/Letters to My Children 2015/ August


Dear Emma,

Summer break with you sure flew by this year! Even though it's only 2 weeks, we always pack so much fun into that short time together. From the backyard to the creamery and many adventures in between, we spent our days being silly and carefree. I think my favorite day was when you and Jonah turned a simple art project into a full on body painting extravaganza. I hope I never forget the sound of your laughter as I hosed you off afterward. :)


As you head back to school this week, I want you to know how very proud of you I am. You have one of the kindest, most thoughtful hearts I've ever known, and that's no more apparent than in your love for Jonah. It's his first week at your school, and while you're very excited that he's finally in the same school as you, he's naturally having a lot of anxiety as he adjusts to new people and new routines. I can't even tell you how proud it made me to hear from his teacher that you went over to his room yesterday to help him feel better, and that his special treat after nap was to go see his big sister. It was your first day back, too, and you had every right to want to spend it playing with your friends. But instead you were there for your little brother when he needed you. That's a big job you took on, and you did it with the grace and generosity of someone well beyond your 4 years. They say our children are our greatest teachers, and you my girl make me certain that's true.




I'm joined in this letter writing project by some very talented photographers. I encourage you to head over to Melissa's blog to read her letter, then follow the links until you land back here!

/Letters to My Children 2015/ July


Dear Jonah,

If you have a season, it is most certainly Summer. You have been living it up the past couple of months, taking in all that Summer has to offer. We kicked off July at the cabin, where you loved playing in the water, palling around with your big sister, and generally being a messy, adventurous boy.


Summer wouldn't be summer without lots of water play, and you are definitely a water baby. You and Emma love when we chase you around the backyard squirting you with the hose. It's in those laughter-filled moments that time seems to stop and the afternoons feel like they could go on forever. But looking at these photos of you, I know time is moving way faster than I'd like. You're far more boy than baby these days and I'm coming around to being okay with that. Slowly.   


Summer coming to an end means big changes for you... the biggest being that you're starting at your sister's Montessori school. I'm both excited and nervous for you. I know you'll thrive in that school, but I also know you'll be confused at first and missing your beloved daycare provider. It'll be hard on all of us, but I promise to be there with extra uppies and snuggles when you need them. And when all else fails, we just may have to bring in the big guns - a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles. :)

Love you, buddy...


Head on over to my talented friend Ally's blog to read her July letter...

/Letters to My Children 2015/ June

2015-06-24_0001 Dear Emma,

Happy 4th Birthday, my sweet girl. People have been assuming you're 5 for a while now, so it's about time you finally turned 4! That assumption mostly comes from the fact that you're so tall for your age (91st percentile!), but also from your independence and maturity. It's been awesome to watch you blossom into this sweet, thoughtful, silly, creative little girl over the past year. It's like we can see the older you taking shape right before our eyes.

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Don't get me wrong - you still have your toddler moments! Those moments can serve as (sometimes much needed) reminders that you've only just turned 4... there's so much you're still figuring out. You're just starting to navigate the social world - discovering both the joys and challenges of friendships. You've been asking hard questions about love, death, and what things mean. Daddy and I aren't always ready to tackle these topics, but we always try to answer you with respect, empathy, and honesty.

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For your birthday this year, it felt like we celebrated all week long! We kicked things off with a princess party at the Little Gym where you celebrated with all your school friends. From the games to the Disney tunes to the Rapunzel cupcakes, you had a blast. After that, we headed home where our family was waiting to keep the celebration going. Your favorite gifts were your princess dresses and a book of Disney bedtime stories.2015-06-24_0006 2015-06-24_0007

For your actual birthday, I took the day off of work so we could hang out. It started with you finally getting your big present from me and Daddy - a new dress up cart! We built it from scratch just for you, and I even spray painted knobs bright pink for you to hang your bracelets and necklaces. If someone had told me when you were a baby that 4 short years later I'd be immersed in all things princess I would have told them they were crazy. But what can I say? It makes you so happy, and I'm learning to embrace the fact that our house is permanently covered in glitter.


