The Gender Reveal Party By A Former Neighbor

After a lovely holiday break, I’m back!

There’s nothing like old friends/neighbors.

Mercedes, who used to live two houses down from us, held the community garden together with her assistance. Even if no one else showed up to help, she would arrive, babies in tow, and plant seedlings like a machine.

We haven’t seen her and her family as much lately because they moved to a small hobby farm out of town.

Then, this fall after she found out about our pregnancy, she messaged me. Was I having cravings? Was I sick? Finally, she asked if we were planning a gender reveal.

I told her probably not unless someone had a great idea. I’m too practical!

“Can I do it here?” she asked. “I would love to.”

She said she loved having babies (she’s had five), but back when her children were born, gender reveals were not a “thing.”

Okay, I said, why not?

The Ultrasound

Just tell the doctor to put the results in an envelope, she said, and she will pick it up.

On the day of the ultrasound, the technician told us to look away from the screen as she typed in the gender.

“Have you ever accidentally said ‘he’ or ‘she’ to anyone?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, with a wry smile.

“Were they mad?”

“They handled it okay, said they would find out sometime anyway!”

The doctor spoke to us after the ultrasound and said the results looked good.

“But I didn’t even look at the gender,” she said. “I don’t want to accidentally say something! Just call us after you’ve had the reveal so we can put a note on your chart that it’s safe to say ‘he’ or ‘she.'”

On the night of the gender reveal party, Mercedes made steak tacos, fresh guacamole, fresh salsa, and filled cupcakes. She hung her garage full of pink and blue balloons and made punch and bought candy. It must have taken her hours and hours.

A Weighty Game and A Prank or Two

After serving the food, Mercedes announced a game wherein everyone had to guess how big around I was by cutting a piece of plastic tape to size. Sarah, who I thought was my friend, cut a monstrous piece that could have girdled an elephant or rhino or possibly both together. Although maybe it was worse that some people cut a piece that was not even long enough! Sigh. Feeling huge, I just decided to roll with the punches. We had kept to a small group of church people and Marnell’s one brother to comply with gathering limits, so at least I wasn’t on a stage in front of thousands.

Next, Mercedes gave me a balloon and a long skewer to pop it with. I did, and blue and pink confetti poured out onto the table.

False alarm! I knew she was probably going to be full of tricks.

“Okay,” she said, after everyone laughed. “This is the one.” She gave us a huge cardboard box taped shut. Marnell and I tore off the tape and looked inside. Balloons! More pink and blue!

Another false alarm.

“Oh Julie, what did you do?!” Mercedes said in mock anger at her daughter.

After we had all absorbed the fact that we still didn’t know whether it was to be a boy or a girl, Mercedes said, “Let’s go outside.”

It was a brisk December night. Wearing coats, it wasn’t too bad. However, the smoke bombs Mercedes was trying to light refused to be lit, so she and Julie took them into the house to light them. Then, they raced back outside so we could see the color of the smoke in the dark night air under their garage light.

Pink smoke!

“What are you going to call her?” asked the culprit who had cut half a mile of plastic tape to symbolize my thickness. “Sarah?”

Mercedes had placed the ultrasound image at our feet in a small box filled with pink paper.

“It’s a girl!” the image said.

Unless the reading was wrong, we are having a girl!

She’s the only member of our household who received a New Year’s gift, too. How fair is that? 😀 My sister Kerra sent her a cute fringed blanket and hair bow.


I hate to take a break right away next week but Marnell and I are hoping to escape to the Grand Canyon area of Arizona for a brief babymoon. I told Kerra we were taking a last trip, and she said, “Don’t make it sound like your dying!” I told her that our ability to take trips might be dying for the moment.

All that to say, I might shoot you a photo or I might be silent. We’ll see what happens!

From the White House to the Amish continues to generate feedback. I’ve heard from several people who knew Simon Gingerich. It helped them see him in a different light to know that he led Tom Kirkman to the Lord.

Keep in mind we have paper copies, audio copies and ebook copies available for sale.

We also have sets with both Captain Garrison and From the White House to the Amish. You save $3 going that route, so it’s been a popular choice.

However, any orders after Thursday at 9am, January 14 will not be sent until Thursday, January 21 due to our trip. Thanks for your patience!

22 thoughts on “The Gender Reveal Party By A Former Neighbor”

  1. Congrats 🎉 What a fun party!! I read your book from the Amish to the White House between Christmas and New Years .. enjoyed it !! Well done!! Enjoy your trip!

  2. Rosanna Stutzman

    What a fun party Mercedes did for you… what a blessing!!!
    Congratulations…your having a girl!!!
    Our 2nd granddaughter is a week old today,and I about can’t stand it…I haven’t been able to go see her & our daughter,and squish em both!! I really enjoyed the books I ordered from you.. devoured them quickly..😁

  3. What a fun party! And the food must have been so delicious! I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon yet and we have lived in Arizona for nearly five years now. Have a safe trip to our lovely state! We are about two hours away from the Canyon. If you happen to pass through Prescott /Chino Valley area you are more than welcome to stop and say hello. I assure you I’m not a obsessive fan.

    1. Katrina Hoover Lee

      Thanks Regina! I saw Prescott on the map because there is a young people’s adventure series set in that town. I’m not sure that we’ll make it to that area, but thanks for the invitation!

  4. Ahhh…sweet!
    The ability to take trips need not stop with a little one!
    We have one that doesn’t enjoy driving so much but likes the adventure that awaits at the end of the road 😁

  5. Chalk another one up to things I’ve never done, but you have / will! I’ve had babies, but never a girl – however, I DO HAVE a granddaughter!! : )

  6. What a sweet party, and I hope that trip is awesome! We have drug our children all over the US and a few other countries… and Ergo is great for hiking and all kinds of tripping… thinking of our trip when we went to the Grand Canyon, drove all over NV, AZ, and out through the desert exploring rocks, hiking, petroglyphs and pictographs, a ghost town, etc., with four children, ages 9 mo. to about 7 years! The memories are great! Our children (now 7, ages 2-20), tell us that they are so glad for all the trips and the history and experiences poured into them.

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