This adorable family of three is about to become a family of four. Big brother Dawson was much more cooperative than the tide on this particular night, and his beautiful mother is beaming while awaiting the arrival of her second baby boy. I love being able to document those final "only child" snuggles in the weeks before a brand new life captures the hearts of a family that has been longing to meet him.
Meet Max. He is a sweetheart... Literally. He arrived on Valentine's Day and has definitely stolen the hearts of his Mommy, Daddy, and Big Sister (and puppy dog, Nora). Congrats to the Potter family on their adorable new addition.
I am a sucker for history, and this sweet family has a rich one at the beautiful Christ Church here on Saint Simons Island. Brooke was baptized here when she was a baby, as was her daughter, and now son. One of my greatest passions is to use photography to bridge past generations and events to the present, so when she told me that she had a photograph of her grandmother holding her in the Lych Gate at her baptism, this recreation of that photograph with she and her son was a given. It was a joy to explore these amazing grounds and capture the beautiful bond of this family. The bugs and south Georgia humidity tried to ruin our night, but no such luck. How very adorable is this little crew?
I've heard it said that to whatever depth your soul has endured pain, it can also rise to an equal height in joy. Well... at 8:01 in the morning, on Saturday December 17th, JOY arrived. Her name is Gentry Lottie Marie Kinstle, and she is 6 pounds of pure perfection. I got to spend some time with her recently playing dress up. My favorite images from this sweet girl's session, were the ones in which she was wearing "Angel Baby", her big sister's necklace. About a year and a half ago, Charlie Grace arrived just a little too early and went straight to the arms of Jesus. These precious parents were thrilled to have a photograph that captured both of their baby girls in one image. Gentry is a lucky girl, she is so dearly loved. The princess has arrived.
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21
Not long after we moved to Saint Simons Island in 2009, I discovered this adorable pumpkin patch. As I picked my pumpkins, I smiled and watched families laugh with their little ones and take pictures of their sweet smiles and giggles. My “baby” was a sophomore in high school, and I feared my pumpkin patch days were behind me… but, I had hope that maybe more babies would come, maybe 2010 would be my year. In October of 2010, I had just experienced the loss of the second pregnancy since last I saw that pumpkin patch. We weren't friends anymore and I would drive by quickly trying not to look at all of the families that could be found there on any given fall day. By 2011, losses 3, 4, and 5 had occurred. That year I faced that pumpkin patch head on and pulled into the parking lot, but through the tears, I couldn't bring myself to get out of the car. I was too hurt and broken, and ready to put this dream and desire aside because it was too painful to continue. I knew that God could give me the baby that I so greatly desired, I had seen him do it for countless people before. But, just when I was prepared to let Him “off the hook”, my sweet covenant group said not so fast… to say that we approached the throne of grace with boldness is an understatement! If you don't have people like this in your life, please find them! When the fall of October 2012 arrived I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter. That year I avoided the patch like the plague. I would go out of the way to avoid driving past it. Nineteen days after the pumpkin patch closed for the season, Oakley Jean Akins arrived safe and sound. In 2013, just 2 weeks before I was set to square off with that pumpkin patch again, much to my surprise, I found out that I was expecting my son, my "exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have ever asked, hoped, or imagined". I didn’t take a photo in the patch that year though because as I was holding my baby daughter in my arms, with my baby son in my tummy, I was too emotional to do anything other than point to the pumpkin I wanted and my sweet hubby picked up. In the years since, we have spent a lot of time in that patch, and taken lots of pictures. We have definitely done our fair share to support the youth group at Saint Simons United Methodist Church. I think we went 3 times this year. It was always the desire of my heart to have more children. I don't know what the desire of your heart is, but I do know that if you are delighting yourself in Him, He wants to give it to you. It may not be in your way or your timing, but if it can happen for me, it can happen for anyone.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever." Psalm118:1