Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ELLIE'S FIRST EASTER DRESS

If it seems like we celebrate holidays for an extended period of time...you'd be correct. We love to squeeze every bit of celebratory goodness out of every holiday possible. Our Easter weekend started on Friday. My sweet MIL sent the girlies over the most precious Easter dresses and we couldn't wait to get them dressed up and snap a few pictures of them. Melinda and Brooklyn Jayde came over and we headed up the street to probably the cutest house in all of Kaysville, complete with chickens of course.


I had to wake Ellie up from a nap so she wasn't the happiest gal, but I managed to snap a couple decent photos. Brooklyn looked beautiful. She is the biggest girly girl and make sure to point out her beautiful yip gloss. She was glowing. I'm so excited for Ellie to grow up with her cousins. I never lived close to mine growing up and I feel like I missed out. She already loves Brooklyn with all her heart and I know she'll love her new cousin Kendall just as much.


I realized after Friday that I'm not good at taking photos, but lucky for me, these girls look cute none the less.

I seriously couldn't get enough of this sweet dress. I don't think I could have found a cuter one if I could have tried. The little details are to die for. Luckily I had a little bracelet that matched perfectly and I couldn't pass up this little peeps bunny headband.



...Easter weekend festivities up next!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A HALF BIRTHDAY & A BIRTH STORY...FINALLY

Today my little Eleanor Blythe turned 6 months, half a year! I've been a mother to this beautiful little soul for half a year. I couldn't be more lucky! As I write this she's sitting in her bumbo, sucking on those dumb straps that will never be used for their intended purpose, and cooing at me. She has a light in her eyes that's indescribably joyful and I'm convinced that it's my purpose to keep that light right where it is.



Today I woke up tired and completely unmotivated and I'm pretty sure Ellie did too. Then I realized it was a birthday day and celebrations needed to happen. We ate some delish ice cream for breakfast and I put Ellie in her confetti dress and we joined Melinda and Brookie at the park. I most definitely have a sun baby, too bad her poor fair skin doesn't agree. It was a lovely day...but how about a birth story?

Please note: this is long and the pictures of me are...not cute.

The last week of my pregnancy was quite the ride. I started the week off with two solid days off puking my guts out. I then finished the week at work, wept as I walked away from the U and my wonderful job and co-workers on Friday, watched more like slept through General Conference on Saturday and Sunday and then spent that Monday (my actual due date) in labor. I didn't know it though.

I had some irregular contractions early early Monday morning from about 2 - 3 am and then I was just mostly uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Other bodily things happened, but I'll spare you. I actually didn't pack my hospital back until my actual due date, ugh I can be such a procrastinator. Honestly though, through all of my dr. appointments no one thought this little gal was going to be coming on her own. We had an induction scheduled for the 14th, the following Sunday. I was dilated to like 0.5 and about 40% effaced. Would you have gotten excited over those numbers? Me either.



Monday night around 10 p.m. J.rue and I finished up our frozen burritos and I started getting contractions again. I was sure that they would be around for just a little bit like the morning before, but they stayed around. I sent j.rue to bed just in case we would have to take an early morning drive up to the U Hospital. I showered (3 times) to try to help the pain, but to no avail. I figured that since I was showered I might as well get ready. My contractions started getting gnarly. They would roll from my back to my front and rolled up to my teeth. Every time a new contraction came along I have to grip to sink and tippy toe around. Contractions are miserable.

I called the hospital and they told me to call back once my contractions were 4 minutes apart. I live about 30 minutes away from the U of U so I'd be damned if I was going to be sent home after driving all the way up there, especially in the middle of the night. So, naturally, I started doing laundry. Sitting on our bean bag chair helped...a little. I waited until my contractions got down to 3 minutes and called again. The PA said that I could come in and if I wasn't far enough along they could at least give me pain meds, but she encouraged me to wait until my contractions were two minutes apart. I went upstairs and tried to get some sleep. I had that dumb contraction timer on my phone and I was so tired I started falling asleep between contractions, which were about 3-4 minutes apart. All of a sudden my contractions must have gotten bored and they decided to get irregular and I was waiting 6-8 minutes in between contractions, but I couldn't handle those dang contractions any longer. I woke j.rue up in the grouchiest state (me, not him) and told him that he was driving me to the hospital to get pain meds, and probably nothing more. It was 2 a.m. how cliche.

