There's often a "bridge" where the mood of song does something different than it's been doing.  Sometimes it'll get softer.  Sometimes it's the part that builds the biggest.  Either way, it's a contrasting section often used for transitional purposes.

If these photos could fit into a song, I'd write them as the bridge.

You would hear strength and joy in the girls' eyes and power in their little hands. And their little laughs, they're literally like music to your ears.

These twins have much to celebrate on their first birthday.   They greeted this world before we expected to meet them, and then their little bodies fought for strength in the hospital for a month.  When they were six months old, their daddy went to be with Jesus.  They've had quite a first year of life, but these little women are beautiful and they are strong.  Their lives speak of the grace of the Lord.

When I asked Krisi how she felt about doing pictures for their first birthday, I expected her to want photos of them in their high chairs, each eating a cupcake.  Messy, but just barely.

Of course, Krisi is much more adventurous than that.  When I asked her if she had gotten the cupcakes, she let me know she'd already bought the cake.  Cake???

The girls didn't hesitate.  Krisi sat the cake in front of them and went at it!

This was BY FAR my favorite part!!

Happy Birthday Marleigh & Neileigh!!!

For their birthday, Krisi bought the girls pink rocking chairs, so we thought it would be fitting to use them in our photo session.  These photos were taken in front of Barnwell Chapel at Berry College, the place where the girls' father, Hugh, spent much of his time in college, as well as a place where Hugh and Krisi would go together.  During his time at Berry, Hugh established a 24-hour prayer room in Barnwell for students.

Krisi and I have spent hours upon hours talking about all that we have learned this year, so I asked Krisi if she would share a few of those thoughts with you!

Having the girls has taught me so much about my walk with Christ. It is humbling to consider that anyone could love me as much as I love my children, yet I know my love for them is designed to reflect, but never overpower the love God has for me and the love I have for Him.  My heart leaps each and every time I watch them learn something new about life and I melt when I hear them say " I love you".  In these moments I imagine that this is how God feels about me. He rejoices when I grow in my walk with Him and longs to hear me say I love you.

Grasping the depth of the way I love my children calls the genuineness of my faith into question.  Matthew 2:37 calls me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. Before June 16, 2012 I would have told anyone without question that I love The Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. On that day, as I fell in love with two beautiful little girls, my heart was challenged in a new way. Did I indeed love the Lord with everything I had?  Up to that point in life my answer was "yes, I love God with all if my heart."  If I am honest, I would have to say that the love I felt for them opened my eyes to the amount of love I was capable of feeling. Because I know that I am called to and desire to love God above ALL things, my relationship with Him has grown exponentially as I have been so much more intentional to love my God and cultivate my relationship with Him even more than I do my relationship with my children.

When I look at my girls I am reminded of How unbelievably faithful God is to me. Since I was 10 years old I have asked the Lord for identical twin girls. Well, He gave them.  My husband was a very handsome man with the most beautiful blue eyes. Along with those eyes came one of the biggest noses I have ever seen and lily white skin. Before the girls were born we would jokingly say that we prayed for the girls to have my skin, my nose, and his beautiful eyes. Wouldn't you know, that is exactly what God gave them. Even though we loved them no matter what they looked like, sometimes I think he honored such a light hearted request to remind us of just how much he does listen to the desires of our heart. I lost that precious husband when the girls were 6 months old. In moments when my heart was broken and I wondered how I was going to make it, I looked at my girls and was reminded: If my Heavenly Father loves me even more than I love my children, I have no need to fear. The God of all creation will never leave me, nor forsake me.

Psalm 127 tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. In my journey of becoming a mother, the greatest gift has been a life altering grasp the depth of the relationship God desires to cultivate with me.

Krisi, you are a beautiful woman and I'm so encouraged by your strength.  Your girls are evidence of the Lord in you.  Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.  I love being an "aunt", but more importantly, I am so encouraged by your faithfulness and it's an honor to join you in this journey.  Thank you for trusting in His goodness, even when we don't understand. I love you and I love two little one-year-olds!!

Thank you, Sarah Kibble, for the use of your home.  Not many people would allow two tiny humans to spread icing all over their wood floors.  Thank you also for snapping a few photos of me with the Hagen women; I'll forever treasure those images!  And thank you, above all, for your friendship and faithfulness to Krisi and her two companions. They all adore you.