Wednesday, December 31, 2008

First day on the Spirit

Our embarkation day was not at all what I had pictured in my head.  It was very wet and rainy.  We had a blanket over the stroller to keep Emily dry---good thing we did, the blanket was DRIPPING with water by the time we got inside.  Brian didn't have any type of jacket with him and since the wind was blowing the rain directly in our direction, we bought ponchos.  This is now our second set of ponchos.  We better have some with us the next time we might need them!  Instead of getting right onto the ship, you have to go through a holding boat first.  Thankfully it was covered so Emily got to run around.  She walked right up to a group of kids and played with them until their zone number was called.  We were zone 3, so we didn't have to wait too long to be called.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We're home!

We just got back from an eight day cruise with Brian's family for Christmas.  There are many pictures to sort through, so I am sure I will have more up eventually.  I saw these three and just loved the beauty of my daughter and the ocean behind her.  These pictures were taken on the balcony of the "parental units" room.  All I know is that I am SO thankful for motion sickness patches!  I don't think there is anyway I would have been able to step foot on the deck without them.  I will try to have more pictures and stories up soon.  For now, enjoy these three!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I miss her.

I know the quality of this picture isn't great---blurry and all, but I just love the happiness that is exuding from little E in this picture.  We celebrated Oliver's 1st birthday (Pirate theme--please take note that we pulled out the "surrender the booby" shirt for one more adventure.   Ironic since that was the first day of no nursing.) a few weeks back and this picture was taken after the party had ended and so had their naps!  Emily's hair is crazy and Oliver still has a sleepy look, but they were happy and content playing.  

I found myself jealous of other people's kids today.  We have to run tons of errands for our Christmas with Brian's family and Emily is just not in the best of moods.  She becomes a total bear when she is teething. I can see the little white molar underneath the gum.  Every single store we went to of us had to walk out of with her because of her gifted lungs.  I got lots of looks from parents (as if their child had never thrown a tantrum) and also saw lots of sleeping angels with other parents.  So, I guess I was reminiscing of the days of quiet, happy Emily and found this pic.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008


So, the Johnson family headed to Disneyland yet again yesterday.  Emily and I had to wait a LONG time for daddy to renew our passes---so we spent a lot of time running around the personalized bricks.  We haven't visited since they decorated for Christmas.  The halls were certainly decked.  Joe/Alisha/Oliver met us there for some Disney Christmas fun.  It was super crowded and quite chilly for our sun-spoiled southern california bodies. Emily and Oliver got to meet with Santa.  Unfortunately for Santa, Emily met him 30 minutes past naptime (hence the picture with the pacifier--we really don't let her have it unless it is naptime/bedtime).  She fell fast asleep afterward! Anyway, I just wanted to post some more updated pictures of my sweet little punkin' head.   

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bah Humbug???

I absolutely LOVE Christmas.  There's something so special about the holiday season.  Families spend more time together---friends seem to have more get togethers.  In general, people intentionally think of other people by making cookies/gifts, shopping for the perfect item that just screams the person's name, chipping in on a gift for a family in need etc...

Brian and I normally set up for Christmas the week of Thanksgiving, but with Emily having the flu and several other things that have come up....we just didn't get around to it.  We weren't home all day yesterday and that's probably when we should have set can't believe it....we are not setting up for Christmas this year.  I think we might do minor decorations and maybe even a strand of lights outside, but we just don't have the time to do the major decorating.  It feels very strange.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

