Friday, April 20, 2012

She Writes

I realize I have been more than a little MIA over the last month. I am not sure what has been keeping me from writing, but then in the same breath, I am. It's no secret the past four months have been a struggle, and maybe someday, somehow I'll find the strength and the courage to share those struggles with you, but for now I am at a loss for words. I do know that writing is therapeutic for me. It's my outlet. It is my single source of self-expression. I have never been shy about baring my soul to you all, but for some things-for some moments in time there are simply no words.

I hope that despite my absence, you all still stop by my little corner of the world every now and then to check on me. I know that even though I am not writing, I am still reading. I draw inspiration from other writers, and from their lives that to me seem normal. Because in the midst of my chaos, normal is what I long for. The truth is, I have been feeling a little TOO human lately, and reading the musings of the everyday wife and mother like myself reminds me that despite everything I am still those things. So, in a desperate attempt at normal, here is what I've been up too lately:

...My gorgeous sister, Kasie, arrived home from the Virgin Islands a few weeks ago. Randi and I were excited to pick her up from the airport April 5th. She is only here until the beginning of May, and she will be spending her summer in Delaware living like a nomad until she decides what her next adventure will be. As much as I loved St. John's and had hoped for a permanent vacation spot for the rest of my life, I am thrilled to have Kasie back home and back in the continental United States. At least here, she will only be a road trip away. There is just some sort of relief that comes from knowing a gigantic body of water no longer separates you from someone you love. It's kind of a wonderful feeling, even if she still moving more than a few hours away. Anyway, I plan to make the most of my last few days with her. It's going to be epic.

...I have enjoyed watching Emma transition from 2 to 3 just in the last few weeks. I sat in the nursery at church with her the other night, and I was overwhelmed by how BIG she is getting. I swear she's grown 3 or 4 inches just in the last two weeks! Not only in her size, but her vocabulary is growing. We talk about shapes, numbers, letters, and colors all the time. Her memory amazes me! She remembers E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G! Even the things you wish she'd forget are ever present and up for discussion any time, any place. She has this ornery sense of humor like her daddy, and she is truly a girly girl. We love dress up, tea parties, and princesses. She has discovered a new found love of make-up (thanks, Aunt Randi!), and I have found her more than once with lip gloss everywhere BUT her lips. Once my classes are over, I plan to make some serious time to get her ready for preschool in the fall. My mom bought her a early-childhood reading program that I would like to try this summer, and I'd like to introduce her to a similar schedule like the one she will have a school, just to make the transition easier. Wish me luck!

...My first semester back to college is slowly winding to close. I have less than a month left, and I am so ready for summer vacation. I meet with an advisor next Tuesday to set up my schedule for the fall. I am planning on sticking with nine hours for a while. The fall of 2013, we will enroll Emma in pre-K and I may consider taking more hours then, because I will have more time to study, but for now, nine to ten hours is MORE than enough.

...I have consistently been working one to two days a week, mostly Thursdays and Fridays. I have really enjoyed being back to work, but because I'm not there everyday, I do feel like I am missing out on that feeling of camaraderie with the ladies that I felt before. I am also struggling with one of the girls I work with. She is a newer, full-time employee that has never worked in healthcare until now-we actually started at the same time. She knows that I used to work in our clinic and our department at the hospital, and while I don't know or remember everything (it is kind of hard to keep up only working one day a week), she still feels the need to constantly "help" me. It's like she doesn't think I am capable of doing a job that I used to be able to do in my sleep. Sure I mess up. Sure I make mistakes. But, for the most part, I have caught back on very quickly. Despite my best efforts, she is always telling me what to do and talking down to me, and it's getting really old, really fast. I'm trying to keep my mouth shut, since I am only there a few days a week, but it's hard.

...I leave for Baltimore on Thursday. I am going with my mom to Johns Hopkins to meet with a specialist and learn more about the up and coming research their hospital has to offer in regards to my mother's heart condition. While the trip is a melancholy one, I am looking forward to the one on one time with my mom, and the chance to learn more about her condition. There is just so much she doesn't tell us, because she doesn't want us to worry, but I am ready to know more. I need to know more. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being the oldest, and at times I feel more than prepared to take it on, while other times I just want to hide in the closet. It's times like these, I am reminded how blessed I am to have sisters. Despite our differences and our squabbles, we always remain the best of friends and we truly rally around each other when the going gets tough. You couldn't of told me when I was 13, how much I would eventually need them, but I'm glad God and my parents chose to give them to me. And only God knows how much I wish all three of them were going with us on Thursday.

If you think about it, please say a prayer for my mom and I. Pray for travel safety, and that God will give the specialists the wisdom to help us take the next steps. I am hoping for good news, and the ability to support my mom no matter the results. I am choosing not to worry until I have too, but for me that is easier said than done.

...Because I'm sure the worry I am trying my hardest to avoid is what is keeping me up at night. I have been struggling with insomnia the last 3 nights. I go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00, I wake up at 1:30-2:00 A.M., and I can't go back to sleep. So far, I haven't felt too tired during the day, but I know it will catch up with me eventually. I think I am just under a huge amount of  worry and stress with school, my mom, and my sister's impending departure. Add that to everything else I have going on, and it's easy for me to see why my mind won't let me sleep. I think it's all just catching up with me. I know I'm getting ready to crash and burn, but for now, I'm not going to let myself. I need to hold it together just a little while longer. Eventually, all will be right in the world again, I'm just not sure when.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Weekend In Pictures

Sorry, I've been a little MIA lately. Emma celebrated her 3rd birthday last weekend on Easter Sunday, so needless to say, the weekend was jam packed! Emma had a wonderful birthday party on Saturday afternoon with our families and closest friends.On Sunday, we enjoyed Easter with both our families, and then Randy and I took Emma out for an ice cream date later that night to single the end of a wonderful weekend. I think we are still recovering and I JUST got all of her gifts put away today! She is a very blessed little girl :) Anyway, I just wanted to share a few pictures with you from the weekend.

 My Birthday Princess!

 Emma's birthday cake! 
Thank you, Aunt Keri!

Princess Emma and her Spiderman

Our little family after Emma's party

Emma and Noah on Easter Sunday

My little birthday bunny!

Me with my mom, my sisters, and my Grandma

My entire family on my mom's side! 
I can't even remember the last time we were all together! So exciting!

I just can't believe that Emma is 3! I feel like she had an amazing birthday weekend, and it touches my heart to see just how loved and blessed my little girl is. Emma has been an amazing blessing to our family, but more importantly she is a blessing to me. She is and will always be my greatest accomplishment. I am blessed that Lord chose me to be her mother, and that I'm the one who gets to kiss her every morning and every night, who gets to share in every single one of her milestones, and who gets to watch her grow into the woman God has planned for her to be. I know I'm not perfect, but I am trying to be the best mother I can be.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend, and that you are looking forward to the weekend to come. Happy Thursday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 4

Welcome! We've made it to Day 4! We are in full swing party planning mode around here, except today I'm taking a hiatus to go pick my sister, Kasie, up from the airport! I am beyond excited to see her, and a little nervous to meet the new woman I'm getting home after 7 months. I know that her time in the V.I. was an amazing learning and growing experience for her, and I know she will carry it with her forever. I'm also excited that my sister, Randi, is going with me to pick her up! It's going to be a sweet reunion for sure! One for the books, so prepare for a photo dump! LOL! :) Anyway, today's post will be quick!

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 4

Emma is and has always been a picky eater! Lord have mercy, her daddy and I have struggled with getting that child to eat ANYTHING and eat it at a pace other than every meal takes 45 minutes to an hours S.L.O.W! I have blogged frequently about her picky habits, and you can get caught up here, here, here, and here. To say it's frustrating is an understatement, but we are coping and slowly making progress.

But, despite her pickiness, my child has a FEW foods she loves and corn on the cob is one of them! She can consume two or three ears of corn all by herself, and still want more! Any time I make it, her little face light up, and she'll say something like, "Mmm, mommy! I love corn on the cob!" :) It's so cute...but, I'm her mom. I guess I would think that, huh? :)

In addition to hot dogs and brats, there will be plenty of corn on the cob at Emma's BBQ and bonfire in honor of Emma's special day. Do you ever make your child's favorite foods on their birthday? What are some foods your kids love to eat?

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Thursday! I know seeing my sister today is going to make my day gorgeous! :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 3

It's Day 3! I can hardly believe that we are T-4 days until Emma's 3rd birthday, and T-3 days until her epic birthday party! I still have so much to do: wrap her birthday presents, buy the food for the BBQ and bonfire after the birthday tea party, pick up the tables and chairs from my Grandma, get the balloons, and pray for no rain on Saturday, because my house is WAY to small to cram the 50+ people we're expecting! It's going to be a hectic, crazy day for sure, but I am so grateful that my sister, Faith, and my cousin, Jordan, will be on hand to help with all the festivities!

Yesterday, I proudly finished my third Pinterest project: Emma's Birthday Banner!

