diy IHOP Baby Shower

How to host a DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
This weekend I got to host a special baby shower.  Now let me make a disclaimer that “hosting” is not my thing.  Many are natural “hostesses” and “party planners”.  Some were so blessed to have received this as their spiritual gift. That is not me!  The minute I know I am going to be hosting something, even months and months before, I begin to stress and break out in hives.  Not really, but kinda.

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
However, there comes a time when a shower must be thrown and you are the one that should throw it.  And you want to throw it.  But your scared to throw it.

But then…the clouds part and God shines his light upon you!  You flip through some magazine and see that Kourtney Kardashian’s girlfriends threw her a cute little pajama baby shower at IHOP!  Your sweet sweet friend just so happens to LOVE pancakes.  She also happens to LOVE wearing pajama’s.  She’s also having her third baby so it’s totally acceptable to throw all the traditions out the window!

Praise Jesus!

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
I think some of the reason this idea appealed to me is because planning a shower as a whole is overwhelming.  You have to make a food list.  You have to think of decorations.  You have to clean the house.  You have to think of food presentation, you have to figure out where everyone is gonna sit…  But with the IHOP shower, you have everything concerning the food already done.  Everyone sits at the table that’s already there at the restaurant.

All I had to concern myself with was decorations.  And I love decorations!  And I love DIYing decorations.

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa

I met with my friends/shower co-hostesses and we came up with some ideas and who would get what.  We were able to have fun with it but still keep it simple since there is really only so much you need to do.

A lot of the decorations we already had on hand.  We were able to bring mason jars, burlap, twine, clothes pins all from home.  We bought fresh flowers to set out on the tables.

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
We made the dreamcatcher and diaper cake.  Diapers are a common gift for baby showers.  We decided to make it part of the decorations.  I used burlap and scrap fabric that I already had on hand instead of decorating the diaper cake with flowers or toys or baby items.  I used this easy tutorial I found here.

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
We pre-ordered the pancakes and had the coffee and juice on the table when everyone got there.  It was fabulous y’all. Pajama’s, pancakes and coffee!  I mean, really. It was so laid back and fun.  The waiter would come and check on us and refill our coffee.  The other girls and myself weren’t running around making sure everyone had everything they needed because IHOP did that for us!

How to host a modern DIY IHOP Baby Shower by Just Melissa
A gift I try to give at baby showers is a book. One of my favorites is Guess How Much I Love You!  So sweet y’all.

Again, this was something that was a gift but we also implemented it into the decorations.  And to make it extra special, each one of us signed it with a special message to Baby “Nugget.”

For all you girls out there like me who aren’t natural hostess’s…this was THE shower to throw.  I even actually had fun at it myself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on ways to simplify shower’s but still make them special.  I need the help!

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adoption is hard but adoption is beautiful – part 1

Let’s back up a bit today y’all…

I’ve skipped over quite a bit of Little Bit’s story between now and the time we were waiting to get THE CALL.  The main reason is because it was hard.  Like, harder then almost any of the hards we have had to deal with as a family.  Some of you who read all my ramblings here also follow me on Instagram and Facebook, so you already know the in between stuff.  But for those of you who don’t but know the story of my family from this blog I felt I needed to fill in the missing parts.

Because adoption is hard but adoption is also amazingly beautiful!


Friday, September 19th was my grandmother’s, Mimi,  birthday.  We knew Little Bit was due around this time and I just kept thinking how cool it would be if Little Bit (who we were thinking at the time was Baby Girl) shared Mimi’s birthday.  I remember telling my dear friend Lisa that I just had a feeling the baby was going to come that weekend.  As we went to bed that Friday evening I realized that I was wrong and my baby wouldn’t share Mimi’s birthday.

And then at 12:30 am on Saturday, September 20th we got THE CALL.  Birth mom was headed to the hospital and in labor.

BUT… don’t go to the hospital yet, our case-worker told us.  This was totally shocking because all along the plan was for us to be there.  She wanted us to be there, in the room, when baby was born.  We wanted to be there too of course.  That was the plan!


Needless to say we never went back to bed.  We also never went to the hospital.  A lot of texts were going back and forth from then until the next morning.  Then at around 9 am the woman who runs the agency called me.  I knew the second I heard her say, “hey melissa” what the rest of the conversation would be about.

“She changed her mind.  She wants to keep the baby.  And it wasn’t a girl, it was a boy by the way.”

