Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Big News!

Big news...and a new big sister! The three of us are all so very, very excited.

It's been a long several weeks of first trimester pleasantries, and we'll just accept that as reason for my lack of posting for the past couple of months. (Which, though unfortunate, was just rather unavoidable, I'm sorry to say.) But, a few days after learning about our pregnancy...and before morning sickness and exhaustion really made their presence known...I noted some things that were on my mind in those early, early days. (As I recalled wishing I'd done last time!) 

I hope to share some reflection on the (now completed!) first trimester, but, for now, a look into my initial thoughts about the news of Baby Phillips #2, written sometime during the week of February 9th, 2014.

  • It feels entirely strange to be thinking about another child. For a year and a half, and many months before she was born, so many of our thoughts have been entirely about Emerson. To think about sharing our attention and splitting time with another child is hard to imagine. Not to mention the question of how to love another baby! I know every mother of more than one child would say that the love grows and there's plenty of it to go around, and in my heart, I know that. Truly. But, it's difficult to imagine right now...though I don't doubt that in 8 months I'll wonder how that could have possibly ever been a question.
  • I am already celebrating this limited time we have as a family of three. I want to cherish the moments we have together, big and small. In some ways, I'm sad to see it go. These past months have been so very precious.
  • With that said, I am overjoyed to be giving Emerson a sibling. She is undoubtably going to be an incredible big sister. The love she has for her baby cousin is obvious, and my heart almost bursts seeing them together. I can only imagine the joy I'll feel seeing her take care of a little brother or sister. It's hard for me to picture what the last 24 years of my life would've been like without my little sister, and I want that for my daughter. What a blessing siblings are. Emerson deserves that.

  • This was yet another lesson in trusting God's timing, rather than my own. Having a baby, much less having a baby during the month of our choosing, is largely out of our control. Although I've said before that I wanted a fall baby, we'd hoped for a baby in September. When the possibility of that came and went, I was reminded of the Lord having a plan for our family's expansion, and that that may look different than what I had in mind. When we learned that our baby would be coming in October, I was thrilled. And that made me remember my feeling right before we took our test the month before.... In hindsight, I was almost more sad about the possibility of no longer being a family of three, & of Emerson not being the baby anymore. I would've been happy with a pregnancy. I thought that's what I wanted. But, there was relief, too.... With the result of this pregnancy now, there is nothing but joy. The difference a month makes in the condition of my heart. The Lord knew I wasn't ready last month! Simple as that. His plan was better than mine. Parenting provides so many reminders that our life isn't under our control; God has a plan, and trusting Him is best.
  • Sharing this news with our friends is going to be different this time around. As I've become more aware of the struggles that so many face in creating their families, I am increasingly mindful to not take this experience...this blessing...for granted. It's going to be difficult to tell several loved ones, knowing the pain they've experienced waiting on their babies. I don't doubt that they'll share our joy...those are the kinds of people they are. But, I certainly don't want to contribute to their hurt. It's hard.
  • I feel confident...assured...calm. I've done this before, and although there is absolutely no guarantee that this pregnancy will go as smoothly as my last, there is a benefit in having been down this road, and somewhat knowing what I'm in for. More understanding than last time, anyway.
  • It's going to be difficult not to compare this pregnancy...this baby...to Emerson. I suppose in many ways that's natural, having experienced these things before. But, I hope to limit that...somewhat, anyway.
  • Bobby and I have discussed the interesting difference we'll feel with this baby...likely cherishing the moments of infancy a bit more, understanding now just how brief those days are...while at the same time, having an increased anticipation of the fun-filled toddler days we're enjoying now with Emerson!

