Easter Sunday

Sorry that it has taken me a whole week to post about one weekend - but clearly it was a fun and packed weekend!  Hopefully you read about our Easter service at Elevation, and then you'll know why we were excited to get back home for church.  It was such an awesome celebration and reminder of what Christ has done for us.  Emerson has just recently started to do well in the nursery, but she still melts down at the end if we aren't the first people to get there to pick her up.  Once other parents coming, if they are there before us she is always crying once we get there.  So recently I've been going to get her after the sermon ends and bringing her back in for the last song.  She was so funny this week dancing and bouncing around.  She loves it.  The worship team at Elevation is incredible.  Here is a video I found on You Tube so you can get a taste.  And if you didn't already check out the service, seriously, go watch it here.  Parts of the service were 3D, but don't worry, you can watch it in 2D and skip the glasses (which by the way, I'm terrible at watching things in 3D - I kept closing one eye and then the other, totally defeating the purpose and making everything look either all blue or all red)!  I think that the sermon is recorded at the Matthews campus maybe - we go to the Uptown campus - an aside, for those of you who this makes sense to. 

After church, we decided to go out to lunch since we had been out of town the rest of the weekend, so I hadn't gone to the store or fixed anything.  We had a delicious brunch at our favorite neighborhood spot, Zada Jane's.  Emerson, in true Emerson fashion, was a total ham and enjoyed entertaining everyone there.  She has learned to cover her mouth when she coughs, which is hilarious (and that's what is happening in the first picture.  The rest are clearly just cute :)

Please notice that she is holding rocks in her hands in all of these pictures - I wasn't kidding when I told you she loves to carry something small around with her at all times.  'Nuts' as she refers to them are currently her favorite things in the world (this could include acorns, rocks, bark, mulch, sticks etc)

She already opened a great, fun Easter basket from Grammy which hopefully you saw pictures of on my sister's blog when you also saw the hula pictures.  So we saved her Easter basket for after she got up from her nap.  She loved (trying to) blowing the bubbles, putting stickers on paper, opening all the eggs, and eating her favorite little bunny crackers most of all.  She regretted her decision of dumping the Easter basket out at the end as she dug for more treasure in it, because she was not such a fan of how the Easter grass felt - but then again, who is? 

We had such a great weekend and now I'm enjoying looking at these sweet pictures of her from my bed in a hotel in Nashville while we are here for an intern wedding and she is enjoying camp Grammy & camp Beth! The only bad news from the trip thus far, other than how much I miss her, is that my sleeping in plan has thus failed, despite sleeping pills, and I've been awake at 6:45 both mornings so far. I have 2 more mornings to try. Please sleep in body, PLEASE.


Easter Saturday

We kept ourselves busy Easter weekend, but it was also so relaxing and didn't feel overwhelming at all.  Emerson hasn't gotten to just 'hang out' with her Grandma & Grandpa very much recently, so we planned a trip to Winston to see them.  They had something at church Friday night, so we had dinner at my mom's, which you (hopefully) saw pictures of on Laura's blog.  That hula picture is going to haunt me and crack me up for years to come.  After dinner, we headed to the Bruce house and put Emerson to bed (so handy that they have so many grandchildren so they are all stocked up on cribs, pack-n-plays, highchairs, etc. so we don't have to pack much)! 

And in case you were wondernig, YES, Emerson still looks exactly like her daddy.  This side of the family has some crazy strong genes - look at those profiles! 

We enjoyed a night with Bob & Gloria catching up before turning in for the night.  The real fun was had all day Saturday playing outside, checking out Grandma's garden...

... helping water the plants that Terry & Gloria planted while I went and got my hair cut...

 ...and walking down the street to see her cousins and Uncle Robert where she led everyone in many songs, including Baa-Baa Black Sheep, If You're Happy and You Know It, and attempts at Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (this one is new and she is still easily embarassed) :)
We had a blast with them over the weekend, and it was a much needed restful weekend catching up with them.  I know that I am so blessed to be a part of the Bruce family - they are many in number, BIG in love and generosity, and amazing in humility and service.  I feel 'enlightened' just being with Terry's parents, and we love how they pour into our lives and help guide us and push us closer to the Lord's plan for our marriage and lives!  Bob & Gloria (Grandpa & Grandma), we are so thankful for you - thanks for a wonderful weekend and for loving us all so well!

