May 31, 2014

Reading and Storytelling

Here's a little video that shows how much our Clara has adored and loved on her new little sister.  I love that she wants to share with her some of her favorite things.  Clara has always loved books and reading, but lately her very favorite thing to do is make up stories (or as she says, "let's just tell a story with our MOUTHS.")  I, of course, love watching this early literacy and beginning stages of writing develop in her.  As an educator, it's fascinating and joyful for me to see the things I read about and talk about and share with teachers happening in my own kid.  Eloise is fortunate to grow up with this big sister.  She'll be read to lots and loved on more.  The first video is Clara "reading" to Eloise and the second is her making up a story (with her mouth).  Hope you can understand her, because it's precious!

May 30, 2014

Red, White and Blue

I'm not gonna lie... I'm exceedingly excited about dressing these two girls in matching and coordinating outfits for as long as they will possibly allow it.  So, when Memorial Day rolled around and we'd recently received the cutest little red, white and blue outfit for Eloise from our friends the McAvoys, it was time for the first official sister photo shoot (unless their meeting counts, which I guess it kind of does).  Anyways, here are my girls in their red, white and blue.

I must mention how grateful we are for those who have given their lives to fight for our freedoms, to allow us to live the lives we so often take for granted.  We are aware of what blessed luxuries we are afforded because of that sacrifice.  Thanks be to God.

May 29, 2014

Eloise's First Visitors

In addition to the loving and supportive family who have surrounded us in these first days, Eloise has been blessed with some other wonderful loving visitors.  I know that there will be more visitors excited to meet her in the days and weeks ahead, but I thought I'd go ahead and share some of these first photos.  I missed a few special folks (Sorry, Dr. Bob and Wendi and whoever else I forgot to get a photo with!), but here are a few of Eloise's first fans.  We've loved sharing her and showing her off.

Chris Norman and Ken Meyers came to the hospital to get snuggles:

So did Uncle Frank and Aunt Lala who will already love her like their own...


 The anesthesiologist (Dr. Dean) and surgeon (Dr. Scherer) who helped deliver Eloise came back by to get some more snuggles too.

Her sweet Aunt Trina

After we got home we were so lucky that Uncle Roshan just happened to be in town from California because he was visiting his own niece and nephew.  On his way to the airport he stopped by to meet the newest little Hardy.  (I think he was a fan!)

 And I think the "most-excited-to-hold-the-baby" prize goes to  Ella.  She's nine years on, going on 16 and maybe the sweetest big kid I know.  Thankful that both our girls will have her to look up to.  If our little Ella turns out as great as this one has, we'll be doing pretty well!

Thankful for the community of friends who love us like family!

May 27, 2014

Coming Home at Three Days Old

I find myself acutely aware of how much I'm comparing this experience of a newborn with our Clara experience and wanting to be certain that I don't constantly compare these two girls and their experiences.  Each is different and each was beautiful in its own unique ways.  But there is enormous joy in celebrating with Eloise some of the things we missed out on with Clara and being able to treasure and cherish the ordinary in a way I'm not sure we could have otherwise.  Coming home after a typical, two and half days in the hospital was one of those moments.  The hospital worker who wheeled me out to the car asked, "Is this your first?... it seems like your first.""  We explained to her, as we had many times during our hospital stay to various staff members, that it's not our first child, but it's our first time experiencing these kinds of moments.  I was grinning hard from ear to ear and tearing up as we walked through those front doors.  I'm sure she couldn't understand:  A second child that you can appreciate this fully is even better than a first.

She got all dolled up in a dress that her mama wore.

Here's that giant smile I couldn't wipe off my face.  See me, leaving the hospital, with my baby in my arms?!

May 26, 2014


There's already been evidence of how much Eloise was welcomed and loved by her parents and her big sister, but in her first week of life she has already been loved on by all four grandparents, her great grandmother, three uncles and aunts and a handful of cousins.  She will learn soon what a beautiful extended family she has and how thankful we are for the love and support of these amazing people in our lives and in hers.  

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