Three Things about Emily, Age Three


Number One: She remains fiercely independent. Emily is in full-blown threenager status, and some days involve a lot of time-outs, but our days also involve a lot of spontaneous hugs and kisses and her stopping playing just long enough for an “I love you, Mommy” before racing back to her game. Emily is strong-willed and not shy about telling us what she wants, but she’s also pretty introverted. She loves playing with the neighbor kids, but it’s not uncommon for her to leave the group after a few minutes and take some time to play quietly on her own. As someone who also needs time alone to decompress, I totally get it.


Number Two: Emily is fearless. We’ve always called her our baby mountain goat, and her love for climbing anything and everything has not lessened. Where her brother cautiously assesses new challenges, Emily is more prone to charge in head first and ask questions later. This girl has never met a piece of playground equipment she didn’t want to climb, and she usually manages to make it to the top and back with minimal injury.


Number Three: Emily adores her brother. I was talking to her the other day about him going off to kindergarten next week (!) and realized mid-conversation that she was under the impression she would be going with him. It makes sense, if you think about it with three-year-old logic: She’s always done everything with him. They went to their first daycare together, then they switched to a new daycare together last year, and last week they left that school together to start spending their days with their new nanny, Miss Gaby. So why wouldn’t they also go to kindergarten together? Needless to say she was pretty distraught to learn that she will not, in fact, be starting kindergarten next week. I talked up the fact that she’d get the toys at Miss Gaby’s house all to herself while Zander’s in school, and she’d be able to go with Miss Gaby to drop Alexander off and pick him up from school every day, and he’ll just be right down the street from Miss Gaby’s house (have I mentioned how much I LOVE having our kids in the care of this wonderful woman who is right here in our neighborhood?), and that helped a little. But now she talks a lot about “Soon Zanner go to school. And then I will miss my brother,” and my heart breaks right into a million pieces. She’s going to miss him for sure, but I think my independent little introvert will also benefit greatly from the one-on-one attention she’ll get while Alexander’s at school.


Six-Base Kickball

It was recently brought to my attention that not everybody — not only not everybody, but hardly anybody — grew up playing the World’s Best Game in elementary school gym class: Six-Base Kickball.

Not only did I not realize that Six-Base Kickball wasn’t a universally known game among the elementary school set, but I also didn’t realize that the version of Kickball the rest of the world has been playing all these years does not, in fact, utilize six bases. Apparently it’s just…baseball? But with a ball you kick? You guys…you have no idea what you’re missing.

Here’s how it works (fancy-schmancy MS Paint diagram included for reference; trust me, you’re going to need it).

The game is best played in a standard, rectangular gymnasium, utilizing the entire gym floor. You have two teams: Offense and Defense. The goal of the Offense is to kick the ball, round the bases, and score runs. Defense, obviously, tries to prevent that from happening. The rules are baseball-style: 3 strikes, you’re out; 3 outs, Defense moves to Offense and vice-versa; caught fly balls result in an out; if Defense tags Offense with the ball, that’s an out. Pretty basic, right?

Here’s where it gets interesting.


Okay, say you’re playing Offense and it’s your turn to kick. You start at Home Plate (H). The Pitcher (typically the gym teacher) gently rolls a dodgeball-style ball toward you, and you kick it, angling toward the far corner. If you have a successful kick, you run for 1st and try to avoid having a Defense player tag you with the ball. From there, proceed around the bases as you are able, following the arrows depicted above. If you make it back to Home Plate, you score. Great job!

Other Important Rules: Players may stay on any base for as long as they need/want, only running for the next base when they feel confident they have a good shot at making it. So if you’re on 2nd, and another player has a good kick and starts rounding the bases, it’s cool. You can just hang tight on 2nd if you want. Or you can run. Your choice! Also, there’s no limit to the number of players who may be on a base at any given time. At times, most of your team may be huddled around 3rd, each with a fraction of a toe touching the base for safety, waiting for just the right moment to make a mad dash for 4th. (Watch out for collisions in the outfield between players running from 1st to 2nd and players running from 3rd to 4th!) Oh, and if you make it back to Home Plate, you may either get in line to kick again, OR you can keep on running to 1st base and try to round the bases again!

It’s basically the funnest game ever and I can’t believe it’s not being played at every elementary school in the country.

Closing thoughts:

  1. Thank goodness I never signed up for an adult kickball league. Can you imagine how distraught I would have been to show up and discover it’s not traditionally played with six bases?
  2. My elementary school gym teacher, who I now realize invented this game, was a freaking genius.

