First baby arrives first day in Dillon

By 
M.P. Regan
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
New kid in town

Newborn Audrey Josephine Pauley celebrates being the first baby born in Dillon in 2022 with parents Rudy Pauley and Grace Marchesseault Pauley. Submitted photo

Rudy Pauley and Grace Marchesseault Pauley met on a major holiday, the Fourth of July.

Last week, the young couple celebrated another big holiday, New Year’s Day, in an even bigger way—with the arrival of a new daughter.

“It’s been life-changing, and it’s been awesome,” declared Rudy of the birth of Audrey Josephine Pauley, who made her world debut at 6:22 a.m. on January 1, 2022.

“We were hoping she would be born before the first of the year for insurance purposes,” laughed Rudy, of Audrey, who tipped the newborn scale at six pounds 14 ounces.

“But we’re happy she came, and we’re tickled she’s the first baby of the new year. We were surprised—we didn’t realize it was such a big deal to be the first baby,” admitted the new dad.

“The nurses were all congratulating us, saying, ‘Hey, you got the first baby of the year,” recalled Rudy, whose young family will get a bassinet full of prizes for Audrey’s victory in the race to be the first baby born at Barrett Hospital & Healthcare in Dillon in 2022, including:

• a baby gift from The Gallery in downtown Dillon;

• a gift certificate from the Bank of Commerce in downtown Dillon;

• a baby gift from Barrett Hospital & Healthcare;

• newborn diapers from Town & Country Foods in Dillon;

• a baby gift from the 3-D Store in downtown Dillon;

• four lattes from Sweetwater Coffee in downtown Dillon;

• a baby gift from Pioneer Federal Savings & Loan in downtown Dillon;

• a one-year subscription to the Dillon Tribune.

“She is feisty, a redhead through and through,” said Rudy of his newborn daughter, a redhead.

“We’ve decided that she looks like me,” said mom Grace. “Except for the red hair—the red hair comes from dad,” added the mom, who said Audrey mixes her feisty displays in with long periods of calm.

“She smiles a lot. She is pretty calm most of time, pretty sweet. But she will definitely let you know when she’s hungry,” said mom, who works at Dillon Livestock Auction and has her own photo business, Grace Pauley Photography LLC, covering weddings and other events.

Rudy and Grace held their wedding in August 2020.

“We got married on my grandparent’s ranch, which was beautiful,” said Grace of the large spread up Birch Creek Road.

“We had teams of horses taking guests down to the ceremony site. It was a pretty big production.”

It marked the logical culmination of their meeting seven years before, on a river float.

“I’d say we knew pretty early on, like a month in,” said Grace of the pair’s sense that they were destined to one day get married to one another.

“When you’re in high school you talk about it but it doesn’t really mean anything. But we worked at it and we made it happen,” said Grace, who kept up the courtship with Rudy while she attended college at Eastern Washington University and he remained in Dillon.

“I was living in Washington, so it was a long-distance relationship at first,” remembered Grace. “Whenever I came over, I just kind of did what he was doing.”

“And vice versa,” added Rudy, who works at Pauley Livestock in Dillon.

“So we got to know each other’s families pretty well,” said Grace, who found another perk in the long-distance relationship.

“It made us communicate a lot,” she said of their building of one of the foundation of a solid marriage over the phone and via email.

“That’s all we could do most of the time.”

Baby Audrey seems a communication prodigy herself. “She is very alert to noises and uses a lot of different facial expressions,” said Grace of the newborn’s advanced skill set.

“She likes to do the fish lips look,” laughed mom.

“We are just so excited to have a healthy baby girl.”

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