Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In some ways it's hard to believe Emma has only been here 3 months. In other ways, it seems like yesterday we received the call that we were matched with a little girl. In every way that matters, she has always been a part of our family and that is the amazing way God uses adoptions to bring together a family. God knew long before we did, that Emma would be our daughter and from the beginning, He prepared our hearts to receive her. We can't imagine life without her and as each day passes, she continues to amaze us with her personality. We have a very intelligent little girl that loves music, her brother, and parents. We are so blessed at how she has adjusted into our family. There were difficult times for her, but she loves her family and knows that we are here to stay. She has started taking a few steps and I'm sure will be walking soon. I love the way she blows us kisses and wakes up with a smile on her face. Her love for music is so cute and she has become quite the dancer swaying back and forth to the rhythm. As the new year approaches, we have so much to be thankful for this past year. I am so excited about what the new year holds as we prepare to celebrate Emma first birthday in February, finding a place to settle and call home, and looking at what other opportunities God might be calling for us to pursue. May 2010 be a year full of the renewed promise God has to bring you joy and happiness. May you find that happiness in Him as it will never be found in things... Welcome home 3 months Emma, to the family God created to love you forever!
This has been the most memorable Christmas for our family. It is surreal to think that last year having a daughter and sister for Christmas seemed so far away. Little did we know that God had a plan to provide us with Emma and give us the privilege to share in her first Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we celebrated with my family at Nana and Popa's house. Emma was slow to rip the paper off presents, and once she did get one good strip, she wanted to rip it into tiny pieces. It was so neat to watch her unwrap her presents, with the help of big brother. Her face seemed to say what is all this about... She received a wagon at Nana's and liked riding in it for a short period of time. I think her favorite part was napping in it later that evening. She also received a baby doll and immediately started giving it hugs and kisses. I think she is going to be a wonderful mommy one day! Ryan and I exchanged gifts later that night as well as Chase and Emma. Chase wanted to make Emma a bear at the Build-A-Bear workshop this year and she gave Chase a new portable DVD player since his broke while she was watching it. Ryan gave me a wonderful present this year...a new camera. I have taken approximately 13,000 pictures with my current camera and have loved using it. Photography is my favorite hobby and with a new little girl, there is a lot to take pictures of! I was very surprised and thankful for the awesome gift. It arrived today and I have spent the afternoon playing with it!!! I love it, but not as much as my wonderful husband!
It is a tradition at our house to attend the 11:15 Christmas Eve service at our church, and this year was no exception. Emma, being the night owl she is, was awake to attend and even stayed awake through the entire service.
Christmas morning was exciting as Chase and Emma woke up around 8:30. This year he was so excited and watching him open presents was so much fun. We went to Ryan's parents for lunch and to spend the day. The kiddos had so much fun there and Emma loved playing with all the things she received. She played us a tune on her new piano and pushed her baby around in her new shopping cart filled with play food that she can chew on. Of course she also enjoyed playing with the boys' toys, especially Max's fire station.
Notice the sweet little bracelet Nana and Papa gave her... She had a bracelet on in her referral picture so it didn't surprise me when she left it on and didn't try to take it off. It is so cute!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Well, it finally happened... Emma captured a snowman ornament from the tree and not only did she grab him, but she managed to pull his leg off!!! When I asked her "What did you do to Mommy's ornament," she pointed at the injured snowman. One snowman down, two others in her sights...
Her new tricks for the week. She stood alone Saturday night and danced to Frosty the Snowman on TV. She loves music and has started swaying and bopping when she hears it. Last night at church she was dancing and humming to hymns. We have it on video and I'll try to get it posted later. Too cute!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sweetest face I know...
It's hard to believe that Christmas is only 9 days away! I'm sure Emma will love ripping the wrapping paper into tiny pieces. She is such a busy girl these days!!! You can tell that she's comfortable at home as she opens the gate that keeps her in the family room and goes to explore the rest of the house. I can't manage to keep things picked up after her. She pulls everything out and smiles when you ask her what she just did! The tupperware tops in the drawers are her favorite. She is saying baby which is adorable. Hopefully Santa will bring her one to love on... Her bottom tooth is coming in more as well. She loves to have her teeth brushed and likes it even more when we let her do it! Last night Chase burped and Emma spent the next 5 minutes trying to mock him. We were laughing so hard and she was trying so hard, I thought she might throw up. Her facial expressions are too funny. She has also found the back of the couch and enjoys crawling from one end to the other. We go back to the doctor tomorrow to finish the "catch up" on her shots. Chase has his Christmas program at church tonight, so Emma will love hearing the music and watching big brother on stage. Here are a few pictures...
Yes, Daddy does Rock! We love him bunches!!!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Emma decided that standing was overrated and took two steps toward to me this afternoon! I was so amazed and proud of her. She's also started giving Mommy and Daddy hugs. It's the cutest thing. She puts her arms around us, just under our arm pits and leans her head into our chest. Yes, it melts Mommy and Daddy's heart. The Christmas tree continues to be a topic of "no" as she has gone over to it what seems like a hundred times today. She patiently waits for the ornaments she wants to come around and then smiles that sweet smile and rips the ornament off the tree. Upon getting it, she shakes it just to hear the bells jingle.
