Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Thanks Mom and Dad May 30, 2013

My Parents & Emma

My Parents & Emma

To my parents (and truly, any other parent whose child grew up to be a parent, too):

Thank you for loving me. Period. There are so many times that the love you showed me only went one way. There was no return and no immediate result from the love you showed me, but you did anyways. Your love for me has shown me how to love my daughter.

Thank you for choosing to discipline me. At the time, I didn’t understand it. At the time, I probably didn’t agree with it. Now I’m glad you did and grateful you did, too. After countless attempts and many tears (from Emma AND me), I now understand just a glimpse of how hard it was. Finding a way to teach your child to obey and not crush their spirit at the same time is a hard thing to accomplish and I pray everyday that we can do it. Disciplining your child is a time consuming, thankless, heartbreaking job. I cling tight to God’s word here and I’m sure you did, too.  (“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9)

Thank you for choosing to have me. In a world full of so many choices, you choose to give life to an unexpected pregnancy, rather than take it, and raise a child. I’m grateful everyday for the life you’ve given me. I’m even more grateful for the life you’ve given me with you all as my parents! (please note here: abortion or adoption were never on the table with my parents- I’m just being thankful that it never was).

Thank you for giving me a brother. I am so glad that not only was I raised in a wonderful home, but four years later, I had a brother join me. I grew up with a constant companion and to this day, still have a best friend because of it. I’m grateful for my parents deciding to have another child, which in turn blessed me with a sibling.

Thank you for believing in me. Despite how crazy my dreams seemed (and still do sometimes), you believe in me. You encourage me. You have never taught me to do anything less than strive for my dreams and pursue them. You’ve also taught me it’s ok sometimes to not get where you planned on being and it’s always ok to change your mind. You taught me to be a dreamer and a realist all at the same time and that is something that is hard to teach.

Thank you for introducing me to Jesus. You brought me to church, you talked about Him in our home, and you made Him a part of our lives. You never forced Him, but rather, you let me find Him. I am so grateful for this. My salvation is through Jesus Christ alone but I thank you for helping me find Him. This will forever be the thing I am most grateful for and the thing I pray that above all else we share with Emma.

So thanks mom and dad. I pray my life is a reflection of what wonderful parents you all were and still are. As one of my friends, Carrie, so eloquently put, “(raising children) is the hardest job you’ll ever love. Even my worst days are often better than my best days before…”


Week of Thanksgiving Day #4: How to Be Thankful November 22, 2012

There are a lot of things about Thanksgiving that make it so great. The family. The food. The day off. There are so many things to be thankful for and only one day to focus on it. Or it is?   Today I want to talk about how to be thankful and how to be more grateful for the things that we have in this life.


Take more than one day or one month to be thankful. It’s not enough to focus on it for one day or one month. It should be something you do every day or multiple times every day. Being thankful is a great character trait to have and something that reminds you daily of how lucky you are. Having trouble starting? Here’s one: if you have a fridge with food to eat, a roof over your head, and clothes on your back, you are in the top 25% of the world’s wealth. There are 75% of people in the world living with less than those three things. If that doesn’t make you thankful, I don’t know what does.


Hope for the opportunity to be something someone else is thankful for in life. I’m not saying to be selfish here and make it about you, but we should strive to be the kind of people that others are thankful for and not a burden to have in their lives. It’s just as important to be a blessing to someone as it is to blessed. Never forget to bless others like they have blessed you and beyond.


Always thank God for his generosity in your life. Just as easily as He has blessed you, He could take it away. Because He loves and cares for us, He wants to bless us. We should want to thank Him in return for caring for us like He does. Try to begin all your prayers with thanksgiving to God. I can only imagine that it’s great to hear “thank you” and not always “give me”.


Not only should you want to be a blessing to others, you should want to tell other when they are a blessing to you and when you’re thankful for them. Time goes by so quickly and sometimes we are never given the opportunity to tell others how they have positively impacted our lives. When you’re given the opportunity to tell someone you’re thankful for them, be sure to do it. You never know if that may be your last chance.


Keep a record of the things you are thankful for in life. I love the idea of a Thankful box. The way it works is that every year, every member of your family writes down (5) things they are thankful for that year and puts it back in the box. Every year you’re able to look back on all the things you were thankful for in years past. We plan on starting this tradition today. Be sure to check out this link from Stacy Makes Cents on how to make and use your box.


Share with others why you are thankful. It’s not enough to think it, we should share it with others. When we’re thankful and tell others how thankful we are, it not only allows us to reflect on the great things in our lives but encourages others to see the good in their lives, too. We should all reflect on the good things in life, even if it’s just one. One is better than none and we all have at least one thing to be thankful for in our lives.

These are ways to practice being thankful on a regular basis. Join me as I work harder to be thankful more than one day each year. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!