  • Not long after Emerson was born, I said to Bobby that “I'd rather go through labor again tomorrow than go through months of morning sickness again”. I still feel that way. I am entirely nervous and non-excited about the likely miserable weeks of nausea I have ahead of me. (Particularly in the weeks before the news has been shared and I'm “suffering” in silence.) One doesn't soon forget the discomfort of those weeks, and I'm not looking forward to it. (Who would, right?) Still, I do have the benefit this time of knowing that (assuming that this pregnancy goes similarly to last, and I know there is no guarantee) there is light at the end of the morning sickness tunnel. With any luck, it won't last forever, and as I remember it, the weeks after that subsides are fun! I enjoyed being pregnant. I just have to make it through this.... The couple of mornings of nausea that I've had so far have been quite manageable. Perhaps it's the experience of knowing how to handle it, perhaps it's the benefit of getting to be home every morning now, perhaps it's the preemptive measures I've taken (you'd better believe I stocked up on all of the foods that helped last time on the first grocery shop after the positive test!)...or perhaps it's just too early in the game to say how bad it's going to get. Either way, here we go.
  • Emerson is already making this easier. Bless her heart. The first early morning I spent by the toilet, hearing her little calls for “mama” to rescue her from her crib, reminded me just why it is so very worth it to be sick. I get to be “mama”...again. When I'm so very tired in the evenings, her cuddles and kisses keep me going. That girl brings me strength in a much different form than I had last time, and I'm grateful she's here. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Emerson: 18 Months

January 1, 2014

  • You are wearing 12-18 month shirts and 18 and 24-month pants and pajamas. 
  • Your vocabulary has grown incredibly in the past few weeks. You "talk" in what certainly sound like sentences, and you speak with a purpose. It's such fun to talk with you! 
  • One of your latest words is "knee" (please). You usually take some prompting ("how can you say it nicely?"), but you usually say it following a request, with a smile on your face, pleased with yourself for doing what we've asked and knowing that what you've asked for will now be given. 
  • Squatting is a new position for you. When you're on the floor playing, you'll squat for a while. Feet flat on the floor, knees bent and bottom down. It doesn't look particularly comfortable, but it's an easy way for you to get up and going quickly...and you're not in the same place for long!
  • You have discovered feeding Royal. Frequently, while Mommy is fixing dinner, you'll go to his bowl and pick up pieces of his food, one by one. You feed him piece by piece, sometimes throwing them on the floor in front of him for him to pick up. You squeal with delight when he eats it, and he plays along with you so well. You really love that dog, and he is so sweet with you.
  • "Do you love Mommy?" ...  (nods) "Mama. ... Dada." "You love Daddy?" (nods head) "Rah-rah." "You love Royal?" (smile and nod)
  • You know when you're "working hard" doing a task, and will often rub the back of your hand across your forehead and say, "whew!" It's quite adorable. 
  • "Uh-oh" is one of your favorite things to say...when something has actually happened, and sometimes just because. You like to hear yourself say it, I think. So do I.
  • You love to play "get you", which is the result of Mommy saying "I'm going to get you!" and then proceeding to chase you down the hall on hands and knees. Now, you request it...crawling on the floor, pointing in the direction you wish to go, and requesting "geh-choo!"
  • You're stacking blocks, a few at a time...and then get bored and move on to something else.
  • You enjoyed making bubble "Santa beards" with Daddy during bath time. Adorable.
  • After dinner, on more than one occasion, you've run around the island in the kitchen...over and over again! Sometimes being chased, or chasing Royal, or just for the fun of it. This game seems to be most fun for you when your clothes are off right before bath time. 
  • Being nude is preferential to you these days, which has made changing clothes and changing your diapers more interesting. Thank goodness that we very infrequently have somewhere we have to be or have to do, with any real sense of urgency. You would just rather run around the house without clothes on than do much of anything! And your increasing need to express your independence most often comes in the form of refusing to get dressed until you're good and ready. Noted.
  • The speed of which your diaper must be changed has greatly increased, too. You just don't have the patience to lay still for long...you're on the go!
  • Napping in your crib has gotten so much easier. You usually want a book to look at before you fall asleep, but you're getting really good at letting yourself rest for a while in your bed. 
  • Nighttime is hard. You go to sleep so easily at bedtime. We nurse and pray, and you are happy to lay down with little fuss after. Which makes it all the more confusing when you wake during the night, entirely unhappy to be by yourself. Mommy has spent a good many nights sleeping on the floor next to your crib. You complain...dramatically...as soon as I try to quietly tiptoe back to my room, tearfully and constantly requesting "baah, baah" and reaching for your back. You lay down quickly, seemingly happy enough to be in bed...as long as Mommy is gently patting your back. It's made for some long nights, for all of us. But, for whatever reason (growth spurt? hunger? separation anxiety? developmental milestone?) you really need to be close to Mommy right now, and I know that meeting that need for you is important. Another phase, that I'm sure will pass...one of these nights! 
  • Food is still not of interest to you in the same way that it used to...especially at dinnertime. Which forces us to wonder if you're waking up hungry in the middle of night, and thus your desire for Mommy to be close by? Who knows?! 
  • When you're asked a question, your "no" has become quite clear. It's fun hearing a word so obviously...we're really talking together! Your opinion is heard loud and clear these days, little one!
  • "What's your name?" ... "Ehhhmm....", you say, pointing to yourself. Your voice trails a bit after the initial "eh" sound, as though you know there's more to it, but you haven't quite figured it out. Precious, I tell you.
  • Oh, do you love to dance! You've got some fun moves.
  • You are really reading the pictures in your books. You know what's happening on the pages of your favorite books, and you know what's coming next. In one of your favorite bedtime books that Daddy reads, you make motions along with the words of each page. You see the picture of the baby on her Daddy's feet ("dancing on Daddy's feet, cha-cha hugs"), and you start wiggling like a dance before even hearing the words. You know your books, and seeing your love of reading so early on makes me so proud. 
  • When we pray before dinner, you usually bow your head with us. And when we hold hands before Sunday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house, you want to hold hands, too, and patiently listen to our prayer. More often than not, you even say "amen" at the end. "Ehh-mehhhn", you say. How the Lord must smile to hear you. We certainly do. 
  • You have quite the mouthful of teeth these days! Teething must be relatively easy for you...for a good many of your teeth, your disposition has been so unchanged, I haven't even noticed the teeth were on their way. You're a tough cookie...and you look so adorable with your toothy smile.

