Introducing the newest blossom on my family tree...

Happy birthday, Elena!

Elena at 5 days old, already deep in thought and contemplating the world around her...

On April 6, 2013, I welcomed my daughter, Marielena "Elena" Luz Hall, into the world, the newest blossom in my family tree, and the first of the next generation on my particular branch (my parents' first grandkid).

If you can't tell, she's named after me, Mary Ellen. Her father is Honduran, and so it was important for me to incorporate his ethnic and cultural heritage, and therefore my daughter's, into her name, especially since her last name, Hall, doesn't reflect her Latina heritage at all. Hence, Mary Ellen en espanol becomes Marielena - and because that's such a mouthful for such a little girl, it becomes Elena for short.

Mary Ellen in particular is an important family name for me, a tradition that goes back generations on my father's side of the family. But Mary and variations of Ellen individually are important recurring names, and so, Marielena is the latest in a long line of women I'm so proud to call family, and her name honors them all, including but not limited to my mother, Margaret Mary; my aunts, Mary Ellen and Ellen; my grandmothers Helen Stutzmann Gorry and Mary Cronin Raynor; my great-grandmothers, Mary Ellen Tormey Gorry, Helen Haase Stutzmann, Amelia Ellen Berg Raynor, Ellen Marie Casey Cronin; my great-great grandmothers, Mary Ellen Horgan Gorry, Ellen Prendergast Tormey, and Mary Enright Casey; my 3rd great grandmothers, Mary Corr Gorry, Ellen Prendergast, and Mary Story Poole, and I'm sure many, many more even further back than that.

On top of it all, Elena came very close to sharing a birthday with her great-grandmother, Mary Cronin Raynor...I went into the hospital April 5, which was my grandmother's 98th birthday. I was kinda hoping for them to share a birthday but I think my grandmother was happy her first great-granddaughter got her very own day (happy belated birthday, by the way, Grandma!)

Having a newborn and being a new parent is both extremely exciting and extremely overwhelming, so I probably will not be updating this blog for awhile, and at least not as frequently as I have in the past - to everyone who has followed me over the years, thank you so much, and I promise I'm not disappearing forever - please check in on me every once in awhile to see when I start back up again. In the meantime, continue all your good genealogy work, and the best of luck in finding all the family you're searching for!!