While I was pregnant with Eli, Eric and I went to Europe because we figured it might be awhile before we could go again haha! We flew into Paris and stayed there 2 nights then we spent the rest of our trip in Italy. We went to Venice, Cinque Terra, Vatican City and Rome. I didn’t take too many pictures because I wanted to experience it all without a camera in my face and I’m glad I did, but I totally regret not taking any good pictures (and by good, I mean with with my good camera opposed to my phone) in Paris and in Rome. I guess I was so amazed by both cities and having too much fun, which is a good thing :)
Elijah John Sullivan
March 15th // 3:38 pm
4 pounds 3 ounces // 17.5 inches
After being induced and dilating to 4, my OB told me that I needed to have a c-section because the baby’s heart rate dropped every time I had a contraction. About 30 minutes later, Elijah was born. When I heard him cry relief washed over me. The nurse brought him over and I got to kiss him before they rushed him to the CHOC nicu.
This was the crowd that greeted him outside the delivery room during his transport:
Because I had a c-section, and because he was at a different hospital, it was a very long 18 hours before I could hold my baby. Holding him for the first time was incredible. When he was two days old he had intestinal duodenal atresia surgery. Then it was another agonizing two days before I could hold him again. They took his ventilator out and he opened his eyes for the first time after his surgery just minutes before I could hold him. It was so amazing how he looked right at me and was so awake after being asleep for two days. Looking back, the time surrounding his surgery was completely surreal. I know so many people were praying for us and I can’t even begin to explain the peace I felt.
Saturday, January 18th 10am-1pm
Moms who need help learning how to use their DSLR camera correctly to get the best shots of their kids.
This class is not for people who are looking to start a photography business, learn advanced photography skills or learn about post-processing – but email me if you are interested in a workshop like this and maybe I’ll do one in the future =)
A workbook filled with all the info covered in the workshop so you don’t have to try to memorize or write down everything I say.
A child model to practice your newly learned shooting skills on – that sounds really weird!
What you’ll learn:
The meanings of scary words such as: Aperture, Exposure, Shutter Speed and ISO (and why they are all so important)
How to stop using the auto setting
How to get that awesome blurry background you covet so much
How to find the best natural light – indoors and out
How to get natural smiles from your kids
We’ll talk about lenses and their capabilities
And there will be plenty of time for one on one instruction and questions
What you’ll need:
A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera – if you don’t have one just yet, that’s ok too, I’ll have an extra one on hand for you to practice on
Your camera’s instruction manual (if you don’t have it, look online for a copy)
I am limiting the class size so there is time for one on one instruction so space is limited =)
Your payment holds your seat. Payment is non-refundable, but you can sell your seat to someone else if you can’t attend.
And here is a handy dandy way to pay:
We found out back in July that we were expecting baby number 4. We found out in September that it’s a boy, our first boy! We were overjoyed. Then two weeks ago I had the 20 week ultrasound. As soon as I looked at the screen my heart sank, I knew something wasn’t right. I also knew that the tech couldn’t tell me what was wrong. We went home and I spent way too much time on google images comparing my pictures to pictures online. I was a wreck. I cried all night long and maybe got an hour sleep. When I woke up, a friend on facebook had posted Jesus Calling for the day. Here is the entry:
I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. The One who walks beside you, holding you by your hand, is the same One who lives within you. This is a deep, unfathomable mystery. You and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of your being. The Light of My Presence shines within you, as well as upon you. I am in you and you are in Me; therefore, nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from Me!
As you sit quietly in My Presence, your awareness of My Life within you is heightened. This produces the Joy of the Lord, which is your strength. I, the God of hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Me, so that you may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.” Isaiah 42:6
“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
As soon as I was done reading, the phone rang and it was my OB, Dr. Linzey. He said that they discovered three things on the ultrasound: He has a hole in his heart, he has fluid on his brain and his intestines didn’t form properly. Dr. Linzey then told me that these three things together are signs that he probably has Downs Syndrome as well. He then told me that I needed to go in that day for a better, high quality ultrasound.