Five Facts about Alexander, Age Five

1. This kid love dinosaurs. The carnivores are his favorite, and among that group, his top five are Spinosaurs, T-Rex, carnivorous Pterodactyls (“meat-a-dactyls”), Icthyosaurus, and Indominous Rex. (Related: He’s obsessed with the LEGO Jurassic World playstation game. He and Tim have the best time playing together.) If he had his way, he would only wear dinosaur clothes, he would only eat dinosaur-shaped food, and he would only read dinosaur books. Dinosaurs are basically his whole life.img_20161014_1810342. He’s kind. So incredibly kind and loving. He’s always looking out for his sister and gives out hugs freely and generously. He’s always kind to his friends at daycare, even as he’s learning that sometimes other kids aren’t always nice to everyone else. At home, he’ll randomly throw his arms around me and exclaim, “I love you, Mommy! I’ll never stop loving you!”

img_20161002_1550293. He’s so smart. The kids started at a new daycare this fall, and they’re learning so much. Alexander could already write his name, but he’s learning to spell other words (did you know T-Rex is spelled “T-LINE-R-E-X”?), doing basic addition and subtraction, and starting to read sight words. His understanding of large numbers has increased, too. A year ago, the biggest number he could fathom was 20-11 (as in, 28, 29, 20-10, 20-11); now his catchall number for the biggest amount he can imagine is 100,081. If you ask him how many grapes he wants: 100,081. If you reassure him that we’re all going to live for a very long time: “Are we going to live for 100,081 years?” (Okay, so his understanding of how big that number actually is may need some work, but at least he knows numbers that big exist.)

img_20161003_1221364. He and his sister are the best of friends. Emily recently moved into the room across the hall from Alexander’s, and now on the weekends they wake up and play together while Tim and I sleep in a little. Last weekend, when Emily woke up, we heard her shouting from her room, “Nanner! C’mere! Nanner! C’mere!” A few minutes later they were snuggled up in her bed together looking at books. This morning I ventured out of bed to find them having a dolly tea party in the playroom. (Having kids who are old enough to entertain themselves in the mornings is an excellent parenting milestone to have reached.)

img_20161105_1547405. When he grows up, he wants to be an artist, a paleontologist, and a scientist. He wants to know everything about everything. He has a ton of questions about life and death. He understands dinosaurs died and now all that’s left are their bones, but the concept of decomposition is still beyond him. He’ll often start a line of questioning with, “When we die, and our bones come out of our bodies…” and then I try to explain to him that our bones don’t just jump out of our skin when we die. He found a book about Mt. Vesuvius and now wants to know all about volcanoes and is always very concerned about how close we are to volcanoes and when a volcano might erupt and send “lava and asteroids” shooting out over our city.


There’s Nothing Like Summer in the Suburbs

An itemized list of things currently bringing me joy:

  1. Getting really excited about a new thing and having good friends to share in your fangirl excitement over the thing.
  2. Spending the day swapping inside jokes and new hashtags (#hamilbeans, #hamilsaurusrex, #MondaysAreEspressolyHard), and coming up with modified Hamilton lyrics parodying the events of any given day until you laugh-cry your mascara right off.
  3. When your husband shaves his beard for the second time in the history of your relationship and even though you didn’t like it the first time he did it, it’s cute AF this time (even though he won’t let you take a picture).
  4. Really, really good food.
  5. Post-bedtime deck time with your handsome husband, a glass of wine, and the fire pit.
  6. Date Night.
  7. Coming back from Date Night to big hugs and adorable trembling lips from the two year old because she really missed you. (The trembling lip doesn’t bring me joy so much as knowing how much she loves us does.)
  8. The Harry Potter audiobooks.
  9. Working your way back through the Harry Potter books, simultaneously discovering new things and feeling like you’ve been reunited with an old friend.
  10. The joy on your kids’ faces when you take them to the pool or the splash park or just out to the yard to run through the sprinklers.

    You didn’t really think I’d get through a whole post without a kid photo, did you?
  11. Watching your 4-year-old learn how to write, and listening to him use Hamilton songs to learn to spell his name.
  12. Hearing your 2-year-old who doesn’t speak much try more and more new words and “sing” along with songs every day.
  13. When your kids get to see you dance for the first time and they enjoy the show so much they get up and dance in the aisles right along with you.
  14. Going running, setting new personal records for pace and distance, and learning your body is capable of much more than you ever thought possible.

