The birth of our son was, by far, the most incredible experience of our lives. On February 16, 2011 everything changed. From the moment I laid eyes on my beautiful, healthy, purple, screaming little man, I knew my heart was stolen.
The days that followed were full of special memories and firsts. I was, and am, enamered with Brady’s every move – the way he smiles in the bathtub when he’s submerged in the warm water, the trust in his eyes as I nurse him at 4am in the subtle darkness of our bedroom and the way he awkwardly poses and makes funny faces as he discovers his arms, legs, tongue and precious little fingers.
I knew I wanted newborn photos of Brady – as he’ll never be this size again. When Gina Zeidler, one of my very best friends, offered to fly from chilly Minnesota to Florida for a few days for a session, I was elated. Gina beautifully and impeccably captured the days of my big, growing belly while we were on tour with Lara Casey for Making Things Happen in the Fall. Gina spent three precious days with Bryan, Brady and I and took “newborn session” to an entirely different level.
I get a little teary thinking of what a gift she gave us – what irreplaceable and absolutely precious – in every pure sense of the word – moments she captured. For three days, in our house, Gina captured the every day. She sat with us at bath time. She walked with us in the park. She captured our new lives from sun up to sun-down and even a little in between. Having one of my best friends spend such special days with us was so much fun – but having her talent breathed into the average, unscripted, every day moments that we’ll never get back… I don’t even have the words to sum up our thanks and gratitude.
There’s one image that really sums up what our live-in session was all about and why the images are so special – it’s an image taken in the middle of the night, sans makeup, hair on top of my head (probably hadn’t seen a brush in days), lines of sleeplessness around my eyes – yet a content and grateful breath around the scene… And sweet, tiny Brady Ley softly breathing, sound asleep on my chest. That image puts a lump in my throat. That moment… No one sees it – not even Bryan at times. Its hard to put into words how sheer exhaustion, new-mommy uncertainty and pure, wholehearted love come together in the middle of the night. Gina captured it.
Gina, I wish my words could express our thanks to you. What you have given us – is so remarkably special. Your talent is unbelievable. Your heart is precious. And your ability to freeze moments that we’ll never, ever have again is beautiful. Thank you, from Bryan and I, from the bottom of our hearts.
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Visit Gina’s blog to see Brady’s entire Live-In Newborn Session (including a surprise post she snuck in on me… its three am as I hit publish… squirmy Bman in my arms… a full heart…) and for more details on Gina’s Live-In Series.
Thank you, G.