Before meeting up with Nana, we stopped at the Frederick Rescue Mission to drop off the Backpack Drive donations you collected at your birthday party. Daddy and I were so very proud of you for thinking of others on your big day. One of the things that makes you so unique and wonderful is how innately thoughtful you are. You are always thinking of others' needs and feelings, even if it's something small like sharing with Jonah or bringing me an ice pack if I stub my toe. Daddy and I are hoping to teach you different ways you can use that gift to help others, because the world so desperately needs more people like you. 2015-06-24_0008

After that, we met up with Nana at Build A Bear where you - of course - built an Elsa bear. It even sings "Let It Go" which Daddy and I are super thrilled about. ;) We capped off the day with a family dinner at your favorite restaurant, Cafe Bueno. All in all, a perfect day and a great way to kick off age 4. As much as you want to skip ahead to being 5 like your older friends, I know this year will be filled with wonderful discoveries, important lessons learned, and happy, carefree times with family and friends.



Please head over to Ally’s blog to read her letter, then continue around the circle until you land back here!

/Letters to My Children/ February 2015

2015-02-27_0001 Dear Emma,

I've been so drawn to taking portraits of you lately... You're growing into your personality more every day and I so love capturing all the many sides of you. You're oh so silly, and astoundingly smart, and most of all incredibly sweet and thoughtful. You're also emerging as a bit of an introvert, which isn't surprising since you hail from a looooong line of introverts. We're working on helping you be more social around people you don't know, but daddy and I are so proud of your maturity and independence. Even when you're in a new situation where you don't know the other kids, you happily find your own way.

2015-02-27_0003In school news, you've been making awesome progress with your moveable alphabet, and just this week started writing words! With no help from me, you sounded out and spelled "hat" all by yourself. You were so proud and excited. "Mama! I spelled a real word!!"  It's like it all clicked for you and after that you wanted to write every three letter word you know. Dad, cat, bat... You were on fire and it was truly awesome to watch. Not too shabby for three and a half. (Thanks, Montessori!)

2015-02-27_0005We love you so much, bubba, and are so proud to be your parents. 



2015-02-27_0007Please head over to my very sweet friend Ally’s blog to read her letter, then continue around the circle until you land back here!

\Letters to My Children\ July

2014-07-27_0005 MySweetJonah

You, my little one, have been on a huge development streak since my last letter to you! It seems like every day you're doing something you couldn't do the day before. Your cautious army crawl has been replaced by standing, cruising, and getting into EVERYTHING. Your absolute favorite thing in the world is to make your way over to Emma's kitchen and enthusiastically toss all of its contents onto the floor. Sometimes you make a loud bang when you drop the pots and pans and you look over at me to see my reaction and give me the silliest grin - it's impossible to be mad at you!

Your other favorite toys are your music table and this little pop up toy that frustrates you to no end, but you love it anyway. We're anxiously awaiting the moment you figure out how to make the little guys pop up on your own.


You've been pulling yourself up for a while now but you only recently figured out how to get back down. And it's the funniest thing - you basically do triangle pose until you get one hand fully on the floor, then you pivot around and down into crawling position. Our little yogi!


One thing that hasn't changed is how well you and Emma get along. She's always so thoughtful where you're concerned, and you just adore her and so desperately want to be able to do everything she does. You'll get there sooner than you know, buddy. I promise.


Watching you two together makes my heart so happy, and while I know it won't always be this way, I sure hope the fierce love you have for one another never fades.


The next time I write to you, you'll be turning 1. That gives me two more months to come to terms with the reality that you're not going to be my little baby forever. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm certainly not one to quote Mariah Carey, but you'll ALWAYS be my baby. ;)


I encourage you to head over to my lovely friend Lucy’s blog (Philadelphia Family Photographer, Lucy Baber Photography) to read her letter to her children.

\Letters to My Children\ June

I’m continuing my “Letters” project this year with a new group of my very dearest photography friends. Each month I’ll write a letter to one of my babies.  This month it’s Emma’s turn… dearemma

This month we celebrated your 3rd birthday! It feels like just yesterday you were a fussy, wriggly little thing, and now you're THREE.


