I met Kristen four years ago when I started attending a church in Frederick - it was the whole awkward church-phase where people chat briefly with you, but never again after that. I went out on a limb and showed up for a small group meeting (Comfort Zone : Deleted) where I sat, graceless and floundering for someone to talk to. Kristen was there with her husband, Joe - they'd just returned from a one-year anniversary vacation to some fantastic tropical place and everyone seemed exceptionally glad they were home.
At some point, I ended up chatting with her and Joe and to say they are positively contagious...well, that would be an understatement. They are delightful, incredibly kind people who are perfectly suited for each other. I think Joe could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. He is that charismatic. And Kristen, I was all, "Hey! Do you wanna be best friends!?" I love her.
And in a short four years, we became Mommy's together. I stood on my back porch listening to her tell me she was going to have a baby, and she did the same for me just 5 weeks later when I called her with the same news. We waddled to any restaurant we could find serving milkshakes and burgers and chalked it up to our growing babes. Now obviously we can't keep up with them because when AJ was 6 months old and arrived at our little cabin for a playdate, we didn't make it past the foyer when Kristen said she was expecting again. I get it, the suspense can be too much.
So after what often seems like endless waiting, Jalese arrived. Pink and skinny with a perfect button nose and a delicately pointy chin. I was asking Kristen about her birth, and I sort of zoned out and thought, "Wait...is she wearing eyeliner? And her hair looks freshly washed...dang, I wasn't that put together post-birth...I was a hot dang mess..." Turns out she asked for her makeup bag at 7 centimeters. YEAH.
I really do think life is made of lots of quick, incredible moments. How a mother can go from pregnant and excited one day, to holding a baby girl the very next. I'm so incredibly grateful I got to see it and soak it up, and I hope these images do just a little bit of justice to the beauty of a birthday.
I love you guys - thank you so much for having me a part of such an amazing day. Enjoy the sneak peak!