12 December 2014

2014 Santa Photo

It was a successful year with Santa!
No tears, no expressions of terror AND we are doing the matching dress thing this year which the girls both loved. They look so big to me this year - two little girls, no longer babies.
Sniff, sniff... :)
Every year, I make an ornament with the girls' Santa picture... it's so fun to hang our growing stack of ornaments each year when we decorate the tree and to look back on all of these cute
(and super funny photos!).
These are our Santa photos so far since 2009, Kennedy's first Christmas!
| 2009- Kennedy, 10 months|

|2010, Kennedy - almost 2, Rachael - 6|
|2011, Kennedy - almost 3, Mara - 5 1/2 months|

|2012, Kennedy- almost 4, Mara - 18 months |
My personal favorite! ;)
|2013, Kennedy - almost 5, Mara - 2 1/2|

08 December 2014

A Rainbow in the Works

Meet baby BOY McKenna.
Our newest baby. Our newest blessing. He will, God-willing, join us in June.

Because of our Lexie-experience and our now increased risk of a congenital heart defect we were able to have some early blood work and ultrasound scanning done. While we were thrilled to learn that we were expecting a little boy, that news came in as a distant second to seeing his gorgeous, four-chambered heart complete with a developing pulmonary artery. His precious sister Lexie did not have either of those things so the relief we felt was enormous.
We learned we were expecting this little guy the same week that Lexie would have been due.
Pretty cool, right? I stared and stared at the positive pregnancy test and the bible verse
 "When God closes a door, he opens a window" kept playing through my mind.
We chose to keep this news to ourselves for a couple of months and only just last week, after a reassuring 12-week ultrasound, did we decide to share with the girls and our family and friends.
The truth is I didn't care to share with anyone. I needed those two months to process this new pregnancy and to continue to process our loss. Though we are moving forward and though I feel so excited for this baby, I still spend so much time looking backwards. Looking for her.
2014... what a year.
This one year brought me two babies.
One baby that I will forever miss. Forever wonder about. Forever cry for.
And another... one that will hopefully be ours for keeps. Not to replace. He could never replace.
But he will (and already has) brought renewed hope... and faith ... and a whole lot of love.
These two babies will be forever wrapped up together in my heart... my storm and my rainbow.
I have grown as a person because of these two babies and my perspective on so many things has been altered. Some say it was meant to be, it was the path we were meant to take.
I guess so ... though that brings others more comfort than me.
I will always, always wish we could have had our three girls and this little boy.
I thought I would be an anxious wreck this pregnancy.
I have been pleasantly surprised to find that, for the most part, I am not.
I am oddly calm. Oddly optimistic. Oddly excited.
Oddly filled with a whole lot of faith.
I use the term oddly because after everything I went through, I do find it odd that I am not a complete, freaking basket case!
This experience has taught me a few things about myself ... one of those being that I am, at my core, an optimistic person. I believe, for the most part, that things will work out. But what I know now is that if they don't work out... things will be okay. They will be hard. They will be painful. But they will be okay and I will get through it. They will be okay because they have to be. Because life goes on. Because we learn to live with a new normal and we learn to process and accept things that we never thought we could. That we could never even imagine. I have learned that soul-crushing disappointment will eventually fade into acceptance. Sad acceptance... but acceptance. It's empowering to know all of this now. Because I know all of this, I am able to feel more at ease during this pregnancy. I understand how much is out of my control. I understand that we can make all the plans we want but it doesn't matter. The real plan will show itself, one way or another.

Now we get to wait.
We get to wait to meet this little guy, our little "yet-to-be-named" son.
It will be quite a day when we meet this little man. Quite a day...
Oh my do I look forward to it.


Family Photos 2014

We had our family photos done again this year by the wonderful Jessica Hamlin!
She does such beautiful work and we were so happy with how these turned out.
Sometimes it's hard for me to pay for photography since I am a photographer but I am always happy I do it. It's nice to be in the photos with the girls and Sean and it's just plain good for me to experience what it's like on the other side of the camera. :)