I love Emily's bedtime. Not because I'm putting her to bed - but because during that time nothing else in the world matters to me but her. It's just the two of us in her room, spending time together.
It only took about 4.5 - 5 months for us to get a good routine down. But now that we have the routine down - bedtime is easy and my favorite time of day with her. It all starts with bath time (which is probably Emily's favorite part of the day) and then a bottle. She usually nods off during her bottle and then wakes up when daddy gives her goodnight hugs. Then we head back to her room to read a book or two. Once the book is done I hold her up, she puts her head on my right shoulder, and we say our prayers. By the time I say Amen, Emily is asleep. So I just sit there and hold her a little bit longer.
I tried for a long time to get Emily to put herself to sleep in her crib - but I've given up on that. I like holding her and rocking her to sleep. I like that she falls asleep almost every night on my shoulder. And during those few, quiet moments everything is right in my world. During that time I don't care that I have a house to clean, bags to pack and errands to run. I don't care about anything else I "have" to do. All that matters is Emily and our family.
Now...if we can only figure out a good routine for naps!