Friday, March 22, 2013

meet max. my sweet max.

 i was supposed to arrive in nashville a few days before max's due date, with my kids. but this guy decided to come early.  a week early. so i listened to his beautiful natural birth over the phone. my girlfriends: beth, marnie & melissa watched my kids while i hide in melissa's closet so steph couldn't hear the kids playing. i had to stifle my tears because she yelled at me a couple times.

she'd called me at 7am saying she thought she was in labor.  it was odd because she was barely anything at her appt the day before.  i tried to talk with her & calm her while i fed the kids breakfast & we got ready for bootcamp. i suggested a bath, but she wouldn't get in because it was dirty.  i called jeff & asked him to clean the tub, because even if this wasn't "it" she was in some sort of pre-labor pain & a hot bath would help. she never got to get in, because he was very thorough & by the time he was done she demanded they go to the hospital.

the rest of the morning my mom & i talked probably every 20 minutes. we cried because we both wanted to be there, badly & i was for sure going to miss it.  my mom had a chance & so she decided to take off, i envisioned her driving like a bat out of hell. i think she made the 3 hour drive in less than 2.5 & luckily, she made it with something like 20 minutes to spare. 

it was beautiful & stephani was so strong. i could hear jeff comforting her & my mom & cousin jackie (who was with her the whole morning, bless her!!!!) offering encouragement. they had music playing in the background & memories of my 2 natural births flooded me & i tried through the airwaves to send her all the strength i'd somehow mustered. this was the hardest thing she was ever going to have to do & she was doing it beautifully.

after listening to 15 intense minutes of pushing he came out. he had some meconium but he was healthy & beautiful. his cries were so sweet. 

i got to meet my max, or the moose, as we all lovingly call him because he's a huge kid! when he was one week old. 

being an aunt is so precious. it's such an important role in a child's life. i think of all my aunts on my mom & dad's side & i know they've helped raise me & turn me into the person & mother i am today. thanks ladies, for being so awesome.

i'd like to introduce max:

isn't he fabulous?
 the first night there jeff wanted us to walk to a concert in their neighborhood. it was awesome.

 max snuggling with daddy. some man skin to man skin time.

 it's tradition to climb into one bed together... so we of course wasted no time introducing max to this.
max is notorious for his funny faces. 
we walked to their neighborhood park several times throughout the week... maya was just barely taking a step or two,
bryan was so worried he'd miss it.
 i took the kids to the zoo one day so steph & max could nap. i mean what? 
a three year old & a one year old cause a little excitement??? 
it was a really cool zoo so i bought steph & jeff a membership for their baby/ push present.
 sweet sweet boy!
 oh goodness your hair is red!
 i made this awesome lil shirt for max!
 we had a lil family party...

mom & jackie. godmommy & goddaughter, bonded for life.

the next morning we borrowed the car & drove 45 minutes to meet up with my dear friends rose & clay. we were art students at wku together. rose & i also lived together our last semester. i shot their wedding in kentucky while maya was a couple months old. she shot the wedding actually with me- 
i wore her in the wrap almost the whole day. 
 they had just bought this awesome house with some property outside of nashville.
 rose was about to have a baby herself!!!!!  josie is so adorable. & i love, love, love the name.
 clay getting some practice.
  love them.

by the time we got back to my sister's house my dad had arrived. maya loves her grandpa. 
  & i mean of course she loves her nana, who doesn't look guilty here at all ;)
 lil mario or is it luigi?
 some of max a moose.
 hmmmm. what shall i do today?
 this cracks me up because (flash foward here) we just did max's 6 month session 
& he made some hilarious faces.
hi dad.

 pure country torture.  sorry max, they're embracing their new home 100%.
 i love this one. so pretty & clean & maya is so curious.

this is a beautiful family.
 then we hit the park.  don't we look tough? i'm wearing maya.
 still obsessed with bumble bee boy- we got our face painted again. thanks grandpa.
 everyone else headed to dinner. finn wanted to bounce some more in the bounce house
so we stayed behind for another few minutes.
he needed to rest every once in awhile. 
it's hard work being bumble bee boy!
 dinner was yummy, but finn was annoying & a total young 3 year old & wouldn't sit still.

my sister needed another little break... & so out of the skies my beautiful friend, dushawn, who i was hoping to see on this trip as well, offered to drive me to atlanta so i wouldn't have to rent a car. her best friend lives there so it was the perfect excuse for her to see her.

 aw, john & qwyn. i shot their wedding as well, back in college! funny story. bryan went with me (before we were dating) down to bowling green to be their other witness. after their sweet ceremony the minister looked at us & said "ya'll wanna get married too... while we're at it?" we looked at each other, smiled & bryan said "i'm not sure my girlfriend would like that."  funny, huh?
 the drive went smoothly & my best friend came soon after we arrived at barb & don's house. this is my home away from home. they know me so well & they've adopted sarah as their other daughter. love this picture of don & sarah. we of course, ate at my favorite mexican rest. such good drinks!!!
 it started raining so hard we had to move away from our table which was getting drenched.
 i finished my meal at the busser's station.
 then we headed back to baba & pop's house.

 the next day sarah was awesome enough to call in sick. we went to atlanta's AMAZING aquarium.
 my favorite were the beluga whales. they were so magical.

we left the next day. the kids did amazing on the drive home. awesome quick trip.

finn spanking jackie???

 we attempted to do a portrait of all three grandbabies.

 we did a formal session of the three of them.

 we got back from our session & this what we found. tehee...

love this lil family. they are so so sweet.