Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Throw a Baby Shower ~ The French Estate ~ Morris Girl's Style ~ Part 1

Shannon greets guests, including my sister, Gina Chavez 
The "Morris Girls"- aka  mom (Jeannie Morris) and Shannon's sisters (Tracy Goetsch and Kelly Morris)  started planning the baby shower for  my daughter -in- love and law,  Shannon Morris Plunk-way back in October.  They checked out golf courses, banquet rooms for an appropriate venue to host the event at. 

Internet photo of front entrance
They discovered The French Estate on an Orange County wedding page.  When the Morris Girls checked it out, Kelly remembers "We loved the charm and the price was the best. "  

Photo from The French Estate Website.
Cozy. Elbow room. Auxiliary rooms to allow for traffic flow.  The official dining room was just the right size to host a bridal luncheon for the expected 3 dozen guests.   

Photo from The French Estate Website

Sarah Pearson, penned a personal note about her journey to becoming to becoming the proprietress of the establishment on her homepage.  She confesses that she  "spent years of my youth living, working and wandering in Europe, and yearned for as much of that lifestyle as possible after escaping a violent marriage and finding myself faced with the challenge of remaking my life. So I chose a really old home in the largest historic district in California, walking distance to the heart of Old Towne Orange. Living upstairs from my business in the Old World Way and sharing my home with pets, students occasional displaced women who need to get on their feet and travelers who enjoy the simple peach of old-school bed and breakfast isn't a typical SoCal lifestyle, but I love it.  
The French Estate has that cozy home ambiance because it has been an actual home for well over 116 year."  

You can read more about Sarah and the French Estate here. 

Her romantic nature is seen in vignettes throughout the property. 

Displayed on a table in the entrance hall, the invitations, yarn balls and pictures of the parents to be as toddlers set the theme
Kelly, a teacher at Maple Hill Elementary School (where when we first moved to this home, the father to- be- walked to this school for grades K-6)  explained the theme "Cute as a Button" came about when she stumbled across a homemade sewing kit.  

She knew she wanted to do the the yarn balls. "I took pics of the manor when we visited, so I knew where I could and couldn't decorate." 

 Tracy arranged for banners and was the go-to person on the day of event, responsible for keeping things like lists  organized.  The photographer is longtime friend Brie Johnson. Multi-talented, Brie's day job is as an English teacher at La Sierra High School in Fullerton.

Sarah Maxwell with Shannon 

 At any event, having a backup is must. She didn't, but if Brie had fallen that morning and couldn't take pictures, family friend Sarah Maxwell shared photographer duty. 

(L-R) Mom- Jeannie Morris with Shannon Morris Plunk
My son married into an extraordinary family.In an age of disposable relationships, Shannon's parent's love for each other is legendary.  I recall my fellow in-laws parent's were neighbors.  Shannon's mom met her future husband, now the father of  their grown children when as a little boy he leaned over her bassinet.   

(L-R) Kelly Morris with Shannon
The enthusiasm and attention to detail is very much part of the Morris family culture.  
The Morris Girls went to the effort to find outfits in shades pulled from the decorations. 

The look on Kelly's face- I want to go back to the third grade and be in her class! 

Shannon's attendants gather around Kenny and her in April, 2011
 As pictures from the event mark an important life event, just like at a wedding, the coordination of color sends a visual messages to the child growing up, You are loved, You are important. You are fortunate in your parents and their circle of family and friends. 

Professional model Abby Plunk with her grandmother, Melva Plunk
Now ,Shannon isn't the only one from a wonderful family.  In each lap around the calendar, as the years gallop away ever faster, I grow more in awe of my husband's family. Through thick and thin, the Plunks stick together.  It is a rare and special treat to see the generations gather under one roof in celebration. 

(l-r) Abby Plunk, Gwen Parlee, Billie Plunk and Maggie Stevens Brown enjoying girl-time.

Stay tuned. I have double deadlines to thread blogging between this blog series centered on the best baby shower I've ever been to. 

\Linking to My Romantic Home  Show and Tell Friday.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

This looks like such a really Beautiful Gathering! I look forward to the next part---everything looks Perfect! Great spot for a very "special event"...

Oregon Sue said...

That estate looked like just the MOST fun place for a shower. Fabulous. xo

Connie said...

Lydia, in answer to your question about where I find photos. I find them all over the internet. I peruse for houses a couple of days a week. So far I've got 16,600 photos in Photobucket and or 7,500 on my Pinterest site. Just look you'll find them, sugar!

nikkipolani said...

What a lovely location and a great idea to host the event rather than in someone's home. I rummaged around their site -- keeping them in mind just in case! Thanks, Lydia. Your DIL is so photogenic.

Lydia said...

Naomi- You can't know how much I look forward to your comments. Thank you.
Sue- Wish you could come to California - you would love the comfort of The French Estate
Connie - Oh MY. I'll find your Pinterest site.

Nikk- Yes, My DIL is photogenic- and if it is possible- even lovelier inside):-

Desire Empire said...

It all looks lovely

Nadia@loveliveandgarden said...

Love those potted succulents with the doves sitting beside.. so so pretty

Ivy and Elephants said...

What a gorgeous gathering and the mother to be is so beautiful. I would love it if you could share this wonderful post at our WIW Linky party. I hope you can join us.


Lydia said...

Welcome Newcomers Carolyn and Paula.

Shannon @ A Cozy Place Called Home said...

It looks like it was a wonderful place to host a shower. Best Wishes to all.