We kicked off your birthday festivities by skipping school and heading to the zoo with Nana. You were so excited to see all the animals, and despite it being ungodly hot out, you had a blast. You were so curious about all the animals and got such a thrill every time you found one hiding in its habitat. We ended the afternoon with ice cream (of course), and you were asleep in the car before we even turned onto Connecticut Avenue.

That night we met daddy at Cafe Bueno ("the quesadilla restaurant") so you could get your favorite dinner, followed by the homemade peach cupcakes you requested.

The Saturday after your birthday we had a small get together so close friends and family could celebrate your big day. It was a wee bit overwhelming for you to open all your presents, but worth it in the end when you opened your big present from me and daddy - your new dollhouse! It was actually my and Titi's dollhouse when we were little girls and I renovated it to make it a little less, well retro-tastic. I know you don't exactly have a taste preference when it comes to design (yet!) but I figured tan floral wallpaper and green shag carpeting weren't your thing.

Overall, it was a wonderful few days of celebrating our beloved little you, and Daddy and I are so excited to see what this coming year has in store for you - our sweet, silly, brilliant, thoughtful, fiercely independent, always-moving Emma.







I encourage you to head over to my lovely friend Lucy's blog (Philadelphia Family Photographer, Lucy Baber Photography) to read her letter to her children.

Emma: Age 2

Tomorrow is Emma's birthday, which means this is the last day of my baby girl being 2 years old. (Excuse me while I go sob in a corner.) I can't believe how much she's matured in the past year... she went from toddler to little girl, seemingly overnight. Here's a look back at some of my favorite photos of our sweet, hilarious, thoughtful, curious, beloved Emma as a two year old... 2014-06-17_0001 2014-06-17_0002 2014-06-17_0003 2014-06-17_0004 2014-06-17_0005 2014-06-17_0006 2014-06-17_0007 2014-06-17_0008 2014-06-17_0009 2014-06-17_0010 2014-06-17_0011 2014-06-17_0012 2014-06-17_0013 2014-06-17_0014 2014-06-17_0015 2014-06-17_0016 2014-06-17_0017 2014-06-17_0018 2014-06-17_0019 2014-06-17_0020

Every Day in June: Part 1

I owe Oprah an apology. I tend to be a pretty cynical person, and I've spent years thinking I was beyond all her self-discovery, aha moment mumbo jumbo. I was a confident, together modern woman. I knew who I was and what I wanted from life. Then it happened. Out of nowhere, I found myself in a moment where everything I knew about my life and myself all sort of fell together and made sense in a way it never had before. I had a purpose, a vision, and damn was I excited about it. See, like most people who pick up photography, or any art form for that matter, I've spent a ton of time over the past two years soaking up every tutorial, workshop, and blog post I could get my hands on - learning how to take better photos. I reached a point where I had the "how" pretty well figured out. I was chugging along, taking pretty, properly exposed, well composed images, but it felt like something was missing. So I started asking questions... I examined the work of photographers who I look up to, I explored my motivations for taking photos, and dug deeper and deeper until I was all the way back at the beginning: my family. They are my raison d'etre, and telling our story with my camera is one of my greatest joys and honors in life. I wanted my images to reflect that, and they weren't. At least not in the way I wanted them to.

A huge breakthrough came from reading Erika Ray's breakout session called "Let's Get Real: An Honest Approach to Photography." She's a master at real, honest, authentic photography and I connected with her work and her words in a way that I never had before with any other photographer. She helped me craft my vision for my photography, and to own that vision. I started asking myself every time I pick up my camera, "what do I want to remember about this?" And the answer is often something that likely has very little meaning to anyone else, but has immense personal meaning to me. The challenge then becomes translating that memory into something more than a simple snapshot... taking your life and making art from it. And you know the amazing thing about doing that? You start seeing your life as art. Every day moments become as beautiful as any Picasso. Even when I'm not shooting, I observe my family, our home, our life differently now... through the eyes of an artist. Which sounds like an incredibly stupid and arrogant thing to say, but that's the only way I've found to describe it.

