Tag Archives: babies

A Thousand Words

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”  
– Eudora Welty

I have a friend who is a photographer.  And a great one, too.

(Hey, wanna check out her stuff?   Her name is Iman Woods.  Click here for her new family photography Facebook page, and here for her pin-up photograph website.  You can also click here to check out her blog.  Her stuff kicks butt.)

So, yeah.  Photography is her thing.  And that’s awesome.  She uses photos to capture a story.  And each one does just that.  And quite beautifully, I might add.  After all, she’s an artist.

Me, on the other hand?  While I love photos, and never hesitate to snap them whenever I can, my ‘art’ is a little different.  We’re all artists, you know.  All of us.  We just have to find our medium.  My medium?  Words.  Without the talent to capture photographs or to paint or to draw, etc. etc., I fall back on the art that I think I have discovered that I’m somewhat good at.  And that is creating an image in people’s minds using the written word.

This weekend, however?  This weekend was a different story.

This weekend I have discovered a new appreciation for Iman’s work.  Because sometimes, it’s the picture that tells the story all by itself…and no words are able to do it justice.  Sometimes you just have to show people what your words cannot seem to adequately express.

A few of you regular readers may remember a blog I posted a while back about my premature twin nieces entitled Week-Old Miracles.  Well, this weekend, I got to spend a few days with those now six-month-old miracles.  And while I’m no photographer by any means, please take a look with me at the mixture of humorous and touching moments that have touched my heart over the past few days with these little angels.  And check out some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way as well.

Photo Lesson #1:

Watching this:

Twins

…turn to this:

599765_10200784979569638_687828413_n

is a very beautiful thing.  Wow.

Photo Lesson #2

Not many things in this ol’ world will fill your heart with as much love as filling your arms with twin babies.

1375877_10200783380449661_9467066_n

Photo Lesson #3

Watching a teenager bond with a baby makes your heart smile.

602083_10200784977609589_86433601_n

Photo Lesson #4

Ditto.

970534_10200784957049075_875243756_n

Photo Lesson #5

Sleeping with a baby in your arms is a very peaceful feeling.  (And having your teenage daughter think to take a picture of it is a pretty sweet deal in and of itself.)

1379908_210220959151649_1036559280_n

Photo Lesson #6

Not many things in this world are as sweet or as enduring as a mommy’s love.

Six months ago:

jenfeeding

Now:

1379303_10200790416065547_908733515_n

Photo Lesson #7

Watching grandma dress a baby after a bath is so darn cute.

1234111_10200790420825666_2138451199_n

Photo Lesson #8

Babies haven’t quite yet learned to mask their facial expressions. When it’s the first time they’ve ever met someone, you’re gonna know it.

1378519_10200788911627937_871563482_n

Photo Lesson #9

It sure doesn’t take a baby long to decide you’re pretty cool…

1384016_10200790419265627_1780929553_n

(And p.s.: Hearing your boyfriend refer to himself as “Uncle Richard” to your niece, gives you a feeling of “rightness” that words can’t begin to express.)

Photo Lesson #10

Duck face pictures are stupid.  Unless they’re done with a 6-month-old.  Then, they rock.

1380557_10200784380074651_1286853053_n

Photo Lesson #11

If you’re an adult, you should live your life in such a way that you’re caught in the background of a picture playing at a playground all by yourself.

886097_10200790417025571_768188860_o

(*giggle*  That’s Richard back there.  Bless him.)

Photo Lesson #12

It’s impossible to look at this and not smile.

554148_10200784976609564_1487678219_n

See?  Smiled, didn’t ya?

Photo Lesson #13

The smile on your face while holding a baby can’t possibly be faked. 

1376643_10200784981809694_1250379062_n

Photo Lesson #14

Witnessing your Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother meeting her twin great-granddaughters for the first time is a moment that makes your heart climb into your throat.

1381805_10200784980329657_1935683288_n

Photo Lesson #15

Seeing that grandmother with a smile on her face again, after what seems like forever since you’ve seen it, is a moment that makes you know that some things never change.  My grandmother is beautiful.

