• Hi and welcome to this little blog of mine. Here is where you'll find the latest pictures from my camera that make me smile.

Central Florida Maternity Session

I always say that everyone has a story.  When I met these two, I instantly felt like we were friends.  After talking to them, they shared their journey to become parents, that included lots and lots of heartache and longing.  So, to be able to see them so happy and so excited, having their prayers answered, made me instantly want to cheer for them.  It’s like when you’re team has been on a losing streak and then they overcome the odds and finally get that big win.  Jeff and Jennifer, I will be cheering from the sidelines and when you hold that sweet baby in your arms, you will know that you won.

And no, I won’t ask you how much longer;), but enjoy these last few days!  She’s gonna be one loved little girl.

Central Florida Lifestyle Session ~ Newborn Miracle

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in  that action.  ~ Mother Teresa

Margaret contacted me several months ago about maternity pictures and at that time she told me with a deep aching that their long awaited baby girl was diagnosed with encephalocele.  Most people wouldn’t know the struggles they have wrestled with, because the they are happy, in love and so filled with thankfulness.  To say that they have taught me a few things is an understatement.  They are my heroes.

Mike, the dad, has a very touching blog about their experiences and the following in italics are excerpts from his website, The Tech Block, where you can read more about their amazing story.

An Encephalocele, by definition, is a neural tube defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover the brain through an opening in the skull.  The opening in the skull tends to be the result of the skulls inability to fully fuse together while it’s being developed.

After being told by their doctor that they should consider termination and making the choice to continue with this precious life he wrote, “With the most monumental decision behind us we were able to begin trying to recover any sense of excitement possible for this pregnancy.  I told Margaret I was positive we were going to be great parents.  I knew this because we’ve already made our first major decision for our child, and she was still alive.:-) I cannot underscore enough the importance of humor in life.”

With strength, humor and grace these parents have been like a beacon of light, shining their love and devotion to their daughter while giving the rest of us a glimpse of what it’s like to be courageous and to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  Weeks after the diagnosis Mike wrote this, ”I forced myself to realize these are things that are out of my control and it is my calling to accept that what’s meant to be will be and however the road turns I cannot abandon my trust in God’s planning.  I also took it upon myself to more feverishly seek Him and every time I did I would find exactly what I needed to find to put me at ease.”

This sweet girl has already undergone one neurosurgery like a champ.  Her second surgery is planned for December, so please keep this family close to your heart and in your prayers.  Below you will find a way to support them through a fundraiser Mike is taking part in.

In yet another way that shows this families beautiful hearts, Mike is participating in a fundraiser to support the hospital their daughter was born in, All Children’s of St Pete.   All Children’s Hospital of St. Pete treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.  These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.  If you would like to be a small part of their really big story, you can show your love and support here.

I love the Dr. Seuss quote they have above her crib.  It’s a very simple yet profound way to see our life.  Thank you Mike and Margaret and Baby A for showing me your story.

Lori L. Skrjanc - October 23, 2013 - 12:43 am

What a beautiful, sweet little girl. Her parents are amazing and will be the best parents this child could ever have! God’s blessings to each of them!

Sandra Block - October 25, 2013 - 11:09 pm

Here is an article about my son, his beautiful wife, and precious newborn baby, Abriana. Abriana had a beautiful photo shoot. ENJOY!

Linda Nyholm - October 26, 2013 - 2:50 am

Such beautiful pictures, with a loving family

Central Florida Wedding ~ Joe and Tammy

“When over the years someone has seen you at your worst, and knows you with all your strengths and flaws, yet commits him- or herself to you wholly, it is a consummate experience. To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
― Tim Keller

Joe and Tammy, you have a beautiful love story and I am honored to have been a part of the first day of your new life together.

 

 

 

It was a beautiful day made even better by the love that surrounded us all.

With love,

Gretchen

Patricia Grippe - October 18, 2013 - 1:16 pm

Those are some really beautiful pictures.

10 on 10 ~ October

10 on 10 ~ 10 pictures on the 10th, a monthly journaling of a moment in time.  Nothing fancy or planned, just life as you see it.  Life is often sad or mundane or hard but when you step back, even just a little bit, and take a deep breath, you can focus more clearly on that tree through the forest of dishes and bills and laundry and homework and all the stuff that can consume your day to day life.  Each month when the 10th comes around I often think I’ll not do one this month and then  I look back through my pictures and I see that  special moment in time that I otherwise might not have seen (due to the huge amounts of laundry piled around me) and it makes my heart happy.

Last week we made bread, jumped some rope, mastered the hula hoop and rocked to the oldies.

 

And I’m adding the final one with a request.  This sweet baby is going in for surgery today and I ask that you keep her, her family and her doctors in your prayers.

 

Next up in the circle is Amanda with  Amanda Jouppi Photography.  Her 10 0n 10  this month has me a tad  jealous of those beautiful fall colors!

Rox - October 10, 2013 - 5:23 pm

Homemade bread – yum! I love seeing those little hands forming the loaf. I’m will tuck in prayers for that sweet baby and family.

Megan Gladden - October 10, 2013 - 10:45 pm

Gretchen I so adore these…right up my alley. And the lighting is just gorgeous! Prayers for your sweet girl!

Katie Linsky Shaw - October 11, 2013 - 3:37 pm

So glad you do participate every month! I know it’s so easy to let it slip by but we need you here! :) But you got some beautiful images of your beautiful daughter! Love, love the bread-making ones, too. So pretty! Gorgeous photo of that sweet baby. Hope all went well.

admin - October 14, 2013 - 1:31 pm

Thank you Katie! You’re always so sweet! I lucked out having you in this group too :) .