Beautiful, inside and out

Parenting has by far been the most rewarding, most insanity inducing experience I could have ever hoped for.  I question my ability daily.  And with the world pulling in one direction and me pulling in the other, I imagine being a child is rather difficult too.  I often forget to think about Emma’s side of things, to take her personality and short life experience into consideration.  I just want to do “it” “right.”  Whatever that means.  I’ve been reminded recently that I need to spend less time reading parenting books and fretting (although I do find many parenting books quite helpful) and more time on my knees praying.  As much control as I think I have or want to have it just isn’t so.  And the only way to impart wisdom and truth to my child is to be soaked in it myself.  Oh, my dear sweet girls.  I hope that they are able to become “healthy” adults despite my shortcomings.

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Portia

My adorable puppy made it on one of the funniest websites ever.
Here’s her picture.

Family of four

Our friend Ben will not admit to his great talents. He is a gifted photographer and just one of the nicest, funniest guys you’ll ever meet. He took this picture for us and I adore it.

I look at it and I still have to pinch myself sometimes. It seems that this baby thing is really happening.  After all these years, after the loss and disappointment, it hardly seems possible.  And yet here we are.  It’s amazing and surreal and I’m taking it in with gratitude one day at time.

 

Thanks Ben- you will always be awesome in my book.

Sympathy Weight

Emma’s gaining “sympathy weight.”

 

What do you think, boy or girl?

 

It’s a, it’s a…

Horse!?

Makes sense, giving birth to animals runs in the family.  I’m pretty sure Portia thinks I birthed her.

Thur. March 27th, 2008: NJ/CA

Our last day in NJ was a day of lounging and packing.  The rain held out until Thursday.  It was nice to relax and rush off to the airport.  I really love my cousin and his family.  I wish I was able to visit with them more, but I am so thankful that we both make an effort to see each other about once a year.  That’s pretty good since I can’t remember when I last saw any of my other cousins- at least 5 years ago.

Emma and her cousins Tyler (the tall one), Miles, and Antonia… Tyler was 3 when he was the ring bearer for our wedding.

Emma and NJ cousins

Wed. March 26, 2008: NY/NJ

Emma’s first Broadway show; Mama Mia. Quite a fun experience. Okay show. Emma LOVED all the music and theatrics. It was a refined day. We started with a visit to MOMA (museum of modern art). Emma received a listening tour and really absorbed a lot of the information. She really seems to have an appreciation for art. Being a “modern” art museum there were some pieces that I didn’t care for but wondered about Emma’s reaction. We approached a painting that was a canvas painted white. That’s all, just white. I asked Emma what she thought about this particular piece. She responded, “It’s some kind of masterpiece.” She didn’t know what kind but it’s hanging in this museum, so it must be. Right?

After the museum we walked to a fun restaurant called “Europa” and then proceeded to the Winter Garden theater on Broadway. Emma was enraptured with all of it. The fanfare, the lights the music, the dancing. It wasn’t my favorite show, and it was a bit mature for a 6 year old, but it was so wonderful to watch her experience it all. I enjoyed that the most.

That evening John and Jess had their babysitter come over and the four of us went to a nice dinner. John and Jessica and wonderful, gracious and kind people. But they are also incredibly smart. Over dinner we talked economics and education. They’re both MIT grads. They have a lighter side too, it was a so nice to have a “grown up” night.

After dinner I began to think about the next day. We were heading back to Cali. Sigh. Such a nice visit, I am

going to miss them. I wish they lived closer.

Bye

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Off to New Joysy!  Yippie.

Redeemed

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood recently. More specifically, about my relationship with my mother. My mother and I had a very strained relationship. When I was just a little older than Emma I can honestly say I didn’t care for my mother. Up until that point I had tried so very hard to gain my mother’s love. To no avail. And so I returned her coldness and wanted only to be away from her. I know it sounds terrible, but that was just the beginning. As I grew into an adolescent my dislike turned into an ugly hatred. When I left for college I was leaving for good.

Here’s where the redemption begins. When I left and would only come home when absolutely necessary I think my mom realized I wasn’t coming back unless she took a step toward me. We didn’t have any sort of dramatic sit down, but once I saw her making some effort I returned in kind. Forgiveness was never spoken of but it was given and received. It has been a blessing to have a relationship with my mother. As I get older I see the great value of this relationship, though it still has it’s difficulties.

The complete redemption though is in my relationship with Emma. I really had no expectations, no way of even imagining what my relationship would be like with my daughter. But every time, she calls out to me, runs to my arms and relaxes in the comfort of my embrace I feel redeemed. All the years of pain over my mothers lack of love comes back as healing a hundred fold in each sweet little kiss. I am deeply grateful to my Savior for this precious gift. How great a redeemer, how gracious our Lord.

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Hike 16

Last week David had Monday off like MANY people did. We wanted to do something fun but without all the people. In Southern California, this is quite a feat. Sometime back I bought this book , and we used it for our inspiration.  The book is great,  tells you how long the trails are, approximately how long it will take, even the elevation gained.

We chose the 3 mile Ocean View- Canyon View Loop, in the Zuma/Trancas Canyons, near/in Malibu.

It was an great trip.  There were very few other people out and the hike was scenic and even a little bit of a challenge (we gained 600ft in elevation).  We even talked Uncle Timmy into coming with us.

Emma was a trooper, only occasionally asking for a break.

We also had decided to take Portia.  She’s a BIG dog.  Some would even say she’s a bit portly.  So we thought it’d be good to bring her along for the exercise.  She was also a trooper but near the end if we even stopped for a second she was on flat on ground, down for the count.  For the rest of the week she walked around the house like she’d been beat up.

The Artist

Ansel Adams of the 21st century…
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