maternity photos | kate love photography

We took our maternity photos in late February and received the finished product a few days shy of meeting our girl. So needless to say I never really got around to posting them before jumping into labor and life with a needy newborn. Kate’s name was passed our way last November upon realizing it was almost Christmas card season and we didn’t have any non-wedding photos to grace the mailboxes of our loved ones during the holiday season. So, it really wasn’t a question who would be doing our maternity photos to capture such a special time in our life.

Here are a few of my personal favorites. If you are looking for a family photographer in the Dallas area I cannot recommend Kate enough. She is such a sweet heart and always gives us fantastic, real, beautiful pictures.

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Just wait until you see our newborn pictures with her…they were amazing! I can’t wait to share!

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the waiting game

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So, it’s Thursday April 3, 2014.

The day before our due date.

I have officially been on maternity leave for the past two days and have been waiting for our little girl to make her grand entrance into this world since Tuesday. I never knew waiting could be so hard and so frustrating at times. We are literally out of baby preparedness things to do and it’s starting to become difficult to think of things I can do around here to keep myself occupied and productive. I am a person that has a really hard time sitting, relaxing, and being patient. Even when I takeĀ a vacation I always find myself taking the first couple of days before my brain will let me actually relax.

It’s so funny because I feel like I have been waiting and waiting for certain milestones, these big check point dates to come and go and show our progress through this whole pregnancy journey.

-I remember counting down the days until we could finally announce our pregnancy to friends and family. Making it to 12 weeks seemed like such a long wait and the two days that we finally started telling people was such a relief.

-Then there was the countdown to the second trimester. Waiting for the magical date that would signal brighter, less nauseated days ahead and hopefully a little bump to prove I was actually pregnant.

-On to the countdown to finding out the gender. Proving that my husband was and has always been right that our first baby would be a little girl.

-And then there was the count down to spring break, when I decided I would use the break to finish preparing our nursery and getting things ready in case she decided to make an early arrival.

-Then I counted down the days to my maternity leave and hoping and praying that I would make it to March 31st so that I could have everything in my classroom ready for my sub and my students prepared for my impending leave.

-And here we are… counting down the days to when this little one may or may not decide on her own to show up. This is the hardest wait of all.

But this is just another example of one of the many instances God has made me wait on His timing. Who knew that someone so small could teach someoneĀ such big things? It’s crazy to think how much I have learned from this girl in these past 9 months and how much more there is to learn. It’s crazy to think that we have made it through so many milestones and yet there are so many ahead and how more often than I would like to admit – I wasn’t ever sure we would make it all the way to the end. At times I feel like I just can’t wait to meet her, but if it means waiting for the best and most beautiful person I have ever met…I can wait, but at least I know my heart is ready.

*photo by Kate Love Photography

bumpdate: 37 weeks

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If I am being completely honest, this photo is from last weekend so technically its a 36 week bump. However, I have already changed into my comfy pants for the evening and I’d rather my husband NOT document my leggings-and-oversized-t-shirt bump at the moment. Not nearly as cute.

This past week was spring break (continuing on tomorrow because my school district is being the nicest) and was used to the fullest to interview pediatricians, continue daycare tours, and prep for the little lady. Nursery things are pretty much established, gifts are placed, laundry done-ish, and our hospital bag is FINALLY packed. I have definitely been feeling the need to waddle more at the end of the day and that she is sitting lower that usual. I experienced a few fairly strong contractions this week and a pretty tight belly. All was well at my appointment last week and we are hoping for another good report tomorrow! It’s just crazy that we are down to weekly appointments now and that things are getting so real. I can’t believe this pregnancy is almost over. It really has flown by in a lot of ways. We are so ready to meet this little one – but also super anxious and nervous. Any and all thoughts and prayers greatly appreciated!

showers on showers on showers

This past weekend we had our LAST baby shower! We are so fortunate to have so many different groups of friends and family that were all willing to throw us sweet celebrations as we prepare for this little girl. When we first started accepting shower offers I didn’t think that five would feel like so many – but by the time we reached this past weekend I was pretty tired. But like I said, even through the exhaustion we had a fabulous time at each and every shower and it is already abundantly clear how loved this little girl is! Here are a few snaps from our showers over the past couple of months. Starting with an adorable The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed shower thrown by my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law in NOLA, followed by a shower put on by our college ministry friends, a triple baby shower to celebrate THREE new baby girls in our Lifeteen Core Member group, my sweet school shower that was put on by my team, and last but not least a shower that was thrown by one of my dearest high school friends and sister in Dallas. (Are you tired after reading that list? Just think about my cankles that have started to swell!)IMG_0279 IMG_0294 IMG_0288 IMG_0552 IMG_0547 IMG_0545 IMG_0333 IMG_0593 IMG_0713 IMG_0708 IMG_0695 IMG_0691 IMG_0686 IMG_0658 IMG_0653 IMG_0647 IMG_0632 IMG_0601IMG_0593

Bumpdate: 30 weeks

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Well, there she is. Look at that bump in all it’s bumpy, preggo glory. Thirty weeks is no joke. This week was a doozy at work (understatement x10) and between that + lacking energy in every sense of the word = a very DONE lady when it came to this weekend. All I wanted to do was just be home and accomplish things around here (after multiple naps). Thankfully I’m feeling much better and I’m looking forward to this week. I have a few goals I want to accomplish and that always puts me in a better mood. I’m a big cross-off-the-list kind of gal. Goal 1: getting enough sleep and getting in bed by 10:30pm at the latest each night. Goal 2: Reading something for ME each day even if it is only a few pages of a book and I fall asleep in the process. I think it will be good.

Biggest realization this week: the relationship I am already starting with this little girl. I recently read this article, about how babies are known for “ruining bodies” and how negative our culture can be toward pregnancy in general. Saturday I found my first little stretch marks from this pregnancy. I’m definitely no stranger to the infamous white lines but in the past these marks have been the result of massive growth spurts (hello, 9th grade) or overindulgent weight gain (hello, cookie shop after school job in high school). Never have they been because of something so important.

I’m helping create a life.

This little girl inside of me, kicking, squirming, already waking me up in the middle of the night… I’m giving her life right now. Providing her with nutrients she needs to live and a safe space to grow and move (although the kicks to the bladder…those could calm down a bit).

I had a good idea going into this pregnancy knowing how my body would change. I knew stretchmarks were a possible if not probable part of the deal. But never did I think I would be so happy to find three little jagged lines on my side while putting on moisturizer. Normally, this discovery would have ended up in a meltdown of tears and self deprecating thoughts…not this time. These little marks made me feel like I was the most important person in the world, and I know they will serve as a reminder that what I’m doing, what’s happening with my body right now – while I may be uncomfortable and at times self conscious – it’s the most important thing that I could be doing and I’m so happy to be doing it.

Hopefully ten weeks until we meet this girl. I can’t wait!