Happy Birthday, Emelia!
Where do I even start with this little chick? How about we start at the now?
I absolutely love this child.
When I met her parents six years ago for pregnancy pictures, I could’ve never imagined we would be here now.
When she was about a year old, her mama, Kate, stepped in to help me with some newborn sessions. I then invited them to a party at my house. At that party, they noticed a house for sale on the street - 5 doors down. I remember Matt asking me how I’d like them being my neighbors and how I thought, ummmm, awesome. The more the merrier! I was one of the only young ones on the famous Sunnybrook Dr. and having a kiddo on the street sounded so fun.
It wasn’t more than a couple months later, with the Realtor help of my dad and Stacy, that the Malburgs were officially my neighbors and I got a daily dose of Emelia. She was shy. Sometimes painfully shy! She was stingy with her love for anyone but her mama but I persisted nonetheless.
And thank God!
After a few months, Kate announced that she wanted Emelia to call me “Auntie.” Is it weird that I felt honored? She was the first non-blood niece I ever had (and I am so lucky to have a handful these days!!). Slowly but surely, she let me weasel my way into her heart.
While I will never understand why she doesn’t like chocolate like Mama and Auntie do, the other nature and nurture effects are so spot-on. She is an amazing listener like her Mama, with a steel trap. We’ve always said she won’t repeat the naughty things we say because she knows she wouldn’t be able to hang with us ladies anymore. She is becoming quite the gardener like her Auntie. She knows every vegetable by the leaves and loves watching them grow. She loves to help me edit and she’s developed a better “eye” than most adults I know. She is incredibly helpful and always willing to clean up - that’s definitely her mama. And while I’ve taught her how to make mean kiddie cocktails, complete with muddled raspberries and Luxardo cherries, all her kind and loving qualities are completely from her mom, whom I am lucky to call a best friend.
So here’s to my niece Emelia. Happy Birthday, lovey!