First Baby Maternity Shoot

There was an extremely rare cosmic occurrence this weekend…The Harvest Moon penumbral eclipse? Psshhht! That was no big deal. We’ll see another one of those again in 2024! What I’m talking about is the fact that there were NO soccer games for my kids this weekend. Instead of driving around from field to field, I spent Saturday morning doing my first maternity shoot for a couple who is expecting their first baby on Halloween.

But you can never truly escape soccer…The couple I was photographing met through the game. Both were collegiate players, and one is still heavily involved in the game as a coach…We met up bright and early at the Saunders-Monticello trail, and the first order of business was to take some photos with a pair of pink cleats so tiny and adorable they made you tear up when you held them in your hands.

The best part of the morning for me was seeing the couple’s obvious love for one another and the care and consideration they showed for each other.

Our next stop was Carter Mountain Orchard, where we were able to borrow this backdrop:

Our last destination was Trump Winery:

Can’t wait to meet this little Halloween baby!


Hangin’ with the Harpies in Minneapolis

Unaccountably, our beautiful new baby niece was not given the name my fellow Harpy sisters and I had gently suggested to her parents. Though we were disappointed by the fact that she will not bear the name “Ameliabelledrienne,” we decided to fly to Minneapolis this weekend to pay her a visit:

The weather forecast called for clear and sunny skies, but powerful thunderstorms rolled in as soon as we Harpies arrived. High winds recorded at over 68 miles per hour brought stately old trees crashing down all over Minneapolis and St. Paul. The weatherman called the storms a “freak occurrence” and said he had never seen anything like it in all his time in the Twin Cities. We call it “making an entrance.”

We got to see our nephew Dandelion and his mama:

And we got to spend some time with our beloved brother:

It turns out that the little kid with whom I used to roll around in the back of our old station wagon on long car trips singing songs and playing games…the kid with whom I fought pitched battles and whom I banished from my room countless times…the kid who was the closest companion of my childhood…has grown up to become an amazing father.

To be able to witness this with one’s own eyes has to be one of the sweetest privileges of adulthood.

Unfortunately, we Harpies cannot always control our own strength, and our presence can sometimes bring unintended mayhem. Poor Dandelion and his mother came down with a stomach bug and we weren’t able to see them for the rest of our short stay.

We were, however, able to gloat over our new niece and impart our blessings upon her. She hung on our every word:

By the end of our visit, she was cackling with the Harpies:

I think she liked us:

The feeling was mutual:

The Harpies had wreaked enough havoc upon the good people of Minneapolis. It was time to fly back home. As we boarded our plane to go home, the sun started shining for the first time since we’d arrived:

Sorry, Minneapolis. We’ll try to reign it in next time…

Twelve years ago today another baby was born during a ferocious thunderstorm that caused the hospital delivery room lights to flicker on and off throughout his birth.

Since that dark and stormy night, this boy has been the calm in the eye of the storm and the blue skies after the rain. Happy birthday! xoxoxo

Happy Birthday!

Today is my child’s fourteenth birthday.

We were overjoyed when we found out that I was pregnant with our first baby. We had been trying for a long time to have one, and were beginning to think it might never happen. Almost as soon as we had gotten used to the idea, our joy turned to despair when I started spotting. At the hospital a doctor performed an ultrasound and concluded that I was miscarrying when he didn’t find a heartbeat. He offered to do a D & C (dilation and curettage) right then and there to hasten the inevitable. Devastated, I said I just wanted to go home. He told me I would lose the baby naturally in a couple of days and to come back for a checkup.

I spent those days in bed sobbing. When my mother called me from Korea, I told her that I was pregnant and that I was miscarrying all in the same conversation. She called me later that day after consulting medical professionals she knew in Korea. She told me there was still hope. She was deluding herself, I thought. I pitied her, and pitied myself even more. The only thing that kept me calm was repeating Psalm 23 in my head over and over in the rich, archaic language of the King James version. I hadn’t even realized that I knew it by heart until then. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside still waters…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

When we went back to the hospital, they did another blood test and were surprised by the results. They sent me to get another ultrasound and within seconds the technician casually said, as if she were not announcing something life-changing and miraculous: “There’s the heartbeat.”

The point is: from the very beginning it’s been a bumpy, winding road. These past fourteen years have been full of drama. There have been painful times and searingly beautiful moments when I have felt a love so intense that it literally hurt my heart. The point is: this “Prince of the Silla Dynasty,” as my parents dubbed him at birth, has taught me to have faith and to believe in goodness and mercy and miracles.

Happy birthday to my dear son. My cup overflows.