P-Dub–Days 5 & 6

Hospital and First Days-0240

I do not know how many of you know this, but I wanted to share it here.  If you do already know this story, my apologies.

I want to share the story of how Paul came to be.  The clean version haha.  I mean we all know where babies come from right? ;o)  What I want to share is how Neil and I opened our hearts to what God wanted to do in our lives and how this little blessing was the result.

To be honest, after our son Stephen (our second) was born, I would have been quite happy to not have anymore children.  He was a high maintenance baby who never slept to put it lightly.  He was a lot of work, and life was anything but easy.  Today he is an adorably hilarious joy in all our lives and worth every challenge, but my bloodshot eyes at the time couldn’t see past the next two hour stretch of sleep (if I was lucky).  On top of these challenges, I was having a hard time recovering and dealing with postpartum depression.  I also had a new problem.  A pesky pain in my right foot cropped up, and started getting worse.  We found out that the pain was coming from a mass wedged between my foot bones, though thankfully a biopsy revealed it was benign.  Given all of these circumstances, I was rather pleased with our being cautious to avoid pregnancy.  Then I heard His calling.

Now, when people say they heard God calling to them, it likely wasn’t audible.  Not to say that couldn’t happen I guess, but God speaks in the still small voice that we call our conscious.

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  { 1 Kings 19:12 }

It will often warn us not to do something that is wrong.  It can also be that idea that pops in  (and stays in) our heads, but we aren’t quite sure where it came from.  It is not anything we would have come up with on our own, and sometimes the idea even goes against every grain of our being.  That’s how it spoke to me.

My heart kept telling me over and over again that I needed to trust.  I needed to trust God with our family planning.  I needed to trust His plans for my life.  I can’t really explain it, but it felt like trying to control when we would or would not conceive was the opposite of what we should be doing, even though that was exactly what I wanted to do.  Now let me say this:  I do not think it is wrong to family plan.  I think God calls different folks to different paths in life.  For me, I felt He was calling me to trust Him in this area.  I felt like He was calling me to demonstrate my trust by action.  It’s one thing to confess trust, but another entirely to step out in faith and do it.

I knew when I shared this with Neil, he would know what we should do. I actually delayed talking to him, because I did not want this idea to be entertained.  When I finally shared how I was feeling, I quickly learned I needed to submit to trusting.  He looked at me and said he had been feeling called to do the exact same thing.  I had confirmation that not only was God speaking to my heart, but He was speaking to my husband’s as well.  We had to do this.  Best to be inside God’s will than out of it.

The only thing that made this easy was the truth that His plans are best.

“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.” { Jeremiah 29:11 }

I know that He has better blessings planned for me than I could ever dream up on my own.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us  { Ephesians 3:20 }

Everything else about it was hard.  Especially becoming pregnant.  It took a while to wrap my mind around it.  It was mentally hard to find out I was pregnant when Stephen was only ten months old.  I mean he was still waking up many nights, I was still struggling  with my foot issues (still am actually), and I was just starting to feel like myself again after the postpartum stuff.  However, I chose trust and laid all my worries, daily, at His feet.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  { 1 Peter 5:7 }

What I found in trusting Him, was an overabundance of blessings.  The pregnancy was my easiest to date.  The pain in my foot went away for the entire pregnancy, labor and delivery was good, and we were given a beautiful, healthy boy.  He is so sweet and such an easy-going baby.  The best way to sum up him coming into our lives are words I read from Instagram user @joyprouty after she had her fourth child.  She said,

The only word I can come up with for this feeling is ‘miracle.’ A miracle to withstand the pain God gives us and promises we are able to bear.  A miracle to see a person come out of your body that is just only yours.  And miraculous how that person is exactly who you never knew you needed to fit right into the empty place in your heart . . . overwhelming.

Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.  He knew exactly what I needed, and I am ever thankful we were obedient to His call so we did not have to miss out on this miracle.

You can view photos from day 4 of life here.

You can view more photos from day 5 of life here.

New Beginnings

new collage III

Life is pretty full these days (in the best way ever).  We welcomed Paul Michael into the world on May 15, and I just don’t know how we ever did life without him. He is a perfect little sweetie.  Obviously the blog will be taking a little rest over the next few months.  I do want to keep putting up my photo-a-day challenges when I can though, and you know I have been photographing the babe like crazy.  Hope to share some of those soon too. I have put some new photos of him on my Instagram because that is fast and easy.  My username there is @sweetwilliams if you don’t want to wait to see them here ;o)

Here are my phoots from the last month!  Yea, just a little behind ;o)

Tags for the above collage which is from three weeks ago (L to R, T to B):

#where_i_stood, #sign_of_the_times, filler photo

#fiction, filler photo (my Mother’s Day tribute), #mysterious

filler photo, #what_is_it, #excess

new collage II

Tags for above collage from two weeks ago (L to R, T to B):

#a_trinket, #wander

filler photo, #good, #makes_my_heart_sing

#favorite, #best

new collage I

Tags for above collage from one week ago (L to R, T to B):

#curious, #real

#for_the_birds, #currently_reading, #souvenir

filler photo (cause he’s cute), #fuel

new collage IV

Tags for above collage from this past week (R to L, T to B):

#you_today, #edgy

#ordinary_beauty, #pink, #reflection

#favorite_place, #real_life

feature

And the above photo was featured on www.projectlife365.com in their “Best of the Best” for the week!  Very honored.