Granted, it's far from perfect, but for a first attempt from a VERY non-crafty lady, I think it turned out pretty darn good! I love the colors, and a big thanks goes out to my friend, Kristin, for helping me pick out the perfect ribbon and paper! Good work, Kristin! I can't wait to display it and I think it's going to look just darling hanging on my tables.

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 3

Now, back to my A Day In The Life Of Emma post, since I know that's why you all stopped by anyway! ;) Today, I wanted to share with you a monumental milestone in Ms. Emma's life: potty training!

Potty training is by far one of the HARDEST things I have done in my life, but the end result has been so rewarding! You can read about my potty training struggles here, here, and here. I promise that if you are in the midst of potty training, my posts will make you feel better about yourself, because NO ONE has ever wanted to quit more than I did. Looking back on it, I can see that my tantrums and whining were quite comical, and that potty training Emma shortly after two was the best decision I ever made for Emma, myself, and ANYONE who has ever had to watch her since.

Looking at this picture makes me excited for all the milestones that 3 will bring! Who knows what we will learn and overcome over the next year, but I know one thing, if I can potty train, I can do anything!

I hope everyone is having an amazing Wednesday. I'm excited to have my nephew over for a play date today. Emma has really missed him! What's on your agenda today?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 2

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of A Day In The Life Of Emma! I hope you had a chance to read yesterday's post, and you are all caught up on what's going on around here. If you haven't had time, then feel free to take a moment...I'll wait.

Okay, so today I'm going to share with you about Emma's absolute favorite "toy"at our house: my clothes basket. Yep, Emma loves to play with it! A box full of toys and a room full of books, and she'd pick the clothes basket EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I mean, I guess I get it. A clothes basket can be a boat, a car, a stage, or a cage for a fierce, wild animal a.k.a. Karma. There are so many possibilities, which makes for at least a good hour of entertainment! Therefore, I usually let her play with the clothes basket whenever she wants, because there are just some days that the clothes basket is the only thing standing between me, Emma, and sanity.

 Wild animal or crazy baby? 

We're on a boat! 

What?! Doesn't everyone want to take a nap in their clothes basket?

The clothes basket: A perfect place for a story

I can't find the picture of Emma riding her rocking horse on top of the clothes basket with Karma, our cat, trapped underneath, but I promise it's hilarious. :)

So there you have it! The clothes basket is Emma's favorite thing to play with at home, next to our cat. What about your kids? Do they find amusement in the oddest of things? I'd love to hear about it!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having an amazing Tuesday! I know I'm going to make the most of this quiet day at home with my girl. Lord knows, we don't get a whole day at home very often! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 1

Like I said in my previous post, I can't believe that Emma will be 3 on Easter Sunday! As I prepare to kick myself into party planning mode this week, I wanted to do a series of posts on Emma's life over the last year. Every day with her is truly a blessing, and even though some days are rough, I never, ever, EVER take motherhood for granted. Emma is my whole world, and my ultimate goal in life is the be the best mother I can be to her and to raise her to be a strong, independent woman. In addition to taking my job as her mom very seriously, I love experiencing moments with her like the ones I'm getting to share with you over the next week. Some of them, I've already shared, and some of them I haven't. But, either way, these are the moments that made 2 and watching Emma's transition from baby to toddler just that much more exciting.

A Day In The Life Of Emma: Day 1

Emma loves tea parties...LOVES them! Emma loves tea parties and playing dress up so much that we are making both of them the theme for her birthday this year! She is beyond excited about wearing her Cinderella costume to her birthday party, and she knows that with all the buzz around our house that her birthday is soon...very, very soon. :)

I blogged about Emma and I's first tea party a few weeks after her second birthday. I think this was one of the first moments I realized my sweet little baby wasn't much of a baby anymore. She had an imagination! She knew how to pretend! We were having a REAL tea party! It was such an amazing experience. We still have tea parties all the time, and if she can't get me to play with her, she will force feed "tea" to her Daddy. She also enjoys having "tea parties" with my Dad's girlfriend's two little dogs-they have dog biscuits and everything! :) 

Yes, one of the things I love most about Emma is how imaginative she is. She loves pretending and she plays really well by herself. I'm so blessed to have a child that can entertain herself! It makes housework and homework just that much easier. But, I also love the moments she invites me to join in on the fun. I know someday I'm going to miss these moments. 

I want to leave you with a song today. It's one of the many songs that makes me think of Emma and my own childhood every time I hear it! I hope you are all having a fantastic Monday! 

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