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Emily’s Birth Story

As I sit down to write this with my precious Emily asleep on my lap, I am amazed at all that God has done by blessing us with her. I truly can not explain the joy that she has brought to my heart. I find myself looking at her in quiet moments and being overwhelmed with gratefulness for her and for God’s infinite goodness.


I guess this blog post is the 3rd in a series. I wrote about Stella’s birth story here, and I wrote about the birth and loss of our daughter Sophia here.


We knew that this pregnancy would be different. My two pregnancies before had been very low risk, with no complications…but now things would be different. This pregnancy would involve a team of doctors, nurses, and midwives. Though my primary care was with a group of midwives, I also saw a maternal fetal medicine team where I had regular ultrasounds and monitoring. At the end of my pregnancy I was making the 1.5 hour drive to one of the best hospitals on the East Coast for appointments.


The last few weeks of my pregnancy were a battle with myself to trust the Lord, and the last week included a trip to L&D after not feeling much movement. They assured us that Emily was going great, but the waiting was hard. When I was 37 weeks, 5 days, I went in for a routine non stress test and midwife appointment. But, when I got hooked up to the monitor, Emily’s heart rate was extremely high. In a whirlwind, the nurses rushed me out of the office and upstairs to labor and Delivery. We quickly had to call family to come get Stella as the nurses told us that they believed that they would deliver me.

Emily Maternity-1

When we got to triage it took a little while, but eventually Emily’s heart rate came back to a normal range. Some of the doctors began talking about sending us home, but we really felt strongly that it was time to have our little girl. We were still a little more than a week away from our scheduled induction, but thankfully our midwives really fought for us that it was time to have our little girl considering the complications that we had faced that week and the loss of Sophia just a year before.

I assumed through my pregnancy that I would have to be induced, though I really wanted a natural, unmedicated delivery. So, even though I knew it was time for Emily to be born, and I would do whatever it took for that to happen…I was worried that the interventions for induction may mean that I wasn’t able to have the birth that I wanted. I was able to speak with my midwives, Katie and Birget, and decide on the best plan for induction.


At my appointment two days earlier I had only been a fingertip dilated, so I was surprised that when they checked me I was between 2-3 cm dilated. We decided to use a foley catheter to see if it would help me dilate further. I had not heard of this method of induction before, but I am so glad that the midwives introduced it to me. It was placed at about noon on Friday, and in less than two hours it came out and I was 5 cm dilated. At this point though I was having some contractions that were showing up on the monitor, I wasn’t feeling any pain, so we assumed that the contractions would probably need some help to keep me progressing, and they started pitocin.

For the next several hours for the most part pain free, I was having some contractions, but definitely not in active labor. We walked the halls of the hospital, watched Netflix, Facetimed with Stella, and just hung out in our room having fun with the nurses.



Around 10pm they came in to check me to see if I was making any progress. To everyones surprise, I was 7cm dilated, even though I was feeling great with just some slight discomfort from contractions. They decided to break my water to help things move along. I knew from my delivery with Stella that things would get pretty intense once my water was broken…and it did. I really wanted to labor in the tub, and I thought it would be a great way to work through the contractions without medication. I decided to get in the jacuzzi tub in our room shortly after they broke my water and contractions began to intensify.


I labored in the tub through contractions I was sure I couldn’t handle. As I worked through contractions with Jeremy and my nurse by the side of the tub, I visualized Emily through the contractions. As my nurse reminded me to relax and not tense through the contractions, Jeremy reminded me to breath and to picture holding her soon. Jeremy held my hand and prayed, and was calm and gentle as a quietly moaned through contractions.

Emily Hospital-1

Soon it was time. I had the irresistible urge to push and the nurse was calling in everyone that needed to be there during delivery. I got out of the tub and went to the bed. After a few pushes, she was born. She was immediately put on my chest, and she was completely perfect. Jeremy and I were both crying because we were so happy to finally have her here. I held her for well over an hour, nursed her, and stared at her before she got her first bath or was weighed. She was 7lb 90z, and the most perfect addition to our family. Though she was born late at night at night, and I was exhausted…I couldn’t help but hold her all night and be amazed at how much I loved her.