For Diane Davis

At work, I was researching some private schools and came across a website that linked me to HIU.  The picture next to the link was this picture....thought you would get a kick out of it.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I haven't taken any pictures since Thanksgiving--sad I know.  I don't really have anything too exciting to share, but I can't stop thinking about something.  That something??? Budget cuts.  Without boring you all with the details.  Brian and I are both facing possible budget cuts in the next month or so.  It's quite unnerving, but we feel confident that if either of us are to lose our jobs---there is a reason behind it.  We obviously hope for the best. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Family (Johnsons/Sewells/Templetons/Curtis') and had a wonderful day of food and fellowship.  Although it was technically Emily's 2nd Thanksgiving, it felt a lot like it was her first---I guess because she participated in eating!  She was only 12 days old last Thanksgiving---crazy!
Walking with Grandpa outside
Eating turkey for the very first time!  She has certainly had her fair share of "tofurkey" but not the real thing.  She LOVED it.
Haley put this hat on Emily's head several times....It was just picture worthy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sorry Christie Walker because

I am thankful for turkey--my daughter ate a ton of it today.  It's the first day she has actually eaten all three meals since she was sick and two of those consisted of turkey!

I don't mean to trivialize the idea of Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for--AND--I am so grateful and feel so blessed.  You know it's funny, I don't have too many people in my life that are in the armed forces or have been in their past, but at Thanksgiving I can't help but think of these men/women who are sacrificing their family time/turkey time/safety to protect me and my freedom.  So, THANK YOU!!

Last year...1st Thanksgiving

Maya and Miguel

Have I mentioned that things with Emily have been a bit tense?  Well, she woke up much earlier this morning, so we have been thankful for electricity and tv by turning on Maya and Miguel.  Now, Emily got sidetracked and started playing with her toys.  Of course, most of her toys make some sort of musical sound and I noticed that the volume of the tv got louder.  I just asked Brian if he turned it up---yep, cause he is watching it!  Who knew that Maya and Miguel could entertain a grown adult. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm having a rough day. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The cure...

Emily still doesn't love eating since the flu.  I feel like we are going back to teaching her how to eat solid foods again.  All of the foods she loved pre-flu---she hates post flu.  Seriously, I was out with my sis/nieces and my mom today and she would not eat her lunch.  I got all teary eyed because I do not know what I can do to help her feel better etc...

So, tonight, we made homemade pumpkin pancakes for dinner, yes dinner!  We haven't had them before, but she LOVED them.   I hope she likes them tomorrow because that's what she is having for breakfast!  

Monday, November 24, 2008


Emily is on the mend from the flu.  She had it Saturday night and it was truly horrible.  I felt so bad for her.  She's so little and has no idea what in the world is going on.  I had a hard time with it too.  It is not comforting to see her go through that, not to mention trying not to get sick yourself while cleaning it up.  I realized that I was scared....I was just waiting on pins and needles to see what would happen next.  My parents came over yesterday to help us cure some serious cabin fever and before they left, I freaked out.  I knew that I was going to be alone with Emily today and I didn't know how I was going to handle all of the whining/crying/pushing away of bottles and food etc...on my own.  So far, she is doing pretty well--although, she still doesn't want to eat much, but compared to yesterday it's A LOT more.  

Okay, so on to the perspective....I was out walking with Emily today (because she seems pretty content outside) and I remembered this one family I ran into while nursing Emily at Nordstroms a few months ago.  A mom and her sister were changing the diaper of a little girl.  Her little girl was probably the age of my youngest niece (2 years old) and she sat in a different kind of stroller/wheelchair with her legs positioned straight in front of her.  Her legs were essentially tied in place.  They had to unbuckle about 6-8 straps just to free her legs.  They were lifeless.  Emily will often lift her legs straight in the air to "help" me change her diaper, but they didn't have any help from their girl.  

