Our founder, Crystal Palecek and her husband, Andrew are expecting their first child this April! Last month we threw her a Baby Shower and today, she’s sharing all the details:

“Ever since finding out I was pregnant last summer, my husband, Andrew and I have been over the moon with joy and excitement. Though I’m overwhelmingly humbled and grateful for the precious baby boy growing inside of me, my pregnancy hasn’t always been easy. The first 20 weeks were marred by severe all-day morning sickness; I struggled to accept (and feared) the weight gain and lack of control over my body; and had a lot of feelings to process that come with entering a new chapter in life while closing another, which I’m sure all women transitioning into motherhood experience. As the weeks progressed, however, I slowly began to learn to surrender to the lack of control and gave myself permission to just experience my pregnancy – even the difficult parts – wholeheartedly. As I like to put it, the journey is wonderfully stressful and torturously beautiful.

To be totally truthful the thought of a Baby Shower where I – and all 35 extra pounds of me – would be the center of attention didn’t immediately sound appealing to me. But part of my newfound “practice in surrendering” told me that I needed to swallow my vanity and celebrate this special time in my life awaiting our sweet baby boy’s arrival. When the Rue girls offered to throw me a shower, I just had to say yes.

Last month, at 31 weeks, we all gathered to celebrate. One of my favorite private event venues in San Francisco is Cookhouse. It’s an architecturally charming and beautifully designed space in the heart of North Beach. It has the most stylish open kitchen making it perfect for hosting dinner parties, showers, and cocktail parties. The best part? Their staff does all the clean up! So when Jen, the owner, offered up the space, I was extra excited to call Cookhouse the backdrop to my shower.

Because the venue itself is so beautiful, not too much was needed in the way of decorations. Beautiful flower arrangements by Tango & Foxtrot added the perfect touch. I wanted to keep everything neutral and soft and avoid anything cliché and overtly “boy”. And of course, the food was a beautiful sight in and of itself. Whenever we have an event at Rue, we always call our go-to guy, Chef John Silva at Culinary Eye. He never disappoints! John and his team whipped up an amazing menu for the guests featuring things like Pesto Pasta Lumachini, Petite Quail Eggs with Caviar, Oyster and Poached Shrimp On Crushed Ice, Farmers Market Salads with Edible Flowers, and Savory Avocado and Crab Parfait (this was especially popular with the guest and we shared the recipe right here). The food was as beautiful as it was delicious! All of that was accompanied with J Winery’s delicious (so I hear!) sparkling white wine. Just because I can’t drink doesn’t mean my guests shouldn’t have to!

Oh, and then there was dessert! We worked with Miette to provide all the baked goods and my goodness were they delicious. Guests couldn’t stop eating the cupcakes and I got to take home the chocolate cake. I must have eaten about a quarter of it by myself in one sitting. It was that good! I now have a new favorite bakery in town.

Maia, Rue’s Art Director, also put together a fun little questionnaire for guests to fill out with hopes and wishes for our son. I had created one for Maia’s baby shower last year and she said reading through them still brings tears to her eyes to this day. I now know what she means! The day after my shower, Andrew and I spent time reading through all of them and it was truly special to see how everyone answered. I plan to have some of the photos from the day printed and make a little scrapbook with the questionnaires as a way to remember all the wishes for our baby.

Next, guests gathered as I opened cards and presents. Something about holding our son’s clothes, blankets, toys, and other gifts in my hands made it all so real. (Especially the thought of pushing our new baby along the bay in our new Bugaboo stroller!) But better than any of the gifts, was having the love and support of friends and family helping me celebrate the impending arrival of Baby Palecek! Lastly, each guest left with the most adorable (and delicious) party favor- Williams-Sonoma’s “Welcome Baby Boy Cookie Set” monogramed with Andrew’s and my initials. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day of celebrating our son!

P.S. Check out the Baby Shower I threw Maia last year with my Top 5 Party Planning Tips right here. “