And a year before that, Emily competed for Brad Womack's heart on The Bachelor's fifteenth season. During Emily's hometown date in North Carolina, she introduced a painfully-shy yet sweet Ricki to Brad, who didn't know what to do when Ricki clutched onto her mother and wouldn't let go of her waist.
"At the time, I thought, 'This is it,' and I never would've brought her into it had I not thought that," Emily insisted. "So I wish that I maybe would've taken a step back, maybe sheltered her from that a little bit more."
But heartbreak led to her happy ending. Emily went on to marry a man she met in church, Tyler Johnson, in June 2014 and then gave birth to three more children within two-and-a-half years of each other: Sons Gatlin Avery, 6 weeks, Gibson Kyle, 15 months, and Jennings Tyler, 2.
Although Emily has expanded her family, she still apparently has the most special connection with Ricki. The jewelry designer discovered she was pregnant with Ricki only days after her first fiance, NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, tragically died at age 24 in a 2004 plane crash.
"Ricki is the one that makes me laugh the most [and] she's probably the one that makes me cry the most," Emily said. "Because I had her when I was 19 and we've really grown up together."
Emily gushed of her only daughter, "So to see her becoming a grown-up... I cried like a baby at her lower-school graduation. People thought somebody had died. I was sobbing, ugly crying -- it was horrible."
Emily, however, admitted to People that her oldest son seems to be the most like her, personality-wise.
"Jennings, my 2-year-old, he wants all of his race cars to be clean... I have to get him a water bottle," Emily revealed. "He wants them clean, dried off, in a line, in the cabinet, no one can touch it. And that is, sad to say, totally me."