Although exhausted from the past couple of days with Emily's illness---it is only temporary.  Her balance is off kilter and she is falling a lot, but that is only temporary too.  The little girl I met a few months ago didn't have the luxury of falling and getting back up. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I am Free

So, last night was the Night of Worship at church.  I have to be honest and say that although I did pray every day for the evening, I never really focused entirely on the night.  I was not feeling well at all the majority of the week---having the scare of Strep/Mono certainly didn't help.  I found myself praying for health (for myself and all the other team members) more than the actual impact the night could have on others.  (that's sad to admit)

My co-worker was overwhelmed with things that she needed to complete before the weekend so she asked if I could fill in for her at a scholarship luncheon.  I sat at a table with 8 other women that I have never met before.  We were having the awkward small chat conversations.  The lady next to me bugged me.  She didn't want to sit at our table and even asked if she could sit with her friends at another table, but the "leader" at our table told her that the seats were somewhat assigned.  Usually when someone "bugs" me, I don't feel like giving much effort, after all, when would I really see this person again?  I felt a nudging on my heart to talk to, I started up a chat with her about how long she has been in her position etc...she gave me her answer and included that she also did the same kind of work in China.  I asked her if she knew one of my friends that lived in China but she said no; however, by asking her that question, it opened up more conversation.  Long story short, she told me that she was a Missionary there.  Her family has a hard time with that because she was raised Jewish.  She didn't really announce that to the rest of the table; she almost whispered it to me, so I don't think people knew that we were really talking.  One of the other ladies started asking her SEVERAL questions and I was concerned that I wouldn't have a chance to talk to her see, I could tell that she was really struggling with something.  Finally, I got my chance and I invited her to the Night of Worship.  I was expecting to see this look of shock from her, but she was so touched that I invited her to it.  There were many more details to our conversation, but I know that long blogs often get skipped so I'll get to the point.....

I started praying.....not for the vocalists voices, but for my new "friend."  I prayed that she would come and that God would open up her to his promises.  I asked her to come and say hello afterward, but I never saw her.  I was sad that I didn't see her, but I realize that I have at least planted a seed.  She did tell me that she had other plans, but that she would try to change them....maybe she'll come on a weekend.  I don't know.  It was an important lesson for me though.  There is so much to our journey with Christ than one Night of Worship.  I had a wonderful night worshipping God with members of our church and community....I just need to remember that everyday can be a day full of worship and to look for opportunities to reach out to friends as well as strangers.  

The video below is another video of Emily walking and dancing---I was listening to music to get ready for the NOW--so she is dancing to "I am Free."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Look who's walking

This was taken tonight right before bedtime which is why she has the pacifier...She learned a new trick today---standing up while not holding on to anything!  (not in this video though)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tennesse is calling

it's calling me back home.  I am such a country girl.  Sugarland, Carrie, Brad, Keith....all of you brought tears to my eyes tonight.  If I didn't have family here....if I didn't have a job here....I swear I would move. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little E's birthday

Emily turned one yesterday.  It really is so hard to believe how fast the year went!  We had a rough morning.  We're pretty sure she's teething again because she was really grumpy and had a low grade fever since Saturday night.  So, in order to keep the peace in the house, we decided to watch Sesame Street.  Emily LOVES Elmo.  She always smiles when he comes on.  Anyway, to my surprise, Elmo's subject yesterday was birthdays.  I thought it was pretty cute that they had a clip from his first birthday blowing out a candle, so I took a picture of it.  What are the odds that Elmo would talk about his first birthday on Emily's?  I just thought it was sweet.  

Emily's fever had disappeared even without medication, so we decided to venture out to Disneyland.  Joe/Alisha/Oliver met us there and we had a great time.  The rest of my family joined us a few hours later.  We had a fantastic day.  For those of you who have kids that will experience a birthday a Disneyland....I suggest getting a birthday pin.  It's personalized, so everyone would say, "Happy Birthday, Emily!" Obviously, Emily didn't appreciate this pin as much as we did, but I can imagine older kids getting a kick out of everyone acknowledging them.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My birthday celebrations

I turned 30 last week---it's hard to believe.  I know most people must dread their 30th, but I had a totally different view...I won't give you all of the boring history here, but let's just say, I was so happy that day came.  Anyway, my family got together that night for Brian and my favorite teppan restaurant in Irvine.  They have a silly tradition on birthdays though....birthday girl/boy must wear a hat  (pictured below) while being sung to.  Now, I don't want to think about all of the germs that sat on my head at that moment....but made me laugh.  Emily was not a fan of the hat and clung to me with all of her might.  

