Things we have been doing which have not included blogging...or yoga. Moving on...(again, sorry these pictures are all from my phone)
Living in a tent. Had no idea this 2 man tent would be so big when we found it on sale for $14 at Target. Set it up for fun, and it stayed up all weekend. Clearly, there was nowhere else for it to go as it took up the ENTIRE living room. She would have lived in it. Her fun dad added the ambiance, aka rope lighting. We even Skyped with Caleb, Laura and Beth while in the tent - Emerson's new favorite past time! if you use Skype, tell us, she would love to Skype with you!
Ate a red cupcake at church on Sunday which she is proudly showing you all over her mouth here. This dress is a current favorite of mine - a beloved hand me down from Bella, which she somehow never wore. I think Emerson couldn't be cuter in it with her red polka dot shoes! I know she is mine, but I think she is kind of the cutest thing ever.
Shot some hoops while with our cousins celebrating 3 out of 4 boys from one family's birthdays. Emerson LOVED being there, and ran right around riding bikes, playing basketball and jumping on the trampoline right in the midst of the hub bub of all the boys. (Oh to have a flat driveway and yard....sigh.) She even spent the night there last night - thanks Jen for our Valentine's date! - and couldn't have been more excited for her sleepover.
And we prepared for Valentine's day with heart shaped cherry scones. They were great and we had a fun time all making them together. Emerson loves to be in the kitchen. I still have more pictures I need to share from the daily mailboxes leading up to Valentine's day; she really loved doing that and it was so sweet to hear her go get Terry every morning to see if he was ready to open his mailbox with her. We will all be a little sad for the mailboxes to get packed up until next year.
Hope that brief catch up holds you over until I get myself together to plug my camera in, work on the cute pictures of Emerson & Bella, and catch back up! We have been having so much fun family time over the past two weeks, and Emerson has been cracking us up with her energy, words, and funny thoughts. Tonight is Music Together class, one of her favorite things. I'll try to snap some pictures of her in there to share also!
If this is any indication of how hard it is for me to carry over January's goal and add in February's while maintaining my life...well, y'all just hang in there with me when I get to March, April and all the way through December. So far so good though at least in checking off my decluttering list. This week I had to catch up on my weekend decluttering tasks because we were out of town. Saturday's activity was cleaning out the fridge. Remember when I said I dreaded doing this? It was of course, not as bad as I had feared - but I did take every shelf and drawer out and Emerson helped me wash them all off in the sink. She was a good helper, and we are all loving how sparkly the inside of our fridge is! February's 'goal' is yoga everyday. So far, so good - even while out of town! I am doing the P90x yoga DVD - Yoga X which is intense and long and good. I have really loved it. 30 days in a row of it seems a little daunting, and I'm still balancing when the best time is to do it - but some days have been morning and some have been night. Have any shorter favorite yoga DVDs you want to share/pass on to me to try? 30 days of this same thing could get monotonous!
So this weekend, we were out of town in Knoxville for Bella's baptism & dedication at church. Emerson was looking forward to the trip all last week, and I was looking forward to being there - but not about the drive. I have gotten crotchety and like a cliche woman in my old age. I never drive on trips anymore, so I don't love driving on trips on my own at night anymore, it makes me a little anxious. This feels comical for me to even write considering how many countless hours I logged in my car in college and beyond in long distance relationships and on random weeknight or weekend adventures. No wonder my mom always worried about me! Point being, I don't enjoy the drive to Knoxville at night because of the stretch through the mountains between Asheville and Knoxville. Clearly I had prayed plenty about my anxiety with that part of the drive because there was a rock slide that afternoon that closed that stretch of I-40. Awesome. Note to self: remember to pray for safety and the Lord's will instead of detours. I took a back detour that wasn't the one the highway patrol was suggesting and it made it not as out of the way, which was nice. And I wasn't anxious, which was really nice. The girls had such a great time together. Saturday morning, they lounged around the house in their robes, reading their Bibles. Yes, seriously. All by choice. They started in Bella's room with Jingle, the new puppy, moved the couch, and then followed me into the bathroom while I dried my hair. It was really fun to see them excited to see each other, wanting to play together, and really loving on each other on this trip.
