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The Niece

5 weeks ago I shared the story of the day we became auntie & uncle to our first nephew. Today, I’m sharing the story of the day I watched my brother and his wife become parents to the sweetest, most perfect little doll, Carina Violet. One year ago Jacob and I were on a trip  visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Oklahoma. We had just walked into Starbucks when I got a call from my dad. Matt and Ashley were heading to the hospital to have their baby. My instant response was sheer excitement, but as the reality of the fact that I was in Oklahoma and they were in California sunk in, my heart sank along with it. My dad could tell that I was a little sad so he explained that if I wanted to fly back, he and my mom would pay for my flight change. I thanked him for being so generous but explained that I would just meet my sweet niece when we got home in a few days. As soon as I hung up the phone the tears started. I couldn’t get over the fact that we had waited months and months for this day and I wouldn’t be there with Matt and Ashley. My siblings are all very close, including the ones that married in, and the thought of missing this special day when Ashley would fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a momma was unbearable. I talked with Jacob and he encouraged me to go. I made up my mind, called my dad, and booked a new flight. I would get to meet Carina Violet tonight… or so I thought.

I arrived back in San Diego in the early evening and my dad picked me up from the airport. We went straight to the hospital where I got to see Ashley, hug on her, and then let her rest for a bit. She still had a few hours to go. Matt needed to eat so he and my dad and I walked to dinner and talked about how he was about to become a daddy. I still couldn’t believe it. A few hours later, it was time to push. Ashley ended up pushing for HOURS. We were standing outside the hospital room door waiting to hear a little cry. She worked so hard and finally, sweet Carina Violet Shillito entered the world with a squeak. I was so proud Ashley. After a few minutes we were able to go into the room and everything we thought would be true about her was true! She had daddy’s sweet eyes, mommy’s soft voice, and both of their luscious lips. She was perfect. I will let the photos tell the rest of the story.

Those were some of the sweetest, most special moments. I am so thankful that I was able to make it in time. A few days later Uncle Jacob got to meet her and fell in love too. A few days after that I got to take some photos of Carina and her parents at their house. These are some of my most treasured images.

Miss Carina Violet,

Your birthday was one of the longest days of my life because I couldn’t wait to meet you. I am so thankful for your little life and what a blessing it is to watch you grow. You are sweet and spunky and so easy to love. I love you, little one. Happy happy birthday.

Auntie Christin

***For more of our Little Love Stories, click here.***

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