Laura Kittrell Photography

A Letter to My Girl on Her 2nd Birthday

LBK, Life, PersonalLaura KittrellComment

My Little Evelyn,

Two years old. It is hard to believe that you have been in our family for two years. These years have been the sweetest for your dad and I. It is not always easy and you are teaching me so much about patience, my own selfishness, and about unconditional love. You have grown up so much this year, and sadly, we are seeing less and less of your baby side and more of your big girl side. That part isn't always fun, but what a joy to see you learn new things, your vocabulary explode, and you grow bigger each day. 

There is so much about your second year that I don't want to forget. You started walking between 13-14 months, and once you figured it out there was no stopping you. :) You LOVE books and want mama to read to you all the time. You are so smart and saying so many words. You are even saying a few little sentences here and there. It is so nice that you can communicate with us and we know what you want. You love Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins. You love music and love to dance. You started to love your baby doll Sally or "Sassy" as you call her and you are a good little mama! You love to feed her a bottle, but are still quick to bring her to me when she poo poos. :)

You are quick to fold your hands so we can pray before meals. You love to eat....and want a "nack" often. You are still a great sleeper most of the time! You have the most hilarious personality and can give some funny looks. You are incredibly outgoing, saying "hi!" to everyone in the grocery store or restaurants. But, bless it if they say hi back because depending on your mood...you cut those eyes making them think they did something terribly wrong. haha. You absolutely love the wa wa and going swimming is your favorite. You are a great swimmer and know how to float. You love animals...particularly puppies. Oh my gracious. They are your favorite!

You love your grandparents so much and all of your cousins and aunts and uncles. Bubbles and being outside are two of your favorite things as well. When we pray you like to say, "hold" like we need to hold hands when we do it. When you want me to sing "Jesus Loves Me" you say "Bible Bible". This year you also started testing lots of limits, and you weren't angelic all the time! :) You definitely have some sass to you and have opinions. For a while you didn't really know to say the word "no" but you have learned it and put it into practice when you want to. :) There are certainly days where you are fussy and irritable and mama has no idea what to do. But, most of the time you are a pretty content little girl. You play hard, eat well, and are typically sweet. 

My little love, I was praying for you this morning and praising God for your life. I can't get over the gift that He gave us in you. We waited and prayed for you for a long time, but my goodness.... The Lord exceeded our expectations. You are a treasure. Our lives are far more fun, harder (at times), more exhausting, but so much richer because you are in it. 

I am praying a lot of things for your third year. You are talking more and understanding more so I am praying that God helps me to continue to disciple you. I am praying that God will give us more conversations about stories in His Word. I am praying that I can teach you Scripture and that your little mind will absorb it. I am praying that I will be wise with how I spend my time when you are with me, remembering that each day is a gift and an opportunity to shepherd your heart. I am praying that you grow bigger. I am praying that you continue to learn to share and be kind (as this is not always easy). I am praying that even at this very young age, the Lord will pull your heart towards Him. There is nothing better, my girl. I am praying that your daddy and I will be good examples of Christ for you. 

You will experience a big transition this year as you become a big sister. I cannot wait for you to take on that role, but I know it will bring challenges for us both. You are such a joy my Evelyn Anne! I am so thankful that I get to be your mama. I am thankful that I get to spend my days with you. It has truly always been the desire of my heart, and how gracious of the Lord to allow it. I cannot wait to enjoy these last six months of it being just the three of us. 

Happy Birthday my precious Evelyn! I love you so much!

All My Love,

Mama

Sadie (6 Months)

Families, Photography, PortraitsLaura KittrellComment

I'm sorry, but if seeing this precious family and little angel face doesn't make you melt I just don't know what will! I got to take Sadie's newborn photos, and I was so excited when her mom asked me to take her 6 month pictures as well! She was so good and gave me the most precious little faces! Her perfect strawberry hair and big blue eyes made for some beautiful pictures! I get to take more of her in just a few weeks and I cannot wait to see how much she has grown!! 

