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blessings Archives - The Blessed Everyday

10-on-10: a special invitation

It’s been quiet on the site lately, and for good reason. Life is made up of different seasons, and while we have enjoyed times of health and abundance and new life in the past, February and March were not that for us. We battled some serious medical issues with our kids, and today we said goodbye to my father-in-law at his funeral, after he passed away only 37 days after being diagnosed with cancer.

I cannot even put into words all that has gone through my mind in the past month and a half… fears of losing my second-born as I struggled to watch him breathe, processing a diagnosis for my father-in-law that we never saw coming, and then realizing that his time with us would be far shorter than any of us anticipated–all of it was gut-punching and breathtakingly fast and has left us reeling a bit.

In the midst of it all, though, I have found solace in the tiny moments of joy that I see around us, even in the midst of pain. And more than ever, I have been thankful that my children and I have many photos celebrating our loved ones and their place in our lives.

As I thought of my father-in-law, Bill, I knew there were a few photos that I had taken last year that really captured my favorite things about him: his love for my kids, his smile, his vibrancy. As I went on my computer to find them, I realized they were taken last year on April 10. I don’t take nearly enough photos everyday of my family, but on the 10th of each month, I’ve made it a discipline to cart along my “big camera,” even when inconvenient, and force myself to take 10 photos. I am so grateful now that I was “forced” to do this, and that my littlest one will have some images that show just how his grandfather delighted in him.

These photos would likely not exist without 10-on-10. And likewise, I have some true gems from last year that I was “forced” to take because I was participating in Project 365 (a picture a day, everyday, for a year). 

10-on-10 is the easiest personal photography project I have undertaken. Ten photos on the 10th of the month. It is achievable, contained to less than 24 hours, and even though it may seem like these photos are unimportant, you cannot possibly foresee now just how important they may be in the future. At the very least, your children will be able to enjoy seeing a glimpse into your everyday life and know just a little bit more of you, even if you are just chronicling a “boring” day.

If you feel ready to take on something even more ambitious, try the photo-a-day challenge. I let my Project 365 slip this year, but I’m ready to tackle a photo-a-day again for the next 100 days, for the Choose Joy 100 Day Challenge (yes, I just made that up). It just so happens there are 101 days between April 10 and my anticipated due date for baby #4, so it seems fitting to approach the next 100 days as I ready for this child with a heart of gratitude, joy, and hope.

Because for me, that is what a personal photo project is all about: each photo should be an affirmation of the joy, love, hope, and faith that embody your everyday. This is why I am so passionate about photographing your “blessed everyday”–because I love seeing the real-life, unvarnished love that we share as families and humans.

Please join me for one of these challenges (10-on-10 or the Choose Joy 100 Day Challenge), and please comment below if you do so! Embrace this opportunity to celebrate your lives and your loved ones. Your photos don’t have to be award-winning or meet some invisible standard; just let your love and “you” shine through.

In the meantime, I want to share the photos that I am now so grateful for, from last April’s 10-on-10 collection.

photo of grandfather with toddler photo of grandfather with toddler, Maple Valley family photographer Covington_MapleValley_lifestyle_photographer_3

“Blessings” Birth Story: First-time mom water birth

I’ve waited a long time to share today’s birth story, a first-time mom’s birth center water birth!

I always respect my client’s wishes regarding whether or not images are shared, and prior to delivery, this mom wasn’t sure she wanted the birth photos made public. I am totally okay with whatever you choose from your session, but I am excited that she has changed her mind and wants to share images from her birth center water birth!

We had been waiting for quite some time for “Nugget” to join the world. We weren’t sure whether or not a boy or girl would be welcome us, but we did know it felt like baby was taking a long time to decide to make its entrance!

Finally, I received word that it was “time.” Yay! I packed my camera bag and headed out after the expectant father said that things seemed to be getting serious.

Mom and Dad had already decided they hoped for a water birth at Eastside Birth Center in Bellevue, but we hung out at home until things seemed to be moving along. We headed in, but after things seem to stall out a bit after being in the tub, mama was sent back home–a bit disheartened and now tired too. (Personally, I think Baby B just knew I would have far better lighting for an early afternoon birth instead of a pre-dawn birth 😉 )

During birth, I try to give the parents space and not be a distraction. With labor now slowed, I decided to leave mama alone, but I hung close since I suspected things would heat back up again shortly. Sure enough, two hours later I got the call to report back. We took our second journey of the day to the birth center, but there was no stopping things this time! Mama was a trouper, while Dad was a tremendous support.

