Taylor Made Life - Alexis

Taylor's niece, Alexis.

Last Sunday, something happened that will go down in (my) history as one of my favorite moments ever. My beautiful sister, Nikki, gave birth to an equally beautiful baby girl, Alexis.

It’s worth noting some of Alexis’ beauty comes from her father, Don, who texted me the news of her arrival while I was putting away groceries. I squealed with excitement, looking at the brand-new baby’s face and reading “Alexis Kennedy born at 12:21 p.m. weighing 7 lbs. and 11 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches.”

There is so much about her birth to be grateful for. I’m thrilled to take on the title of Aunt Taylor (and, Alexis might not know this yet, but I will one day be her best friend whether she likes it or not).

This is my first time being a blood-related aunt, as I consider my boyfriend, Keegan’s, nieces to be my nieces, as well. Also, I view my cousin’s stepdaughter, Finley, as a niece, as I’ve known her since she was a toddler.

I’m elated to see an amazing couple such as Nikki and Don become parents. It’s also fun to watch my (and Don’s) parents become first-time grandparents.

This is something they’ve all been preparing for since Nikki and Don said “I do” in 2013. What a perfect day that was.

Nikki is seven years older than I am, which made her an instant role model. Wherever she went and whatever she did, I wanted a part in. To my overall memory, she never seemed to have too much of an issue with that.

When I was to start junior high, she went away to University of Illinois, where her existing friendship with Don turned into love. I never will forget the day she told me they were dating.

I came home from school one afternoon and she called me and asked, “Have you looked at Facebook today?” I said no, and she told me to go look at her profile page.

There it was, in Facebook-official form for the world to see: Nikki is in a relationship with Don. Now, keep in mind this was just when the social media platform was taking off, so it was just about the coolest thing in the world to have a Facebook-official relationship.

Whenever she would come home for break, Don would be there, too, and they would include me in movies and midnight runs to Taco Bell. I immediately hit it off with Don, and he’s been a brother to me for all these years.

Don’s also a trooper because we’re not an easy family to break into. Our native language is sarcasm, and we rag on each other at every turn. But he has always taken it in stride.

Nikki and Don set the bar for what a good relationship should look like. In the simplest term and most convenient definition: it’s a beautiful thing to fall in love with your best friend.

While it didn’t happen for me in college as I hoped it would (I went through a years-long phase where I thought the trajectory of my life would or had to match Nikki’s), last year, I did fall in love with my best friend, and I finally have settled on the three people who would be part of my “Willy Wonka” grandparents’ bed.

To say I’m happy for them and their new baby girl is an understatement. While they are blessed to have her in their lives, she soon will come to find how lucky she is to be blessed with them as parents.

Welcome to the world, Alexis.

Taylor Leddin is the Life editor at The Daily Journal and is the editor of Lifestyles of Kankakee County. Her column, “A Taylor Made Life,” publishes every Saturday in the Life section. She can be contacted by phone 815-937-3369 or email tleddin@daily-journal or via Twitter @leddinlife.