Giving Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for this year. It's hard to believe that at this time last year I didn't even know I was pregnant yet. It's been a incredible year... here are a few things I'm thankful for (not in order of importance): ♥ A wonderful pregnancy. I loved being pregnant and since it was a huge part of the last year, I'm so thankful that it was a positive part of that year!

♥ Being surrounded by friends and family who love me and my little family.

♥ Meeting our little girl after 9 months of wonderful anticipation!

♥ Being blessed over and over by friends and their support -- especially during the "week of no power" during the hottest part of the summer. I had so many people offer me room in their air conditioned homes. It was huge blessing to me to have so many care about me and my pregnancy!

♥ The job changes for Jimmy that have moved us from a small town in VA to a smaller (technically) town in NC and all the blessings that have come from the move. We're still settling in, but thus far it's been a positive change in our lives (though we miss friends in VA for sure!).

♥ Though the first couple weeks of her life were difficult, Skylar Joy has been very healthy! I'm so thankful that she's healthy and growing!

♥ The beauty all around us every day! God's creation wows me in it's beauty. I'm so thankful that I've learned to stop and see those things (almost) every day now.

♥ I'm thankful for my husband who was amazing during labor & delivery and is an incredible father to our beautiful daughter! Seeing how he loves her reminds me of how much I love him and he loves me.

♥ Especially thankful for my little family. We're tiny at 3 people, but love abounds!

♥ Always thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus my Savior... And growing ever closer in my walk with Him.

Finally, I'm thankful for these wonderful images taken by the lovely, Nancy Noble of Nancy Noble Photography:

Until next time, Emily

New York Adventures!

I posted about the trip to and from NY, but not about the actual visit. So, here goes! We arrived Wednesday afternoon in Newark airport and met my Dad. Outside it was SNOWING (talk about a shock!) and we bundled up to head to the car. We headed to Panera for a quick lunch and then my Dad drove us to my childhood home in upstate New York. Here are a few pictures from the drive:  

Once there I unpacked some and waited for Mom and Luke to get home.... And then they were home:


Skylar didn't sleep well Wednesday night, so we slept in Thursday. We got up eventually to get ready to hang out with my wonderful friend Nancy!! I've known Nancy since I was in Kindergarten  She was my best friend growing up and I'm so glad we're still in each other's lives. I'm so blessed to have Nancy in my life. Nancy met Skylar and we talked and caught up for a while. Eventually we got down to taking photos. We tried to go outside but it was just TOO cold. We found some good light on the porch and I'm so happy with the photos I've seen thus far! I'll be posting separately with more pictures from the shoot -- so watch out for that, but there are a few in my 3 month note to Skylar.

Here's a quick picture I snapped of Nancy and Skylar:

Nancy left to make dinner for her husband and Lisamarie showed up soon after that. LM hadn't met Skylar yet either and I loved introducing her! Skylar is a little smiler and she grinned at Lisamarie (and at Nancy) so much! She loves meeting new people! Lisamarie, Skylar and I hung around the house, had dinner and ran to the grocery store for diapers and various other impulse buy items. I didn't get any pictures of LM and Skylar (sadness!), but here's one I grabbed at the end of the night:

(I adore you, Lisamarie!! I'm so glad we're friends!)

Friday was spent shopping with my Mom and Skylar for gifts for the two baby showers we were attending the next day (the main reason I was IN New York was to attend the showers). It was a fun day of shopping and looking at cute clothes and accessories. We laughed a lot! I love that the 3 of us had so much fun together. I cannot wait for the future when my daughter is a little bit more grown and the 3 of us can go on more outings!

Most nights Skylar & I used facetime with Jimmy. Skylar seemed to actually recognize Jimmy pretty well -- especially his voice. It was super cute:


Saturday dawned and Mom, Skylar and I got ready to head to Rachel's shower. After a few baby related delays and some traffic we made it to Rachel's shower! It was so great to see Rachel and celebrate her little one! I cannot wait to meet Sophie! Here's a fun picture of some of the preggo pictures of Rachel with Rob that were out on the table:

One of the activities at Rachel's shower was picking a card for Sophie for age 1-18 and writing a note for her. I thought that was such a neat idea! Mom wrote in the card for age 16 and I wrote in the one for age 3. I love how there are so many different things to do at showers! :) Mom and I had to leave before the shower was over to head to Nancy's shower.

Nancy's shower was an open house with everyone included! Girls, guys, kids! Everyone! Mom & I met some friends and family and hung out with Nancy and Jason. They aren't finding out the gender of their babe before birth, so there was much speculation about that at the shower. Here's the guess count at the end of the night (my guess was "boy"):

Hmmmm.... I'm pretty sure someone added 4 ticks on the girl side to even up the numbers. Hah..... No one really knows! Everyone has a 50/50 shot (except the college educated momma! She has a 70% chance of guessing correctly)! But we'll all know sometime in January! So exciting!