The Jones Family

Families, PhotographyLaura KittrellComment

I feel so blessed that I get to work with some of the sweetest families...not to mention good looking? :) This precious family goes to church with me, and I was so excited when they asked me to take some family photos for them. Look at those kiddos! Are they not the cutest? I love a session where I can get genuine smiles, but also some good serious faces as well!! Oh, and they braved one of the windiest days with me! The kind of wind that brings tears to your eyes! But, we got some beautiful pictures and I think they are just adorable! 

Crosby Persinger (Birth)

NewbornsLaura KittrellComment

Long time...no post. Sorry for the absence friends! I have so many posts in my drafts that will be on display over the next days/weeks. I have tried so hard to edit more quickly and get images back to clients that it seems the blog has taken a backseat. What sweeter way to come back to the blog than to share the birth of a precious baby boy. :) 

As a photographer, I get to be present at so many precious moments. Family sessions are so sweet and chasing kiddos around is fun. I treasure getting to be a small part of the wedding day of so many dear couples. But, a birth....a birth is so intimate. I can't tell you what a privilege it is when someone asks me to be in the room during the birth of a baby. It is a true honor. 

Well, this dear friend has had me come to the births of her last two children. Sweet Annie also has had her last two children completely naturally. Now, if you ask Annie...she, in her humility, would claim that she has no idea how crazy she acted, and she would apologize for her behavior over and over. Well, I am here to tell you that she was the epitome of grace during Crosby's birth. She labored calmly. I knew the pain she was feeling and you can see it on her face. However, she also would laugh with the nurses and constantly say thank you to anyone who was trying to help and serve her. 

Annie had her sweet husband and sister in the room. Her sister is an amazing doula (Pure Grace Doula Services). They were both so attentive, knowing when to step in and when to back off. Natural labor is a funny thing. Women handle it all so differently, and you really have to know how to read them. I could go on and on about how amazing Annie did, and how precious that little bundle was when he was finally born! He is an angel!

Annie, you are a dear friend and I am so grateful that you have let me witness two of the most special days of your life. It is a sweet gift and privilege! Here are some photos and a video at the end documenting the day. 

David and Jayne (engaged)

EngagementsLaura KittrellComment

Oh my goodness!! I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to take David and Jayne's engagement photos. Typically, I find that the girl is always excited about photos and Jayne was...However, David enjoyed the process just as much! This always makes things so fun, and the session tends to flow a little bit better! I really did not have to pose them at all. I simply let them interact and directed only slightly... It was so much fun to hear about how they had met, their plans for after the wedding, and of course all the wedding day details! David and Jayne, I am seriously so excited for your December wedding!! You two are so precious, and it is going to be a great day!!

Chelsea (Bridals)

BridalsLaura KittrellComment

When I first met Chelsea the day that we were taking engagement photos, I knew that she was going to be a beautiful bride. Not only is she beautiful, but she is so sweet. Now that their wedding is over, I can share her gorgeous bridals. The combination of her stunning dress, veil, and beautiful hydrangeas made these portraits so perfect. I love taking bridal portraits, because there is so much excitement as brides essentially get a "test run" of what everything will look like on their wedding day. I cannot wait to share more from their beautiful wedding! I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about this sweet bride! :) 

Chris and Sarah (engaged)

EngagementsLaura KittrellComment

Chris and Sarah are such a precious couple! I have known Chris for several years. We met at a Summer Beach Project in Panama City and then went on a Cross Cultural Project to Brazil the next summer. I was so excited when he contacted me after he and Sarah got engaged! Sarah is so sweet, and I love how their pictures turned out! We had a lot of fun running around Springhill College and also getting Sarah's dog  to settle down for a few pictures! :) I cannot wait for their wedding at the end of April! It is going to be beautiful!! 

The Dean Family

Families, MaternityLaura KittrellComment

I got to take photos of this family when that oldest little boy was really little! I can't believe how much Joshua has grown, and now they have added Kathryn to their family. They are about to have their third and decided not to find out what they are having! I cannot wait to take pictures when they are officially a family of five! They are such a beautiful family, and Carrie looks so precious with her baby bump! In just a few weeks we will take newborn photos of baby number three, and I am so excited!! James and Carrie, enjoy your last couple of weeks with just two kiddos! :)  

Baby Hattie

Newborns, Family, FamiliesLaura KittrellComment

This little girl was such an angel during her session. I have known Jonathan for several years, and it was so good to meet his sweet wife, Kristen, and of course their two precious children. Hattie honestly slept through almost her entire session....not to mention sleeping through daddy and big brother playing and wrestling! :) She was a dream! Also, can we talk about how amazing Kristen looks...and also this was her second natural birth...so obviously she is a rockstar! :) Thank you Kristen and Jonathan for letting me capture your sweet family of four!! Your babies are just beautiful!! 

