baby bump 3: week 19

Dear baby,

This was the week! The big ultrasound week. This time I had been lucky enough to get to see you a couple other times with an ultrasound, but this time you were big enough to measure important things and make sure everything was working. And you looked awesome. Your big sisters came with us and Blythe was really into watching you on the screen, but Becks wasn't so sure. You were laying cross-legged and facing my back, but eventually you rolled over so we could see your sweet little profile, and you were sucking your tongue!

And then the sonogram tech asked if we wanted to know your gender. Your dad and I eagerly said YES. It's one of my favorite moments during pregnancy because there are more specific things I dream and pray for you once I know your gender. "It's a girl!" she told us. I glanced at your dad and smiled at him great big and he immediately returned the smile-- we love raising girls. I really had no guess one way or the other as to whether or not you'd be a boy or girl, but when she said you were a girl it just felt right and I wasn't surprised in the least. I am so excited to add another little lady to our family.

After our appointment we met up with your Nini and PopPop and Blythe told them, "I got to see my baby and her name is Girl!"

Towards the end of this week I started having Braxton Hicks/ abdomen tightening. With Blythe I didn't get these until the very last month. With Becks it was a little sooner but not much. So this is new territory to me to have to listen to my body and take it a little easier this early on. But I am older and this is my third pregnancy. Speaking of being older, your daddy turned 30 this week. I will be turning 30 right around the time you're born. This seems like it should be a big deal, but he and I both just feel like we're kind of right smack in the middle of where we thought we'd be when we were 30. And we're so happy to be here.

Love you so much, sweet girl. So very much.
Love, Mom


It's that time of year

It's time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Some of you probably did this a long time ago and are done. Bravo. If you're like me though, you still have some people pretty much everyone left on your list. Well, maybe I can help you out. 
Last year I offered gift certificates for photo sessions, and I decided to do the same this year! Just for you, blog reader. 

Okay. So here are the details. 

Here are my current prices: 
/ For a child/newborn session, two kids or less: $100/
/Engagement session: $100/
/Senior session: $100/
/Maternity session: $100/
/For a family session, or more than two kids*: $125/
/For multiple family session [i.e. grandparents who want entire families etc] : $175+ 
These prices include up to an hour session and full rights to all edited images. 
*I hate that I have to charge you more just because you have more than two children but it takes a lot more time to pose and edit for more than two children, so that's why I have to do that. 
Please feel free to contact me though if you have any questions and/or $ questions. I would love to work with you and see what we can come up with! 

 BUT, if you order a gift certificate, the last two listed will be $25 off! 
[Family session or more than two kids will be $100 and multiple family session will be $150] 

Maybe you want to buy your parents a multi-generation session. Maybe you want to give your daughter her senior pictures as a gift. Maybe you want to give your son and his wife a family session. Whatever! If you buy a certificate now it is good for the entire year of 2016.

For more examples of my work and the story behind my journey to photography, check out the photography tab in the top right.

If I can help with your Christmas shopping, just let me know! I'll email you the gift certificate as soon as possible!

Contact me:
kelsey [dot] irwin [at] gmail [dot] com 

…and if you're really lucky, I'll even be able to capture some "real" moments…. 

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baby bump 3: week 18

Dear baby,

This is the point in this journey that I like to start documenting our progress together. You're pretty visible now, that's for sure! I just spent some time looking back at my previous letters to your sisters. I wondered what my thoughts were like then, compared to how I feel now. And I can tell you this: I am just as excited about and amazed by this process the third time… because it's YOU, and you're entirely different and new to me.

Our days are so crazy already around here, and I can't hardly imagine squeezing one more thing in, let alone another whole person! But I'm so glad we get to. I'm so glad that I'll get to see your little personality grow each day and eventually turn into some walking, talking BIG personality that will add to our family by leaps and bounds.

I'm definitely "showing" more at this point than my previous two pregnancies, but that's okay with me. I am  pregnant, so I don't mind if I look pregnant. In one week we will have our ultrasound to check you out and measure you and listen to your heartbeat, and if all looks well and you cooperate, we'll also get to find out if you're a boy or a girl. If you're a girl, I'll feel more prepared for what's coming down the pike. If you're a boy, well, Lord help me! Either way, we're ready to hold you and love you!

We love you so much. I may not have as much time to "navel gaze" as I did when I was first pregnant with Blythe, but I know that I love you deeply and fully already. Your little squirms are becoming more noticeable and every time I feel you my heart leaps with joy that you are here and that you are you. Baby, your Jesus is big and if the very fact that I am growing you inside of me doesn't teach you that, you'll have plenty of other reasons to learn just how big He is.

Stay safe, baby of mine. And, lucky you, I'm long past watching what I should and shouldn't eat while I'm pregnant, so you want it-- you get it!

Love you,

baby bump one letters HERE
baby bump two letters HERE

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He sighed deeply

I was reading in Mark the other day. Jesus feeds the four thousand, then the Pharisees come and begin asking him questions and they ask him for a "sign from heaven." And then do you know what the scripture says? It says, "He sighed deeply…"  before he responds to them.

They didn't get it. And Jesus is visibly put out and saddened by it, thus his sigh. Their hearts are hard. Their hearts are greedy. Their hearts are prideful. 

And Jesus sighs deeply.

And most days I am the pharisees. Let's be honest. They are my ancestors. If my blood can't be traced back to them than I'm pretty sure it would be traced back to Judas.

It seems like it should be easier to live into the Jesus way of life: give, love, help people heal, be selfless. That sounds like a better deal than the reverse. But later on in this same chapter of Mark Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Oh. That doesn't sound so fun.

I don't want to die to myself and forgive that grudge. I don't want to take up my cross and pursue a life that leads to death to myself. I don't want to take the money I've "earned" and give it away to someone else. I don't want to take time away from my life to go help someone or feed someone or sit in grief with someone. That stuff is hard.

But I want someone to help me. Feed me. Sit in my mess with me.

And Jesus sighs deeply.

I was reading "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker [recommendation!], and she shares how the the story of the Last Supper has changed her view of what it means to live as a Christian. In Luke 22 verse 19 we read, " And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

According to her Greek knowledge, that "do" is a continuos action, not just a one time deal when we sit down at communion. We are to break ourselves as Jesus did. Pour ourselves out as Jesus did. For others. Break ourselves and pour ourselves out. Because Jesus is broken and poured out in us. 

Every day I have to decide if I want to be a Pharisee and serve me and ask Jesus to prove himself to me and show me signs and answer my prayers exactly as I want them to be answered OR if I want to "do this in remembrance of him".  

Every day I have to decide if Jesus will sigh deeply at my inability to see Him for who he really is, or if I will be broken and poured out, nourishing others with the Jesus who is broken and poured out for me.

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