The Sun Will Come Up, Tomorrow...

Today was one of those days, when an ordinary moment, suddenly makes you stop in your tracks and takes your breath away.  We're on the eve of Ava turning 2 weeks old and I cannot believe how quickly time seems to be flying.  Although it's only been 2 weeks, I already feel like life can very easily be divided into 2 major catagories; life before and after Ava :) This 7 lb little darling has changed everything with her entrance into our lives and into our hearts.  She is the gift we wake up to, the reward we hold in our arms, the prize at the end of the day.  Our hearts can hardly begin to take all of her in, but we are so thankful that we get to try.  

Tonight we took her to a middle school play at a local school where some of our students attend.  We go every year to their school play because we usually have several students involved and we love to show up and support them.  This year they performed the musical, Annie.  I love the story of Annie and watching them perform it, reminded me of how much I love the movie.  We always enjoy a junior high play because it's totally unpredictable, usually awkward and full of funny little moments :) Tonight did not disappoint.  As it was wrapping up, I was standing in the back of the auditorium, holding Ava when the final scene began.  Ava was a little angel, staring wide-eyed through the majority of the play and not making a peep.  As I stood there holding her, the kids started singing the famous anthem of little orphan Annie...

The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
I love ya
You're always
A day
A way!

I stood there and heard those words as if for the first time.  What a familiar song and yet in that ordinary moment, a profound one.  I found myself singing along and thinking back to just one year ago, when my heart longed for a child and hurt in the wait.  And now, just one year later, I was holding perfection in my arms.  Yes, when the days were gray and lonely, the sun still came up.  I didn't miss the significance of that simple little song in that moment and I thought about all the friends I know, who are trying to hang on, waiting on the sun to come up.  My little Ava's face is my reminder now that no matter how hopeless it seems, the sun will come up tomorrow...
And oh how I love this face :) 
Waking up is awfully hard to do, no matter if the sun is up or not!
These early morning snuggles are my favorite part of the day.
When this little face reminds me of God's incredible grace.  

Here's that little sweetie in her new dress from her Aunt Katy.  Don't you love that red hair??
Despite the obvious, she really did like it Katy!!
But her pacifier sure helped her like it more :) 
And then she pretended to fall asleep so I'd stop taking her picture!
Before we went to the play, we made an important stop first.  We went to visit my little guys that I nanny for.  They were so excited to meet this mystery baby they've been asking about for months!
Oh the wonder of a little baby...
She did great, but she wiggled around a little bit too :) 
I love this picture.  Someone was very proud of himself holding her!
And she happily cooperated.  
Is this a cute one or what??
Trav's Mom took us out for dinner.
And Ava graciously slept until I finished my meal.
My goodness I love this little sweetie!
For all of you who are barely hanging on, just remember...

"The sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun!"

I mean after all, can't you see the sunshine in this face??  


Happy Birthday Aunt Jennie!!

Dear Aunt Jennie, 

My Mom told me that today is your birthday!  Wow, we're going to have birthdays just 11 days apart :) Even though I'm brand new, I've heard lots of stuff about you!  Mommy tells me that you are her littlest sister and that you are so good with kids.  She says that I will have lots of fun with you and that I will love it when Aunt Jennie and Uncle Dave babysit me!  She also says that I'll love being at Grandma and Grandpa's house when Aunt Stacie and Uncle Jesse are there too.  She says I'll LOVE having aunts and uncles to play with!  
She told me that you couldn't wait for me to be born and that you called everyday at the end, asking how I was doing!  She also says that we kind of look alike right now, maybe my auburn hair comes from you?  
I also know that you were one of the first sets of arms that I got to be in after I was born.  Mommy says that wasn't on accident.  She says that I am a blessed little girl to have an aunt like you who loved me before I was even born!
I hope you have a really great birthday Aunt Jennie!  Mommy told me that Uncle Dave will probably spoil you today and that you'll go out for dinner with Grandma and Grandpa too.  I wish I could be there, even though I don't know what going out for dinner means!  
I love you very much and I'm so glad that I got to meet you on my first day and that you gave me lots of kisses before you left!!  I can't wait to see you again and I'm so happy that you're my aunt.  Happy Birthday!!  

