Hollywood baby shower
a special military cause
Mom and actress Christie Lynn Smith looked stunning last month as she celebrated her soon-to-be son with friends and family. The baby shower, thrown for Smith and her husband actor John Fortson, benefited a great cause — Celebrate the Military Child.
Christie Lynn Smith and her husband, actor John Fortson, live a truly normal life among glittery stars and over-the-top glam in Hollywood. The couple, parents to 4-year-old Abby Ryder, is expecting their second child on January 3, and their celebration of that baby was very much in line with the way they live their lives.
The couple is very excited to welcome a boy to their family. "When we saw the ultrasound and the doctor said, 'It’s a boy,' I think I was a little taken aback in the moment since all I knew was taking care of a little girl," Smith told SheKnows. "But that fear passed a day later and I’m absolutely thrilled!"
"I was very excited to find out it was a boy. I was going to be happy either way as I love our daughter Abby so much and have such a great time with her, but I thought it would be fun in this life to experience the differences in raising a boy and a girl," Dad-to-be Fortson shared. "And then I keep having visions of us surfing together, camping, playing basketball, having fun as he grows up and it makes me smile. Abby and I will do these things as well, but mentoring a little boy who you see yourself in is special in its own way."
Wild adventures in parenthood
On October 21, they celebrated Abby's soon-to-be baby brother at a fantastic baby shower that was thrown for an important cause that holds a special place in the expecting couple's hearts. Styled by Made by a Princess, the Wild Adventures-themed baby shower was catered by the Artisan Cheese Gallery with cupcakes from Heavenly Layers.
"I loved every part [of the shower]!" Smith told us. "It was beautiful and lovely. I think one of my favorite parts was seeing some friends I haven’t seen in a while."
The celebration was traditional with a twist — with a sippy cup drinking game (instead of a bottle) and a game requiring guests to guess the gestation of baby animals. They even wrote well wishes to the baby boy-to-be.
"I think one of the funniest parts was when the guys had a sippy cup drinking contest. The dad who won gulped his down and threw down the sippy cup in victory — very funny!" Smith added.
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A cause close to their hearts
Christie Lynn Smith and John Fortson are both military children themselves. Fortson told us that growing up in a military family is "filled with ups and downs and sacrifices. I grew up traveling the world, living in Japan for three years and all over the United States."
The couple's baby shower benefited a charity near and dear to their hearts, Celebrate the Military Child. The organization was founded in memory of SFC Jared C. Monti, the first Medal of Honor Recipient in Operation Enduring Freedom and exists to throw parties for children of military service members.
A speech by Faith Vera, co-founder of Celebrate the Military Child, thanking the sponsors, vendors and guests, brought tears to Christie Lynn’s eyes as well as those of the guests. Followed by a thank you speech from John Fortson to family and friends, everyone was both moved and happy to be part of something so special.
"One of the most special parts was when Faith talked about Celebrate the Military Child and losing her best friend in Afghanistan and how the shower was benefiting the families who serve our country," Smith said.
"Then my husband thanked everyone for coming and by that time I was so emotional I couldn’t even talk! My throat closed up — you know that feeling when you can’t say anything because you are just overwhelmed... that was me."
A little Hollywood flare
One element of the shower was true to Hollywood. Some amazing companies showed up — not only to share their great products with the family, but also to donate to Celebrate the Military Child. Gold Hoof sponsors Packaways.com and Daddy Scrubs sponsored the event, which was hosted by family friend Faith Vera. Some of the souvenirs from Silver and Bronze Hoof Sponsors had the mom-and-dad-to-be galloping away with a Britax Boulevard 70-G3, Joovy Zoom 360, Stokke Tripp Trapp and a Summer Infant Peek Plus Monitor.
Smith and Fortson had a very special thank you to the sponsors: "We would like to tell them how much we appreciate their generosity and giving hearts in helping Celebrate the Military Child. People like you are so special and help make the world a better place through supporting such great causes. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts."
The celebrity couple’s adult guests enjoyed gifts from NYR Organic and their smallest guests scored cute bags with a DVD from Lakeshore Learning. Little Ms. Abby Ryder was smitten with her personalized blanket from Button.
Soon-to-be big sister Abby is looking forward to her new role. "I think she’s very excited about her baby brother’s arrival," Smith said. "She’s always kissing my belly, singing and talking to him... It’s very sweet."
When Smith asked Abby how she felt, the sweet 4-year-old said, "Really good and I’m so excited to have a baby brother. I love that he is gonna be a super strong baby." Be still our hearts!
I asked the couple about their dreams as a family of four and they were caught off guard. "Wow! Family of four! We never thought of it like that. How very exciting!" Fortson said. "It will be fun for the four of us to share time, projects and travel together. It will be fun to see the dynamics and gifts of each of us rise to the surface as we watch our children grow."
Smith said that she's looking forward to sharing the couple's love with both of their children and watching them grow up. "It's still crazy to believe there is a little person growing inside of me. We are beyond thrilled."
The new baby's name
I couldn't resist asking the always-pressing question for any mama-to-be: What are you naming the little guy?! Unfortunately, we'll have to wait. "We do have a name," Smith told me. "But just in case we change it when we meet him, I’d rather tell you after he’s born."
So check back in early January to meet the newest member of the Smith-Fortson family and to learn his name!
Image credits: Parties in Style and Mari Deno
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