So I had the "how" and the "why"... now it was time to figure out the "what." What did I want my photos to look like, to feel like - both to myself and to other people? I know the answer, but since this post is already insanely long, I'll save that for Part 2. In the meantime, I'll share with you a bit of what's come of all this soul searching. Once I had my big aha moment, I wanted to shoot all.the.time. I've never been an every day shooter because I work full time and before and after work is an elaborate, chaotic dance that rarely leaves time to sit and eat breakfast, much less snap some photos. But I stared down all those excuses and said screw it. You and me, June. It's on. So every day this month I've been shooting my "everyday." Each day, a new set of images that tell the story of our day... some days they have a common theme, or they're of a specific time of day or event, but it's always 5, and they're always real, and honest, and basically the kind of photography I wish I'd always been doing but I'm SO happy to be doing now. This is my absolute favorite challenge I've ever done. Here are a handful of my favorite days so far...

6.1.14: morning tv time / meal planning / first nap at home in months / big park / nature's highlights 2014-06-12_0003 6.2.14: (Weekday Breakfast) iPad in bed / brekkie / fuel / serenade / drinking the "juice" 2014-06-12_0004 6.4.14: If You're Happy and You Know It / always pumping / end of year school celebration / sassy like his mama / happy to be heading home! 2014-06-12_0005 6.5.14: (Day in the Life of Jonah) wakey wakey / busted / showing off for his teachers / yum! / precious boy 2014-06-12_0006 6.8.14: (Weekend Breakfast) bacon, always / blueberry pancakes / blowing raspberries / blueberry face / helping Jonah with his puffs 2014-06-12_0007 6.10.14: (Day in the Life of Rocco) rise and shine / out for a walk / pondering / waiting / back to bed 2014-06-12_0008 6.11.14: (Between work/school and dinner) feeding puppers / Doc McStuffins / still snoozing from the car ride / daddy's home! / so much love 2014-06-12_0009

\Letters to my Children\ May

I’m continuing my “Letters” project this year with a group of my very dearest photography friends. Each month I’ll write a letter to one of my babies.  This month it’s Jonah’s turn… MySweetJonah

We went to the cabin for Memorial Day weekend and, considering the last time you were there you were in bronchiolitis/teething misery, it's safe to say you had a much better cabin trip this time. It was your first tenting experience, and you weren't thrilled with that part. It was a wee bit cold at night and not even double PJs and your fancy sleeping bag sleep sack seemed to keep you warm enough. Bad mama.


Okay, so other than freezing your cute little tushie off, you had a great time. You had lots of hang time with Daddy, got to crawl around next to the pond, and had lots of fun goofing around with your Uncle Dave.



Before I know it you'll be chasing after the older kids, casting your own fishing pole, and swimming in the dam no matter how ridiculously cold the stream is... so I'm trying to savor this time when you still want to be close to me, hanging in the Ergo, or smiling up at me from your blue blanket.


When Monday morning rolled around, you were ready to hit the road. Exhausted from a great weekend, you fell asleep before we even got in the car.


Sweet dreams of many years of happy cabin weekends to come, my beautiful boy.


I encourage you to head over to Valley Forge Family Photographer Lucy Baber Photography to read her letter to her adorable boys.

\10 on 10\ May

Finally a weekend without anything going on, so we decided to take a day trip to Harper's Ferry for some hiking... \1\ family breakfast at Family Meal 2014-05-09_0005

\2\ Sweetness 2014-05-09_0001

\3\ Driving to Harper's Ferry2014-05-09_0003

\4\ Singing along to The Avett Brothers covering "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" by request... she can't get enough and we're happy to oblige 2014-05-09_0002

\5\ Very buggy, \6\ but very pretty 2014-05-09_0009

\7\ Taking in the sights of the Shenandoah River2014-05-09_0006

\8\ Post-hike treat 2014-05-09_0008

\9\ and \10\ They sleep... 2014-05-09_0007

I’m joined in this project by a group of amazing photographers… head on over to Kyla's blog to see a day in her life, then continue around the circle until you end up back here!

