That moment my babies were laid on my chest after giving birth is a feeling and an image that will forever be engrained in me. Hours of deep, hard, reaching to the depths of my own strength, kind of work were rewarded by the first touches of my sweet, squishy babes.
As a photographer, you better believe I had my camera ready to go before delivery. Even while in labor, I can recall getting my camera ready to go so my husband could catch those first moments. I am forever grateful that those moments are forever memories thanks to him.
After the hustle and activity that happens after baby is born, I shimmy up the bed to sitting and grab the camera. From the hospital bed I make sure I get a picture of my husband holding our newest little one. I’m not even sure he notices I am doing it until the shutter clicks. He is always so entranced and engaged in the moment.
I’m always encouraged by Him. I see a Father’s love for his child in those first life moments. He gently swaddles them and lifts them up in his strong arms and talks to them as if he’s known them forever. He doesn’t even have to say much because I know exactly what he’s promising to them in that moment.
Our son, our first, was a whirlwind of fast labor and a quick entrance into Fatherhood. As he held him, I could see the tenderness. I could sense that strong desire to love, protect and dream of what his little life would become. Five years later, he is all boy and his daddy is all in.
Our daughter, our first little girl was an even faster whirlwind of labor. Holding her held a whole new world of emotions. This little, petite daddy’s girl already had him wrapped around her finger. I could see his protective love already as he introduced her to our son. He never shied away from holding her and soaking in those first moments. Even still, he delights in her and cherishes time with her.
Our second daughter, came into the world a bit slower but very peacefully. Like her siblings before her, she was wrapped up in her daddy’s arms within an hour of birth and even without words, was promised protection, love and dedication.
My wet eyes could barely see through the camera as I witnessed those first meetings. A little bit of pregnancy, post partum and mommy hormones may have a bit to do with it but for the most part, it’s from complete and utter happiness and joy
This father is the man that delights in his children. He teaches, guides and lovingly takes everyday moments and makes them important learning opportunities. He plays, with boundless energy after a long day. He prays fiercely for them as they grow, learn and makes mistakes. He makes them feel safe, secure, protected and above all, loved.
To my husband on Father’s Day. You are loved very much, you are appreciated and you are cherished by me and our three little ones.
When we moved into our foreclosed home over five years ago the yard was overgrown. It had sat, untouched, for nearly two years causing buckthorn to grow. By ‘grow’ I mean take over. It choked out all of the beautiful perennials that someone had so carefully and strategically planned and planted.
We attacked the yard the following spring and cut down all that we could. In the next few years those perennials started to poke through. All sorts of pinks, yellows and purples started to pop up as the ground thawed. This year I saw the greatest bloom of peonies. As I trimmed a few to put into a vase, I breathed in the wonderful scent that reminds me of warmer weather.
These pretty flowers were hidden, trapped, under a mess of an invasive plant. These plants did not immediately come up after we rid our yard of buckthorn. It has taken years.
I carefully trim a few stems to place on our dining room table and am reminded of the journey it took to get this many blooms. This peony journey is my motherhood journey.
That first year of motherhood was a blur. From going through labor for the first time to navigating through those newborn days, I was probably a mess. There was a lack of identity that first year. I was a teacher, a wife, a daughter, a student, etc. but all of the sudden, this squishy little being is relying on me for everything. There was an absolute dying to my own selfishness that had to take place, sometimes with my feet dragging and sometimes willingly.
I always wanted to be a mom and I always knew I wanted to stay at home with my babies. It has been nothing short of rewarding, an absolute joy and the greatest blessing. When I left my teaching career, I never looked back. I know I was called to be mommy to my children but like those peonies, I was choked a little.
Most of my hobbies, passions and creative outlets were things I had to push aside in order to keep a house running and kids alive. Each year, I have allowed myself to carve out time, to put aside household tasks that weren’t critical and remember that I need to do these things that make my creative side flourish IN ORDER to better serve my family. Each year my peony plants have grown and bloomed larger. Over five years into motherhood I feel like I am able to balance life a bit more.
I’ve pulled out my brushes and paints more, I’ve taken more photos and allowed myself to carve time into my week that allows me to create art. As my children have grown older they have taken interest in creating art alongside me and it brings me so much joy.
This is what motherhood looks like for me. Sometimes it’s flourishing and everything is beautiful. Sometimes it’s choking and leaving us searching for a way to catch our breath. Sometimes the everyday-ness of being a mom leaves us tired, exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. Sometimes we can sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch our children play peacefully together.
My Motherhood is a lot like peonies.
I love simplicity and taking time to cherish beauty. My hope is to inspire, encourage and connect. Find all my session featured here.