the field trip

Before the museum, there was anticipation.

Promise that you’re coming on our field trip, mom?” With my affirmation, a relieved sigh and smile.

And then after, there was peaceful satisfaction.

“I am the luckiest one because I got to be with you ALL day.”

Those words, they washed away all the frustration and fatigue I felt from the day. For it became apparent to me that first grade boys and museums aren’t exactly best friends. Museums don’t smile upon running, or touching, or speed. Things my first grader is very fond of.

But those words. Those words. They made it so very worth it.

I will remember them. Always.

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Easter

I want so much.

I want the teenager to see. Really see how precious those around her are. And how precious she is. Her ipod set aside this week, I wonder how that will impact her heart.

I want my little Legolas to know he is precious. School is hard. Home is hard. Everywhere in between is hard. Could it really be that no one likes him? Could it maybe be that what is inside is what is hard? Grace is what heals that place. So I wait for God.

I want the seven year old to stay small. His heart, a beautiful mix of compassion and boyishness. Can it just stay that way? Can he always just look at me with those beautiful blue pools of wonder and be innocent? I want this. For him. For me.

I want the almost-kindergartener to know he is loved. Bedtime comes, and we talk. His favorite thing of the day? That people were nice to him for a change. And he still manages to pray “God, change my heart so I don’t get so mad.” And my heart leaps and weeps all at once.

I want the baby to be the baby. Always. Being almost-two is taxing. On me. Can we leave the tin foil alone for just one day? And possibly not throw raisins around just this once? My heart bursts. Because its hard. And I fear ruining her with all my mistakes.

And still, there are so many more wants in my momma heart.

This weekend, this Easter, I wanted more than anything to know HIS love and feel HIS joy and revel in HIS goodness. My greatest struggle is knowing I am not enough. Mothering is hard and raw and real. And it sends me screaming into myself. Hidden away inside is ache that I can not do this.

But I know the ONE who can.

The ONE who does.

HE did it. It is FINISHED. All I need to do now is to COME.  In the coming, HE meets. HE sustains. HE shoulders my load. Carries my burdens.

These children? They are not mine. Not really. They belong to HIM. And HE will meet them through the ages and weave their lives into tapestries of grace. Me? I am HIS servant. Blessed beyond measure to witness this weaving. Blessed beyond measure to let HIM use me.

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what ten months looks like

My Emily is ten months old this month. My heart leaps, and grieves, and cherishes what this time looks like.

Ten months looks like a whole lot of cuteness.

Ten months looks like trying to master this thing called walking. And falling down a lot.

Ten months looks a lot like strong opinions. She certainly knows what she wants and when.

Ten months looks like life is flying by way too quickly. She is growing up way too fast.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Ryan and Amber // married // Holland, MI

I may have been completely in love with the details of this day. The vintage lace table cloths, the antique plates hand-picked by the bride’s mother, the vases of wildflowers, the highchairs set up for all the babies, the paper lanterns and fireworks at the end. LOVE. I also confess that I am in love with the people. I have known the bride’s family most of my life and they are just wonderful. Add in Ryan’s wonderful family and it is no wonder Ryan and Amber are such a great couple. And did I not say they deserved super weather for this day because of what they endured during our engagement shoot? Well, that sunshine and warm weather came through for them! A perfect day for their outdoor wedding at Ryan’s parent’s house.  Thank you for sharing your special day with me Baumann and DeWind families!  Enjoy your preview, Amber and Ryan!

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Kambry // newborn lifestyle

Heaven to me is snuggling and sniffing a soft squishy newborn. And Kambry was no exception. I had baby-fever the moment I laid eyes on her. Perfect little round head, button nose, and full head of hair. And her smell…oh my. I don’t think my husband would let me do this job if he knew how much it made me long for another little one. 🙂 Welcome to the world, little Kambry!
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Ryan and Amber // engaged

These two are awesome. Not only are they completely adorable and fun, they braved misty rain and 50 degree temps for their engagement shoot. Their wedding is only two weeks away and I, for one, am so excited! And I’m pretty sure they deserve some super weather that day for enduring this rain! 🙂 Enjoy your preview Ryan and Amber!

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Capturing what is

My kids run from my camera mostly.  The kids who can walk at least. The one who can’t walk – lets just say she probably thinks my camera is an extension of my face.  Makes for some pretty frustrating situations for this photographer mommy. Some days, instead of fighting with them to sit, pose, smile, again, again, one more time … I try to relax and capture them living. I am learning to take in whats around me. To let go of the expectations I have of what I want to capture, and instead just capture what is.

This is dreaming.

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This is finally

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This is taking a rest

DSC_0742-2and this is just cuteness 🙂

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Emily | 4 months old

Yesterday, I wasn’t ready to say she was 4 months old. She was still “almost 4 months.” Because it feels like this was yesterday…

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Then I looked at the calender and realized how “almost 4 months” she really was. When I think about the time that has passed I get a little sad knowing it went by so quickly. And yet my heart overflows seeing my beautiful girl growing and changing. She is so precious to us. I can’t get over those eyes. And I can’t get over how much God has blessed us with her and through her.

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For those of you wondering, her reflux has greatly improved. We’ve found our happy place at the intersection of Omeaprezole, probiotics, Nutramigen formula, chiropractic care, and a hazelwood necklace. Life is good. I was talking with a dear friend today and we realized together that peace comes from accepting things just the way they are, and then having faith that God will lead you through. We are thanking God that he gave us peace and guidance in this.

We love you so much, sweet Emily

sweet little Zoey Grace

So after a long crazy week of gallbladder surgery and recovery, Shane and I were finally able to make it DeVos Childrens Hospital in Grand Rapids to meet little Zoey. I have been beside myself with anticipation of getting to see her (and her momma)! And after lots of time spent gushing over her, I of course had to grab some shots of her 🙂 Sweet Zoey had a rough start to life, but by God’s healing grace she is thriving and growing. You can read her mom’s blog here. It’s such a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness. I am so thankful that even when trials come, we can have faith that God is lovingly sovereign. This little baby has taught me so much already in her first week of life. We love you, baby Zoey!

“We also know that He created her, just the way she is, perfect in His eyes, to fulfill HIS purpose”  Kallie Hogan

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Matthew 6:26-27 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”