After a delicious dinner that we got to share with Dave, Natalie, Kaden & Mikayla as well (see, I told you they were many in number!), we hopped back on the road because we wanted to be in Charlotte for church on Sunday.  It was an awesome service, which you can read more about here, and I'll tell you more about with Day 3 of our Easter weekend when I make it to that post.  We're headed out of town tomorrow night until MONDAY for our first nights away from Emerson - she's going to camp Beth & Camp Grammy for the weekend; and we know we will all have a great time, ... but I am a wee bit anxious about how much I'm going to miss her.  I hope the Ambien and increased number of sleeping hours will help sway that a little bit :)


Easter Friday

We have had a fun and busy Easter weekend and will have to tell you about it in 3 separate posts. To read about Friday instead of recreating the wheel I will redirect you to my sister's blog...www.lauravirginia.me

More later, stay tuned!


Belize it or Not

I always wonder who has the amazing job of naming OPI's nail polishes, and how they are creative enough to come up with a billion great names for shades that change by tiny hues from one color to another.  Whoever they are, they are super creative. 

This weekend, Emerson watched me give myself a pedicure - first helping me remove my old toenail polish (don't worry mom, I gave her a dry cotton ball so she wouldn't have acetone all over her hands); and then sitting beside me outside while I painted my toes with OPI's 'Belize it or Not' - not my favorite color, and not very spring like, but it's what I had on hand and I needed a change from my go-to 'Big Apple Red.'  After I'd finished painting my toes (why is it that you can never paint your own toes as well as someone else can?), Emerson brought me the bottle of polish, climbed up in my lap, and said "please?"  [Side note, actually she said, "puh-puh-puh" because in my thinking recently that she uses sign language so well that she isn't going to be motivated to talk, I asked her, "Emerson, can you say 'please,' 'puh-puh-please?" - I was just trying to emphasize the 'p' sound! - but instead she very efficiently said 'puh-puh-puh' and left off the rest; now that's what she says when we ask her to say please - guess that is what I get!]

Okay, so normally I am kind of against things like painted toenails on little girls before the age of 3 or 4ish.  I feel about painted toenails on little girls as I do about pierced ears and two piece bathing suits but maybe not quite as strongly.  But, since I don't feel quite as strongly about painted toenails, and no one else will really see them, and I couldn't say no to how sweet it was to me that she saw me do it and then wanted it done as well, I went for it.  Terry was sitting outside on the porch with us and snapped a few pictures with his phone.  This next picture was totally unstaged...

You know, like "Oh my goodness mom, thank you so much you are the coolest mother in all the world, I think I will kiss you for it!"

I got a couple of sweet kisses like this as I was painting her toenails, she would just crane her neck around and kiss me and then go back to watching me.  Other things you should note about the above picture: those lovely flowers are from sweet Terry on our 4 year anniversary last week - thanks T!  He and Emerson planted them in a pot for me and we'll look forward to planting them in the yard once I'm finished enjoying them on the porch.  And another not so sentimental thing to notice - see that gargoyle in the top left background?  That thing sits on our neighbor's porch railing, ew, first of all.  And second of all, when Emerson was maybe 9 or 10 months old, she saw it when we were outside and she made a growling sound, like it was a lion or bear or something.  Hysterical. 

We really had such a fun weekend in the gorgeous weather - including the rain which we as a family enjoyed watching roll in while we ate a picnic dinner on the porch with Emerson [the crazy hail and tornadoes were south of us].  I enjoyed a productive weekend of getting lots of spring cleaning done while also getting to go for a family walk to a great spot for lunch on Saturday and tucking into bed early to watch a movie during the rain storm.  Sunday was another beautiful day and we made it to church, Terry napped, and Aunt Becca stopped by on her way back from DC just long enough to play with Em for a little bit and stick around for Emerson's bath and bedtime.  Who wouldn't love a few good stories, snuggles and kisses from this girl in her pj's? 

