Thursday, December 30, 2010

Benjamin Gabriel

Our precious boy arrived on December 20th, weighing 6 lbs. 12 oz. and measuring 19.5" long. He was born at 38 weeks and it was a wonderful delivery.

I've been soaking up every sweet moment of his newness! I can hardly put him down. I just love to snuggle him, kiss him, watch him sleep, stare at his tiny features... he's just as darling as can be! Ahhh... so in love. :) We're all in love with him.

When Josh and I first saw him it only took a couple of seconds for me to spot dimples! I was SO surprised. I hadn't even expected them or even thought of them as a possibility. Josh and I both have dimples and we always assumed our kids would have them. But when neither Jude or Selah were born with them I just quit thinking about them. So I love seeing Benjamin smile in his sleep because those cute little dimples show up. :)

I tried a few days in a row to snap some newborn photos of him, but it wasn't really working out. On Tuesday I gave it another try, but I ran out of good daylight rather quickly, and had kids playing all around me, so it was a little adventurous. :) But we got a couple of these quick shots. I'm going to try to take some more pictures of him this weekend when Josh is home.

Thank you everyone for your sweet Facebook comments! They've been so fun to read. :)

Selah loves to help take care of Benjamin. I just love that she's my little helper. She brings me diapers, helps lotion his skin, loves to hold him, and today helped give him a bath. Jude likes to help too, and is such a loving big brother, giving Benjamin lots of hugs and kisses. :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beautiful Babes

I was so excited to snap some photos once I was off bed rest! What beautiful little subjects these three are! And dear to my heart, and my kid's hearts too, being close friends.

My friend Mauria and I had fun "singing & dancing" to get her kids, all under the age of 5, to look and smile at the camera. It was pretty hilarious. As soon as Everly would smile at us, the boys would look away, or as soon as the boys would look and smile Everly would give us a blank stare. Then the sun would come and go every 2 minutes. It was fast and furious, and I loved every second of it! :)

I love all of these sweet smiles. :)

Keep on the look out this next week... a newborn photo may pop up on my blog. No, I haven't had this baby boy yet, but soon! :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Off the couch...and greeted with Kankles! :)

Today is a big day. Today I'm 36 weeks along and I get to go off bed rest! (I have to take it easy still until next week, but then I'll be considered full term.) I've been on bed rest since Oct 22nd and I'm really excited to start moving around again and using my muscles. I actually threw caution to the wind a day early and was up and about and noticed that my ankles disappeared. Hmmm.... lovely. :)

The past several weeks have turned out to be quite a blessing in disguise and a neat season of life for me. It was challenging and humbling to sit on my fanny and let others do everything for me, but also amazing to see the love of others and their gifts of serving, and I found myself seeing life from a different perspective. I've referred to many things lately as "my view from the couch". I watched family and friends enter my house on a daily basis and love on my kids, do my dishes, make food, sweep floors, fold our laundry, bring me tea, clean my closet (oh horrors!), take Jude to preschool and pick him up... and bless our family to no end! Very humbling, and also so inspiring. To have such a servant's heart really says a lot about a person. And there are many people in my life that I want to be more like. {heart}

I haven't been very present in the cyber world since I went on bed rest. Why? Mostly because I felt consumed by all that's been going on here, and my main focus has been to keep this baby boy from arriving early. So forgive my serious lack of blogging, emailing, etc. I definitely needed to just withdraw for a bit. :) It was kind of my way of coping too.

I took a lot of camera phone photos from my spot on the couch over the last several weeks. Terrible quality, but sweet memories.... like my little couch buddy, Everly, hanging out with me while my friend Mauria zoomed around my house cleaning things, Grandma Janet taking the kids outside to run off lots of energy (I wish I had a photo of that), Granddad playing the game memory with Jude, Grandma Jill baking with the kids & re-organizing their toy closet every single week (thank you!), Grandma Chris reading them stories, Jessica making the kids laugh at the lunch table, etc... it wasn't until about Thanksgiving that I switched to having my regular camera handy. haha. Much better!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we had a great time! Food, card games, watching funny videos, dessert, & laughter. My dad and step-mom Janet, siblings and step-brothers came up and we had a lot of fun together. Janet and Dad made an incredible gluten free dinner that was just amazing! Thank you for making the day so special and for doing SO much to bring it all here!! Love you guys!

