Sunday, June 27, 2010

Look at how our garden grows

The garden (well, part of it) is in full steam ahead! I think it's too HOT for the lettuces or cabbages to come through. But the swiss chard, roma tomatoes, peppers, and squash are doing great!

Remember this?
Or this?
Now look at this! And an aerial shot of where we are today!
Squash in the front, tomato vines in the back, peppers to the right, herbs to the left.
Beautiful sweet peppers!The first harvest of the season was swiss chard.
(This was the swiss chard 4 weeks ago. Notice the empty plots around it? Yeah, that's where the lettuces and cabbages were going to be.)
And here we are today. There are 5 of these plants and they are hopefully going to produce all season long - like the Square Foot Gardening book says!
Freshly washed leaves ready for cooking....
this! We had our first meal with our "plenty" from the garden last night - Pasta with swiss chard, garbanzo beans and tomatoes - yummy! It actually needed a little more seasoning than what I put in it but that's ok. It's my first "from the garden meal". I'll keep trying!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the dads in my life. Here's where we were last year isn't it! Those words certainly still hold true today.

This morning was a great Father's Day sermon by Mike that incorporated our sweetie Bella. He was talking about how Bella imitates everything we do - for example, this weekend we were in Houston with his parents. PawPaw was playing with a farm animal puzzle with Bella and was teaching her what the cow says...moooo. Mike is retelling that story in church and when he said "what does the cow say" she started mooing! It was so cute and everyone got a good laugh about it.

So, with that said I wanted to say a little somethin' somethin' to the dads in my life

...Dad, thank you for giving me a great example to imitate. The older I get the more special you become to me. And the more precious your hugs are. And the more important are your wise words and conversations. And the more life giving are both us working in the garden together...I love you more now than ever. I now have the privilege of you passing that onto Bella. You are the best daddeo in the world! - Emi

Tommy, I am well aware that not everyone gets fantastic inlaws when they get married. I certainly are so grateful that I do not have inlaws but inloves. Thank you for loving me and laughing with Bella - even when it brings you to tears!

And to Mike. I know this Father's Day is a little bittersweet and I have seen you walk through the past few months with so much grace and strength with me and for me. And I am very thankful for it. At times, I don't think I could love you anymore than I already do or respect you more than I already do. And then I do. I love you beyond words and look forward to many more Father's Day with you. I think Bella's face in these next pictures tell you what she thinks of you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Little twinges

The past few weeks have been better. Still hard at times. But better. I felt like when we first found out about losing our baby I completely stopped - physically, emotionally, spiritually. The world kept whizzing by me. And I couldn't make it stop.

I wanted to.

I wanted to tell it to stop and everything to stop because we just lost our sweet baby. It was the weirdest feeling to go back to work and have to "go back to work". Just like that. I had to go to a supervisor orientation class when I started having more cramping. And I remember looking around the room, as we are all learning how to be effective motivators, and just hoping someone would notice me and what I was going through. But noone did. And that's understandable. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that the world kept going. I've heard that's common with others who have grieved.

So, I finally feel like I am walking again. And nearly at the same pace as the rest of the world. I am laughing again. And working again. And just going through life again. However, I do have moments of "stopping" again. These are little twinges of pain. Mike and I were talking at lunch the other day about these twinges we both have.

It happens when i'm at CVS and a very pregnant lady walks by me. And she is adorable. And smiles at me.

It happens when I go with my sister to pick up her wedding dress. And realize I should be 4 months by now. I should be semi-noticeably-pregnant. I should be picking out a dress that will fit my pregnant self for her wedding.

It happens when I go to the store and noone notices me. Then I remember I don't have the pregnant belly that everyone stares at.

It happens when I drink caffeniated coffee again. Or run so fast my heartbeat goes over 140 (they tell you not to do that when you're pregnant).

It happens when I see certain shirts in my closet I was looking forward to wearing.

