Baby Estime is almost here!

It is a 5andwhine tradition to honor the mothers-to-be a week leading to their baby shower.  Although my baby sister is not a veteran 5andwhiner – she is still the love of my life.   As we are just days away from celebrating her and welcoming her first child I can not help but reflect on what an amazing women she is.    She has dedicated her life to spreading the gospel and serving others.  What more of a role model can you ask a mother to be?

Being as I was lucky to have been my baby sisters Maid of Honor – I have already once had to find the words to describe my lovely angel of a sister.   Below is my “MOH” speech to remind my dear sister of how beautiful she is and how naturally prepared she is to be a mother.

Good Evening! For those of you who don’t know me, Im Rachel, the very proud older sister of this very beautiful Bride. I want to start by congratulating Stevana and Zachary, and also by thanking all of you for coming here today. I especially want to thank the friends and bridesmaid that had such a huge hand in making today perfect… Not only Stevie’s friends came together as a team, but mothers, fathers, boyfriends and husbands who lent a hand to give a girl the wedding of her dreams, so thank you for that

I would like to Say one thing before I go on. Zachary, I want you to know that in every hug and handshake you exchange tonight you will know the presence and love of your father, and mine.
It is a blessing to be a part of this celebration,  and also my duty as big sister and maid of honor to jump immediately into an embarrassing story about my little sister:

And so it starts, Stevana Morris circa 1999 types a letter, as follows…

I’m Running away from home and I’m taking dogs with me.

And off she went, and maybe with the dogs.

And she trekked, and she made it allllll the way to turkey hill… For those of you who may not know, that is less than a quarter mile from our house. And then she returned. To be honest, I don’t know if she actually took the dogs, or how long she was gone. Because we only actually found the note saved on the computer weeks later and Stevana denied the entire activity until half way through our adult lives. There is one thing I do know undoubtedly, and that is that she most definitely had her blanket duo dragging behind her. Like Linus from the peanuts cartoon, Stevie drug her feet, sucked her thumb, and pulled two small blankets everywhere she went. One modestly known as blankey, and the other for which we have no understanding was known as coom. The coom was some kind of toxic waste reminiscence of what was once a sweet yellow quilt. Stevie would cry mercifully if we would attempt to leave the humiliating carcass at home to avoid scoffs from strangers. We don’t know why entirely that Stevie loved coom and blankey so much… But I do know it has something to do with her undying loyalty and love to the things and the people closest to her.

Stevie has prided her life on these qualities, and because of that I have developed the deepest love and respect and care for my baby sister. It weighs heavy on my family how deeply we care for Stevana, so introducing the thought of sharing her with a man scared us, or me, to the core. I always wondered Who could possibly be worthy of someone so good?

And only months ago, and in only about thirty minutes of spending time with Zachary did I know in my heart that if there is someone who is as pure and kind as Stevie. That this is that man. At our first dinner Zachary shared with me stories of his family, his time with mine, and his future plans with my sister, which are to care for her, and to be a leader in change and a leader in spreading Gods word. There is a way about him that warms me. I guess it’s the way he speaks with the same love and loyalty my sister does. Plus he’s willing to shake his hips all over michaels crafts with me in attempts to get on Stevie’s nerves!
I look at the two of you and think you are an inspiration. what a beautiful love story… Separately you gave your hearts to God, and so he rewarded you with love, and with that love you took it out to share with the world, not only with your family but to those who don’t have enough family to love them back:  and for that God rewarded you with each other.

Stevie my angel, and Zachary my brother; I believe in the mission that you two have dedicated your lives. I believe in your marriage and I love you both. I am proud to be your family. And I know that everyone in this room shares that same encouragement and trust.

So please join me in lifting your hearts or your glasses; I have one small challenge for you …A great writer once said the secret to his love was simply this and I wish it to you both..which I will share first in my brothers native tongue…
Do joo la meh, ah vek you nah moo, capreese pah see la moo (phonetically spelled!) – Repeat in English :
Always love with a love that is more than love !
To Stevie and Zach !!

stevie3 stevie4 stevie7

stevieANDi StevieANDi2 stevieANDi3 stevieANDi4
I love you SO much Stevie and I can not wait to celebrate with you this weekend !


