Project TEN | July 2016

Summertime. Staying up late. Sleeping in. Sugary snacks after dinner...and before dinner. Waking up with no agenda. Killing time between visits to the pool. Sunscreen. Sun-kissed cheeks. Sandy toes. Saltwater hair. Tired children. Exhausted parents. Laughter. Memories. KHC_2686 copy

There's not much I cherish more right now than watching these girls be together. They are truly becoming best friends. No one knows Maelynn like Adleigh does. And no one knows Adleigh like Maelynn does. They play together and laugh together. They fight a lot, too, but that's not easily photographed ;)

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In the midst of caramel corn, beach vacations, and summertime memories, our family walked, once again, on the familiar path of loss when we found ourselves facing an fuzzy black and white ultrasound screen with dismal news displayed across it. Before I could even dream of nursery colors and baby names, I was faced with the familiar horror of hearing the word "miscarriage" for the fifth time in our marriage. It was enough to make me consider putting my camera away for good. Well, to be honest, it was enough to keep me from even getting out of my bed for several days this month with little desire to even sit up and just do the next thing.

This photo has been composed in my mind for many weeks now. It's actually the only photo I knew would be in this set of photos for July. For many days, as I found myself crying in anger and defeat on this very spot in my bed, I realized this moment, the moment that I chose to sit up and do the next thing, was the only step I chose to take toward that turned me toward hope. Hope is a word I haven't used very frequently in the last year - even a positive pregnancy test has brought more anxiety and fear than joy and excitement. More times than not, seeing that line appear has made me visualize stepping onto a path of pain rather than great happiness for our family. I wanted to include this photo to show the full range of emotions and experiences that make me the photographer I am. It's really a summation of my year. There's something to be said about suffering and how it molds and shapes and improves a person. There's also something to be said about enduring repeated suffering. The same difficulty. The same trial. The same affliction. Over and over again. It doesn't get easier but it also never affects me the same way. I hope I never forget this place so I am able to love others who endure loss or struggle with infertility, but I also want to be on the other side of this struggle when miscarriage no longer restrains my courage and hope.

Although I pray I can fill this project with photos of my growing family in the near future, I am so thankful for the family I've been given and the blessing of photography that help me stop time and create images that will bring me right back to every sweet or difficult moment and allow me to remember the joy when I am hurting, and remember the pain when I am in the midst of blessing.

Project Ten is made up of a group of very talented photographers who are determined to document their own lives and not just the lives of their clients. Ten photos from our everyday lives on the tenth of every month. Check back monthly and be sure to check out all the other extremely talented women below!

My Fellow Project Ten 2016 Participants: Paula RichwineCait JensenLisa O’BrienRebecca BenderParker Slaton, Rae Barnes, Erin GregersonKelly Lapp, Kate NealEmily Troutman, and Heather Butler.