As soon as Thanksgiving was over I switched into Christmas mode. I was so excited to have a beautiful tree to look at each day and for the kids to get into the Christmas season!

They made ornaments and set up our little nativity scene.

And we got a tree... from Lamb's Thriftway down the street. :)

And Jude & Selah did a great job decorating it!

Here's the ornament Jude painted (on the left below)...

Why am I wearing shoes in this picture? Because I snuck out to ride along to pick out our tree. It was just down the street. It doesn't count. :)

Last week when my friend Mauria was here, her daughter Everly was looking extra cute and I had to snap a photo of her. She and I share the same birthday and she's been my couch buddy for weeks. Selah just adores her, and loves to be near her. Jude does too. They both refer to most babies they see as "Baby Everly" and she's gotten them even more excited to meet baby brother.

Lastly I have some photo shoots that I haven't blogged, from back in October! I just love the families and clients I get to photograph. And I love developing friendships over the years with them! I LOVE what I do!

I adore this family and always look forward to seeing them!

Our good friends Aaron & Val & this is their new baby girl, Lily! Isn't she sweet?!

Phew! Now, I'm caught up on my blogging. :) I hope you're all having an amazing Christmas season!

Friday, October 29, 2010


So... last weekend was eventful. Last Thursday night (a little over a week ago) I was having some intersting contractions and low back pain at just 29 weeks along. I tend to always have contractions when I'm pregnant, so I often just ignore them, but when things were getting a little intense by 2am I googled "pre-term labor" just to see if the internet confirmed what I was pretty positive at that point was going on! Sure enough, I perfectly fit the description and drove myself to the hospital to check in. Josh stayed here with our sleeping babies and I hoped I would get to the hospital and everything would stop and I'd be sent home. Unfortunately the opposite happened. Labor progressed positively and things started to get a little scary to me. I called Josh crying by 5am asking if he could have someone come to the house to watch the kids so that he could come join me at the hospital. And our parents were on the road in no time flat to take care of the kids, and my sweet friend Mauria showed up at my bedside until Josh could get there.

They put me on Magnesium Sulfate right away at the hospital (a drug I had to have when I went into pre-term labor with Jude and hated), and I stayed on it for 2 days as they gave me sterioids to help further develope baby's lungs in case he were to still come early. Unfortunately the next night, while still on Mag Sulf labor contractions started up again. I cried. :( I was so scared our little guy was going to end up coming early. I got a booster dose of Magnesium Sulfate. If you've never had the priveledge of experiencing the nasty stuff lets just say your teeth feel like they are on fire, your 55 degree hospital room is still too hot, and you aren't allowed to drink water even though your mouth is soooo dry you think you won't be able to swallow (you can have occasional ice chips, though). It does turn you into a limp noodle so that you won't have contractions, though... unfortunely it also relaxes your eye muscles so well that it's tricky to see.

By the next day everything had calmed down, thank you Lord, and Monday afternoon I got to go home on bed rest. My bed never felt so good! :) Since being home things have gone really well and contractions are occasional. We've been SO blessed by family and friend's help with kids, house work and cooking. It's been really fun to have those I love around so much to chat with. It's a little weird watching other people do what you normally do all day, but it makes me all the more grateful for the love of other's, shown through caring for us this way.

