Choose joy

  • Choose joy

    From So Chic Boutique

    You don’t always have a choice in what happens in your life, but you always have the power to choose how to respond to it.

    I learned that big time just over a year ago as I was pregnant with my little men. I had two other pregnancies that went swimmingly. No issues, I loved being pregnant! So I entered this pregnancy expecting the same. Just a few weeks after we found out we were expecting we did an east coast adventure. Drove to Washington DC, walked miles every day, drove up the coast to Connecticut for a family gathering, travelled to Rhode Island to visit the ocean and then worked our way home. I was gonna rock this pregnancy.


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    Then a week after we were home we had that first appointment. That first ultrasound and everything changed. There was not just one baby in my belly, but two. I was immediately classified high risk and one baby was showing signs that he was not likely to make it.

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    The last belly picture ever taken at 29 weeks!


    Everything changed again at what I thought was going to be a routine doctor appointment at 25 weeks. I was in active preterm labor. I won’t go into all the details from there but there were a few weeks of in and out admissions to the hospital, then a full time admission for 3 weeks and then my little men decided they had enough and decided to make their entrance to the world at 30 weeks. 2 and a half months early.



    2015-01-21 10.06.10So then we experienced NICU time. This was so foreign to me. So unlike my other birthing experiences. I didn’t just immediately get to hold and snuggle my babies. Keeping them with me at all times. I had to go from room to room for the first week as they were in different places, in their tiny little spaceships. Touching them through arm holes. I had to scrub in to even enter the NICU every day. I was allowed short periods of time that I could hold them. One little man we weren’t even allowed to hold for the first 4 days of his life.

    This was NOT how this was all supposed to go!!! And, of course, it was all happening during Adore’s busiest time of year!

    And yet, I didn’t get angry. Well, at times, of course, I cried and mourned what I was missing from them. But this was no one’s fault. I couldn’t get mad at my nurses on hospital bed rest. They didn’t put me there. I couldn’t get mad at the NICU nurses or my or my little men’s doctors, it wasn’t their fault they were in there. I had to constantly remind myself to keep a joyful attitude. How this whole process from hospital bedrest through NICU time was going to go was really up to me and the attitude that I chose.

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    What every day for many weeks looked like

    So, I prayed a lot, I listed to worship music a lot, and I watched a lot of Fixer Upper, Say Yes to the Dress and anything on Netflix.

    So where am I going with this? I want to share a few images with you of a couple that I was lucky enough to see travel through a similar unexpected experience.

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    Schilling Photography

    This is Drew and Danielle. My husband was lucky enough to marry them which means we were blessed with the opportunity to walk through Premarital Coaching with them. We quickly grew to adore them.

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    Schilling Photography



    Then their wedding day came. Anyone remember the absolute MONSOON we had on that Friday in September last year? Yeah, that was their wedding day. I remember thinking the day before…..Danielle is kind of a control freak, how is she going to handle this???






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    Schilling Photography


    Oh. My. Goodness. I have never seen someone embrace the unexpected, find joy in the unexpected and let go of her expectations like Drew and Danielle did that day. Danielle made the decision to remember that the most important part of this day is that at the end of it she was going to be married to the man of her dreams. That’s it. It’s that simple. She chose joy.




    So please, as you are nearing the end of your wedding planning journey, or just beginning it. Remember to choose joy. At the end of the day you will be married and that is the best thing of all!

    And enjoy a few of these images. Can you not see the joy in the midst of a circumstance that seems beyond awful? And doesn’t it make you just sit there and grin as you accept and feel the joy that is found within. Choose Joy.

    Kristi Lee Photography