Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Emma's Girls

Girlfriends, whether two or eight two, where would we be without them? Boys have special relationships with their friends too, but there's just something special about the way we were created as women when it comes to our friendships. We love connection, relationship, affection, that common bond, knowing that we are known, understood by another woman, a kindred spirit, a friend; it's like water to us.
Emma, Addison, and Devyn on a play date at the mall. These three girls have known each other all of their short little lives. Well, Addison had to wait until she was almost one to meet Emma, and then four more months to meet Devyn, but you get the picture. Who knows how their friendship will develop over the years, but for now, we moms can only give them the opportunity to be lifelong friends like we are.
Devyn and Emma, being wonderful big sisters together! (Sorry you're surrounded by all these girls little Hudson, but some day I bet you'll love being surrounded by females!)
Nothing like a hug from a friend.
Emma and Addison holding hands in the mall, so precious!
Girls are the best gigglers!
Pondering their wishes after throwing a penny in.
"Sugar and spice and everything nice."
Oh, how I love little girls!

Chloe's Corner

I just think baby feet are one of the most precious body parts to behold! So soft and pretty, smelling lotiony sweet all the time, no rough spots yet, they are just beautiful. It took quite the acrobatics and just the right moment to capture these little tootsies, but it was well worth it, don't you think?
Miss Chloe is so content to play with her toys in the middle of the room, as long as her sister or I is around for sporatic entertainment. Today while Emma was still naping,we were rolling a ball back and forth to each other, a game she loves, so I decided to try to teach her the sign for ball. Believe it or not, she actually put her hands together to mimic what I was doing! I love baby sign!
Sitting on the couch like a big girl, we always LOVE that smile!
"Pucker up Nana, I'm coming in for a landing!"
"Okay, one guess...And no mom, this photo will NOT make my wedding slide show cut some day and honestly, why in the world would you post it on your blog?!" Well, that's just my guess about what she'll say as a teenager about this shot, but I'm hoping she'll have my sense of humor and get as big of a kick out of this picture as I do!
Daddy's little girl, need I say more?
"Well, what's next on the schedule mom?"
"I give up! If Emma takes one more of my toys away, I'm just going to give them all to her, what do I need them for anyway!?" Okay, I'm having a little too much fun making up what Chloe might be thinking/saying in these pictures!
This picture really captures our family life in a nutshell. Especially when Daddy gets home from work, tickles and laughing galore!
"Daddy, your whiskers tickle!"
My precious babe, pure beauty!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Slowing Down

Prompted and inspired by a blog post written by Elise today (I highly suggest you read her post, a beautifully captured moment), our lunch time today looked a little different than it normally does. There are times when I slow down enough to choose patience as I treasure a moment with my girls, but it doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like. Emma, my oldest daughter, loves to help me, in any way she can. As moms, we all know that "help" can often be counter productive, and yet we know, in our heart of hearts, what a blessing it is to our children to feel that they have contributed to a task, not just mildly, but that without them, the task might not have been accomplished. So today, as I was getting the oatmeal cereal, fruit, and veggies ready for my eight month old, I made a conscious decision to slow down and let Emma help feed her sister, something she loves to do, but something I often take over for the sake of avoiding drops of pureed food all over everything. Today, I took the time to show her how to scoop a small bite out of the bowl, wipe the back of the spoon on the edge of the bowl, and then gently put the spoon in Chloe's mouth. She took in my instruction with great enthusiasm. She then proceeded to do exactly as I showed her, and to my surprise, added a spoon wipe accross Chloe's mouth to catch the left overs to top it off. (I never showed her that part of the routine, our kids watch our every move don't they!). I was so impressed and just oooed and ahhhed over her abilities, Emma was grinning from ear to ear, she wanted to "give me five"! For the rest of Chloe's meal, we took turns, first I gave her a bite, then Emma, until the meal was complete. I then let her help wipe her sister's face and hands, she did a great job! Afterwards, I thanked her for helping me feed her sister and then asked her to help me make her own lunch. Bursting with pride, she grabbed her little chair and headed straight for the stove. She helped me with every step in the preparation of her Annie's Shell's and Cheddar, not to miss a beat. Lunch time took a little longer than usual today, but it became a treasured moment of learning and serving and taking the time to invest in my daughter's spirit. Thanks for the inspiration Elise! I'm so thankful for all the women in my life, whether through blogging or my church family or my group of close friends and family, who inspire and challenge me and share their own life lessons with me. God uses you all to speak to me in different ways, so ultimately, I must thank Him. Let's never forget to slow down long enough to let those around us help us, and not just our children. In our arrogant pride, we often think that only we can do things properly, but perhaps it's not about completing life's tasks perfectly, but rather about linking elbows with each other, the weak and the strong, doing more and being more together than we ever could be alone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Those Melancholy Moments

