Y’all know that I love to throw over-the-top parties and showers.  It runs in my family.  Put Mom, my sister, and I in a room together planning for big brother Phanny & his wife Amanda’s baby shower and you would have to call it more of an extravaganza than just a shower.

Add to that the fact that my sister and I don’t do shower games, but we do like to feed TONS of people, serve a signature cocktail and go overboard with decorations and you’ve got yourself a couple’s shower that practically rivals a wedding reception.

We believe in giving our guests options and end up with a variety of dishes for them to choose from.  We even had to cross some things off the list (if you can believe that self-control!) in pre-planning phase 1 because we typically over-load it based on dishes we know our guests like.

Amanda’s family is from Texas, and loves BBQ.  I’m not sure what I was thinking contending with Texas BBQ, but I was sure as heck going to give it a shot!

I smoked 30 lbs of brisket for 12+ hours (thanks for lending us your smoker, Justin!) and put a pork shoulder in the crock pot since there was no room left in the smoker.

Mom picked up two flavors of hot wings, since they’re one of Phanny’s favorites and we loaded up the table with condiments and sliced bread.

That was just the main course table!

To keep the flow of guests moving, we spread out the side dishes across from the main courses on the kitchen counter top instead of trying to jam it all on to one space.  Side dishes included sweet apple & cabbage coleslaw, red potato salad, roasted sugar snap peas, chips & dip, deviled eggs, fruit punch, and pasta salad.

We used the dinning room table for the appetizers (Mom’s egg rolls, more deviled eggs, Danielle’s artichoke dip, meat & cheese tray, veggie tray, fruit bowl & cream cheese dip and more chips & dip) and desserts (cake & cupcakes (of course), butter cream mints, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

I think he’s had one too many trips to the dessert table.

Someone clean this kid up!  Oh, wait, he’s mine.  Fine, I’ll do it!

We even had to devote an entire counter top to the strawberry-mint sangria that Margo made.  Which I failed to photograph, but did manage to capture the large punch bowl ice cubes we made for it.

The top of my punch bowl isn’t large enough for a standard bundt cake ice ring, so we improvised.  I grabbed a few cupcake pans, threw a few sliced strawberries into each compartment, filled with water (you could use club soda or 7-Up if you want to keep the pizazz in your punch and not water it down) and froze them overnight.

Run some hot water under the pan with your sink sprayer, or, if your sink is large enough, dip the bottoms into about 2 inches of hot water to loosen.

Because we had so many dishes to share, I picked up these standard name tents and we labeled all of the food and embellished them with scrap-booking stickers for flair.

I’ve also been compelled to save mason jars and those square spaghetti sauce jars over this past year and they finally found their time to shine!

I rummaged through my candle collection until I found these purple-ish colored tea lights and then we partially filled the jars with rocks from the playground and tied pink ribbon around their necks.

The same pink ribbon that we tied off the party favor bags with.  The party favor goody bags were just hand fulls of Phanny & Amanda’s favorite candies, tied off with pink ribbon and accented with homemade marble magnets.

These magnets have been on my mind since Aiden became obsessed with them when he saw them on Danielle’s fridge a few weeks ago.

It hit me that it would be a super cool baby shower party favor for guests to take home, slap on the fridge and then wait patiently for the baby announcement to come out.  That, and Aiden busted one of Danielle’s so I totally owed her a new one!

The only downside to our couple’s baby shower extravaganza was the heat.  The temp hit 95° and the house couldn’t keep the AC up well enough since we had the back door open.  We had umbrellas up outside and the giant tent for shade, but even the breeze was too hot.

And the exhaustion that is hitting me still, even now.  It’s the middle of the 2nd evening-after and I could close my eyes and sleep for days.  But I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.  Why?  Because I’d do anything for my siblings.  And I love a good party.

I’m extremely honored to have been able to co-host a shower for them, along with Mom & Margo.  I loved showering them with food and presents and family and friends!

10 or so weeks until my big brother and his beautiful wife get to meet their sweet little baby girl.  Can’t wait!

I asked them to name her after me, but I don’t think I’m winning that one.  I told them they could even spell it phonetically to save her from the teasing I got in elementary school.  I still don’t think I’m winning that one.

It was worth a shot.