Emma's on her way to 3!

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!!


(Ignore the fact that this is posted a few weeks late...it was started on or before Emma's actual birthday)

Dear Emma,
You are a whole year old as of today and I'm still wondering where the year went. You're walking, talking (more like chattering, but it's sooo cute to hear you babble), laughing, and you definitely have opinions about things. You're eating some big girl food and really love your cheese, but fortunately you still like your pureed veggies too. You really love applesauce and bananas, and we have to remind you to put things in your mouth one at a time because you usually grab handfuls of cheerios and goldfish and see how many you can fit in your mouth at one time.

Life's been a bit crazy for us lately, but that's something that you'll get used to around here. I will say, it's weird that in one year someone can go from this:

To this:

We had a fun Halloween where you dressed up like a lion and convinced your dad and I to dress up too. He was a safari tour guide and I was a tourist on safari when we spotted you, our little lion. You sure have a roar that fit the costume.

Your first birthday party on 11/21 was super fun with all your little buddies celebrating with you. At first, you were a little confused by the frosting on top of your cupcake.

But you figured it out soon enough.

We had fun celebrating with you even though you were a little overwhelmed by all the attention. You did great and were lucky enough to have all your grandparents there and even some of your great-grandparents.

On your actual birthday, daddy took you out to breakfast carrying on an annual tradition that your grandpa started with me on my first birthday. Here's you with dad on your first annual birthday breakfast. This year's birthday breakfast was at Starbucks, and I can't get over the cutest smile ever!! I think you were enjoying your small piece of daddy's vanilla scone.

That night Grandpa Mike came over and took you shopping. You got some very cute clothes and a fun puzzle that makes noises when you put the pieces in.

Happy birthday sweet baby. We love you and can't wait to see what this year holds!

Love you,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

10.2 months


As your first birthday approaches faster than I can believe, you continue to amaze me by how quickly you're growing and learning. You are so close to taking those momentous first steps which will forever change your life and ours, and you are so full of expression and joy. You make everybody happy who sees you, even though you drop that lower lip sometimes for reasons I can't completely understand.

We've done all sorts of fun things over the past couple months.

The fair...you liked the piggies the best.

Labor day at Grandma and Grandpa's ranch with a trip to the (ice cold) river. We tried dipping your little toe in, but you were having none of it.

Your first trip to Knott's Berry Farm...you even got to ride on the Calico Express!

We also took you to the pool on a very hot day, but you were a bit sleepy and weren't having too much fun. I know the day will come when you won't be able to get enough of it.

Life has been a bit chaotic lately for your dad and I because I'm working two part-time jobs and you are with someone different everyday. I think it's actually made you more flexible, and I know that the people watching you absolutely love and look forward to the time they get to spend with you. They also all comment at how great of an eater you are; and, with homemade baby food combos of squash and broccoli, cauliflower and peas, or carrots and zucchini picked fresh from your great-grandma and great-grandpa's garden I can understand why. You also eat a whole variety of grains...quinoa, amarynth, millet, barley, and oats (some of which I didn't even know existed until recently), all topped with a bit of flaxseed and brewer's yeast for extra goodness. You feed yourself bits of cheese, banana, nectarine, strawberries, cheerios, and anything else we put in front of you. We are very lucky that you're not picky.

You get so happy when you see daddy come home from work, and you crawl so fast to get to him. It's so cute hearing your little squeal of joy when you see him come around the corner into the living room. He loves you so much and does anything he can to get you laughing. It's music to our ears. Speaking of music, you're quite the musician yourself. You love when daddy plays his guitar for you and you even strum the strings from time to time. You also love the little drum in your room and have figured out where you need to pound to get the best sound.

We know that God has such an amazing plan for your life and we're just excited that we get to be a part of it.


Friday, August 13, 2010



Hola Emma,
You're a little more than eight months old and we are having so much fun with you! It's amazing how much you're learning and how quickly you're learning it all. We got a kid's English/Spanish Bible and we hope that you grow up with a love and understanding of God's word and all of the people and cultures that are part of His creation. You are crawling like crazy and just tonight daddy said that you're crawling even faster than you were just a couple days ago. Not only are you crawling, but you're pulling yourself up on everything you can get your hands on...the couch, your toy box, your crib, daddy's guitar (while he's playing it). He said that we won't be able to hold you down and I have a feeling that will be true from now on.