Love, Ava


Misc. Monday with Ava Page :)

Oh how life has changed :) Mondays have always been my favorite day of the week, as you know by now.  It was a great day to catch up from the weekend craziness, to clean the house, get the bills organized and schedule my week down to the minute.  That was life "pre-Ava" and this is life "post-Ava."  Big difference.  

I would never have known that today was Monday, without looking at a calendar this morning.  My days are all running together now and I seem to be existing in a world of 2-3 hour chunks...Ava's feeding schedule :) I am getting stuff done everyday and yet getting nothing done.  This is my new reality I've decided.  I have little windows during my day where I race around trying to get as much done as possible before those little cries begin and someone needs my undivided attention.  I love it and I'm stressed out over it.  Not stressed out because it's too much or I can't keep up, but stressed out because it's so different from what I've grown accustomed to for the last 5 years.  I know it will not shock you, and I've mentioned it a dozen times before, but I am so type-A and so borderline OCD over certain things, having a baby is probably the best thing that could happen to me!!  It's making me relax and go with the flow like never before :)  Having Trav's Mom here has been a wonderful blessing.  She is such a big help to me and she's given me hours of time to dig out from the piles of mail and laundry and other misc. stuff that has taken over our house.  It's been wonderful to get out for an errand here and there and to know that Ava is getting lots of love from her Grandma Texas.  But I soon know that Ava and I are going to be on our own and the real challenges will begin :) I'm looking forward to it and dreading it.  I can't wait to develop our own routine together and yet I'm already trying to prep myself about what habits I need to let go of and what priorities have to become more important than others.  

My little 7 lb, 21" long bundle of joy has been so good for me in ways I never could have predicted :) She just might become the one who finally breaks me of some over-the-top tendencies!  

In the mean time, my Monday was as misc. as they come. 
-A few cat naps here and there
-Feedings every 2 hours
-A run to the bank
-Swaddling, cuddling, and singing
-Breakfast, lunch and dinner
-Endless diaper changes
-A few phone calls
-Catching up the blog :) 
-Photos of ten tiny little toes
-And kisses all over this tiny little face :) 
-And lots of time with Grandma Texas too.  
It's a new, misc., wonderful world!  I'm loving it, trying to make sense of it and learning more than I ever did in school :)  Welcome to life as a first time Mom...


Sweet Sunday :)

We've had a fun weekend and another memorable one.  Travis' Mom came last night, just before bedtime, and had her first encounter with her newest granddaughter.   
Here they are, just moments after Grandma walked in the door.  What a fun night for Trav and his Mom, and Ava, who loved meeting her "Texie"!!  
Ava's cousins call Trav's mom "Grandma Texas" and "Texie", so we'll have to see what sticks with Ava :) 
I love this one because they were having a little conversation together and Ava was fixated on her Grandma Texas :) 

Today was a big day because today Ava and I went to Church for the first time together and we got to see where Daddy works.  Of course it was freezing cold out and pouring rain, but we did it and managed to be on time!  It was a good taste of what every Sunday is going to be like...lots of work :) Travis is always out the door by 6 am, so it's just going to be me and my girl.  But she was great and it was fun to get out of the house too!
Ava cooperated and did exactly what you see here, she slept.  
And we smothered her in kisses the whole time...

Tomorrow is Daddy's first day back at work, we're all going to be slightly miserable about it :) 
We've gotten used to spending all of our time together, doing important stuff like this :) 
What a sweetie-pie.  That hair gets me in this picture :) I had the sweetest morning with her, sitting in the service while she slept in my arms...What a blessing to finally have her here, and to think of all the services I sat through, aching to be a Mom...She was definitely worth the wait!!
Here she is, wiped out from the many, many people who wanted to see her, touch her, and hold her.  It was a busy morning but a sweet one too :) 


Rise and Shine...