Emily, Age 2


This little munchkin turned 2 last month! We celebrated her birthday in the usual way — I took the day off work to have a Mommy-Emily Day of Fun with her (Tim happened to be home on Spring Break, so we let him hang out with us too). Usually on the kids’ birthdays we try to go out and to lots of fun things: play at the park, go to the library, etc. But this year, March 31 was a cold and crappy day, so after going out for breakfast we just came home and hung out at the house most of the day. I was initially worried about not being able to give Emily the Super! Fun! Activity-Filled! Day I’d planned. But midway through the afternoon, when Tim had gone to pick up Alexander from daycare, I asked Emily if she was excited for her brother to come home. “No,” she answered matter-of-factly. I chuckled at first, but then I realized she was probably serious. Being the younger kid, she hardly ever gets an hour, let alone a whole day, with Mommy and Daddy all to herself. Alexander got two-and-a-half years of that, but Emily? Not so much. So in the end, the crappy weather worked out in our favor. A whole day for Emily to play with us without having to share toys and attention with her brother was probably one of the best birthday presents she got. (I mean, she loves the water table we gave her and the trampoline and balance bike she got from her grandparents, too, of course — who says 2nd kids aren’t spoiled??)


At age two, Emily’s fully out of the baby stage and into the (mostly) super-fun toddler phase. Can we talk about how cute toddlers are when they run? Stumbling around drunkenly with their arms out like little toddler wings for balance? We’re done having kids and I’m totally okay with leaving the baby stage behind for good, but, man, I’m really going to miss that stumbly toddler run when Emily outgrows it.


I think I mentioned a few months ago that Emily wasn’t talking much yet. She has continued not talking much, and shortly before her birthday we finally caved and had her evaluated to see if she has a speech delay. The early intervention people evaluated all of her areas of development — it was really cool to hang out and watch them play games with her to see how her physical and motor skills were developing — and it turns out she’s an over-achiever in every single developmental area…except speech. At just shy of 24 months, she tested in the 26-32 month range for every area, with her incoming communication — that is, how much she understands when you talk to her — testing the highest. Her outgoing communication (speech), on the other hand, tested at a 14 month level. This isn’t technically enough of a delay to qualify her for speech therapy on its own, but given the huge disparity between that and every other area of her development, they decided to qualify her anyway.

And then we had friends come stay at our house for a week with their 2-year-old daughter who talks a lot, and by the end of the week — right before Emily’s speech therapy started — Emily’s vocabulary had nearly doubled. Peer pressure for the win, right?

We’re continuing with the speech therapy anyway, and she meets with her speech therapist once a week, either at daycare or at our house. She’s picking up a new word every couple of weeks and, unlike a few months ago, is occasionally willing to try new words and sounds when we ask her to.

(Tangent: Tim has had a long-standing deal with Emily that if she’ll say the word “candy,” he’ll give her a piece of candy. She’s never said “candy,” but Tim still reminds her of the deal from time to time just to see if she’ll try. One time, he whispered at her encouragingly, “Emily, can you say ‘candy’?” and she promptly replied in the most sarcastic whisper ever to escape a 2-year-old’s mouth, “Noooooo.” I wanted to give her candy just for making us laugh so hard.)

Anyway. She still doesn’t talk a whole lot, but she’s definitely improving. It’s hard to say if it’s because of the speech therapy or if she’s just finally decided she wants to try to talk, but the speech therapy certainly isn’t hurting.


Two-year-old Emily: just as delightful and fiercely independent and smart and funny as ever. Happy birthday, sweet girl.


How DO they make it? (Don’t answer that)

At the grocery store the other day, Alexander asked me where sausage comes from. “It comes from pigs,” I told him.

This was not a  satisfactory answer. He was quick with a follow-up: “But how do the pigs make it?” At which point I clarified that it’s made out of pigs–it’s pig meat.

He accepted this answer and we went about our day. But I keep replaying his follow-up question and chuckling at the possibilities. What was he imagining? My initial thought was that he pictured pigs  producing sausage in a method similar to how cows produce milk. But the more I think about it, the more I hope he was imagining pigs in a kitchen, chef hats and aprons on, cooking up sausage for us to buy from the store. Little pig sausage chefs!

