Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh Darling...

"Your little hands wrapped around my finger And it's so quiet in the world tonight. Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming, So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light.
To you, everything's funny, You got nothing to regret I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that. Oh Darling, don't you ever grow up..." - Taylor Swift

Eleven weeks have gone by today. I'm pretty sure its been some of the sweetest moments ever created. I think all of heaven stops and watches me interact with my boy. His smile, his dimples, his flirty little face. Gosh!

I've been in a race trying to get some editing done, trying to work on booking clients for the holidays, trying to keep the house clean and roast a chicken for my husband. But there are those times when I just have to stop everything to focus in on the moment and memorize the smells, the feeling, the looks that Laef gives me...and to fully experience the way my heart spills out more love than it can hold. It's Niagara Falls so often--wet, rich tears pouring down my face, smearing my makeup, soaking my shirt. He's so full of sweet perfection that I just can't resist.

Time is seriously flying by. Laef is growing and transforming so quickly. I have to push the pause button on life to take in this beauty quickly changing. And if it takes hours, then let it take hours. I'm seriously in awe. Absolutely floored at how faithful the Lord is to my heart to make this time so perfect, so absolute.

My business, my house, my dishes piled to the ceiling (from last night's soup party! ;) ...all of it can wait. Push pause. Stop everything. Grab your camera and fill your soul with this untainted memory. It's like the sweetest candy.

I finally dropped breastfeeding. For the record, I tried for two months to make it all work. Through tears daily, eight to twelve hours spent sitting and dealing with a screaming child. I decided to switch to pumping bottles. Life has been sweet as pie since then. And guess what? There are eight to twelve extra hours left in my day. ;D We are all super happy about that.  

Last year, my grandmother (who is in her eighties) fell pretty hard and ended up in a long (almost year-long) cycle of hospitals, drugs, nursing homes, bad drugs, loss of memory...etc. It was a rough time for my grandfather. They have been married for fifty-eight years, and they are madly in love with one another. But last weekend, my grandparents came all the way from Georgia to come see and meet Laef. It was such an incredible moment watching my grandmother swooning over holding Laef. Oh gosh! I've actually dreamed of that moment and hoped that some day they would be able to hold my sweet baby.
She couldn't get over the fact that my sweet lad has her nose. It made her so happy.

While they were here, we stopped in at my brother's house for them to see the other great grandson born this year.

(Below is my nephew, Forest Káel, too cool for anyone.)

Thanks to my friend, Lauren, who bought us this bouncy chair, I'm able to get things done often. Laef is super content to sit in his bouncy for extended periods of time...sometimes two to three hours! He is such an amazing baby--happy and satisfied. 

A few weeks back, our dear friends' son turned one. We went out to their farm to celebrate. I took some photos for them for fun...

After everyone left, I sat on the hammock with Laef and took in the silence of the land. Below: Laef's sweet toes and the green pasture. mmm.....

I love having coffee dates with my girlfriends every week. <3


Look how handsome he is.... (below)... 

On the mornings that Brandon doesn't work from home, I wake Laef up around 7:00 AM, feed him, sip some pumpkin spice creamer coffee (yes, it's bad for me), let the golden light bounce off the walls, burn my wooden wick bonfire night candle and play some tunes. I dance with my boy in my arms. 

I can't help but sob at the thought of dancing with him at his wedding some day. I think because I attend weddings so often, it's easy for me to look forward to. I'm sure a lot of moms have had their moment when Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up" comes on, and they start shedding uncontrollable tears. I remember when my sister-in-law heard that song the first time when her first son had been born. I cried back then. Yesterday morning, I gave my little lova a bath and after I dressed him, that song came on. I danced with him in the bathroom, crying, taking in his smell, and his sweet sounds. Every time my husband came up the steps I would hide my face. I'm sure he thinks I'm a soppy wet mess all the time when I talk about Laef. Geeeesh... maybe I am.  Nonetheless, I'm okay with that.

Fall is always the time where I feel like I think a bit deeper. Something about the chilled air, the leaves piling up in my neighborhood, and the bright color that paints the scenery. Maybe it's also that there are three months left in the year, time is going faster, I'm getting older, I'm learning more, I'm becoming more secure. I'm healing from years that I've let hurt be a close friend to me. I'm finding the Lord again. I'm finding out that it doesn't always depend on me. I step into church and I cry a lot.  I have found forgiveness. I have found wholeness. I have found his faithfulness in almost everything I put my hands to. Every day I have a sense of wonder and hope.

Last year I had days where I would lean over my kitchen counter and wail at the hopelessness and the hurt that poured its passion into my days. When I got pregnant last year, I thought, "Next year is going to be the hardest and best year I've had so far." I must say it has not been that hard. I tried not to hang a lot of expectations over what this experience would do to me. And that has saved my life!


There are afternoons when I spend an hour or so outside sitting at the picnic table or swing in my neighborhood letting my boy see the sky, the trees, hear the birds, hear my cat talking constantly, feel the breeze... and while he does that I take him in. The way the light hits his long eyelashes and creates rainbow light, his soft face, his nose that looks like mine, the way his hair is glowing in the sun, his neck hair line, his long toes and the wrinkles in his hands. I study him. I memorize him. And then again I give him back to the Lord.