Emerson, I am more amazed at you every day. Watching you grow is such a gift and a joy.
It doesn't feel as though you can possibly be a year and a half old already...and yet it feels like you've been a part of my life forever. I am so in love with you, and the person you are becoming.
What a blessing it is for me to have you as my little girl. I love you.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Emerson: 16 Months & 17 Months

November 1, 2013 & December 1, 2013

  • You are wearing primarily 12-18 month shirts and 18-24 month pants. (2T is just ahead and that seems unreal.)
  • You have an increased interest in "dada"! He's a fun guy to be around, you're discovering, and you regularly enjoy playing with the Legos, coloring, wrestling, chasing Royal, or reading together.
  • Coloring is an activity you really enjoy, and we spend lots of time standing at your little table in the playroom doing so. You're learning that we use crayons "only on paper", and have tested the boundaries a little by seeing what happens when the crayons go on your little car or the bathroom door.
  • Your vocabulary grows daily, it seems, and you have several words that we've learned to recognize, including: "dih-dih" (cheesestick), "nuh, nuh" (milk), "dackt" (jacket), "di-di" (t.v.), "ah-gah" (outside), "Doh" (George, as in "Curious George") and "Da-da" (for "Daniel Tiger", not to be confused with "dada" as in "Daddy". It's all about context.) It's so very fun understanding you and feeling more and more as though we're conversing. 
  • Eating is becoming less and less interesting to you, particularly at dinner time, but when you are hungry though the day, you often lead Mommy to the fridge for a snack, clearly pointing out your preferences and what you (or, more often, don't) want to eat.
  • We've taken lots of afternoon walks with Grandpa ("Bah-bah!"), seeing dogs, looking for squirrels, struggling to keep your hat on (Mommy wants you to wear it; you usually would prefer not), and learning to look both ways before crossing the street ("are there any cars coming that way"..."nooooo".)
  • You are becoming good at brushing your teeth! You usually suck most of the toothpaste off before the brush touches a single tooth, but you enjoy the process, and usually request it by pointing to your toothbrush as you get out of the bathtub. When it's time to spit, you make the cutest spitting noise, but nothing comes out. I suppose one day it will; we should be prepared for that!
  • You've started napping in your crib! Your naps have been quite consistent (around 10:30 each morning), and although it takes a while for you to wind down (usually requesting a few books in your bed), you usually take a nap for an hour or so.
  • We've developed a new nighttime routine over the past couple of months, and the consistency seems to help you prepare for bed. We watch half of an episode of "Daniel Tiger" (where Daniel gets ready for bed, obviously...yes, the same one every night), and you brush your teeth when Daniel does. Then, we change your diaper and put on your pajamas while Daddy reads a story or two. You nurse again and then to your crib you go. You almost never fuss when going to bed and you're usually asleep quickly.
  • Bouncing on the big exercise ball is a new game. Someone (usually Daddy or Grandpa) holds you, and bounces you nice and high. You get such a big smile on your face, and when the bouncing stops, you exclaim "geh! geh!" (again!). 
  • "Nooo" is a very clear word of yours, and it's (usually) precious to hear you say it, because it is so very obvious that you know exactly what it means. It hasn't begun to manifest itself it a defiant kind of way, yet. Rather it's just been a way for you to show your understanding of things. ("Is the bear under the blanket?"..."Nooooo.")
  • You continue to be so social at the store, waving to other children or grown-ups who show an interest. You enjoy people and are happy to show affection. I love that about you.