Alexander and Emily, 4 and 1.5

Alexander at age four, some snapshots:

  • On his birthday, whenever someone told him “Happy Birthday,” he responded “Happy Birthday!” Happy Alexander’s birthday to all, indeed.
  • He’s not shy at all, and getting more and more independent and confident. This has its pros and cons. Pros: he charms the socks off of everyone he meets, he can dress himself in the mornings, brush his own teeth, put on his jacket, etc. Cons: He’s sometimes a little too brave. We had a get together for his birthday at the park behind our house. There are two ways you can get to this park — hop over our back fence (which is how we got there), or walk all the way down our street, and follow the path around the house at the end of the street and behind four other houses…sort of following the sidewalk in a long “U” shape, if that makes sense. So, we’re celebrating A’s birthday with family and neighbors, Tim had helped the kids over the fence and was supervising at the park, and the rest of the adults were hanging out on our deck. At one point, Tim looked at me and asked where Alexander was. At that same moment, Alexander appeared on the deck, coming out from the sliding door into the house. I didn’t think much of it at the time, figuring he somehow climbed back over our relatively short fence himself. Later, though, Tim asked him about it, and, you guys. Alexander, age 4, had simply walked himself home the long way — down the sidewalk behind our neighbors’ houses, around the corner, and back up the street to our house, where he let himself in the front door. All by himself. He was fine, obviously, and we live in a safe neighborhood on a quiet street, but still. My mind spun with all the things that could have happened. After that, we started having more conversations with him about the Rules for being Outside.
  • Speaking of Rules, we’ve started talking to him about things like strangers and appropriate behavior re: private parts, and all those other conversations you wish you didn’t have to have, but are an unfortunate reality. After one such conversation, Tim said to me, “I think the hardest part of parenting is going to be stripping away our kids’ blissfully innocent view of the world.” And…yeah. It is really hard.
  • Alexander has an incredible imagination. He’s so smart and creative, I can hardly stand it. He loves the Dinotrux cartoon on Netflix, and when he spotted some big construction equipment in the neighborhood, he exclaimed, “Look! REAL Dinotrux!” Of course he wanted to go see them right away, but first: “I want to put on my dragon costume and ride my bicycle so I look like a Dinotruck. Because Dinotrux have claws and wheels, and my dragon costume has claws, and my bicycle has wheels!”
  • Smart as he is, he has no real concept of time or measurement, though he tries really hard. I’ll ask him how long it’s going to take him to put his socks on: “Probably about a million hours.” Or how big something is: “About five units.” How many blueberries does he want for dinner? “Twenty-eleven!”
  • He is SUPER into dinosaurs, his favorite being T-Rex. He’ll hear the washing machine making noise from an unbalanced load and say, “Mommy! I just heard a T-Rex!” We found a hole in the back yard and speculated that one of the dogs had dug it, but Alexander was quick to correct us: “I’m pretty sure it was a dinosaur. Probably an Eater-Raptor.”

Emily, at age one-and-a-half, is just as delightful as her brother, but in her own unique ways:

  • If I had to pick one term to describe Emily, it would be Fiercely Independent. She wants to do everything herself, and gets really frustrated if she can’t do it and/or you offer to help. The result is a lot of frustrated screams on her part, but also a lot of huge, proud grins when she succeeds.
  • She’s obviously very smart and understands everything you say, but she’s not saying many words yet. At last count she has fewer than 10 words. It’s so different from Alexander who, at her age, had 30+ words, but she still manages to communicate fairly successfully with us. She’s trying, occasionally, to say more words, but we suspect she’s just frustrated that she can’t speak perfectly, and it’s keeping her from wanting to try. When she does try a new word, and it doesn’t come out exactly right, she is visibly embarrassed and refuses to try again, despite our encouragement. We’re pretty sure she’s just biding her time and one of these days, seemingly out of nowhere, she’s going to whip out a full paragraph of precisely pronounced words.
  • She has opinions. She insists on picking out her own clothes each morning, and her jammies at night. And if you try to suggest that her chosen sun dress may not be the best choice for a snowy day, Lord help you. Remember the fiercely independent bit I mentioned above? Yeah, better just pair a cardigan and leggings with that sundress rather than try to convince her to wear more seasonally appropriate clothing.
  • I’m almost afraid to mention it publicly, but Emily is an amazing sleeper. I remember hours upon hours of bedtime battles with Alexander, and to this day we still sometimes have to bribe him to stay in his room after bedtime. But Emily? TOTAL opposite. I change her diaper, put her jammies on, read a quick story, and — if I’m lucky — get to snuggle her for a couple of minutes before putting her in bed. The snuggles are all for my benefit, though; she doesn’t tolerate much before she’s turning in my arms and pointing at her crib. The child asks to be put in bed. And then stays there happily once she’s there. I didn’t know children came in this model, but I highly recommend getting one like her if you can.
  • Emily’s also developing a sense of humor, and, if you ask her, she’s absolutely hilarious. Oh, were we in the car more than 30 seconds and you thought she’d keep her shoes and socks on? NOPE! Hilarious! Did you put her hair in adorable pigtails and expect it to stay that way? But look how funny it is when she pulls it down and sweeps her hair into her face again! Hilarious! Did you want her to come put her jacket on? Silly you, it’s WAY funnier for her to run down the hall as fast as she can, giggling all the way.
  • As is the case with most younger siblings, I assume, she wants to be just like her big brother and do everything that he does (except talk, apparently). Watching them play together, pausing occasionally to give each other hugs and kisses, is everything we hoped for when we decided to have a second kid.




