Happy Birthday Ems!

Emery,

I can't believe you are a whole year old! People always say to cherish every moment of a child's life because it flies by too fast-- they weren't kidding!

The day you were born was so exciting for the whole family. Me, Uncle Chris, Mimi and Pops drove up to San Antonio since you were set to be induced on the night of July 21 and expected to come the next day. We met your mom and dad, Aunt Kelly, Tio Jose, Nana and Papa for a "last lunch" for your momma. And then they went off to the hospital to get things started and we all went back to our homes/hotels. Just an hour later Nils called and said to get to the hospital right away because you were coming (by c-section)!!!! So we all rushed up there and just a couple of hours later your Daddy brought you out.

Emery, seeing the look in your Daddy's eyes was the most incredible moment. You will learn that he isn't a man of emotion and he doesn't let too many people too closer. But some how in less than an hour he had let you in fully and completely. His eyes that are always dry had constant tears and beamed with so much pride it was breath taking. There was this grin that he couldn't hold back if he wanted-- it spread across his entire face.

We all stood there in the nursery window for more than an hour and watched your first moments of life as they cleaned you and tested you.

You were the most beautiful newborn I have ever seen. I'm not just saying that. It's assumed that newborns will always look a little awkward and alien like. Sure when it's a baby you've loved since conception you love them, but still in your gut you can admit they look a little funny. The good news is most babies grow out of the awkward. You wouldn't have to worry about that. Even the nurses kept saying that they honestly had never seen such a beautiful newborn and how rare you were.

Then they brought you to your mom. I have never loved her more than I did in that moment. To watch her hold you and speak to you was one of the most intimate beautiful moments I've ever had the privilege of witnessing. You have done a number on all of us, but your mom most of all. You are one blessed little girl to grow up with her (and Karis will be to have her as an Aunt).

We all finally left to let y'all get some "rest" but promised to be back first thing in the morning so we could all get our turn to hold you.

The time had FINALLY come! And I got to hold you in my arms for the first time:


They say that an Aunt's love is special and unique and I finally understand it. Because our love doesn't come with the stresses of parenting. Aunts are allowed to fully love their nieces without having to worry about budgets and discipline and all those things you will fight with mom and dad about in the years to come. Emery, from they moment they put you in my arms I was yours.

Here are a few of my favorite things about you from your first year of life:

Just Us Time: I love those times when it has been just us. I so loved that your mom and dad let me come stay for a week to help take care of you when you were just a newborn. Our days and late night feedings were so incredibly special.

Your faces: You are so full of expression-- especially how you intently stare at someone.

Getting to Pray Over You: I have been so honored to pray over you during our times together. My constant prayer for you Emery is that you would grow into a faith that is genuine. Many kids who grow up as a kid of someone in ministry can become burned by the things of God. My prayer for you is that you will see your Mommy and Daddy's walk and imitate it-- that you would walk in a way that loves God and loves others.

Seeing How You Love Others: Your Mommy said to me just the other day how you have a lot of your Aunts in you, and you do! You are a social little girl!! Going in public you want everyone to be your friend. You will wave and say "hiiii" until they smile and wave back. I pray that you always have this same awareness of loving others.

Oh, Ems, I hate that we can't be there for every moment of your life, oh how I hate it. But regardless of the miles that separate us, I am always here for you. I love you so much sweet girl!

Aunt