What is it...

about babies that is just so peaceful? Their presence forces us to slow down, breathe a little deeper, and relax. They are so innocent, helpless, and completely dependent on their caretakers for every need. I want to soak up each squeak, snort, and grunt.

Before I share a few newborn pictures, I thought it would be a great time to share why we named her Emberly Grace, and share about a common thread between our children's names.

At our wedding (I.can't.even.believe it's been almost 6 years!) our preacher charged us as a couple and the audience to be a light in this world. Our favors were candles to follow suit. It's very important to us that we not just live life to get by- how mediocre life is when we just try to make ends meet and search for happiness! We want to be a light in this dark world.

Luke is really his middle name. Joshua is his first name. We couldn't agree on a middle name that went with Luke, so we stuck it as his middle name and that is what he goes by. Luke means "light giving" or "light giver". Ironically, we had already settled on the name Luke before we knew it's meaning. But after finding the meaning it was absolutely perfect and fit in with our wedding theme of being a light.

Emberly Grace was always the name we knew we'd name our first girl. We decided that early on in our marriage. It's funny to me how some people wait until after birth to name their children. Totally not unusual and I understand why people do that- but it just wasn't the way we worked.

Our boy and girl names were chosen long before they were ever thought of or created. Emberly is a form of Ember. Some may say it's a made up name- it's not. It's in baby name books under the name Ember. Ember wasn't really our style, but the meaning of an "ember" goes right along with our theme of being a light. It literally means "the smoldering remains of a fire." There is something beautiful about the embers burning after the fire has died down. The glow of what remains; what used to be enveloped in flames. It's peaceful and relaxing to watch. I first approached Josh with the idea of the name Emberly and it's still one of the only girls names we can agree on! We could never have 10 kids because we would never agree to name them all!

Grace is my middle name. Josh passed his name to Luke. I passed my middle name to Emberly. There are alot of people walking around with the middle name "Grace" but it holds a special place in our family. My mom was not raised in church. She didn't darken the door until her neighbor, Grace, invited her to church. Grace continued to be an influential part of my mom's life- financially helping her out to go to church activities/camps, being a role model in her life, and eventually when mom was old enough she babysat Grace's children. Her role was so influential it's eventually how my mom was saved and developed her personal relationship with Jesus. Imagine if Grace had never invited the neighbor girl to church?! When I was born it was a given that Grace was to be my middle name and I am thankful beyond measure that we were able to pass that down another generation.

I love names and their meanings. I love asking people why they chose certain names for their children!!

I mentioned last week that I would have some newborn pictures posted soon. Here's her birth announcement:
Seriously- look at how her chin is smooshing her hand rolls- LOVE.

I have been playing around in photoshop and I LOVE it! I haven't "touched up" anything on her face because I love her little blemishes. Like that white dot under her eye, and the little bumps on her nose. These are all things I want to remember! I've mostly just played with the black/white feature and the lighten/contrast/saturation feature. Love that I can lighten the background when the natural light just isn't enough!

and an outtake- because you never get full cooperation the first time :) 

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