We love the funny faces you make, and here's just one example.

It's amazing to us how detail focused you are. Other babies might be the same way, but you love the little tags on your stuffed animals more than the animals themselves, and you pick up the smallest things from the floor even when it looks clean to us. I can see you pondering at times and wonder what you're thinking. Sometimes you try to tell us, but it will be a little bit longer until we can really understand. We love it when you start talking and whispering and singing to yourself.

You're a social butterfly and bring so much joy to people around you. Your grandpa says that's your ministry right now and I agree. Everybody who sees you smiles and I love seeing your joy radiate to other people already. You have two darling dimples, and while I'm sure there are more teeth on the way you just have a two-toothed grin that's absolutely precious. Those teeth have come more and more in handy as you are eating more solid food.

Here's you at this year's OC Fair. Looks like you're having fun!!
You've also done quite a bit of traveling in your short eight months, and last weekend you were a trooper as I took you to Indiana for the weekend to see Auntie Leah and Garrett get married. You did great on the red-eye flight Friday night and survived the heat of Indiana during the wedding before heading back Sunday afternoon. It was a quick trip but it was so fun to be part of such a special day.

You are so patient with us (unless you're hungry...you get that from your dad), and you have developed a ticklish streak and absolutely laugh your little head off when we get close to your feet or zerbert your tummy. There is nothing we love to hear more than your pure, boisterous belly laugh. It's music to our ears. We're so thankful to be your mommy and daddy and want nothing more than for you to grow up fulfilling God's purpose for your life at every age.

Love, love, love,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

North Carolina


Our Wisconsin travel adventures didn't stop after we arrived in WI. When we were leaving to go to North Carolina we got to the airport and our flight was seriously delayed. We would have missed our connection from Chicago to North Carolina if we had waited, so the gate agent suggested we take the bus. Now, she saw that we had a baby and all of our luggage trailing behind..."the bus?" I asked. She said that it only takes about an hour an a half on the bus from Milwaukee to Chicago, and they would give us our money back for the plane ticket, and the bus tickets were less than half that.

So, we trekked back through the airport and waited at the bus stop along with some other passengers who decided to do the same thing and after a little while the bus arrived.

At that point, we thought "what else could go wrong?" Well, the story continues. Because we were running late already the gate agent booked us on two flights...the one we were originally supposed to be on to North Carolina and a later one. By the time we got to Chicago we were definitely too late for the earlier flight, so we checked in and got in line at security (after asking an employee if the ticket we had would work for Emma). When we got to the front of the security line the agent said that she needed her own boarding pass. We told him that someone else said she would be fine, but he said no. Fortunately, the supervisor was right there and he took us up to the ticket counter and told us we could go right back to the front of the line when we got Emma's boarding pass.

We looked at the departing flight information and it said we'd be departing from a particular gate. So, we went to that gate, then decided to get some dinner. After dinner we walked back to the gate and went up to the counter when we realized that our boarding passes didn't have the seats assigned yet. The agent printed the actual boarding passes (and saw that we were going to NC) and didn't tell us that the gate had been changed. It was getting closer and closer to the time we were supposed to be leaving but our flight information wasn't showing up at the gate now. But, it was one of those gates where four flights leave out of the same jetway onto the tarmac, so we just figured another one had been delayed and ours would be up soon. After the agent saw that we had been standing there for over 10 minutes, she gets on the loud speaker and says that the gate had changed for the Greensboro flight and it was now leaving from a gate right next to where we had eaten dinner. We ran to that gate and were the very last people to board, which meant that we didn't have seats together and no one offered to switch so I was feeding Emma on this puddle jumper next to a very tall man in a very crowded seat. At least we made it on the plane, but it wasn't the most convenient thing.

Then, finally, we made it to North Carolina. Our first day there we headed over to Brenda's where all the kids (including Emma) hung out in the pool for a little while.

Here are all the cousins for their first group shot.

We went on a beautiful hike to Stone Mountain...

And walked around the homesteaders cabins which all the kids loved.

Then we went to Moravian Falls (where we got kicked out because apparently you have to pay $1 per person even to have your own picnic!), and from there headed up to Apple Hill to have lunch.

We did so many great things while we were there, but the funnest part was seeing Dan's family and all the kids. We only wish we could do it more often!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wisconsin memories, Pt. 3


The real reason we went to Wisconsin was to attend Dan's family reunion and his Grandma Edna's 95th birthday. It was so fun meeting his extended family and letting them meet Emma. It was even more special to us that Dan's grandma got to meet Emma!
This was the very first meeting (Emma was not in a very photographical mood).

