Emma's on her way to 3!

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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.