  • Baths are becoming fun for you again.  You're content to play with a few toys and pour water out of the empty shampoo bottles. You recently discovered that you can lay on your tummy with most of your body submerged, and you think that's pretty great. Our little fish!
  • You have begun to really play with Royal! ("Rah-rah!") You enjoy petting him and being around him. When he's close by, and you know you're at risk of being swiped by his wagging tail, you put your head down a little and prepare for impact. It doesn't bother you a bit, though, most of the time. Sometimes, however, it's as if you're "telling" on him, if he's somehow made you upset. Sometimes big brothers can do that.
  • No one elicits the same kind of excitement from you as Grandma does. When she comes to the door, you smile so big and usually reach for her immediately. It makes her so incredibly happy, and I don't blame you a bit for loving her so much.
  • You are running! Your little legs have become so much sturdier and when you want to move quickly, you can. 
  • You have this little mischievous look, with your chin down, and eyes looking up. It's a playful smirk that we see quite often. You love to play and tease and your expressions are really showing your personality lately.
  • We borrowed the book Creature ABC from the library that we read countless times together. There was a photo of a wild animal of every page, for each letter of the alphabet. You loved it and requested that it be read "geh, geh!" (Again, again!) It was fun to see you recognizing each animals, making their sounds or imitating their movements. You were able to pick out many of the animals from a chart in the back of the book. What a smart girl you are!
  • "Hmmm" is one of your latest new sounds. You often put a finger up to your mouth to, as if trying to decide something. "What would you like to eat from the fridge?" ... "Hmmm." You know when there are choices and decisions to make, and you almost always have an opinion about them!
  • You still like to "go sneak up on them" and slowly creep toward whoever is around. You bend your knees, walk slowly, and get a sweet smile that says, "I'm coming to get you!" Tickling is the usual goal once you've snuck up on someone. 
  • You've had a couple of successful potty efforts, usually right before your morning bath. You are definitely aware of the sensations of needing to "go potty", but don't seem in any hurry to master the potty chair...though you do seem so proud when you've been able to make something happen. Baby steps!

What fun months these have been with you, Emerson. 
You are becoming more and more of a companion for Mommy, as we play and visit and explore together. 
I cannot imagine a day without you...what incredible joy you bring!
Your sweet spirit and sense of humor and tender heart are becoming so clear, and I'm thrilled to keep watching you grow. I am so proud to have you as my daughter.
I love you, precious!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Welcome, Isaac Walker!

On Saturday, my sister welcomed her son, Isaac Walker, into the world. Our family got to meet him about six hours after he was born (on his due date, no less!), and we all fell in love. 

Emerson watched her new cousin with wonder...& a smidgen of jealousy, what with having to share Grandma and all. But, seeing Emerson and Isaac together melted my heart. What fun they are going to have!

I have a nephew! And, I'm so excited to get know him more. 
Congratulations, sister. He is just perfect.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Baby F"

If I don't post this quickly, I'll be too late.... My sister, Rachel, is due with her first baby on Saturday!

Rachel and her husband, Brice, chose not to learn Baby's gender until delivery...which, although it will make for a most special surprise on Baby's birth day, has made for one incredibly anxious aunt-to-be. (Obviously, we're talking about me here. But, this isn't about me, so I'll move on.) The entire family has been so very, very excited to meet "Baby F" for months...whatever he or she may be! 

I don't know whether "Baby F" is a boy or a girl. And, I don't know what he or she will be named. But, I do know this....

