Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm no Tara Whitney, but...



For those of you who don't know who Tara is- she is a wonderful photographer and mother, who happens to capture life in really casual, beautiful pictures. I love the way she frames her pictures. I love the way she captures a certain feel. I can't do it like she can. I've tried. I just don't have the knowledge and experience and warm California beaches to photograph my subjects at. But what I can do is take pictures. So I take a ton of them.
These are a couple of pictures I took of Ava last week after I dressed her up as a princess and hoped to get some shots of her smiling- close up. No such luck. She just doesn't like when I get the camera out and turn it on her. Apparantly I've done it too many times already- the novelty has worn off.
Two years ago at this time I was being admitted to the hospital to give birth to Ava. I was probably being very nice to the hospital staff and my husband, as the labor was in it's early stages and I'm usually fairly nice until about 5-6 cm. I remember the experience very clearly. Although this was my fifth go at it- it didn't matter. It was as exhilarating and memorable as the first. I have a fondness for the movie "Big Daddy" starring Adam Sandler, because it was playing during my labor. And parts of it even made me laugh, despite the IV and the contractions I was having at the time. [side note here: For me Adam Sandler was comical during labor and delivery; Al Roker was not- Al Roker was in fact, far from funny, and particularly annoying at times during the peak of contractions. If you are planning on having a baby soon, I recommend you stay away from the Today Show and Food Network- stay far away. Sorry Mr. Roker.]
Back to my story. So I was just reflecting on the fact that Ava was born nearly two years ago...her birthday will be tomorrow, and I remember that day so clearly. I don't miss the way I looked and how much I weighed. I look back and think of how lucky I was to get such a sweet little baby girl.
I cried when I held her not just because she was finally here- but because she was the second little girl to come into my life after losing Teagan. We didn't "plan" her. We weren't "trying" to get her. In fact, both Ava and Isabella were "surprises" in our lives. I know they are both meant to be in our lives. I feel like the luckiest Mom to have them as my own. I wouldn't trade a minute of their lives for anything.
So, my princess Ava turns two tomorrow. My other princess Teagan's birthday is on Saturday, March 18th. If she were here with us, she would be turning nine. We will celebrate both Ava and Teagan this week. It's a happy time and yet it makes me think deeply about how life could be, should be or would be. I've come to realize that if I could change things that have happened in my life, I would. I've also come to realize that because I can't change certain things, accepting reality is the best thing I can do in life. I've realized that by accepting life as it has come, has allowed me to live with joy and I've gotten unexpected gifts along the way. Ava is one of those gifts. If I could change my present life, I wouldn't.

12 comments:

Heather H. said...

Jody, Love your pictures of Ava...such a sweetie. I'm sure that you already have a meaningful way of celebrating Teagan, but I thought I'd share this with you. This past sept.20 marked 11 years since we lost our ds. My best girlfriend helped us start a new tradition by presenting us with 11 blue balloons for a balloon release. The girls and I all wrote notes & messages and attached them to the balloon strings and released them while we wished Joshua a happy birthday. I was very special for the girls & I. just thought I'd share. HH

michelle said...

hi jody, thank you for visiting my blog and sharing yours with me way up here in Canada. It so amazing to hear that everyone's balance is so very different. Happy birthdays to Ava and Teagan...
My second Bruen will be 3 on st. patricks day...
I have added your blog to my favorites and will visit often...
I will even be visiting upper Michigan later this spring...
happy days to you
michelle

Emily said...

Jody, what cute pictures of Ava! Happy 2nd birthday to her! We're having a blast with our little guy who hit the "terrific twos" literally over night--he was a sweet baby one on his birthday, and tehn whe he woke up the next morning, it was like he suddenly realized, "Hey! I'm 2 now! I'm supposed to say 'no' and pout and do typical 2-year old things!" He's still MY sweet baby though! And I will keep you in my prayers as you celebrate and remember Teagan. (I didn't realize how old she would have been...it really struck me to see that she would be turning 9; my oldest turned 9 on Feb. 16th)And she was also definietly not planned (I was only 15 when I got pregnant for her)and our third child was also a surprise (his big sister was only 10 mos. old when we found out we were pregnant again. I couldn't imagine my life without them! God definitely has a plan for all of us, and even if it's not what we were expecting.

