One year ago today…

One year ago today.

Our lives changed in a way that I was terrified for.

When my husband decided at 6 months pregnant to leave me and our kids, I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know if I could do life without him. And I was terrified to give birth alone.

Turns out, the universe always has your back. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that this was the best thing for us. My two daughters helped me through labor and brought their brother earthside with me and it was the most powerful and life altering day of my life.

One year ago today, Monet (my birth videographer) captured a transition in my life and I will forever be grateful for her talents in doing so. At times, she also set her camera down and was with me in the moment…to encourage me, woman to woman, that I was strong, that I was powerful, that I could do this.

Happy birthday to my little guy and thank you Monet for giving me this priceless video so that I can always look back on the most transitional day of my life…the day I was healed from all the hurt and anguish, the day my little guy saved us all. ❤️

Password: birth2017

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Oh my! What a surprise!

I am nothing, if not candid and honest here. So, here goes…

A few weeks ago, I felt funny. I had my suspicions and they were right:

I kept taking tests because that’s how in shock I was! I mean, I am. Errr, was. Nope, still in shock haha. 

I found out super early! I mean, I was not even 4 weeks when I first tested and saw that SUPER faint line. I almost had to squint in order to see it. So I kept testing. And wouldn’t you know it, that line kept getting darker. ❤️

I’m going to be super honest with you now, because I think honesty is so important in this life and I want you to know the whole truth. I will always be honest with you. Always. Because the truth is, I already love you. So, so much!!!

While your existence was not planned, you are so wanted!!! So incredibly wanted! Always remember that. But I have to admit, I was scared and nervous and had butterflies in my tummy. Was this for real???

I tried to think of a good way to tell your Daddy, but the truth is I was so nervous to tell him, but wanted it to still be special! So, I called your nana and papa and told them the good news. They were thrilled! I asked if they would help me tell him and of course they agreed. So, after daddy got home from work, papa called to tell Daddy how excited he was about the new baby…and boy you should have seen the shock on your Daddy’s face! 😂 And the rest is history! 

It’s been a surreal 4 weeks waiting for my first Dr’s appointment to check to see if your little heart was beating. In that time, I’ve been super busy with your two older sisters, running my photography business, and managing this household! I would forget about your little existence for a couple of days and then reality would hit me again and I’d wonder if you were doing okay in there. 

Well, yesterday was the day. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. I wanted you to be real so badly while at the same time still so in shock by the possibility! But I hoped upon hope that you were healthy and that we would see and hear your beautiful heartbeat. It took forever for them to pull me back to the ultrasound room, but when they did, there you were. And I instantly fell head over heels in LOVE with YOU!!! 

So, there you have it. Me oh my, what a sweet little surprise!!! 😍❤️😍❤️

And here we go again… 👶🏻

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The Jewel turns 2!!

You’re two today my littlest love!! It is so very hard to believe that two years has passed since your quick and fierce arrival into this world and yet I cannot remember life without you in it! You bring so much joy and fun and love to this family and I hope you always know just how treasured you truly are!! Happy birthday to my second born, my little mini me. You have the most kissable face and are the snuggliest little monkey. You keep us laughing and on our toes! And never have more truer words been written, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” You have taught us all so much about determination and focus and how to never give up! I love you my little princess!!!! ❤️🎉

• You are completely potty trained, both day and night and have been since you were 23 months!! What?!? You are incredible!

• You are an incredible gymnast already. I know that might seem silly, but you really are! You’re so strong and dedicated. Even your teachers coment on your abilities!

• There is no one you love more than your older sissy. She is your best friend, your playmate and the only one that can make you giggle so hard that you both snort! 