The roads were deserted and I was grouchy as can be. I wanted j.rue to talk to me, but not about stupid things. I thought women who gave birth naturally were stupid (I REALLY DON'T THINK THIS, I PROMISE). I thought that it was stupid that the U was so far away. It was also stupid that we had to drive anywhere at 2 a.m. when j.rue would have to go to work in the morning. We pulled into the lot and I waddled/limped into the hospital. The super nice security guard offered me a wheelchair (which I declined because...? Ugh, so dumb when I'm in pain) and took us up to labor and delivery.

We were then greeted by the sweetest PA who promptly got me situated and checked. I was holding my breath and telling her that I was sorry for wasting her time. I really just wanted the pain meds so I could get some sleep. She popped her head up (from you know where) and exclaimed that I was at a 5! I broke down in tears. She looked at me flabbergasted. She told me that it meant I could stay, I just had to be at a 4. I replied saying that I knew, I was just SO happy I didn't have to drive all the way home. She quickly gave me my IV, told me that it would hurt much more than my epidural that I was about to get and sent me on my way.

I had a lovely labor and delivery nurse. She promply gave me pain meds because I had to wait about 30 minutes for my epidural. Of course they started asking me important questions AFTER those loopy pain meds. Remember how I am on laughing gas? Well, this wasn't as bad, but kind of close. My resident (yes you read that right RESIDENT) finally arrived to give me my epidural . It took him 3 times and 30 minutes to get that sucker in. You know how my PA told me that the IV would hurt way worse. No. Just no. The nasty pressure is indescribable and feeling blood run down my back. Yes. Plus, he didn't have a single shred of humor, which is a huge problem for me because I say stupid things when I'm nervous. It's my coping mechanism. He didn't find me entertaining, not one bit.



Once that joyful task had been completed several nurses started the prep. I was wondering when they were going to break my water, but I wasn't going to ask. I'd heard that a tool, which closely resembles a crocheting needle was used, so you know. that didn't sound scary

The nurses were having a hard time keeping track of Eleanor's heart beat so they had me put on an oxygen mask, I'm still not totally sure why, but I'm not one to ask questions. Okay I am, but really, I was in labor. The plastic smell of the mask made me super nauseated. I politely asked for a bowl, but I kind of learned that you can't ask for things politely, you must ask for them urgently. Luckily, I figured that out right in time for them to get a bowl beneath my mouth. At the same time I was throwing up a felt a huge gush of water. I was SO relieved! I wouldn't have to go one of one with that crochet needle at all! One of the nurses checked and she then informed that that I had actually peed my pants, but probably in more medical terms, and that I hadn't broken my water. Nuts. So I had my water broken, it wasn't so  bad really. I actually just didn't look.

Rule numero uno whilst giving birth. Release yourself of any and all expectations of obtaining any pride. It will briskly be stripped from you, I promise.



Right after this second joyous event my mom and brother arrived. While they watched movies and ate snacks, I ate ice chips and tried to ignore the fact that my epidural was starting to ware off on one side. Since the nurses couldn't keep track of Ellie's heart beat I was told to lay on my left side and that I couldn't move to any other position. You better believe that I pushed that epidural button every 10 minutes on the dot.

(pushing the button)

Around 7 am they were still having a hard time keeping track of little Ellie's heartbeat so they had to put one of those heart rate monitors in her head...while she was still inside. I still shudder thinking about it. I didn't even know they could do things like that. Around 8:00 the nurses sent my mom and brother to get lunch. J.rue almost went, but decided that I shouldn't be left to my own devices, thank goodness!

Right after they exited to breakfast the nurses started prepping me for practice pushes. I honestly don't think there was a time when I felt dumber. They would tell me to push and I seriously could not tell if I was or not. I know this all could have been avoided, but seriously. No. So for the next couple minutes I "tried" pushing. All of a sudden my doctor arrived and said I was having a baby...now. I kept saying that  he was mistaken. I was actually doing to start pushing around 9, because it makes sense to argue with your doc. He simply responded with, no you're having this baby now and these forceps are going to help. Then walked in the two biggest sizes of salad tongs that I've ever seen in my life. Shudder. I don't even know which size they used, and I'm completely fine with that.

