God does not call those who are equipped, He equips those whom He has called. a quote that I probably read + skimmed past on Pinterest at some point, writing it off as "corny" + in no way significant to me, is weighing heavy on my heart this morning.Read More
you know that rush of energy + giddiness you feel when you have a great idea or set an exciting goal / when you make a big decision, and when you start planning a new chapter in your life? I felt that in a major way when I was re-addressing my small business goals after giving birth to Madelynn (at a birth center, in the water) and realized I HAD to start photographing other women's birth stories, it was what I was being called to do. that spark set my heart on fire while documenting my first birth story, and I have fallen deeper and deeper in-love with this genre of photography with every birth since.Read More
I've been pretty absent here on this little blog, y'all. I began using this space for personal posts here + there as a therapeutic canvas for the thoughts, emotions, dreams + plans crowding my mind constantly as a stay at home/small business owner mama. I'd like to continue writing when life slows down a bit. it's been almost 5 months since I posted a photo session, and since that's primarily due to the rapid growth of my photo business over the past 1/2 year, I have a LOT to catch-up on.Read More
introducing Denton Birth PhotographyRead More
2014 has left me a whole new person. this was a year full of learning + growing for me; as a business owner, as a photographer, as a friend, as a wife, as a Christ-follower + most-drastically, as a mother. I became a mother in 2013, but this year I learned so much more about how to be a mother; how to love like a mother, how to hug like a mother, how to kiss + heal ouch-ies like a mother. how to get through hard day after long night, after impossible day after sleepless night (hint: Jesus -- coffee just doesn't cut it). I learned more about God -- more about His grace, His sovereignty, His perfection. His worthiness; His infiniteness. how I need Him, every good/bad/hard/joyful/miserable second.Read More
I am joining a bunch of other Peony Project members to host a fantastic giveaway! who doesn't love free stuff? especially free TARGET MONEY! I'm a little (ok really, really) obsessed with Target. they've got good style for the body + the home, they've got great prices, and they have a good selection of organic groceries and natural products.Read More
one year ago today, at 38 weeks + 6 days pregnant, I woke up at 7:30 AM to my first real-deal contraction. that 30 seconds of discomfort, anxiousness + excitement began a journey that would change my life forever. my life always would be better, harder + more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. my life had already been changed by Madelynn, long before we met her or chose her name -- that first little pink line. the squirmy gummy bear on the screen. the card that read "girl". the first snapshot of a perfect nose and chin dimple. -- but that first contraction was the very beginning of the day that really changed everything.Read More
one week from today, my little girl will be 1 year old. it's impossible to not feel excited and a little sad at the same time. while I will always miss the baby she no longer is, and will probably miss bits + pieces of every stage of development she goes through, I am trying to embrace the inevitable reality that she will be changing and getting older 100% of the time. so, here's a photo + milestone recap for Madelynn's bittersweet last month of true infancy.Read More
my goal was to have Madelynn's 11 month photos posted before she turned 1...so here is a quick 10 month photo post and milestone update, soon to be followed by the post on her last month as a less-than-1-year-old -- CAN. NOT. BELIEVEIT!Read More
Denton home water birthRead More
y'all. I am writing this...from a coffee shop...where I'm hanging out by myself! at almost 9 PM! & my darling daughter is sleeping peacefully (as far as I know) at home with my sweet, servant-hearted husband who let me get out of the house to get some work done and to save the last little bit of sanity I have left after today (which started at 1:30 AM with a frantically screaming baby, a huge mess & a middle-of-the-night mommy/daughter bathtime...I'll spare you the details). & the only stipulation was that I bring him home a chocolate shake. what a deal, right? I've exhausted my editing stamina for the night, so I'm playing catch-up yet again and sharing some Maddie Rose cuteness.Read More
I'm really trying to catch-up with sharing updates on my sweet girl! She's almost 11 months now, so I'm pretty behind, but WILL be done by her first birthday. I just can't believe we're talking about her first party already...and I can't believe she is making sounds that sound like real words -- on purpose! & I can't believe she's walking with her walker, and sleeping in her crib all night! but those are things to share in her 11-month-post, this one is a flashback to her 9th month of life (8 months old)Read More
this month I'm linking up with the Tiny Twig to share my "goals with grace" for September. although I didn't link-up last month, I did write out some goals knowing I wouldn't complete or meet all of them. that's the point of goals with grace. make a plan, write a list, and then do your best, but give yourself grace if you don't check off all (or even one) of your goals. I came close to not hitting a single goal from last month, so I am carrying them all over to this month. as I revisited my list of August goals, I realized some tasks have yet to be completed and the challenges regarding my daughter, my photography + my music were not as much of a priority as I intended them to be when I compiled this list, though I was certainly more intentional about the time spent with Madelynn, and did do some personal photography. good thing they were personal goals, and not demands made by a conventional job or requirements for being a "good mom," and that I can have grace with myself and try again in September.Read More
