me & him | maternity.

I spent a fair amount of time debating the whole idea of maternity photos for me and my hubs. I mean, other women look so cute in theirs, but me? I just feel big. And swollen. And with a general sense of weebles-wobble-but-they-don't-fall-down.

But March 19 was a big day in our household. It was our first wedding anniversary and the start of Week 36 for my pregnancy which means our little cookie could come at any time and be fully-baked and healthy and ready to snuggle these two terrified newlywed parents.  It just all seemed too good to go undocumented, so I called my baby sister and asked her to come shoot a couple pictures of us. Budding photographer that she is, she'll probably overtake my little business once she figures out what an aperture is. Thanks, Karly!

I gave my husband a high-five that morning for everything we've accomplished in just one tiny year together - we got married, bought a house, repaired that house, made a baby, switched jobs, argued over what "clean bathroom" means, and learned that only one of us is content not to eat meat at every single meal.

And my husband, that brawny, delicious police officer I get to share this life with, the one whose lunchbox I pack with cookies and love notes, the one who acts like he hates getting his picture taken but secretly he has a lot of good poses up his sleeve, the one who has wild ideas and good intentions and is really, really good at holding hands - some days I can hardly believe I get to spend the rest of my days with him.

I realize that sounds terribly gooshy and romantic, so I just want to be very clear - there have been a few days out of the last 365 where I sat on our back porch brewing in boiling hot anger, surveying our backyard and wondering where the ideal place to bury his body might be. That big-hearted, strong-willed man is also equal parts stubborn and unwavering in his opinions so that some days, he really leaves me no choice but to plot his demise.

But you know what? Those days pass. They get swallowed up in the happy blur of all the other days we spend together taking walks and going camping and eating ice cream and pushing each other to dream bigger, work harder, take bigger risks, and trust that the other will be there at the end of the day.

I can tell you that he works harder and loves stronger than any man I've ever met in my entire life. He stays up late and gets up early to take care of our house, finish the baby's nursery, dig up the weeds in our flower beds, and scrub the dishes I left in the sink the night before. He never complains about the never ending to-do list we always have on the side of our refrigerator but tackles it with a willing heart and the eagerness to keep our household going so we can move on to fun things...like babies.

It's funny to think of Justin as something other than just mine. Until now, he was my boyfriend, my fiance, my husband, my baby Daddy. But I know once our daughter arrives, I will have to share him with her. There will be two women in his life and in some ways, I'm already a little jealous. I mean, what if I want to snuggle in the morning and she's already in my spot? Doesn't she know that the curve between his chest and bicep belongs to me?

But I am especially excited to see Justin as a parent, as a father, as my partner in this wild ride of birthing, raising, and loving a child. He hasn't missed a doctor's appointment, attended every single birthing class, and he made my impossible paint scheme for the nursery a reality (more on that later - but let me just tell you that vertical stripes in two colors is no small feat). The closer we get to the arrival of our little girl, the more excited he gets and the more he assures me that we will be great parents and we'll figure it all out together. I trust him.

Sidenote: Many thanks to my patient sister who let me create my own special effects on a whim. Pink snow! Such fun!

Just the other day were sitting in the kitchen (I was most likely eating ice cream of some sort but I can't be sure) and I was fretting about diaper rash or pacifier styles or oh-my-gosh-what-if-I-am-pregnant-forever type of feelings and he just looked at me and said, "This will be awesome."

I sometimes smile to myself at the idea of having a daughter. Growing up, I was the girliest of girlies - gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, ribbons, pink, glitter, etc. I mean, my nightly prayers used to include, "Please give me hair like Princess Jasmine and make me a mermaid but still give me legs when I want to come see my Mom." But Justin? He has 3 brothers. He doesn't know how to do a ponytail without bumps or how to behave at a tea party. He arrests people and locks up bad guys and wrestles drug dealers to the ground.

I am fascinated to see him parent a little lady.

He is my very favorite person in the entire world. I love being his wife.

I love that he prays for us every day, that at 2 a.m. when I am wound up like a Jack in the Box he'll ask me if I want to pray about it. I love that he thanks God for our marriage and our life and our new baby and he asks Him to give us wisdom to parent her and to teach her to love Jesus and cookies and family. It doesn't get any better than that.

I think we will make a good looking baby.

And we'll figure it all our together. We'll learn and we'll change and we'll fight and we'll love and we'll be tired and we'll grow.

And very soon, there will be three.

And after a while, it will be funny to think that there was ever just two because three will feel so normal.

I am so grateful I get to do this adventure with him. I'm grateful for all the aunts and uncles and cousins our daughter will get to know and love. I'm grateful that my family lives so close by and she will get to grow up in the same sort of crazy I did. I'm excited to see my own parents transition to grandparents (even though they are barely 50 years old and are asking to be called Lazer and Mayhem).

Sweet girl - you are so very loved already. Lazer Gram-J keeps shouting at my belly to tell you to come out, but I know you will come in your own time. And when you do, we will kiss you and sniff the top of your head and tell you how much we wanted you and how glad we are that you're finally here.

Oh, and how could I forget? Photographers don't work for free - so we happily had a round of smoothies post-session. Raspberry for Karly, Java for this Mama, Mango for Justin. And while we're here, if you're ever in the Greencastle, PA area, you simply must order the same. Highline puts Starbucks to shame.

When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
 it was like a dream!
 We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.

And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!

Psalm 126.1-3



Sara said...

This is so beautiful! It almost made me cry. Maybe it would have had Raymond not been screaming in the middle of it. Little Raymond, silly, not the big one. :)
I'm so excited for you both. Can't wait til she gets here!

Jackie S. said...


you've done so well for yourself your designs are spectacular and Brit your photographs are awesome as well.