Because...He is Faithful No Matter What

Personal, LBK, LifeLaura KittrellComment

Remember this post.... The post that I felt like I had waited forever to get to write... The one where we finally got to announce that a sweet little baby was growing in my tummy? I was so excited! I  remember crying so many tears and being giddy that I got to share this long awaited news. It had taken what seemed like an eternity to finally be pregnant.

Well, we are kind of in the waiting boat again, and really have been since Evelyn was born. Now, don't get me wrong....when you have a precious little girl that was the answer to so many prayers, waiting with you, taking up your time, etc.....it makes the waiting game a bit easier. Here is the deal.....in the last couple of months I have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. For a girl who has dreamed of being a mama to many babies since she was little...this was a difficult blow. I have cried lots of tears. 

My initial response was feeling sorry for myself. Why God? Why do so many other people simply have to look at each other and they get pregnant? Why am I going to have to keep waiting longer? Why is this so difficult? He has been gracious to listen to my cries. Since then, God, in all of His grace, has taken me by the hand, and begun to show me how to walk through this. I have had some hard days where I have been sad and discouraged. I have also had a lot of great days where I walk well through this trial. He has sustained me and will continue to sustain me.

God has been teaching me a lot lately. The other day I was thinking to myself that I couldn't wait to share my story AFTER I got pregnant and talk about God's faithfulness through all of it. I couldn't wait to encourage someone going through the same thing when I came out on the other side. The Lord spoke to me and said...."Why not now?" I immediately felt terrible, because I realized that this was as if I was saying that He wasn't being faithful now or until I got what I prayed for. God has graciously been showing me that HE IS ENOUGH. Of course I have known that...but, He is meeting me where I need Him. 

A few months ago I was reading in the Psalms (which I have found myself in a lot lately). In Psalm 66 verse 12 says, "You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but YOU BROUGHT US TO A PLACE of ABUNDANCE." It goes on in verse 20 to say, "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" This Psalm is referencing how faithful God was in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land! I remember my initial thought being...I can't wait for the abundance. I can't wait to see how He doesn't withhold His love from me. But friend, He hasn't! He allows me to wake up each day. I am living in abundance because I get to walk with Christ!! I am living in abundance because I get to talk to Him whenever I want! I get to read His Word. I get to serve Him. Everything else is just a good gift from Him.....They are just the cherry on top of being known by my heavenly Father. 

In August, the Lord showed me this verse: "I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." -Psalms 27:13-14   He also brought me back to it last Friday when I really needed it. It would be easy to interpret it my own way. Goodness of the Lord=Pregnancy. Right? Waiting for...........a baby. Right? But this might not be the case, and if it isn't I am still promised to see His goodness. This is what He has shown me......

God is faithful if I get pregnant and get to be a mama four more times. He is faithful if I get to be a mama one more time. He is faithful if I get pregnant and tragically lose that baby. He is faithful if I never get pregnant again. He is faithful if we adopt. He is faithful if Evelyn is our only child. His plans are PERFECT. His plans are BEST. His plans for my life will be whatever brings Him the most glory. He is sovereign over every situation. 

So sure....does it sting when month after month goes by without being pregnant? Maybe a little. But friends, nothing compares to being known by my heavenly Father. He knows my heart. He knows my desires. But, I know that He can change my desires. My heart has to be content in Him. There are days where walking this road seems like the hardest thing, and you know....I haven't had many moments in my life where I have had to struggle so it probably is. There are also days where He consistently shows me that a relationship with Him, spending time with Him, sitting and resting in His presence is only thing I need. I am learning that when my heart hurts or doubts His goodness, I need to press in closer to Him. I have to be in His Word so that I can know Him better. The more I know Him, the more I can trust Him. My heart ebbs and flows. My emotions ebb and flow. But, God is constant. He is always with me. He never changes. He is always faithful... no matter what.