sections, so we could let them know the exact time to come to the waiting room.) They brought meals and checked on us.
We got to know their four children and celebrated with them through the good times and prayed with them through times that were more difficult.
We weren't the only ones who were so blessed by this couple. One of the great things about P and G is that they are sort of matchmakers. They would find little ways to introduce us to other couples who were about our age. We developed a circle of friends in the same stage of life we were. The babies of our friends were the first friends of our babies. And P and G were mentors to so many of us.
About four years ago, they felt God's calling to go back to the mission field. We are always blessed to be on their list of people they visit when they make their annual trip back home. And this time, we were ecstatic for them that while they were home their daughter got engaged.
It was a quick engagement — not much more than a month. And I realized that it would be so much fun to have a shower with this group of women who have all been part of their lives all of these years.
The only evening that would work was this past Thursday. And even though I knew my husband had a trip planned to China, I had to find a way to make it work!
I used to be good at putting together little social gatherings at my house. But I was feeling pretty rusty. Once I started getting some ideas, though, I remembered how much I LOVE doing stuff like this!
The bride made it so easy. She is getting married outdoors with many special handmade touches at her wedding. She is using lots of fall colors for her decor, so I got inspired to decorate for the shower.
I pulled out my stamp sets I haven't used in ages to make these party favors. They are little fall scented candles I found in the dollar aisle at Michaels. I stamped a little tag for each one with words like "joy" and "always".
I also stamped matching paper to go inside a book. The guests were asked to write a page of advice for the bride to go in the book. I always cringe when I have to come up with stuff like this on the spot, but my guests graciously complied (after I begged and pleaded about a dozen times). The book did turn out to be really cool in the end, and the guests all gave great advice!
I made simple snacks like pumpkin bars and an assortment of (store-bought!) cheesecakes.
At the last minute I decided to attempt to make cake pops. This turned out to be a far greater endeavor than I ever imagined. This is what the professional version would have looked like.
Mine were far from perfect, but still cute.
The bride to be looked gorgeous, and it was a joy to celebrate with her and her mom!
Happy wedding! We're so happy for you!!
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