One South Carolina family was elated when a baby girl was born into the family for the first time in 137 years. But that surprise paled in comparison to seeing the baby's birth posted on a 12-foot-tall and 24-foot-wide billboard along the side of a South Carolina highway.
The billboard was the handiwork of Will Settle’s coworkers, who put it up to surprise Will and his wife, Kelen Settle, much to their astonishment.
“When I first saw it, it was an ‘Oh my God’ moment,” Will Settle of Bluffton, South Carolina, told ABC News. “It is so pink [and] so large. It’s pretty obnoxious, I hate to say. It is so in your face, you wouldn’t believe it.”
Settle, the director of sales for Marlin Outdoor Advertising, said his coworkers put up the billboard to celebrate his and wife's new bundle of joy.
“I’m spending a lot of time at home so I’m not doing my usual sales route,” the proud dad explained. “The owner of the company said, ‘There’s a surprise for you between Bluffton and Savannah.’ He wanted me to drive down to Savannah and then turn around. The billboard is about half way. It’s right on the road.”
Before Settle even had a chance to see it in person, he said he’d gotten more than 15 phone calls and texts from people who spotted the billboard.
“My friend said, ‘What a great way to keep it low key,’” he joked.
Little Carter Louise Settle is the first girl born into the Settle family in 137 years, so the family was absolutely stunned when they found out the news.
“That was a very shocking experience for me. I just assumed I was going to have another boy,” Settle, 38, who has a son from a previous marriage, recalled of opening the box full of pink balloons. “I was like, ‘What’s going on? This just can’t be possible.’ I was absolutely shocked. We had the whole family there. My mother just went nuts. My mom always wanted a daughter. She was absolutely ecstatic. She could not believe it.”
The Settles chose the name Carter because they wanted a “really strong name” that “you don’t hear every day.”
“She’s going to have to be strong with all the men she’ll deal with in the Settle family,” Will Settle quipped.
Louise was chosen for sentimental reasons.
“Louise started working with my family when I was 4 months old. She really was our nanny,” said Kelen Settle, 35. “She passed away four years ago. I told her before she died that if I ever had a girl, I would name her Louise. She was super, super strong and I absolutely adored her.”
Although the parents were completely stunned when they first found out about the massive billboard, they’ve warmed up to the idea and are humbled by how much everyone is enjoying it.
“I think it’s a very, very cute idea and it’s going to be a fun story for her. It’s exciting,” said Kelen Settle.
“If there’s a number two we’re going to have do a bigger billboard,” Will Settle added.