Tuesday, July 21, 2009

hustle, hustle.....sob.

so chad left us this past weekend, to party it up in santa barbara with some friends at a wedding. i remember the invitation having my name on it too, but for some reason, in retrospect, it dawned on me that chad didn't really invite me, himself.

"hey, i'm gonna head to CA for that wedding....you cool with it?"

because let's face it, dragging isaac on an airplane for 6 hours, along with ...you know...all that BABY STUFF, just did NOT sound appealing. only to do it again 48 hours later. for a dude i don't even know. congrats, but...i have never met you or your future wife.

with that said, it struck me on saturday night, while watching reruns of The Jacksons movie on VH1, that....HEY! i was LEFT OUT of the fun! chad was cruising the coastline in somebody's borrowed Porsche and ....well....i had the distinct honor of cleaning out isaac's room.


nevertheless, isaac was a wonder-boy all weekend and much was accomplished on the homefront. and subsequently, many tears were shed as well. i woke up inspired to ORGANIZE my house on saturday, given i had no babysitter, no place to be, really, and a baby room that still contained remnants of infancy. and well....HEY! ....he's not an infant anymore so....BAG IT UP! MOVE IT OUT! .....OMG PASS THE TISSUES!

i've never shed one tear about boxing up his belongings -- and that's probably due in part to the WONDEROUS thing called 'space bags.' (RIP, billy) i'd get so GOSH DARN excited to fill the space bags up and conduct my own personal home-experiments that it would eclipse any pangs in my heart over what i was actually doing....

FYI = space bags lose the luster.

so i perched isaac in a shopping cart and headed to the store to buy bins, more spacebags, organizing tools, etc.

i came home and went to work!
his dresser was still full of newborn socks, burp rags, hospital knit caps.....and during the digging, stashing, thankless work of cleaning....i uncovered his baby swaddle. i have no idea why but it very unexpectedly ripped my heart out. why are SO many emotions attached to the stinkin' swaddle? and while isaac proceeded to destroy all of my piles of folded clothes in catagories 0-3, 3-6, 6-12.....i sat down, hugged the swaddle.....and wept.

i think it's hitting me.
he's not an infant anymore.
i couldn't get the tears to stop.
omg...i may cry right now!
yep, screen is all fuzzy and my eyes feel hot.

i love you isaac!
but because your nursery (wait! will it still be called a nursery?!) is only 9x9 feet, i must pack away all things that remind us that you were, in fact, a little 5lb lump of love at one point. i must make room for all the bigger, crazier things i'm sure you'll get for your birthday....

but i will admit that a few things were spared from the spacebag....i just wasn't ready. and they are tucked away, back in his closet, close enough to pull out when i want to be reminded of all the joys and happiness this last year has brought me....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

365 Days of Joy....

oh, isaac.

21 weeks pregnant

my heart brims with so many differing and complicated emotions, as you are now a full year old. the emotions are mixed: thrilled, proud, astounded...sad? i'm sure the sadness stemmed from the huge undertaking recently, virtually removing all evidences that a baby lived in your room. from your swing, to your swaddle, to you burp rags, to you baby booties...to the hospital cap you came home in...little trinkets that cause the memories of the past year to rain down on me. how far we've come...how much we've grown...how many treasures are stored in my heart! i grasp each day for the mental snapshots that will remain etched on my mind, but the frames all blur together and all of the sudden...what!....you're 365 days old, now.

first night being admitted...

when i would nurse you as a newborn, you were as long as the distance from my wedding band to my elbow, nestled close. wasn't it...just...yesterday? and every night, i take another mental snapshot of you laying across my lap and wish time to freeze. your feet now dangle over the arm rest and our days are numbered for when you'll be able to comfortably fall asleep in my arms. i treasure the weight of your head in my left arm. i look at you and marvel...you will become a man.

5lbs 2oz

painful to look at, even now...

and so our lives peel away in layers and the 'infant' layer of your time with us is now safely packed away in bins and boxes...and embedded in our hearts forever.

i've mulled over why all my loved ones have joyous birthdays, and with great anticipation we plan, and purchase gifts and ultimately celebrate another year...and why i feel a deep ache sometimes with yours.

he was ok...huge relief...

after much meditating, i've realized i don't mark the days of my life, or the length of my years according to my parents birthdays. or my siblings. or my friends, for that matter. i don't reflect upon my life, when i celebrate their birthdays.

