How to title this post? "Things are different now"? "Starting over again"? or maybe "The hard work is over...yet it's just beginning"?
How does one introduce the little bean? It was a long, not at all arduous but rather monotonous day, but Audrey Harper finally joined us on Sunday, June 10th in the late afternoon to general expressions of delight and surprise as she weighed in a little over 9 lbs. (a bit bigger than both doctors predicted). But in all honesty, and as a nice older lady at church pointed out and affirmed to me of her own volition, she doesn't look like a 9 lb. baby. I agree.
After getting to know her for a week now, I'd say that her delivery was much like her personality has been--relatively calm and relaxed with a lot of quiet time. This bright eyed little girl demands little and is ever so content to just watch and look around her for a great amount of her awake time. She falls asleep on her own pretty well, especially at night (what what??) At least once a day, we've talked about what a refreshing change of pace she's been in comparison to what we remember about Abby, who had her fair share of inexplicable crying from the get-go.
And speaking of #1 daughter, she's been in love with "my baby sister" from the first moment of seeing her--too adorable! And, it has been a big sigh of relief to see how she's reacting and adjusting to this change of life that she didn't ask for and must choose to endure or embrace. Thus far, she's totally embraced her new older sister status and dotes on Audrey a lot throughout the day. And, she's quite the helper now with (so far) no complaints. We're really trying to praise her compliance and play up her maturity; maybe it's working? Audrey's birth, like Abby's, was timed fabulously at the beginning of the summer, so we're both home full-time through this big adjustment period, and that also means that right now, Abby has daddy home with her all of the time. Our daughter is IN LOVE with her daddy, 100%. He's the one that she usually calls for in the middle of the night if she happens to wake up for anything; he is the one that she demands comfort from at a doctor's office; and he is the one that she wants to do almost everything with. So as far as the family dynamics go, it hasn't been as much of an upheaval for her having a new baby around because that simply "forces" her to be with daddy. What a sacrifice!
It is well with our household. And that has been a blessing for which we've been thankful all week long. And today, Ben and I celebrated our 7th anniversary in the quietest, most low-key fashion yet. But in my head (as seems to happen every year), I've been replaying all sorts of sweet moments from our wedding day on some kind of random montage. I came across our wedding album a couple of days ago (we have a good portion of our house packed up right now due to the non-moving that is taking place, so when I say "came across," it really is as random as it sounds) and had a moment to myself to look through it. As inevitably happens now, I look at my favorite pictures of us and think a) how young we looked and b) wow, a lot has happened in the last 2557 days! A lot has (rightfully so) happened to that innocent, fresh-out-of-college couple who had no clue about anything that was to come. Somehow in these last 7 years, we've definitely transformed into adults, too. And that, I think, is about the only thing that I envy that couple in my pictures.
I remember what a clear state of mind we had on our honeymoon, how that summer was a blur of low stress days. Since then, car loans, a mortgage, another degree, several jobs, retirement considerations, vacations, and 2 children have all combined to make every decision one that impacts a lot. That, too often, is enough to get caught up in the "what's the right decision to make?" quagmire as if there is ever only one possibility that must be carefully realized. Instead, there's a lot good happening for us, which I tend to ignore too often during the school year. That's another reason why I'm ever so pleased that Audrey joined us in the summer; what better time for us to just chill out and enjoy this new little bundle with all of her little newborn expressions and stretches? This post should definitely be titled as it is because there's just a lot of sweetness all around right now.