This next family has my heart. I ran a contest when I first relaunched asking people to write in and tell me their ‘story’. I remember receiving Emily’s email. She was my neighbor at the time…but I did not know her well. Her story gave me goosebumps and just grabbed my heart. Here it is for you all to read… The Story It’s true what people say. You get what you want when you least expect it. Our family story wouldn’t be what it is without our couple story, which wouldn’t be what it is without my story. It’s truly amazing all the little pieces that have to come together to make a family. Divine intervention at its best… J This December I will turn 40 years old. There is no better time to reflect and share all the milestones that have made me who I am now…a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a teacher. Four years ago I would have told you that I probably wouldn’t be some of these people. As a single woman, living in a small, downtown apartment, I had come to terms with the fact that I may not find a person with whom I wanted to spend my life, much less find him in time to have a baby. I had a life full of friends, family, good times, and travel adventures to boot. I told myself that having a full life meant different things for different people…and I said this mantra over and over in my head especially after failed relationships. But life has a funny way of taking twists and turns when you least expect it. Our couple and family story began four years ago during a particularly LOVELY fall (everything wonderful happens in the fall, doesn’t it? J) and grew over those four years at a whirlwind pace! Nick, although nine years younger than me, became THE guy. THE one. During just ONE of those years together we moved in together, sold a condo, bought a house, got engaged, got married, promptly got pregnant (on our wedding night…again, divine intervention at its best) and celebrated our marriage with a honeymoon in Paris, my favorite city in the world! We have enjoyed so many wonderful times and weathered some rough times as a couple in such a short period. We have documented our “couplehood” with photos from trips, engagement photos and wedding photos; each one sharing some intimate detail of our lives together. I treasure these photos because they tell OUR story. I love sitting together on cold winter nights with a glass of wine, a fire, and a floor full of photos remembering those special times. They feed my soul. What we have not documented as well is our family story, which began with the birth of Claire Elise, on July 14th, 2011. Words simply cannot express the multitude of feelings we have experienced since her birth. Of course, we have MANY photos and videos of her with all the special people in our lives, including us, but not of all three of us as a family. As I’m looking for photos with our entire family to attach to this email, I cannot find one of all three of us. It is amazing how fast time flies…how often we say, “we’ll get to that tomorrow,” or “we have time, we’ll do that later on.” As I reach this next age milestone in my life, I can honestly say I don’t want to wait for anything. I want to live everyday to the fullest. Relishing moments and breathing in all life offers is the best way I can teach my daughter to love her life and also the best way to say, “Thank You” to God and all his divine interventions. I want my daughter to look back and say she grew up loving life (and that she has the pictures to prove it). It is amazing how things can change. Emily has so quickly became a dear friend and having her just down the street has probably saved us both money on a therapist. She is someone I am SOOO thankful to venture through motherhood with!!! To say I adore her and her family would be the biggest understatement! Well-this past February Emily and Nick welcomed their second little nugget, Miss Audra. I was SO excited to photograph her in her newness and this precious family of three becoming a family of four!!!! Love you guys!!!! xoAudra wasn’t totally feeling this shot…but it is ok. Emily’s dad built this cradle and her grandma knitted the quilt. Claire on her perfect tiptoes to give her new baby sister a kiss makes this moment perfect!