FC: 2011 | Baby Sheeley's | Virtual Shower Memory Book
1: Emelia, Since you are away and we are everywhere in the world and can't be with you for a real-life shower, we wanted to throw you a virtual baby shower! Starting Monday until your lil' Miss arrives you'll be receiving notes from us (one per day to make it fun) and will get a package from us all in the mail! We're even playing a baby shower game. We're guessing birthday day and birth weight in two separate categories. The winner will win a $5 Amazon gift card! So, while we can't throw you a in-person shower, we hope this will make up for it! We love you and are so excited for your little one to be born! HUGS! | The Invitation
2: Ramy and I are so excited for you guys! I have always admired the strength of any woman who is a mom here in Egypt. May God grant both of you extra strength, patience, and lots of grace as you navigate the streets, hunt down needed items, make decisions regarding schools, answer questions about culture differences, and raise your child in way to love Him. You always have a free babysitter here in Cairo for as long as we are here! If you need anything at all you have my number. We are both so excited to come up and meet her! Here is a quote that I love, for those days when the inevitable dust storms of Egypt come, or just too many things on the to-do list. Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow For babies grow up, weâ€™ve learned to our sorrow So quiet down cobwebs; dust go to sleep, Iâ€™m rocking my baby, and babies donâ€™t keep!
3: Emelia, Gabe and Baby, Hey guys! So excited to hear about your new little bundle of Sheeley! Jer and I think of you guys often and wish we could just drop by and visit. If only Egypt were closer! Haha..Things are going well here. Actually not much has changed! We still are at the condo, trying to find jobs and just being content with where God has us. A lot of change has been happening at church - don't know if you guys had the opportunity to talk to my sister or Johnny, but because of a disagreement in the church, it has basically been split in half. Main leaders have left, along with their extended families (cause everyone is related). It has been both a hard, but good thing. So now we are at that forming stage, figuring out what God wants for all of us and taking a different perspective in each ministry. God's def. up to something! :) Hmm what else, still cleaning teeth and hope that you guys don't have a jillion cavities (ahem GABE ahem) just kidding! Hopefully you can somehow get fluoridated water for your baby as soon as he/she turns 2. Until then, try to wipe with a damp cloth their teeth after milk if you can. Of course, teeth won't come until 5 or 6 mos (lower front) but it's pretty amazing that at the time of birth, all primary teeth are developed, just under the bone and waiting to erupt! Other mommy advice or in my case, auntie advice I can pass along is try to get your baby to soothe on their own. I think that with Jalyse, my sister went to her whenever she cried and it carried into her toddler years. So..putting her to sleep was the toughest thing! Ahh well, many nights of elmo on the couch was my default -- hey I'm an aunt! Hahaha..I know just wait until my turn! Well, know that you guys are blessed and that God has His hand over every situation in your lives. After all is said and done, He has our lives mapped out and knows where we should be. I can just remember your beautiful wedding and here you guys are today - Egypt and expecting!! Time is going to fly by, enjoy your new addition and we'll be praying for you guys in each step! Keep us updated! Love, V and Jer
4: Emelia - it has been so neat to see you transition from being Emelia to being Nora's Mom. Even though you have not birthed her yet you have invested so much time, energy, and love into this precious baby girl. You are a tender, loving, nurturing person and there is no doubt that Nora will be loved extravagantly by her mama, daddy, and extended family too! I hope that as she grows she knows that even though her Aunt Tiff is far away that she is deeply loved by her. I also hope that Aubrey and Nora can be kindred spirits and friends. I am so proud of you for pressing through the challenges you have faced so far, and I know that as more challenges come that you will be equally resilient. Thank you for supporting and loving Ben and I so well in our journey into parenthood, and we hope that as you and Gabriel become parents we can do the same for you. I look forward to hearing about all the new things Nora does and about all the cute things she says as she grows and changes over time. I have already learned a lot from you, and I know I will continue to. Thank you for not only being a sister in law to me but also a close friend. - Tiffany
5: Emelia, I stumbled across this poem the other day and it just made me think of how much more time, every day, I wish I had with my daughter and how much I absolutely love her. I hope you enjoy: | Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth, Hang out the washing, make up the bed, Sew on a button and butter the bread. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking. Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue, Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo. Dishes are waiting and bills are past due Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue? Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo. The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep! I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. - Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
6: I can't wait to meet your little girl. We have looked forward to being moms together for so long and talked about all that we would love to do and now we are finally experiencing that! Emelia, I know you and Gabe will be such exceptional parents. You are so conscientious and caring and love to give the best you can. Your daughter will be incredibly loved. Parenting will challenge you and stretch you in a million big and little ways, but I know you know this already. The Lord knows you are ready and you will flourish as a mother. I love you and your daughter. Love Kirsta