When these twinges happen and the world keeps going while I stop, i'm very much reminded of when Mike and I went camping after we lost the baby. I did not have feelings of peace or solace from God. I did, however, have moments of knowing He was there. I just knew He was near to my brokenheart. And that was enough for me. I still know He is near to my brokenheart. Those little twinges of pain and sadness are felt by more than just me - I certainly believe they are felt by Him too. And I am so thankful for that.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Everyone needs a Gayla

(Disclaimer: This post may or may not have brought the writer to tears - with the "ugly cry". Just a heads up for you mascara wearing women!)

Happy birthday to my bestess friend, Gayla.

You see - everyone needs a "Gayla". Let me tell you why.

Gayla, we have both told eachother how no words can express our appreciation and thankfulness and love for eachother...we just know. I am so thankful for that knowing. I miss hurrying to get to your house from school on Wednesdays before church - and drinking green tea while watching Oprah - then always complaining how we didn't have enough time to talk (even though we had just talked a solid 2-3 hours) - so, we would meet up at church and continue talking.

I love how I can truly be "Emily" with you - all of me. You are an easy place to lean into and be real and be loved. I read your framed letter you gave Mike and I when we left Sumter daily - because I hung it in my room! And, yes sometimes I break into crying while i'm drying my hair. I'm not kidding. My poor husband.

I miss going to Angels with our hubbies and talking the whole time through supper and continuing talking to the car.

I miss how one minute we are laughing hysterically about something crazy - probably a cat or "squassom" or whatever. Then the next minute we're both having one of our moments - me with the "ugly cry". You know. It's the one where my entire face scrunches up because i'm about to lose it. And then I do lose it. And the cry continues to not be pretty. But you cry too, although it's probably not an ugly cry. Just a deep cry of understanding. And what's really funny about those moments is we know it's coming. "ooohhh, here it comes". Then just lots of tears. Gayla, I think only you and I understand that. ha! After every phone conversation I have an "ugly cry" again. Fortunately Mike knows I was talking to you so he usually expects it.

Do you see a trend? It's talking. It's knowing. It's friendship. It's joy. It's loving. It's understanding. It's a gift from God that I can't fully express "thank yous" for. But I sure do try. Daily I try. So, Gayla the world needs more of you. And I am so thankful that I have you as a friend and sister.

PS: This little cutie wanted to say happy birthday too!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A dilemma

So, we have a dilemma. Our little girl is growing quickly!! I know she has always been growing but I think she has hit a growth spurt times 5! Let me share a story that exemplifies this. I bought her this adorable bathing suit at Target maybe 4 weeks ago. It fit the first she wore it to Auntie Allison's house. And it kindof fit today when we were waiting for her daddy to finish mowing and edging the backyard.

But, that didn't last long until it started hurting her neck. So I did what any good mother would do. I unhooked the top part and just let her run in the water with half of the suit on. And she didn't know the difference, little cutie!

This is her favorite thing to do. Well, after she tries to run from the sprinkler that keeps "getting her". Imagine lots of squealing and laughing. Then she gets closer and closer to the water to get a drink. This "getting closer" lasts a while...inch by inch
one more step...little inch by inch...and inch by inchAwwww, sweet water!

19 month giraffe pictures!

My mom forgot to post these pictures with those giraffes she makes me sit by every month. So, I thought i'd be cute and show you my new dress and... oooooo, what's that? A camera? Hey, that's mine!
MOMMMAAAAA! WHYYYYY CANNNTTTT IIII HAVEEEEE ITTT!!! (This is Bella's mommy inserting a comment here...notice Ms. Thang is on the move to come get me) Ok, so my mommy let me look at the camera and take a picture. I was ok and sat down and...
oooooo, can I see it again? Until next month have a great summer!! oooo, mom....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

19 months old!

Our sweet Bella Grace is, uh hem, ni...nin...nine...ok, ok so i'm having a hard time saying it...nineteen months old! This post is going to be long (shocker) but I don't want to miss anything. Life has become more precious this past month so i'm soaking in my sweet little girl.

