A Very Foxy Baby Shower

Howdy, everyone! Hope you all had an excellent 4th of July holiday! I, myself, admit that the weird work week (holiday on a Tuesday!) did throw me for a bit of a loop, so I’m just now feeling like I’m getting back into the swing of things, work-wise. Partly at fault is probably the fact that I’m still riding high on the wave from my baby shower last weekend!

My wonderful sister and sister-in-law threw the most beautiful shower for Baby Foxlet!

There was tons of love, pink, sparkles, and mom-osas (well, mock ones for me!). It was perfect! They even got my brother to brave all the estrogen in the room and take beautiful photos of the entire day. I mean, just peep these deets!

I’m certainly feeling very blessed and very loved, and things are also feeling very real now that we have so much “stuff” for this little nugget, hehe. I am really lucky to have such generous people in my life! <3

Once I get everything put away, organized, and finalized I’ll be doing an updated nursery post (if you care about that sort of thing.) And in the meantime, I know I missed my 29 week update, but I’ll be back on Wednesday with a full update on how things are going (if you care about that sort of thing, lol.) So, until then…!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Happy Monday, folks!

‘Tis a great Monday indeed, since it’s the very last Monday before… CHRISTMAS!!!!!!1!!!11!!!!!!!!!!1!!

If you’re thinking, “Gretchen, ease up on the exclamation points and formatting, it’s just a holiday…” then you obviously don’t know me at all. Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday, my favorite time of year, my favorite everything. I’m totally that girl when it comes to Christmas. And this year, my whole fam is heading down to Atlanta to ring in Christmas morn at my sister Jen’s house.

It actually feels like the Christmas festivities have kind of already started, though, because even though we’re all going to her house for Christmas in just a few days, my sister and my nieces were actually up here this past weekend!

 
This may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also certainly the busiest! This past week has held my work holiday celebration, my brother’s birthday, a photoshoot, and a baby shower — as well as plenty of time spent with the best kiddos in the world, of course. 🙂

Wednesday night, I went out to dinner with my coworkers to celebrate 2016 and the upcoming holidays. We don’t have an actual office here in the DC area (I work from home), but I’m luckier than a lot of other remote Yelp employees in that there are actually quite a few of us in the same area! This gives us the luxury of getting me out from behind my computer screen every once in a while to love on each other in person (and gives me an excuse to get dolled up, too!)

 
I know I probably humblebrag about my job far too much already, but I just have the best coworkers. We went to this new-ish restaurant in DC called Mythology that I loooooved, and ate, drank, and chatted the night away. I don’t go into the city all that often, but this place already has me thinking about my next trip, it was so good! The deets are all on–you guessed it–Yelp, so take a gander if you’re interested:

Read Gretchen F.‘s review of Mythology on Yelp

Thursday was my brother’s birthday, and was also the day that Jenny and the girls came into town. We had a family dinner at my parents’ house, and then went to see Rogue One on opening night (no spoilers, but it was awesome.)

 
Saturday morning was spent twiddling my thumbs waiting for the insane ice that had taken over the Metro Area to melt. It was insanely icy that morning — I almost fell flat on my butt just stepping out my front door, and there were literally dozens and dozens of terrible traffic accidents throughout the morning (including a THIRTY CAR PILEUP on the beltway. :()

Luckily (and weirdly), it warmed up and the ice was all but melted by noon, so I still got to fill the majority of the day with fun stuff… and even had a special guest star that some of you may recognize:

Anne! My brother and sister-in-law were shooting some photos for Anne’s business, so I played the role of makeup artist for the day. I can’t wait to see the finished shots!

 
Getting to test out my makeup skills is always fun for me, especially as my interest in makeup artistry has continued to grow. I’ve been getting more experimental with my own makeup lately (perhaps I’ve been getting bolder as a side effect of chopping off my hair, hehe), and, much to Sean’s chagrin, have been investing in a broader range and breadth of products.

Maybe one day I’ll get confident enough to start a side hustle beautifying folks, but for now, it’s enough to showcase my extreme vanity all over Instagram. And here, too, I guess. 😉

Finally, my weekend capped off with my beautiful friend Lara’s baby shower! This was the main reason Jen was back in town, as she was co-hosting it, and it just worked out really well that it was around the same time as Ben’s birthday.