We spent the weekend just hanging out with no real plans, which was really nice. We helped get things ready for Bella's party on Sunday by making crafts and taking a trip to the grocery store where we all got our own carts. Sunday was exactly 2 years to the day that Molly brought Bella home. What amazing timing to get to have her dedication and to celebrate her life. I am so thankful for that little girl, and truly adore her. We were thankful to get to be there to 'stand with' Molly as she committed to raising Bella up in truth and love. While in the grocery store, we saw one of Bella's friends from school and it melted my heart that the kid and the mom both knew who "Emmy" was as Bella proudly showed off her best friend as she called her - to people who have already heard of my Emerson because of how Bella talks about her.
(Sidenote: look at the determination in Bella's face here! She took her job very seriously!)
Saturday night, before Gigi, Molly's mom, came over so we could go out to dinner, we gave the girls a bath and got them ready for bed. Emerson LOVES when she gets to take a bath with Bella because we always let them close the curtain and splash to their hearts' content. Their is some serious belly laughing that goes on during this splash fest. But this time around, she learned a new reason that she might like taking baths with Bella - popsicles. I guess I have never given Em a popsicle before, because when Molly gave it to her, she tried drawing on the tub wall with it and running it under water until she realized she was supposed to eat it, and then...well - you see how excited she was:
Don't worry, Bella was equally excited - I think she was just trying to figure out why Emerson had been painting with her popsicle in the first picture. And then once Emerson caught on, she was much too busy to take time to look at the camera:
More pictures and a continued post later when I get the rest of the pictures from Molly off her camera of the dedication and some priceless ones of the girls together from Sunday. These were all I had on my phone and needed to be done separately from the ones I got of the girls after lunch Sunday anyway - you'll see that they deserve a post of their own!
Here's to finishing up week 2 of the January/February challenge and to better balance with the rest (as in respite/relaxation) of this weekend and a fresh start of next week! By the way, the 'pattern' I am trying to follow of my monthly goals is to remove something one month and add something the next. I'm also trying to alternate that these be things for my family and things for me. Decluttering was 'mostly' for my family...but equally for me. Yoga is mostly for me...but hopefully my family is going to benefit from me taking this time for myself also! Emerson did do a few poses with me last week which was precious and hilarious - another time I'll try to get her on video with me!
Here I am, Wednesday morning, reminding myself to be filled with joy in little things. I've never been one to make much of a 'deal' of Valentine's Day - or really holidays in general, but I am trying to be more crafty and creative with this for Emerson to have memories and traditions. We found a cute mailbox in the $1 section at Target recently that we are using for love notes until Valentine's Day. More on that later in a separate post, but I hope it will remind me to be intentional and purposeful, and to really think on why we celebrate love and how we love others. Semi-along those lines, here are things from my phone, from my day yesterday that I loved:
1. The spring weather in January that let Noah's Ark meet the farm animals for outside playtime. The farm (which used to be mine as a child) comes with a feeding trough - Emerson lined all of the animals and people up to wait their turn to have something to eat. And she made a munching noise as each of them took their turn. She is at her heart, a turn taker, such a nurturer, and loves animals.
2. 3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than this, than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." I know that this isn't her choice yet, but her childlike faith fills me with such joy and I expectantly wait and hope for the day that I can speak this verse over her. Given a choice of 10 things to do, her number one choice every time would be to read her Bible. Unless, maybe one of the choices involves a sucker. That might win. I had the door open as I was making dinner last night and the gate up on the porch, and she and Salem walked outside with Raffi and her Bible and sat down and hung out and read for quite awhile. Precious.
3. Speaking of dinner, here is Terry's dinner from last night. After a hard week at work, I was happy to spice up his life with bacon on his sandwich - I know, again, living on the edge - and we love our panini maker. It could change your life, just ask my mom. We gave her one for Christmas and I think she has used it 3-4 times/week since then!