Thursday, June 29, 2006

Picture Crazy

**FYI -- I made the photos smaller this time to save space. You can click on the photos if you want to see them bigger.**

So proud of her Daddy
After he was installed as a deacon in our church on Father's Day.

Curly Girl
Courtesy of Grandma and Auntie Lexi. Doesn't she look like she could be in the Wizard of Oz? NO need to agree...only a mother can say something like this and not be offended! :o)

Sleepy Time
So peaceful. And, yes, she sleeps with her butt up in the air...

Book Worm
She loves her books so much, I wonder sometimes if she thinks she can read!

Shhhhh, Mommy
What's the secret? Maybe it's that she was going to get a fever just two hours later that still hasn't gone away -- hence, the tired eyes...

Sweet Blink
I know her eyes are closed in this one, but for some reason I just love this picture. The bow, her just makes her look like such a little girl. My little sweet pea!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Our Family Bubble

Okay, so those of you who aren't part of my family will probably gag over this post, but so what. The fact is Jeff, Emma, and I are very blessed to have such a great family. Sure, we have our disfunctional moments, but we love spending time with them and (I think) the feeling is mutual. At least it is when it comes to Emma -- that I can say with certainty. The attention and love she gets is overwhelming -- maybe even a little bit sickening.

She has absolutely no idea how fortunate she is -- she just takes all those hugs, cuddles, kisses, and adoring eyes for granted. But, really, why shouldn't she? Isn't that the way the world is supposed to be? Shouldn't we all expect to receive nothing but pure love from one another?

I believe Emma is in her own little heaven right now. A place full of comfort, security, joy, peace, and, yes, I'll say it one more time, love. A place where no one around will hurt her -- or let anyone else hurt her. And she trusts that this is the way life is -- the way God wants it to be.

I wish I could somehow put her in a bubble so that she never knows any differently. But we all know that isn't realistic, and I guess the world would say it would be "wrong" to shelter her from the evil in this world. She needs to learn hard lessons to "make it" in this world, right? A few years ago, I probably would have agreed. Sheltering your children is a HORRIBLE thing...or is it? I don't know about you, but I have absolutely no desire to put Emma out there in the "real world," where there are mean girls, selfish boys, hateful adults and others that will bring pain to her tiny heart. No, I want her here, in my arms, protected from all of that. I don't want to dry tears from a broken heart. I don't want to explain why someone would intentionally make her feel unloved. She deserves better. We all do.

Thankfully, my Emma will get to experience her heaven again, and when she does, it will be forever. As a Christian, I've always been grateful for that promise, but now, as a mom, I have more peace and happiness than I ever knew was possible knowing that this promise not only pertains to me, but my daughter.

No, I can't protect her from the sin in this world, but I can tell her all about the heaven that awaits her and the Father that will give her more hugs and kisses than she could ever imagine. My prayer is that she is willing to accept that gift when the time comes.

For now, she'll have to settle for the circle of love our family has created for her. I, for one, couldn't ask for more. Love you all!

Just the two of us
Just the two of us...

In awe of her Daddy

Group shot! (Um, Emma, I said, "Group shot!"…)

Aren't we cute?!!


Stylin' in Auntie Sha's shades

So proud of her uncle!



The reason my mom has gray hair…three

Luvin' on Papa


Dad and Emma

Is that a halo hangin' over Jeff's head, or is it me????

The prettiest blue eyes you'll ever see

Monday, June 19, 2006

A mother (and Father's) love

Here's one of those e-mail forwards I actually stopped to read...and I'm glad I did. What a wonderful reminder of the love we have for our children, and more importantly, the love God has for us as His children. After all, He died for us!


After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, the forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body. 'the mother had remained steadfast. She had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge."
(Psalm 91:4)

Friday, June 16, 2006

10 Months and 2 Days... but I'm not counting!

So I should have posted this a few days ago, but honestly, Emma's 10-month mark came up on me quick. Maybe it's baby is NOT inching closer to that 1-year mark!

Well, of course she is, and she is letting me know every day as she progresses at the speed of light. The latest: Tooth number 3 is here and number 4 has been painfully peeking through these last few days. And, no, they're not the front two top teeth, they are her top eye teeth. Crazy, eh? I really shouldn't be so surprised. We do things EMMA's way, 'member?

She also has decided to start walking. Well, sort of. She is now taking at least 5 or 6 steps alone and will walk (very) short distances all by herself. I feel pretty confident that she'll be good at this walking thing in a matter of weeks, so stay tuned. AND PRAY. I can barely keep up with her now.

