Once we devised a plan and told the guests of honor the story, the day finally came for us to execute the event and I was exhausted! The work week before the event was looooong (I'm talking 12-14 hours each day) and I was tired. I spent the few days prior to the shower finalizing crafts and decor but, MAN, I was tired.
Everyone was busy on shower day - Mom and Dad hosted a community event at our church (making brunch for the attendees), Ryan's mom and sisters had errands to run and a long ride to the venue, I had to load the car up and pick-up the table linen mom rented across town for the venue (she couldn't due to the schedule conflict). I woke early to load the car, to get Munch dressed and to get on the road. Among the items I loaded into the car was a wedding cake I agreed to deliver for my sweet baker friend, Misty. I planned to arrive super early, get everything set-up and have plenty of time to change my clothes and deliver the cake so, as we've discussed in the Event Planner Resentment recover plan, I could arrive as a guest and enjoy the baby shower without pressuring myself to be the 'event planner' in the room.
Tabitha, meet traffic. Summer time traffic. Traffic at 9:00 a.m. Why?! Because your little plan to be moving and shaking and DONE well before the 3:00 p.m. baby shower was a joke, Tabitha!
It was awful! AWFUL! Traffic pushed my schedule back. I arrived a mere 3.75 hours before the shower. Munch and I unloaded the vehicle and unfolded tables. We laid linen and did as much as we could without the other shower planning committee members present.
I was stressed. Things were coming together but I was stressed. Everyone got there but I was stressed. We loaded two fancy chairs in my car and, in the 15 minutes I was gone, the room made more progress but I was stressed. We were 15 minutes from the shower start time and I had to leave to deliver a cake. I plugged in the address and it was 25 minutes away! I had to leave. Like, AT THAT MOMENT!
Changed the clothes, freshened up, climbed in the truck and SPED off! I delivered the cake, made some new friends and hit the road to make the shower in time for the SURPRIIIIISE moment.
Dressed-and-still-stressed Tabitha, meet traffic. Stand-still, not-going-anywhere-fast-or-slow kind of traffic.
They were going to arrive in a matter of minutes. Ryan would have on the dress, all of our awkward moments were going to come to a head when she saw the shower set-up and learned we all were coming together for her. For the baby. For them. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was on the verge of tears. I called Devona as she was the last-minute pair of hands onsite and she assured me I'd make it... she told me everyone was there and they were taking their passport photos.
She reminded me to stay calm and she promised to relay the message that I was on my way back! I hung up and I was better but not okay.
I called my life coach and bestie, Sheena. She answered the phone and could hear my despair. I cried as she reminded me I've prepared for this. She promised Ryan would be more than excited for the hard work we put into everything and she insisted I can't stress over the things I can't control. "If being there for the surprise is important, call and ask your mom to wait."
SO, I did. Mom said they would postpone but, if it took me too long, they would need to move forward. While I was away, our family photographer onsite took pictures.
Mom explained the story behind the surprise to attendees. She explained how Mike and Ryan thought they were arriving for a surprise vow renewal.
She explained that she gave them the task of keeping Dad busy until the ceremony started. Meanwhile, I sat in the stand-still traffic. When I felt a panic attack rising, it became as if God froze time just for me. I made it in no time and I promise there was traffic every step of the way. I arrived and my baby bro, Dave, hurried me to park because they were on their way! I ran in and had a happy dance moment as soon as I made it through the venue threshold (totally forgetting the other 75ish people in the room!). I didn't care. I made it. I. made. it!
Everyone was bubbling with excitement for their arrival. Dad came through the door first and the guests of honor hung back so he could have his moment. As soon as they walked in, all of the family and friends were standing at the entrance and yelled SURPRISE!
Ryan shook her head saying, "...too much. This *wipes tears* is too much." She wiped tears away and the Lion King theme music played.
I was really excited about the song choice but not as excited as I was about the dress! She looked awesome in the dress!
Can you imagine the song playing as they hugged family and close friends? It was great!
The moms pinned the boutonnieres as the two of them took it all in.
Ryan was trying to figure out how everyone pulled it off. You see the face above, she was giving everyone the side eye. She talks to her mom *like* everyday. How was everyone able to keep this secret?! She looked around and took it all in.
The pins were awesome!
With their pins, they greeted guests with smiles and hugs.
They laughed with Dad about how grumpy he was and fussing about "whatever it is she's planning! Why do I have to wear blue? Why this shade of blue? Why is she always doing something? I don't want to go!" He really slipped into a grumpy character... or maybe it came naturally.
The time had come to celebrate our baby on the way and we had created a fabulous backdrop. We'll talk decor tomorrow!
See you there!