Oh, my darling. How incredibly sweet + impossibly difficult being your mama has been. I love you with all of my heart and will always love you even more. Some days I am able to be grateful for how tough you can be, because I realize it is the hard days that the Lord can use to refine me and the good and bad moments He uses to bless me. I really wish I had written up an entire post for every month of your little life so far, each one flying by faster than the last. I wish I had written about each trial we faced and milestone we celebrated. Now that you're surprising us every single day with new tricks and sounds and smiles and laughs, I'm finding it hard to jot everything down before I forget and have way too much to share from the last few months. So, this post is very behind, but I wanted to give months 7-12 the attention they deserve...Read More
It's about time I blogged this mama's beautiful belly, considering I've already photographed baby boy's birth story AND taken his newborn photos! I am so thrilled to have met Holly and honored that she asked me to document the sweet season of life this family is in. His big brothers, Aiven + Carson, were so eager to meet their little brother and had no problem giving him LOTS of hugs & kisses, however, trying to get them to sit still and smile at the camera (boooooring) was a whole 'nother story...Read More
This wedding was a really special one, y'all.Read More
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I have debated how I would join the thousands (millions?) of brave, strong women sharing their journeys, nursing proudly in public & sticking up for what they believe in. So here goes... I hesitate to share this story, especially with "the internet," but it is an important part of my life and has been an essential aspect of my sanctification through motherhood -- aka the toughest thing I've ever worked at and gone through. I also went back and forth on whether that was an appropriate title for this post, because as much as I appreciate people advocating breastfeeding and using compelling reasons & bullet points to argue their case that "breast is best," and as much as I do not want to discourage a mama who is ready to give-up or one who hasn't decided yet how she'll nourish her baby, I am a bit bothered (maybe even a little personally offended) when people -- women AND men -- use "breastfeeding is free" as one of their persuasion expressions. Breastfeeding has been far from "free" for me. Not just in monetary cost -- for the pump + supplies, nursing bras + tops, ointments + creams + oils + herbs, lactation consultant fees, doctor's appointments, procedures, specialists, books + resources, teas + supplements, baby gear attempting to lessen the loss of sleep -- but also in emotional, physical, mental + spiritual cost; sacrifice. Breastfeeding is natural, sure, but in this case natural does NOT mean easy or intuitive or free. I do believe that it is the way God intended mamas to feed their babies, if possible. Note: this does not mean I am in any way judging mother's who don't -- or can't -- breastfeed. We live in a fallen world and, as with anything else, just because something is natural and "as God intended/created it to be" doesn't mean it's not difficult, broken or impossible.
I think I had always just assumed I'd breastfeed, and was determined early-on in my pregnancy to make the commitment to nurse at least 1 year, with my goal being at least 2 years. I wanted to avoid formula. I wanted to bond with my baby. I wanted to give her the best possible start in life that she could have, and there is certainly enough information out there arguing that breastfeeding does just this. In our case, however, breastfeeding caused a lot of pain. A significant loss of sleep. Tensions in my marriage, frustration towards my baby, and feeling depressed because there was clearly something wrong with me that was interfering with my ability to do what I felt was best for Madelynn.
The first month was excruciating. A nipple shield (note: avoid at all costs!!) was, at the time, my saving grace that allowed me to continue nursing M without curling my toes and screaming in pain. However, if I could go back and do it all again, I would push through the pain without artificial assistance from that maddening piece of plastic that my daughter would come to depend on. Madelynn was born with a fairly extreme upper lip tie & tongue tie (which went undiagnosed, despite visiting several lactation consultants, until she was 5+ months old), which caused me incredible pain and prevented her from transferring the amount of milk she needed to thrive -- resulting in her developing jaundice, loosing weight and then struggling to gain weight, being incredibly gassy/colicky/inconsolable and therefore waking up every 45 minutes or so to nurse, and me struggling to maintain my milk supply. I stuck with breastfeeding through all of this because 1. I felt very strongly that it would be best for her in the long run, despite how many issues it was causing at first and 2. because I'm extremely stubborn and insisted on continuing because it was my plan to nurse for at least a year (unless, of course, it had become harmful to her for us to continue). Once she was diagnosed with the ULT/TT, we were able to get those loosened and resolved with craniosacral therapy and we experienced immediate results. She began gaining weight normally for the first time in her life, and slowly but surely we were able to ditch the shield (praise God)! Unfortunately, she was still waking up every hour - hour and a half, most likely out of habit.
We still struggle with nursing some of the time, especially now that she's at the age where EVERYTHING else is more interesting, but I am thrilled that we are finally at the point where it is usually painless (during teething is a whole 'nother story), doesn't feel like a chore and is serving it's purpose of nourishing her in a way that no other substance can quite compare to. Thank you for sticking with me through my breastfeeding saga. I would LOVE to hear your story -- how nursing has blessed you, changed you, been hard for you, been easy for you, or even why you never did or no longer choose to.
// the above images of my sweet girl nursing were taken by the super-talented Kristiane Webb -- she's the photographer these photographers trust with all their personal photo needs.