bekah

There are many great rewards that come in life.  But my biggest are my marriage and my children.  I have never felt a greater sense of accomplishment in any other area than I have with these.  All I ever wanted as a child was to grow up, get married and have babies.  I did.  And with great success.  Not perfect but I definitely believe a huge part of me was designed to be a mama to my children.

When Bekah was born my heart swelled larger than I ever thought possible.  I loved her so much that within hours after having her (very traumatically, I might add) I remember whispering to her through tears, “I can’t wait to do this again.”  She was my first pride and joy.  And now, 23 years later, I can say with all honesty that I haven’t regretted one moment of being her mama.

Happy birthday Boo!!!  You are a beautiful gift!

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dilly

Do you want to know what makes me smile?  This guy right here.  Knowing that I have the privilege to be his mother and that he has one of the kindest hearts on this planet makes my heart swell with so much pride.  And his yummy face and sweet smile help a lot as well.  🙂

When I gave birth to him 17 years ago, I didn’t realize how much joy he would bring to our family.  I had an idea because of the three ahead of him who had brought the same joy.  But what are the odds that 100% of my children would be loving, kind and stinking adorable?  Blessed is a word that is VERY over-used these days so I won’t say that I’m blessed.  What I will say is that there is a word out there I could use but I won’t.

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elizabeth

If my children ever come to me in the future and say they no longer want their annual pictures taken, I think it might literally kill me.  I look forward to these each year even though it’s growing increasingly more difficult to get them done because of where they are and schedules.  But I am determined to document their lives even if it’s not what it used to be in the day to day photos.

E.Beth turned 21 this year.  I guess that’s a big milestone these days.  It really wasn’t for my husband or me.  Maybe it was for others around us but we weren’t aware if it was.  All I see 21 as is another year that my children are no longer babies.  Sniff, sniff.

I guess you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

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push

She said that she wanted some new family photos.  I recommended that we wait until fall when the temps are a bit cooler.  She said how does next week work for you? Um…… okay.  So fall is out then.  We planned it for the following Saturday.

After a while of shooting, her husband asked if she wanted him to get the thing they made out of the car.  I had no idea what was happening.  He brought back a board and asked me where he should put it.  I told him I didn’t know because I wasn’t quite sure what it was.  Then he turned it around.

It took a minute for it to sink in for me.  But when it did I gave her a big hug and started to cry.  You see, she is a friend of mine and I see her daily because we work together at our church daycare.   I had no idea!  The last I knew, they were done having children.  Yep!  She lied to me.  She said that she always wanted more but didn’t want people bugging her on when the next one would come.   I guess her strategy worked.

Needless to say, fall would have been a little late to share the news, which is why it happened sooner.  Thankfully, the morning we chose was not blistering hot or muggy so it all worked out perfectly!

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nolan

All of my children are very unique and have great, individual qualities.  But one thing they have in common is that they are all a bunch of goofballs!  I love their silliness.  I guess because it makes our times together fun and interesting.  Also, because it reminds me a bit of the way I used to be before I got old and boring.  Life is such a great gift and it’s very important to enjoy it.

I did my usual, “hey Nolan, can we go out and shoot a few pictures for your annual shots?”  All I NEED is 15 minutes.  Just give me that.”  Truthfully, that really is all I need.  Providing it’s 15 cooperative minutes.  It didn’t help that goofball sister #2 was along for the ride.  My kids all feed off of each other’s strangeness.  They come by it honestly I guess.

After the first spot, he looked at the pictures and said, “I think I’m good.”  Really?  You think you’re good?  Cause I’m pretty sure I’m not.  Mama needs more shots!  So I got more shots.  Not many, mind you, but more.  I just love this boy man!

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ella’s story

“Before you were ever born He set your life apart.  Before we held you in our arms you were held in God’s own heart.  Before all time began His hand was on your life.  He knew you and formed you in His image, in His light.” ~Jeremiah’s song

This sweet one was due the end of August.  But she decided that she was ready to come the end of July, five weeks early.  Not your run-of-the-mill preemie, she rocked the weight and all of the typical problems you would find in a premature baby spending time in the NICU with virtually no issues and left after ten days.  But was she really early?  By earthly standards, yes.  By God’s, for sure not.  Because we know that His plan and His timing are ALWAYS perfect!

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