Our girl | Fort Worth Lifestyle Photographer | Personal Post

Precious baby. Our sweet daughter.

It still seems surreal to say that out loud. We have a daughter! It’s been three months since we saw this beautiful face for the first time (8 days late, I might add). I was a huge bundle of emotions and swirling thoughts and my mind was filled with the unknowns before she got here, but once she was? Once I heard her cry and they laid her sweet, sticky body on my chest? I was able to breathe. I took it all in and studied her little face and didn’t worry about the things to come. The first few weeks were tough adjusting and we still have crazy days but I have to say, I have love LOVED having her finally here!! She has the most amazing dark blue eyes that are lightening up by the day. Tiny fingers and long feet. Dark wispy hair at the back of her head and soft fuzzies on top. The saddest cry and the happiest wide mouth smile that has affectionately earned her the moniker “birdie” from me. She is filling out and is working on an impressive double chin and cheeks (which you won’t see in these photos since these are from the first month.) It’s amazing how a teeny tiny someone you’ve never met can instantly fill every corner of your heart and fit perfectly into your family. She is obsessed with her daddy, and our sweet boy is paying more attention to her everyday (he loves giving her high-fives. ūüôā ) And when she locks eyes on either one of them, it’s a special kind of beautiful. Those smiles are magic I tell you! These are some of my favorites from 8 days old and then a few weeks later. Just our crazy family. All piled up on the bed. Just how I like them ‚̧

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Only More Love | Fort Worth Lifestyle Photographer | Mama Post

I’m not normally quite this open, but sometimes you just need to pour out your heart and give your thoughts and feelings a space. The night before we go from three to four is one of those times. So, deep breath. Here goes. A letter to my first baby…

 

Things are changing little one. In a matter of just hours now, we’ll welcome a baby girl into our arms and our home. We’ve waited so long for her and we’re beyond excited to see who this new sweet soul will be!! But there are a few things I’d like you to know. First of all, we are confident you will be the world’s best big brother. We know you’ll love on her and teach her things and get into all sorts of shenanigans no doubt. We will probably laugh at the things you’ll come up with together and cry along with you both on the days that seem too long. Life will get busier, more complicated, and more beautiful than we can imagine right now. But a sister is a great blessing! We cannot wait to see you two together!!

My heart hurts sometimes thinking you might feel uneasy with the changes, or confused why you are not the only little in our home anymore. But I pray someday you’ll know…

That though our attention may be divided, our LOVE¬†never¬†will. It will only be multiplied exponentially. Our family will change and grow and we will be stretched in ways we never thought possible, but the way we feel for you will never change. Well, actually it will. We will love you all the more just the same as we love you more than the day we first met you. As for me? I’m sure glad I’ve had honest mama friends to talk to, because the emotions of adding another little have been much more than I anticipated. I’m so glad they’ve told me it was normal to feel a bit sad about you not being my only little anymore despite how badly we wanted to add to our family. Though there will be a new baby in the house, you will always be my boy. My sweet first babylove. I could never describe the place you hold in our hearts but the only thing that comes close would be this. When you came into our lives, as I’m sure most/all parents experience, you broke my heart in two. But not in a bad way. You broke my heart because before that day, there was no way the love for you would even have fit inside. It had to be stretched, and pulled, and broken so that more love could be shoved in. And then after that, it¬†was never the same. My heart¬†was, and always will be a bit exposed. Just bursting with this uncontrollable, ever growing love. When your baby sister comes, I will burst open again and things will never be the same. They’ll be even better. We will love on this little girl just as fiercely as we love you. But since that big, fierce, multiplied love is so intense, there will surely¬†be growing pains for all of us. We will face the rough moments and revel in the joys of our new family together. I guess this is why mamas can be so crazy and emotional and unstable (at least I feel that way). I mean, they’re walking around with a heart that’s expanded well beyond their rib cages for goodness sake! ¬†So just remember that you will always have a special place. And there will always be room for more because though you will have to share your toys and my attention, you’ll never have to share my love. Because you’ll each have your own place in my heart.