Melancholy: "depression of spirits", as defined by webster. We've all been there, just feeling blue or maybe drowning in deep thoughts. I often get this feeling after some long awaited and loved company has left, sort of the anti-climax of energy when we've misplaced our hope. Having something to look forward to, planning for the future, waiting in excited anticipation for the next fun event propells us through life. But when those long awaited events pass, what are we left with and what can it teach us? I'm coming to realize that the lump in the back of my throat that forms, the longing my soul experiences is so much more than I previously thought. Before, I attributed that "melancholy" feeling to the natural letdown, recognizing that life must move on from a treasured moment. Partially, I think it's true, but the Lord is revealing something new to me about the feeling. That lump, that longing, that restlessness of the spirit is perhaps a gentle calling from my Savior, Redeemer, and best friend. His invitation to put my hope in more, something lasting, someone perfect. Philippians 4:4-8 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." It goes on to say in verse 12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." I've read this passage many times before, but today it had a special significance to me. That feeling of discontentment that sneaks in from time to time, rather than reflecting my circumstances is, on a deeper level, reflecting where I am placing my hope, where my heart is dwelling and what truths I am filling my mind with. Thankgoodness God gives me grace when I am wallowing in a moment hope misplaced, and thankgoodness He is faithful to give me that lump in my throat to point me towards Hope's proper home! "Whether well fed or hungry" (I think this can mean spiritual hunger as well), isn't it good to know that even when we are unfaithful, God is unwavering, and quick to meet us right where we are, in any moment.
"Father, I need you to carry me through each day, and each moment within a day. I am lost without you. Forgive me for placing my hope in anything or anyone but you. When I am ugly in my sin, grab my face by my chin and gently pull my gaze to you. Pull me out of my moods, my negative thinking, and fill me with the Truth. Prune me, refine me into all you've called me to be, bearing much fruit, being a sweet fragrence to all those around me. Only by your strength can I do anything. I love you! Amen"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Chloe's Seven Month Pictures

Chloe will be eight months old on Friday! Where the time has gone we're not sure, but we are so much enjoying our little pickle these days. She's on the verge of crawling, just cut her first tooth and is sleeping 12 hours solid every night. Chloe's little personality is so vibrant and sweet, we're having a blast getting to know her more and more with every little turn of development. She's very vocal, already says momma and dadda to the appropriate person. We thought it was just a fluke for awhile, but we're discovering it's very specific. She smiles at almost everyone, her giggle is infectious, and she loves to explore any new toy or household object we place in front of her. Her sister continues to be the light of her life and Emma continues to be so helpful and nurturing with her. She has even figured out how to help her sit back up when she falls back and makes sure she brings lots of toys for her to play with when she's getting bored with what she has. I am so blessed, that's all I can say.Chloe Paige, Seven months old in her Easter dress.One of the fun things about having two girls is matching Easter dresses! Nana undoubtedly treasures this collage of pictures.

Easter Dinner

We had a great Easter. We went to the 8:00am service at church, how wonderful to celebrate the amazing sacrifice and gift that Christ gave us on the cross. The message centered around the fact that because He was raised from the dead three days after the crucifiction, we have the Hope, not only for eternity with Him, but Hope for each day, each moment, regardless of our circumstances. Our Savior Lives! After church, it was home for an Easter egg hunt, which Emma thoroughly enjoyed. Then we had a nice mid-afternoon dinner at our house. Nana was here, Grammy and Papa, Uncle Tyler, and Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Monica and cousin Nathan. I made a ham and some other side dishes, everyone brought something to share as well, it was quite a feast!Emma's Easter basket.Look what the Easter bunny brought mom!Nana and Grammy cuddling on the couch after Easter dinner. Have I ever mentioned how blessed I feel , and how blessed Emma and Chloe are to have two grandmas who not only love them to pieces, but are good friends with each other too.Cousin Nathan being his adorable self. We think resembles Ricky Ricardo.Nathan and Uncle Jeremy. We sure are going to miss them when they move in a month. Jeremy is enlisting fulltime with the army and could be stationed in Hawaii or Japan. We just might "have" to go visit them during the next three years. Emma and Nathan have gotten quite close, I know she's going to miss him.Peek-a-boo!Wrestling with Uncle Tyler on the couch is the best game ever! He also has this amazing ability to pull things out of my ears, He's just amazing!

Easter Eggs

Emma's first Easter Egg Dying party was a rousing success! Nana is here for the weekend and then some, Uncle Tyler came over, and Grammy and Papa too. After I put Chloe to bed, the party began, and Emma was completely enthralled! You should have seen the look on her face when she pulled the first egg out of the cup! In white, but out a brilliant blue.
All ready to go!
And the first egg goes in.
Wow, so pretty!
A shot with mommy while waiting for the eggs to dye.
Miss Gracie keeps us in stitches with her adult level of humor.
Okay, I think it's time for bed so the Easter bunny can come.