Monday, July 21, 2014

What I Love About You

I'll be honest. I'm not sure I loved Emily at first sight. I was exhausted, apprehensive, nervous, scared, excited and fearful when I laid eyes on her for the first time. When we were able to take her home from the hospital, it felt like I could just sit and watch her for hours. I was amazed that this tiny little human was mine.

It's been 2 years since then and it's obvious now that I LOVE my little girl. And as I've said, time and time again, I really do love every age. 

I currently love two year old Emily...

Who calls herself "Emmy"
Who insisted on picking up 3 small leaves on my car and taking them in to daycare to show everyone her ‘leeeeaves"
That she calls flamingos ‘mingos’ and kitties “kit-a-lees”
Who pretends like she is still sleeping when I come to wake her up in the morning and giggles when I pull back the covers
Who puts her shoes on the wrong feet and tries to wear my heals around the house
Who loves to cuddle with us early in the morning
Who has to be rocked to sleep and says “no bed, no bed” if we try to put her in her crib before she falls asleep.
When she pats Randy and says “good girl” like she has heard him say to Princess.
When she insists the birds she hears in the trees are “monkeys.”
When I sneeze and she says “bess ew”
When she runs to me yelling “MOMMY!!!” when I pick her up from daycare.
Who loves Elmo, Arthur, Mickey and Cinderella and brings us the remote to turn on the TV
Who twirls around the house singing “let it go, let it go, let it go” from Frozen
Who goes from that to wanting to play "BASEBALL!" and starts hurling tennis balls at us so we will catch them and throw them back to her
Who wants to wear a Cinderella dress while she eats chicken nuggets
Who loves to read to us, especially Brown Bear Brown Bear
Who, when asked "do you want me to hold you" she says "hold you"
Who, when she doesn't want to eat a certain food she says "I no like"
Who sings her ABCs "la la la la p" and counts "1, 2, 5....8 9 10!"

I know these days are fleeting and I will soon forget many of these special and hilarious moments. But for now, I'm loving every bit of two year old Emily Grace.  Happy birthday, EG!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

4 Years

It's been 4 years and it's still tough. I think about her often and I rarely say her name out loud. When I do, I feel the tears start to fill my eyes. But I love seeing pictures of her and I find that it's a bit easier to write my thoughts and feelings. I  published the post below last year on this day. The words I wrote then are as true today as they were then....


I can't let today go by without talking about her. I've been debated posting this, for several reasons, but I find there's a bit of relief that comes with exposing hidden words and feelings.

I don't want today to define her. I think that one of the saddest parts about death is that ultimately that person is defined by the day they left us. There's no doubt that July 16, 2010 was one of the most traumatic days of my life. Who expects a seemingly healthy 9 year old  girl to be diagnosed with leukemia and pass away less than 10 months later? Lauren's illness affected everyone. Nobody really knew what to do, so we all did the best we could. Looking back, those months were a blur of sadness, anger, frustration, relief, happiness, and guilt. And after Lauren's death, all the negative feelings were intensified to the highest degree. There were days I seriously questioned my faith and if my marriage (that had just begun) would remain intact.

Those feelings still remain and resurface from time to time but they don't hurt as much. Her artwork and picture remain in my office and don't bring the unbearable tears they used to but instead give little flickers of joy. I found that in the middle of the the worst days over the last three years, my faith grew and my marriage was strengthened. The less I doubted and questioned God, the more more peace I had. And the more peace I had, the easier it was to see God's plan taking shape. I'm still in awe that amazingly wonderful things can  emerge out of something so awful.  Is it really a coincidence that Emily was born 2 years and 4 days after Lauren's death?

Today does not and will never define my niece, Lauren. She will forever be the little girl that I loved playing Barbies with and swimming with in her pool. She is still the little girl I was just getting to know as I was becoming part of a new family. Although my time as Aunt Megan was way too short, the memories we made and the things she taught me will stay with me forever.  Her life moves me to appreciate every day I have with those I love, to show compassion to all I meet (not knowing what they are going through or loss they have suffered), to serve others, to love and trust God, and to give endless hugs to and thanks for my own little girl. And one day, sweet Lauren, we'll play together again in heaven.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello, July!

The summer is flying by! Last week we loaded up the car and drove down to Wilmington for the 4th. Despite threats of category one Hurricane Arthur, we braved the wind and rain and made it safely to Wilmington Thursday evening. Friday through Sunday were gorgeous days filled with lots of fun!

Emily and I went to the park and Aunt Kelly snapped some really cute photos with her awesome camera (because I don't remember the last time Emily had pictures that didn't come from my iPhone). Emily had a blast swinging and sliding.  This is the second time we've been to this park and the second time we have seen one of the alligators that lives there. Emily was just standing on the dock looking at the turtles when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a head gliding towards us in the water. I said a four letter that was definitely not child friendly, grabbed Emily and backed away as fast as I could. The alligator looked young and couldn't have been more than 4 feet long, BUT STILL. Alligator near my baby....not. cool.   

We had a blast playing at my parents house and Emily got some quality time with her grandparents while we went out on the boat. My sister, brother-in-law and their two friends love to fish and Randy and I went along for the ride. The water was beautiful and thanks to the high tides from Arthur, we were able to go back into areas that you normally wouldn't be able to access by boat. We spent a good three hours out there and only caught one fish but had lots of laughs and a very relaxing time.

 A trip to Wilmington wouldn't be complete with a trip to Port City Java and time on the beach. Sunday we loaded up and drove out to Carolina Beach early before the crowds descended upon us. The sky was clear, the beach was pretty empty and Emily basically lost her baby mind out there.  She ran back and forth from our chairs to the water. She splashed, she squealed, she fell down, she ran some more, and then she crashed. Which made for a very nice, quiet ride back home.

Our time in Wilmington is always too short and I'm already planning our next trip!