I decided last minute that I would really love to do a little maternity photo shoot and absolutely wanted to include my boys. In my two experiences adding another child to the family I get really sentimental towards the end thinking about how life is going to change for my children as they welcome a new sibling. While I've been trying hard to soak in this summer with my boys its growing increasingly hard to keep up the energy I need to provide them with the kind of summer I really wanted. Not to mention my crazy hormones which cause me to lose my patience with them on the daily and often become frustrated with the daunting task of having to parent them in general. Luckily my girlfriend was able to capture this moment in time for me and give me something beautiful and positive to look back on once all the guilt-ridden feelings of my shortcomings during this time have faded away. I just love all the energy in the boys and their faces and actions, which are just so very them. I love that although I wanted to read one of our big brother books, Jackson insisted on Peek a Who?- a favorite of his for some time now. I even love the black and white of Ben and I. There is clearly some frustration on my face as he wasn't a completely willing participant during that point of the shoot. He's not smiling or looking all that happy in general. But that's life and that's us. He's my first born and I now I expect a lot out of him a lot of the time. We grow frustrated with each other daily. We can say unkind things to each other and raise our voices at each other. But we are both quick to ask for forgiveness and offer forgiveness. We are learning and we are growing, and I am so grateful to be on this journey with him (notice our smiling faces in the last photo of the day). He made me a momma and he was just the funniest companion ever when Jackson was born; experiencing it all right alongside of me. I can't wait to see him with his baby sister. He already glows when he is around his baby cousin, Emma and loves to make her smile, is thrilled when he can get her to stop crying, and loves to teach her anything he can think of (pointing out different body parts to her or listing off as many fruits as he can think of). Jackson, like his behavior during this photo shoot, is my big unknown. He spent his time running in between my room and his gathering his books after my friend suggested that we read a book for the photos. It was a challenge to get him to sit still with me on the bed and show my bump any kind of loving. But then we had a moment when I was laying on the bed taking solo pictures where he climbed up and snuggled next to me and we had a quiet moment together. I don't always know what to expect from him but he hugs and kisses my tummy any chance he can get (except for during this shoot of course), and he loves to talk about baby and be in her nursery with me. Gentleness will be our main struggle but I'm so excited to see my baby boy interact with his baby sister, and both sad and excited to see how he will grow through the experience of becoming a big brother. I know his smallness and baby-ness is going to instantly be diminished in comparison to the teeny tiny bundle soon to enter our home. Things are about to change probably more than I am even prepared for, but it's such a thrilling time and I am growing less patient by the day to get this new life started already.