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Ok, my friend. It is time.

I've been keeping this little nugget from you for too long.

The truth is, I've been holding out on you because I haven't been sure what to say. This is such an important little thing in my life and I couldn't decide whether to under share (hey, this is a FOOD blog, not baby blog!) or to overshare because she's turned into my absolutely everything and I want to squeeze her constantly and show her picture to everyone who will look for even a moment cause I'm a proud new mom and apparently that is what proud new moms do. Phew, what a run on sentence.

I'm opting for oversharing, cause you and I are good OL friends. Grab a coffee, my friends. Let's chat. 🙂
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Before I spill everything and go all TMI on you, can we just stop for a minute so I can gush about that picture? ☝️☝️☝️ We took that a few days after we brought her home. Those feet, that nose, that spiky hair, her tiny little self! I seriously can't stand it. Too much cuteness all at once.

And do you know of a way I can squish her back to that size, even for a minute?

When we took the picture, my handsome man said, “Are you sure you want to take off her diaper?” Since I'm a totally sane and normal person who would risk anything for a pretty shot, I told him that there was no way a silhouette shot would work with a diaper. Tell me you would have done the same, right?

Ha! I'm not going to write out in full what happened after this shot because TMI and ew gross you don't want to read that. But seriously, I should have listened to reason.

 And this pic … Little Avalina at 1 week old. Just look at those skinny little chicken legs! 

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Ok, here we go …

So the truth is, I was never one of those girls who grew up dreaming of the day she would become a mom. (Being honest!) I've always loved kids, it's just that I love my freedom, too. I watched so many people lose themselves in the busyness of family life that I didn't see there being another option, and I was terrified of that happening to me.

It was my sister (hi, Lyndz!) who showed me a new way. She somehow managed to pull off being a new mom while continuing to spend time with her friends, work, exercise, and even throw on her backpack to take her new little one traveling to fun and awesome countries people don't normally take their children to. She made it look effortless. Ha!

I once said to her, “But I don't know if I want all the hard work of being a mom.” Her response was, “It's not hard work. He's my buddy, we hang out.”

When she said that, her son was a toddler. Wait, what?!

I thought she was either crazy or awesome, but mostly awesome cause she's my sister and she is awesome.

Total daddy's girl. And those sausage link arms!

Anyway, it took a couple of years (years!) and lots of talks about if this was what we really wanted and if we are responsible and awesome enough people who are capable of raising a little human being. I'm not normally one to mull over decisions, but this was the biggest and most difficult decision I'd ever made. I mean, hello! There's no going back!

Eventually, we tossed out all rational discussions and said, “F**k it, let do this.” Just like two responsible people do. 🙂

Being pregnant was kinda sorta awesome, except for all the things about it that weren't. I LOVED having a giant belly. And feeling (watching!) her wiggle around inside, which should have seemed all alien-like but was actually super crazy amazing.

We spent half our days with both our hands on my belly waiting for her next kick or squirm.

I documented the whole thing with silhouette shots. This last one was taken just before we left for the hospital, between labored breathing and curling over contractions. Seriously guys, I don't know what I was thinking! Anything for a pretty picture. 🙂

Our little monkey was born at 1:59am on May 29th, after 20 hours of labor and an emergency c-section. But let's just forget about all of that part. SO not fun.

We left the hospital with Girl Has No Name because naming a person is the second most difficult thing to do in the world next to deciding to make a person.

Two weeks later, she officially became Avalina Willow Weisgarber. 

We named her Avalina after my mom's original name. She had convinced her dad to change her name when she was 12 because everyone always mispronounced it. It's a German name and the original spelling was Eveline. I always loved the name so we decided to keep it and change the spelling.

We chose her middle name to carry on a tradition on her dad's side; his middle name is Cedar. We both love willow trees and the way Avalina Willow flows together. She also gets to have the best baby initials ever. AWW she's so adorable!

Yes, I'm a cheeseball and tad bit embarrassed for myself right now.

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This little monkey. You guys, her cuteness is almost too much for me to handle some days. Like when she looks at me with her mouth wide open as she pulls her best I don't know what I'm doing but I'm trying really hard to smile. Heart melts.

Her favorite things are: 

Snuggles. Seriously guys, she could cuddle every moment of her life and I soak up every minute she'll give to me.

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Sleep. I feel like we must be the luckiest new parents ever. So lucky that I almost don't want to mention it out loud. Like, if I tell you how well she sleeps you'll be mad at me and never want to speak to me again. I wake up every morning thankful for feeling rested (I so wasn't expecting this!) and then feel extra thankful that I'm able to get a couple hours of work done before she realizes that she's (finally!) hungry and should probably wake up.

#bestbabyever

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Her cousin, Taj. She LOVES loves loves him.

I said to him, “You're just like a big brother to her” and he said, “No aunty, I AM her big brother.”

Melt.

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Her hair.

Ok ok, that's my favorite. But seriously, look at those pigtails!

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She's basically the sweetest little thing in the world. I know that every new mom is supposed to say that about their baby, but she really is.

She's super content, except if she thinks she's starving even though she totally isn't because she just ate five minutes ago.

We've been giving this little food blogger in training teeny tiny little tastes of the things we eat. So far, we know she likes: apples, espresso ice cream, olives, dark chocolate, lemons, teriyaki, and (slightly) spicy gochujang pizza sauce. Kid's like her mama, she loves to eat.

I'm proud of her already.

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I had a friend ask me, “What's the biggest surprise been?” Since she arrived I feel so much more grateful for all the moments in my life. I've stopped taking the little things for granted.

Waking up feeling rested.

Feeling her nestle into me and fall asleep.

Watching her smile and hearing her learning to laugh.

Getting on my bike and going for a ride. The freedom! The speed! 🙂

Going for dinner with my handsome man. We used to go out all the time, just the two of us. Since she's arrived we've been on five ‘date nights' and each time it feels so special. I know that's  cheesy and we've become that couple who gets gitty over their kid-free night, but we totally do and I love it.

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We love this little monkey so much, and more and more each day. I know I've already said it, but she really has become my everything. I want to keep her this size forever and can't wait to watch her grow. I wish I could have both!

So there you have it, guys. That's my little Ava.

I'm so happy to have a group of awesome food loving peeps who will put up with me (join me?!) in gushing over the most adorable little girl there ever has been. You guys are the best. ?