dear cecelia | in partnership with artifact uprising

Putting together a baby book is something I have yet to do for my firstborn (now four-and-a-half years old)—but just shortly after the birth of Cecelia in April, Artifact Uprising released their gorgeous new "Story of You" photo journals and generously sent me one of the first copies. It was precisely the motivation I needed to gather our precious family memories and start documenting.

I've been collecting prints from Cece's first weeks and I also started recording our experiences and emotions from these hazy newborn days so they wouldn't get lost in the abyss of moments-I-swore-I'd-remember-yet-didn't. In the process, WellRounded (in partnership with Artifact Uprising) then asked me to share a page from the book and a little peek into what I was compiling, so here goes:

Your big sister Cami had been requesting a little sister for ages—specifically asking your daddy and me to order one online. While Cami's understanding of baby delivery clearly differed from ours, we did share her hopes for another little being to raise and love—and lo and behold you chose us as your family unit, fulfilled all of our dreams at once, and completed our little household. 

Your presence was felt well before my pregnancy test read positive, but at 12 weeks gestation, you really made yourself known when, here in our kitchen, your daddy and I opened the sealed gender-reveal envelope from the doctor, and the tiny folded piece of paper read in pink all-caps, "GIRL." I literally dropped to my knees with overwhelming joy, and your daddy and I shared uncontrollable laughter, tears, and a trembling embrace that lasted a good 15 minutes.

Fast forward to April 12, 2017. You came into the world eight days early looking around the delivery room so serene, pensive, and alert—undoubtedly cut from the same cloth as your older sister. The following day we brought Cami to the hospital to meet you for the very first time, and when the nurse rolled your bassinet into Mommy's room, your sister's gaze widened with wonder and she whispered so as not to wake you: "She's the littlest girl I've ever seen! I love her." Your daddy and I wiped our eyes more than a few times and gave Cami the pink plush bunny you "picked out just for her." She couldn't believe that you already knew her taste in stuffed animals at such an early age, and we as your parents couldn't believe the connection you girls had from day one of your life. 

The following afternoon when we brought you home from the hospital, we were greeted by a colorful array of Cami's chalk drawings covering the driveway made with love, in celebration of you—"Welcome Cece!" was the centerpiece of her creation. Upon entering the house you were received with more enthusiasm than I've ever witnessed in Cami (and you'll learn that she's quite the spirited, expressive sister if you haven't noticed already). 

The two of you have been inseparable since—Cami takes her job as bottle-holder extremely seriously, and she insists on entertaining you with song (and often instrumental accompaniment) each time you lay on the changing table. Your new smiles of delight in return read as if you're shouting, "Encore!" after her performances, and your eyes become even brighter when your sister just enters the room. Cecelia Lou, you're a treasure to all three of us, and watching your relationship with your sister grow and blossom is the ultimate gift to your daddy and me. We love you girls infinitely and we love your bond just as much—life with you is beautiful, sweet Cece, and it's only becoming more magical every day. 

 *This article was also shared on WellRounded's site, and they're offering 10% off AU's baby books with the code WELLROUNDED610!