"Baby F" is going to be one dearly loved child, with two incredible people for parents, who I know will work hard to make sure their baby has everything he or she needs, who will teach their child to know & love the Lord, and who will provide a home full of love & laughter for their son or daughter. 

I know my sister is going to be a wonderful mom. (And, I know that I'm going to make a pretty great aunt!)

Rachel, you've made for one beautiful pregnant lady! I'm so proud of you, I love you so much, and I just can't wait to meet my niece or nephew...& see Emerson with her new cousin! 

Now, let's (and, by "let's", I most definitely mean "you") get this show on the road!
You've got this, sis.

Decking the Halls

I must admit, I pictured decorating the house for Christmas going a little differently this year. I'm not entirely sure what, exactly, I had imagined, but I was certainly a little naive about the experience with a toddler.

The truth is, one-year-olds don't care much about holiday tradition or sentiment. Not to mention having a short attention span and the ability to move constantly...and with startling speed.

Decking the halls is usually a bit more relaxing and sentimental than it was this year. Still, we made some precious memories. Sweet Emerson helped her daddy put a couple of ornaments on the tree (and then took a few off, as well, but that's neither here nor there), and we decorated Emerson's small tree in the playroom with ornaments she was given for her first Christmas last year.

I hope to post more soon, and backtrack a bit to document all the fun we've had in the past couple of months. But, I don't want to forget these little details of the past week, as we've enjoyed being cozy at home as the first (big!) snow fell outside.
  • Unpacking the Christmas ornaments, enjoying the memories from the newest ones (from our Colorado vacation this summer) and tearing up as I unwrapped last year's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, and the ball with the tiny pink-painted footprint we made with our baby girl.
  • Emerson standing at the window with excited exclamations about the "no" (snow) outside. 
  • Listening to Amy Grant's "Tennessee Christmas" and remembering listening to the cassette tape with that song as I fell asleep as a little girl...and then seeing my own daughter happily dancing down the hall as she heard the song herself.
  • Peeking around the corner of the living room to see Emerson curiously fidgeting with the ornaments at the bottom of the tree. (The non-breakable ones, that is. The fragile ornaments are at the top, making the entire thing a bit top-heavy. If the thing falls over, it probably won't even be Emerson's fault.)

We have much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks as we continue to celebrate our Savior's birth, enjoying the magic of Christmas with newfound wonder as we experience it this year through the eyes of a child...ours. What joy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

This Season

The other day, Bobby remarked a sentiment that echoed a thought I'd recently had. (I love it when that happens!) He mentioned how fun it is this season to be able to remember Emerson at this time last year, and compare those experiences to what we're experiencing now. 

Last fall brought some of the first memories we made together as a family of three, including a trip to the local farm and pumpkin patch. We were becoming more comfortable taking Emerson out of the house, and we were ready to enjoy the cooler weather with our 3-month old baby girl. We had a good time at the farm last year, but I clearly remember watching the families with toddlers and thinking, "that'll be us next year...what fun that will be!

And now, here we are. As we walked around the pumpkin patch last weekend with our toddler, I found myself remembering with a happy heart our time there last October, amazed at how much that baby of ours has grown.

A little look at then (left: October 2012) and now (right: October 2013):




As we approach the holiday season, I suspect I'll be doing quite a bit of this sort of reflecting...cherishing the memories of those early months & new holidays we celebrated with our baby, all the while overwhelmed by the joy that will come from doing this with her all over again.

The fun really has only just begun!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Emerson: 15 Months

