My beautiful niece turns 1 years old today!! I can't believe she has been with us for a year already, and at the same time, I feel like our family was never without her. I am so sad I can't be with her. This was the day I dreaded the most when I decided to come to England. Seriously. I didn't mind missing ANYTHING else about back home as much as I was sad to be missing her first birthday! I keep reminding myself that she won't remember if I'm there or not anyway, and I'll make up for it with all the days I am planning on kidnapping her for Aunt Miranda and Emolyn days!!
I still remember the day she was born... I feel with that statement that I have aged 60 years and am sitting in a rocking chair with an afghan in my lap. It was raining (I know that sounds cliche, but it was). I remember I got out of work exceptionally early that day (around 11am) and I was wandering around Arizona Mills looking for tennis shoes to buy. My mom called me to tell me Nicole had gone into the hospital because of some pregnancy complications and that she would probably be there for at least a couple of days. I was thinking as I shopped that I should call to go down and visit her while she was there. Then my phone rang again (probably about 20mins after the first conversation). My mom was bawling on the phone and I remember freezing with a pair of black and white Nike shox in my hands... thinking the worst. My mom told me that Nicole was going to be having the baby THAT DAY!! 7 weeks early!! I immediately asked if the doctors thought everything was gonna be okay, and what was happening. She told me they were all heading down to the hospital in the next hour. I immediately dropped the pair of shoes (hopefully on a table of some sort and not just on the floor... I can't remember) and I just walked out to my car. I hung up the phone and remember crying as I walked to my car in the rain praying that everything was gonna be okay. I was so scared for everything, but at the same time, I was so excited to meet my niece or nephew. As I drove back to my apartment in Phoenix and then onto the hospital, I remember feeling this wave of peace. Even though I knew it was gonna be nerve racking, I never for a moment thought the worst... I just knew it would all be okay.
I got to the hospital and sat with all dear friends and family. The people that I love so much surrounding Shawn and Nicole through that daunting afternoon and evening. I just am so thankful that I have such an awesome family and amazing friends. I remember hearing that she was gonna be so small... I remember as each of my friends showed up, I felt even more peace. I remember sitting in the waiting room with the girls laughing and talking, praying, and thinking about what life with this little one was gonna be like. I would have put money down on the fact that it was gonna be a boy... but I remember Shawn walking by the hall saying, "Her name is Emolyn Kate" and my whole world changed. It was like time stopped and my heart was so filled with love for this little girl. That was when our entire group: The girls, my parents, Tyler, Joel, Beckie, Jason and Michelle, and the rest of Nicole's family all rushed the hallway running towards Shawn and Emolyn as she was wheeled by to the NICU. She was perfect. No tubes, no machines, nothing I expected to be there. She was wrapped in a little white blanket staring at all of us - her little eyes blinking. She was so perfect and beautiful. I just cried and cried.
I was SO proud of Nicole... SO proud of Shawn. I just couldn't believe all that they were going through, but they were incredible. They were beautiful to watch. When Shawn finally made it out to the waiting room after making sure his DAUGHTER was safe, I remember being amazed at how much he had changed in a day... he was a daddy... how weird. I finally got to see her later in the evening and she was such a bundle of cuteness!! So tiny, so fragile, so precious, so loved. Every time I would see her I just marveled at how tiny she was and how she was still whole and perfect. Her little legs kicking up and stretching... her cute little sleeping mask... her tiny tiny diapers.
I remember the first time I got to hold her... how light she was - barely felt like I was holding much at all. I even remember how radiant Nicole looked when I would visit her in the hospital. She was so tired and worried and exhausted I'm sure, but she was so in love with this little girl and it was awesome to see. Shawn too, he was so attentive, so capable, so cool to see my big brother head over heels for his daughter.
I remember holding her after she had come home from the hospital at Shawn and Nicole's... she started getting squirmy and restless in my arms and I started singing to her... she immediately settled down. You couldn't rock her or bounce her in your arms... all those normal things you have learned to do to sooth babies, but singing helped. I remember when she looked at me the first time - I would have given her the keys to my car with those eyes. I remember when she first smiled at me... no words.
She is so sweet. Every time I have held her since that first time, I have had "Aunt Miranda and Emolyn sing-along time." Slowly she has joined in the singing adding her little noises to my song. Her favorites are "You are my Sunshine" and "Down in the Meadow" (at which she screeches). I love how in the last few months before I left she started to know who I was. She would look at me and just get the BIGGEST smile on her face!! I loved that! I hope that doesn't stop when I get back.
She is so funny. She makes the cutest faces and has the quirkiest little pirate smile... she has amazing rhythm too!! When you sing or have music playing she finds the beat and dances along in time with the song! She is also so smart and I love when she shakes her head in disagreement. I can't wait to hear her talk and hear more of her little voice. I can't wait till she starts walking... waddling around everywhere. I can't wait till I get to be home and get to hold her and cuddle and kiss her!! I can't believe how crazy I am about this little girl. I just keep thinking as she gets older all the things her and I will get to do together, just like I did with my Aunts.
Okay I have to end the blog cause I'm getting emotional...
I love you Emolyn Kate, Emy, Mem, Memmy, Peanut, Princess, Lady, baby-girl!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!