The first time, I worried over what to wear, how to sit, what to say. What colors would be most flattering? Should I cross my legs? Which statistics would pack the most punch?

I’ll be honest. In the very beginning it was fun. For a total of about 33 seconds.

Then you remember what you’re doing it all for. You remember what it felt like to kick and scream and pray and bargain and plead. You remember what it felt like to put your child in the ground.

Yes, you remember why you’re here. And you stop caring what you’re wearing or how it will look under the lights. You stop caring if you’re eyebrows look even or if you brought the right color slip.

I remember after Raleigh was born, I’d fantasize of a full night’s sleep. I’d imagine how wonderful it would feel to go to a hotel room, all by myself, climb in to bed. . . and wake up in the morning. UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP. Oh. The. Glory. Now? I’d give exactly anything for Gavin to interrupt my sleep. Heck, I’d be perfectly happy with that arrangement all the way until he turned 18. Where do I sign?

I’m only an hour from home, but it may as well be 4,000 for how lonely I feel. I tucked the boys in to bed, and I’ll likely be back home before they even wake up in the morning. Even so.

Hold them close. As hard as it is, the sleepless nights, the changes in your body, the new dynamic as husband and wife, the laundry, the messes, the MADNESS, it’s such a gift. Every bit of it.  I hope you NEVER have to learn first hand just what a BEAUTIFUL gift it really is.

Yes, I’d love to be home. In my husband’s arms, with a bed wetting toddler in the room next door. But yet, here I am. All alone. Wishing to be anywhere but here. Anything but this. But on the other side of all that pain, I’m so happy to be doing this. So willing to be making this TINY little sacrifice of time and emotional energy.

. . . Because babies are still dying. And every time one does, I think, “AREN’T YOU PEOPLE LISTENING?!”

I don’t know how to make my voice loud enough. I don’t know how to say this all in the right way, in the way that will STICK. In the way that will inspire ACTION. So I’ll just keep on saying it, over and over and over again. Hoping and praying that the right people hear.

4:45 am call time over at ABC. Time to tuck myself in. Wish you were here Rich. Love you millions.

Good night, all.

xo,

N

PS. The title of this post is mostly for me. . . we sang a song in church today. . . one of my very favorites. One of the lines is “the blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek,” and I suppose that’s what I’m doing. . . my very best. Seeking His blessings along the way. Knowing I’m not enough on my own. Knowing I can’t make a dent in this big bad world all by my broken little self. Praying that HE hears my voice and somehow amplifies it in ways that only He can.

POST EDITED TO INCLUDE: 5:35 am. I did the interview for the 5:00 hour. It was by FAR the worst interview I’ve ever done. I felt so blindsided and unprepared. There was a breach in communication as to my expectations and what actually happened at ABC this morning. Then. . . my story was bumped from the 6:00 hour because of breaking news of a house, car, apartment fire in the area. That’s show biz, baby. But here I am, back in this lonely hotel room. Quite certain that I am the reason the story was bumped and that the fire was the cover. Bleh. Anybody have a time machine? I’m ready to go back to my real life. . . where babies are healthy, and mommie’s are frazzled because of being up all night, not because they woke up at the crack of dawn to botch morning show interviews at ABC.

Dates:

Oahu: June 4 – July 7

Maui: July 9-13

Details:

I only have space for just a few more photo sessions. I would LOVE for one of those sessions to be YOU.

Sessions are booked FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED! In fairness to all, no sessions will be held on good faith. A 50% non refundable retainer is required to reserve your space.

Email me at aloha{at}natalienortonblog{dot}com (or just fill out the contact form above) for pricing/package information and to reserve your date!

Can’t wait to make magic together in June/July . . . because this should be YOU!

So happy to share part II of Jenna’s maternity session (catch part I, here).

I first met Brian and Jenna when I shot their engagement photos in Hawaii a couple of years ago. I had thought their love and commitment to each other was strong then. . . there are no words for what it has become. This baby will likely never fully understand just how lucky he is. His parents are crazy about each other. What a blessing that is. What.a.blessing.that.is.

Enjoy.

(Keep those fingers crossed that Brian makes it home in time for the birth! Oh, I’m praying with all of me!)

I’m not sure just what it is about these next two images, but GOSH they make me wild. In.love.

I feel like every inquiry of late has been for birth or maternity photography. I’ve been living in the magical world of all things baby, and boy oh boy does it do my soul gooooood.

This is Jenna. She and her sweet husband, Brian, are expecting their first, a baby boy, in May. I get to photograph the birth as well—my first home birth (Jenna’s too, high five sister;))! Now, everyone cross all your fingers and toes, say a little prayer, and wear your lucky socks, because Brian is currently deployed. We’re holding out every bit of hope that he makes it back in time to hold his beautiful wife’s hand as they welcome their son into the world. Enjoy part I of Jenna’s maternity session. More coming soon.

PS. Can you believe this nursery? I died. It’s even better in person (times 10). Jenna and her DARLING mom worked this magic all by themselves!

Do you remember what it felt like to be 8? I sure do. It felt just like this. Just.like.this.

And this.

And this.

And this. . . and. . .