Lara is a big Crossfit nut, so the shower was actually Crossfit themed! I helped Jen out by trying to replicate some of the things that she found on Pinterest. Some were a big win (the barbell diaper cake!), some were passable (the kettle bell cake balls), and some were a huge, time-wasting fail (WHY ARE SUGAR COOKIES SO HARD TO DECORATE?!?!). Regardless, I had a ton of fun prepping with Jen and, of course, loving on Lara and her soon-to-be baby girl!

So, that just about catches us up! Jen and the girls head back to Atlanta today with my parents, and the rest of us will be following suit later this week. So the next few days are sure be super busy as I try to wrap up work stuff, personal stuff, and try to keep my raging Christmas spirit in check ’til I make it to the ATL! And if I don’t make it back for another post before the end of the week, we wish you the happiest of holidays and merriest of Christmases!

 

The Little Focus That Could

I’ve put a lot of miles on my little baby Buttercup this week. (Buttercup being, for the uninformed, my car. She is very, very yellow.)

I had kind of forgotten what my hair looked like in a shade of brown. Whoa.

Being the Northern Virginia-dwelling suburbanite that I am, it’s pretty safe to assume that I do a lot of driving. And while that may be true to a certain extent — I certainly find myself visiting all corners of this region more often in my current role with Yelp than I ever did previously — I actually don’t drive that much. Since I don’t have a regular commute anymore, I’m not putting a steady stream of miles on my car — it’s only when I have a meeting or drive out to an event or have a desperate, searing craving for Korean BBQ that I take my baby out. In fact, due to the endless supply of schnauzers at my house and the fact that you can buy gummy bears in 5 pound bags on Amazon, there are usually quite a few days a week when I don’t have to leave the house at all. (I prefer not to think of that as being sad and pathetic, by the way.)

My little Ford Focus, purchased new in August 2012, only has about 16,000 miles on it. I’m no expert on car mileage, but I hear that’s fairly low.

This week in particular, however, I have been racking up the miles. And the frustration. Because lately it seems that any time I have to drive anywhere, I have the joyous benefit of sitting in lots and lots and lots of traffic. Between last night’s taillight-laden trip to National Harbor to see Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna (such a fun show — you should absolutely go if you’re in the area!) and the weekend’s horrific trip to New Kent for my college roommate and super preggo bestie Bethany’s baby shower, I’ve definitely been making up for the aforementioned lack of mileage.

Speaking of Bethany’s baby shower, fun story. So, Sean and I are headed down to New Kent, VA for Bethany’s coed baby shower (with Sean giving me grief about how coed baby showers aren’t a thing the entire time, but I digress), and New Kent  is about 20-ish minutes or so outside of Richmond. So, figuring that it usually takes about 2 hours to get to Richmond, we leave at around 10 AM to get there.

We arrive at 2:30 PM.

Yep, it took us FOUR AND A HALF HOURS to go 120 miles. I-95 traffic is no joke, folks, especially on a weekend, especially in the summer. Although, it does make me wonder WHERE all these other people who are stuck in equally bad traffic are really going. I mean, even if they’re taking a day or two off from work, are they really taking 6 – 8 hours to get to the beach, only to have to turn around and come right back in one or two days? #notworthit

Anyway, by the time we finally got to Bethany’s sister’s house, the shower was pretty much over. Womp womp. Which really worked out for Sean, since he got to avoid all of the baby games, and admittedly it kind of worked out for me, too, because I basically just got to hang out with Bethany, her hubster, and her sisters for a couple hours on my own.

Perhaps that was really my plan all long! Bwahaha. No, I kid, I kid, I’m really bummed that I missed out on the whole shebang. At least I still got to decorate a onesie! I really should have taken a picture of it, it was a masterpiece. (Reality: it was not a masterpiece. It said, “Will Cry for Milk” and then “I love boobs.”)

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It did seem like a shame to have to turn around and head back on the highway after only a couple hours of visiting, but all was not lost. On our way back, which AMAZINGLY took less than three hours in total, we stopped in Fredericksburg and I got to experience a kickin’ restaurant there called Foode, AND we got Carl’s Ice Cream after that – STRAWBERRYYYYY! Carl’s is evidently a Fredericksburg institution. It reminded me of Kline’s in Harrisonburg, and it was delicious.

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So at least my car ride from hell ended on a sweet note. Unfortunately, the driving isn’t over yet, as today I’m headed out to Annapolis! Luckily, it’s for a great reason — lunch with the bestest best coworkers ever! And at least I’ve got my DC counterpart Kimberly ridin’ shotgun and keeping me company. We miiiiight be going to the beach afterwards. Just sayin’.

