This is such a special monthbook for me! I’m so excited to share the memories made from this month and finally share some big family news! Let’s start at the beginning of the month.
Emily (from The Ganeys) came to visit! She was in Florida, between weddings, and stayed with us. This was still during the time of Penny’s recovery, so the time with Emily was more of her serving our family by helping with Penny’s meds, picking her up physically and cuddling her. I had different expectations for her visit since I was hoping to have less divided attention and a cleaner home, but … life. The Penny situation still had our lives upside down for a little while into April. Thankful my friendship with her is authentic enough to throw expectations out the window and true enough to be what is needed for the moment. In the middle of her visit, we drove to Miami for the day for a styled shoot at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens! Emily and her friend, Jenn from Bourbon & Blush Events, put together this stunning shoot and invited me to come along and shoot with them! DREAM! After about 10 hours of roundtrip driving, we still had all of the heart eyes. Receiving these film scans felt a kid opening gifts on Christmas morning. I mean, look at this shot below!
Kim had her baby! She is currently enjoying transitioning into being a family of five, with a full house and a full heart. Even without sleep, she looks radiant… like she was made for this.
Speaking of babies…
WE ARE HAVING A BABY!
Surprise! You may have seen me bumping around for the last 6 months. While it was a shock at first, the Lord proved to me (…again) that His timing is better than my own. I had our baby’s anatomical ultrasound this month and received the gender in an envelope. Since Wayne couldn’t join the appointment, we decided to find out together at home. I put a girl outfit, boy outfit and the envelope in a box and handed it over to my friend/neighbor to put together for us. Wayne, Ethan and I sat around the dinner table with the gift-wrapped box at the end of the table waiting for us to open. We finished up our meal and prayed for the child, thanking God for whoever the baby is, for their giftings and for the purpose He has for him or her. The picture on the left shows what we opened up:
Ethan’s going to be a big brother to a little sister and my heart cannot handle it. No puedo! We are so blessed to have the opportunity to raise a great man and now we get the opportunity to raise a great woman. LORD! Both Wayne and I sat there crying, full of joy. Ethan asked why we were “so sad,” so we had to explain to him what happy tears were and shared, “It’s a girl! You’re having a baby sister!” He legit sat there in silence, just staring at us. His reaction was actually pretty comical. Since then, he talks to his baby sister, prays for her and tells everyone that his baby sister is in mommy’s belly. It really is the cutest. When I’m being too loud, he says, “Shhh! Baby sister is sleeping.” That picture of the sandals (above) was taken the moment I was looking for shoes for Ethan (forever looking for boy shoes) and turned the corner to see all of the cute little girl sandals. That’s when it hit me and I had a moment in Target with the Lord.
She will be joining our family this August and we are over the moon. The team and I have been working behind the scenes this month to plan, prep and even train for my maternity leave. Thank God for His timing, His control, and His hold.
Moving on to other sweet moments! Ethan and our neighbor’s toddler had a play date together. By the end of the night, he was saying Griffy was his best friend and it was just THE CUTEST.
Next up was another awesome brand shoot. These are quickly becoming one of my very favorite things to photograph. I spent the entire afternoon with the talent behind BAUG-haus. Everything she touches is gold. Pretty lucky to have photographed a wedding the following weekend where she designed all of the florals. Her sister, another architecture friend/classmate, was a guest at this one! And, Wayne was the second shooter for this one, as Kim is on maternity leave until mine begins!
The following day, I was given the gift of saying goodbye to my grandmother. Her health was declining faster and we were all being prepared emotionally. Thankful is an understatement because I cannot express the gratitude towards the Lord’s grace and kindness of gifting me goodbyes with both my grandmothers now.
Life didn’t slow down, because I drove from South Florida to Gainesville to pick up Ashley and catch our flight to Raleigh, NC! I had a styled shoot with other photographers in Chapel Hill. Ashley offered to assist the day of, but she did so much more than I imagined, not just serving me but also helping other photographers. Having her there to style, relate to, dream up shots with and pray over my emotions with was so filling. We had so much fun! We even had a celebratory dinner for a job well done at this INCREDIBLE restaurant called Brewery Bhavana. Hands down the best meal and service we had in Raleigh.
Just a sneak of the goodness at the Parlour at Manns Chapel in Chapel Hill.
We spent hours at Heirloom on our last day, co-working and spending time with the Lord. We probably would have stayed there until our flight, but decided to walk to the food hall down the street for burgers and HOT DOG EMPANADAS! Perfect ending.
Soon after, I returned to West Palm to be with family for my grandmother’s funeral. Although I wish the trip was longer than 24 hours and under different circumstances, I’m glad we were all together celebrating her life, from Cuba to the US.
Easter Sunday, Wayne and I served at Greenhouse Church. I got to photograph the service again this year and Wayne helped with the parking team. Favorite part of the service was the worship, 100%. The place erupted with the last song, leaving me on my knees and my cameras on the ground.
Our microchurch had a fellowship night and reunited with our old microchurch for human foosball. It is MORE legit than it sounds. A company called WeFooz set up in the backyard and refereed. Since I’m pregnant, I wasn’t allowed to play… but even being on the sidelines was incredibly intense and so much fun. Almost two straight hours of vigorous 6-min matches.
Dave’s birthday was this month! We celebrated Tio Dave with a Lion King themed SURPRISE party! It was a treat to see his reaction when he walked through a house full of people who adore him. We love this friend, not because of everything he has done to support our family, but for WHO he is.
The last highlight included the fact that Penny fully recovered by the end of the month! Her scars have healed and she’s back to her normal self. These month books include images that celebrate and remember the Lord’s goodness each month. These month books will always celebrate those things, but, it’s important to note that there are moments of tearful struggles that aren’t photographed. While there IS so much to be excited about, challenging things have been allowed to happen, not because God is not good, but because He promised to be with us (Isaiah 41:10, Zephaniah 3:17, Hebrews 13:5). The feeling of His presence through the challenges proves to be worth more than anything else. I’m not just saying that to be positive, I believe it with all of my heart. Plus, He’s blessed us with our people, the bunch of hands that allow us to be on the receiving end of help. This season has been full, with two major family emergencies in the last two months, my traveling out of town every week and Wayne’s out-of-town internship. The timing of Penny’s recovery was kind of symbolic and poetic since I feel like it mirrors the timing of the recovery from our hurried schedules and our emergencies. I’ll say it again, thank God for His timing, His control, and His hold.
That’s it for April, see you guys in May!