I’ve had the privilege of watching this blended family grow and transform in so many beautiful ways, and I want to tell you about them while I introduce you to their newest member.
Melissa and I met in 2005. I was just starting my professional career at VCU, and she was holding multiple positions while hiring new staff members. We were partners in our office, working together to keep a 90-year-old building functioning. We became friends through our mutual love of dogs, grown-up cartoons, and shenanigans.
Throughout the years, we both moved offices several (SEVERAL) times, but ended up across the hall again in 2013 when I got promoted. She cheered me on as I fumbled my way through supervising peers and inter-office politics. After she moved on from VCU, we stayed close, texting daily for years. We cheered each other on through highs, and cheered each other up through lows.
I was there when she got engaged to another of my VCU friends (hi, Dave!). When they announced their pregnancy over Zoom in 2020, I screamed with delight. I was thrilled to document their pregnancy this fall, and was on pins and needles in December while they worked their way through labor and delivery, a NICU stay, and finally a release from the hospital.
A couple of weeks later I was on their doorstep, gear in hand and mask on face. I couldn’t wait to document this beautiful blended family in the throes of sleeplessness and cluster feeding.
We spent 90 minutes together while the baby led us through feedings, burpings, changes, and catnaps (approximately in that order). Melissa and Dave regaled me with tales of night feedings that happened between 5am and 8am.
I’m excited to be Melissa’s (and Dave’s) cheerleader as they work their way through the newborn stages. Just as they have supported me through life for the last 15+ years, I’m here for them. You’re doing a great job, you guys. Keep going.