Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Photo Extravaganza: Baby Showers & Fundraising to Fight Cancer

I've talked a couple of times about being busy, something that's new to no one, I realize. My May and June (so far) were extraordinarily busy. I wanted to share some photos of what has been going on in my life lately.

To begin, the first baby shower I co-hosted this spring. (That's right... I said "first". Both of my aunt's daughters-in-law are pregnant and due in July!) On the first Sunday in May, we had a beautiful baby shower to celebrate baby Chloe Marie.

From the right: my co-host Julia, mommy-to-be Lisa, and me. I made the stuffed owl, and Julia made the beautiful painting. We used invitations from the Etsy shop UrbanFormality's Hayley Baby Shower Invite. If you've never had someone create personalized invitations and printed your own, I highly suggest doing so! Etsy is full of things that match the Hayley pattern from Pottery Barn.

Cupcakes with personalized toppers Julia made and owls I created from 3EyedBear.com's printable and foldable patterns.

Diaper cake with scrapbook paper owl, birds, and butterfly I made based on Pottery Barn's Hayley bedding.

Water bottle labels Julia created to match the Hayley theme that say "awaiting the arrival of Chloe Marie." So cute!

 Chloe's gift table with the ribbon holder Julia painted and a card tree with painted clothespins and more of the scrapbook paper owls, birds, and butterflies for decoration. My mom made the tree by spray painting a tree limb and securing it in a clay flower pot, then we pinned the cards people brought to the branches.

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This past weekend, we celebrated a baby boy with a shower for baby Levi Taylor. His nursery will be red and blue. We used those colors with jungle animals for the shower, primarily elephants. For invites we used the Etsy shop That Girl Designs. She was amazing, doing both personalized Elephant Baby Shower invitations and a custom order of cupcake toppers.
From the left: my co-host (yes, for this shower, too!) Julia, mommy-to-be Ashleigh, and me in front of another amazing painting that Julia did for baby Levi.

The tables were decorated with white lanterns Julia had, metal buckets of peanuts, and paper blocks Julia created with the cupcake topper design.

 The food table with another awesome painting Julia created. This one featured a lion and the Bible verse from Proverbs 22:6: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Cupcake toppers I printed using the customized order That Girl Designs did for us. I especially love the "Oh boy!" ones.

Little Levi also had water bottle labels created for him by Julia, also using the cupcake topper pattern from That Girl Designs.

And baby Levi (of course) got a diaper cake made by me with a Garanimals stuffed giraffe and monkey and elephant rattles attached.

As you can tell, we are very excited about the arrival of these little ones! We wanted to make sure they were welcomed properly into the world, and I hope these showers did so.

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Finally, the other event that drew my attention away from reading and blogging was participating in the American Cancer Society's fundraiser Relay For Life. Relay happens in communities all over the world during the spring and summer months. It is the largest fundraising event for ACS.

My town's Relay is particularly dear to my heart because my aunt (the one who is expecting two new grandbabies this summer) was one of the original founders of the event in Warren County. Cancer is a disease that affects every family and group of friends.

I served on WC's Relay committee for a few years, but this year I decided we needed a team at the school where I teach. An amazing team full of hardworking teachers (and a couple of students) helped raise $2,200 in our first year to participate. I am thrilled with this, and I'm already thinking ahead to next year! 

This past weekend was the weekend of Relay.

Our Relay booth, the Eastside Sweet Court. We used decorations left over from the 8th grade formal dance, which worked perfectly with our sweet goodies for sale.

Speaking of goodies, here is a closer photo of what we had for sale: strawberry shortcakes (homemade by my mom), an array of cookies baked by team members, and mini bundt cakes created by teacher Leigh Hillis. All were amazing!

My mom and I in front of our booth. She was an amazing help to me, especially given that she teaches at a different elementary school in our town and wasn't even officially on our team! 

And finally, the reason we Relay. During the night, a luminaria ceremony interrupts the fun to remind us why we're at Relay. On one set of bleachers, white paper bags spelled out H-O-P-E. When the lights go out for the reading of names of survivors and those who lost their battle with cancer, the bags are lit by candles. This year, HOPE changed to CURE when the lights went out. An amazing reminder for us all.

Tomorrow, I'll be back with book reviews and posts about reading. This week look for a review of Michael Koryta's newest novel The Ridge, a Book News post with a special section on the YA controversy that has been ongoing this past week, and a special summer reading post.

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