Thursday, December 31, 2009

She Said Yes!

Three years ago today, as the clock struck midnight, Jeremy asked me to be his wife. And so the adventure began!

It was such a wonderful and romantic whirlwind romance. We met in 2006, married in 2007, and Emerson was born in 2008. We've spent 2009 enjoying our new family and all of our many blessings. Here's hoping 2010 will be a happy and healthy year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tiny Dancer

For my sister:

"Hold me close, young Tony Danza!"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Three Gifts

Jeremy and I spent lots of time talking about what we want Christmas to look like for Emerson. Instead of massive amounts of presents under the tree, we decided (with a little help from a friend) that since baby Jesus received three gifts from the Wise Men, three was a good amount to go with. So this year, we started a tradition that we hope to continue for good: three gifts from mom and dad and one gift from Santa. Of the three "mom and dad" gifts, one will be a "want" and one will be a "need", leaving a little flex room for the third gift. We feel that toning down on the gifts will help us focus on teaching Emerson about the real reason for the season.

Opening a special gift from mom and dad before leaving for Chicago.

On Christmas Eve, we traveled to see my family and stayed for four days. It was a whirlwind of fun and family activities. Lots of good food too!

Watching the squirrels and birds outside on Christmas morning with Grandpa.

Saying "Hello!" to a special new friend from Uncle Adam.

Riding in her new sled from Grandma.

Unwrapping the last of the presents once we got back home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hat Head

When Emerson was really young, she loved her hats. Then she went through a phase where she hated having anything on her head. Now, we're back to loving all kinds of hats. She has even mastered the word "hat" and says it while touching her head! Smart cookie!

Emerson wearing the turkey hat my mom's friend made her.

Wearing the knit hat my mom bought her.

Looking cute wearing mom's hat.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Treat

We have a very long driveway, so we pay to have it plowed. (Our one luxury!) However, Jeremy does go out and do the back door and he creates a path to the garage. The other day, while down the drive getting the mail, Emerson and I watched him create a special surprise.

Jeremy was even able to use the leftover from the pumpkins for the eyes, nose and buttons. I knew it was too early to throw away pumpkins!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Critter Barn

Jeremy and I had never been to our local Critter Barn, but when we were reminded of their Live Nativity, we decided to make time to go. Despite the frigid temps, we were able to see lots of animals and had a great time. The only letdown (I seemed to be the only one who was disappointed) was that the Live Nativity only takes place at certain times even though their flyer said it was on-going.

Checking out all the cats. Emerson was excited even though we have a cat at home.

Petting the bunnies.

Saying "Hi!" to the lonely pigs.

The highlight by far: holding the baby ducks and chicks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Tradition

Ever since trying to keep Emerson's name a secret, I have had an obsession with all things Emerson. I love to see her name in print and I love to purchase items with her name on them. This is a hard thing to do--her name is unusual enough that most things that we have with her name on them, we've had specially made.

This weekend, while at the mall putting the finishing touches on our holiday shopping, we decided to buy a Christmas ornament and have all of our names put on it. We decided to do this each year, making it a fun, new holiday tradition! Bonus: Each year, we have a cute ornament to add to the tree!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Families Helping Families

This is a program that my husband's radio station is sponsoring again this year. You can nominate a family that is in need this holiday season or you can volunteer to help a family that is in need. For some of us, this past year has brought job loss, health issues and unexpected expenses. Others have arrived now in December doing just fine, or in rare cases, better that before. If you live in the West Michigan area and know of a family who has needs, big or small, this holiday season, head over to to submit their story. At the website, you can also find information on how you might be able to help one of these families.

If you don't live in the area, then I encourage you to take some time this holiday season and make yourself aware of those around you. Does a neighbor need some help? Is there a family at church that you could babysit for so the parents have some quality time? Do you have a couple extra items on your pantry shelf that could be donated to the local shelter? Does someone in the office look like they could use a quick "pick-me -up" conversation? The list of ways to help is endless.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

14 months

Emerson Grace, 14 months

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Parade of Lights

Last night, we went downtown to take in the holiday parade. I remember last year was freezing. Yesterday it was quite pleasant and we were all dressed much more appropriately for the weather! Emerson was awake this year and really enjoyed, the dogs and the music being favorites. We were so engrossed in watching the parade (and watching Emerson watch the parade) that we didn't take any pictures of the entries. There's always next year!

Getting all bundled up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trimming the Tree

This past Sunday we put up our Christmas tree. Seeing as Emerson is just 1, we didn't know what to expect. Jeremy and I were able to get the tree up while Emerson played, but we did wait and put up the ornaments while she napped. She woke up and was enthralled when she saw the completed tree all lit up. She has been great so far--lots of exclaiming and wanting to touch a couple certain ornaments. We have let her touch a couple and this seems to pacify her so far. Here's hoping the tree stays a special "Oooohh!" in the room.

Looking from a far.....

Playing with the couple "approved" ornaments.