Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the whole story...

I knew I had found the Betts' home when I saw the huge stork in the front yard introducing a new life into the neighborhood. I unloaded my "accessories," stepped up on the porch, and waited for a minute. It had been over a year since I photographed a newborn, which meant it had probably been just as long since I held one. I didn't want to seem awkward or nervous, but I felt just that. I rang the doorbell and George, who also happens to be my manager, answered the door welcoming me and all my madness in. The smile on his face is something I'll never forget as he proudly announced, "he's in here." I walked in to their home, their ultimate place of peace, and Jodi stood up from the couch holding an angel. My nerves lessened as I admired this gorgeous new blessing. My heart filled to the rim, almost spilling the love and joy through my eyes. Newborns just do it to me. And seeing new parents in awe over this precious, tiny person is something that touches my soul the way the ocean does, or the way my own son does. I tried to take it all in, to notice the way George and Jodi looked at one another, and the way they looked at Aiden. George was obviously oozing with pride and Jodi was constantly looking at Aiden in admiration and making sure everything was just right. And it was perfect. He was perfect. They were perfect.

We headed upstairs hunting the light, found it, and got started. The little bean was awake most of our session and as I looked in his eyes through the lens, I could imagine the child he would become, the man he would become. It was refreshing, and gave me new life. I got to meet Casey, their sweet boxer, who made my boxer look like a bull in a china shop. Casey was just as good of a big brother as Walker is, and I just know Aiden and Casey will be the best of friends. We made our way outdoors, and I am so grateful we did, that's where I feel most at home when I'm holding my camera.... and I think Aiden liked it too. We soaked up God's bright, end of summer sunshine, and ended the session under the trees.

George and Jodi, thank you so much for trusting ME to capture these most precious of moments of your new family. You guys are gorgeous, inside and out, and I hope I have the opportunity to continue to watch Aiden grow, no matter if it's from behind the lens or not. Congratulations on your new love, the greatest love you'll ever experience. Never forget these days! I hope you both love these photos even more than I do.

Much Love,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prologue: Sweet Aiden

A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. - Eda J Leshan

The whole story coming soon....

Friday, September 24, 2010


Have you ever been in a situation that you felt was hopeless, and you had already given up on it turning around? More than that, were you so scared and angry that you didn't want it to turn around? Yea, me too..... then God intervened.

Rewind to December, 2006....Our wedding day was nothing short of interesting. You may already know the story but in case you don't here's a quick recap. Isaac was rushed to the ER the morning of our wedding with intense back pain, vomiting, and passing out. After some tests were ran, it was determined that it was a kidney stone causing his discomfort. A bag of fluid and some pain medicine and he was on his way to the church. He told me that the day would go as planned. Easy for him to say. I cried and felt sorry for myself, this was supposed to be MY day. Dang it. Well, we said our vows, spent the bare minimum amount of time at the reception and were on our way to our hotel. I think you can probably imagine what the photos from that day look like: not pretty. So, four hard years later we decided it was time for some new pictures... and a new wedding day story.

I've been thinking about this post since Isaac and I scheduled our "renewal of vows" photo shoot with Lauren. I feel like I have something to prove to the world, something important to say. Well, here it is- we serve a God that can do things beyond your wildest dreams! In my opinion far too many people humanize God and limit His abilities. Many of you know the struggles Isaac and I have had, too many of you actually. I'm here to apologize for that. Those struggles were broadcasted way too publicly and it's one of the biggest regrets of my life. We've lost friends since then, and I'm pretty sure we've both lost a lot of respect for completely different reasons. Others have judged us to the core. But that's not where the story ends. Our love today is stronger than it ever has been, thanks to our amazing and faithful God. During that time, my body felt as if it could not withhold the weight of my heart. My heart was heavier than an elephant and I prayed I would not feel that way forever. I heard God whispering four tiny words the whole time, "don't give up yet." As time went by I began to feel lighter, until all I could do was praise Him and thank Him. I knew better things were coming my way. I kept hearing it though, it was deafening and resonating in my soul. Not long after that, it happened. My heart stirred and my soul ached for the man that has always stolen my breath away, but was it loneliness or memories of what was? No, I can confidently say God had intervened. As much as logic and pride protested, I gave up and gave in to God. And that's when Isaac and I came together in the way God originally intended. Since then, things have been less than perfect, as any marriage. But I can say honestly today that I would not change my decision. My husband is amazing, more amazing than even I imagined him to be. He is constantly in search of a deeper relationship with Jesus, leading our spiritual life, and being the husband and father I've dreamed of. Is he perfect? No. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone sins- that's why Jesus died on the cross for each and every one of us. But he's all mine, until death do us part. Perseverance is a trait I wish every marriage had, but it comes straight from God, in our case anyway.

Isaac's and my prayer is that God will always intervene, that we'll always persevere, and that He'll continue to lead us down this path toward being more like Him. Thanks for reading friends, these are the deepest of deep feelings from my heart.

BUT, this is the most amazing part- the photos! Lauren was incredible to work with. She helped bring my vision to life. We will be eternally grateful for these photos and the emotions captured. Lauren, never stop living this dream, you are amazing my friend.

The most important, emotional, and memorable part of the whole evening was when we read handwritten vows to one another. This is why we needed to do this. Not only for exceptional photos, but to renew the commitment we made to each other almost 4 years ago.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Emerald Isle (Heaven on Earth)

Isaac and I were more than ready for a vacation when September 4th rolled around and it was finally the day we were leaving for Emerald Isle. This past year we have been through so much more than the average couple and it was time to get away from it all and reconnect to the important things in life. We have spent the previous two years at Topsail Island with a previous friend's amazing grandparents so we knew we wanted to go back to an uncommercialized, relaxed area. We chose Emerald Isle after suggestions and research, and it was incredible! We were there for an entire week, which I think is one of the reasons it was so great. Our past vacations were always long weekends, which is just not enough time to really escape. Long story short, it was simply incredible. This trip solidified both of our desires to live at the beach at some point in our lives in a beach house I'm going to name "Heaven on Earth." I can't wait! Of course, the primary reason for this post is to share the photos so let's do this! These are a few of my favorites, but there are lots more in this Facebook album.

This is the sunrise God painted for ME Sunday morning (our first morning). I woke up early to watch the sunrise, toted my Bible, notepad and pen, and camera down to the beach to watch the glory. I was moved to tears as I heard "this is where you belong" over and over again. I can't really explain it, it probably sounds insane to some people, but if there's one thing I inherited from my father it's the deepest of deep love for the ocean. I felt at home, like I belonged there, and I felt closer to God in that moment than I had in a while.

There were tons of shells, mostly broken, but they were all beautiful.

My sweet sweet boys!

Me and my little love. ;)

Here's a few of our precious blessing...

LOVE this one!

Jonah was OBSESSED with his daddy the entire time- they took naps together, played together, and loved on one another. It was MUCH needed for both of them!

Gotta love self timers! I actually really like this shot! :)

My little man and me- love love.

Gorgeous sunset over the dunes.

Favorite of the whole week!! Good job Honey for capturing this so beautifully!