It has been said:  A daughter is God’s way of saying, “thought you could use a lifelong friend.”

Madelyn was born in 2005 when Josh and I were in our early twenties.  She {{{Rocked}}} our world and taught us not to think of ourselves first.  We were a family, and it was all new.  In 2007 we had a second daughter named Lila Grace http://www.lilabower.last-memories.com/  Maddie was two and a half when her sister came along.  Lila was a gorgeous baby just like her big sis.  We loved those little girls with every ounce of us.  When we woke up on a February morning in 2008, and Lila had gone to Heaven in her sleep (just shy of three months old)  it shattered our hearts.  Our Maddie ached an ache no little one should ever have to feel.  She lost her self-proclaimed best friend.  “Her” Baby.  Her “Why-la Gwayce”.  Maddie’s heart broke, the night terrors began, then one day she rose up out of her pain and grew tough as nails.  She has a soft heart, and a kind soul, but she shields them wisely.

“Being a Mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”  -Linda Wooten

Our children have been blessed with knowing 7 great grandparents (Leona, Ron, Carol, Galen, Dawn, Nelson and Suzie) which is so amazing..  Such a gift from God.  When my maternal grandmother, Suzie, was passing Maddie insisted on staying by her side as much as she could in the hospital.  She was kind and sweet and handled the sadness with courage. She and her brother have had the deep pain of losing their only Uncle (Derek), and Derek’s precious baby boy Dominyk.  So much pain for tender little hearts to carry.  Derek was the fun Uncle who made the kids giggle endlessly, and played with them on their level.  His absence is deep and obvious.  His heartfelt kindness is missed.

This sweet, now 12 year old girl, is amazing at dealing with life, and it’s curve balls.  We are proud to be her parents, and though we sometimes take her for granted, she knows we love her fiercely.  God used her as the glue that held us together through the toughest times of our life.  Her love of Jesus is obvious, her heart is bold with love.  She’s a big sister {four years older} to a younger brother, Jude Matthias, we’ll have a post about him as soon as he stops running from the camera!

I wanted to celebrate being a mother to a strong daughter.  To highlight this time when we are close friends.  This session is us, being us.  We love to pretend, to dress up, be silly..  We adore the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice (as well as the movie from the year she was born  ::swoon::)

“Completely and Perfectly and Incandescently Happy” — Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

We love shopping at thrift stores for pretty costume type gowns, themed photo sessions and memory making adventures.  I believe Jane Austen herself would have enjoyed this session in the sunset.  It was a perfect night.

 

“Keep shining beautiful one, the world needs your light.”  –Author Unknown.