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!!
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 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!!
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! :)
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!!
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.
I was so excited when Genny contacted me to take her baby boy's newborn photos. Genny and I did our student teaching together, and it was so much fun to catch up with her! Sweet Wallace was an absolute dream during his session. We moved him around, and all he needed was a little white noise to keep him happy! Also, let's talk about his parents.....seriously, hearing them talk about the first couple of weeks with Wallace was so sweet. They were so relaxed and didn't speak about the lack of sleep or crying in a negative way at all. They were taking the whole learning to be parents thing in stride, and it was so encouraging!! Josh and Genny, thank you so much for letting me capture your sweet family! Wallace is just the sweetest!! Enjoy every minute!
I was so excited to get to take pictures of this sweet family! They were my first family session of 2017, and how precious are they? I had only gotten to see Freddy and Whitney's precious kiddos on Facebook, so to have them in front of the camera with all of their personality was just too much!! Thank you Taul family!!
Ok...and this last photo...Whitney was the best. She was so relaxed about having pictures done. By the end the kids were melting and just done (totally normal!!) and we wanted one of them with Whitney....they were melting, but I love this because it is such a pictures of motherhood and raising littles...am I right? Whitney, you are just beautiful and such a sweet mama!
Dear Sweet Evelyn,
Oh little girl, tomorrow you are officially 18 months old. I cannot fathom that I have gotten to be your mama for a year and a half. Truly.....it is an honor and a privilege. You are such a precious little thing. We are in a fun stage, but also one that presents lots of new waters for mama and daddy.
You are learning so much everyday! I feel like I hear new words each day in the midst of all that babble! You "talk" all day long! I get to see you discover new things. Taking you outside is the most fun because you light up. You are amazed by all that you see! We are seeing quite the sassy side come out. You certainly have opinions, and don't mind letting us know. :) You are a BUSY girl and go from one thing to the next! I see your little brain at work all the time!
We just celebrated your second Christmas as a family of three. It was so fun to watch you this year! Last year was so special because it was our first, but this year you were interested in opening presents, looking at lights, and lots of fun Christmas traditions! You loved your gifts, and again, it was surreal signing that Christmas card: "Brett, Laura, and Evelyn Kittrell" I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. You have no idea how loved you are!
There is so much about you at 18 months that I want to remember. I want to remember how you have started answering questions. A short and sweet "yea" is what we get most of the time! I want to remember how when I correct you to say, "yes ma'am" you have started saying "ma'am ma'am" It's so precious! I want to remember how much you adore reading books, and how you go and grab one and come sit in my lap over and over. Current favorites are, "You are My I Love You", "We're Going on a Bear Hunt", and "10 Little Ladybugs".
I want to remember how much you love your sleep and how you are still holding onto that morning nap. (I say this in the most humble and thankful way ever, considering we had many many months of what felt like no sleep...and I felt like you might never figure it out....haha. :) ) I want to remember how much you love to play in your bed when you wake up from your nap. I want to remember how much you love Mickey Mouse. I want to remember how you love giving eskimo kisses. I want to remember how much you love your cousins and your grandparents. I want to remember how much you love being outside...literally could stay out all day long. You think acorns are the best and we collect them daily! :)
I want to remember how much you adore your daddy. I want to remember how you currently let us know that you don't like the word "No" by screaming. Actually...maybe I don't. :) I want to remember how you will run back and forth to daddy and I to give out sweet hugs. I want to remember how when I ask you to "give me those eyes" you cut your eyes in the cutest little mean mug I ever did see.
I want to remember how much of a privilege it is to watch you grow. I also want to remember how I see God's grace in those moments when our days are not all sunshine and roses. There are lots of moments like that throughout the day. You are a joy, and I wouldn't trade my days with you. But, there are hard moments....moments where you would like to test the limits and enjoy standing your ground....moments where you whine for who in the world knows what? :) But, God is gracious. God is faithful to meet me where I am each day.
Little girl, your chubby cheeks, sweet lips, and blue eyes are just edible. I am so proud of you and all that you are learning. I am so grateful to be your mama. I tear up often when I think about how God was so good to give you to us. You are our greatest blessing. I pray that you will continue to learn and grow. I pray that your little heart comes to know Jesus at a young age. I pray that you see Jesus in your mama each day.
All My Love,
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of my sweet clients in 2016. I have truly been so blessed by so many. As I was going through all of the many sessions, weddings, and special events I had the privilege of photographing this year, I felt so thankful. I had the opportunity to shoot countless families, lots of weddings, a few births, and so many other special memories.
This was my first full year both working and being a mama. So many of my first weddings in 2016 I spent breaks in the back of my car pumping (haha). Many of you were kind enough to reschedule if my little one was sick. I cannot get over the grace that I was shown.
Thank you so much to those of you who have allowed me to be a small part of your memories. Thank you to those who have come back year after year to let me take photos of your precious families. Thank you to those who let me be in the room as you gave birth. Thank you to my sweet couples who allowed me to be with you through your engagement and your wedding days. I am overwhelmed by how this little business has grown.
To those of you that I get the privilege of serving in 2017, I am so excited!! Thank you for entrusting me to capture your most priceless memories!
Enjoy a few of my favorites from this year......It was tough to narrow it down! :)