Saturday, September 26, 2015


Over the past couple of months I have shared a series of photos that our family had taken earlier this summer. Harrison as a 3 year old. Max at 18 months. Two sweet brothers together. And lastly, our everything. I had considered stopping there, but as I scrolled through all of our images from that night, there was one that my heart told me that I still needed to share. My words won't do justice to what this image speaks to my is absolute perfection.


Approximately 3 minutes after Ashley left our home on the night of our family session, I started stalking her Facebook page, anxiously waiting for a sneak peek at our images.  Don't judge...I've never claimed to be a patient person! Three minutes turned into 3 days, and just as I was getting ready to turn in for the night my eyes were treated to the beautiful image and caption below.

"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery - air, mountains, trees, people. 
I thought 'this is what it is to be happy'" ~Sylvia Plath.

As I lay in bed, choking back tears as to not wake Matt sleeping beside me, I could not stop repeating those words to myself. "This is what it is to be happy." Such a simple phrase, but in that moment it took my breath away. You see, for the past 4 years 'happy' has been somewhat of a balancing act, and for awhile it left me feeling more guilt than anything else. Grief can be a jerk like that...robbing you of good moments and making you second guess everything. After Charlotte died I had to learn that it was OKAY for me to feel happy again - to smile, to laugh - even though I was so incredibly broken. Happy didn't have to mean that I didn't hurt. It didn't mean that I had forgotten or moved on. Its been over 4 years and I still ache for that little girl every single day, but in my heart I know that she wouldn't want me to walk through life with my head down. She would want to see my face lit up with a grin, to hear the sound of giggles coming from deep in our bellies, to feel the love that fills our walls. 

This road has not been easy. There are times where I still feel lost, broken. I am awkward, introverted, and often insecure in my own skin. But I look at that picture and I see a smile that looks much like one from the 'old' Kristen. Whole-hearted. Genuine. Happy. Our trials have changed us, there is no doubt, but this little family of mine...sigh...

How could I be anything but happy?

But there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
~Mumford and Sons; After the Storm