Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I went in to check on her since she had been quiet for a while. Expecting to find a sleeping baby, I instead found a little girl sitting quietly with her blanket over her head. Not sure how it got there. Not sure why she didn't pull it off (she knows how) or why she didn't cry for help. I gently pulled it off and she reached her arms towards me begging to be picked up. 

Lately she has been wanting to put herself to sleep. My days of rocking her to sleep in my arms are dwindling and even though I thought I would enjoy the extra time to myself I'm having a harder time letting go than I thought. I pulled her into my arms and she nestled into my neck. I thought I would give the ol' cradle a try so I gently swayed and hummed "you are my sunshine" with her long body wrapped around my waist. She didn't protest like usual. Instead she stared quietly at me with only a sliver of light coming from the living room. With each sway her eyelids grew heavy and the all-too familiar memories of her time spent in my arms came rushing back. The sweet relief of a surrendered baby. Comfortably curled in the bend of my arm, her right hand barely holding onto my shirt. She pierced her lips as though she was still sucking on her bottle and I began to cry.

Suddenly that overwhelming gratitude came over me. The kind that you always know is there, but only shows it's face from time to time if you're lucky to let it in. I was so aware in that moment that this was a child of God. She wasn't mine, but she has been entrusted to me. What a high calling that is often overlooked. I began to pray over her in a deeper way than I ever had before. Prayers for inner beauty, a desire to know Christ and follow Him, a fascination with the stories of the Bible, a hunger for the Word. I prayed that she would be blessed with great, godly friendships and that she would fall in love with a man who lived for the Lord. I prayed that she would not fall into the traps of this world, that she wouldn't find value in the fleeting--appearance, possessions, status. That her life would be an example of the humility Christ endured for us.

My little girl will soon be one. She'll be entering a new stage of creativity, awareness, and connection. I'm excited for what's to come and I know that all too soon I'll blink and she'll be entering elementary school. I'll blink again and see her with diploma in hand. And, Lord help me, with another blink she'll be waltzing down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress. And I hope that in those moments, I'll be able to remember the time when all she needed was to be cradled by her mama. I am so blessed by this little life. 

I sat there swaying back and forth, humming a little lighter each time the song started again, with a hand on my growing baby and an arm wrapped around my growing little girl. The light exhale through her nose brushing my face softly. I couldn't bring myself to lay her down. I lightly kissed her lips and felt complete, fulfilling joy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Penny Emerson // 9 & 10 Months

 I totally skipped Penny's 9 month happenings so this is a post over the last few months. 
As always, her personality continues to develop and she gets more curious as she reaches another milestone. I have so much fun watching her play and discover. I'm finding that the older she gets, the more fun we have AND the stronger the trials become. Because she is so strong-willed and outgoing she is equally challenging and fun. She makes us laugh with all her quirks and she brings Truman and I closer as we continue to work as a team to raise her. 

Here are a few pictures from 9 months:
I love our tickle sessions so much. She laughs so hard she can't breathe. 
She loves her daddy.
She experienced fireworks for the first time and it was hilarious to see her reaction. We were sitting right under them so it was pretty loud. At first she was scared, then she gave them the snuffy face because they were bright, and then she was in complete awe. 

10 month happenings:
There is no sitting still. She's constantly on the move, pulling herself onto things, climbing onto things. Anything she's not supposed to get into she will find. Every time. It's hard for me not to get frustrated when I have to constantly redirect her, but I have to remind myself that she doesn't know what's right or wrong (yet). Everything is new and exciting to her...even the nasty piece of plastic under the fridge that she is fascinated with. 
She rode the four wheeler for the first time this weekend while we were back in Central City. Her face was stunned the whole time.
Though we have been finding it difficult to settle into Omaha, they have so many great activities to offer in the Summer. We took her to Jazz on the Green last week and she had a blast. She loves to be around all the action and attention. 
-standing by herself for about 30 seconds
-has three teeth poking through
-HAIR! Kind of :) It's getting fuller in the back. I'm sure she'll have a sweet mullet in no time.
-learned how to give kisses (or she at least opens her mouth and leans forward so you can do it)
-LOVES to climb the stairs. She would do it for hours if I would let her. Because of the set up of our stairs, we don't have a gate. I have to watch her closely, but we decided we just want to teach her how to use them. 

-as I mentioned earlier, she is a very strong-willed girl. She definitely gets that from me. And even though there are obvious negatives to that personality (like screaming at the top of her lungs when she doesn't get her way) I think a go-getter personality can be a very good thing when channeled correctly. She is naturally a very loud baby. She screams and cries easily. I'm nervous/excited to teach her that it's okay to feel upset or sad when she doesn't get her way, but that it's not okay to act out. I'll need a lot of patience through this lesson :)

Things I don't want to forget:
-The way she rubs her blanky in her eye while I'm rocking her to sleep
-The very light, natural wave in the back tufts of her hair
-Watching her make herself laugh in the rear view mirror
-The way she giggles and dives into her blanky when I make waves with it
-The way she claps immediately after she takes a bite of food or gives a kiss
-Listening to her talk to herself from the other room as she drifts to sleep
-The way she aggressively crawls toward everything and starts to laugh, especially when she knows I'm chasing her from something she shouldn't be getting into. 

I am continually reminded at how blessed I am to be her mother. I'm thankful that we are the family God chose to put her in. She's a weirdo just like us and I'm thankful for the many fun memories we made over the summer as a family of three!

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