A few stories to bring you into our busy little life...
1. Emma is crazy about cabinets, so I loaded one of them with tupperware so she could get her fix. Safe, right? Not when your little scavenger manages to find and take apart the food processor you have never used, locate its blade, pull it out, and hand it to you as if saying, "Mom, I really shouldn't be holding this thing that will chop my tongue in half. Here you go." 'Nuf said.

2. Ever the explorer, keeping Emma contained is pretty difficult. But I needed to get work done the other day, so I brought her Pack-n-Play into our extremely small office where she could safely play no more than 2 inches away from me. She usually hates playing in this little cage, but this time, it seemed to work. As I typed away with my back to her, she was quiet and appeared happy. That is until I hear the choking going on behind me. And there I see what was making her so happy -- the plant she somehow reached and decided to eat, leaf by leaf. I managed to retrieve the leaf in her mouth and the five others that were now decorating the floor of the Pack-n-Play, but I guess I'll never know if she actually swallowed any death greens. I'm sure her diaper will let me know the answer to that one.

So, no, I won't be winning any Mother of the Year awards anytime soon. And I can't even imagine what will happen when walking becomes second nature. She's already managed to get two small bumps on her head from trying to perfect her new skills. Do they make foam body suits for busy little girls? If you know of any, please let me know. I'll take two!

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Had to Share...

Whoever said that college kids are self-centered hasn't met my brother Johnny and his girlfriend Stefanie. These two have been in love with Emma since the first day she was born and have stopped at nothing to show her (and me!) just how much they care. Between EXTREMELY generous gifts and visits every time they possibly could manage it, these two are absolutely amazing.

Now, this is not to say that other aunties, uncles, and grandparents haven't been just as amazing, because they have been. We are more than blessed with how much love this little girl receives on a daily basis...

However, this post is devoted to Johnny and Stef because this time they out-did themselves. While visiting for THEIR college graduation, they gave me the most precious Mother's Day gift. In the midst of finals, packing, and everything else they needed to before graduating, they put together the sweetest video slideshow of our little Emma. Hopefully you are all able to view it okay. It is truly one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. Enjoy -- and get out the Kleenex!

(If you can't play the below window, try clicking here )

Friday, June 02, 2006

Mission: Walk

As I'm sure you've all guessed (and read on this blog MANY times), Emma is a busy little girl -- constantly moving and wiggling since day one. Well, lately it seems she's getting sick of this crawling thing and is ready for bigger and better things. All you people aren't on all fours, so why should she be?

No, she's not walking...not yet at least. Trust me, I don't want to rush things, but she is really going for those steps lately. She can barely stand without holding on to something, but I think a lot of that is because she won't take the two seconds to stand still and catch her balance! :o) She took FIVE STEPS to Jeff the other day. And they were good and sturdy. We know it was a fluke, but since then she has been getting more and more brave. If I'm close enough, she'll no longer lunge at me or get down and crawl -- no, now she takes a step or two.

She's really cruising along the furniture now and jumps from one piece to the next. I sat in awe this morning as I watched her walk from the start of our kitchen table to the farthest wall of our kitchen. Her tactic: Crawl up on the table leg; hold on to the top of the table long enough to grab the chair; use the chair to move to her high chair; move along the high chair to the next table leg; cruise from that leg to the next chair, which safely got her to the green wall. All of this so she could try and reach for this blue cross I have hanging from the mirror that is hung way up high on the green wall. Phew... I'm tired just describing this all. Anyway, the point is SHE IS DETERMINED.

She is very proud of herself these days and claps at everything. Her bottle signing is also getting very good, as is her "air eating." Now that Cheerios are her snack of choice, she thinks she is always hungry and pretends to eat them out of thin air. Okay, Emma, I get the point. I swear she is like a human garbage disposal lately!

Peas passed the test, and we just finished pears. Next on the menu: green beans, avocado, and applesauce, although I haven't decided which order yet. BTW, did you know whole peas are a choking hazard? I thought I was all smart buying such a nutritious finger food, only to find out that they need to be either cut in half or crushed.... Boy, I stop reading my books for ONE second, and I become lethal to my child! Yes, an exaggeration, but it is scary to realize that your instincts CAN be wrong sometimes. Thanks to Carrie for letting me know!!!

Okay, 'nuf for now. We're off to watch Uncle Johnny and Auntie Stef graduate college this weekend. Emma is so proud of them -- and me too! She's (aka: I'm) also excited to wear her pretty Easter dress again! :o) I'm sure we'll be back with lots of photos of Johnny and Stef's big day. Have a great weekend everyone!