My All-Star Themed Baby Shower!

My baby shower was in Bedford, PA, this weekend.  My family is from Eastern PA, Lance’s is from Central PA, and our friends are from Western PA, so what better place to have it then in Bedford!  My mother-in-law and best friends worked very hard to make the day special, and all I had to do was register and make sure I got to the party on time.  It was fabulous!

The shower started at 12:30 with buffet style sandwiches, pasta salad, fruits and vegetables and the decorations were amazing.  After 3 generations of Waltman men who loved and played baseball, the theme couldn’t have been more fitting for our soon-to-come baby boy.

There weren’t too many games, just some guess how many with sunflower seeds, and bubble gum, and a game where you froze these little plastic babies in ice cubes.  Everyone got one in their water glass and when your cube melted, you had to yell, “My water broke!” and then you got a prize.

see the little baby in the ice cube?

see the little baby in the ice cube?

FB_IMG_1430011603446 FB_IMG_1430011623953 FB_IMG_1430011598465 FB_IMG_1430011592169 FB_IMG_1430011586253 FB_IMG_1430011562769 FB_IMG_1430011536019

see the little baby in the ice cube?

see the little baby in the ice cube?


All in all it was the perfect day with my favorite people.  Thank you so much to those who made it possible!!

Pink Baby Shower…Part 2

In continuing the theme of my baby shower and last week’s post on how we prepared, today I’m going to walk you step-by-step around the room to see how it all came together.

When the shower guests entered the large room, we had two tables set-up as the guest book area.  I stumbled across two old crib mattress springs a few weeks before the shower, and we used clothes pins to display some of our old baby clothing and pictures from when we were little.  Also displayed were the gender reveal pictures Ken and I had taken in late November.

Crib springs

Ken's baby clothing

Ken’s baby clothing

At the end of the table were paper onesies in a variety of colors: pink, light pink, and teal.  We asked each guest to leave a short note on one of the paper onesies and use a push-pin to hang them in the two shadow boxes that were open on the table.  (Fun fact- these shadow boxes were hung in Ken’s room all throughout his childhood.  He used them to display the awards he received from sports and music achievements.  I sprayed them with a coat of white spray paint to give them a fresh, new feel.)  After the shower, we hung them in the nursery above the changing table.  I have a feeling I’ll need the encouraging words when I’m tending to late night diaper changes.


Baby clothing at the guestbook station.

The center of the room was filled with round tables where people could enjoy their lunch.  Each place setting had two games, a nursery rhyme game and a baby poll.  As people found a seat, they were able to fill out the games and chat with the other people at their table.

Baby shower games

Baby shower games

The center of each table held one of the diaper cakes that we made in the weeks prior to the shower.  We added the tissue paper flower and some votive candles to make the table feel more complete.

Diaper cake

Diaper cake centerpieces

One corner of the room held a long table for gifts and on the opposite side of the room was a paint-your-own onesie station.  We purchased onesies in a variety of sizes and pre-washed them so they were ready to wear after the baby shower.  A clothesline in the back corner of the room was an inviting way to welcome guests to this station.


The table was set with a variety of stencils, fabric paint and markers.  Guests had total freedom to write or decorate the onesie they selected.  We had some pretty interesting designs included one from my brother. 🙂  (suggestion- I wish we would have asked guests to write their name or initials on sleeve of the onesie they created.  It would be nice to know which guested created each onesie.)

Onesie station

Paint your own onesie station

The back of the room held all of the food.  The menu consisted of a bruschetta, a vegetable tray with spinach dip, crab dip, a greens salad, penne with pink vodka sauce, and homemade meatball.  Yum!



The hot chocolate bar and dessert station was located off to the side.  I’ve craved chocolate covered donuts my ENTIRE pregnancy so having a donut cake seemed like the best option.  Mini brownies, chocolate mint squares, and raspberry oatmeal bars were also available to guest.


It was such a fun day!  A special thanks to everyone who made the day so memorable!

Feelin’ the L.O.V.E!