Baby B emerged, and it was amazing. It was almost as if he swam up to the surface of the water to his mama. Tears of joy were shed all around, mama realized she had a brand new baby BOY, and dad cut the cord. At Eastside Birth Center, rooms are set up much like a beautiful hotel room, so mom and dad were able to cuddle the baby right in a big king-sized bed. Grandparents and auntie arrived, and baby B was blessed to be welcomed with so much love!

photo of dad waiting for baby to be delivered

Dad waited to welcome his new little one.

photo of mom breathing during birth

Mama enjoys a very brief respite between pushes.

photo of baby being pulled from water in water birth

Baby B was delivered in the water, and after two pushes emerged completely and was lifted up to mama.

photograph of family welcoming baby at Eastside Birth Center

Parents, as well as first-time grandparents and new aunt, welcome the family’s new addition. Eastside Birth Center in Bellevue, WA, features hotel-like rooms to make families more comfortable.

photo of newborn baby

Baby B, still adjusting to the new sights and sounds.

photo of newborn baby

I love capturing the tiny details of newborns… here the sweet little hands and his handmade hat.

I absolutely love photographing birth stories, and am currently booking through the end of the year. I reserve only two spots per month for births, so contact me now if you are interested in reserving your due date!

Let’s plan for your birth story!

 

Booking “Worn with Love” babywearing sessions!

picture of baby on Girasol wrap

 

Everyone who knows me knows that if I am with my kids, the baby is most likely riding along in a carrier or wrap of some sort! I have long wanted to do something special as an homage to babywearing, and now is the time!

announcing the “Worn with Love” mini sessions!

I have reserved just a few special “Worn with Love” mini sessions to take place in Covington on the afternoon of Sunday, May 18.  During your 20-minute session, we will make beautiful photos of you and your little one.  Does dad babywear too, or do you want a family portrait as well?  That’s great! The only stipulation is that babywearing must be a featured part of your session.  We will capture baby cuddled close on you, or perhaps some solos of your little one curled up in your favorite wrap.  I am here to capture the intimacy and love that babywearing helps us all share with our little ones!

For $199, you’ll receive a 20-minute session, a beautiful professionally mounted 11×14″ print, and rights to 5 digital images for printing and sharing.

but don’t hesitate, there are limited spaces available, and I rarely offer mini sessions!

To book your mini session, head over to my marketplace page, and select your desired time slot. I will then be in touch with further details, our location, and everything you need to know for a gorgeous mini session!

Let’s celebrate babywearing and our little ones together!

Book your “Worn with Love” session now!

 

Birth Photography Renton, WA: Welcome, baby!

I am always thrilled to be invited to photograph a birth and to take part in such a momentous part in a family’s life. Our Blessed Strength Mama has delivered her new baby boy, and I got to capture every moment!

When I got the text that Kristy’s water had broken in the middle of her 39-week appointment while at the midwives’ office (such timing!), we knew we wouldn’t have too long before baby arrived. Kristy headed home to labor for a few hours, but was promptly headed back to the hospital before too long. Sometimes these third babies don’t waste their time!

With a great support team of best friend, mother-in-law, and attentive husband, Kristy labored with quiet, focused intensity without any drugs. Kristy’s hope prior to labor was to have a more peaceful, unmedicated birth this time around, and she got exactly what she worked so hard for.

The room had an expectant but quiet serenity as Kristy prepared to welcome her new baby boy, and at 7:52 p.m., he arrived with barely a cry, all 8 lbs., 2 oz. of him! It was truly a beautiful, peaceful birth. Baby and mama were surrounded by love and care through the entire process, and it was a joy to be a part of.

I am so thrilled for this family as they complete their family of five with little Tommy.  It was truly an honor! Congratulations!

Here are just a few of the images from Tommy’s birth, and I am so thankful that Kristy allowed me to share them with you!Renton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborRenton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth laborCovington_MapleValley_birth_photographer_12Renton WA birth photography - Kent WA birth photography - Covington WA birth photography - laboring mom - natural birth labor