Gratitude

Ribbons & Bows

July 16, 2012

Ribbons and Bows, Frills and Fun was the theme of Elena’s first birthday party.  There was plenty of hustling around prepping all the food, decorations and crafting.  How I pulled it together, I don’t know!  I did an ABSOLUTE horrible job of taking pictures at her party.  I realized after everyone left, that we didn’t get a single picture of our family or of Elena…bad Mommy.

Here are the pictures that I did get….

Happy Birthday Laney!

 Cake #1

 Cake #2

 The Foooooood!

 The Gift Table 

 Daddy and the Birthday Gal

We really wanted to honor Elena’s first birthday giving back to the hospital that saved her life and allowed us to celebrate this special milestone.  Instead of bringing a gift for Elena, we had everyone bring a toy to be donated to the Riley Hospital Cheer Guild.  The last thing we need are more toys anyway! 🙂  Elena received many toys, blankets and animals while she was a patient, so it was awesome to bring three boxes of toys back to Riley.  To top off the week, my family served a meal on Thursday at the Ronald McDonald House.  As you probably read from our CaringBridge, the RMH was our haven especially when Elena was in the PICU.  I don’t know what we would have done without that comfortable space, wonderful volunteers, and plentiful food.  I definitely had to fight back the tears every time a family came through.  It brought back so many memories of exhausted days, thanking the volunteers who served us so many meals.  So much heartbreak there.  We were so happy to offer a smile and a world-famous Frey Coney Dog!

It was certainly a bittersweet birthday week.  Lots of memories, good and bad.  But mostly, we were grateful to be celebrating a birthday and were very busy showering Elena with kisses, hugs and squeezes.  

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals