I’m sitting here in my bed savoring the last moments that Noah is technically one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for him to be two, to continue growing and continue becoming the little man that he is, but a part of my heart is aching – wishing that this whole growing up thing and this whole maturing thing wasn’t going so fast. I’m so proud of him and excited for him, but I want every moment to last longer, I want to linger in these days where he’s proud to hold my hand, runs to me when he’s scared, and relies on my for his comfort and his security. I know that is partly selfish, or well, mostly selfish – but it has been such a sweet season.

Alas, motherhood really isn’t about how much I enjoy cuddles or snuggles or about how cute Noah is or has been for the past year, but it’s so much more than that. Motherhood is more than providing a space place for my son to live, a cozy bed, a reliable routine, keeping him from crying too much or having a hard time in life. Rather, motherhood is a much bigger challenge than that – it’s the process of raising and helping develop a fully independent human being. It’s a process of teaching myself to be strong enough to let him be independent, correct him when he’s wrong [discipline], teach him how to do things so that one day he can do them on his own, provide him with enough love and security that he’s able to stand the strong foundation of a deep sense of being loved not just by me, but the God of the universe, and so much more. It’s unending, really… and it’s humbling.

Scott and I have really had to think through how we’re going to do things as parents, what rhythms in our family that we’ll do and incorporate to show him what we believe is important in life, etc. It’s so much more deep that I ever really considered or expected, which, at times, is massively terrifying and overwhelming but I’m thankful to be able to rest in the peace of God as the ultimate example of a Father. Year one was largely survival for us as we navigated parenthood with a baby who just needed a little extra attention than the average baby we came across. Year two was so different and so sweet. Although the second year of life came with tantrums, a lot of noise, continued sleep problems, a second pregnancy with a lot of throwing up, the end to breastfeeding (this is an emotional thing at times), it also came with so much joy, a crazy amount of laughing, rediscovering the world through the eyes of a small human, wonder, awe, purposeful affection, independence and so many more things that just completely lit up our lives as parents. Growing another person also grows you and shapes you into something a little better [hopefully] than you were before.

Being a mother was never something that I looked forward to with great excitement or with a lot of planning, but it has been one of the most difficult yet joy-filled things that I’ve ever participated in. Mother will never be my identity, but it will always be something that I am proud to be called by one of the sweetest boys that ever walked the planet. I’m so thankful to know Noah, to love him, to nurture him and to parent him. I’m thankful for the two years that we’ve had, and I pray for many more. I’m thankful for a year to step back from pursuing full-time photography to also focus more on him, his little brother and the ministry that we’re a part of in Blacksburg. We thank you for your continued support of this business, how little it may be and look over the next year.

Today, we’ll be celebrating that happiest of birthdays to my sweet son, and praying for him as he continues maturing in to the man that he will one day become.

“Mothers may want to find room to breathe, to weep, to panic. But they don’t want it to end — this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, bringing life into the world.” – Lisa Jo Baker

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