At least this time I’ve learned my lesson and am giving us ample time to get there. Since I’m sure that even at noon on a Thursday, there will undoubtedly be traffic. Wish us (and Buttercup) luck, and see you on the flip!

Baby Shower

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Words cannot adequately prepare you for the photo explosion that is about to happen on this blog. I’m not gonna lie. It’s going to be intense. There were a lot of photos taken at my sister’s baby shower this past weekend–some by me, more by Taylor (our future sister-in-law). So many, you may wretch at the sight of polka dots and tulle after this point. So many, that the very mention of the color pink makes you want to claw your eyes out. But, then again, maybe you like this kinda stuff so it’ll all be okay. 😉

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On Saturday afternoon, some of my older sister’s nearest and dearest friends (as well as a few of my awesome extended family members) gathered at my mom’s house for a baby shower: I was hosting and Taylor helped me plan.

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Also, they brought presents.

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Hehe.

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We set up a buffet in the dining room with fingerfoods and glasses of sparkling pink lemonade (the ruffle ball thingies and lemonades were modeled directly after a Pin on my sister’s Pinterest that Tay found!), and then everyone pretty much gathered in the adjacent living room.

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As mentioned, Tay and I played dueling photographers (she won), and she also helped me plan the entire shower. We had quite the smorgasbord going on!

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There was a veggie platter, a fruit & cheese plate, hummus & crackers, THREE kinds of finger sandwiches (apricot, marionberry, and cucumber)…

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And my mom made these vegetarian curry puff things which were delicious. (My sister is a vegetarian, so the only non-Jenny-friendly food was a little plate that had some smoked salmon and crackers.

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Of course, the main event (in my opinion) was the tower of Georgetown Cupcakes that I ordered special for the shower. Funny story, I ordered two dozen cupcakes — half with pink icing and a white duck, and the other half with white icing and a pink duck — in chocolate and vanilla. What we ended up receiving was one dozen cupcakes — chocolate and vanilla — with pink icing and a white duck… and one dozen red velvet cupcakes with pink discs on top that said “16” in sparkling print.

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Lol, I guess we ended up with half of someone’s Sweet 16 order (I’m sure that kid is gonna be thrilled to have gotten our baby shower cupcakes, hahaha). I called the bakery and they offered to redeliver but it would take too long. So they gave me a gift card to make up for the mix-up, and we kept the red velvets. Actually, it worked out, since red velvet is their best flavor in my opinion. We just turned the “16” discs upside down, and voila! Totally shower appropriate. 🙂

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As for activities, the main thing was watching Jenny open her million, gazillion presents. It was a lot of clothing. Really, really stinkin’ adorable clothing. That pretty much consistently made me react like this to every gift:

BUT OH WAIT. Thanks to Tay’s wide angle camera lens, YOU DON’T HAVE TO IMAGINE ANYTHING because I’m in the background of each shot. Enjoy. (Stupid technology.)

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In addition to the, you know, shower itself, I got Jenny (or, rather, I got my niece) a couple of super adorable outfits that had tutus and pop-out ice cream cones and cupcakes on the top. (As if you’d expect anything less!)

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Hilariously, Anne ended up getting Jenny one of the same outfits, just in a bigger size. So this kid is gonna be rocking tutus and cupcakes until she is 2. (Couldn’t have planned it better myself, gwahaha.)

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So yes, the present-opening was definitely the main event, but we did a few other things as well. There was also a onesie decorating station that we set up in the kitchen (which was SO much fun, and if you have/host a baby shower, you should absolutely do this).

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The guests decorated onesies, and then at the end Jenny picked a winner (who got a small prize). Plus, now the baby has awesome, hand-crafted, personalized onesies to wear… for however long that fabric paint will last in the wash, hehehe.

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And as for the last activity…

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…I forced everyone to eat baby food. MWAHAHAHA. But at least I made it look pretty by putting them in nice glasses, and I only chose fruit flavors because I’m the nicest person ever. (Pear, Banana, and Apple, in case you were curious.) Also, the people who guessed right got a prize (a prize of Starbucks giftcards which, ironically, went to the two pregnant people at the shower who can’t really drink coffee, hahaha).

WHEW. Did you make through all of that? If so, congratulations. If not, you should know that this isn’t even all the photos that were taken that day. I actually managed to practice a smidgen of self-restraint so… you’re welcome. 🙂

I cannot wait for this little alien baby to join the world in March! I am gonna spoil the crap outta this kid. Because, you know, she’s definitely not spoiled enough already.

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