And here's all of us when she's a bit happier.

Here are Edna's grandkids.

And, the great grandkids.

It was an incredibly special day for us, and while Emma won't remember those moments I'm so thankful that we were there.

From there, we were off to North Carolina to see Dan's sisters and their families for another fun adventure.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wisconsin memories, Pt. 2


After we landed in Wisconsin, we started the trek to Lacrosse with a shopping detour and some lunch on the way. We also took a side trip to the Wisconsin state capital building which was pretty astounding as far as capital buildings go.

After that little detour and beautiful drive we headed to meet Dan's family at a pizza place near their town. It was so great meeting his family and letting them meet Emma. Dan's cousin's daughter, Cassie, was a great friend to Emma during dinner and the reunion the next day. We also found out that we're related to a family at our church through Dan's cousin's wife, Sandy. Our family just keeps expanding.

We spent the next morning with Dan's cousin, Kevin, and Kevin's wife Vicky, and they took us on a tour of the town then to an area with a great view.

From there, we headed to Grandma Edna's 95th birthday party/Sumner family reunion.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wisconsin memories, Pt. 1


We had planned a trip to Wisconsin and North Carolina in June to visit Dan's family. His Grandma Edna was turning 95, so there was a family reunion in Wisconsin to celebrate, and from there we figured we might as well visit his sisters and their families in North Carolina since we had never been there.

What a trip it was. It started on June 11 with a call at 6:30am that our flight had been cancelled. That caused some angst in coordinating our other arrangements for a rental car and accommodations, but we worked it out and were on our way. We got to the airport and our flight was slightly delayed, but we made it through security relatively unscathed (and with all of Emma's stuff that was no small feat) and made it to our gate.

Emma was very excited to be on her first plane ride.

We got to our layover in Dallas with time for dinner, and that turned into a plane delay, and another delay, and another. It got to the point where we weren't even going to arrive in Wisconsin until 2ish in the morning with a two hour drive to our final destination (and we wouldn't have even been able to get our rental car that late/early). We took the airline up on their offer to put us up in a hotel for the night, and book us on a flight for the next morning. Well, that meant getting to the hotel at 11pm, to sleep at midnight, and up at 4am to catch the 4:30am shuttle for a 6:30am flight. Emma was a trooper through it all but I think this picture shows how we were all feeling by that point.
If that weren't enough, when we got to the airport the next morning, we realized that they hadn't printed Emma's boarding pass the night before when they rebooked us so we had to wait until the ticketing agents started working to get her ticket. But, at least our plane left on time and she slept the entire time (from before takeoff to after landing), and we landed in Wisconsin ready for an adventure.

Monday, June 28, 2010

13 months come and gone


Just kidding!! This is just a semi-combined 6 month and 7 month letter to my sweet girl on her 7 month birthday.

Here's us celebrating your 6 month birthday at Wahoo's, which was also your first outing at 3 days old.

And here is my joy-filled sweetheart so excited to be all growed up at 7 months old, sitting up on your own and teaching your toy who's boss.

So much has happened since you were 5 months old. It's amazing how quickly you're changing! Your dad and I get the joy of seeing you every day, so sometimes we forget how much you're growing until someone sees you who hasn't seen you in a while and reminds us how big you are. But, there are moments when I watch you sleeping so peacefully and you're starting to look more and more like my little girl and less like a little baby.

In May, you took your first trip out of the state of California when we went to Nevada to see your Aunt Pamela graduate from college. As you can see, you drove the whole way.

In your sixth month, you started pushing up on your hands and toes (not your knees). This strengthened your mini-muscles to get stronger for eventual crawling and was also a very cute sight with your little bum sticking up in the air while you're on all fours.

You're still not crawling, but you have found ways to move around and get to what you want (with a very determined look on your face, no less). You push up and then plop down a few inches forward, roll from one side to the next, or just str-e-e-e-e-tch as far as you can to get what you're after. If you can't quite reach you know now how to get our attention to help you out with a little grunt. You weren't doing that a month ago.

On the eve of your six month birthday we introduced you to solid food with some pureed brown rice. You couldn't get enough and we had so much fun being part of this new experience with you.