3 days old...

but with you, isaac, i've never been more acutely aware of the measure of a year. a week. a minute. you bring exponential value to every second. it's here. and then it's gone. and while that moment was enjoyed to it's fullest -- it's the fullness of it that pangs the heart. i relished every second of this year to an extent i never knew i had the capability of and ...and it now exists as a part of my memory. but as a building block of you who are and will become. and there's the twist. i mourn, in part, the passing of time, all while fully appreciating my great responsibility in your rearing.

day after delivery -- i missed my baby shower!

though God is eternal and lives in timelessness, he has given us the framework of time. and the limits of time. and power of time. but, isaac, i pray you understand from an early age that life is precious, yet, fleeting... we don't live forever and we have no control regarding our length of days here on earth....

that said, my prayer is that you live life sharing the urgent message of Christ. as your mother, i could not be more proud of you already! i look into your eyes and wonder what you will become, or how you will understand your calling, or what manner of work you will choose. i wish i could protect you from the pressures you will encounter to seek wealth...fame...fortunes. achieving any of those should never be your loftiest goals and i pray you will be shielded from those empty snares of this life.


day 1 of life...

it doesn't matter what preschool you go to...
or what elementary school you attend.
or where you apply to college.

it honestly doesn't matter when you start walking...
or when you will say your first word.
or when you will be potty trained.

it honestly doesn't matter what sports you play...
or when you get a cell phone.
or who you take to the prom.

while all of those things will be exciting and while i'll relish every milestone we shared together, i continually guard myself against giving you identity in such silly things. my heart's desire is such that i truly want you to find your confidence in Truth.

all earthly confidences are simply doors for which anxiety and fears can enter.

fears about health.
fears about money.
fears about acceptance.
fears about status and popularity.

fear should never define the child of God.

rather than toiling over your current social baby calendar and your eating habits.
or fussing over your appearance and your vocabulary (all very fun and valuable things!)
....i attempt to reset my focus daily on shaping your values and setting your sights on far loftier things.
i don't pray that you'll be the next president, or a famous doctor or lawyer. i don't set my thoughts on cultivating your ambitions to be (yes! again! wonderful things!) anything but inside the will of God.

'car seat test'

and so...

isaac, baby, i pray that you will grow to be a humble man.
i pray that you will be light in this dark world.
i pray that you will love all people, particularly your enemies.
i pray that you will be tempered and wise, understanding life is brief.
i pray that you will be merciful and forgiving.
i pray that you will be a peacemaker and pure in heart.
i pray that you will expect great miracles through faithfulness and depend only on God's grace.
i pray you will find your satisfaction in your relationship with God and drink deeply from the water of His word.
i pray you live against the grain, embracing that this life is just our entree into something far more endlessly remarkable and glorious. understanding that all of humanity's shallow ambition falls short in the light of His glory.
i pray you bear the fruits of the Spirit, that you are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

and i pray that as you grow and fulfill your calling, and as you shed your childlike dependence on me, that you will transfer your dependence upon God the unshakable foundation of our life. and i pray that Jeremiah 29:11 will resonate in your heart, and also be a reminder to me that God plans our lives, despite our best guesses!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

...and so my momentary sadness evolves into hope. and joy. and gratitude.
we've tucked one year under our belts and side-by-side step toward the future. i can only pray that one day, when my little baby is a tall in stature, striking in presence, and and a fully grown man (hey, i'm just basing it off his daddy!), that you will define success by winning souls for Christ. period. and that in spite of my imperfect and often faltering hand in your upbringing, i will hold no regrets. i will look back at our years together with nothing but amazement. i know my memories with you will be most vibrant -- as you were my first. my miracle.

first time going to church

....and finally, that you will understand that never has another baby been born just like you, predestined to be an intricate part of this family, yes...but infinitely more important, predestined before the beginning of time, to be an intricate and necessary human being with an irreplaceable role to accept in The Great Story...forever. and ever.

Every joy or trial falleth from above.

Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;

We may trust Him fully all for us to do;

They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.


Exactly 365 Days Old...


Friday, July 17, 2009

you know...that other day job i have...

it's wedding season and i'm certainly back in the saddle!
it's been difficult juggling isaac and work and traveling hubby and surgery and you know...stuff.

but here we are and life is good :)
this wedding presented alot of 'firsts' for me!
first time shooting at MY OWN personal church on Capitol Hill!
first time shooting ALONE! eeek.
first time shooting alone and have the couple see each other prior to the ceremony!!!

let's just say i was VERY excited about this. normally i LIKE when i am able to capture the bride and groom's face as the bride is about to walk down the aisle, but my church has such strict rules regarding photography during the ceremony, that i realized doing it THIS way would be best. shooting from a balcony would make it hard to see their expressions and capture that accordingly, so i was blessed with the opportunity to set up this shoot before the big event!

i actually had each of them line up behind these huge trees in a park next to the capitol...
amy was leaning over to catch a glimpse of anything she could. cheater! ;)

(you can click on each image to enlarge it!)

tim, on the other hand, was obediently looking in the opposite direction according to directions. :)

on the count of 3, they both came out from behind their prospective trees and walked toward each other -- it worked out fantastically....

i do think they forgot the cameras were inches from them.
you could feel the electricity. the disbelief. the emotion.

we had a little shoot by the capitol...

amy, waiting for her walk down the aisle...

tim, getting all GQ on me....

the reception was lively, alot of fun and full of emotion, too!

i had a feeling it was going to get messy and i secretly join in the chanting and rooting for a good, healthy cake-smashing ordeal....

my wish was granted!

so there ya go!
amy & tim, it was an honor and i know for certain (sadly, you can't always say that!) that you'll live happily ever after! thank you for a great day!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Call Your Representatives...

