Giving Thanks.

“God doesn’t give you the people you want; He gives you the people you need…to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to make you into the person you were meant to be.” —Unknown

It seems only appropriate to share some new photos today to share my gratitude on a day I certainly have much to be thankful for. I have to admit the past year has been incredibly difficult for me and my family. This is not a surprise but I suppose what is never said publicly in writing are often the things that hurt the most. Those that know me best know that despite the miscarriage and the news of the baby having spina bifida has brought us great heartache we’ve also been a little heart broken as we’ve been a little more distanced from some of our closest friends this year for a variety of reasons. But I suppose it’s a part of life that some of the people you care about most walk in and out of your lives. I suppose growing up moving so much has certainly caused me to learn to stay distant from caring for people too closely but every once in a while there are people who go out of their way  and make a huge impact in my life and it’s tough not to take time to recognize their value in our lives. I’m not so sure I’d be where I am today without all the help of all the amazing people who have helped us over the years.

Hope’s quickly learning how easily friend’s can move on with life. She’s also experienced friends moving away and seeing some of her best friends far less often this year. So when I’m able to make some time for her to have fun with her friends it certainly lifts all of our spirits. We’ve known Hope’s friend’s, Jake & Ethan, for a few years now since Jake and Hope were in kindergarten together. They were great friends in kindergarten and we made time a few times a year for them to play. Earlier this summer we got together so they could play with an alternative motive to take a few pictures of the boys before father’s day and before they took off for their summer vacation.

Ethan has definitely become one of my favorite kids to ever photograph. I think by the time I share all the photos you’ll agree.

Yes, Ethan…years from now you can hate me for taking this photo of you but I have to admit he looks pretty darn cute.

And even better with this huge smile!

And I suppose it would only make sense to share the thoughts of the rest of this thankful post before I share more photos from this past week with the boys. Most who know us know we trust very few with the kids. Jason and I have somehow managed to make it through the last 9 years without stressing about daycare as we’ve primarily worked polar opposite shifts and relied on close family and friends to help us with the kids. We’ve been very fortunate the last several years not to have too demanding of childcare needs but at times work conflicts come up. In September when all the news of the concerns with the baby’s diagnosis of spina bifida arose we certainly had a long list of appointments that really weren’t things we wanted to bring the kids with. Jason and I were quite emotionally overwhelmed and worried and though some appointments we could have brought the kids it was a tremendous help to have family and friends there to help us the last two months. When family wasn’t able to help Jake’s mother, Angela, was always there to help with the kids, even when appointments came up at the very last minute. I’m not so sure how we would have made it through all the work conflicts and doctor’s appointments the last two months without the help of our family and Angela.

As Hope’s birthday approached and we made the decision not to have any big parties for the kids it was tough for us to realize how much different her birthday would be this year. At the time Jason had been scheduled to work and I was left wondering how I’d put a smile on my baby girl’s face on her special day. As I have been creatively preparing for some photo shoots coming up I decided I’d take Hope and Jaylen out for part of the day to explore some areas that I might visit again for future photo sessions. I figured afterwards we could find something fun to do and perhaps have a birthday dinner. Knowing how much Hope and Jaylen have enjoyed playing with the boys I decided to invite Angela and her boys and we were excited to know they were free and could spend the day with Hope on her special day. I think the kids were all more interested in playing, but looking back they all seemed to have fun during their 2 hour long photo session where we visited a few different locations.

Jake brought his guitar and enjoyed pretending to play for a few photos.

We really wanted to get a photo of them looking like total rock stars near this old worn down building downtown. Of course getting too kids to cooperate in such a small confined area was a challenge. I only managed to take 3 photos of them together looking like rock stars and this one really makes them look like hardcore rock stars, eh.

Some of my favorites of the day are of my buddy Ethan.

Yes, I’d say he’s a heartbreaker!

Seriously…could this kid get any cuter?

I begged the boys to let me take just a few more photos of them together and then they could play. At this age that’s about all they want to do when we try to photograph them together. Thankfully they cooperated for a brief time.

By the time we moved on to the last location the kids were all ready to end the photo session but we managed to quickly take a few photos of Angela and the boys.

Angela thank you again for all your family has done to help us lately. You’ve been amazing and we’ll remain forever thankful. I hope you all enjoy the photos!:)

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November 25, 2010 - 10:41 pm

Angela - Amanda,

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I’m so glad you were able to capture these precious memories for us. They are everything I could have wished for and more. (Hopefully one day I will become as great a photographer as you!) We have all enjoyed spending time with your family and have become especially close to Hope and Jaylen these past few months. You have two wonderful children and we can’t wait to celebrate the birth of your new baby with you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!


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