I’m alive and well for those that still periodically come and check this blog. I sincerely appreciate those that have checked in, wondering when I would post again. It means a great deal, and is quite surprising, those of you that have stuck around waiting and waiting and waiting. I’m humbled. It’s been on my heart to start blogging again, however, things have changed. I’ve changed. I’m hoping it’s for the better and there is much I wish to share. Starting over isn’t easy. I’ve been avoiding it, not knowing exactly where to begin.
We moved to Denver, then back to Texas. We bought a home, we sold a home. We remodeled a home. We had a house fire. My precious mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. We went to Disney. I found out I was pregnant. Our house was fixed and we moved in. Mike and I celebrated seven years of marriage. My mom was healed of breast cancer. I turned thirty. Mia Grace turned five. We had a beautiful baby girl named Ellie. Six days later, she affixiated while feeding and stopped breathing. We landed a six day stay in the NICU. We took her home for six more days. She started vomiting for an entire week and lost weight. She was finally diagnosed with pyloric stenosis and required emergency surgery. She was healed. Six days later she was diagnosed with RSV. RSV took its course and she eventually got healthy again.
I cherished every second of maternity leave. I hired my dream photographer to come and photograph MY family. I eventually started working again and have cherished each and every new and loyal client. I AM CHANGED.
So, that’s where I am. There aren’t enough pages to fully express the fear, helplessness, joy, anger, confusion, sadness, disbelief, relief, peace, and contentment I have experienced over the past year. I think I’m still coming out of the fog, hoping to process how much my heart has swelled with love for my family, for my life, and for my God … for through it all, He has been good. Not because of healings, or good outcomes, but because in the helpless moments, the deep dark places I thought I had been before, it was in those moments that I wasn’t alone. I don’t know how or why, but He was there. I am so thankful I wasn’t alone.
I mentioned in my year in review that I hired my dream photographer to photograph my family. Tara Whitney, as many of you already know, is an amazing family photographer in California. It’s always been my dream that one day she would photograph my family … I just always assumed we’d need to schedule a vacation to Cali eventually to make it happen. When she posted that she would be coming to Texas, I received a text message from a dear friend who knew how much I loved Tara. I knew it was an amazing opportunity, so I jumped on it. Custom photography is an investment. I was nervous about the commitment, about whether the timing was really right … I mean, after all, Ellie would only be 4 months old … not exactly the perfect age (not sitting, or even rolling over, etc.) That’s the age most of us photographers avoid. Something in my heart convicted me of how silly that was … that every moment is perfect, its fleeting … pretty soon, Ellie would be sitting, then crawling, then walking … and then starting Kindergarten, just like my Mia Grace will be in the fall. The time was PERFECT because it was borrowed time, our life at the moment, and I found great joy reflecting and communicating with Tara all the things that are meaningful to me about my family in this place, so that is what decided on. I had originally thought of taking the family to the lake, the spot where Mike and I got married nearly eight years ago, but the truth was that the memories I truly wanted to remember are right here in this home. I LOVE my home. That’s the first time I’ve ever been able to say that and mean it. I love it so much, it truly is my dream house and I feel so blessed to get to live in it. It’s a true reflection of us as a family and we live in every single square foot of it. Each nook and cranny holds moments and memories I wanted to remember.
Two days ago, I received access to this slideshow via email (I basically recreated exactly what Tara had sent me, only mine’s a little faster only because I can’t slow it down with the program I used! ha!) The song, the images, its just so perfect. I watched it early in the morning … the only morning I got up at 6 am with Ellie (the other mornings, my wonderful family took her so I could sleep!), so I got to watch this while feeding my sweet baby in Charleston, SC on the last day of our vacation, while sitting in a beautiful light filled beach house. That in itself is a special memory I will never forget!
I plan to share more about the Tara Whitney experience and will post a few of my favorite images for you to dissect as I have and why I love them so much later, but for now, I wanted you all to experience what I did that morning. Many of you will just see images of a family full of love with lots of imperfections, but those of you who know me, who know us, I hope you catch all the little details that truly reflect who we are. For the session, we just decided to be as we are on Saturday mornings … (minus the beds made and the house a lot cleaner 😉 ) It was scary and I felt very vulnerable … much more so than I anticipated … but what she captured was pure magic. NONE of this (besides the last 5 or so images of us on the porch, and those really arent either, just hey, sit here.) was coerced or acted out at all. This is our life. I hope you enjoy! (and for the record, I wish I could buy each of you a session with her!)
The reason my heart exploded a few days ago. Anyway, here it is!
TIPS: Turn up your volume! and, this is HD, so pause it and wait for it to load before watching OR if you are impatient and have a slow connection, click on the bottom righthand side where it says 720pHD and choose 360p.