Man I'm cute when I sleep....
Dreaming about how great my Mommy and Daddy are :) 
Eskimo kisses from Daddy are the best!
But then again, so is having my hair stroked...
Or my cheeks touched....
I like to wake up slowly, opening just one eye at a time until I'm ready.
Good Morning Daddy!
Good  Morning Mommy!
Wow, I'm still a little tired :) 
But I'm never too tired to eat!!  Happy Saturday everybody!!


29 Years and 1 Week Old

Happy Friday!  I never thought I was going to be able to update the blog on a daily basis, but Miss Ava has been such a good little napper, I have been able to steal a few minutes every day and I always seem to have new pictures for you to see!  I'm not sure how long these daily updates will last or if I'll be able to keep up, but it's been fun to let you in on how our first days are going and we've loved reading all your comments about our sweet little girl :)  We are definitely proud parents these days!

Today was a big day in our house, for several reasons. 

-Ava and I took our first trip out of the house together for a lunch date with some friends.
-Ava had her first bath and she loved it!
-Travis and I took her to her first restaurant while we had dinner (and she was great).
-Ava Page turned 1 week old today.
-I turned 29 years old today.  

It was a busy and fun Friday for all of us :) 
We decided we would try our luck at a night out to celebrate my birthday.  Ava was a good little dinner date.  She slept most of the time, although the noise of the restaurant was keeping her from falling into any kind of deep sleep.  It was fun for Trav and I to get out of the house though and have a little dinner together.  And even more fun to have our baby with us :) 
She also went with me to have lunch with some of my friends from Church.  I was proud of her and me :) We both had baths this morning and we managed to only be a few minutes late!  She was asleep the whole time we were there, which was great because I got to enjoy myself and chat :) 
And I had some really great birthday cake!  Thanks ladies for a fun lunch :) 
Here are two of my sweet friends with their babies.  When we came to Minnesota and Travis joined the Pastoral staff, I was a little sad to discover that we were the youngest couple and the only one without kids.  I imagined that we would have a baby and everyone would already be over and done with that phase of life.  Imagine my joy when two of my friends found out they were pregnant this last year and also had babies!!  Ava has two little playmates here, Callan and Julia, and I have two friends who will be walking a similar road :)  It's fun to think they will all be in the same class together.  Aren't they cute??
Here's my little cutie, worn out after her bath this morning.  
And wearing the cutest little onesie, monogrammed by my sweet friend, Faith.  I just love this on her!  I am such a sucker for a monogram :) 
After a week, we decided it was time for Ava to have her first bath at home.  We had to give her a sponge bath because her cord hasn't fallen off yet, but she was so good and I think she even liked the warm water on her skin.  
She didn't cry at all, until I had to take that band-aid off her leg from her shot.  
That made me sad :(
Wouldn't you love to know what she's thinking here??  I love those eyes :) When we finished washing her hair, it was so soft and wild.  It looked like a lion's mane!  
Who knew how much fun a sponge bath could be?  

I had a great day with my girl and a fun night with Travis.  It almost feels like my birthday was in-consequential this year...How do you top the gift of a newborn baby??  There is nothing I've wanted more than her and no greater joy than to wake up every morning with the love of my life and our precious daughter.  It just doesn't get any better than that :) 29 feels no different than 28 did, but Ava turning 1 week old seems unbelievable.  I'm not sure how much of this is hormonal, but I'm already sad about her getting bigger.  I'm loving every moment with her and part of me wants time to stand still so I can just freeze these days forever.  But I know that with everyday she gets older, we have more joy waiting for us on the other side.  And someday I'll be making the same phone call to her that my parents did today..."You know Steph, 29 years ago today..."  

Now that's a weird thought  :)