Hi, friends. It’s been awhile. Big things have been happening over here, and I can’t wait to share with you!
For as long as I can remember, anytime an adult would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always the same.
“Just a mom.”
My favorite game as a child was “House”, where I would carry around my baby dolls (who each had names) and fully stocked diaper bag, and spent my days cooking for my imaginary husband, dreaming of the real version of that life someday.
Well, God answered the prayers of my heart back in 2011 when I married the wonderful man I get to walk through life with. In 2013 we were blessed with our first miracle baby, and in 2015 after the most terrifying 10 months of my life, we welcomed our second miracle into our hearts.
Due to the extreme complications that occurred during my last pregnancy, Thomas and I thought we were done having babies, despite the intense longing we both had for more children. We were deep in our grief, unable to process the mountain of changes that occurred in only a few months. Most nights were filed with either silence or tears…we hadn’t yet reached the acceptance stage of grieving, and I wasn’t sure we ever would.
But God had other plans.
In September we learned that we were expecting baby #3…a complete surprise!! Thomas was immediately thrilled beyond belief. I was immediate terrified about what this meant for my health, and our future.
As the weeks moved forward and we continued to have positive appointments both with the OB and my neurologist, I could feel my heart beginning to heal. It wasn’t until our 20 week anatomy scan this week (where we learned we are having a boy!) that I really felt as though I could hope…to feel joy…to be brave once again.
I am thrilled that despite my history, I have been well enough to stay home and out of the hospital so far during this pregnancy! I am so grateful for these months at home with my family, and the ability to truly enjoy most of this pregnancy. I’m also thrilled to be gaining weight this time around…something I didn’t experience (and had many complications as a result) during my previous pregnancy. Still, with my autoimmune disease, it is possible that I could relapse at any time either during the pregnancy, or in the first few months after this baby is born. It is a reality I must live with without letting it consume me. Although my health continues to be good, the “looming black cloud” feeling is difficult, at best, to live with. Through it all, God is still good, and I will continue to choose joy to the very best of my ability each and every day!
When we learned that I was pregnant this time, my mind went in about 10,000 different directions, one of which was towards my photography business. Right in line with, “what if I have a relapse and end up in the hospital again?” was, “how am I supposed to book sessions not knowing what the next hour holds?”. As I thought about continuing to work, I also began to think about how I most wanted to spend this time in my life. Did I want to spend however many months of good health I had, working? Even at a job I adore with people who I truly care for? It didn’t take long for my heart to catch up with my ever-racing brain. I knew what I needed. I knew what was best for my family. Everyone needed me at home.
I then made the extremely difficult decision to stop taking on work, and to begin focusing all of my time and energy on being the wife and mother God has called me to be.
For the foreseeable future, I will be a stay at home mom. I missed out on so much when I was hospitalized and in recovery two years ago. Looking back at old photos from even a few months ago reminds me that these days are indeed long, but the months and years are painfully short. Have there been days where I wish I had a session to blog about? A new family to celebrate with and focus my creative mind on? Of course. I truly love being a photographer, and even though I am no longer shooting professionally, I will never stop shooting. This is my legacy, outside of my family, and I believe every life has a story worth telling. One of the great blessings of owning your own business, is the ability to come back to it years later, if you find your circumstances have changed! Babies grow, even though I keep telling them not to. Only God knows what the future holds, but today is a good day.
Even knowing how much I love being a photographer and serving such amazing families, I know that nothing can ever fill my heart more than my own husband and children can. Being a wife to Thomas and a Mom to these sweet babies…this is what I was born to do. I now that without a shadow of a doubt. There is no where on this earth I would rather be than in the trenches of life with them. They have my heart.
There are no words to express my gratitude to the many amazing couples and families I have served over the years. You invited me in to the most glorious celebrations of life and love, the days you’ll remember for the rest of your lives…I can not thank you enough. You allowed me to pursue a passion so strong, and have shaped who I am today. You have inspired me in countess ways, and reminded me of the moments that truly matter. Each one of you has left a mark on my heart, and I feel blessed beyond measure to have had you in my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
For the glorious journey that awaits us all…let the adventure of this lifetime begin.