Thanks for reading!

Next blog I'll write about our trip to the Hamptons. ;D



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Laef the great, hits the two month date!

Laef hit his two month date today (and nine weeks tomorrow) I haven't had time to cry yet. But as I do most nights, I'll swaddle him, pray and cry tears of thankfulness for a life that I never could have dreamed would be so incredible, so overwhelmingly fabulous. He's growing so fast, so big. He is 13lbs and 7 oz and 23 inches long. Big boy! When I look at him sleeping I swear he must be an angel. I am grateful.

Off to the Hampton's tomorrow, nervous and excited all at the same time! Say a prayer for us! ;D

I took these photos yesterday. <3

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Pilgrim's Tale

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on a pilgrimage." - Psalm 84:5

The last two weeks have been... mmm... well, I'm not sure. Some days I say, "This is great! It's not hard. I'm really doing well at this." And other days I am guilty of handing my child to Brandon in the middle of a feeding and throwing up my fists, crying, "I hate breastfeeding!" So.... yeah. In the end, when my boy smiles at me with his swooning little dimples and his little sounds, I'm undone.

Some days I get so much done. A work out, my hair blow-dried, my to do list done, my house cleaned, dinner cooked and I'm like a shining barbie at the door when Brandon arrives home.
And on most days, I get half a work out done, a shower (with dripping wet hair), a load of laundry washed (but 3 days later I forget I didn't dry it...(bunny trail: true story. I washed my clothes fou times last week, because I kept forgetting to put them in the dryer. Silly me.)) and left overs warmed up. ;) Nonetheless, I can't let it eat me up when I don't fulfill the ultimate wife duties. I am a learning mother, and a learning wife with an eight-week-old.

I have spent this morning in my pj's, hair a matted mess, wearing smudgy glasses from my oily face, with a sweet cooing baby taking a nap on my lap, while watching a photography critique and teaching session online. I'm gearing up and refreshing my mind to rev back up my photography business.

Laef went through his six- to eight-week growth spurt last week. He cried so much. I felt like I was back at square one with breastfeeding. Laef was unhappy--wanted to be held constantly and was eating more than ever. I held onto the fact that this would soon pass. And it has. He is so sweet this week.  Looking back, I think, "Oh, that wasn't THAT bad..." haha! My girlfriend, Tiffany, tweeted something last week that I have thought of 10 or 12 times over the last week: "Hard times aren't bad. They're just hard."

I also have gone through heartaches with friendships. In the mix of things, I feel like the line in the Coldplay song "Fix You" when it says "When you love someone and it goes to waste, could it be worse?" I have felt that way these last two weeks. My Grandma says, "You aren't responsible for how other people act. But you are responsible for how you act." Along those same lines, Jason Upton quoted in one of his songs, "We don't forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive so we can see again." And that is exactly the heart posture I have to maintain.

Laef spends so much time in his bouncy, staring out the windows, laughing at the hanging birds and  kicking his feet around. He's making so much eye contact with us and laughing and giggling. It's glorious.

Yesterday morning, my second nephew was born. Cedar is his name. My parents, Laef and I went to go see him yesterday. Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law. Cedar is precious.

Two grandbabies this summer! My folks are excited!

Laef is learning to love baths.


This last week I've booked a couple weddings for next year. I'm really excited about hittin' the ground running.

 My hombres <3

Laef loves his Auntie Rebekah ;)

little Brandon? 

This is Laef's girlfriend, Selah. She is one month old. Born three weeks after Laef. They hung out yesterday.

Brandon and I are currently fighting over what color eyes Laef is going to have. Most of the time they look gray with a blue or green rim. In this photo below, Brandon wins. Brown and beautiful.

Every morning after I feed Laef, I put him on the changing pad. He puts his arms to his sides and gives me this smile. 

Next Friday, my husband, Laef and I are flying into NYC, renting a car, and driving out to the Hamptons. My longtime family friend, Ashley Webb, is getting married. I'm photographing her wedding at this church. (I know, right?!?) So stay tuned for a blog post about "Laef in the Hamptons"... ooo....  

Well, I think that's all I have for now. Just keeping up with life. It is absolutely amazing how our son is changing right before our eyes. He is eight weeks old today, and next week he will be two months old. I'm pretty sure he is the most beautiful boy ever created. Every night, I swaddle and rock him to sleep while I ask the Lord for wisdom on how to raise this boy. I need wisdom for raising him through all the seasons of his soul, as long as I have him. I have to give him back to God. He's a gift, and I'm taking care of this little pilgrim. My prayer for him is that Jesus would set a seal of love on his heart at a young age, ruining him for anything less than love. I also pray that Laef would be man of honor, wisdom, integrity, purity, creativity, and humility. I often ask that he would be like his father, Brandon, who in my opinion is one of the gentlest, wisest men I have ever known.