I started pushing (I think) while frantically asking the nurses to page my mom. I pushed 3 times in two rounds and am pretty sure that very little, if any, progress was made. Finally my mom showed up so I had j.rue on one side and my mom on the other, I was feeling pretty okay about everything. Thank goodness because all of a sudden there were about 15 people squished around me and my doc said that if I didn't get her out this round of pushes, we'd be having a c-section. I've never tried to do anything so hard in my life. I pushed with all my guts and I felt a release of pressure and our Eleanor was here at 8:30, 15 minutes after I started pushing. Yikes!



They cleaned her up and I had her on my chest in seconds. I couldn't believe she was here! I kept asking if she was cute (I already knew she was) and saying that "I have a baby!" but I was too tired and too scared to move her body to get a good look at her. My mom was crying and I'm pretty sure j.rue got a little teary eyed as well.  I finally got my hands on my phone and saw the most angelic little face as wide awake as could be. I then checked for a butt chin and hair. She had both and I was more than okay with that.



Oh and while all of this was going on they stitched me up. It took them LONGER to stitch me up than it did to push her out. Can you guess how my recovery went? Let's just say that when the epidural wore off the first words out of my mouth were "people willingly do this twice?"


Of course I would do it again a million times just to get my sweet Ellie again, it just took a month or four to get to that conclusion.



The rest of my hospital stay was stressful and painful, thank goodness for percocet and stool softeners (yes I said it, if you want, I'll shout it from the roof tops!) It wasn't all bad though. I had the best nurses a girl could as for, was spoiled with visits, and got to snuggle my baby cakes all the live long day. I chose to send her away to the nursery both nights and I felt terrible at first, but then I got to sleep, so I got over it pretty quickly. The night nurse did mention that Ellie was already a leader. She had a lovely soprano voice that started a chorus of soprano voices at 3 am. That's my girl. The only thing I regret is that I don't have a picture of the 3 of us that I can find ANYWHERE! I hated how I looked so that was probably a factor, but I'm not missing out on that next time. J.rue was there for every second and was and still continues to be the most patient, loving, and supportive husband and daddy every. Ellie and I couldn't have lucked out more and we thank our Heavenly Father for him every day.



Maybe I'll write about my recovery sometime, but it was hard and it was long, and I don't want to paint giving birth in a negative light. But I did learn that every recovery is different and if you're in pain it's legitimate even if the girl next to you was running errands two days later. Oh how I hope for a recovery that quickly next time around.


Anyway, that's how our sweet Eleanor came to be and it makes my heart flutter just reliving it while writing this post. I've never loved anyone the way I love her and I feel so blessed that she's mine, and forever at that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LOVE STARES

I think I can safely say that we're finally getting the hang of this mother-child thing. Of course, I say that now and Ellie will enter into a new stage that will throw it all off, like tomorrow. That's okay though, this little gal keeps me on my toes and enjoys watching me do it. She's changes so quickly and I can't seem to keep up, no matter how hard I try to live in the moment.


Want to know a sad thing? I realized that I haven't rocked Ellie to sleep in basically forever. When she was itty bitty she would fall asleep on me all the time, so I got some good rocking to sleep and snuggling. When she started sleeping a little less I would get her to sleep and immediately race to get some work, cleaning, or exercise in. I'm not gonna lie, Ellie is kind of a champ sleeper, not perfect, but pretty champ-like, so getting her to sleep is quick and (mostly) painless. This translated to her being able to put herself to sleep and she just didn't need her mama for that. So we do our little bed-time routine and down to bed she goes. We're also believers in the 15 minute cry it out, call me a meanie if you must, but a little crying never hurt anyone. Okay, it hurt me a little, but even the most sensitive mama hearts can usually handle 15 minutes.


Okay, I totally veered, but basically I wanted to say that tonight I rocked my sweet babe to sleep. I sang her about 10 songs and we stared love stares into each other's eyes for about 15 minutes. I loved it, every second. My teeny tiny is almost 6 months old and she's growing up before my eyes. By gosh! I've got to rock that girl to sleep more. Oh, and that gummy smile. Heaven help me!


Ellie's witching hours are most definitely 5 p.m. - 8 p.m., off and on, but girl loves to fuss the second I decide it's time to make dinner. At that point I can't wait for 8 to roll around, and then, the second that she's safely tucked away in her own room, I miss her like crazy! She loves when her daddy comes home, she takes a break from the fussing and concentrates her efforts on showing her daddy her rolling skills and favorite toys of the moment.