So after I told Bart the update we told our 5 year old.  He took it alright.  Mostly he was concerned why mommy couldn’t quit crying.

The weekend went on.  I wanted to stay in bed and be alone and cry.

BUT… I was surprised out how blessed we felt by our friends here that we now consider family!  They showed up.  Literally showed up at our door.  They wouldn’t let us be alone to suffer alone.  I truly experienced God’s blessing that day, as hard as it was, when our friends helped us carry our heavy heavy burden!

I want you to hear me though BECAUSE IF ANYTHING THIS BLOG IS REAL.  I am real!  I am telling you I felt God’s blessing but I am not telling you it was easy and I was fine and God made it all better.  I went to bed that night after our friends left with tears still falling.  I stayed home the next day and cried some more.

But in the pain and in the HARD God was still there right beside us.  It was okay for us to hurt and be sad and mad and confused.  God understood.  God comforted!

God was also still at work.


On Monday, our case worker called and after checking on how we were doing asking how we would feel if birth mom needed us to keep the baby in respite care.  Basically if she needed temporary help, someone to take the baby in their home, for a few weeks.  My only response was that we wouldn’t even think about it until we got that phone call.

So the very next day, Tuesday afternoon as my husband was at work, we got that call.  She realized after coming home from the hospital with baby and also her 1 and a half year old that it was too hard.  But she wasn’t saying she wanted to place him for adoption, she was just asking for help.

I won’t go in to the long conversation we had, then the conversation Bart and I had, then the conversation we had with some of our close and trusted friends.  Just know that it wasn’t a light decision.  But the end result was we decided to HELP her and help that little baby temporarily.

JustMelissa_AdoptionIsHard5 JustMelissa_AdoptionIsHard4

After our 5 year olds first soccer practice, we met our case worker in the Whataburger parking lot.  She got Little Bit out of the car.  He was 3 and a half days old.  He smelled like an ash tray and looked like a little wrinkly old man in a babies body. If you wanna know what we were feeling I can’t really tell you.  I really think we were kinda in a state of shock honestly.  I mean really the culmination of losing a baby and then a few days later getting that baby boy that you thought was going to be yours but wasn’t and also thought was going to be a girl but wasn’t just really put us in a place of just doing.  I don’t know if we were really feeling if that makes any sense.

But God was working.  Our plans had fallen apart.  God’s plan hadn’t…

{More on our Adoption Journey}

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Lewis (party of four)

A friend of mine sent us a Christmas card this year addressed to “Lewis (party of four).”  It was sweet.  But seeing those words written on paper really did something to me.  It’s funny, when you foster and when you adopt, the paperwork seems endless.  Your reading words and words and words and signing your name over and over and over.

But seeing that small white envelope that read “Lewis (party of four)” was like a confirmation in my heart that this is real.  It’s really happening.


God has blessed me with so much.  I was thinking today that the most amazing blessings came from some of the hardest journey’s I’ve had to take.  These blessings have been both what God has taught me and how I grew from that and these blessings have been some pretty amazing gifts… my husband, my son, and now a second son.

All three of those are blessings that came after struggling with some pretty difficult things for me.  But I wonder – if I hadn’t had the struggle first, would I appreciate the blessing as much as I do?

I don’t know but I do know that God knows what He is doing.  The journey to Little Bit was not an easy one.  But oh my goodness was it worth it.

I laugh at the thought that I tried so hard to keep my guard up with him. To not fall in love with him during those first couple of months of thinking we were just temporarily caring for him.  But the moment Bart and I decided we were supposed to fight for him – it was like all that love that I didn’t acknowledge was instantly there and he was ours.  Y’all – there really isn’t a way to explain it.

It’s supernatural.  It’s what adoption is.  It’s what God did for us.


You think that you are only capable of so much but thank goodness God knows better!  I get to kiss these sweet little toes every day now.

Yesterday we sang “Oceans” at church.  I had shared with y’all how singing worship songs helped get me through the waiting for Little Bit (at the time we thought it was Baby Girl. Little turkey tricked us).  It was hard waiting and not knowing where his birth mom was and what she was doing.  This was one of those songs that pierced me and was a go to on the bad days.  My favorite verse from the song is this…

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters.

Your sovereign hand will be my guide.”

The deeper I felt I was sinking the more and more grace he provided.  What a precious precious thing he does for us!


More on our Adoption Journey

More on our Infertility Journey

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