It's been a while since the Dilbecks have been behind my camera.  This family is one that I adore and I'm super excited to share their latest family session with you.

I owe them BIG time for a good portion of the skills I've developed using a camera, especially when it comes to photographing families.   Kevin & Noelle have been a significant part of my faith journey since my senior year of college, not to mention my photography journey.  They let me take photos of their son, Carter, when I met him at the ripe ol' age of one and a half.  Noelle let me practice lighting when she was pregnant with her daughter, Alyssa.  We took a new leap in friendship when she let me be in the delivery room to photograph the first few moments of Alyssa's life (two months before I graduated from college).

For a while there I was able to take family photos for them through most seasons of their lives.  About a year ago, I went to visit them and I realized that most of the photos on the walls in their home were familiar; many of them were pictures I had taken.  As I took a moment to observe the years of their family's growth, it was as if the walls were mine, showing my own growth over time.  I am thankful for friends who believed in me so long ago (when I barely know how to use a camera) and still continue to support my work today.

More importantly, I'm thankful for their friendship.  Noelle has spent many seasons helping me see the Lord's hand in my life.  Lately, those conversations have developed into a mutual discussion of our Father's love for us as we have walked through seasons of waiting, specifically as they have waited over three years to adopt their son from the Congo.

Noelle, your transparency and honesty has always been encouraging, but lately your vulnerability has been powerfully encouraging in my own trust of the One we put our faith in.  Thank you.

If there's one word Carrie Jo has heard me talk about most, it would be the word "embrace." As cute as my kids can be, it has definitely been a fight to embrace where God has me. You think when your single that life will be better if you were married. Then you have some kids and then you think life will be better when those cute little things that took your freedom away would just get a little older and you could get more sleep (that's partly true, the sleep part). But what I learn in each of the different stages of life is that it is very easy to wish away the today and miss the beauty and things to be celebrated that only today holds.

I had no idea that marriage, parenting, um...being an adult, would be so hard. My hope for myself and others is that we would not miss what God has for us today. As much as I get tired of playing referee daily to my kids and as much as I long to have my son home from the Congo...there is much to embrace and soak up today.

- Noelle