I have 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys.
Alaina is 12; man this girl loves life. She's a beautiful dancer and feels every emotion to its fullest.
Cami is 8; she has the sweetest and most loving heart. And she has the best sense of humor. She works SO hard in school and never complains.
Lucas is 4. He's so energetic. He has an amazing memory is so sharp. I think he might love me the most of my kids. :) He wants to be a breaker!
Isaac is 21 months. He's our bonus baby. And he's the best surprise I've ever received. He's hysterical and daring and demanding and loves hard. And a really crappy sleeper for most of his life.
Growing up I wanted 3 kids. After my first, I thought I was done. Now that we have a bigger family, I wish I was younger and our kids were closer in age so I could have an even bigger family.
Parenting itself is a struggle. How it affects every single part of your life - it changes your marriage, your friendships, your faith, who you are through and through. It's hard to be in this place, yet I'm thankful for it.
I found out I was pregnant with Isaac because we were leaving for Las Vegas on a work trip the next day and I was late. I took a test and immediately started crying because we had really moved on from that part of our life. We wanted to focus on our marriage and move forward with older kids. I called my husband while he was at work and just broke down, in the middle of the day. I blurted it out and hung up. He came home that day with 6 roses, one for each of our new sized family. I think I cried for the next six months until I finally realized I had to come to terms with it.
I have morning sickness for the first 4 months and then gestational diabetes with each one. Not fun. But being pregnant is pretty amazing. It never ceases to amaze me that a baby grew inside of me. NUTS! And I never correctly guessed the gender of ANY of my kids.
I have had each of my babies without medication - so hard but the best decision for me, the best that I've ever made. And each one of the labor & deliveries were SO different. I think holding my babies for the first time always made me realize just how God feels about me. It was the first time I felt like I really knew God's love in a tangible way.
It's scary bring home new babies. But so much more comfortable! :)
I think I'm still waiting for a steady full night's sleep almost 13 years later.
Bring a mom has made me selfless. (Though I'm not sure that's a great thing always.) It has given me a significant passion for children who grow up in broken, hurtful families.
The best part of this mom thing is the joy of seeing your child's face light up when they see you first thing in the morning or after work or when you've been gone awhile.
The most challenging thing? Oh gosh, um, EVERYTHING.
I guess the hardest thing for me right now is never truly having a break. No sick days. No days off. Always someone needing something.
My community has been my support. I never could have made it through the first 6 weeks after each baby without someone bringing dinner every other night. And friends who I can honestly open up to about how hard it is - and who agree and accept me and pray for me. Oh, and chocolate and wine.
I also started writing and that's been an amazing outlet.
I had this unrealistic expectation about how wonderful being a mom would be. I guess I never thought about how having a child changes your whole life FOREVER and EVER. Like having a baby is this fantasy of sweet cuddles and holding sleeping babies -- and then that baby grows up and talks back and disobeys and you FAIL. You make bad choices. But then you can ask for forgiveness and they always give it to you. Because they love you as much as you love them.
I wish the giggles and constant hugs would never end. And how they cross their feet when they sit. Oh, their sweet tiny feet! And how they breath heavy when you rock them to sleep and fit perfectly in your arms. I wish I could hold onto all those things forever.
I fear as they get older they won't want to open up to me. That I won't be someone they can relate to and trust enough to be a confidante. I just have to trust that God will be the perfect parent for each of them. I hope they grow up to be thoughtful, respectful, loving, joyful, cultural, graceful, independent and Godly.
My child-rearing philosophies? Don't kill them?
Seriously, I want my kids to feel safe. So I want to provide a stable, consistent and loving house for them. Which means high expectations with a heavy dose of grace and love.
Moms, Find a friend who you can open up to about anything. One who can offer support and love and honesty.
Moms have the power to change the world. Children who grow up with loving and committed families have such a leg-up in life. Moms are the front-line of this war on goodness.
Being a mom is hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever done and I know I take that out on you all at times. But you bring me so much joy each and every day. I know that I make mistakes but I trust that God has protected your heart from the worst of them and that you feel loved through and through.
YOU ARE VALUABLE AND YOUR STORY MATTERS!
Project Motherhood sessions provide you with writing prompts to help you tell your story. The session and photographs will be treasured by you and your children for their rest of your lives. And you also get to bring encouragement to the lives of other mothers by being featured on the blog.
THIS SESSION IS VERY POPULAR AND QUICKLY SELLS OUT. BOOK YOUR DATE TODAY.
Ashlee also provides magical and delightful services for: newborn photography, cake smash photography, baby's first year plans, maternity photography, family photography, and Newborn mentoring for photographers.
If you have a milestone or special moment you want to remember forever, let's chat! Ashlee loves to photograph in the woodlands and around downtown Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood. She also has a professional studio space available for sessions.