our first year

This year I realized that having a baby is a bit like a baptism – the old me is gone, and I am made new.

My body alone tells a story of what this year held. What the world picked apart and called imperfect has been restored and made whole again. My self-worth was brought back to life with the life of this tiny one. My skin shows wrinkles and wear more than before – maybe it’s something to do with hormones, or maybe it’s that I’m smiling and laughing more than I have before. My hips have taken a new shape and width – something that serves as a constant visual that my tiny one traveled a great journey to be here.

There were a lot of times this year when I was consumed by guilt… guilt that I wasn’t soaking it all in enough, that I was too distracted by a to-do list; guilt that I wasn’t giving enough attention to my husband or that I was lashing out, even when he was going above and beyond for me; guilt that I wasn’t doing it “right” (critical people be damned); guilt that Elliott was being ignored; guilt that our house was in shambles because I just wanted 5 minutes to zone out to the tv instead of cleaning the desperately-in-need bathrooms.

I also felt guilt in our adjustment to life as a family of three – this adjustment took time, and I didn’t think it would. Even though it appeared to happen in an instant, it actually took weeks, maybe even months. This little person came to us with big needs, and while it was sometimes a difficult transition, it was a beautiful one. Today, we look at each other knowing that life is better now than ever.

Watching her grow so quickly broke my heart this year, but I think that’s the mark of a momma – a heart that is permanently broken, albeit stitched back together however haphazardly. I’m crushed by the weight of the sadness I feel while watching her change and grow and become more kid than baby, but I’m also being crushed by the joy and overwhelming happiness I get from experiencing all of this take place.

It didn’t take long before I learned to ignore almost all of the advice… by the way, sleeping through the night is not the mark of good parenting. We swim in the sweetness of rocking her to sleep (we have since day one), doing so until she drifts far into her dreams. We know putting her in her bed signals the end of the day and that she will wake up a different, changed baby each and every morning. She grew so fast this year, so we hold her for as long as we can, knowing one day will be the last day that she needs us to do that.

Our first year was one we will hold onto forever. It was our first year as parents, our first year with Winnie, and our first year truly understanding love and grace. We loved this first year, but I have a feeling that we are going to love every year for the rest of our lives together.

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  • it’s the only photo we have of Winnie with her aunt Sallie because addiction is an evil that doesn’t give up, it’s a villain that won’t quit.
some people would say that Sallie lost her fight, but we know she won the ultimate battle and is celebrating 2 years in Heaven today.
we grieve everyday. it’s been 2 years without her and it’s been 2 years of missing her bottomless joy. but we are certain that joy is all over her face as she’s dancing with Jesus this morning. 🖤 #celebratingsallie
  • Who is ready for fall? 🍁 (aaaand everyone raises their hands 🙋🏼‍♀️😆) I took down Winnie's birthday decorations yesterday and immediately replaced them with all things pumpkin in my house. 🎃🙌🏻
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I'm back to work this fall, and I've got some fun things to look forward to. 🍂 I spent the summer building a downloadable PDF of my photography course, and I'm excited to have that available soon - sign up for my newsletter for early access and special pricing (link in my profile). 📷👏🏻
  • They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up. 🕰✨
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We can’t believe that we’ve been living the best days of our lives for 2 years. Happy birthday to our girl, the most beautiful  and wonderful person I know. 🎈
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#howisshetwo #heywinnieitsyourbirthday #ohmywinnie #winnieyouretwo
  • today, we are celebrating our girl - she doesn’t turn 2 for a couple more days, and we are savoring this last weekend with our 1-year-old. 🎈
(there are a few more birthday photos on my blog today: www.meaganwhitephoto.com)
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#meaganwhitephoto #louisville #photographer #louisvillephotographer #lifestylephotography #southernindiana #southernindianaphotographer #heywinnieitsyourbirthday #ohmywinnie #winnieyouretwo
  • I took the summer off from shooting - we have had so many fun things keeping us busy, and I wanted to keep my sanity (I don’t manage chaos well 🤪).
That being said, I’m officially getting back to work after Labor Day. My girl turns two in a week, so I’m ending my summer break with her birthday. 🎈
My fall mini sessions are happening in a little over a month, so if that’s something you’re interested in, let’s make it happen. (link is in my profile) 🍂
I haven’t been on Instagram for a few days (which shouldn’t really be noteworthy 😆), but there’s nothing new in my feed (thanks algorithm), so tell me what I’ve missed - what’s new with you?
  • photographs are how I will keep her little forever. 🖤 don’t settle for taking photos that are just “ok” - let’s chat about how you can bottle up time with your camera with images that you love. 📷 (link in my profile) #ohmywinnie
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#meaganwhitephoto #louisville #photographer #louisvillephotographer #lifestylephotography #southernindiana #southernindianaphotographer