I knew that I had to tell the girls what was going on, they had already asked so many times why I was crying. I went downstairs and Gretta was looking at the ultrasound pictures from the night before and said “what are these two dark spots on his stomach?” I started crying, then she started crying and then Rox started crying. I told them that I’m sorry and that I am trying to be strong and then I told them what Dr. Linzey said about his heart, brain and intestines. Rox just kept crying and crying and Gretta said ”I’m not worried, God is in control. God made his body and He knows what He is doing.”
An hour later I was in another ultrasound room with the same tech we had the night before. As soon as she saw us she said she was so sorry that she couldn’t say anything last night. I told her that I totally understood and that I knew something was wrong and I didn’t ask her anything because I knew she wouldn’t be able to answer me anyway. We were with her for what seemed like an eternity while she measured tons of things, then a doctor came in and measured some more and spent forever looking at his heart. When she was done she told us that his heart is severely deformed. He is missing the crux of his heart and he will need surgery immediately after he is born. She also said that the three things (heart, brain and intestines) point not only to Down’s Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21), but possibly Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13. If he has Trisomy 18 or 13, they wouldn’t do any heart surgery because he wouldn’t live past a year anyway. Then she said something about a pediatric cardiologist and something about intestine surgery, but by this point it kind of sounded like the adults talking on Charlie Brown but a thousand miles away. Then she asked if we were ok…..Um we were completely in shock. We walked out of the office in a daze.
We went home and all I can say is that within 24 hours I felt a peace that passes all understanding. I’ve heard that Bible verse a million times but I’ve never truly experienced it. It’s nothing that I did to conjure up feelings of trust or faith or peace. All I know is, is that God did a work in me. I know that He is in control, He made my baby and He doesn’t make mistakes. He has allowed this to happen for a reason and I will trust Him. I know that He can heal him, and if He chooses not to, I can honestly say that it is well with my soul. Not my usual response to crappy things in my life. This is supernatural. When I am weak, He is strong.
God has already done so may amazing things through this situation. He has showed us that we have so many amazing people in our life – so many people have stopped by to hug us, texted or emailed prayers and encouragement, brought us dinner, flowers, baby clothes and other gifts, offered to drive the girls to school and practice, offered to watch the girls while I go to doctor appointments, offered to take their vacation time from work when the baby is born to help us. Eric’s mom even offered to hop on the next plane from Florida just to come be with us. I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love. I never knew my heart could be broken into a million pieces and at the same time feel so full!
Another amazing thing that God has done: Here is just one of the many facebook messages I got from someone I don’t know:
“I know I don’t know you, the story of your baby came up on my news feed from a mutual friend commenting, I just wanted to say thank you. My day hasn’t been great and I was mad and frustrated. Upon reading your story I realized this woman is having it worse than I but yet she’s seemingly at peace thanks to the love of God and the people around her. Your strength made me get down on my knees and pray for the first time in over 4 years. Again, thank you for being a strong woman of faith and I’m sorry about this hard time and I pray that God shows you his plan in all this.”
My boy isn’t even born yet and God is already using him in mighty ways! So thankful!!!!
It’s amazing how something like this can make you so unbelievably grateful for the blessings (big and small) in your life.
We are trusting in God. We know that He has been and continues to knit our precious baby together inside me. We know He can heal his body and our hearts. Please pray for us to have strength, hope and continued peace. And most of all for healing for our baby boy.
Emily and Will got married at the gorgeous Peter Strauss Ranch. Emily is a photographer and when she contacted me and told me: “It’s really random how I found your website, but I must say, I fell in love with it (and your story and family in a non-creepy way) right away.” So I knew I would really like this girl haha!
So I have to say that there have been a couple times that I have been very close to tears while shooting a wedding, but Emily and Will’s wedding pushed me over the edge. Emily and Will love the Lord and their wedding was full of amazing music, lots of worship and was completely centered on God. Will is a musician and he wrote the song for their first dance and it was beautiful and emotional. Will’s mom passed away a few years ago and during what would normally be the mother son dance, Will sang a song he wrote for his mom. I’m crying right now just thinking about it. So beautiful. I am so grateful that Emily and Will chose Eric and I to photograph their special day.
Peter Strauss Ranch Wedding
Venue: Peter Strauss Ranch
Coordinator: Breanna Tosti
Rentals: Picture Perfect Party Rentals
Snow Cones: Oahu Shaved Ice
Photobooth: Stratchtrack Entertainment