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Five More Days. [A Personal Post]

Five more days. Its been 249 days and now just five more are left. But, the day a new life enters into the world is on baby’s clock, not ours. She could come at anytime…or she could take her time. Which makes five more days feel like Five. More. Years., as any expectant mother knows. The anticipation is something like all of the holiday eve’s wrapped tightly into the most shiny, so-good-you-can-almost-taste-it never ending gobstopper. If that makes any sense.

So much has changed in me during these 249 days. All of the life-altering, priority-shifting I had assumed would happen after the baby was born, happened on April 13, 2013.

I had been gone all day celebrating one of my best friends at her bridal shower. It was such a special day and as all of the ladies went out that night to continue the festivities, I couldn’t help but wish I was among them, reminiscing with my friend about all of the good times we shared and all of what was to come. Instead, I was at home laying in bed. I had entered my second trimester but I was just starting to recover from the first trimester extreme exhaustion. I focused all of my energy on the center of my belly. And I felt grateful. I felt full. The center of my belly was becoming the center of my universe.

We had recently discovered that the baby we were going to be welcoming into our lives would be a baby girl. It was all so surreal. What would it be like to have her here? When would I start working again? When would she sleep through the night? Geez, what should she sleep in?! I had never been more thankful for anything else in my life. This baby girl was something my husband and I had dreamed about for years before we were married, before we were “ready” for her we knew we wanted her, it is the ultimate blessing, and the fact that this dream was coming to fruition was something my husband and I never took for granted. However, for someone like me, someone who likes to understand everything, to fully grasp a concept before I dive in, this was uncharted territory. I was full of questions. Full of “How?”.

And then, as I layed in bed that night, I felt it. I felt that baby girl I was growing move her body for the first time. At first it was a small flutter…”No, that can’t be her”, I thought. Then, a flurry of flutters. There was no mistaking. And as my mouth dropped and the tears ran down my face, I swear all of the molecules in my body were altered. I became a Mommy. That baby girl we had seen on the screen was real. She was safe. She was ours. And I loved her. Sure, there were sacrifices and there would be more to come. But for all of the answer seeking I was used to doing, I understood in that moment, without thinking, that life wasn’t going to change- it had already changed. My priorities had changed because this baby girl was more important than anything else I had ever done or ever would do. All that mattered was her health and the health and happiness of my new family.¬† And although it was uncharted territory, this over-analytic, needs-to-make-sense-of-everything person… let go. This was a journey. This was not to be fully understood in one lesson. No, this little girl had given me the greatest gift. She had taught me with the flutter of her small body to let go and embrace change. To soak it all in. And I’ve been doing just that. Enjoying this very special time.

Five more days. Or one more day. Or ten more days. Or even two more weeks. She will be here. That’s more than good enough for me.

And, that question about when I will return to work? I will still be answering emails and booking weddings (some things never change). But my first in-the-field, camera action will be for my annual holiday portraits and I could not be more excited!! The happiest season of the year and the happiest season of my life. I can’t wait to show my little “assistant” what it means to follow your dreams. To do what you love. To live my priorities…Her, my new family and living a life of passion.

See y’all in November!

XOXO, Jessica

 

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Family Session [The Dodds Family] / Irvine Family Photography

I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful family at their home when Griffin was first born, so I was really excited to capture all of the changes since then!

Now Griffin is a sitting-up-and-smiling baby boy filled with loads of personality. I just love the way he interacts with his doggy, Kingsley. There’s something about a boy and his dog ūüôā

Thank you, Dodds Family for a wonderful session. Your family has so much love and I can’t wait to see where the next years take you!

Enjoy! XO

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Family Session [The Kirkpatrick Family] / San Juan Capistrano Family Photography

Get ready for some serious cuteness overload! Nobody does baby blues and big ol’ smiles like this family!

Baby Liam has affectionally earned the title “The Master” from his family, he’s in charge and he lets everyone know! And then in between those crying demands, he shines the brightest smile you’ve ever seen. On his clock, on his terms…he holds the power to melt an entire room.

Thank you, Kirkpatrick family for allowing me the¬†opportunity¬†to capture your family’s HUGE love! You are all so blessed to have one another and I was so blessed to be a part of documenting this special time.

XOXO

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The Villa San Juan Capistrano Wedding [Esmeralda & Sergio] / Orange County Wedding Photographer

After sixteen years of marriage and three children, Esmeralda & Sergio finally got the fairytale wedding they always dreamed of at The Villa San Juan Capistrano!

First wed in Las Vegas many moons ago, these two have already proven that they have the best of what life has to offer; true, lasting love. However, it was important to the couple that they eventually get married in a traditional Catholic ceremony with friends and family and that they did! It was a touching ceremony followed by the most magical evening at the always gorgeous Villa San Juan Capistrano!

From the festive music provided by the¬†El Mariachi Zacatecas¬†to the simply delicious cuisine perfected by Iva Lee’s Catering, and everything in between this is sure to be a night that neither Esmeralda and Sergio or their guests will ever forget!

Photography:¬†Jessica Holley Photography¬†¬†/ Venue : The Villa San Juan Capistrano¬†/ Ceremony: Mission Basilica, San Juan Capistrano / Caterer:¬†Iva Lee’s Catering¬†/¬†Florist: Enchanted Fine Florals¬†/ Baker: Sweet and Saucy Shop¬†/¬†¬†Bride’s Dress:¬†J¬†Crew¬†/¬†Bride’s Shoes: ¬†J¬†Crew¬†/¬†Mariachi:¬†El Mariachi Zacatecas¬†

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Family Session [The Forsse Family] / Laguna Niguel Family Photography

You may remember this family from their maternity photos a few months ago when they were all anticipating the arrival of a their newest family member!
Well, baby Clayton is finally here and he’s an adorable, mellow, bow-tie wearing little guy! I’ve been photographing this family since their first maternity portraits with Kora and it’s SO much fun and such an honor to document their growth! Kora loves being a big sister and it’s just the sweetest thing seeing how she interacts with her brother.
Prepare yourself for some cuteness overload…
Enjoy!
XO Jessica

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