I do have to say too, that bed rest makes me kind of crazy. I tend to be such an active/busy person that it kills me to not be getting so many things done every day. My mental list of things I wanted to do in the month of November has been pitched. My weekly routines of grocery shopping and cooking, etc. aren't happening. I've hardly been on the computer this past week because it's kind of exhausting to use a laptop for very long when laying on your side. But bed rest this time around (I was on strict bed rest for 10 1/2 weeks when pregnant with Jude) has also been totally different with little kids. So far it has actually really been a blessing in disguise! There are no distractions or tasks that keep me from saying, "just a minute sweetheart" or "hang on" to my kids. Instead, I feel like there is soooo much eye contact going on with them and so much more communication happening and I just love it! I'm able to lay here and talk about things with them, and teach them new things as we color or read, etc. Selah frequently uses her little phrase, "Yeah Mama!" as she swipes her bangs from her face and looks at me with a smile. And Jude has been loving to tell me so many facts he knows, as well as joking with me. It's really turning into a sweet, taskless season of time that I'm so grateful for, even if it's all happening while laying on my side. :) I know I will look back on this with precious memories!

I pray our little man stays put until he's full term. I'm 31 weeks on Monday, which is great as far as his development is concerned, so I only have about 5 more weeks of bed rest.

Thank you all for your prayers, sweet emails, facebook comments and words of encouragement! You all are so kind and really lifted my spirit! Thank you! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thank you Jamie!!

I know, I haven't blogged forever! I can give an update on that later! :) But for now I'm so happy to get to share some maternity photos that my sweet and talented friend Jamie from Eugene, JAZ Photography, took of me.

Thank you so much for this priceless gift Jamie, capturing this precious season of life for me, Josh, Jude, Selah, & baby boy! You are amazing and made this whole experience SO much fun!!

So, when Jamie first offered to do maternity photos for me I was really excited! I don't think I've had professional photos done by another photographer since I got married 8 1/2 years ago. I couldn't get over how sweet and generous of an offer it was! As the date of our shoot got closer I began to get really nervous. I began having thoughts like, "How will I do on the OTHER side of the camera? What if I hate every one of my silly facial expressions or something? Or what if I look ridiculous trying to "act natural"? Well, I put those fears to the back of my mind as I was finishing up my shooting season before taking time off for "baby rest", and one evening Josh took a picture of me and Selah at the park. I was thinking I was looking all cute and pregnant that particular day and when I saw the photo of myself after we got home I gasped. I looked TIRED. Not like, "Oh, 8 hrs. will take care of that." More like, "a pregnant mom of two toddlers who works late into the wee hours every night" tired. :) So at that moment I decided I was going to email Kim King and ask her if she'd do my make up for my maternity shoot. I knew her through Facebook because she does professional make up for a ton of weddings and hs seniors, etc. She was awesome. So nice! She made me look like I'd gotten a good night's sleep so that I wouldn't have to fear the camera. :)

We did this photo shoot down in the Corvallis area at my mom's place. My mom has 17 acres of rural property and I thought it would make a really neat setting for natural maternity pics. Jamie took a few family photos of us first and then Josh, Jamie and I trecked around shooting pics until the sun went down. The three of us had a blast together and laughed practically the whole time. Jamie made us feel SO at ease and took all my worries away. I cannot say enough nice things about her! If you ever get the chance to meet her or hire her for photos, you will love just being around her. To view Jamie's blog and two posts of our shoot, click here.

Josh, Jude, Selah and I are SO excited to meet this little man come New Year's. His nursery is coming together and he is so very loved already!

Thank you again Jamie for blessing us with your talents. Hugs to you friend! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


I have loved every wedding I've gotten to photograph this year and feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to capture such a special day in two people's lives! I'm already excited for 2011's wedding season. If you know anyone who is engaged or getting engaged this fall or winter, please pass my name along! I'd love to meet your friends and family.

I can't wait to share more of the beauty of this wedding with you. But for now... have a wonderful weekend! :)

Jillian, you are gorgeous! David, you married well! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ben & Liya's Wedding Day, Part II

The second half of Ben & Liya's wedding day was held at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club. It was a beautiful setting.

Ben works in the wine business and I loved the little touches they put throughout their wedding that shared their love for good wine...

Their first look was a sweet moment followed by a gift exchange between the two of them. Then they shared their vows, that they wrote for each other, because they wanted to be able to hear each others' words fully and share them alone ahead of time. Very special.

Their ceremony was beautiful and full of laughter... just how I'd describe them!

Ben & Liya, what an amazing day to get to capture! May you be blessed in your adventures ahead! :)