maternity pictures.

Warning: This post contains a whole bunch of maternity shoot photos and may be a trigger for those still struggling with infertility. Proceed with caution or skip over entirely. And know I am sending you BIG HUGS.

A few weekends ago, my dear friend Gina Zeidler came over into our home and gifted us with a full morning of maternity photos taken. For Josh and I, it was an unbelievably surreal morning. Gina is simply the best and turned what felt like such foreign territory and made it so much fun. We laughed, we cried, and we celebrated. It was such a beautiful time together. We are so thankful to her talent and generosity to bless us with these precious moments forever captured.

We will spare you from sharing nearly 200 pics, but here are some of our faves from the morning!!

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“Hey Mom, what’s going on with this bump?”

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This sign was the first thing Josh bought for the babies after we found out I was pregnant.

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This book is SO special. And a reminder of where our blessings come from!

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We received these onesies as a gift when we first shared our pregnancy news, as did we these gorgeous blankets made by Josh’s Grandma. These will be forever keepsakes!

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“Now what’s happening again??”

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Baby Twin bump at 28+4


Our friend Kaylynn got us these perfect onesies! Can’t wait to put the little nuggets in them. :)

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From the beginning our hearts have been filled with so much laughter – disbelief and joy!


My sister-in-law surprised us with these onesies – TOO CUTE! Womb Mates for SURE!

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My precious family of 5.

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Cali kisses for the babies!

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Hi Babies! Mommy loves you!

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Josh recently built our family this kitchen table and we love that it will now become the gathering place for so many memories, laughs, tears, devotions and meals.

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Every morning we get up and walk into the nursery and say “Good Morning” to Cali’s baby brother and sister. She’s going to be such a good big sister. :)

These photos are so US. We love that they were captured in our home, in regular clothes, with bare feet and coffee, water, and Cali close at hand. We are so incredibly blessed and don’t take a single minute for granted. <3

“Let the Adventure Begin” sign custom designed and made with love by our friend Ashley from Graced and Co.
Maternity Dress from Shop Pink Blush.

february crushes.

Whoop Whoop! February is here and with it comes another step closer to SPRING! 28 days people, we can do this!

Now it’s time for my February crushes:


1 – Loreal Mascara


(imagine not mine – thanks google!)

So many people have told me about this mascara, so when my old bottle dried up, this beaut made it into my cart at Target and can I just say, I totally get what the hype is all about! This mascara reminds me a lot of Younqiue’s 3D fiber lashes (which I love as well), but without the price tag. $7.99 full priced (and they always have coupons in the local paper) and you’re on your way to fabulous lashes. I haven’t dealt with any fiber flakes in my eyes either. Winning!

2 – Pink Blush 

I was joking with my friend the other day while watching the Bachelor that I just don’t know where these gals get all these unique and cute clothes! I feel like I only shop at the same few stores that everyone else shops at and we all match. So, when I came across this ADORABLE online women’s boutique, I fell in love! You guys, I mean really, when have you ever seen a sequined chevron shirt like this?? It’s so incredibly soft and can be easily dressed up or down. LOVE!


Pink Blush also has a whole maternity branch which is great for the mamas-to-be reading this! With free shipping on all US orders + so many sales happening all the time, you can’t go wrong. You have to check them out!

3 – Bible Journaling

For Christmas, my sweet friend Jimmye sent me a Salty Biscuit journaling Bible and with it, came a strong desire for me to use it to jump into an Illustrated Faith journey. The concept of Bible journaling like this is to use your creativity in whatever way it comes, to reflect on a certain verse or message statement. The ability to meditate on a passage while creating it has been incredibly life-giving for me. I love using a journaling Bible like this one because it gives me room to create. I have been able to date each one I do and it’ll be a fun way to look back at my walk with God in a unique way. It’s simply a way for me to bring His Word to life through color and doodles and already, has been such a gift!

I love having my main Bible that I use for studying, making notes in, highlighting and then supplement with this one. It’s a way to select a key verse or power statement from the day. While many people use watercolor and fancy stickers, right now I just use my Staedler pens. Every one is different!

Journaling Bibles can be found pretty reasonably on Amazon or fancy, engraved ones this mine with the tabs already inserted can be found on Etsy, at places like The Salty Biscuit. (They sell out fast but restock regularly.) Check out #illusratedfaith on social media for more info!

Here are just a few of my creations so far:


4 – This article.


Just all of it. I found so much comfort in the words “We don’t have to figure out the purpose for our pain, but we do follow a God who meets us in it.” and this paragraph:

“It’s exhausting enough to endure the dark hours here and not lose our religion, without the addition of a Maker who also makes us bleed. Instead, I prefer to understand God as One who bleeds along with us; Who sits with us in our agony and weeps, not causing us our distress but providing a steady, holy presence in it. This still leaves me with the nagging question of why this God can’t or won’t always remove these burdens from me, but it does allow me to better see the open opportunity provided in tragedy.”

Go read it all – it’s worth the time.

5 – “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin

This song has snuck up on me so many times over the last month or two, constantly reminding me of who my Father is. As I was driving home from our appointment last Thursday, it came on and I felt His presence so heavily in the car as I sang along. I’m sharing some of the lyrics below for those who like that visual encouragement.

(Repeat choruses and refrains removed. Bold emphasis mine.)

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching
For answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Cause You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

There you go! February Crushes! And a sincere thank you for all the prayers and excitement sent over for Josh and I regarding our consult appointment at CCRM last Thursday. It went really well and we are excited to provide you with an update next week! Stay tuned!



I recently got the chance to review Two Kids: An egg donor’s account of friendship, infertility & secrets by Alicia Young and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the egg donation process. I recommend this book to anyone involved in or looking into using an egg donor to conceive – from the recipient, to the donor, to the support team! Alicia shares her story and experience being a donor in an honest, thorough, and easy to read way. Even though she herself does not struggle with infertility or desire children, it is evident that her heart is tender to those who do and her understanding of the pain involved is seen in her writing. The layout of the book makes it easy to read, first pulling the reader in with a compelling story of her experiences, and then provides questions and checklists for donors and recipients.

This was a whole new topic I hadn’t read about in the past and wanted to share this resource. Even better, Alicia has offered to give away TWO copies of the book! To enter to win one copy, click below to enter. The second copy is being given away on Instagram, @chels819, so you have two ways to enter or win! Both winners will be drawn and announced on Wednesday morning. (Contest ends at 11:59 pm CST Tuesday, February 23nd). Good luck!

Click here to enter using only your email:  a Rafflecopter giveaway