Goodness how life has changed.

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If you have followed along with my journey to motherhood, you will know by the end of this post just how far this journey has taken me. You can read my journey by clicking the following links:

Exciting News
Journey with Baby Ray – Part 1
Journey with Baby Ray – Part 2
Journey with Baby Ray – Part 3
Our Babymoon in California
My Maternity Session
Nancy’s Baby Shower
Milly’s Birth Story Part One
Milly’s Birth Story Part Two
Nancy’s Maternity Leave
Milly’s Newborn Session
Milly’s Nursery

Someone asked me the other day, “So how is being a mom? What’s it like? Is it what you expected?”

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My answer was, “It’s more of everything.
I’m more exhausted and tired than I’ve been in my whole life.
I’m more overwhelmed at my experience of childbirth the more I think about it.
I’m more grateful for a healthy baby and a husband who cares so well for both of us.
I’m more in love than I ever thought possible.
It’s more of every emotion, every experience, every feeling. I look at the world differently now.”

Life these days have been good. So good. I never imagined I would look back and say that I loved being pregnant and I LOVE being a mama, but goodness, I have loved it. Even though Milly’s birth was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life and my recovery was slow, I looked at Will when she was just 2 weeks old and said, “I can’t wait to do this all over again.”

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My days go a little something like this:
I wake up to the biggest smile I ever seen.
I watch Will make faces and nicknames and funny voices, just to see her laugh.
I change her clothes and her diapers and most days, her clothes again.
I obsess over her jammies and am still squeezing her into my favorite ones even though she probably outgrew them last week.
I take more naps.
She takes way more naps than me.
I spend most of my awake time and some of my sleep time feeding her, and I love every moment of it.
When she cries, my heart aches.
When she does something new, my heart tries to explode but can’t, so I’m left with all kinds of feelings of pride and happiness and “slow down!” and amazement and deep love, all mashed up inside of me.
I have a new view of my work and a greater understanding of the word “legacy” than ever before.
Oh man do I love photography so much more. I treasure these photographs so much.
I think deeply about life at some point every day, as I experience this world for the first time through her eyes again and again.
I spend time with Jesus throughout my day. I try to start with a quiet time in the mornings, but usually my time is interrupted. I think He likes it like that, because He is teaching me to abide in Him throughout my days.
I have fallen in love with Will all over again. He is an incredible husband and father.
I cry a lot, I laugh a lot. My life is richer because she’s in it.

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Life as Milly’s Mama is better than I could have ever imagined. Isn’t it just like God to do that – to turn our expectations on top of themselves, to slow us down and drink in the life that He gives, to be blown away that He would count me worthy to do such work. It’s hard and messy and the sweetest work I’ve ever known.

To all you mamas out there – I’d love to hear how you were surprised by motherhood in the comments!

All images by the amazing Elizabeth Tate. She graciously stayed with me for a few hours to capture a small “day in the life” session. Goodness knows I will probably treasure these photos more than anything – just doing life with my sweet Milly. Thank you Elizabeth – I’m so grateful!

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COMMENTS

Nancy, it is so special that you share your thoughts and insights to those who have followed you on this journey. Although we don’t know each other in person, your blog makes me feel like I have a friend who understands that life is about so much more than the hustle, stuff, Instagram, and anxiety. My visits here, usually with a warm cup of tea and a need for community, always leave me with a feeling of peace. I’m so happy for you and Will that parenthood has been so much more than you expected or imagined. I hope that you all thoroughly enjoy Milly’s first Halloween!

Beautiful. Just beautiful. The love and happiness radiates out of you Nancy. Thank you for the ongoing inspiration you provide xo

1. I want to jump into the pictures and squeeze Milly. I miss that baby! 2. I think I was most surprised by how much love trumps fear. I was so scared of so many things before I became a mom. And, this is not eloquent, but I was certain I would always be fearful of throw up. I remember having other moms tell me – once it is your child, it will be different. In my head, I was like – nope. This fear is HUGE. But now, I will hear one of children start to get sick, and somehow this super power of love rises in me and I make it to them with a bowl in hand while holding back their hair or rubbing their back. That is some crazy love right there. So much bigger than fear!

PS… Elizabeth has some crazy talent! Love all these pics!!!

This post is perfectly put. I can understand EVERY word you wrote and it’s all so true! Every feeling is just more intense than it ever was before. I have the same exact photo of me nursing Finn in our glider and I love it. It’s so funny how God changes our hearts – right after Finn’s birth, I said, “I don’t know if I can ever do this again.” but only a few weeks later, I was looking forward to doing it all over – pregnancy, birth, all of it. Motherhood is the biggest blessing and I get so excited to see other women experiencing every bit of it. Also, I love that adorable little Milly bum!

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