October 1, 2013
  • You are primarily wearing 18-month clothing, with a few 12-month tops.
  • Your nighttime sleep has gotten a bit better. You're going to sleep very easily at bedtime, and have slept until the 5 o'clock hour a couple of times. It's progress.
  • You have continued the habit from last month, and lost interest in eating much food at mealtime. You graze and nibble throughout the day, with grapes, animal crackers, peanut butter crackers, and mandarin oranges among your current favorites. Our suspicion is that this is contributing to your lack of sleep at night time...hungry, perhaps? 
  • Nap time has become much more consistent. Around 10:30 a.m., you seem "ready", and when I ask "are you ready for a nap?", you nod your head and move to the couch. We nurse, and you usually fall asleep easily within minutes. Your nap usually ranges from an hour to an hour and a half, and you wake-up refreshed and ready for your lunch.
  • We've gone to story time at the library a few times now, and it's such fun to see you taking it all in. The new surroundings, the other children, the activities.... You seem to prefer to cautiously observe a new experience for a while before jumping right into it, and that's something your mommy can relate to. You seem to enjoy yourself, though, especially at the sand table and the felt board.
  • You read lots and lots of books! "Buh-buh", you say, and then bring one to Mommy's lap. "Turn, and sit", I say...and then you do. I think you would read books with someone all day if you could.
  • You are increasingly expressing your opinions and making your desires clear. What you want (or don't) want to do, or do (or don't) want to eat. You're a communicator, and get such a look of delight when you're being understood.
  • When we read books, it's seems that you're truly understanding certain stories, intentionally choosing specific books, and turning to your favorite pages...and quickly skipping over the ones that aren't.
  • We watch PBS in the morning right after your wake-up and then again in the evening, usually while Mommy gets dinner started in the kitchen. You seem to need that "quiet time" late-afternoon, and you zone out for a bit while you watch "monkey George" (Curious George). 
  • You've tried to play with Royal a couple of times...clearly trying to get his attention by talking to him or batting at this fur. He largely ignores you, which is probably best at this point, but you sure do like your puppy!
  • When you want to go outside, you point to the door, nod your head, and say "ah-gah, ah-gah". Your intentions are quite clear, and you repeat over and over again until we oblige. 
  • Dumping, sorting, & putting away various things (crayons, clothes, blocks, etc.) are some of your favorite hobbies.
  • You loved to be chased by your popcorn popper toy, and you run around the living room as you're followed. Grandma created this game and you love it.
  • Shadows continue to be a fun discovery, and our afternoon and evening walks have given plenty of opportunity to explore them.
  • Your speech sounds more and more like real words, versus baby babble. You have deliberate, meaningful vocabulary, and it's fun to be communicating together and understanding each other.
  • You've moved forward (vs back) on your bike a few times...you're really riding! Such a big girl! 
  • Your hair is so "flowy"...long and blond, with the most beautiful little waves of curl at the ends. 
  • You are a little "parrot" these days, repeating words as you're able and mimicking sounds, words, behaviors and actions. You are so curious and interested in figuring out this world of yours.
  • You're moving more and more quickly and with such confidence...often running!
  • You exert your desire to do things for yourself frequently, but are still so cuddly...navigating between your own need for independence and the comfort of "Mom". 
  • You readily give kisses, especially in the morning, to Mommy and Daddy. And when one of us gets a kiss, the other must, too. You are quite affectionate and we cherish that.
  • When you are ready to go outside or to the car, you often deliver Mommy's shoes and then stand at the garage door. A girl on a mission, who knows the process!
  • Stickers provide all sorts of entertainment! You place them all over yourself, Mommy's legs, Royal's back.... And you do it with such a look of focus and concentration. It's a serious job!
  • Nursing is still a regular habit. We nurse when you wake-up, before nap time, and before bed...and then sometimes when you wake in the middle of the night. Occasionally, it'll happen again during the day, but that's primarily a matter of boredom or needing comfort. You wiggle and squirm, though, and make things interesting. It's still something that you enjoy, and I'm glad to be able to let you slowly wean as you're ready.
  • You are beginning to show interest in cow's milk and at least have a few sips from a cup each day. Baby steps.
  • You have your very own potty chair! It's a bit early for you to seriously use it, and we're not really trying. But, you know exactly what it is and seem proud to have a potty of your own. No success yet, but the day is coming! It's good practice for you to make yourself comfortable there!
  • You love to "creep" and "sneak up" on people. You crouch down, and get this sneaky look in your eyes, and walk slowly up to your target. It's adorable and makes you quite proud.
  • You have lots of cute expressions. One current favorite of Daddy's is what he calls your "ghost face". Your eyes get wide, your mouth opens, and you stretch the skin underneath your nose. Quite appropriate, given the season.
  • Spinning is a new trick of yours. You hold out an arm to your side, using that for balance, and you twirl around and around...often when you're overwhelmed with excitement when Grandpa comes to play.

The Lord gave you such a beautiful spirit, Emerson. Each day, we are shown a little more 
of your blossoming personality that He created, 
and we are grateful.
You are a precious gift, and dearly loved, sweet Emerson Blair.