Dear Baby Girl,
While I feel like we’ve been expecting your arrival for a very long time, I can’t believe we are so close to actually holding you in our arms! Tomorrow morning, your Dad and I will arrive at the hospital and will begin the process of meeting you. We’ve been through this experience once before, with your big brother, but it still feels surreal and so exciting. We have been anticipating your arrival since we found out you were growing in my belly back in May, right after your Dad and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. Once we rang in 2019, we were ready to start trying for a second baby and we are so happy that God blessed us with you just a few months later. You’ve been growing so strong over the past nine months and we are so proud of you! Your Dad and I thought you were a girl from the very beginning and your anatomy scan in September revealed our suspicions to be true. We are so excited to have a daughter and for James to have a little sister! We have been thinking about you, dreaming about your future, imagining who you are, deciding on a name, and have been praying for your development.
I’m writing this blog post in my current favorite spot – on our king bed with six pillows around me. Nine months pregnant and I will gladly lay down any chance I get! We are SOOO excited to meet our daughter so soon!! People keep asking me “are you ready for the baby to come?” and for the past month or so, my answer was “I’m excited to celebrate the holidays as a family of 3 and then focus on baby’s arrival.” and now my answer is “yesss the countdown is on!” 🙂 I am so grateful to have had a smooth, uneventful pregnancy. Every time I leave a OB appointment, I tell David how nice it is to have a normal, boring visit. Praise the Lord for normal! We had our family portraits taken by the lovely Darlene Barlows Photography back in November and snuck in a few maternity photos. Thank you for these sweet updated pictures, Darlene!
Luckily for me, when I married David, I also gained three new sisters. Our youngest sister, Hannah, is getting married in August! Hannah has such a kind, gentle spirit and it was so fun to celebrate her at her bridal shower brunch. It was hosted at our family friend Carol’s house and she has a screened in porch that fit everyone perfectly. We enjoyed mini quiches, baked brie, fresh fruit, Sprindrift water, prosciutto melon balls, and lots more. We played a word scramble game, estimated the number of mints in a jar (because Hannah and Mike are MINT to be!), and a fun game where we heard both the bride and groom’s responses to various questions and guessed who said it. Hannah opened all of the wonderful gifts that will bless their first home as a married couple. Then, our guys made an appearance! The ladies at the shower got to meet Mike and dote on my baby James. We ended the shower with some family photos on the porch. Hannah, we love you and are so excited for you and Mike! Can’t wait for August!
David and I love the mountains. We love the calmness of going to a quiet cabin in the mountains with no visible neighbors, a vast night sky with countless stars, and a chance to get away. We have been going up to the Blue Ridge, Georgia area once a year since 2016. This was our fourth trip together (second with James) and we always stay in new cabins in new areas. This time, we ventured to Bryson City, North Carolina. Our cabin was tucked away high up on the top of a mountain. We enjoyed a beautiful view, the fire pit, hot tub, a porch swing and easy day trips to the Smoky Mountain National Park and to Asheville. I didn’t bring my big camera but I snapped a ton of iPhone photos. I wanted to share them on the blog as an opportunity to look back on this sweet trip. Love going on adventures with my boys! I’ll narrate the details of our trip below…
Hi sweet friends, Happy New Year! The past year was filled with documenting once-in-a-lifetime moments and beautiful, kind people. I am so thankful for all of my clients that invited me and my camera into their homes, weddings, and special occasions. In 2018, my photography business transitioned from mainly weddings to focus more on families. I photographed two beautiful weddings, 27 (my favorite number!) families, 5 precious newborns, a handful of maternity sessions, a church/pre-school, and a growing startup company. This blog post is one of my favorites every year. It’s a look at the behind the scenes of Michelle Stoker Photography. It’s been a good year!
Here’s a look back at our behind the scenes posts in 2017 and 2016 and 2015 and 2014 and 2013!
So fun to look through them and relive so many special events!