Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Emily leaves her mark

In honor of Emily’s first birthday:

Emily leaves her mark on my calendar. My tightly structured schedules have devolved into bits of frenzied activity between meals, between naps, or while I’m carrying her over my shoulder. I’ve been amazed at the things I can accomplish while holding a wiggly 18 pounds in my arms.

Emily leaves her mark on my apartment. The office where I’d type research papers has transformed into the room where she eats and sleeps. Tupperware is strewn across my kitchen, and I find myself trying to locate my rice cooker because everything has shifted in the attempt to keep chemicals and sharp objects out of her constantly curious hands.

Emily leaves her mark on my body. The bite marks will fade and the hair will grow back, but the stretch marks will stay. And I like that. They are a physical reminder of where she came from and her connection to me.

Emily leaves her mark on my eating and cooking habits. I stir pureed fruit into pancake batter, and drop foods from my diet will set off gas pain when they get to her body.

Emily leaves her mark on my soul. I’ve learned to celebrate the small victories and blessings, ask for help when needed, strengthen my relationship with God, and give when I think I have nothing left to give. I’ve learned to love without qualifications, and it has changed me fundamentally.

It has been a wild and wonderful year, and I'm so grateful for all I've learned.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Some of the highlights from our trip to Omaha:

Emily's first trip to the zoo. Turns out she wasn't terribly interested, with the exception of the orangutan that was playing with a roll of paper towel (also one of her favorite hobbies), but we now know she is roughly the same height as a gentoo penguin.

Going on a trip to visit my grandma (who Emily hadn't met yet), and seeing that the nursing home she just moved to is really nice and has a lot of activities going on.

Just being together, and watching Emily be with her extended family. I especially enjoyed getting to see my brothers be uncles.

Other than that, my Christmas present to my mom was doing some of her family history and taking a trip to the temple together, and it was great being there with her for that (thanks, dad, for babysitting).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas 2009

On Christmas Eve, Emily and I joined our friends Brett, Lori, & Scotty for the Holy Eucharist Service at the National Cathedral. The service was lovely. Emily garnered many comments from those she interacted with about how it helped them think about Christ as a little child. Unfortunately, she might have gone too far with the realism of his being a baby by letting out a luscious burp in the middle of the sermon. Sorry about that, fellow worshippers (note that none of those positive comments came from those sitting near us - just those we talked to after).

For Emily's first Christmas, we did our own thing Christmas morning, and then headed to the Charles' home for a fondue dinner. Rob's cousin Amy and her husband Ryan were also in town and joined us for the dinner, and it was wonderful to catch up. Rob gave me an amazing present: he wrote me a song, and he has designated a certain part of our budget for date night/babysitter funds.

We decided to practice keeping the Christmas spirit all through the year by doing another Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa in Omaha. Among her presents was Emily's first baby doll. We're a little worried about her nurturing capacity, because she thinks the best use for the baby is to chew on it. Note to self: avoid producing a little sibling for her until she's outgrown the cannabalism stage.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I haven't written for a long time. First, I was too busy enjoying vacation, and then our computer crashed. I've got a lot of posts bubbling in my head, and hopefully they will come to life at some point (no promises). But for now, I want to say that it was absolutely wonderful having my whole family together in Omaha. It was the first time in four years we had all been in the same place at the same time, and the previous time was at my wedding, which isn't quite the same. It was wonderful to just sit around the dinner table together, enjoying each other's company. I loved watching each of them form their own relationship with Emily, and I've loved forming new relationships with them myself as we all move into the different stages of our lives.