Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meeting Aylenne

Meeting Aylenne 7

Guess what I got to do this weekend? (Hint: it involved children, but not my own, and it began and ended with a road trip.) Oh, wait, the title of this post gave it away already? Shucks. You people are too smart for me.

Yes, this weekend I got to go see my new niece, Aylenne, and celebrate my nephew Ari's second birthday. My valiant husband stayed home with our kiddos since preemie Aylenne is not ready to be around other children much. (Especially children who had their 47th cold of the year last week, like mine did.) It was Dave's first time keeping the kids overnight by himself (TWO nights, actually), and he did a fabulous job. I am so grateful, Love!

So I rode down to Norfolk with my mom, dad and sister Lena on Friday afternoon. What with stops, traffic, and detours to avoid worse traffic, our four-hour trip took six hours. Fortunately, we love being together. It was super fun and refreshing to have time with my folks without my little ones being present. Uninterrupted, adult conversation! How novel! In addition to conversation, we enjoyed and critiqued a whole lotta country music. My dad has recently become a fan. A musically discriminating fan, to be sure, but a fan nonetheless. Fine with me! Bring it on.

When we finally made it to Jacque and Asher's house, we were greeted by this wee bundle.
Meeting Aylenne 2

She is really tiny! None of the pictures I took do her justice in that regard--how small her sweet head is when you see her in person, how impossibly fragile her skinny arms look! But she weighed in at 5 lbs and 14 ounces on the day we arrived, if that gives you any idea. She's little. And so beautiful!

Just look at this dark complexion, would you? Asher says it could only have come from his mother's side of the family, as the rest of us Nalles and Spruills are pale, pale, pale as the day is long.
Meeting Aylenne 1
(Lena's such a cutie, huh?)

On Saturday, after spending the night at the Spruill home, we celebrated Ari's birthday--the big two!
Meeting Aylenne 3
Please note that he is wearing his William and Mary (a.k.a. "The Tribe", a.k.a. Jacque and Asher's alma mater) t-shirt. I thought that was fitting, since that's the place where it all began.

Mom and Dad enjoying their fourth grand baby while Ari opened presents.
Meeting Aylenne 4

The gift-receiving climax was this lawn mower that Ari got from his daddy and mama.
Meeting Aylenne 5

In this brief clip, you can see he was pretty happy about it.

It was lovely to have some unhurried time to talk with Jacque while she nursed Aylenne. I got to hear about the past couple of weeks and what they have been like for her. And I got to see firsthand how she is managing a very sleepy baby who is not always as eager to eat as she should be. I am grateful to God for the way He is meeting and sustaining my sister through what could be an anxious time.

Some shots of Jacqua (who is looking fabulous two weeks after delivery) with her little girl:
Meeting Aylenne 6

Love dat scrunchy newborn face.
Meeting Aylenne 8

Meeting Aylenne 9

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Pretty ladies:
Meeting Aylenne 11

Sisters plus one (plus two, actually, if you count that ever-growing bump behind Jacque's elbow):
Meeting Aylenne 12

And a parting shot of Mom and Ari, who, after a long afternoon in the garden, was one dirty little boy.
Meeting Aylenne 13

The four of us (Mom, Dad, Lena and I) spent Saturday night in a hotel. (One room! Just like old times!) It was right on the riverfront in downtown Norfolk, so we got to walk around that evening and check out the boats, the lights, and the bridges. It was special time together, especially because my dad loves all things nautical and military.

The next morning, Mother's Day, we got up, packed up, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast (thanks, Daddy!) in the hotel restaurant. We had a wonderful view of the water, and it was a beautiful sunny morning. I have to say, though, I was eager to get on the road again. Two days apart from my three dearest loves was enough for me! So after more great conversation (and country music) on the car ride north, I finally landed back on my own doorstep. There I was welcomed by the best little family in the whole wide world. I couldn't have been happier for the time spent with extended family, but I certainly couldn't have been happier to be back where I belong.

And that's what I did this weekend!


Sandi said...

Love, Love, Love these pictures!
She is adorable and tiny.

The rest of you are good looking too! I miss all ya'll pretty Nalle faces.

I still can't believe you girls are having babies...well except Lena :o)

Genoa said...

Thanks Cara, it was almost like being there!