7: CONGRATS Gabe and Emelia!! I am saying CONGRATS in faith because Norah has not arrived yet and I am still sitting on the edge of my chair (literally) every night as I wait for your facebook chat box to come up!! Thanks for letting me be part of your journey and stand with you. I'm know this turn in the road has been unexpected but you are trusting and leaning into Him really well. Sounds like God has really given you a wise doctor as well. He is taking care of every detail-- the details you are thinking about and even the details you are not thinking about. So let me give you a story when I gave birth to Jude here in Lebanon. I think the second day of his life-- the whole team was in my living room to see him and congratulate us. Jason and I both felt that in the presence of our little community and the body of Christ that we need to have a little 'dedication' service for Jude. Kind of like what people in the States do during a church service. So the team laid hands on us and him and prayed. And I remember looking into his little face as he slept and basically dedicating my son to God. It was such a powerful moment. I love him so much but I know that he belongs to God and he ultimately is his Father. But it was very significant for me because i know my tendency is to want to take control and protect and keep everything perfect. But now that I am a mom-- i realize how little control i really do have. I can try-- but so much is out of my hands, out of my sight and out of my control. The best thing to do is GIVE your child to God and ask Him to do what He does best!! I felt a huge release in my spirit over Jude. And lots of PEACE as raising a child is a big responsibilty. In the coming weeks, the release of control was tested many times. I remember my neighbors whom we are really close to-- wanted to take Jude to their apartment-- same building but two floors up. Jude was about 2 weeks old at the time. My first instinct was NO-- i can't let you take him. But i knew they were going to take him just a few minutes (to show their older father who rarely left the house). "Release Sarah release" was the little voice inside me. And of course, I did and it always works out fine. Even now, he is 2 years old and he is off playing at a neighbors kids house. God is watching over Him 24/7. What a comfort!! So enjoy her and continue to dedicate your little girl over to Him!! We are so happy for you both and can't wait to shower her with hugs and kisses when we see her next. Maybe Kenya next year??? Much much love, Sarah, Jason, Jude and Jenna
8: Emelia, I am so excited for you and Gabe to have a baby. You will be wonderful parents. I know you will raise her to be an amazing woman and her life will be full of love. What a blessing to be born into a family that loves God and loves each other. I'm excited to be an aunt again too. :) Have fun with your baby shower! I love you. Courtney Sleeper
9: "I see who I want to be, in my daughter's eyes." | A funny story from Kamola: On a 4 week of my pregnancy I almost had a miscarriage. So I had to spent a week in a hospital and then 2 weeks on a bed rest. I was told by a doctor that I needed to be very careful first 3 months of my pregnancy. There were things I should not be doing these 3 months to avoid any chance of having a miscarriage. One of the things I was told I should avoid was to get constipated, because then I would have to push! So when I went into labor, and my baby was coming, I had a really bad urge to push, but I could not. I forgot how to push, cause I had tried to avoid pushing during 9 months!!! It is funny for me to remember this after I had my baby, but it was not funny at all back in that day.
10: Dear Emelia, I am so excited for this new little life to come into the world. I pray that she will be a "woman of honor" and "joy of the Father." I can not wait to meet her and see you again! Until then, enjoy this!! love, Abigail P.S. = My advice to you: Write her notes from the first day and whenever you feel like it, and collect them all in a box or notebook. When she turns 21 or gets married, you could give her a collection of letters from the years. It would be a great glimpse into your heart for her and your thoughts throughout the years.
11: Dearest Emelia & Gabriel, Congratulations on becoming parents to the beautiful Nora. From the moment I knew that baby Sheeley was on its way, my heart was comforted to know that at least ONE more human being in the world would grow up with enough love and kindness to become the kind of adult this world desperately needs. Your faith, patience, forbearance, and sincere desire to know God's heart and will in all things is an amazing testimony to not just your friends, but to the world. Em, I know you'll be an awesome mom, because you are already an awesome woman. You have always had a magnetic, and Godly force about you. With zeal I've seen you pursue every good and perfect thing, I've witnessed your steadfast devotion to knowing God and living into being more Christlike.You're one of my sheros :) Know that the news of your joy brings me joy because it gives me more reason to hope in a brighter future. Love to you both! Katrina
12: To Nora's Mommy, Your life has changed in such a way that your heart will love more than u even thought possible. You and Gabe have the 'marriage' life down pretty well by now...and now a new little sweet girl, Nora, is here to let you both know how much you are needed, wanted, and loved. Your lives will be filled with times of super busyness just trying to provide for Nora and times of just sitting and watching her sleep. Both of those times are such a blessing. There has been many nights when Leah would cry and cry(she was colic) and still she has crying fits. I try everything to calm her down and make her happy. One night when she was 4 months old...I was sooo tired and she was screaming...I had it. I laid her on the floor of her room and I laid next to her...and just said in the most firm/loving voice....Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...I didn't know what else to say or do. I kept saying the name of Jesus for about 45 mins. ....we both fell asleep for about 5 hrs on that floor. (She never slept more than 45 mins). That night in my own 'world' I learned the power of the name of Jesus like never before. Em...I am soo happy for you and Gabe and for what you guys have allowed Jesus to do in ur lives! Nora is one blessed and Beautiful girl. Much Love, Melody
13: Hi Emelia!! Congratulations on the beautiful new addition to the Clark-Sheeley family. I thank God for this blessing, and for conferring the blessing of motherhood and fatherhood on you and Gabe. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about the story of Ibrahim and the sacrifice that He asked of him of something that Ibrahim held so very dear. I'm not sure if we have the same understanding of the story, and this may not seem like the cheeriest story to tell a new parent (!!!) but really all I was thinking about was the way you have always, as long as I have known you, tried to put God ahead of you as your compass and the director of all your actions. I feel confident that it will be the same with Nora Abigail, for both you and Gabe, and as long as that is the case, then all will always be well. Leaving you in God's care, and yes, lets Skype soon so I can see the bebe in person! lots of love from Kathrina
14: Hi Em! This is your last note in the virtual baby shower and it's from me! I'm so excited for you and Gabe and SO happy you guys are finally parents! Little Nora is amazing. She looks so cute and alert in her pictures. I know you and Gabe will be wonderful parents. Enjoy every second of her....even the screaming, crying and poopy moments. They only come once and then they are gone. In the same vein, remember that this is all a season. When it seems too hard or you are too tired or she is too upset, just remember that it's only for a season. They all grow up. Enjoy her.
15: "Courage, determination, pride...that's what little girls are made of." | Baby Shower Guessing Game Winners! | Courtney guessed closest to Nora's birth weight at 7lbs 3oz! | Lauren and Kirsta both guessed closest to Nora's birthday by guessing September 20th, 2011!