Monday, August 31, 2009

He knows....

Sometimes the Lord knows just what you need when you need it....

Thank you so much to everyone that left such great comments on my post below. I was so encouraged!!

Brett and I helped at an event at our church last night and it was so refreshing. We really feel peace and in a weird way, this whole thing really inspires me to be a better person. A wise friend once told me, "Happiness is the best revenge". NOT that I am out for revenge or anything....hee hee.

Happiness actually isn't hard for me or even something I have to fake. I have gone through bouts of unhappiness, that is for sure. But even amidst trials, I still am able to have joy by simply remembering how good God has been to me and by looking at the incredible blessings in my life.

Okay, this blog has gotten WAY too serious.....time to get some cute pics or videos up in here!!! Soon, I promise!! :)

Hugs to all my blog friends!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Morning Thoughts

The message at church this morning was amazing. Our Pastor's wife spoke and it was so enjoyable and refreshing. I love leaving church feeling that way, don't you? It is such a great way to start your week.

It is has been a little bit of a rough summer for me, I have to be honest. I have felt drained, both physically and emotionally. The car accident has taken a toll on me with daily chiropractor appointments to juggle and trying to rest enough to let my body heal from the trauma of the impact.

There has also been an emotionally draining situation that I want to talk about but in the most vague sense possible. I would love it if you, blog readers, would let me be vulnerable and share the thoughts in my heart that were prompted by this morning's message. Just take them for what they are and don't try to think too much of what this situation could be or who it might be with. :)

Friends, my husband and I have been accused of something. (Nothing criminal or anything serious, just a dramatic over reaction!) It is related to a conflict that has been going on over the last couple years. It is a conflict between us and someone else, and yet there is now a mutiny against us that is led by people who have nothing to do with our conflict. I mean like NOTHING to do with it, except that they know about it. And guess what? In a sense, the accusation is true. Yes, we have decided to set a boundary and vowed to change an unhealthy relationship and pattern for our own sake and mostly for the future of our family, meaning Brett, myself and our daughter. Part of this vow has included seeking a third party to help mediate and heal the misunderstandings that have occurred. And we WERE moving forward; trying to take little steps towards restoration...... But the prosecution has chosen to get in the middle of it and call our desire to get change and resolve things something ugly and negative; thus creating the accusation . The prosecution has decided to bombard us with long emails, texts and even *gasp* Facebook messages, saying things like "you should be ashamed of yourself" and insinuating that we aren't acting Christian. All of these messages are coming from fellow Christians and people that we care about very much too, which makes it even more hurtful and confusing. Here's the interesting part....guess what the prosecution's source is?

Gossip. 100% of it. People talking about us, complaining about us, etc.

Yup, you read that right. Wait though, us Christians NEVER gossip....just sometimes we have "prayer requests" that gives us a free pass to talk about people in a negative context....but as long as you disguise gossip as a prayer request, you are good to go, right? Or someone will say "how are so and so doing" and seeing an opportunity to "request prayer" you can say, "oh you need to pray for them because you will never believe what is going on, etc. etc.".......

And because we have chosen to NOT gossip, our side of the story goes unheard.

And that is the way it will stay.

My tongue is nearly chomped off at this point from me biting it constantly for the last week or so. Everything in me wants to get real ugly and bring out all the reasons as to why this conflict is happening and prove our point and make people understand why we have made a choice that we have. But instead I bite down. Because for me to get that point across, I would potentially make someone else look bad by revealing the hurtful actions and behaviors that have occurred, and I am not going to do that. I am better then that.

The message today was on messing up and sinning. Pastor Linda told the story of David and Bathsheba and how he had an affair with her, they conceived a baby, etc. About how David mourned his sin in the Psalms and asked God to create a clean heart in him.

I do not believe that we are in the wrong in our situation. And for the wrong that we have committed, we had actually already apologized and asked for forgiveness. I am sure that I have said things, thought things and maybe even behaved in a way that was driven by anger or hurt and that IS a sin, I can acknowledge that for sure. But you know what? God Himself never says, "you should be ashamed of yourself". Instead He says, "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ". I am accountable to God for my actions and I don't have to listen to a single word that is written or texted or spoken that is judgmental or trying to prompt me into feeling shameful. Hallelujah!!