Baby Irena was born on July 6, 2009 at 27 weeks, and passed away on July 10, 2009. Life is precious. Never forget that every life is precious.

Untitled from Kateri Reyes on Vimeo.

Our President was 1 of 2 US Senators to vote in favor of Partial Birth Abortion in 2004. Partial Birth Abortion gives women the right to kill their babies up to full term. We all know that children are viable at that age, and MUCH earlier. If that weren't unnerving enough...

TONIGHT, July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a bill that will allow public funds to be used to pay directly for abortions in our nation's capital.

If this measure passes, taxpayer money appropriated by Congress will be sent directly to the abortion industry in Washington , D.C.

Please contact your Representative and verbalize your dissent.

Tell your member of Congress to oppose this change in the law and to vote against the passage of H.R. 3170 if it continues to allow the use of locally generated tax revenues - public money - to be used for the killing of innocent human lives in the womb.

Since 1988, except for a short period under President Clinton, the Congress of the United States has adopted language known as the Dornan Amendment that limits the use of tax funds to pay for abortions in the nation's capital. This amendment has been applied to both federally and locally generated tax revenues - in short, all public funds - that are appropriated by Congress to the District of Columbia . This amendment has protected women in Washington , D.C. from the abortion industry and led many to choose positive alternatives for themselves and their babies.

Now, pro-abortion members of Congress want tax funds used for abortion again. If they succeed in doing so on H.R. 3170, this will open the door for the repeal of nearly two dozen other federal laws that have similar limits on the use of public money to pay for abortions, including through the pending health care reform. The stakes could not be higher. Please contact your member of Congress now and tell him or her to oppose H.R. 3170 if it allows the use of locally generated tax funds for abortion. Please act now as the vote is likely to happen on Wednesday, July 15.

mish mash!

ah, you've probably seen all of these on facebook, but regardless, i find these two of my dad reading to isaac absolutely precious! isaac is captivated by books and Pop Pop used this to his advantage a month ago when we were in PA! (wow...maybe 2 mths ago? not sure...)

if you fastforward to the 4th of july, you obviously know i was recuperating! therefore, i took my first mini-trip (it counts as a trip if it exceeds the distance from the couch to the bathroom!) to the neighborhood pool! it was gorgeous weather that day and it felt SO GOOD to get out of the house! but isaac hates the pool. with a pure and holy hatred. we tried to bride him, but it only worked for 10 minutes. so we did alot of people watching and lounging :) happy 4th!

then this past weekend, lanier opened up her backyard and cooked a FAB organic meal for us!!!! again, perfect weather. it's almost STRANGE how gorgeous and mild the outdoors have been this summer. weird. creepy. WONDERFUL! we had alot of fun!!! makes me want a backyard!!! :) ah, the plans we add to our dream list!

we also decided to head over to the National Harbor for a little family day outing! there's this fantastic 'water taxi' to take you over there and it's just really neat! this below photo is of us waiting at the Old Town harbor for the ferry....and then....GASP....my camera died. no really. HORRIBLE TIMING. i almost cried. so did isaac:

the weekend was topped off by an incredibly day of blessing at church. i know i don't talk about it alot (because it's a given, i suppose :) but my heart overflows at the thought of my church. the blessings and teachings and relationships are deep and fulfilling and my heart honestly bursts because i love it so much. i can't believe we've been members there for 2+ years already, but when you find a church that truly becomes the axis of your life, a church that is the fundamental reason you stay in the area you live in -- it's an unspeakably massive blessing. who knows if we'd be so convinced to stay in VA, if not for the Body of Christ that we're a part of and for which we love so dearly.

which BRINGS ME to my next point = ISAAC THRIVES there. he loves it too!
i've been INCREDIBLY impressed by their nursery services/toddler services/children's sunday school offerings! he's in the nursery a total of 5 hours on sunday (3 in the AM, 2 in the PM) and has never once required me to save him. i set him down and he bolts for the toys and his friends! what a relief that i can focus and worship and know that he's under the safe teaching and in the capable hands of trusted friends!

all to say, he is WIPED when we pick him up!!! :) we're talking FOUR hour naps on sunday afternoons! so cute......

but he managed to rally by monday morning, because he had a big day of networking.

our playgroup wasn't such a success this week, between vacationing, broken AC's, out of town friends, etc. so shiloh & luke met up with us for lunch and we had a wonderful time! the boys talked just enough biz so we could write off the meal ;)

and here we are: it's wednesday! i have a meal i need to get hoppin' on for a local mom who's just had her 2nd bebe, and isaac and i intend to go window shopping for our new bedroom linens.....ah, window shopping. gone are those leisurely trips, though i am going to tackle as best we can!

and that just about brings you up to speed.....happy wednesday!