1380012_10200784970169403_993371192_n

My aunt Joyce commented on one of my photos on Facebook with, “Thanks for letting us live your day in pictures!”  I hope this blog allowed you to do that – and hopefully helped you to see what I saw.  To feel what I felt.  Maybe it might even make you turn around and look at your own family, your own little miraculous works of art in your life.  And maybe it will make you get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that you’re alive.  You’re alive.  You know?  Get out there and capture these moments. before they slip by.

After all, you only get one shot.

1383754_10200790417545584_1643597733_n

***

““The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”  
– Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Week-old Miracles

Twins

“Hearts entwined
Twenty fingers, twenty toes,
two sweet babies with cheeks of rose.
Born on the same day, two gifts from above,
lives entwined, two babies to love.”
– Author Unknown

A week ago today, my beautiful sister Jenny gave birth to the little identical angels you see above.  She was only 30 weeks pregnant. 

I live about eight hours away from her, and when I got the call that she was going into labor this early, I knew there was no way I would make it in time for the birth.  And given that she was so early in her pregnancy, I was terrified.  I had no idea what to expect, but I’ll admit that my expectations were not good ones.  It was so early in the pregnancy – and there were going to be two babies.  Both of those factors led me to fear the worst.  I was so afraid for my sister.

But – less than an hour after the news that she had arrived at the hospital, I got the call that the babies were here.  Big sister Trinity arrived first by c-section weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds, 10 ounces, followed by “little” sister Serenity weighing 3 pounds, 2 ounces.  Mommy and babies were all doing wonderful!  Of course, since the little ones were so tiny – they were going to have to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN.  This is about an hour from where their Mommy had to stay for a few more days.  I can’t even imagine what my sister went through during the interim while she waited to see her babies.  She’s a tough one, I know that.

My car didn’t seem to be able to go fast enough to get me there to see those sweet little babies.  I honestly had no idea what to expect as far as how they would look.  But when I saw them for the first time, I was absolutely amazed.  I knew they’d be small…but that small??  Was that even possible?  And they just looked like…well, like babies.  Teeny tiny little babies.  I guess I expected there to be something “different” about them since they were so early.  But nope.  They were just perfect little ten-fingered, ten-toed, crying little angels. 

It’s hard to put into words how much I felt during those days I was able to visit them in that hospital.  First of all, I was simply amazed at the marvels of modern medical equipment.  Thank goodness Jenny had those babies during this day and time when all of these medicines and machines are available to us.  Thanks to incubators, feeding tubes, IVs, etc., my little nieces slept peacefully in their little isolated shelters.  And the nurses were incredible.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let this picture of little Serenity’s nurse’s “uniform” speak for itself:

nurse

So, in addition to the amazing medical care my nieces are getting – I was also blown away by the sheer miracle of their existence.  Standing there looking down at these little 2-pound humans had a profound affect on me.  As I said to my brother, “It’s amazing that these teeny tiny little babies are going to be screwed-up adults like us one day.”  (Yeah, I’m known for my deep philosophical quotes in serious moments such as this one.)  But think about it – isn’t that crazy!?  We were all tiny babies once.  Maybe not quite as tiny as my little nieces, but still.  Something about that just amazed me when I took the time to think about it.  Everything they are going through right now will not even register in their memory one day.  They’ll go on to be adults and have babies of their own and live, laugh, love, make mistakes, make amends…just like the rest of us.  What a miracle life is, isn’t it?  And watching my sister take care of them – wow.  That too touched my heart.  I remember when Jenny herself was just a tiny little baby (she’s 11 years younger than me).  That little tiny person is now the mom of these little tiny persons.  Crazy, man.  Just crazy.

Here’s a pic I got of her “feeding” little Trinity for the first time (she’s fed breast milk through a feeding tube):

jenfeeding

Oh, I could just go on and on and on with this blog, but I guess I better wrap it up.  I just wanted to give a shout out to my beautiful new twin nieces and welcome them to this world; to pay tribute to my amazingly strong sister Jenny for being exactly the mommy those two babies needed; and to just make a general observation that life truly is a pretty awesome thing. 

Welcome to this crazy ride, Trinity and Serenity.

***

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
– Carl Sandburg