Monday, April 15, 2013

Somebody is 2!

It was 2 years ago today that the most precious angel came into my life.

It was 2 years ago today that my dreams came true.

It was 2 years ago today that my life changed forever.

It was 2 years ago today that I become a momma to this most precious, sweet, sassy, and amazing little girl! 
Emmalee Caroline,
You are light of my life and the joy in my heart.  You are the sweetest and sassiest 2 year old I know, I get the honor of calling you mine.  Your smile can brighten any room, and your laughter is contagious.  You bring joy to everyone you meet, and you never meet a stranger. 

You are learning new things everyday.  You know almost all of your colors, and you can {almost} count to 10, and you're learning your ABC's.  You are a non-stop chatter box and you love to sing.  Your favorite foods are applesauce, yogurt, grapes, pizza, and ice cream.  You love to be outside and you love the slides at the park. 

You love everyone around you and you are so excited about being a big sister.  Your baby sibling has no idea how lucky they will be to have you as their big sister. 

Emmalee, being your momma is one of the most joyous things I have ever gotten to experience.  You fill my (and your daddy's) heart with pure joy and the past 2 years have the BEST.  We never knew how much we would love you! 

Happy birthday, my sweet 2 year old. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Being a Wife, Being a Mom, and Still Trying to Be Me

There is a fabulous group of ladies hosting a series called "Build Them Up."  I love it!  They are just fantastic and I, personally, love the idea of us all rallying around each other to encourage and build each other up. 

Today's encouragement is how to stay "me" when your are constantly surrounded with your children and families.  How do you keep the "you" in your life. 

Its funny because when I think of who I am, and who I have always been, its a mom.  My mother can tell you stories of me as a little girl and I was always toting a baby doll around or playing "house" for hours.  I've been known as the baby-hog forever, hence the name Aunt Grabbie.  I LOVE children.  I LOVE babies and I LOVE being mom. 

I think its this reason that struggling for infertility for 2 years was so hard on me, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  All I have ever wanted to be was a mom.  But I won't lie to and tell you that it fulfilled my every desire, because it hasn't.  What it HAS made me realize is that there is so much more to me. 

I think I put my whole self into being a mom because that was the desire of my heart.  For 2 year, I forgot what it was like to a wife, a sister, a friend.  So it wasn't until after I became a mother did I realize that I lost myself.

So, in order to keep the "me" in me, I do a lot of things. 

1) I work outside the home.  Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to be a SAHM, but working is actually so good for me.  I have developed amazing friendships and have mentors that I can look up to.  I perform a role for my company that is essential - its keeps things "functioning."  and when I come home each day, I get to lavish hugs and kisses on my 2 favorite people, my daughter and my husband.  I love what I do, and for me, its been so important to have these adult friendships and relationships.

2)  I scrapbook.  Its my way of releasing all of my creative "juices."  For me, its relaxing.  One of my favorite times is getting together with my sister or several girlfriends and just scrapbooking.  There is nothing more fun than going to a scrapbook retreat.  I love it.  Its something I do just for fun, and just for me.

3)  Bubble baths!  They are pieces of heaven sent down to earth for our pure enjoyment.  Now granted, do not take a bubble bath when your toddler is awake because your relaxing bubbles will soon be all over your bathroom floor.  But when your house is quiet, and lights are turned down low, just fill the tub, grab a good book, and RELAX!   (and just FYI, my favorite bubble bath is "Sleep" with lavendar & chamomille from Bath & Body Works). 

4)  Last, but not least, find a girlfriend that you can escape with.  Get away for a weekend, or even just a night.  Its okay to work on your friendships too, even when your a mom and wife.  Friends are the people that will be there when you need to gripe because your husband didn't unload the dishwasher, but your pregnant so your hormones are crazy; when you just need to cry and have someone understand you...its them.  So don't take them for granted, and remember how precious their friendship is to you. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cousins and Friends

There are a lot of things in the world that I am thankful for: my Savior, my husband, coffee, jelly know, the important stuff.  In all seriousness though, I am incredibly thankful for my sister and her children, as well as Brant's sister Kristie.  And I can tell you that my sweet child is just as thankful!

If there is one thing that my child will do anything for - its to play with her cousins.  She ADORES them, all of them!  She squeals with sheer delight at the mention of seeing them.  Her innocent little 2-year-old world would not be complete without them.

If she could tell you who her best friend(s) are, I promise you she would tell you Mason, Connor, Kate, Ethan and Aeson! 

Just see for yourself the smile and delight on these sweet faces!!
We ran into my sister at the grocery store on a Sunday.  Emmalee RAN through half of Kroger just to get to Mason!
Playing with Aeson for his birthday.

Connor, Emmalee, Kate and Ethan at the pumpkin patch.

Emmalee and Aeson at the park.

This was at lunch yesterday - These two "E's" are a hoot together!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good Friday at the Zoo

On Good Friday, Emmalee, Grandad (my dad0, and I had a fun trip to the zoo.  The weatherman predicted some scattered showers, but decided to take the chance and go. 

I'm so glad we did!  It was cloudy in the morning but warmed up for the afternoon.  It was a wonderful, beautiful day to be outside! 

This girl was spoiled rotten by her Grandad all day. 

Not so sure about the petting zoo!

I could just squeeze those precious cheeks!

We had to make a wish in the Wishing Well!

We watched the jaguars for a long time. This a mom & baby.  The baby kept trying to play with the mom, but the mom was trying to clean it.  We were very entertained watching their interaction.

Emmalee LOVED seeing the parrots.

This animal is absolutely beautiful.

The elephants are one of Emmalee (and my) favorite animals! 

Me and my girl!!!

Oh, I just love these creatures.

We couldn't leave without riding the carousel. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One of Those "Guilt" Days

Are you a working mother?  I am .  Emmalee will be 2 years old in less than 2 weeks and I went back to work when she was 10 weeks old.  I'm used to it.  I love my job, and she loves her "Nonny" (aka Ms. Donna) and all of her friends at Nonny's house.

But I would be lying if I told you that there are not days where I feel guilty, because there are.  Even after almost 2 years, I still have a day here and there when I feel guilty for working.

Sometimes, I feel like Emmalee is missing out.  She doesn't get to have fun lunch dates, or do swim lessons, or gymnastics, or playdates.  Sure she could...on the weekends.  But our weekends always seem busy already with birthday parties, or baby showers, or family events.  Sometimes I feel like my working cuts out stuff for her.

Then I get pictures of my little girls playing baby dolls with her friends, and singing, and I hear her laughing when I go to the door to pick her up, and that guilt fades away.

My baby girl gets to have play dates every day.

My baby girl gets to have a special lunch dates all the time.

My little girl is having the best time with her friends every single day.

And on days where we get to have special time together, like Good Friday at the zoo, it just makes them that much more precious. 

So if you're a working mom, remember this:  There will be good days, and bad days; sad days and "guilt" days, but you will always be their momma, and NOTHING can take that away from you!  You're a GREAT mom!