Pastor Linda talked about how we can fall into slimy pits of sin or despair. She said that often we will claw at the walls of our pit and then give up and start moving in furniture. And then, other Christians will walk by us in our pit and instead of offering to throw a rope or give you a boost out, they point at you and say "shame on you". How awful. I feel like I have been in a little bit of a pit this summer, not one of sin necessarily, but one of saying to myself "well, if all these people think that I am a bad person then I guess I am..."

I used to think very highly of what people thought of me and often my self worth was rooted in hearing compliments and words of affirmation. I feel like I have heard so much negativity this summer, it has cancelled out anything positive that may have been said. I feel like the Lord is calling me to Him and to see Him for my self worth. I am valuable not because of how I look, of what kind of car I drive, of how well dressed my daughter is, how clean my house is; none of that. I am valuable because first and foremost I am God's daughter! And then I am Brett's wife and Emersyn's mommy. That is enough for me.

This situation is really too bad and I pray for reconciliation someday. However, I have a daughter and a family to protect and in an effort to protect her, I need to protect myself from potential pits of depression or low self worth. I need to dive into God's word and equip myself with tools to combat those thoughts of doubt or of condemnation.

I hope that in no way I have offended anyone with some of my sarcasm about other Christians. I just think that we owe our Lord to be a better representative of Him sometimes. Myself included, believe me, this is something that I am well aware of. And remember, as Christians, we are all in this together! If you ever need a boost or a rope thrown while you are in a pit, just let me know! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Having fun with iPhoto....

Six Cute Babies = Absolutely Adorable Photo

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear Emersyn Grace,

Wow, your Mommy just can't believe that you are one years old today. It seems like just yesterday that I found out that we were expecting your arrival.

You have made your Daddy and my dreams come true by being our daughter. We have so much fun with you and you make everything better and more exciting!

It is hard for me to put into words just how I am feeling about this day. I am thinking back on how God was with me every step of your birth and how grateful I am that you were born so healthy and perfect. A healthy baby is a miracle Emersyn Grace, and God has truly blessed you with health. I will never forget the moment when I gave that final push and within seconds, there you were, laying on my chest, all mine. It was the best moment of my entire life. Marrying your daddy was equally amazing but I am sure he would agree, the first time we laid eyes on you was euphoric.

The first month of your life was so much fun with your Grammy staying with us. It was so neat to learn to be parents and get to know you better. You were a perfect baby in every way. You were a great eater, loved nursing and latched on right away, pretty good sleeper, wonderful traveller, and overall blessing in our life. Having you made me fall in love with your Daddy all over again, seeing him love you and love me too really makes me proud to be his wife.

I loved my maternity leave with you. I was very aware that this was the only time in life where I was going to have one baby to cherish and I took that time very seriously. I loved cuddling with you, playing with you, singing silly songs when I changed your diaper, and just soaking up your adorableness. I can't believe how fast it went by. I think to myself that with my next baby, I am never going to put them down. I never realized how quickly this time would go by. I was so happy to be able to be with you full time for the first 4 1/2 months of your life before I went back to work part time.

I have written and tried to keep up with this blog as a big long letter to you, a journal of our fun adventures during the first year of your life. It has been so much fun documenting it and even today as I was going through pictures, I couldn't believe how much you have grown and changed me for the good.

Emersyn, my prayer for you is that you would grow up to know the Lord and the love that He has for you. I pray that your life would be richly blessed with health and happiness. I pray that God would use your Daddy and I to help mold you and train you up to grow to be an influential woman, wife and mother. We want nothing more then your happiness. I promise to always be there for you, no matter what. I promise to support you and help nurture your talents and interests. I promise to love you more and more each day and strive to be a woman worth looking up to. I won't always be perfect little girl; but I am sure gonna try. :)

"Well hello's nice to meet you!"

Fresh out of the womb!

Going home outfit at hospital.