So here is the finished product of Belize it or Not, along with one of the cutest pictures of Em with Becca.  Emerson is so proud of her toes, and grins with delight every time she takes her shoes off and sees them, or lays down to have her diaper changed.  She is spending the week with her cousins (5 of the 6 of which are boys) - yes, 6 cousins all under one roof - while Beth is travelling to see her oldest daughter who is travelling abroad!  So she probably knew that she needed to bring some extra girliness into her life this week, thus the proudly painted toenails!

Belize it or Not!
Love you Aunt Becca! 
(I may or may not return to look at this picture 500 times today.  I could look at that cheesy grin and kiss those big, sweet cheeks ALL. DAY. LONG. - Emerson's big sweet cheeks that is, not Becca's) :)


Day at the Beach

Part of me wants to just post this picture and not add any words or captions to it because I feel certain I can't do justice to all of the emotions that are wrapped up in the day/moment of this picture.  There are some moments that as they are happening, you know you will always remember every detail of - and this afternoon at the beach in Charleston this past weekend was one of them.  I'll be honest that I was not looking forward to this trip to Charleston because I didn't want to travel, felt like Emerson was still a little off kilter on her schedule and from being sick and the introvert in me seriously considered bailing and sending Terry alone; but we knew it would be a great time with friends and love Charleston and haven't travelled together like this in awhile.  If for no other reason (but there were other reasons), this brief afternoon at the beach made the trip totally worth it. 

When we got there, the wind was whipping around like crazy and I felt bad because I was sure that Emerson was going to hate it and that we were going to go sit in the car and play for an hour so we didn't make everyone else that rode with us leave early also.  (Which wouldn't be the worse thing in the world for her, because Beth's minivan is maybe definitely Emerson's favorite place to play.)  But instead, from the minute her feet hit the sand she was running and happy as a little clam.  She would stop and scrunch up her face when the wind would come and blow sand on her legs but she quickly figured out to turn her back to the wind so it didn't blow in her face. 

Emerson loves to carry something small around in her hand with her during the day - preferrably a pebble, acorn top, small piece of bark, piece of dog food that didn't make it into Sadie's bowl (Beth's dog).  So she immediately found a seashell [seen clutched tightly in her left hand above] and took it with her running across the beach, chasing the birds and running back and forth between John, Kat, Terry and me.  She ran after the birds and flapped her 'wings,' calling out after the birds, "Fly, fly!"  Terry tossed a little piece of food out in front of where Emerson was and the birds swarmed her.  She was THRILLED and went back and forth between running around in the chaos of their flapping wings and standing still, bending down low and taking it all in.  I kept worrying that she was going to panic, but instead she would just crouch down, very still, and wait for them to fly higher or to make a path for her to walk through. 

I felt like I was watching a scene from a movie.  I could not snap enough pictures fast enough, take enough video or wrap my mind around the scene fully.  She looked so tiny on this huge, mostly empty, beach on this windy day, surrounded by these birds and just loving it.  Her little chubby legs looked so precious as they worked so hard to run around with sand stuck to the bottom of her feet and dusted on her legs as it stuck to the suntan lotion.  Her bow flapping back and forth in the wind and her big curls in the back of her hair getting tangled and wind blown; her little dress wrapping around her as the wind blew, and the look of pure delight and joy on her face like this was the coolest thing she had ever been a part of.  I adore every part of this little girl - all of these tiny little nuances about her and moments spent with her.  These were especially great moments.  I hope that the Lord will use them to remind me over and over to be open, to wait on Him, to open my heart, and to be reminded of the way He pours His heart out over us.  Because as much as I love this adorable little girl, He loves her so much more.  We want nothing more for her than to know that fully in the quiet moments of her life, in the depth of her heart, as well as when the chaos surrounds her - I pray that in those moments she will always be able to be still and know.