I hung out at the party for a while after it was over. I'm so thankful to Nancy's sister and brother in law for being such a gracious hosts! I loved spending a bit more time with Nancy and Jason. They are both awesome people and I cannot wait to meet their little person!

One thing I'm struck by lately is how many of my friends are having kids (or already have had kids). It's honestly super neat to be going through all of this with several friends! Nancy & Rachel are both good friends and I'm so excited to meet their little ones! Rachel's daughter should be born (hopefully) when we visit New York around Christmas time. I'll have to wait a bit longer to meet Nancy's little guy (or gal), but hopefully that will happen in the early spring! :)

The rest of my trip involved lots of people meeting Skylar. I loved sharing her with everyone at church and spending time with Lynn and Chuck (family friends that I've known since I was a kid) one evening. It always feels so great when people love on my little girl. Skylar also enjoys meeting new people and being social (hmmm, I wonder who she takes after?). On Sunday I was blessed to sing praises to God with my brother Luke as one of the worship team members. He is growing into such a wonderful young man. I'm super proud of my brother. Watching him with Skylar was a blessing as well. He's really good with her. Here are a few pictures of them together:


(Skylar was pretty enamored with Apples to Apples)

One other moment I really loved while in New York was when she was watching soccer with my dad:

Monday dawned and I worked quickly to pack up while waiting for my friend Stephanie to stop by with her three kids. After Steph and her kids arrived we hung out in the family room to catch up while the kids played with blocks and various toys. Steph's oldest, Jade, loved on Skylar quite a bit and it warmed my heart. Here are a couple photos from their interactions:


Monday afternoon Mom, Dad, Luke, Skylar and I traveled to Newark and met up with my grandfather and his friend Rita. We had dinner with them and then went back to Rita's house. My grandfather had just gotten power back and Rita's house was closer to the restaurant. Grandpa got to meet Skylar and held her. I don't have a picture of it, though! I need to get a copy of the pictures Luke took!

We headed to the airport soon after dinner and you can read the rest of the trip back to NC in this post.

It was really nice to catch up with so many people while I was in New York! I looooooved introducing so many people to my little girl! And Skylar was really good for most of the trip! It was kinda overwhelming to me to think about traveling without Jimmy, but I'm glad we were able to go and enjoy the time with family and friends! I look forward to the next trip to New York WITH Jimmy, though!

Until next time, Emily

3 Months Old!

Dear Skylar, It's your Mommy again! There's lots to tell you! Let's start with your medical victories: You had your first immunization shots and you rocked them! You had a little bit of a fever in the days following, but nothing terrible. Sleeping on mom and extra cuddles helped you get back to your normal self. You were so good in the doctor's office and really didn't even cry that much. I'm so proud of you, my brave girl!

You also had another cold this month, but handled it better than the first. This time you and Mommy were sick and your Dad didn't get the cold at all! We're both hoping that we'll be done with sickness for a while!

You discovered your hands this month, baby girl. You can't get enough of touching things with them. You also realized that you can bring your hands to your mouth and touch your own face with them. Watching you discover this was so fun and sweet. You also really like to put your fingers and hands in your mouth. At the beginning you would "capture" your left hand with your right and push it into your mouth. Now, a few weeks later, you can just move either hand into your mouth without much difficulty. You have grown so much even in just the last couple weeks!

Recently you touched your Daddy's face to feel the roughness of his 5 O'clock shadow! You were so interested in the way his face felts. It was really cute. You also grabbed Daddy's nose and laughed after you did! Watching you explore your world is so much fun!!

You are on the brink of really discovering your feet. It's so very close -- but I think you still don't really know that your feet are part of you! You definitely know your feet are there, though! And you try to touch them and play with them! It's so cute! You almost toppled out of your swing while reaching for your feet. Sometimes you scare your me a bit with your new abilities -- I'm not always ready for you being able to move so differently! But I'm so glad to see you changing and growing, little one!

You laugh every day now, sweet girl! Daddy and Mommy love it! We both do things to get you to laugh and delight in your giggling. Your smile and your laughs light up our world!

You've been standing up on your Daddy's lap with help for a long time (Mom forgot to mention when you first did it -- but thinks it was somewhere around 6 weeks old!). You now stand on your Daddy's lap all the time and often on your Mom's lap. You love exercising your legs and giggle as you stand -- excited that you were able to raise yourself up with help! It's so cute. You're not standing on your own yet, but Mommy & Daddy can't help but think you'll be doing it soon. I guess we'll see!

The final "first" for this month was flying!! You flew with your Mommy and were perfect! No fussing or being upset. You made me so proud, little one. People hate flying with babies, but no one heard a peep out of you! Good job!

I cannot wait to see what comes next, dear one. I love you so very much.

Here are a few pictures taken ON your "3 month birthday" by your Mommy's long time friend Nancy Noble Barnes:

(Mommy will have to do a whole post featuring more pictures from Nancy. There are so many great pictures to share! They're beautiful!)

Love always & forever,