This past weekend was both exhilarating and exhausting (and I'm not even the one who gave birth). We finally met our sweet little niece, Lyla Claire, and she is amazing. After a tough c-section that lasted almost 2 hours, both mama and baby were in each others arms and resting happily. Kudos to my sister-in-law, she is a trooper to say the least. My brother couldn't look happier or more proud of his little clan, and well, it was one of those all over incredible times where you can't soak up your family enough to be satisfied. Our nearly four year old niece became a big sister, and to watch her go through this transformation is heart wrenching. It is quite an adjustment I think, adding another sibling and child to the family. Especially when your daughter was the first grandchild in the entire family, and has pretty much been the center of all of our love for four years (until my girl came on the scene to steal some attention). She has handled all of it, and the past few days, with nothing short of grace and humor. She is so happy and proud of her sister "Lyla, that I NAMED HER AUNTIE!" She wears her Big Sister tee shirt in the photos above and eagerly poses so that we can capture the moment. She worries sweetly about her mommy and wants to see her in the "special room" to "make sure she is ok, ok, Auntie?" This child is a true delight. It was so fun to spend four days distracting her and taking turns juggling her around and feeding her ice cream and answering her questions and giving her tons of love and kisses. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it ;). Uncle Mitch even built a princess puzzle with her at my dad's house. In 3D. That is how much we love her -- we go along enthusiastically with all things princess!
Needless to say we're back home just in time for Valentine's Day. I'm feeling like San Francisco is 2000 miles away from Sacramento (instead of 2 hours) and I'm missing out on major giggles and coos. I'm thankful that my sister-in-law is home, and safe, and happy (albeit tired and emotional and down right freaking out at the prospect of 2 kids). If anyone can handle the adjustment with ease, it's her.
It seems apropos to celebrate love's holiday today, right after the birth of a new family member. Happy Valentine's Day. I hope it is a good one.