Gratitude

She’s Six

July 14, 2017

Last Sunday, my baby girl turned six.  My head is still trying to wrap itself around the fact that I have a six year old.  It’s funny to think about myself, who I was, such a naive little thing then.  Boy, has life happened over these past six years.

We were sure that our Elena Catherine was going to be born Henry William that day (we didn’t find out the sex).  Instead, we were surprised to hear “it’s a girl!”, as our sweet little girl entered this world weighing 8lbs 2oz.  She was such a good baby.  She was a sleeper, an eater and as yummy as a newborn can be.  Life was good.

We learned more in the first year of her life than any parent should.  It was supposed to be a year of watching her grow, achieve, with all kinds of firsts and dates to record in the baby book.  Instead, it was a year of pain, tears, darkness, the realization of the fragility of life.  Her first year was the hardest of my life.  In all honestly, it’s hard for me to actually remember the first year of her life.  It’s just dark.

But, I remember her first birthday.  I’m certain we invited close to 80 people into our house that hot July day.  I wanted everyone who loved and supported us through it to be there, to celebrate a day that should not have been.  I cried my way through that day.  Happy tears.  We had made it.

And every birthday since has continued to be a celebration.  We celebrate something that we know was nearly lost.  Her birthday has incredible meaning and has now become a reminder of what we were given.  It’s a time to reflect upon the beautiful memories we have made in another year of life.  It’s a day to look at our beautiful girl, be proud of the amazing things she has achieved and give thanks to God for giving us the gift of her life, her smile and all we have learned along the way.

For our most precious girl, who cries every time someone sings the happy birthday song, you have enriched our lives more than we could ever know.  You are brave.  You are resilient.  You are loved.  You are a blessing.  You are joy.  You are perfect.

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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