Tim and I celebrated our tenth anniversary on Friday. In many ways our wedding day feels like only yesterday, but when I really think about everything we’ve done in the past decade — bought two houses (and sold one), figured out our career paths (which included grad school and a Master’s degree for Tim), had two children, explored a lot of great new places — then, yeah, ten years seems about right.

Before we got married, the priest who married us had us meet with him for a few sessions of pre-marital counseling. As part of the first session, he put us in separate rooms and had us take a compatibility-type test. It covered a wide range of topics, ranging from whether we’d discussed how many kids we wanted and parenting strategies, to how we handled arguments and apologies, to what we might do if we discovered our spouse had a drug problem. The questions were structured to gauge how much we’d discussed these issues, not to see if we could get the “right” answer. It was designed, I think, to see whether we were on the same page about things that would ultimately be important factors in our relationship.

When we were finished and back together in one room, the priest came in with our scores. He asked us, with only the smallest hint of suspicion, “Did you guys compare answers while you were taking this?” Now, remember, this was 10 years ago, before smart phones and texting were commonplace; if we’d wanted to cheat off each other’s tests while we were in separate rooms, it would have involved some covert T-9 texting that would have been a major pain in the ass. We assured him we had done no such thing. “It’s just that I’ve never seen a couple get such a high percentage of the same answers before,” the priest explained. My inner competitor did a big fist-bump of victory: we’d aced the test!

In all seriousness, all it meant was that we’d already discussed the Big Issues before coming to counseling. The test just helped confirm for the priest what Tim and I already knew: we were ready to take on the commitment of marriage.

We completed the rest of our counseling sessions and continued to have valuable discussions. By the end of it, the idea that we’d cheated on the test had become a shared joke, and all three of us–Tim, me, and the priest–were confident that this would be a strong marriage. At our wedding, the priest’s wife signed our guest book, “Congratulations to the Most Compatible Couple!”

Ten years later, as we sat on our deck enjoying a glass of wine, the cool summer evening air, and the simple joy of a conversation uninterrupted by kiddos who had since gone to bed, Tim asked me how I feel I’m different now than I was ten years ago. A few answers came to mind. I’m more laid back now than I used to be. Tim’s calm attitude has rubbed off on me, which has been helpful in navigating the world of parenting in which very little remains within my control. He and I both agreed that today, compared to ten years ago, we feel a lot more settled. We’re not biding our time in a just-for-now house, but instead own the home we plan to stay in until our kids force us into a nursing home; we’re not waiting to have kids, or more kids, but rather feel that our family is complete; and we’re happy, oh, so happy.

At our wedding, Tim’s best man said in his toast that he hoped our wedding day was not the happiest day of our lives, but rather that our years together would be filled with happier and happier days to come. And that’s exactly what’s happened. Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life–at the time. As happy as I was that day, I’m even happier now, ten years later.

That compatibility test was right: Tim and I are a great team. We’ve come a long way together in the last decade, and we’ve come out even better than we started. I look forward to finding even more happiness together in the coming decades.

Alexanderisms: Part Two

Scene: Tim and Alexander are changing Alexander’s sheets, and Alexander asks about the waterproof mattress cover. Tim explains that it keeps the mattress clean in case Alexander’s pullup leaks in the night.

Alexander agrees that we wouldn’t want the mattress to get dirty, “Because then we would have to clean my mattress. And it wouldn’t even fit in my [laundry] hamper!”

Scene: I’m trying to convince Alexander to come out to breakfast with me and a couple friends, one of whom has a sweet new baby boy. Not above bribery, I offer him a big muffin, a smoothie, a hot chocolate, anything in exchange for him coming with me, all of which he turns down. Finally, I say, “What if I told you that if you come with me, you’ll get to meet a new baby?”

He puzzles over this for a minute and says, “But…I like the baby we already have.”

(Once I convinced him we wouldn’t be trading Emily in for the new baby, he agreed to go with me.)

Scene: At the dinner table, Alexander is silently gesturing and nodding as if he’s having a pretend conversation with someone.

I ask him, “Who are you talking to, Buddy?”

“I’m talking to me.”

“Oh,” I reply, “you’re talking to yourself? And what are you talking about?”

He pauses, uncertain, then: “Um, Mommy? Can you tell me what I’m talking about?”

Scene: In the car on the way to daycare.

“Mommy, I wish our house was a different color.”

I tell him that maybe we’ll paint it someday, but not for a really long time, so of course he asks, “Can we paint our house on the next stay-home days?” (“Stay-home days” is what he calls weekends.)

I explain that painting the house takes a really long time, and when we do it, it’ll take so long that we won’t have any time to play, so we’ll have to wait and paint the house on a stay-home day when we don’t want to play.

After a minute, he asks, “What do you want to do on the next stay-home days, Mommy?”

“I want to play!” I tell him without hesitation.

“Okay…” he says. Then, ever the problem-solver: “Oh! I have an idea! You and Daddy and Emily can play, and I’ll paint the house!”

Background: Miss Linda, our daycare provider, loves our kids to pieces, and she often pretends to munch on Emily’s chubby thighs, for obvious reasons (baby thighs are delicious).

Scene: I’m putting Alexander to bed on a Sunday night, and he asks if tomorrow is a stay-home day or a Miss Linda day. I tell him it’s going to be a Miss Linda day, and he immediately gets very serious.

“I’m not really comfortable going to Miss Linda’s.”

I know Linda takes excellent care of our kids, so I’m not really concerned when he says this, but I still ask some follow-up questions, just to be sure. Eventually, he admits that he has fun playing at Miss Linda’s, but he has one very serious concern:

“But, Mommy…Miss Linda just thinks that Emily is something to eat.”

Emily’s First Year

Emily is officially a one-year-old! (Plus a couple weeks…I’m a little late with this post.)


She’s the cutest one-year-old girl I’ve ever encountered, that’s for sure.


One-year-old Emily loves playing at the park. The swings are always a hit, but once she discovered the slide, it quickly moved into first place on her list of favorites. She can’t get enough.

PicMonkey Collage

One-year-old Emily loves hugging her stuffed animals…and then immediately shoving them to the floor, lest too much positive attention go to their heads.


One-year-old Emily loves holding on to Mommy’s hair whenever possible. She doesn’t pull, just holds on to it like a security blanket whenever I’m holding her. She gets mad when I have my hair in a pony tail and it’s harder for her to grab a handful.


One-year-old Emily has a fancy new carseat, which she seems to like much better than the infant bucket seat. She still doesn’t really love riding in the car, but she fusses less in the new seat than she did in the old one.


One-year-old Emily is growing up fast, but she’s not quite ready to sit in the driver’s seat without a healthy dose of skepticism. We’ll try again in about 15 years.


One-year-old Emily can stand up on her own, but only if she doesn’t realize she’s doing it. As soon as she notices she’s standing unsupported, she quickly sits down.


One-year-old Emily loved celebrating her birthday, both the small party we had with family…

20150328_1455252015-03-22 16.29.21

…and the celebration we had, just the four of us, on her actual birthday.


One-year-old Emily really loves cheesecake.


One-year-old Emily has brought us so much laughter and joy. I can’t believe we got so lucky not just once, but twice. We have the very best children. The very best.

I thought it might be bittersweet to reach this milestone since we don’t plan to have more children, but it turns out it’s far more sweet than bitter. There’s a small part of me that will always be nostalgic for those tiny baby snuggles, but more than anything, I feel relieved to have the baby days behind us. Now we get to watch our babies grow into kids, and every day we get more glimpses of the people they’re going to grow up to be. It’s so much fun. I love it, and I’m so excited for the next part of this crazy parenthood journey.

Plus, nobody can look a picture like this and argue that Emily’s not still my baby. I mean, look: