Friday, January 13, 2017

Fueling Creativity + Photo Session

I have surely but slowly been picking up my camera again to capture these early days with my girl. I think that's what I love most about photography, its ability to freeze time when the days seem to be flying by.

Besides a photography class I took in Rome, almost 7 years ago, I have had no real training when it comes to taking pictures. But there is something I have always enjoyed about snapping photos. And you know what's great? Friends that share your interests and passions. My best gal, Marisa, came over yesterday and shared some photography tips and tricks with me. She also let me practice with her and her sweet girl, Elliott. It has been so fulfilling to dust off this old camera and get my creative juices flowing again.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our quick session:

Thanks for all of your help, M! Five year plan, here we come.



We proudly welcomed our sweet girl, Emerson Grace Merrell, on October 28th, 2016. She weighed 8lbs 10oz and was 20.5 inches long. She is pure love and my greatest joy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Nursery Tour

Our baby girl is due to arrive any day now and the final touches have been made to her sweet nursery!  Holy nesting, friends.

I am beyond happy with the way everything came together. I searched high and low for the perfect mobile and could not find something that fit in her space. My (super!) talented friend handmade the most beautiful floral mobile and it truly is my favorite thing in her room. 

Now, we wait. Let's go, baby girl! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

27 Weeks

Here  we are at 27 weeks, stepping into third trimester territory. As much as I want this baby girl to take as long as she needs to grow, I am also dying to hold her. With every movement, I fall a little more in love. Oh sweet girl, I can't wait to meet you. 

+The nursery is coming together better than I imagined. I can't wait for the crib to arrive so I can finish decorating! More pictures to come once it's all set.
+Heartburn shows up every evening. (If you have any remedies for this, please share!)
+Baby girl's wardrobe is quickly growing but shh, don't tell her daddy. 
+My rings are shrinking, or my fingers might be turning into sausages. The jury is out. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

25 Weeks

Holy moly, we are more than halfway done with baking this little babe and I couldn't be more excited! Here's what is happening/happened this week: 

+The nursery is underway.
+The cutest baby clothes are quickly piling up. 
+My clothes are getting tighter, like much much tighter.
+She is kicking more each day (praise the Lord!) 
+Many of my family members got to feel her move on Sunday night.
+We decided on a pediatrician. 
+We signed up for a hospital tour. 


We Are Expecting!

It all still feels like a dream. After trying to grow our family for three years and losing three precious babies along the way, our prayer has been answered. As I type this, I am still in utter amazement that I was chosen to be this little one's mama. It is such a humbling experience, one that I will never take for granted. 

Back in February, I was preparing to start a round of Clomid and like every month, I decided to pee on a stick -- just to see. And the faintest of faint lines appeared, so I naturally I texted a picture to one of my dearest friends and we both agreed it was just my imagination. So, the next day, I took another one. It was a little darker but not much. I repeated this for about four days until I saw a very definite blue line. I finally let my darling husband in on this very exciting and scary secret. Once we agreed it was definitely positive, I rang the doctor and a process I was oh so familiar with began. Blood tests were scheduled for every 48 hours to see if my HCG levels were rising. Well, here's the thing... in the past, they always went down. So when they called me and told me they had more than doubled, I barely believed them. From that point forward, everything has been textbook. At my 12 week appointment, my doctor looked at my and said, "At this point, you can enjoy your pregnancy like you never had any issues in the past." And just like that, I felt like I had graduated from a prison of heartbreak and disappointment. 

While, for the most part, this pregnancy has been "textbook," I find myself fighting fear more often than I would like. Some days I just feel like it's too good to be true. But I am reminded that this little girl is a gift from God. Yes, you read that right... it's a GIRL! 

My heart is so very full and I am counting down the days until October. In the meantime, I am obsessing over every little and not-so-little kick, sweet baby shoes, and what color to paint the nursery. I can't believe this is my life, and goodness, I wouldn't change a thing. 

God is good and I am so humble and grateful that I am able to experience this gift. 

Thank you to all of those who have prayed with me, for me and for this sweet baby. I believe whole-heartedly she is a miracle and direct answer to prayer. 


Saturday, May 7, 2016


Even Hollywood's greatest script writer couldn't have crafted a better Saturday.

In honor of Mother's Day, my family, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, all gathered at my grandparents house to celebrate my Abuela. She is truly an admirable woman. While we often need an interpreter because her Spanish is about as good as my English, I hope she knows the profound impact she has had on me. My grandparents moved to the United States in the late sixties from Cuba. The story of what they went through to come here is remarkable and for another day. Leaving many of their loved ones behind, they came to America with nothing but big dreams and full hearts. It wasn't easy by any means, sacrifices were made, but they saw many dreams come true. And while my grandparents' bodegas excelled, their riches weren't there. My Abuela's biggest prize was her family. She has loved her husband, her children and grandchildren with a fierce passion. 

My youngest cousin whipped out the old photos, solid move. And we all huddled around the back porch at my grandparents' farm and went through hundreds of photos. Pictures from Cuba, pictures of family and friends, the stories flooded us, jokes were made, and laughter filled the air.

As I reflect on this day, I can't help but smile. The Lord has blessed me and my family beyond measure. I am so very thankful. 

Like I said, the best script writer couldn't make this up.