Does anyone else struggle major with bedtime routines? The actual making them happen isn't the hardest thing, it's really just being home on time to begin them. Her bedtime comes so quickly when we're out and about. Luckily, she's flexible with us and only screeches at us once in a while. This is where I think the rocking to sleep should come in, yes, I've just decided. Whenever we get home late and disturb her slumber, some love stares and singing will be in order. It's only 2-3 times a week. The rest of the week, every baby for herself.


...and since we're taking bedtime routines, I think I'll just type mine up. Like I said, these things change so quickly. I really do wish that a bath could be part of our routine, but my poor little one shrivels up like a, I don't even know, something peely, dry, and red. so we don't bathe much around here. Judge me, I dare you :) anyway...

1. We clean her earrings, ears, neck, and behind her ears. It's amazing what she can hide in her neck.
2. She is then promptly slathered in her smell-less eczema cream (oh how I long for a sweet smelling babe!).
3. Bum is changed and creamed.
4. Jammies are put on, it's a battle to get those arms through the sleeves every.single.time! We also put socks on under her footie pajamas, is that weird? And then she goes into the sleep sack. We don't have bumpers so we've sturggled with her getting her legs stuck through the crib bars. Sad.
5.  She eats her little heart out.
6. We read a book (Fairy Birds and The Biggest Kiss are our favorites right now)
7. We sing a song - or 10, if we just can't bear to leave her sweet smile.
8. We say our family prayers.
9. She receives about 5 trillion kisses.
10. We turn on the humidifier, say I love you, and close the door. Crying usually ensues for a couple minutes. She's turning out fine.

Oh, this girl has my heart!



Monday, March 3, 2014

FOR THE SAKE OF RECORD KEEPING

This weekend Melinda and I spend a solid 2 hours (maybe?) looking through the archives of her blog. We started by looking for a specific photo, but then just kept going. It was so fun to look through the old photos and all of the "remember whens..." So, maybe this is enough of a kick start to get the record keeping going, for purely selfish reasons. Seriously, I just want to be able to look back at this a year from now and play "remember when"

This past Saturday we got Ellie's ears pierced. I have been going back and fourth forever trying to decided whether to do it or not. J.rue of course didn't care either way and suggested that we just go the soonest Saturday possible, most likely so I would just stop talking about it. So after going back and fourth for 3 more days, Saturday came and we decided to go for it.



Clearly, this was before the holes were punched. Honestly, after doing it, I might wait a little longer for my next girl, if we have one. It was a little traumatic and well, long. We had a squirley girl on our hands so much patience was needed. I'm actually super happy that it's done now. It's adorable and now we don't have to worry about it. It was just the actual piercing of the ears that was not fun. But probably just like with birth, I will forget and will be chomping at the bit with my next one.

If you're thinking about doing this to with your baby, maybe watch this first :) Just a warning, it may or may not rip your heart out, it did mine.


This is the best picture I have of our girl's new ears, we think it makes her look like quite the little lady.


...and just one more for good measure, because I just love that Ellie is as photogenic as I am.


In other extremely exciting news, we're spending a lot of time in the mother's lounge during sacrament meeting. Right up until I had Ellie I was always very curious about this ominous room. Can you believe that it's not all it's cracked up to be? Well, unless you enjoy sitting in a tiny room with 3 rockers shoved in the tiniest room possible, all touching. That's fun when you and another gal's boobs are hanging out right next to each other. Obviously, sometimes the mother's lounge is also used for other things besides eating, because why not?


...and if we get really lucky, she sleeps.


Ellie loves helping with the laundry.


And Cece is making sure we're effectively grooming the next generation of Ellen D. fans via the Oscars.


Friday, January 10, 2014

IN WITH THE NEW

Every time I sit down to write a new blog post I think, "why the heck don't I do this more? I love this" Because really, I love it, writing gets me in my groove, in a good good way. So, like all preceding blogging years I am going to try to be better at writing my thoughts via blogger because it makes me happy. Plus, everyone needs a good solid new year's resolutions blog post, yes?



This year is oh so different than last year. While I was pregnant for most of last year, most everything stayed the same until October 8th. Then, those last 3 months were full of adjustments and changes. Honestly, I haven't even had a chance to get situated because of holidays, my missionary brother, and learning how to balance working from home and being a mommy. Every event has been wonderful and exciting, but it's hindered my chance to make a day-to-day schedule.