1 Month

2 months

3 months
4 months

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

8 Months

9 Months

10 Months

11 Months

12 Months

**12 Month Stats**

*Size 12 months in Carters, 6-12 months at Baby GAP, 12-18 months at Old Navy
*Talking lots and lots. Can say Mom, Mama, Dad, Daddy, dith (which we think is "this")
*Gives high fives
*Pretends to play the piano by pounding on the table when we say play the piano, play the piano. Too cute.
*Loves avocado, Nutra Grain waffles, beans, string cheese, peaches, plums, cottage cheese, organic macaroni and cheese with peas, corn, chicken, yogurt with flax seed, bread.
*Can walk along furniture really well and when you hold one of her hands.
*Can crawl up the stairs and takes great pleasure in doing so.
*Loves straps on anything, her high chair, stroller, car seat. Her stroller was propped up in our hallway for awhile last week and it's straps were favorite thing to play with.
*Loves to fake laugh and fake cough.
*Can pound a 6oz bottle in seconds. Okay, maybe not seconds but it feels like it sometimes!
*Sleeps from about 9pm to 7-9am. Rarely wakes up in the night.
*Takes one good long nap per day, sometimes two shorter naps.
*Has 5 teeth on her lower gums, 4 teeth on her upper gums.
*Loves playing with her monkey "Twin" and giving him hugs and saying "awwwww" like Mommy says when she hugs him. :)
*Loves her binky when she is tired or cranky. Falls asleep with binky and Twin monkey always.
*Very ticklish and loves to giggle.
*Super happy and chill baby, more then I could have ever asked for in a child!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One year ago today......

....I was up at St. Vincent's, in full on labor and enjoying the silly banter between my mom, husband and brother. They kept me SO entertained during labor, you have no idea.

For the FULL story on Emersyn's incredible birth, go here!

I have been doing a LOT of reflecting this week....reflecting on how good God is and how blessed I am. Being a mother has been better then I could have ever expected.

I probably should get started on Emersyn's birthday blog though.....better get the Kleenex ready. :)

I have been enjoying a great week with my mom during her visit. It has been nice to be off work to enjoy it even further. Thank you Lord!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Emersyn's First Birthday Party

Well, we survived!!! :)

First of all, I have to give a shout out to Jesus Himself. Seriously. So Brett was supposed to go to this company picnic last week but his manager needed him to work and keep their office open during the big event, causing him to miss it. Out of sympathy, Brett's manager offered to give him Sunday off PAID instead! Brett originally was going to just leave a little early on Sunday and meet me at the party and I was going to get it all ready myself. Clearly I was not thinking when I devised this plan. We have two big vacations coming up and Brett needs to save as much vacation as he can and wasn't in a place to take the party day off. Anyways, I would have been a complete disaster without my amazing husband. He remembers everything and is the King of last minute details. My hero.

Okay, back to the party recap!!!

Sunday morning we decided to skip church because we were up super late the night before, not surprising knowing us! :) We got up and went on a quick Starbucks date with Brett while Grammy watched Emersyn and had some quality time. Brett and I picked up the cake, which was absolutely amazing. I had ordered it a week earlier and gave the baker Emersyn's invitation and said go crazy! The cake decorator is incredible at Lamb's Bakery; it is evident that she really likes her job!

Here was the cake.....

And the complimentary "smash cake" for Emersyn.....

We had a couple other errands to run and then headed home, hoping to find a sleepy baby that was ready for a nap.


Emersyn was wide awake.

Even after I gave her a bath and a massage in hopes of calming her down.

We left her in her crib for an HOUR in hopes of her falling asleep. Nope. Finally I got her up and got her dressed for the party. I had bought a dress for her to wear but then saw this darling little Carter's brand shirt and thought it was perfect! Emersyn can rock a dress, that is for sure. But she is also a t-shirt and shorts kind of girl and since her party was at a park, I thought this outfit was perfect. I also conquered my biggest fear of the day.....not worrying about the weather or if enough people came to the party, biggest fear was that both Emersyn and her hair would not cooperate with my piggy tail desires. Thank you Jesus, they were PERFECT AND ADORABLE!!!! My dream come true.......