And, here you are tonight at 7 months old enjoying zucchini, barley, and flax seed...yummy.

Since you started on solid food, you've had asparagus, avocado, zucchini, barley, apple sauce and cranberry juice, and you love it all. It's so cute seeing your mouth zone in on the spoon and then chomp down on it with such gusto. Lately you've also been grabbing the spoon and helping me feed you from time to time. You're not ready to go for it on your own, but you'll be there soon.

This month was very exciting for you for a lot of reasons. You went on your first plane ride, your first bus ride, met your great-grandma Edna and lots of great aunts and great uncles in Wisconsin, and got to see your aunts, uncles, and cousins in North Carolina. Everybody commented on how sweet and happy you are. They are all so right!

While we were in North Carolina we also celebrated your daddy's first Father's Day with your first tooth breaking through! We celebrated with a trip to Walmart, and made sweet and sour meatballs for everybody. The night ended with a bonfire in the backyard. I know your dad is so happy to have you as his little girl, and he's looking forward to many more Father's Days celebrating being your dad. A few days after that your dad and I also celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary! That's right, we've been married THAT long, and this year we celebrated with you. It's so fun getting to experience so many firsts all thanks to you being part of our lives now.

You are about a minute away from being mobile, so we lowered the mattress in your crib today so you don't try your first gymnastics move to flip out of your crib. It's just another reminder that things are changing all the time, and all the little clothes that we thought would always be too big for you are now being stored because they're too small. You love your sippy cup and you're sitting up and moving around like you've been doing it forever. I'm convinced that you say "mama" all the time, but your dad thinks that he's heard you say "dada." I'll just know that you said "mama" first :-)

My dear, we won't know what kind of parents we've been until you have kids of your own, but we're doing the very best we can and you make it super easy to be your parents. We love you so much and we always will.

Love you,
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My first Mother's Day as a mom


I'm so thankful to my wonderful husband and daughter for the best first Mother's Day EVER. Dan made a cute shirt for Emma to wear that said "Happy First Mommy Day" and I get to choose a little something from a store that goes by the name Tiffany and Co. (I had to catch my breath when he told me). The day started this morning at church when my mom, grandma, Emma, and I were all asked to do the announcements together. After we finished giving all of the information to the congregation our pastor came up and asked us to each share something special about our moms. So, Emma ate the microphone which translates into her saying that she loves my snugs and kisses, then I said what I love about my mom, my mom said what she loves about her mom, and my grandma said what was special about her mom. It showed me what a legacy of Christ we have in our family and the prayers that have been poured into our family from the moms that have come before me. We went to lunch with the fam and then went home and took a nap before our Mother's Day dinner at Wahoo's with dessert at Yogurtland (a perfect night).

Thank you Dan and Emma for a wonderful day celebrating our family. I wouldn't be a mom without both of you and my heart overflows with love for you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5 months


Well Emma, I'm starting to slip on the timeliness of posting your monthly letters here, but it's only because you're keeping us so busy. You have an active social life, and a waiting list of people wanting to see you and spend time with you. We hold them off for as long as we can, but there's no getting between you and your grandmas and grandpas. There are SO many people who love you so much, and we're grateful to have them all in your life.

Your most recent accomplishments have been some serious attempts at scooting, laughter like we've never heard, and recognizing us from across the room. You're sleeping more at night, and starting to get on a bit of a schedule. We love seeing your big smiles and pretty soon that smile will include a tooth or two, but there are none yet. Even the dogs have captured your attention. Bath time is more and more fun now that you're almost sitting up on your own and playing with your rubby ducky. I see more bath toys in your future.
You also introduced your feet to your mouth, and you suck on your teeny toes every chance you get...in your carseat, on the changing table, on the floor, getting ready for the bath, in the crib. It is so incredibly cute to see you so focused on getting your toes in your mouth.

The taste of sweet success...

That determination will serve you well as you continue on the path to crawling and eventually walking. You're making more noises every day, and I even captured you saying "mama" for the first time on video but daddy says that I was just hearing things.

You are learning new things every day and growing faster than we can keep up (we just cleared out a whole load of clothes that you've already outgrown). Pretty soon you'll start eating solid food, and in a couple months we'll see if the vegetables I planted in our garden will grow into anything edible. But with all of those new, exciting changes come their own set of challenges. We're just taking it one day at a time and enjoying every minute.

We love you Emma!
Mommy and Daddy