• You are also fiercely attached to me. And while it makes some things hard for me (like when I need to get work done) I secretly love it because I feel the same exact way about you! 😘

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Everything in each other 

Dear girls,

I cried today. Not, I shed a couple of tears and then moved on kind of cry, no. I full on sobbed, like a baby, until my head hurt and my nose ran. Sobbed. This life. This life is hard. It’s hard and beautiful. Tonight I was reminded that I’m still human. You see, I get so wrapped up in the day to day grind, taking care of you girls, running errands, managing the household and trying to be the glue that keeps everything and everyone together and for the first time in a long while, I got a dose of reality, of life. It stung. It surprised me, actually. I haven’t had emotions like that in a while. All my emotions have been wrapped up in you that I sometimes forget that I can have emotions of my own. So yes, I was surprised. I was reminded tonight that this world can be so harsh and so unfair and it can kick you right in the gut when you’re already down and exhausted and think you have nothing left. I cried for myself. I pittied myself. I felt pain and it rushed over me quickly before I could try to control it. I’m kind of glad it did. It was a good reminder. I AM human. I do still have a beating heart that can get hurt. And in those moments as I sobbed, I began to think of both of you, of how one day you too will be overcome with great sadness. The world and its people will treat you unfairly and you, too, will be kicked in the gut and feel the exact emotions that I felt tonight. And then I   sobbed harder because as much as I love you and as much as I will do anything in my power to protect you, I cannot protect you from that. People will disappoint you. People will hurt you. People will betray you. This is the truth about life. And when it happens, it will hurt and you will cry. You will feel such sadness and such solitude. Except remember this, you are not alone. You hear me girls? You are NOT alone. My greatest gift to each of you…each other. In your sister you will find strength, support, LOVE. Undying and unwavering. It is a bond that can never be broken, nor substituted. When this world fails you, when the people of this world wrong you, look to each other. Pick each other up. For when you are together, no world can tear you down. Remember to embrace this gift you’ve been given and cherish each other because you will need each other to navigate this world. But there is no need to fear, you have each other and with that there is strength and so much love. That is all you will ever need. 
I love you both beyond the universe and back. 

Mama Em. 








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18 Months

One year and a half!!! Happy 18 months my precious jewel! I am in astonishment at how quickly we got here and if I think too long on the matter, I cry. Yes, cry. Tears of sadness that you are growing so quickly, tears of happiness at the joy you bring me and our entire family, tears of pride seeing you grow and learn every day, and lastly, tears of pure and raw emotion because you are litterally my beating heart outside my body and the love I have for you goes unmatched! And now I’m crying again!!! 

I just have all the feels for you my love and feel SO incredibly lucky to be your mommy. ❤️

Height: 31 inches

Weight: 22.5 pounds

Head: 19 inches

Newest Developments:

  • Language!! Really is there anything you don’t say these days? You are mastering the English language along with American Sign Language. The 18 month verbal explosion is no joke! Your little brain is just firing away and every day you have a new word or sign! Some of my favorites, “go go go!” “Up up up!” “Down down down!” 
  • Saying hi and bye and “beebee” to people out and about. You just love to make friends and are very curious about all the people we come into contact with!
  • I dropped you off at your very first daycare experience! Oh man my mommy heart was so worried and I felt guilty for leaving you (for 1 hour while I did a workout at the gym) but you did phenomenal!!! No tears!!! And you happily played with big sister and the caretakers while I was gone! You are my confident little baby. You are amazing. 
  • Empathy! This is very new and in its very early stages of development but you are now recognizing when other people are unhappy and crying, especially babies. When you see or hear a baby crying you get very concerned, start signing sad/tears and go to comfort them by hugging and petting! It’s literally THE CUTEST thing ever. What a huge heart you already have! Just like big sister, too. 

I love you more than any words can express my tiny jewel! Happy 18 months! This is where the monthly photos and entries end (so bittersweet) until your 2nd birthday! 


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17 Months

Happy 17 months to my precious little Jewel!!! This month has seen such incredible development in both your language skills and your personality!!! I’m so in love with you and I literally cannot get enough of you. Your breath, your sweet kisses, your hugs. Gimme!!! 😘😘😘

Weight: 21.5lbs

Height: 31″

Head: 18.75″

Newest developments:

  • Running and jumping
  • Balancing on your sissy’s balance beam
  • Flips off the couch and mommy’s lap
  • New words – good?, more, go!, baby
  • You understand SO much and you impress me with your ability to listen and take direction 
  • Tantrums! 😁

Your personality is so incredibly goofy! You will make the cheesiest smiley face and it cracks us up! You love to make people laugh and are so sweet and good natured. You love to get your diaper changed and will tell us ALL THE TIME to change your diaper by slapping your tush. 😂 Then you run away from us when we try to get a fresh diaper on you. You think it’s hilarious! You love to play keep away from your sister, much to her chagrin. And at the moment, you are obsessed with baby dolls, reading books and watching baby signing time!