 

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

-Mother Teresa

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Reveal | Fort Worth Family Photographer

I knew I wanted to take this guy out for some two year old portraits and to do gender reveal photos for our baby girl, but for a while I couldn’t decide what to do! We had pink and blue stockings the first time around (since we found out he was a boy in December). I thought about balloons but they can be tricky to manage and I wanted something he could hold closer anyway. I was so glad I found these sweet little carnations! I imagine him picking her flowers someday like the sweet big brother I know he’ll be. I am so happy with how these turned out but y’allll…if you only could have seen me at the time…

Picture this: Husband was out of town. It was close to bedtime and I was running out of light and time. I was 20 wks pregnant and trying to haul too much stuff to the place I wanted for photos. It was only a little ways from where I had parked, but I had babe in his little stroller, my camera slung over my shoulder, a bag full of distractions and props (candy bribes, a small balloon on a stick to grab his attention, baby girl’s onesie and u/s photo, bouquet of flowers), and I was dragging the wooden chair behind me through the long grass. It was comical to say the least. It made what was really a short walk from the car, seem like a mile and much more challenging than I had planned. I couldn’t even manage the walk back to the car with everything so I would push the stroller a ways, then go back for the chair and bring it up a few feet, and back and forth until we finally made it. Oh, what we photographer mamas will do for great photos!!! ūüėČ I can laugh now, but had I thought more about it, I would have definitely asked for help. So glad we got some good shots in spite of everything! I just loved getting these sweet photos celebrating our baby girl and his new, two year old status.

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Morning | Mama post

Oh this boy. Life can get so crazy busy at times but sometimes between the time-outs and the do I have enough food for dinner, and to-do lists, I’m able to just take him in. All two years and two months of this extraordinary little love that I’m so blessed to call mine. Simple, lazy mornings with him are my favorite. When we don’t have to go anywhere and we can just kick back in alligator pajamas and play with whatever trinkets we find in mama’s room. (The baby monitor is a fav, tiny sheep, Easter egg). I love the light in our room and I’ve been setting him up here since he was super tiny. With my pregnancy creeping to an end and the excitement growing to meet baby sister, I’m thankful for mornings like this to just enjoy, document, celebrate this sweet boy and his joyful spirit. Soaking it all in. Cherishing the one on one time.

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TWO | Mama Post

Today. Oh, how did two whole years fly by to get us to today?? My baby. My BIG, handsome, sweet and silly love is TWO and I just cannot believe it. This mama thing is sure tough sometimes, but days like these are so full of joy and extra thankfulness for my time with him. Life¬†can get so busy but today has been beautiful so far and I’m doing my best to take it all in.

That is really¬†what I want to do not just on his¬†birthday but¬†more in the everyday. To stop what I am doing and just be together. To not worry so much about the cleaning, the bills, the “to-dos” and just soak it all in. Because two years sure did FLY and I want to remember everything I possibly can about this time in our lives and about this extraordinary little human that God has so graciously gifted us with. He is truly a joy and a blessing and I have loved every single moment of being his mama.

Here are just a few recent ones of my boy just being his sweet self. Even though I still slip back in time and remember those precious newborn and baby days when the snuggles were much longer, I am cherishing this time of toddler-hood and soaking up these days with him. I am loving every bit of the little person he is today. Learning new words, trying on our shoes, climbing on boxes, hiding my brush under the bed. I love this little blue eyed, puppy loving, coloring, messy eating, book reading little guy to pieces and I wouldn’t change one wispy hair on his blonde head.

We love you sweet boy!! Happy 2 years ūüôā

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These last three are from his party on Saturday. So glad my littlest sis caught the last one of my boy and me ‚̧

 

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2015 Year End

It was crazy difficult to choose my favorites from 2015!! Here are just a few of the beautiful smiling faces, teeny tiny toes, and wispy haired toddlers I had the joy of working with this year. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this job…Snuggling babies? Running and jumping with families and kiddos?! It just doesn’t get any better than that!! Hope you all had a blessed and Happy New Year and you are entering 2016 with anticipation and JOY! It’s a whole new year, people!! Oh, the possibilities…

 

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Personal Post | Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

This is my photography space, but today I’m sharing about something close to our family. I debated for the longest time whether I would write this post. It’s a post I never thought I would write, for something I didn’t know much about before February of this year. September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, and I’m posting this just in time on the last day.