With that being said, I highly recommend spending the first two weeks of a new year on a tropical island relaxing. I've actually been able to sit on the beach, cuddling my baby and thinking about what I want for us in 2014. Idyllic. I've seen a bunch of my bloggie crushes pick a single word for 2014 to live by personally, so while I've been taking in the sand and the sea, I've been racking my brain for "the word". As of yesterday I was pretty sure that I had settled on "discipline". You see, I've lost all of my baby weight, but still have the excess that I've been wanting to get rid of for several years. I wasn't 100% sold though though, it didn't seem like much of an enjoyable word or something that I wanted to be 100% focused on for a whole year. Maybe I'm just a wuss.



Tonight I was relaxing, and cuddling the babe (maybe I'll call her my muse), and looked up above my MIL's TV and saw the word "cherish" up on her wall and instantly fell in love. The definition of cherish is to protect and care for someone or something lovingly. Isn't that the best word and idea to plunge into this new year with?




I want to cherish the beauty that is my life. I want to cherish my days learning how to balance work, motherhood, and running a home. I want to cherish my puppiesl I want to cherish the chance to learn new things. I want to cherish my body and soul (see I'm disciplined enough to tie in discipline.) Mostly, I want to cherish the little moments with j.rue and Ellie. My little butter-ball cheeked baby is growing up way too quickly. She's learning and doing new things each day and getting chunkier by the hour. She amazes me. I want to spend every waking minute with her that I can, and that means worrying less about work and house chores.



Yesterday was my 5 year anniversary. J.rue and I hiked and napped and went to dinner with just the two of us. We went to a little hole in the wall that served the most delicious shrimp and local fare and while we love a fancy anniversary meal as the next, we love holes in the wall. Best food, as long as you can look past that they might not be 100% up to the health codes. Just kidding...we hope. The best part of the whole day was taking about what we want for our 6th year of marriage. It's quite convenient that our anniversary is only 9 days after the new year begins. I wanted to clue him in on my "word" and It was so refreshing to have that conversation, to talk about goals, improvements that need to be made, adventures we want to take. I fell even further for that sweet boy that I call my husband last night and am resolved to be a better wife. Oh I love him so. And isn't he just the sweetest daddy?



So there you have it. Out with the old and in with the new! I can hardly wait to see what 2014 has for us.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER RIGHT NOW

I have been terrible about documenting the first 8 weeks of Ellie's life and I'm having terrible mother guilt over it. Last night I couldn't sleep and I had about a million thoughts running through my head so I started jotting them down. Since it was of course not written in a journal, but several pieces of notebook paper, I figured I better type it up before I loose it. Hand written journals are overrated, except they're not. This is just 1000x easier.






- Ellie giggles when I sit down to nurse her. It's kind of like a laugh/cry with a little big of piglet mixed it. I love it more than words can describe.

- I love when Ellie looks at me and smiles. It really might top everything, except maybe when she looks at me and does her little dove coos. She's started being so much more responsive in the last two days.

- I want so badly to record her life better.

- I worry that I'm not giving Ellie enough time during the day. I've got to stop stressing about getting "stuff" done and just giving her time.

-Doing this (writing down my thoughts) makes me happy.

- Cradle cap is gross.

- Expensive baby clothes are stupid but I can't resist a good baby Gap sale to save my life.

- I have a daughter named Eleanor and I love her name. My child is beautiful.

- I want to stop being chubby and start being awesome. (please say someone can name that TV show?)

-I can't get into decorating for Christmas this year, but I want traditions, so many of them. Good thing I decorated yesterday. Yuck.

- I want all of my children to have a magical childhood and I want to be part of it.

-My diet has consisted of 90% pretzels for the last 3 days.

- I've been too focused on accomplishing tasks and trying to live a perfect day-to-day life. It does not exist.

- Comparison really is the thief of joy. It's really why I don't really read blogs anymore and why I need to get over instagram.

- Loving my handwriting tonight

- I always want Ellie to know how unconditionally I love her.

- We've already talked about sibling names for Ellie. I secretly hope she has a sister next: Violet, Scarlett, or Charlotte. However, I don't think she'll have any sisters.

- I've been making baked goods every Sunday. It's a love/hate thing.

- I am so happy right now

- I love writing.

- There are way too many "I" statements going on right now

- I used to care that people read my blog. Now I could care less, it's funny how priorities change.

