Jesse & Kelly have been an institution in my life for the past eight years. When I moved to Long Beach for college, Kelly was one of the first people I met at CSU Long Beach. We were in the same art history class and we also found the same church. We were kindred spirits, having both grown up in small San Diego offshoots; we had so much in common and became fast friends. It didn’t take much for me to also bond with her boyfriend (now husband) Jesse, because he, too, was one of the kindest souls I’ve met in this town. They’ve seen me through some of my toughest times, and undoubtedly some of my best.
When I heard the news that they were expecting, it rocked my world, the same way it does every time I learn someone from my cohort is moving on to a new milestone. I’ve been lucky to spend the last few months working closely with Kelly as part of a small team of wedding vendors and I’ve had the joy of watching her pregnancy progress. It was hard to imagine what a new addition to their family would look like, but now that I’ve met their little Avalon it seems like she’s been with them forever, and in some ways I suppose she has.
When Kelly asked me to take a few photos of their newborn baby girl I squeeked with excitement–I was honored to be one of the first to meet her! They stopped by last week and we spent hours catching up and soaking in the goodness of their new daughter. I was amazed to hear about her birth story and how at almost 42 weeks Kelly labored for 30 hours without any intervention or medications (the rest of the story is hers to tell). The result was a beautiful and healthy baby girl, weighing in at 8lbs 7oz, and I’m not exaggerating when I say she could not be more perfect. I see so much of her parents in her, and can tell she carries their same sweet disposition. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for this new trio and I’m so thankful to have witnessed it from the start.
Watching my friends transition into parenthood is bittersweet. Selfishly, I’m sad they will no longer share with us in the small, carefree delights of non-parenthood, but in the grander sense it warms my heart to see them taking on these new roles as the center of their universe shifts a little with every passing day.