There are so many things in life that can come at you unexpectedly. My husband and I were excited to add to our family right away and we couldn’t have imagined it would take us until just after our 4th anniversary to find out our prayers for a little one had been answered. I thought I knew what it would be like. I spent years dreaming and then 9 months imagining what it would be to meet our baby for the first time. We came face to face with our precious love at the end of April, 2014 and truly there is just no describing that moment. They placed that sweet, sticky baby in my arms and I thought my heart would just explode out of my chest with overwhelming gratitude and joy. And then watching my husband love on his son…just nothing¬†could have prepared me for that. I will often find myself slip back into those sweet memories of meeting him for the first time.

There are so many things I wasn’t prepared for when I became a mama, but the biggest shock came earlier this year when we found out that Owen had hydrocephalus. It was such a scary word when I first heard it. It conjured imaged of hospitals and doctors and tests and specialists. We had no idea what we were dealing with, but we were so thankful to have an incredible and knowledgeable family friend who both helped us understand, and helped care for our boy during his hospital stay. I will never forget what it felt like when the time came for me to hand over my baby¬†to the nurse who took him back for surgery. I watched her walk down the hallway and as the double doors closed behind them, I felt like my heart was being crushed in them. I had to let go and let God take care of our just shy of 10 month old. ¬†The rational part of me knew he was in incredibly capable hands with an amazing doctor and staff, but my heart wanted to jump through those doors and snatch him back. I ¬†pleaded with God that everything would be ok. I am so thankful for all those who prayed for him (and for us) and especially those right there in the waiting room, sitting with us during the longest wait we’ve ever experienced. Finally they called our names, and it was over. We were able to go back and see him as he woke up and the reunion was well worth the wait.

Two weeks. It was just two weeks from when we first heard the word, hydrocephalus, to the day he had his surgery. We were stretched more than we thought possible with appointments and MRIs and the uncertainty, but God brought us through it all. I am so aware that many families have to wait much longer and for that I am grateful for how things turned out. That we were able to get him taken care of sooner than later. We found out just how strong our little guy was too…he endured so much in that two weeks and he has shown in the months since surgery just how determined he is! I look at him now and I cannot believe how much he has learned! With help from therapy and hours of practice, he is crawling on all fours, cruising along the furniture like he’s been doing it all his life, and we’re working on standing unassisted. To see him grow and develop and understand and laugh and play makes me so incredibly proud of all he’s accomplished!!

I remember every emotion in that two weeks, but it’s all less scary now. I’m always going to get a little more nervous than normal when he gets a fever, and he may have to fight just a little harder for the milestones others take for granted, but I know he’s stronger with this as his story. We all are. So today we wore blue. Blue for hydrocephalus awareness and so others will know a little bit more about the condition that rocked our world earlier this year. The hydrocephalus awareness site says that this month is to honor and celebrate those living with this condition and that is exactly what we want to do. We want to celebrate his life and how far he has come!! He’ll live with this forever, but when I look at him, I don’t see this condition. I see a brave and smart, funny, curious, handsome, little snuggler who loves smiling at people, and who can melt you in an instant with his smile.¬†I am so so proud of this sweet, brave boy and I am so beyond blessed that I get to be his mama. My husband and I are pretty biased of course, but we think he is just the best ever (; We try to live every single day with gratitude, because you never know what will happen today, tomorrow or next month. We know how blessed we are that God has taken such good care of our family, and we pray for all the little and big people who live with hydrocephalus. We do know that God is in control. We know we can face the challenges. We pray to have the courage in difficult times, to find joy in the little things, and to take nothing for granted. I am so excited to see how God will use our sweet Owen to do great things as he grows. He is such a joy to our family, and we wouldn’t trade one bit of the journey we’ve had so far.

 

 

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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Hydrocephalus comes from the Greek words hydro meaning water and cephalus meaning head.

Hydrocephalus affects a wide range of people, from infants and older children to young, middle-aged and older adults.

  • Over 1,000,000 people in the United States currently live with hydrocephalus.
  • For every 1,000 babies born in this country, one to two will have hydrocephalus.
  • Hydrocephalus is the most common reason for brain surgery in children.
  • It is estimated that more than 700,000 Americans have NPH (normal pressure hydrocephalus), but less than 20% receive an appropriate diagnosis.

 

 

Source: http://www.hydroassoc.org/hydrocephalus/