Tuesday, September 9, 2014


This summer I had the opportunity to be on-call to photograph for 4 births. All 4 babies are now earth side and each are healthy, thriving and very much loved.

This blog post is on my thoughts and feelings of what being on-call meant for myself and my family. 
But first, a little overview of how those births played out....
The 1st was a planned Homebirth of dear friends of ours. She had experienced a difficult pregnancy and at 35 weeks went into the hospital due to contractions. She texted me that night around 3:00am to let me know what was going on. I told her I was there for her if she needed anything or still wanted me to photograph the birth for her. I definitely respected the fact that this was a difficult time for them and I gave them their space. Their sweet boy spent 10 days in the NICU, but is now home and healthy and so so stinkin cute!
The 2nd birth I was on call for was for a friend who was having her 4th baby. Her babies have always come very early and she too went into labor at 35 weeks. Her labor was incredibly short and fast! It lasted only an hour. She notified me that she was in labor when her contractions were only 1 minute apart and they were heading for the hospital. She had the baby 20 minutes after they had arrived.  There was no way I would have made it in time. Their baby boy spent 4 days in the NICU but is now at home, healthy and they are all doing well.
The 3rd birth was for a couple who was planning a homebirth. Her labor was very long, spanning across 4 days. When she let me know that she was in labor I made my way over to their house. At that point her contractions were 5 minutes apart and not lasting very long. I stayed available to them throughout the next couple days. Her water broke around 1am and she progressed very quickly after that. At that point they did not contact me to come. Thankfully their Midwife was able to make it with only 20 minutes to spare!
At this point in my new endeavor of birth photography I was feeling very defeated. Birth photography has been something I have been praying about for a very long time. This past Spring I felt very pulled towards making myself available to this opportunity and I felt much reassurance when each of the 4 women asked me to photograph their births. Not only reassurance but I felt overwhelmingly blessed to have been asked into such intimate moments of those growing families. Each stage of pregnancy, labor and birth all amaze me. I stand in awe of the way God has made a woman's body. I earnestly believe it is something to be captured and treasured.
So when 3 of the 4 births had not played out how *I* had foreseen, I couldn't help but feel a sense of disappointment and sadness of what I could have provided for each of those families.
The 4th birth was for friends who were planning a homebirth for their 4th baby. She was anticipating to be overdue. Her due date came and went and she reached 42 weeks and 6 days. Around 12:30am she let me know that her water had broken and that her labor was slowly progressing. I made my way over to their house around 2:30am. They had a full house, I mean, 16 people in all! She was powerful and steadfast and let her body work. Her husband poured compassion and tenderness onto her like nobody's business. It was beautiful to capture. I did my best to stay out of the way, quiet and respectful. There were moments when I couldn't help but get choked up with emotion, but I continued to focus on what I was there for. It was an amazing experience to be a part of and to be able to capture those images for them to cherish was priceless.
With all that being said, and my thankfulness poured out, I thought I would share what being on-call meant for me and my family. It was a challenge at times and it has left me with the utmost respect for those who live an on-call lifestyle. I know there are many careers that depend upon those who are willing to be on-call, but my first, personal thoughts go to Midwives and Doulas. They give up a lot for their clients and they have to be ready at a minutes notice, around the clock.
Being On-call:
~ Always having my phone charged and volume on in order to hear any texts/calls received. (my cell is normally on silent)
~ Never being away from my phone for too long.
~ Having my camera battery charged and my camera bag ready.
~ Having my childrens' cloth diaper bag ready to go.
~ Having our only vehicle available.  Which meant driving my husband to work at 5:30am every. single. morning. whew!
~Having childcare available if my husband was at work.
~ Being freshly showered.... what can i say, I'm a SAHM. ;-)
~ Having a clean house/food in the fridge. The length of a labor is unpredictable.
~ Not traveling too far out of town.
~ Being willing to leave any current event....birthdays/holidays.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the lessons I have learned and come to appreciate in my newness of birth photography. I am so so grateful despite only having 1 birth work out so far.
With every challenge there are lessons to be learned, and I love to learn, so bring it on. ;-)

Enjoy a few pictures from that last birth!

This particular moment was so moving to me. Children just love so well.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Essential Oils!

Essential Oils.... let's just say that they have become essential in my life.
I have been using Essential Oils for almost 5 years now and the more i have learned about them and tested them out, the more i appreciate the value of them in our family life.

In short, Essential oils are a highly concentrated pure oil.  There are endless uses for them! From treating Migraines, the Flu, and infections....to cleaning your home, disinfecting the air, and simply scenting your living space.

I would love to talk to more friends about the benefits my family has received from essential oils and the power of healing i have felt through them. They have been life enhancing for me.

On top of that, i absolutely love love love when i hear of how others have been positively effected by essential oils. Especially those who don't believe in the healing power of them.

One of the first facts that drew me into trying them out was that the Bible refers to the use of Essential oils 188 times. It is so neat to know that i am using the same "medicine" that was used in the time of Jesus....on Jesus, by Jesus!

There are many different brands of Essential oils, some have a higher quality than others. Which is why i buy from Young Living. They sell only Pure, Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils.
Here is an article of why Young Living is a great company:

I use Essential oils every day, and throughout our day. I diffuse it using the diffuser shown in the picture to the right. For example, I will diffuse Joy in the morning, peace & calming during nap time and homeschool time. Purification or Thieves oil if someone is struggling with a sickness or if we have had guests in our home.
I use Frankincense on scars, blemishes or healed cuts. I will use Lavender if we are dealing with anxiety or headaches. I rub Theives oil or Peace & calming on my kiddos feet at bedtime. I will use PanAway on tense or tight muscles. I will rub Valor on my feet before a chiropractic appointment. I will put Lemon, Theives or Purification in my cleaning supplies.
These examples are just skimming the surface of how i use them, and how they can be used. Those are only a FEW of the Essential Oils that are available!

If you are interested in giving them a try, right now is the perfect time! You can buy the Young Living Starter Kit for only $80! That is an amazing price.
You will be getting 11 oils, a diffuser, a roller applicator, samples, lots of information, and the gift of health!

(Do i sound a little excited about this?!)

If you have any questions about it, i would LOVE to hear from you and help you discover the benefits specifically for your life through using these oils.

Rememeber, you are getting everything pictured above, for only $80. This will only last until the end of the month. This is a great step in being proactive about your health and healing.