\Letters to my Children\ April

I’m continuing my “Letters” project this year with a new group of my very dearest photography friends. Each month I’ll write a letter to one of my babies.  This month it’s Emma’s turn… dearemma


We had Spring Break this month, which meant we had a whole week to hang out and do fun stuff. We started by making homemade moon sand. It was too cold to play with it outside, and I'd already gotten you excited about it, so I braced myself for a mess and let you have at it. My instructions to "make sure it stays inside the bin" apparently fell on deaf ears, but you had a blast and that's all that matters. :)

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Next up we painted your toenails! You love having me paint your toes and you even got to pick out a special color at Target ("the red store"). You, of course, picked your favorite color - purple.


The next morning you let me do your hair in special braids and you looked like SUCH a big girl. No more braids for a while because mama can't handle how grown up they make you look.


Then it was off to Green Meadows, the local petting farm and one of your all time favorite places to visit. You know all the animals and especially love feeding the goats. That particular afternoon they even had an easter egg hunt! You were very excited to pick out your eggs, but weren't such a fan of the costumed Easter Bunny they had strolling around. People in big furry costumes aren't your thing.


I think your favorite part of the week was going to our dear friend Leslie's farm in Central Virginia with Titi and your cousin Zachary. You kids had a BLAST feeding the animals, running around the huge property, playing with all of Leslie's toys, and generally being complete goof balls.

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After our sleepover at Leslie's we headed back to Titi's to play and get everything ready for Easter. We stayed the night there and, as usual, you woke up way too early. This meant iPad time until everyone else woke up. Hmm, no wonder you like waking up early!


You and Zachary were SO excited to get a very special Facetime call from Nana and Grandpa Ed! They were on a boat in Paris and we could see the Eiffel Tower in the background. You're obsessed with Madeline lately so that part was especially cool.

I apparently got tired of taking pictures at this point, so you'll have to take my word for it that you had an awesome Easter, filled with family, fun, and lots of yummy food. More importantly, we had SUCH a fun Spring Break! I loved having so much time to hang out with you and can't wait for our next day off together.


I encourage you to head over to my friend Ann’s blog to read her letter to her sweet boys.

Jonah's Birth Story

It was a Thursday night, and despite the fact that I wasn't due for another week, I just knew labor was imminent. Jared and I were in DC on a last chance date night to see Langhorne Slim and the Law play, and I was using the stage clock to time my ever increasing pre-labor contractions. As excited as I was to meet our little guy, I'm very thankful that a front row delivery wasn't in the cards. We were able to dance the night away and at one point while he was singing, Sean (aka. Langhorne) even put his hand on my belly. It was a funny moment that definitely helped to take my mind off my contractions. My pre-labor calmed down soon after we got home, and held off until Saturday night when I woke up with contractions that were 7 minutes apart. Things felt pretty real, but I wanted to be certain so I waited a couple of hours before calling my mom who was on deck to stay with Emma once we left for the hospital. She had been sick all week and by the time I called very early Sunday morning she was running a fever and unable to get out of bed. Crap. My mom rarely ever gets sick, and never gets that sick, so at that point I pretty much went into panic mode. Of the relatively few fears I had about this birth, not having anyone to take care of Emma was pretty high on the list.

The sun was rising, and so were my stress levels. So much so that my labor started to slow down. It was almost as if my body knew we needed more time to get things sorted out. I continued to have contractions every half an hour or so, but we went about our Sunday as normal... a trip to the local animal farm with Emma then back home for a much needed nap. I was nearly certain I'd be having this baby within the next 24 hours so I wanted to get as much rest as possible.

 Got my 39 week photo done that afternoon... not a moment too late!

As I was waking up, I got the call from my sister that I'd been waiting for... she and my mom had worked out a plan and no matter when I needed to go to the hospital, Emma would be taken care of. Phew! And wouldn't you know it, not an hour later my labor picked back up. It was around 3:30pm, my contractions were 10 minutes apart, and I knew this time was it... our little boy was on his way!

My contractions continued to get closer and stronger over the next few hours. I'd been listening to my hypnobirthing tracks off and on since Saturday night, and things were feeling pretty manageable. We ate some dinner, got Emma to bed, and decided it was time to call my mom to have her come up. I touched base with the midwife on call at the hospital and she was ready for us whenever we felt ready to come in. But our readiness was so hard to gauge - Emma was asleep, my contractions were 6 minutes apart and getting closer by the hour, my mom and stepdad had arrived and were all settled in... by all accounts, we should be hospital bound, but I was really struggling with actually saying those words, "It's time to go." My labor with Emma had been soooo long. What if this labor was going to be just as long and we went to the hospital too early? Months of going to the chiropractor, doing inversions, stretches and yoga, but I still couldn't let myself believe that this labor was going to be different. Finally, after my mom said for the hundredth time, "you don't want to have this baby on the side of the road!," we left for the hospital.


