As I think I've mentioned, my intent was to transition this Ainsley blog to our family blog, which I'll do right after the first of the year. It's hard to believe she is already three months old - it seems as though she just arrived.
She's proven to be an exceptionally animated, happy baby - no great surprise if you know her family. I always assumed that Sophie was the kid most like me as a firstborn, headstrong little gal. It seems as though in the months leading up to Ainsley's arrival and since that day that I see more and more of Fred in Sophie... and this is a very good thing. She is a fortunate child to have his traits, and they appear more and more alike to me every day. Ainsley, by contrast, is starting to show signs of the temperament I thought I saw in Sophie. Regardless of the personalities they each grow into, they are sure to be their own strong characters.
I would wish for them both the patience, intelligence, work ethic, dedication to family and strength of character of their Dad. Likewise, though, I would willingly share with them my enthusiasm, tenacity, self-confidence and love of communication. I'd also bestow my sister's humor and unique intelligence, my mom's grace and astounding perception of others and goodwill, and my dad's commitment to family, life balance and unique talent in the professional and financial world. If any of those sound like less than desirable qualities, it is because I've done them a disservice in the description - what unique people these children are surrounded by daily! Our extended family on both Fred's side and mine bring amazing qualities and, most importantly, a deep and abiding commitment to family. It is into that exuberant world that I'm happy to throw both these girls.
So many fret about the world they are bringing their children into - I worry more about the times and people gone before and my ability to tie them to their past as the stronghold and stake as they blow about the world. Even as I blog I wonder if these girls will understand the draw and the command of the written word on a fine sheet of paper with a fine pen. To keep a journal (as I've already rambled about) and to know the stories of those around you is essential to the person you'll become.
If you've taken this journey with us so far, thanks! I'll post a few pictures of Ainsley over the last few weeks before officially transitioning this to www.chezstephens.blogspot.com. In case you're wondering, Chez Stephens (shay Stephens) is the French term, essentially, meaning in the Stephens home and "at our house" all rolled up into one. It also has an even deeper, warmer meaning and sense of home (at least to me) that is difficult to convey.
As I sit here and type tonight in front of the cozy fireplace, chez Stephens, with my family snuggled up, the best and worst of 2010 behind us and the giddiness of 2011 approaching, it's that reference to home, family, the past and the future that I hope both the blog title and the blog itself communicate: a sense that what has been and what will be are of equal importance and relevance, and a clear sense of devotion to one another prevailing through it all.
As a side note, I've been known to post a family-oriented post or two on my personal blog, www.carpediembeth.blogspot.com. Such dabblings will ideally cease as Chez Stephens becomes the outlet for all things family and personal (including photos) and as the former remains closer to its original intent as a personal blog full of not-always-flattering-or-interesting-but-always-rambling thoughts. Whew.