- My dogs are so neglected right now and I don't know what to do about it. It breaks my heart.

- I will order Ellie's birth announcements this week...or next.

- Have I mentioned that I need more balance in my life?

- I love working from home but it's 1000x harder than I thought it would be.

- I want to be an awesome Personal Progress advisor but I'm scared to get started.

- If my baby didn't sleep through the night I don't know how I would function. I'm scared to have another baby because I know there is no possible way I will get another one that is as well behaved.

- I kind of want to be a little bit of a bad ass, but just a little.

- I severely lack self discipline. Today I'm only eating one brownie, but we'll see (I actually ate 3). See? Told you.

- I'm scared of being poor, but really it doesn't matter when I look at the big picture. Our heat went out today and I'm so thankful that we can fix it. We won't be able to do much else above and beyond that, but basic needs, right?

- I hope people remember me as a kind, hardworking, loving, and happy girl.

- I want to take a solid day and do nothing but cuddle and play with Ellie, but I won't be able to do that/enjoy it until my house is clean. I'm cleaning my house this week and taking that day next Tuesday. I think I need to do that at least once or twice a month. She's growing way too fast.

- I hope j.rue knows how much I love him. It's so so much.

- I think I'll be able to sleep now that this is all written out.

...and I did sleep like a baby. I'm going to start doing this again, just for myself and Ellie. It's important and really not that hard. Oh, and it's my therapy. It lifts weights off my shoulders that build up so quickly.

We're blessing Ellie this Sunday, the day she turns two months old. I love when things match up perfectly like that. Oh and now I'm going to finish off cleaning my house so I can have next Tuesday with my little Ellie Bean.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ELDER MICAH KWALLEK

Yesterday my little brother reported to the MTC in Provo. There were tears, lots, mostly from our mother. But I think that most of us had at least some degree of moist eyes, even Ellie. I can't believe that she will be two when Micah gets home! I will be forever grateful that he was able to be here when Ellie was born and that he was here for the first 4 weeks of her life. He'll definitely make it home for a fun stage. He loves his niece, but isn't the biggest fan of the pooping, crying, and sleeping which is pretty much Elle's M.O. right now. What can ya do?



 We prepared for his departure by eating out as many meals as possible and watching all of the Harry Potter, because that's how we do. There was also a trip down to St. George for a cousin's wedding this last weekend so it was nice to spend the extra time. Micah and I got to have a good little convo on the way down while everyone else was snoozing. Oh I'm going to miss that boy. We're a lot alike as in we are impatient, have a hilarious sense of humor, and share a great love of cheap food and drink.



I'm so proud of Micah for choosing to go. I know for a quick moment it was a hard decision, but he knew exactly where he needed to be, and Mexico is lucky to have him. One of the hardest parts of yesterday is seeing my two brothers say goodbye. If all goes according to plan, they won't see each other for 4 years. I can't even imagine. Watching them say goodbye broke my heart just a little bit, they're best friends, and I know they'll miss each other dearly. Missions really are sacrifices for everyone involved, but what a worthwhile sacrifice.



I keep wondering what he's doing RIGHT NOW, it's a little fun. Hopefully he'll be willing to write me often and update me on his every move, I'm nosy like that. I do look forward to our emails. I've promised to update him weekly on Castle and Blacklist while it's on. Oh that boy will be having major withdrawals from TV, phones, and xboxes.


Micah, I'm proud of you and I love you. See you in two Mochacchino!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SO WE HAVE A BABY NOW

I know this is long overdue, but better late than never right? That's basically the theme of my blog, so I'm sure you weren't even expecting anything better.

Our sweet baby, Eleanor Blythe Ruesch, joined us on Tuesday, October 8th, at 8:37 am. She weighed 6 lbs 10 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. She came out with a less intense version of her daddy's butt chin (among 94% of the rest of his features) and a full head of hair. She made quite the dramatic entrance, but being my daughter, we didn't really expect anything less. A birth story will come soon, promise.

I'm thinking I'll let the pictures finish off this post and update you on the first few weeks in the coming days and weeks. They were hard, probably the hardest two weeks of my life, but they were also some of the most beautiful and I want to make sure to do them justice, plus be able to poke a little fun at myself because, let's be honest, I can be a little ridiculous at times.

Oh we love this girl and now for a million pictures:











Until next time!