Once we were at the hospital, I was relieved to find out that there wasn't a triage room. We got to go straight to the room where I'd have my baby and got settled in. When you go to a midwife practice, it's a bit of a crap shoot who you'll get as your midwife on D-Day, so I was relieved when the midwife on call, Tara, came in. I knew within two seconds of meeting her that she was going to be a great fit for us.


My initial fetal monitoring was almost done, I'd successfully avoided the IV line and was ready to be checked. I laid there doing a mental drumroll, hoping I was more than 5 centimeters. Psychologically, I needed to be more than 5.

I was 5 centimeters.

I couldn't help but think about how it took another 15 hours to birth Emma once I was 6-7 centimeters, so I mentally prepared myself for another several hours of contractions. It was 11pm. We got some tunes going, our birth photographer was snapping away, and I was happily swaying my hips on the birthing ball. In a funny way, it felt so us. Just hanging out, listening to music, laughing with each other. Okay, so every few minutes I'd have increasingly painful contractions. But other than that, it was just like normal.


Around midnight I decided to lay down for a bit and listen to a hypnobirthing track. (I like to keep moving when I'm in labor, but I learned the hard way with Emma that it's also important to rest!) About 15 minutes into the track I started getting the chills and shaking to the point that it was impossible to maintain my deep relaxation. I never went through a classic transition phase with Emma, so I didn't realize that this meant we were getting down to business. I scrapped the rest of the track and went back to standing/sitting/swaying. With every contraction I would stand behind Jared, hold on to his shoulders, and bury my forehead into his back while I breathed my baby down. I'd been doing that all day and it felt so good to connect with Jared during those moments of intensity.


Then came the nausea.

After a particularly intense contraction, I immediately felt like I was going to be sick. Tara handed me a little plastic tray, but I remember telling her that I wanted to go puke in the toilet like a lady. Ha! Thankfully, it was just some (slightly less unpleasant) dry heaving and then it subsided. Until the next contraction. More shaking, more chills, more nausea. This part wasn't much fun. We were still listening to music, and at one point during the craziness Tara was using the portable monitor to check my baby's heartbeat... "Angel From Montgomery" by John Prine was on (one of my all time favorite songs), and me, Jared, and Tara were all singing along while my baby's heartbeat thumped in the background. "Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery. Make me a poster of an old rodeo..." I knew the hardest part was soon to come, and this moment was a sweet little reminder that everything was happening exactly how it was supposed to.

Tara had the ideal personality for calming my nerves about having a long labor. She just never said anything about it... no time estimates, no pressure to be checked. She simply slowly started getting things in order when she sensed I was getting close to pushing. I could see this happening around me and while I was still too stubborn to get my hopes up, this unspoken vote of confidence was all I needed to surrender through the last of transition and start allowing myself to accept that this was about to happen - that a "mere" 11 hours after my labor picked back up the afternoon before, my baby was ready to be birthed.


I stuck with my contractions as long as I could... they were all consuming and the pressure was so intense I felt like my baby would just fall right out. If only it was that easy! I got up on the bed in a kneeling position and rested my arms over the raised top of the bed. With the next contraction, I started my pushes. I only lasted a few pushes in that position... you have to listen to your body when it comes to pushing and while no position feels good, some feel more right than others. So I sat on the bed and Jared and another nurse acted like human stirrups. (How's that visual for ya?!) We pushed against each other with each contraction, and I could already tell pushing was going to take longer than I'd hoped. I'm just not destined to be one of those 3 pushes and baby's out kinda gals.