Hope you enjoyed!  Have a blessed week!

XOXOXO

Mysweetwilliams

Hope you enjoyed!  Have a blessed week!

XOXOXO

Mysweetwilliams

Sweet Faces: A Birthday Girl

Faith Family-0048

I met this beautiful family through our church this year and have been so blessed by their friendship.  They have the most adorable kids and are just amazing people.  Living in a military town has its ups and downs.  I get the opportunity to meet some really awesome folks, but then I also know that one day I will have to say goodbye.  Such is life I know.  Nothing lasts forever.  But I am truly glad that these folks are in our lives for now.  And I am thrilled I got the chance to capture these of their sweet little girl who just turned one!
Faith Family-0217

Faith Family-0205

Faith Family-0003

Faith Family-0199

Faith Family-0248

Faith Family-0193

A Heavy Heart

collage April 28th new

Life in photos over the last week.

Tags for above photos (left to right):

looking out, type, sport

you today, filler photo, filler photo

nature, sport, nature

Why the heavy heart?  You may have heard in the news that there is a new policy, released by the Pentagon, that states soldiers can be prosecuted and even court-martialed for sharing their faith.  This policy may even bleed over into the role of chaplains.  Time will tell what will come of this, but this is the reason for the heavy heart.

I have always felt such a burden for our soldiers because of my faith.  I have so much respect for someone that is willing to put their life in harm’s way so that me and my family can enjoy safety and freedom.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” –John 15:13

Our soldiers are already being sent into the darkest places on earth.  Now we want to send them there with no hope?  {Sigh}  Praying . . .

Heart Hands Eyes

collage from April 20th

Every single one of these photos was taken on my dslr.  I have found I am less happy these days snapping shots with my cheepo camera phone (Pantech Jest) for my daily photo challenges.  This setup is good for now for two reasons:  1. I actually have the time (sort of) to take the photo, edit it, email it, and upload it to Instagram, and 2. I am just so thrilled that I am being inspired to take more photos with my dslr.  The more I use it, the more I learn.  Light is something that I feel I will never be an expert of, but the more I put myself out there and try to capture it, the more I learn about it.  I know the days are approaching though that I will be lucky to snap a shot or two on my phone and call it a day.  The seasons of life . . .

Tags from left to right for collage

Top row:  #heart #homemade

Middle row:  #hands #eyes #hahaha

Bottom row:  #eco #looking_in

Hope you enjoyed.  Have a blessed week.

XOXOXO

Sweetwilliams

P.S. Things will be slowing down here any day now as we prepare to welcome our newest addition :o)

Family Tradition

Bryant and Greenwell-0509

This growing family gets portraits done every Spring.  I had the pleasure of being their photographer last year too.  It has become a sort of tradtion for us, and I just love that.  The newest addition wasn’t exactly thrilled, but we still got some great photos and were lent some great light too. Enjoy!

B Family and boys-2

Three boys equalled a lot of corralling.  Going to be in that boat very soon!  Like any day now.

B Family and baby-2

This was about all we got out of this little guy, but what a cutie!

Bryant and Greenwell-0271

Bryant and Greenwell-0278

Loving the lens flare in these and the softness it adds.
Bryant and Greenwell-0342

Bryant and Greenwell-0430

B Family N-2

B Family kids and parents-2

My little assistant (Noah) did such a good job getting the boys’ attention the entire session.  I love the expressions he got out of them in the above photo especially.  I think I will bring him to more photoshoots when little children are involved.  He has a way of connecting with them.

B Family C-2

Bryant and Greenwell-0680

Bryant and Greenwell-0460

May in April

Casey May Senior Portraits-0321

May 2-2

Casey May Senior Portraits-0208

May 5-2

Casey May Senior Portraits-0300

May 1-2

Casey May Senior Portraits-0420

May 4-2

May 3-2

Such a natural beauty!

Casey May Senior Portraits-0470

May 6-2

Casey May Senior Portraits-0116

This was my first senior photoshoot, and wow was it fun!  This girl, Miss May, and her mom who came along are just so sweet.  They are friends from church, and we all had such a good time chatting and walking around the beautiful grounds of Greenwell State Park here in Southern Maryland.  I had to chuckle to myself a few times when I realized how quickly we were moving along.  I am so used to taking 20-30 frames or more of the same shot when I am photographing families (to ensure that I get everyone with their eyes open, etc).  It was a new experience to take two or three shots of a pose and then move on.  In the end I was very pleased with the outcome of the photos.  It certainly didn’t hurt to have such a pretty girl to work with.  I hope they are just as happy with the images as I am.

Satisfying Inspiration

collage 2 week of April 14th

Here are some shots from this past week’s photo-a-day challange.  I am still thoroughly enjoying this project, and I love how much more I am taking real photographs with my real camera.  I also love how the daily prompts get me thinking outside of the box.  I highly recommend getting involved with a photo-a-day community if you love photography but are struggling with inspiration.

God bless you and have a great week!

XOXOXO

Sweetwilliams