1. Ya’ll know how to make a girl feel loved!  I have to admit, I’ve been behind on my blog reading this week so when I logged on this morning to upload my post, I was shocked to find two posts written about me.  The four girls that I share this blog with mean so much to me.  No matter the distance or time, we’re always able to come together to celebrate all of the many things that makes life so beautiful.  I am thankful for these gals everyday, and can’t wait to celebrate with them this weekend!

2.  The nursery got some love this weekend, thanks to my Hubby and sweet brother-in-law, Zach.  Zach has been staying with us for the past week and has been tremendously helpful with the odds and ends that we’ve been working on.  Our Ikea trip a few weekends ago was a great success and we were able to pick-up several large furniture pieces for the nursery, along with shelves and other accessories for the rest of the house.  I’m happy with the progress we made this weekend, and am anxious to begin decorating Baby M’s new room.  Below are some pictures of the boys in action!

Nursery helpers

Ken and Zach working on the shelves above the changing table.

Changing table

The new changing table, before decorating!


Soon these bookshelves will be filled with fun stories to share with our baby girl!

3. As Rachel and Kristina mentioned, my baby shower is this weekend.  I’ve been involved in the planning process (** crazy pregnant lady**) and I’m really happy with the items we’ve completed so far.  I’ll share a full rundown of my baby shower in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I’m excited to celebrate the healthy little girl, that keeps dancing like crazy in my belly, with all of the friends and family I care so much about.

I hope ya’ll have a great week and feel loved!


an Ode to our Old friend

We are just days from Katie Midgett’s very first baby shower. It is major life events like this that make for times of reminders and reflection.  This week the girls of 5&Whine wish to dedicate our posts to our dear friend.  We want not one day to celebrate- but an entire week of showering Katie and Baby with love that is 15 plus years in the making:


I have always felt that Katie has carried the torch for our group of friends in different ways. I remember giving a small toast at her bridal shower, and acknowledging Katie as the wise one, and one who will always be there to advise the rest of us through big life changes. See Katie has often times conquered many feats ‘first’. First bride, First puppy adopter, First home owner, First to tackle major home renos, and more I am sure I am not remembering. Although she is not the first mother in our small circle, she of course will still be yet another voice to guide the rest of us through an unknown process or journey. Thinking back on all of those ‘first’ brings me all the way back to – – get ready for this 1997! I can not believe how long I have known these ladies!

Katie is my golden ticket. I always look up to her and I am grateful for her friendship. With out Katie I would have never gotten to know this beautiful group of girls I call my best friends. We met in 6th grade- we are nearing our 20 year mark as friends! Her father was my teacher at the time. I would say I – my character, my decision making- was a little rough around the edges at this time. My family was not well off and it was the year my father passed. The combination of financial stress and emotional distress was hard for me as I was trying to fit in at school. Katie saw me as a friend, and Katie’s entire family treated me like one of their own. I would go over for dinner often. We would play (I have no idea what we would do to be honest) in kitties living room. Her parents would give me guidance on smart moves for college, etc. It was a warm home and escape from the sadness that draped my families’ house in hard times. It was a taste of life I had not known. All awhile with a friend to giggle with each day in school and out (Katie is a hoot – she’s incredibly funny, but has a demeanor that makes most of what she says feel unexpected).

As years went on we traveled as a pack, the five of us. To panera bread lunch dates, park city shopping mall, and into college parties where we have seen each other at our most foolish moments. Oh the pictures we wish we could un-take. The boyfriends we saw each other through. The outfits we critiqued for each other in order to be the cool girls. It really makes me smile as I write and imagine.

I am so lucky to have met Katie when I did. She has always been years beyond her age. She is a successful woman. She is one of those people who seem to be able to get it all done in a flawless fashion. Taking on motherhood will be so natural for her, and all of us have said so for years.  Time and states have been put between since the days of middle school, but our friendship has never disconnected.


So today my post is for Katie. Here is to you mama… the bold and beautiful, ever so capable, role model for women! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for accepting me for being the exact opposite! Thank you for the snippets of advice laced along the years. With out our early connection, I do not believe I would know the life I do now. I love you and your growing family so dearly and always will. I can not wait to meet Baby girl M and see every bit of beautiful women in her as I do in you.