Since Emily's party was yesterday, we had some friends come in from out of town and we had another birthday dinner at The Melting Pot.  I haven't been there in what seems like forever.  We had a GREAT time!  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My toddler!

My little girl will be 1 on Monday!  I can't believe how fast this year went!  This morning we had her first birthday party and had so much fun with family and friends.  It was a birthday party I am sure we won't forget.  We had to have it in our garage because we don't have space in the house and it got pretty warm.  It's NOVEMBER people!  There's no reason that I should be wearing shorts!  All of the kids went to the park for some energy burning fun.  Since we had a minnie mouse theme, we ordered some pizza (you know, because mice like cheese) and had some salad and, of course, CUPCAKES!  They were not a huge hit with Emily, but she at least played with it for a bit.  Here are some pics from the day.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My face says it all...

I didn't see this picture the other night when I was uploading pictures.  That smile on my face....geesh...I love my little girl. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First Halloween!

Emily was Squirt (young sea turtle from "Finding Nemo") for Halloween---besides everyone thinking she was a boy, we loved the outfit. It was pretty warm here in California, so I don't think she loved the heat from the long sleeved/long pant fleece outfit---but she wasn't crying in it and she looked adorable!  Our friend Sarah put together a very fun festival at her church and we were so glad she invited us to it!  Her son, Tanner, the monkey, is in the pictures below!  Grandma and Grandpa came to hang out for her first Halloween too!  We had a lot of fun walking and crawling around.  

Where's Emily???


Thursday, October 30, 2008

deep thoughts with Jennifer know how you always get those forward type of emails telling you that you shouldn't get mad at people in the car in front of you because you don't know what kind of day they have had....or you should be patient with someone who is mean to you because you don't know what is going on in their life that is making them react that way?  Well, about 2 years ago I met with a mom of one of my students and she was HORRIBLE to me.  Unfortunately, it is not rare that I have these kinds of encounters.  I have a lot of parents that want a lot of things for their kids and if I can't do it for them----there is a problem with me---it has to be can't be them---anyway, I have had to meet with her A LOT over the past two years.  Every time I find myself preparing for the worst, praying for the right words to say so that I don't get chewed out.  Today, we met for 45 minutes.  I always knew that her daughter had a disability, but I didn't know how bad it really is.  I won't go into all the detail here, but I guess it is just never know how bad it can be for someone else.  It doesn't mean that we should be mean when we're going through something rough, but it was a good lesson for me today....I saw a very strong, proud woman completely vulnerable and it moved me. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Last week---Brian told me that he forgot to make reservations at the restaurant I had suggested for our Anniversary.  He asked me if I would like to go to Palm Springs instead, I said, "No."  He replied, "Oh, well, it's already booked and you have next Friday off."  My sweet husband had already arranged with my boss for me to have the day off and asked my family to help take care of Emily over the weekend so that we could actually get away--the first getaway since Emily's birth.  Besides leaving her behind while going to work, this was the longest I have ever been away and it was hard, but we really did have a great time together.  

My mom and dad brought her home and we ended the day with another visit to yet another pumpkin patch.  On the way, Brian asked her to dance (one of her latest moves) and instead of totally dancing she started clapping.  We have never seen her clap so we took a video of it...Enjoy!  

Mom, Dad, Kristi, Curtis, Haley and Lexi----THANK YOU!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin patch day

Emily's pony ride day was actually her first pumpkin patch experience, but it was close to her naptime, so anytime we put her near the pumpkins she would scream.  So, we tried another patch near us.  Emily still didn't love the pumpkins.  The last picture was taken at lunch yesterday---I was amazed with how good she was with the crayons.  She only tried to eat them once, but the rest of the time, she was actually coloring on the table.