Dear Emerson.

Seriously. Could you look any more like your father? Bruce genes are the strongest genes I have ever known. You, my child, are not anything like I ever imagined you looking. You are SO MUCH cuter. You will turn 6 months old next week. I have no idea how we suddenly have a 6 month old child and not a baby anymore (I know...you are still a baby). But you are almost sitting up for more than 30-45 seconds at a time, though you still face plant if there is a toy you really want in sight; you are starting to commando crawl around on your belly if there's something to push off behind your feet and something worth crawling to in front of you. Next week, you will get to try some real food, which I know you are excited about because you keep trying to get your hands in everything your dad and I are eating if you're around it! You are growing up TOO FAST and you are precious to me little girl.
Your mama loves you, xoxo.


Getting by

Recently I've been feeling like I haven't really been doing anything other than just getting by - in most areas of life: sleep, sticking to my exercise routine, sticking to my budget, work, keeping my house clean, etc. I know that that is okay and that some days/weeks/months/phases of life are just about surviving and letting everything else go to the wind while you __(fill in the blank)__. For me (us, really) that blank has been spending time as a family and with Emerson for the few short awake minutes we get with her before her bedtime at night and before she goes to Beth's in the morning. Sometimes that not really doing anything trickles down into even the smallest areas of life. Insert: recycling, giving back, supporting, living outside of myself - these things are all wrapped into one in my mind.

Gone are the days of roommates leaving me notes inside the peanut butter jar that they threw in the trash can to just leave it there instead of digging it out and cleaning it like they knew I would. Recently, if the recycling bin in the kitchen was full instead of emptying it into the larger one outside, I would just throw something away. In fact TODAY was trash/recycling day, and I noticed that Terry didn't get a chance to take them down to the curb like he normally does, but I didn't take them down either. Today! Earth day! I didn't even recycle the right day on EARTH DAY. Get it together Ellen, be a good steward!

Then as I perused my daily blogs, I read this. Let's not be surprise that I was inspired by this, I feel like I am inspired by Tara Whitney EVERY time I read her blog. Which is daily. If I ever come home saying I have a great idea, Terry's first guess is most likely that my great idea was probably inspired by someone else, and if he hears it was from a blog, he's going to guess it was her. (And the best part is...I am a total blog stalker of hers. I have never, not once, in my ... years(?) of reading her blog left a comment. Silly me! Blog writers love comments, it inspires us - at least me - to keep doing this instead of going weeks without blogging, oops. Yes Katie Tison, I know you are out there!!! Perhaps if enough of you blog stalkers comment, I'll make myself comment on TW's blog also. And I might blog more often. Perhaps.) And here is a shout out to some other inspiring people that I blog stalk: here, here, and here. Anyway. Back to the point. I was inspired, and I want to be doing more than just getting by. I mean, how do things like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch exist without me even knowing? And these bags, yes please! And did you see how she used little silicone cupcake holders to hold snacks? Please let me be a cool and thoughtful mom...heck, person!

[picture: unrelated, but precious :)]

I do my part in small ways for sure, but I would like to commit to those small ways and make those ways habit rather than just luck or happenstance. I recycle my plastic grocery bags when I forget to bring my re-usable ones, and on good days, I recycle all things recyclable. But I still use plastic tupperware, and I still use Ziploc bags like they are going out of style - though I do reuse the ones that I send Emerson's bottles or extra clothes in in her diaper bag, that's one step! I don't want to over-commit or I know I'll end up doing nothing. So here's to the Bruces figuring out what it is that we are passionate enough about that we can stick to and do. If it's being more than the average recycler, or helping provide clean water, or sponsoring a child, or __(fill in the blank)___, great - as long as we are inspired, and as long as we are doing more than just getting by most days. Because we are called to live life, and to live life abundantly.


Easter Dress

Per many requests - the obligatory Easter dress picture - which, by the way, I worked hard for (on ebay) - and then we (gasp!) didn't go to church in Emory, so she literally put the dress on for this picture and took it off - you can tell by her sleepy eyes that it was early in the morning. So. If you see this dress again next year...do. not. judge. me.
Also, she got a pretty stinkin' cute Easter basket this year filled with fun toys from Haba, which I scored from The Mini Social, which I love, and a cute dress from her daddy.

Barnes & Noble Inspiration

Today is our three year anniversary. Three years! Didn't we just meet in high school yesterday? Wasn't I just giving 'my little Terry Bruce' rides to his exams because he moved from California and didn't have his license yet? Nope, that was a long time ago - and time has been flying ever since - but these have been fabulous three years! I could go on and on...but I won't...happy anniversary T, don't want to make you cry at work today :)

[yes, i know you have seen this picture on the blog already, but it's the only one i have from our wedding on the computer. beggars can't be choosers. feeling the need to reminisce with us, you can check out Kevin Milz - we are all over it!]

In honor of three years, we took the day off work yesterday to stay at home and relax (yes, our lives are that exciting that that is ALL we both wanted to do to celebrate!) but our amazing and fearless sister-in-law, Jenn (mother of 4 boys!) asked if she could keep Emerson overnight for us Monday night to let us really enjoy the day Tuesday by sleeping in! Despite a little sadness at Emmy being on her first sleepover, we said YES and enjoyed a full, uninterupted night's sleep for the first time in 5 months, and hung around with no agenda. FABULOUS. Emerson also slept for 12 hours, only waking up 1 time to eat - it must be something about Jenn's magical mother-of-4-children touch - that and the cave of a closet that Em got to sleep in. [Black out curtains are next on the list of things to buy for her nursery!] In our lounging around, I requested that we go to Barnes & Noble to peruse, something I've been wanting to do for awhile now but haven't felt peaceful enough to do! Boring, I know. But I loved it. And I read excerpts from some fabulous books that I wanted but decided not to get, and read excerpts from others that I thought would be fabulous and planned on buying but didn't because they weren't. Good to know. But I saw a book with this quote, and thought it was fabulous and 100% described motherhood for me:

[It was when I had my first child that I understood how much my mother loved me.]

My mom used to always say to me "you'll understand when you have kids." I always thought I already got it. I loved kids and was super involved in lots of kids lives and had lots of kids super involved in my life. But she was right (surprise)! To be a mother, to have a child, is to know a whole new kind of love - protective and endearing, long-lasting, full of fear and adoration.

And I imagine she would tell me the same about being a grandmother - that I'll understand when I have them. That seems forever away, but I'm sure by the time it gets here, time, again - will seem to have flown. Thanks Ma, for loving me and for loving Em in a way I could have never known until I got here.

[picture: Emerson, Mom & Caleb swinging in Emory over Easter - SUCH a fun time]