I am so thankful that I was able to have the birth that I had envisioned. It truly was the most perfect birthing experience I could have imagined. As I sit here and reflect a month later, I am amazed at God’s love and grace to me through my entire pregnancy and delivery. His strength truly is made perfect in our weakness. Through every fearful night of pregnancy, and every contraction I thought I couldn’t make it through…He gave me His strength, and reminded me of His Steadfast love and faithfulness.

Emily  Momma-32

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Thank you for sharing this sweet story of love and life from the Father through you and Jeremy. Although I’ve never experienced all that you have been through, I do identify with your mother’s heart…. And since God knows your heart better than anyone, there is no doubt that you and Emily Jane were in His care every moment, and that those helping you through this pregnancy and delivery were “hand-picked” by Him! Your daughters are so blessed to have you and Jeremy as their parents. Without a doubt, they will one day rise up and call you (both) blessed!

What a beautiful testimony of God’s love, strength, and faithfulness. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family!

Emily is so beautiful! I was pregnant with you, my little princess Avonlee Rose was born March 30th 2015. All throughout my pregnancy I thought of you and prayed over your Emily and your family. I am so thankful to the Lord for His gracious gifts to us, our little girls. Thank you for sharing these pics!

Carla Calvert

Beautiful story. Beautiful name. I have an Emily, too – and for me her name means: Every Minute I Love You – as she is a constant reminder of the Lord’s love. I pray that your Emily infuses your sweet family with His love.

May 2015 Scripture Challenge

Last year I started the May Scripture Challenge as a way for us to keep each other accountable and encourage each other to spend time in the Word. I was amazed at the community that came together  and committed to reading Scripture every day in the month of May…so this year…we are doing it again! I would love for you to join us!

The Challenge:

  • Read scripture every day in the month of May.
  • Share a photo on instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #lampandlight so that we can encourage each other on the journey and inspire others to make Scripture a priority.

How to get ready:

  • Decide what you are going to read. I recommend choosing a book of the Bible and starting at the beginning, but if you are already in a reading plan or going through a study you don’t need to choose something else.
  • Prepare your heart. Ask God to encourage your heart throughout the month of May, and instill in you a love and desire for God’s Word.
  • Ask a friend to join you. I will be here to cheer you on, and will be checking out the hashtag often, but it would be great to ask a friend or a few to try to commit with you so that you can encourage each other.
  • If you aren’t sure how to study Scripture, you can read this post about how I do it.
  • Share the image below on Facebook or instagram and ask friends to join in.
  • You can also share it on Pinterest using the Pinterest button at the bottom of the post.


I am so excited to see old and new friends participate in this challenge, because I know that Scripture is powerful. Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment here or on instagram, or by using the contact page above to send me an email.

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Im so excited to be a part of this again!

Aisha Antoinette Picott

I’m going to try again! God is cheering me on even though I fell last time! :-)

[…] So instead of scrolling past this image with faint acknowledgment, I viewed Kristin Schmucker’s site, and read all about the May Scripture Challenge. […]

I’m so happy I joined in! This challenge has truly blessed me and met me exactly where I am during this current season. I wrote a post about it on my blog today. I appreciate your encouragement and heart for the Lord!

[…] Some of you may recall a post I wrote a couple weeks ago, where I shared my involvement with Kristin Schmuker’s May Scripture Challenge. […]

[…] Kristin Schmucker periodically hosts #lampandlight challenges, to read the Bible every day for a month. Posting images of your quiet time or Bible or journal can keep you going and remind others who are taking part. But more than that, the hashtag is used by loads of women throughout the year, so it’s another great way to keep accountable to stay in the word. Why not make a commitment to read the Bible daily, even if it’s just a verse, and share a picture? […]

A Conversation with Katelyn James

I started following Katelyn a few years ago, and it is easy to tell that she is just the sweetest person. She is an amazing wedding photographer, and also shares great business advice, and lots of other fun things like her gorgeous home, and adorable puppy on her blog. Enjoy getting to know her a bit, and make sure to follow along with her at the links below…she will add some prettiness and inspiration to your feed for sure.
Bio and Portfolio-2015 Headshots-0014Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Katelyn and I’m married to my high school sweetheart on 10-10-10!! We don’t have any children quite yet but we do have a fluffy little bichpoo named Bokeh and he brings so much joy to our life! I LOVE decorating and home design in general! Michael and I are a husband and wife team and we shoot 25-35 weddings annually. We also LOVE educating photographers and helping others make their dream job a reality! We offer workshops, coaching and have an online storewith digital resources!
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What does a typical day look like for you?

