The final week in July brought a very celebratory make. My sister Megan is pregnant with a little girl named Molly. Everything is progressing very well. Megan and Molly are both healthy and steadily growing (Molly growing all around and Megan growing...round). I love you, Megan. You're beautiful in all your pregnant roundness. :o)
When I was home (in Jersey) for the first week of August, my mom planned a baby shower for Megan and Molly. She invited 80 people...because that's how we do things. Go big or go home. And we were planning on having the shower in the picnic pavilion in our back yard--one of those crazy constructions of my parents' that I don't quite understand until we have a million people we want to feed, and then it finally clicks: of course we need a picnic pavilion. This is what our lives have been missing all along!--So we spent Saturday and Sunday morning preparing: making cute little mini-quiches with tomatoes and fresh basil, covering citronella candles with pretty paper, making blackberry syrup for blackberry lemonade, setting up the picnic tables just right, arranging jars of Baby Molly blueberry lemon marmalade my mom made as shower favors, wrapping presents that would be prizes for shower games, and so on and so forth.
Show time: we were all ready in the picnic pavilion; the tables were set; the decorations were hung; the food was ready. And then we heard the thunder. And then the sky opened up..one of those absolutely torrential summer thunderstorms that you think will pass quickly because surely the sky cannot contain that much water, but it does. We all sat in the pavilion for a little while, listening to the rain pound against the metal roof, hoping that it would stop soon. And then all of a sudden, we realized that it was time to initiate plan B, and we all snapped into action. I wish I had thought to grab my camera. As guests started to arrive, my family scrambled to move everything inside, to clear out the clutter from the classroom, to figure out seating for all these people, to set up the food, to basically completely wing it like only the Gibersons can do. There we were, running from pavilion to house and back, all soaking wet, slipping on the classroom floor, ushering guests into the house with umbrellas as we started the party from scratch, and I looked around, and I thought to myself, "It's so good to be home." There's something about mass chaos that settles me into a familiar place, where everyone works together like this is what we were made to do, and I remember what it's like to be a part of a family that is capable of greatness and flexibility and beautifully messy life.
In the end, everything worked out just fine, like we all knew it would despite our momentary panic. We ended up squeezing 50 people into our family room. The food was great. Everyone had a lovely time. And Molly made out like a bandit.
My gift to Molly was a crib quilt and bumper made from fabric that I am convinced was designed for that very purpose:
I bought a plain crib blanket and bumper from Ikea and covered them in the fabric, which was just the right width to make a simple duvet cover for the blanket. The bumper was a little trickier because it was 168" long. (That's 14 feet.) I made a giant sleeve of fabric and had Jason hold the end of the bumper while i turned the sleeve right-side out over the bumper, which stretched almost the entire length of our apartment. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the actual gifts as I made them into the wee hours of the morning the night before Jason and I headed down to the Promised Land. (Sidenote of caution: Never EVER drive from Boston to Jersey on a Friday afternoon in the summer. A normally 5 1/2 - 6 hour drive took us no less than 9 hours.)
But the important thing is that Megan thought the fabric was as perfect as I did, and I know she'll enjoy setting up Molly's crib with the pretty browns and greens and pinks and flowers and swirls that are that ideal balance of girlyness and classic understatedness. Unfortunately, Megan will just have to wait for said nesting until the mold is cleaned out of their house from the air conditioner leak in their attack, which sent Megan and Justin to live in my parents' house for a few weeks while simultaneously being 8 months pregnant and caring for their 2 foster children--a newborn and a two year old. Have I mentioned that our family thrives in mass chaos?