Monday, April 30, 2012

then and now: spring

Emma Kate has been a marathon napper this past week! Yesterday I took advantage of the extra down time and crawled back in bed, cup of coffee in hand,  and sorted through old photos from the past few years.  I came across our engagement photos and realized they were taken this time exactly two years ago.
Spring 2010:

 Don't we look so young, rested, and in better shape? I got a big grin on my face looking at these pictures because we just had no idea what the future had in store!

Spring 2011:

Spring 2012:
Now instead of wedding planning and awaiting our little Bean's arrival, our days are spent with less sleep and more early mornings watching the sun rise, less showers and more diaper laundry, less happy hours and more crock pot cooking, less reading and more experiencing, less time working out and more walks with Emma Kate, less nights out and more time in our back yard, less adult conversations and more goofy sounds and funny faces, less researching and more realizing that parenting is kind of a guessing game: some people are just better at looking like they have it all together :), less assuming and more communicating, less fancy and more simple, less control and more prayer, and for this soul- less restlessness and more contentment.

contentment |kənˈtentmənt|nouna state of happiness and satisfaction:
what I see in my backyard

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This month you turned 6 months old Emma Kate. I know I have said this before, but seriously, time is f-l-y-i-n-g by! I have loved every stage but I think this might be my favorite so far. Every day you are discovering something new and showing us your sweet personality.

From first teeth to swim lessons, this has been a season of firsts. You have decided that teething is not fun at all. period. Your favorite foods are sweet potatoes and prunes. You love chewing on the rubber duckies in swim class. You love to roll over and scoot your way around. Sometimes you roll over on your tummy and decide that you have no interest in rolling back over and cry for help :). You love to talk to yourself in the car. You LOVE to laugh at our silly faces. You love to swing and go for rides in the stroller. You love to walk around whole foods. You love to eat your feet :)

We are so thankful for you and feel so blessed that you have had a healthy and happy start to your life and can't wait to see what the next six months have in store for you! We love you more than you know! Confession: after you are asleep, I look through photos and videos of you on my phone because I miss being around you! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

some teeth and empathy

Our little bean has entered a new phase in her life...Teething...not fun!  We have found that a little whiskey on the gums, tylenol, and swinging at the park seem to be the best medicine. Along with her newly forming chops comes lots of cuddles which I love love love and late night parties that, let's face it, nobody wants to be at; not even Emma Kate. Being awake at 2am hasn't seemed fun to Adam or I since we were 23.  I'll skip the late night drive-thrus and bar closings for a good night's sleep any day.

empathy |ˈempəTHēthe ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

In the fussiest of moments, Adam and I are stretching our empathy muscles.  It's easy to feel frustrated that the day isn't going as planned, that we've been up a lot at night and all we wanna do is sit on the couch and check-out, that nothing seems to make Emma Kate happy, or that sometimes you can't really make her feel any better and you just have to ride it out.  We can't control the fact that she's teething but we can offer her lots of hugs, naps on mommy, funny faces, songs, and our presence.

One of Adam's friends wrote him a letter about being a dad and said this about empathy, "The Value of this trait is self-explanatory when it comes to being a Dad, but at the risk of redundancy I will add that empathy is so critical in those moments as a parent when you have the choice to conclude that either 1) Your child is simply ridiculous or 2) Your child's experience is worth entering in to. While entering in is the more rewarding choice, it's also the most difficult." Matt, if you're reading this, you are one wise man and a great dad!

I love the part about believing that your child's experience is worth entering in to. We see this now on such a small scale with a six month old.  Thankfully, Emma Kate is a healthy and joyful baby, and we have not had anywhere near the amount of challenges that I know other parents go through with their kids. But I am convinced that this choice will play a more and more significant role as Emma Kate grows up.  Choosing to really engage Emma Kate, and not just try to keep her busy and content enough so I can flip through instagram on my phone for the 30th time that morning, although sometimes hard, is a sweet reminder to me of how God is fully present and engaged in my life whether I am fun to be around or not. My prayer is that Adam and I would be parents who choose to enter in to Emma Kate's life- play, imagination, friendships, fears, stories, heartaches, ideas, joys, challenges, learning, insecurities, triumphs, shortcomings, secrets, accomplishments, excitement.... in a way that she knows she is deeply loved and valued by us and ultimately by the Lord.

Psalm 86:15 "But You O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."