Time was dragging. I felt like I wasn't making any progress. It hurt. It hurt BAD. Some women prefer the pushing, but not me. I could do (and did) days of labor just fine, but 20 minutes into pushing I was really regretting not getting any drugs. All those months I'd spent getting physically prepared for another natural birth, and I'd forgotten to firm up my mental resolve. I knew it was the safest and gentlest way for my baby to be born, I knew I'd done it once before, I knew it was what I truly wanted, but dang... in that moment, if it hadn't been too late, I would have given just about anything for a little pain relief. They always say that when you start wanting the drugs it means you're really close. Well I could have stood to be just a little closer.


My water still hadn't broken, so to move things along I asked Tara to go ahead and break my water. I immediately missed having that little buffer between my baby's head and my pelvis. Did I mention it hurt? Because it did. A lot. But I knew the only way out was through. I rested for a couple of contractions, and then decided that it was time. I was going to give it every last thing I had. Sounds came out of me that I've never heard before... guttural... primal.


He was crowning.

Two more pushes...



Hello, my sweet boy.

Tara handed him to me and he was just so tiny and perfect. I wanted to hold him forever. I can't adequately put into words the instant bond I felt with my son. From that moment on, he was my little guy and I was his mama and so it would always be.


We stared at him in all his newborn goodness, taking in every tiny wrinkle on his body, his firm little fists, his sparse blonde hair. Jared held his son for the first time, and I overflowed with love.


I barely noticed that, as with Emma, I was having too much bleeding and that the IV I'd been avoiding went in along with some Pitocin to try to get my uterus to contract a little faster. Such is the after part of of birth no one really talks about... you're so busy obsessing over your new baby, but you also just did this pretty crazy physical thing and your body needs tending to. So I got a little TLC while Jonah got his vitals taken.


It was nearly 3am by the time Jonah was born and we were bone tired. We were quite eager to move out of recovery and settle into our room to love on our little boy, and hopefully take a nice long family nap. Our wish was granted, and after a long feeding, Jonah fell asleep in my arms, I fell asleep in the bed, and Jared fell asleep on that terrible couch thing they try to pass off as a bed. I once again found myself blessed beyond belief... surrounded by more love than I ever thought possible... so fortunate to get to experience the miracle of motherhood.


\10 on 10\ March

This month's 10 on 10 depicts a typical Saturday for us these days... \1\ up way too early2014-03-09_0001

\2\ watching TV on the big bed2014-03-09_0002

\3\ Nana and Grampa Ed came to see Emma do her thing at "mastics" 2014-03-09_0003

\4 & 5\ playing and rolling2014-03-09_0004

\6 & 7\ lunch time antics 2014-03-09_0005

\8\ up close and personal with my sleepy guy (hand held self portrait)2014-03-09_0006

\9\ wheeeeee!2014-03-09_0007

\10\ dinner time tunes2014-03-09_0008

I’m joined in this project by a group of amazing photographers… head on over to Kyla's blog to see a day in her life, then continue around the circle until you end up back here!

\10 on 10\ January

I'm so happy to be kicking off the year with a new photography project - 10 on 10. On the 10th of every month I'll be sharing 10 photos taken on a single day in the life of our family. This month, I decided to document the day of Jonah's surgery. It was a day I'd been dreading since we first found out he needed surgery, and I figured a little photo therapy would be a nice distraction. \1\ Early - and very cold - drive to Children's Hospital 10on10_January-1forMBB

\2\ Our tiny little patient 10on10_January-9forMBB

\3\ This was the hardest part for me... right before he went back. He was starving and miserable and all I wanted to do was take him and run the other direction. Instead I had to hand him over to strangers and trust he was in good hands. 10on10_January-8forMBB

\4\ Coming out of the anesthesia... the surgery was a success and he did great! 10on10_January-13forMBB

\5\ Tummy full, time to sleep 10on10_January-21forMBB

\6\ Family nap time 10on10_January-20forMBB

\7\ No more hernia 10on10_January-23-EditforMBB

\8\ Hanging with daddy 10on10_January-26forMBB

\9\ Getting back to his smiley self 10on10_January-32forMBB

\10\ I think I needed this as much as he did 10on10_January-51-Edit-2forMBB

I'm joined in this project by a group of amazing photographers... head on over to Catherine's blog to see a day in her life, then continue around the circle until you end up back here!