Weeks later, I'm still basking in the glow of my baby shower and mother blessing. Would you like to see photos?
My sister-in-law, Akiko, kindly offered to host it on their newly renovated rooftop deck with an impressive view of the Seattle skyline. I expressed to her my wishes for a more intimate, less traditional affair.
So we decided on an evening moonlit dinner to beat the August heat.
And the invitations from Minted perfectly suited the vision.
To keep with the celestial theme, my mom asked the ladies who couldn't attend to record themselves on a free phone app singing a lullaby or reciting a bedtime story.
The final playlist turned out so sweet!
I've been serenading Baby so he can get to know his aunties' voices before he arrives.
Lucky for me, Akiko is a top-notch amateur chef! She created the most mouth-watering “moonlight Mediterranean" spread.
And since she knows how much I enjoy design details, she let me create personal watercolor menus and place cards for each guest.
My mom brought gorgeous dahlia arrangements from Bea's, a local flower farm in Gig Harbor. We also used them at our wedding.
I also wanted to make favors for my guests.
And what girl doesn't love candles?
I glued beautiful raw moonstones to the top of each candle with a tag describing the powers of the gem, which they could later remove and use as they wish.
On the second candle tag, there was a poem:
Light this special candle Once labor has begun. Send your love through candle flame, As Shannon greets her son.
Moonlight Mediterranean Menu:
Blueberry Lavender Vodka Spritzer / Blueberry Lavender Water
Hummus platter with dips, olives, veggies, pita Grilled haloumi with seasonal fruit with balsamic drizzle Phyllo triangles filled with spinach and feta Roasted vegetable orzo pasta Marinated mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes on grilled ciabatta Grilled feta wrapped in grape leaves with rosemary honey
Dates sautéed in olive oil and vanilla over greek yogurt Pistachio-walnut orange blossom baklava “cigars" White nectarine gelato
What a feast, right? Everything was just incredible!
And what mama-to-be wouldn't want to wear a flower crown on her special day?
After gifts had been opened and the sun went down, the candles were lit and the mother blessing began.
Have you heard of a Blessingway?
It's an ancient Navajo ritual created to celebrate a woman's rite of passage into motherhood.
We decided to host a similar ceremony in lieu of traditional shower games.
Each guest was invited to share a poem, passage, prayer or positive personal birth story to inspire and encourage me before I give birth.
As each lady went around the circle, they were also asked to select their favorite moonstone beads from a glass goblet and string them onto a thread to create a mala necklace/bracelet for me to wear around my wrist during labor.
If you're unfamiliar, malas are usually comprised of 108 beads, a very sacred number according to many Eastern religions.
They can be powerful tools used in meditation to keep one mindful, grounded and present, transform consciousness and overall well-being.
Although we had some technical difficulties getting the needle through the beads (I'll be finishing the mala on my own!), the sentiment was there.
And I have my girls' collective energy to support and empower me spiritually and emotionally during birth.
Happy tears were shed.
It was definitely a meaningful way to end the night.
I felt so loved, honored and radiant as they gave me the strength and confidence to embark on this life altering journey into motherhood.
And I have nothing but thanks to all the sweet souls who put their heart and energy into making my shower so memorable.