Tonight we took Chase and Emma to see Santa Claus in Nashville. Needless to say it was very busy. I didn't know how Emma would react to him, so Chase held her while Santa talked to her. Turns out she liked him and probably would have sat in his lap, but we didn't push it... She waved bye bye and Santa told her he would bring her a babydoll. We did a few more things at Oprymills and then headed over to Opryland hotel to check out the lights. Emma enjoyed them, but really liked playing in the fake snow the best. Ryan ask me to marry him in December at Opryland Hotel, so we always try to go back and reminisce. It's funny how different it is with two kiddos in tow. We finished off the night with a trip to Olive Garden for dinner. It was a wonderful day spent with those I love so much. I couldn't help but think about Emma and how special this season is for her and us. This is her first Christmas and I am so thankful she will spend it with her forever family.
Chase and Santa
This is the spot where Ryan proposed to me. Right by the huge tree after a day of ice skating, lights, and a carriage ride
Friday, December 11, 2009
I didn't give you the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of you.
Last night we had our second post-placement visit with our social worker. It went fine and the report will be sent to our adoption agency soon. It hasn't quite been 3 months, but our social worker is adopting from Ethiopia so she wanted to get this month's visits completed a little early. They leave the day after Christmas to go get their son. Congratulations to them and safe travels!!!
Emma and I enjoyed the cold day by spending it inside in our pajamas. We are actually still in them! It is nice to have a day at home with nothing to do but spend time together. She is such a funny girl and has entertained me all day today. The way she will crawl over to me and give me love just melts my heart. The weekend is busy with Chase having a basketball game tomorrow and then we are going to take the kiddos to see Santa in Nashville. Of course Kentucky plays tomorrow so we'll be sure to catch the game as well. I still have plenty to do around here before I go back to work soon, like wrapping presents, finishing up thank you notes, and getting the house back in order. Needless to say, none of these things take precedence over spending time with Emma. So there is still lots to do. Here's some pictures of the last week or so.
Caught being still...for a moment
This is her new way of crawling. I guess she thinks she can get where she wants to go faster. We call it the Mowgli crawl.
Everyone teases me about always having a bow in her hair. You can tell why...Her hair has grown so much that it is down in her eyes.
Just removed from playing with the Christmas tree...
Is that an ornament?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Well, 10 months and 8 days... Emma turned 10 months on Dec. 2nd. It's hard to believe that she has been home over 2 months. I am trying to focus on enjoying the time I have with her before I go back to school in January. It is going to be so hard to leave her.
We are so in love with this little girl. Chase is smitten over her and constantly is taking care of his little sister. Even if she does bite him on the shoulder has he totes her around. He even managed not to drop her even though the bite marks left a bruise. What a trooper he is! Emma continues to amaze us with her sweet personality. She does something new every day and it never surprises me what she might do next. So here's what she's been up to: winks on command, says "Pap", stands alone for a few seconds, understands the word no (although she doesn't always listen), and is working on another bottom tooth. Aside from this, here are
10 things we really love about our Emma:
1. She gives "lovin" to us and squeezes us tight when we ask
2. The way she pats us on the back as she hugs us
3. When music comes on she dances along
4. The way she likes the DVD player, makes a car ride peaceful (if you like Christmas Carols)
5. How she babbles constantly and she seems to know what she is saying...
6. The way she knows when Daddy is about to do the C-A-T-S cheer and as he says ahh, she leans to make the "C" and says Cats at the end....This makes Daddy so proud!
7. She opens the gate and follows Mommy around the house
8. The Mowgli crawl that she does in order to get where she wants to go faster
9. The many faces she makes... serious, funny, happy, surprised, solemn
10. The way she crawls to her Daddy with all smiles after he comes home from work
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It's a tradition at the Johnson house to put the Christmas tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. By that time, the turkey has digested and Black Friday gifts are setting in the spare room, ready to wrap (and are still setting there). Ryan and I got our tree the first Christmas we were a couple, 9 years ago, and we love it so much that we fight with the prelit bulbs every year. This year the small section at the top was out and it only took us two hours to find the problem. Let's just say between the light issue, football games, and 9 month old curiosity, we were two days actually getting the ornaments on it!!! Emma really enjoyed the tree and the lights. She was intrigued by the fact that it turns. She has for the most part, left the ornaments alone. There are a couple of ornaments that she really likes to catch has they spin by. I absolutely love the Christmas season. The best part of the season is remembering that all the Christmas spirit comes back to a little baby in a manager. May your Christmas be filled with the love of Christ and the spirit of what He can do in your life.
Emma enjoyed playing with the ribbon
Chase has so many of his own ornaments that we decorate a tree for him. I decided to decorate one for Emma even though she only has three ornaments, one of which Chase gave her from his tree.
This is Emma's first ornament. Instead of buying one, I decided to make it using her handprint.
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