Laura said...

Hi Jody---love your photo's of Ava. My youngest, a girl--Kelsey, turned two Christmas eve. I have two boys, ages 7 & 5. Kelsey was not planned, but I thank God for bringing her into our lives. Your blog has inspired me so much...I came upon it a few months ago when I was having a really "blue" day, and it literally changed my life. So, I have you bookmarked and check in with you almost daily. I live in the Upper Peninsula (Marquette) and we are all snowed in today-no school and I'm baking and getting some projects ready while Kelsey naps. Love the Princess outfit, where did you find it? Take care and have a great week.

Laura Glover

Knit and Purl Grrl said...

First comment -- I cannot believe how clean the girls' room is! Ours is always a wreck, no matter how many times I straighten it...
Second, Ava is just beautiful. A true fairy princess.
Thanks for your long message to me... I will reply as soon as I have a quiet (haha) moment to sit and reflect.
HUGS!
xoxo
L

Christina said...

well said, jodi. I'll be praying for you this weekend.

Melissa~ said...

Gorgeous pictures of your little Ava, Jody. I'm praying for comfort and strength for you & family this week and overwhelming joy as you celebrate Ava.

M~

Elizabeth said...

I don't know... give yourself a little Tara Whitney credit--these are great pictures : )

My thoughts are with you during this bittersweet week.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful tributes to your girls!! Ava is the cutest little princess even if the smile wasn't captured!
I love what you said about having to go through things that we don't ask for but because of them...we can still find joy and enjoyment (not your words exactly, but probably close to what you meant). We all have trials that come into our lives..not asked for, not sought but they come just the same. God tells us they will come, and not to be surprised!! Those are the scriptures I don't like, but they still give encouragement! I wish I could meet you and have a cup of java and a chat...maybe one day! Blessings to you and your family!

stacy said...

i have to sy that the blog world is so small. i found your blog a long time ago and lost it and then found it again two days ago and i have just been reading past posts (obviously) and find "i'm no tara whitney". tara is one of my best friends. it's wierd to see that there are so many people who "know who she is". we've been friends since before she was a "celeb" so it's wierd for me to see other people using her name .:)

i think you are fantastic, not implying that you are superhuman but just comending you for alowing the lord to be present enough in your life that you have such an amazing ability to forgive. i pray for that in my own life. you have been through way more than any single person/mother should be asked to deal with. but since you believe in god i assume that you know that god wouldn't give you more than you can handle. sometimes in my own life i wonder if that applies and then to read your stories and have aglimps into your life i realize there really is NOTHING that we as women and people can't handle with the lords help.

thank you for your words of faith and healing it motivates me to be better and more forgiving.

P.S. i remember watching your story on oprah. i cried for your family and was i awe of your forgivness. you are amazing and i would imagine that your husdand is also. :)

also forgive my spelling i'm not skilled in that area either. ;)

stacy said...

i have to sy that the blog world is so small. i found your blog a long time ago and lost it and then found it again two days ago and i have just been reading past posts (obviously) and find "i'm no tara whitney". tara is one of my best friends. it's wierd to see that there are so many people who "know who she is". we've been friends since before she was a "celeb" so it's wierd for me to see other people using her name .:)

i think you are fantastic, not implying that you are superhuman but just comending you for alowing the lord to be present enough in your life that you have such an amazing ability to forgive. i pray for that in my own life. you have been through way more than any single person/mother should be asked to deal with. but since you believe in god i assume that you know that god wouldn't give you more than you can handle. sometimes in my own life i wonder if that applies and then to read your stories and have aglimps into your life i realize there really is NOTHING that we as women and people can't handle with the lords help.

thank you for your words of faith and healing it motivates me to be better and more forgiving.

P.S. i remember watching your story on oprah. i cried for your family and was i awe of your forgivness. you are amazing and i would imagine that your husdand is also. :)

also forgive my spelling i'm not skilled in that area either. ;)

stacy said...

i realized that..... first i posted the same comment twice and second my blog addy isn't on my profile so here it is if you want to check it out. tateryin.blogspt.com