Portraits: Ethan Weston Homestead

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I never thought this day would be here.  Sharing in the triumphs and struggles of motherhood with my sister  has always been something I hoped for.  Even while my sister was pregnant, I couldn’t believe I might one day be holding my niece or nephew.  I knew that moment was going to special.

Photographing births and newborns would be an incredible job, if it weren’t for that being on call part.  I’ve only done it a few times for friends and family, but it is so thrilling and quite the emotional experience.  Waiting for the phone call makes me so anxious.  Though, getting to capture those wrinkly little human when they are only a few hours old is amazing.  The joy surrounding a birth cuts through most any difficulty experienced before and during labor. I said most, not all.

The human body is incredible.  I was always surprised by how much adrenaline kicked in during birth.  Who would think you could go all of those hours or even days without much to sustain you, nutritionally.  The water cup with the yummy ice was such a lifeline during birth, wasn’t it?  I kept my giant Yuma Regional Medical Center tumbler for a few years after Faith was born because it brought back happy memories of that cool, icy water roll down my throat when I needed it most.  I wanted to capture the little memories that fade, such as beloved ice cups, the discomfort of the IV that also brings replenishment, the dreaded blood pressure cuff that would automatically go off in the middle of a contraction, the “comfortably situated bed” for the Dad, the odd yet beautiful way the monitor shares the baby’s heartbeat,  and your first meal after the biggest workout of your life.

New life. New baby to snuggle.

Ethan Weston Homestead, you are loved.

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Rest & Value

 

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I feel like I’m right where I need to be.

So many times I asked God for contentment, to find joy in my daily tasks, to remove the heavy burdens of the world from my heart, to give my heart peace about what I’m able to accomplish in each season of life. I can’t homeschool, run a business, blog, make everything from scratch, do photography, and still be good to my family. I think I hid behind a busy life while ignoring significant pain. Also, most importantly, I can’t take care of myself well.

I have learned that I was taught incorrectly to be completely selfless. Even saying that, “I am important” would have been declared a sin to me. There is freedom to be found in the knowledge that Jesus thinks I am important because He loved me enough to create me. HE VALUES ME. Therefore, how can I not value myself? Rest, friends, it’s one of the greatest freedoms I’ve been given in my 31 years. Rest can only come after you have let trauma, sadness, anger, and grief pass through you without stopping them because you feel like you should out of guilt (message me if you need a therapist in San Diego!). This sickness has catalyzed so many gifts of understanding and I’m extremely grateful for it.

Take care of yourself, friends.

Stick around and find us on:
F a c e b o o k // T w i t t e r // P i n t e r e s t // I n s t a g r a m // E m a i l

A New Perspective

A Golden Afternoon

School in bed.

Friends, we only see little glimpses of each other’s lives. I love beautiful and uplifting pictures as much as the next person. I find wonderful encouragement in choosing the perspective of joy. Still, I believe we need to share the broken and ugly parts of our lives too. This picture has been a lot of my life the last 6 months, especially the last month. I share this hoping that it encourages you in your own brokenness, whether physical or spiritual. God sees you and holds you close. You are Beloved.

I was encouraged by Henri Nouwen in his book, “Life of the Beloved”: 

“Our brokenness is truly ours. Nobody else’s. Our brokenness is as unique as our chosenness and our blessedness. The way we are broken is as much an expression of our individuality as the way we are taken and blessed. Yes, fearsome as it may sound, as the Beloved ones, we are called to claim our unique brokenness, just as we have to claim our unique chosenness and our unique blessedness.”

Moi: Not a tribute to Miss Piggy

I don’t post tons of pictures of myself.  It’s not something I do purposefully, it just doesn’t naturally occur to me that someone would want to see my face.   I’m trying to be more comfortable with putting myself out there and trying new and even uncomfortable things.  I started realize this part of me that was lacking after reading many posts from Emily.  She was able to reach inside my heart and yank at a part of me which I am consistently trying to ignore.

I need to be more comfortable and embrace the camera.

I need to do it for my kids.

So, thank you Emily

I also felt much more at ease with doing this with Chelsey because even more than her adorable projects and fabulous (and ridiculously useful) ideas, I love her honesty. The self-portrait challenge was calling my name.

I love that she keeps it real.

I love that she named her daughter after one of the Gilmore Girls.

I may or may not have done the same kind of thing.

So, thank you Chelsey.

I love this picture because it reflect how I feel about self-portraits.

Hesitation.

Discomfort.

Cynicism.

Obsessing over…

1. Anything having to do with creating.  Right now its tiny things that can fit in Miss F”s dollhouse.

2. Awesome new friendships like I’ve never had in my life.  I’m kind of obsessed with how many prayers God has answered from 10 years ago regarding people in my life.  It’s like He knew I needed that 10 years to build up appreciation for  this new gift of friendship.  I get it now.  Thank you, God!!

3. Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies ice cream

Working on…

A dress for myself which I’m 99% done with (woot! woot!), a kiddo room remodel,  practicing my stitching on a cute baby project for a friend, eating more vegetables.  Taxes.  I’m soooo close to being done!!

Thinking about…

Being a better wife.  Being a better teacher.  Being more compassionate. Being a good friend.  Being useful.  Being there for people who need me.

Anticipating…

an awesome double date with some friends which goes along with happens to go along with what I’m obsessing over and thinking about.  so wonderful.

Listening to…

the Adele Pandora channel.  I love that almost every song/artist that plays is one that I love.  I’ve also been shuffling my phone, which is always fun.  I love hearing music I already own that I completely forgot about.

Eating…

Cypress Grove Psychedillic cheese with some locally made crackers.  Yum.  I also roasted some pecans today which were a much-needed mid-day snack.

Wishing…

Wishing I could erase everything bad that happened in 2011 because right now the bad is all I can remember and that makes me so very sad.

Wishing I didn’t wish for the above because all of that bad only makes us stronger and helps us appreciate what we have.

Wishing I hadn’t finished off the Ben and Jerry’s the other night.  I kinda want it right now.

Linking up with Emily:

Linking up with Chelsey: