It's so bizarre to be writing about my niece. It means that I have officially moved up the familial hierarchy to the level of authority... the level that the Grown-Ups are at. Isabella was born this morning with so little trouble, which is a blessing, in such stark contrast to the way we came to this point, with so many disappointed hopes and frustrations. But as I held that tiny little girl this afternoon, I realized that all those other moments were part of what made her arrival so sweet. That's the beauty of the cycle of life that's been given to us- death, as much as it stings and hurts, always brings forth life again. The beauty of the fall foilage is death, followed by the tomb of winter. But once spring comes back with its lush greens and beautiful flowers, you realize that all the death was necessary to come to that moment of life and that it was worth it.