And she stayed that way for the rest of the afternoon and finally fell asleep ON THE WAY TO THE PARTY. My mom stayed in the car while we unloaded everything and got it all set up. Poor little pooped baby, she clearly knew that something was up and was afraid of missing anything!!! :)

The weather was great, not too hot or cold....but it was a little windy! I hadn't anticipated wind at all but it all turned out just fine. We got good pictures of Emersyn but didn't capture a lot of the party, it was kind of crazy and chaotic but in a great way! We rented a pavilion in Hillsboro at a park, it was a great setting. The pavilion was covered and clean and right next to the play area and not too far from a fountain. We didn't go too crazy with decorations. We wrapped presents with hot pink paper and then made green tulle bows....we did a similar thing for our wedding reception centerpieces, a great and inexpensive way to create something that is cute and has a good sized presence! We had four large picnic tables in the pavilion, one for the cake and food and then the other three for seating. We also got balloons but since the wind was so violent, we didn't enjoy them as much as I would have hoped. Who cares though, I can handle a little wind versus scalding heat or down pouring rain! :)

The party started at 3pm and we let the babies play for a bit in the kiddie pool. Originally we had envisioned filling the pool with water and letting the babies have a good time but since it was so windy, I don't think that would been a good idea. The kiddie pool served as a great baby corall though! :)

Family picture. :)

Emersyn enjoying some Grammy time!

Tia Julie.

Brett's mom and sister.

Auntie Jenny and Uncle David.

Uncle Brock and cousin Annabel.

"Auntie" Tori & "Uncle" Andrew

Emersyn's nanny/friend and Daniel, who I am pretty sure Emersyn has a crush on!! :)

We invited lots of different people to our big celebration. We had lots of friends from our church, two couples from our birth class, some friends/neighbors, and other friends from various places in life as well as some family and family friends. It was a great mix of people and everyone seemed to mingle well.

We decided to do the cake and presents right around 4. Before we did the cake, I wanted to get a picture of the babies to remember forever.

It was hysterical, all the babies were just looking at us, puzzled as to why this large group of adults was staring at them and taking pictures and making silly noises!!

Once all that fun was settled down, we took off Emersyn's shirt (and lookig back I wish we had taken off her shorts too!) and then got her all seated and ready for her birthday song.

We sang Happy Birthday to her and it took everything in me to not cry. That was the biggest highlight of the party to me, hearing all our friends and family sing to my sweet girl and reflecting on the blessing and miracle that she is in my life. I couldn't even sing it.

Apparently Emersyn wasn't impressed at our vocal talents because she burst into tears at the end of the song! I think she was just tired; I don't think it was a shy thing.

But then Daddy came to the rescue and all tears were forgotten as she dove into her special cake!! She LOVED IT!!!

Mommy went to go serve cake but while I was gone, Daddy snapped some cute pictures of Emersyn "sharing" her cake with various people. So sweet!

Clean up is no fun!

Emersyn did great opening her presents, despite her tiredness and now sugar coma delirious-ness. She ate quite a bit of cake, turns out we *may* have forgotten to feed her lunch amidst the party planning craziness!! :) She got some amazing gifts, lots of books, clothes, and other age appropriate toys. She was actually really needing some new toys that would educate her and challenge her and that's exactly what she got! She still has a couple presents from family members to open that we saved for her actual birthday on Friday.

I love this one of Emersyn and her new baby doll. Her expression is so sweet and loving.

After the party, all Emersyn wanted to do was walk around the park with her scoot scoot!!! And since her shorts were covered in cake and pink frosting, she decided to go pantless. Pretty cute.

After presents were opened, most people left. It was a beautiful celebration of our little girl. All in all, 35 adults came and 12 kids!! What a great turn out, thank you to everyone that came and has been such an encouragement to us and such a vital part of Emersyn's life.

After we were all cleaned up!

I don't think the day could have gone any better! Thank you Lord for such an incredible reason to celebrate! :)

Time to start planning for next year.... :)