And this past month she has blossomed into a smart, tall, fast, talky, playful, laughy cutie-pa-tootie! Here are some of the updates from the month:

1. She is talking more and more - words include Dr. Suess, mommy and daddy (ok, so she's been saying that for a while but we love it), cheese, I love you, thank you, please (maybe that's cheese?!), and other words and sentences and long conversations that I would love to know what it's about. We usually agree and talk back with her - so for all we know she could be asking if she could have 15 tattoos next week along with asking for a giant pony - "Oh yeah, ok. That's great Bella. I love you too"...

2. She still loves to be outside. Mike keeps saying that she is definitely my daughter for that fact. The other day when Mike's parents were here she started taking pictures. Little kids mimic everything don't they!
Here she is sporting her cute self while taking pictures outside? Notice the red marks on her belly? Yeah, she went through a rose bush and didn't even flinch. Tough gal!

3. She dropped her afternoon nap and is taking a long one in the middle of the day, 11ish-2:30ish. Then she plays and plays and plays. And goes to bed at 6:45-7 and wakes up at 7-7:30. oh yes, amen to that! Here she is tuckered out after playing at the park with her daddy. Look at her long legs!

4. She likes spinach, cheese (that little gal will eat as much cheese as we give her), tortillas, pasta, chicken, oranges, bananas, grapes. She is still cramming at much food as she can in her mouth. We're working on it...

5. She is smart! Ok, so we've known she is from the beginning but she continues to amaze us. As an example, she has a puzzle with lots of shapes. A couple of weeks ago she emptied out the puzzle and matched all the shapes up correctly on the first or second try. What?! Where did she learn that? Of course we are as proud as can be and tell everyone who will listen of this amazing task...what? Random lady at Wal-mart? You want to know about my daughter? Well, let me tell you? Oh, what's that? You were merely looking at lettuce? My bad!

6. One of Mike's favorite things to do lately is to tell her "go find your mommy". Then I hear that sweet pitter patter of bare feet to come find me. She'll do the same when I tell her to go find her daddy. She is minding commands more and more too - point to your tummy, go get that stuffed animal, come over here...

7. She is trying really hard to do a fish kiss. She'll suck her cheeks in along with all of her mouth which quickly resembles someone without teeth. Then she'll blow in and out and laugh. I couldn't quite capture the fish kiss but here's part of her trying.
8. She likes to run and scream. And chase her daddy. And run and scream. It's so fun chasing her around the house and seeing her cute little self trying to get away. Sometimes she decides to play this game right before bath time - when all of her clothes are off and we're getting the bath water ready - but there's nothing cuter than a naked little kiddo running away with her big belly and little bottom - so sweet!

9. She sleeps with her blankets and thumb in her mouth. Sometimes we can hand her a blanket in the middle of the day and she'll put her thumb in her mouth and lay her head on her chest. I may or may not do this at random times to get some snuggle time in. And, her daddy loves these times too.

10. She got her first haircut. Grammy did it. I still couldn't make myself do it. So I took pictures. Mike and his dad got home after Grammy cut it and laughed when I showed them how much hair we took off...uhm, not much. But it was still a haircut and a big step for me! It was needed though. Her bangs were so long they would get caught in her runny nose and stick to her face. Too much information? sorry, I digress. Y'all, I said I was documenting everything.

Before haircut:

During: Yes, we were distracting her with earbuds.

11. She will clap when we sing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands". Then she'll point to her face when we sing "then your face will surely show it".

12. And last but certainly not least, she is stinkin' adorable. Her middle name is Grace and we've always known she is Beautiful (that's what 'Bella' means) and full of Grace. But going through the loss this past month Bella has become more a "Grace" than we've ever known. I wonder sometimes if God whispers in her ear "go give your mommy and daddy a hug" when we are having a rough time. We'll hear that pitter patter of bare feet (can you tell I love that) and she'll come hug us. Just precious Grace - thank you Lord for that visible and tangible reminder.