Well I wish that I could say that I have a perfect morning routine that included an hour with Jesus, an hour working out, showering and then starting my work day. Well, that is sadly not the case. Our schedule varies so much week to week. When I do get to wake up and have time have some time in the morning room with my journal, devotional and an omelette, I’m happy! :) Once I start the work day I work on things that people are WAITING on first and then I attempt to work ons special projects!
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What helps you stay organized?

I LOVE Evernote! I’m constantly figuring out new ways to use it to collect my ideas, thoughts and to-do lists. It’s working for now! I also have a “Shoots in Progress” worksheet that I use to keep my current work organized! You can actually download it for FREE by signing up for our newsletter! :
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I am a huge fan of your home decor posts, what inspires your decorating style, and where are your favorite places to shop for your home?

Oohh I love this question!! I don’t have a massive home decor budget and so Target and Homegoods are my go-to places for new decor! I love seeing ideas on home decor blogs and then trying to recreate them on a smaller budget. I also love Joss and Main and One Kings Lane! You can follow our new home series HERE! “A Home Made for Hosting” is all about helping people decorate and create spaces that they love to host in!!
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You and Michael work together full time which is amazing! What is your biggest advice to someone wanting to work with their spouse, how do you make it work?

Whew! Zach and Jody Gray once told us that it would take 3-4 years to really get your systems down and that’s so true! Michael and I have been working together for two and a half years and we’re still figuring out what works well for me and what works well for him. My systems aren’t his systems and we realized this very early on! Taking time to talk through what is and isn’t working is so important!
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What is the biggest thing God has been teaching you this year?

To TRUST him and to have more margin in our life. We are shooting less weddings this year and it’s the first time in 7 years that we have intentionally taken a step back. He’s showing us that He’s in charge and He knows what we need. So we’re learning to trust this year!

What are your must have products?

Hmm, in my personal life, I love my VERB hair products and in my business life, I love my ONA BAG!!!
Follow along with Katelyn:
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My Recommended Reading List

I often get asked for book recommendations, and I love sharing what I am currently reading. Here are some books that I have loved, and think that you might too. You can click on any of the images to learn more about each book.



I would love to hear what books you love, and think that I should add to my list!

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Kinzie Marie Harvell

I read Kisses from Katie in one sitting, no joke :). I also loved Jen Hatmakers newest Interrupted.. Super challenging and I’m still digesting it 2 months later! Love to my sweet friends!

Debbie Maminski-Nahrebecki

Keep it Shut (Karen Ehman)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
Healing Oils of the Bible (David Stewart, Ph.D.)
The Shack (Wm. Paul Young)
My Bible, preferences NKJV & NIV
What Love Is (Kelly Minter)

Jamie Gregory

I’m currently reading “The Gathering Place: Creating a Culture of Titus 2 Discipleship” & its great! You can order it here:

LOVE Angie Smith… all her books!


Thanks for the recommendations!

I started “Keep It Shut” by Karen Ehman last Thursday and I am almost done. I tend to talk a lot and interrupt people during conversation. Last week, God made it abundantly clear that I need to learn how to speak less and listen more. I’ve made tons of notes and it’s really convicting me. She covers learning to listen, how to talk to God before your talk to others, gossip, etc. The chapter on gossip is definitely convicting me in ways I never thought possible.
Highly, highly recommend it!

Also reading “Boundaries” by Dr.Henry Cloud.

Happy reading!

Nicky Peterson

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!!

Dominique Gardner

The 5 Love Languages & God’s Not Mad at You by Joyce Meyer

Brielle Coppel

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty


Hello Kristin,

A few years ago I stumbled on your blog and I think it was this post where I saw the recommendation of a boxed set of books that would explain more to different Bible books (I thought it was about the books of the New Testament). Unfortunately, I can’t see the pictures any more and don’t know which boxed set it was. Could you please tell me?

Thank you!