May 6, 2014

Mother and Daughter Photo shoot to celebrate Motherhood

Being a mother?
 It is remarkable. It is the most beautiful, lavish, generous blessing I've ever received. This year, my first Mother's Day, I'm so greatly humbled. 

I'm on my hands and knees in PRAYER and dancing up and down in PRAISE to God. 

Motherhood has given me humility. 

Holy God, how do I deserve such a gift? 

Becoming a mother, a prayerful mother, has changed me. 

It's not just the new bags under my eyes and flabby skin on my belly; Motherhood has transformed my perspectives, my motives, my thoughts, my actions, my ability to love, and mostly, MOSTLY my understanding of God's great and graceful love. 

I say it again and again, how do I deserve such a gift?

Being a mother isn't for the weak. The best advice I was given while pregnant was from my oldest sister: HAVE GRACE ON YOURSELF. 

I can't tell you how many times I've put that phrase on repeat. From day one, grace towards myself became a need. Grace has replaced guilt, fear, worry, pain, exhaustion, self-image, and insecurities time and time again. Grace, my friends, is always in my shopping cart and always on my to-do list. I understand grace is a necessity in LIFE; it took becoming a mother to fully grasp it. Now, I cling to a grace-filled life, a life centered around believing God is enough and perfection is a waste. A total waste. 

Motherhood has given me freedom. 

Sweet Savior of mine, how do I deserve such a gift? 

It's profound how quickly pain and exhaustion crumbles at the sight of your baby, for the first time. THAT FEELING. THAT MOMENT.
 I fully believe in love at first sight, because it happened. It overwhelmed me, like and tsunami tidal wave. Only the waves never calmed, nor went still. For this love, is knee-shaking, chin quivering, tear streaming kind of joy. In the delivery room and thereafter my parents stood in awe of me. My Dad gently told me, "This feeling you have now, is how I love you." My Mother repeated, "I love you that much, and still do." Somehow in that very instant, through such weepiness, I finally understood parental love. Not only have I been consumed with loving my daughter, but in complete awareness of the depths that my own, my very own, parents adore me. They don't love me like a Hallmark card says, they absolutely treasure me. 

Motherhood has given me a full understanding of being loved. 

Mighty Lord, how do I deserve such a gift? 

 Stress is always something I struggle with. However, stress has continually been replaced with stillness, since becoming a mother. The middle of the night feedings to nap time rituals stillness has existed in our home. That final squeeze and lovely smell of her before I lay her down to rest is one I'm thankful for every night. Her presence has added a calmness to our home, forced quiet time that has made profound impact to my soul. Quitting my career was difficult, until I held my tiny newborn and realized I have a new purpose, one for me is much more fulfilling. Perched in a still room, with ocean sounds and dim light rocking her into a slumber never gets old. There are nights we play paper rock scissors for bedtime, but even if I lose, it's a win/win. Stress is no longer a common vocabulary word. 

Becoming a mother has taught me the importance of being still and being okay with quiet. 

Father, how do I deserve such a gift? 

I am a gracious daughter of God, my father. Those who call themselves believers, call the same God their father, too. Our father? Being a Christian my whole life didn't teach me HOW MUCH God loves us. It wasn't until I became a mother that I woke up; just like I love my baby, God loves me more. More? It's not possible! But the sweetest message is that it is...there is no greater love and no matter what we do, he's there, with open arms. He's wild for me. And you know what? He's wild for you, too.  It brings me to my knees in sobs because for the first time, I get it. I really get it. I welcome his love with an open heart. I NEED his love. Yes!

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go look for the one who wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these littles ones should be lost." 
- Matthew18:12-14

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! That that is what we are!"
-1 John 3:1

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."
-Romans 8:15-16

Becoming a mother has proved to me that I am Child of God and he goes to GREAT lengths just to say, "I love you". 

Heavenly Father, how do I deserve such a gift? 

My first year of motherhood has come with challenges, tears, worry, guilt, concern, and sleeplessness BUT I assure you every single second of this insane experience is worth it. 

Motherhood is worth it. 

Little girl, I won't vow to pack the perfect lunches or to never lose my patience, but, I promise I will always pray for you and over you. I promise to forever love you, far and wide, across all the lands, past the stars. You're a dream come true! I can't even type this without crying, precious daughter. Teaching you is one of my greatest joys, and hearing you laugh melts me every time. Within a blink you'll stop reaching for me but remember, sweet Ireland, you'll always know where to find me. Love God, love people, and keep life simple. You're my favorite adventure and always will be. 
xo, Mommy

I celebrate you, too. 
Those who yearn to be a mother, my heart is heavy for you. Those who are mothers, young or old, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. Happy Mother's Day! What a gift!!!

Let the world continue to celebrate motherhood this week, it's totally worth the celebration. 

The incredibly talented, Jasmyn Smith, is the creative mastermind behind these photos. She is a special breed and such a light to be around. She (and I) became teary while I nursed Ireland in teepee at the end of the session. It was a magical moment for me as a mother, but also watching her experience the moment with us. Jasmyn, my heart thanks you now and many years from now. 

Jasmyn is offering 10% all packages excluding weddings. Book by May 31st with the mention of "akupofkatie" to receive your special discount. (She books fast so don't miss your chance!)
Connect with her below! 


The awesome royal blue chair? Send your applause to The Wooden Trunk! (more to come on this duo!)


  1. Katie these are ALL breath-taking! So precious! Thanks for sharing them! :)

  2. Absolutely some of the most inspiring words I've ever heard.

  3. Beautiful photos and beautiful words! Such a lovely post.

  4. Katie you are stunning! Beautiful in pictures and beautiful heart inside. This post was spot on, motherhood.... such a precious crazy thing. You found the perfect words to describe it!! And that nursing picture, so gorgeous! We are taking mother/son pictures this weekend and I want to take a nursing picture now, just to remember that sweet time!

  5. So beautiful!! - this post, the photos, you and your baby girl!! And I have to ask, WHERE in the world did you guys shoot? It's hard to find a place that pretty for photos around here. We always end up somewhere headed out toward Boulder City to do shoots, tho there's nothing pretty out there. Hah!

  6. Beautiful moments, beautiful images and such a beautiful location!

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