Love you my girl!!!!



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16 Months

Look at you my big girl!! Ahhhh, I just can’t get enough of you! Look at that face!!! I smooch you all day long and breathe you in, literally, because you are just too much!! 

Height – 30.5 inches (50th percentile)

Weight – 20lbs 6oz (40th percentile)

Head – 18.75 inches (88th percentile)

Teeth – 7 total. Bottom next to your middle just broke through. The other side is not far behind. 

Newest developments:

  • Vocabulary explosion! You say so many words now including “Beh-Bah” which is your way of saying Gemma! It’s THE cutest thing in the whole wide world. Some of your new words include duck, grandpa, baby, moose, hi, bye. 
  • Imitation. Monkey see, monkey do. And you have the perfect older sister monkey to watch! 🙈😍
  • Dancing! Girl, you can get down and anytime you hear music you are sure to bust a move!!
  • Kisses and hugs for everyone! You love it and I love it!!
  • You and your sister will play in bed together for a while before you cry out for me to come get you. I’m really loving that and I love spying on you two to see the cuteness in the morning! ❤️😍😘

Happy 16 months my precious Jewel! I love you!!!

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15 Months

Height – 31 inches

Head – 18.5 inches

Weight – 21.5 pounds

6 teeth. 4 top front and 2 front bottom.

Talking and imitating a lot! Your new favorite game is to say “cheese!!!” whenever I pull out the camera! Are you a photographer’s daughter or what?? It’s the cutest thing in the whole wide world. In fact, in the picture below, you’re laughing after saying “cheese!”

You continue to be the sweetest, goofiest most amazing baby. I’m so in love with you and your smile and happy go lucky attitude! Your vocabulary is growing and you try to say all sorts of words…most sound like “dog” but that’s okay. 🙂

You are very super attached to me and will cry if anyone else tries to hold you…including daddy! Well, unless daddy is tossing you in the air, then you laugh!

When Daddy gets home from work, you run to him to greet him and give him a hug and a kiss. It melts me every time! You are super in love with your sister and I love watching the two of you together. You will run up to her and wrap your cute little baby arms around her and hold on as long as she’ll let you! When you wake up in the morning, you look to see where she is and then smile and laugh when you find her. You love to play with your sissy and she is still the person who can make you laugh the hardest!

Happy 15 months my precious little baby!! I LOVE YOU!

15 months

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14 Months

Weight – 22lbs

Height – 30.5″

Head – 18.75″

5 teeth. 3 top front teeth and 2 bottom front teeth.

You are SUPER attached to me right now. I think you’re going through a phase. You want nothing to do with anyone else and if I even try to set you down you cry. I feel terrible, like I’m traumatizing you if I try to leave you with anyone…so I don’t! Sometimes I can’t even go potty without putting you down…how’s that for never wanting to leave my side ha! It’s okay though…I remind myself that one day you won’t need me, one day I will long for you to wrap your arms around me and never let go. So I’m savoring you right now. You are perfection.

You are seriously one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen and I know I say that because I’m your mother, but also, everyone else tells me too! You are too cute my love and your smile and giggle can light up an entire room!

Happy 14 months!

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Getting so big girl!

And the developments keep rolling on in!! Mommy’ heart is so full watching you grow and change and also a little sad to see you leaving babyhood behind! 😢

Four days ago (July 17) you started to stand, unassisted, for short periods of time and it was the cutest thing ever!! You would squeal with delight at yourself every time you successfully stood up and you would place your hands up over your head or behind your head, Ya know, to really show off! 

Then, on Sunday (July 19) I discovered that your top left tooth had broken through! You are now the proud owner of three teeth! 😁

No wonder you’d been chewing on your hands and been a little fussy at night!

Then tonight…you did something incredible!!!! My sweet baby girl, YOU TOOK YOUR FIRST STEPS!!!! Are you kidding me?! I caught a quick video of you about to take some steps and then when you actually took your first steps I mistakenly only took a snapshot. I’m so mad at myself!!! I know you’ll do it again, so I will do my best to capture it, but for now, this video and one picture of you walking will have to do. You are so big girl right now!!!


Look at that face!!!! So happy. So proud. My heart is bursting!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 

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