OGDEN — The list of occasions to celebrate during the holidays for Alexis and Jeremiah “Paul” Brennan just got longer.
Evelyn Audrey Brennan, born at 12:23 a.m. Tuesday to the North Ogden couple, was the first baby of the year in the Top of Utah. She made her arrival at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. She weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces and is 19.5 inches long.
An animated and enthusiastic infant, Evelyn seemed to bask in the love of her parents on the day she was born.
When her daddy leaned over to kiss her on the forehead, Evelyn put her head back and looked up at him as if she were trying to kiss him back.
“She has so much personality, it’s unbelievable,” said Julie Graves, the baby’s maternal grandmother.
All said they couldn’t be happier.
But Paul Brennan admitted he may have liked for his daughter to be born 24 minutes earlier so he could write her off on his 2012 taxes.
Both the parents had tried everything they knew to make sure Evelyn, who was expected Jan. 14, was born early.
“(Alexis has) been preparing for this the last couple of days,” said Julie Graves, who admitted to being surprised the baby didn’t come even sooner.
Julie Graves said her daughter had been doing a lot of walking and playing a lot of Connect on the Xbox. Connect is an active game in which one’s movements are filmed and become part of the action on the screen.
And Sunday, on his birthday, Paul Brennan had given his wife a caffeinated soda and asked her to drink it — the first in her entire pregnancy.
And while the drink was successful in keeping the baby awake all through the night when her mother wanted to sleep, the caffeine didn’t seem to help in getting the baby to be born any earlier.
Rob Graves, who is Alexis’ father, said he was surprised the baby waited past midnight to be born even though his daughter was in labor for about only 5 1/2 hours.
“My son-in-law wanted a Dec. 31 baby,” Graves said. “When she started pushing at 12:40, I thought Paul had won out.”
Alexis said she did her best but was just happy to see her baby arrive healthy.
“I just wanted to have her. That’s all that mattered.”
A young couple — Alexis is 23 and Paul is 24 — the story of their New Year’s baby is just one interesting footnote in their unique romance.
The couple, originally from Magna, met in high school, but Alexis admits that Paul only had to do one thing to get her to stop talking to him back in those days: He just had to ask her out on a date.
Alexis said she didn’t talk to him at all from that moment until he joined the Army and returned from his deployment to Afghanistan in May 2010.
Right after his return, Paul again found Alexis and asked her on a date.
It only took the two until December 2010 to be married.
And now, they have their first baby, too.
Alexis said she couldn’t be happier to be a mother.
A Weber State University student, Alexis said she will stop her early child development studies for now to be a stay-at-home mother.
The first baby of the year at Davis Hospital and Medical Center in Layton came to a Clinton couple.
Alyxandria Gonzales was the fourth child born to Fernando and Ezra Gonzales at 7:36 a.m. Tuesday.
Alyxandria weighs in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces and is 20 inches long.
Craig Bielik, spokesman for Ogden Regional Medical Center, said late Tuesday that he did not know of any New Year’s births at his hospital or at Brigham City Community Hospital.
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray delivered a girl at 12:01 a.m. by natural birth, hospital officials said Tuesday.
“It wasn’t induced labor or anything. It was totally natural. We weren’t trying to be the first,” said Intermountain Medical Center spokesman Jason Carlton.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.