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A month of Grace

It is hard to believe that it has already been a month since my little Stella Grace came into this world. What a crazy, wonderful, challenging, amazing month it has been filled with lots of kisses, joy, tears, and most of all love. In all of the moments over this past month that have been both wonderful and challenging we look at our little princess and are amazed at the blessing that we have been given. She has changed our lives and she is so much more than we could have ever asked for.

I have learned in these past 31 days both my strength and my weakness. I have learned that when I am completely exhausted that God gives me the strength to wake up to nurse my little girl when she begins to stir in her bassinet at 2 in the morning. I have learned that I can’t do it all, even though I so badly want to be able to.

In this past month we celebrated the birth of two babies. We celebrated the birth of our little Stella Grace and the birth of our Savior. Having a new baby made Christmas such an extra special blessing this year. We sat around our tree on Christmas morning and opened gifts with our little girl and realized that she was the most wonderful gift we could have ever asked for.

Our little family of three is the most precious and important thing to me. There is more love between the three of us than I ever knew was possible. We snapped this photo on Christmas eve, it might not be perfect since it was taken in the bedroom mirror and we forgot to close the closet door, but it means the world to me.

I am learning in this crazy, hectic and wonderful time that grace is so much more important than perfection…

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9

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Laura Jinks

What a beautiful family!

Tammy

The three of you are truly blessed, as all of us who know and love you are! Enjoy every moment, they are gone before you know it!

Karolyn Torres

I absolutely love reading your blogs! Stella is a little beauty and she was given to two amazing parents!

Elaine Joy McDonnell

Kristin, I have enjoyed your posts. You look great, new Mommy! :-) God bless all three of you – each baby brings new and more love to the home. It is pretty incredible.

Carrie Chavel Cole

Almost made me tear up! This is everything exactly that we feel!

susan

so glad your “sabbatical” of silence is over — great to hear from the schmuckers again and to SEE them in triad. we know you’ve enjoyed family visits to the nth degree, and now you will be “just you 3” living out a normal life as it happens. the photo resounds with joy! joy! joy! which of course, spills over from your grateful hearts. thank you for
the beautifully PERFECT picture….we love you all.

Amanda

Aww! That gave me little chills. Isn’t amazing the myriad of emotions that you experience all at once. I’m sure you and I could swap stories for days :)

Lara

So beautiful. Thinking of you and sending lots of prayers for those long nights. I’m probably up when you are too : ) Happy New Year to you and your family!

First Look vs. Tradition

I absolutely love when a bride decides to have a first look. I also understand the concern for “tradition” since Jeremy refused the first look because he simply wanted to see me walk through the doors and down the aisle. However, I have found that a First Look not only provides more time for pictures on your wedding day, but it also can be one of the most cherished moment on your big day.

Earlier this year Jeremy and I photographed our good friend’s wedding, Megan and Victor. Megan and Victor opted to have a First Look to have more time pictures. Megan was surprised how this one decision changed her entire wedding day and she was sweet enough to write her story for you. Enjoy!

Although I wouldn’t say I was a completely traditional bride, I have always dreamed of the doors opening on my wedding day and my husband seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle during the ceremony.  I had heard of the idea of a first look and Victor was all for it!  However, I was a little hesitant. The more I thought about it, I finally gave in, threw tradition out the window, and agreed to it.  Looking back now I can’t imagine how the wedding day would have gone without a first look! What an amazing experience of being able to be alone with my soon-to-be husband for a few minutes before the craziness of the ceremony and reception.  For one thing, it calmed my nerves alot just seeing him! We were able to laugh, cry, and just talk about the day. The best part was, I still got to see his reaction when he saw me for the first time but in a much more intimate setting, without 200 hundred people watching too! :) I know some brides think this will ruin that time when you walk down the aisle during the ceremony because he will already have seen you.  This is so NOT true!!  If anything, it made it better!  I still had a beaming, misty-eyed groom at the end of the aisle waiting for me.  If you are thinking about not doing a first look at your wedding, DONT! Just do it! I’m so glad my hubby talked me into it, because it made our wedding day so much more special! :)

Here is a few pictures from Megan and Victor’s First Look:

 

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I understand the tradition of the doors opening for the first time and seeing your bride/groom. But my experience with the first look both personally and professionally the consensus is much like Megan’s account. It allowed for quiet, it allow for a moment with the person you are about to commit your life. It is a time when you can be alone. It doesn’t have to be documented. The first wedding I ever did chose a first look but they wanted no pictures but instead took 20 min to just be before going off for pictures, the ceremony and the hustle of a reception.

Jack McDonnell

Good post! I love first looks, and not just because I am a photographer. It also seems so much more personal and special for the bride a groom to have a few minutes alone together. Love your informational/inspirational posts Kristin!

Kristin Schmucker

Thanks! I totally agree.

Daddy’s Girl

Two and a half years ago I married my very best friend, and nine days ago we welcomed our little Stella Grace into the world. What a ride it has been. I always knew that Jeremy would be a great Dad and these past nine days he has amazed me. He has been there for me every step of my pregnancy and he held my hand as I delivered our little girl with tears in his eyes. I don’t know what I would have done without him these past several days. He has done just about everything for me. He has done laundry, cooked dinner, brought me water and cuddled with Stella on the couch so that  I could get a few hours of much needed sleep.

I love watching him with Stella, the way he looks at her melts my heart. I am so very grateful that our little girl will have such an amazing man as her Father. He loveshis Savior, his wife and his baby girl, and we are so thankful for him. I find it such a comfort to know that Stella has a daddy who will play with her, sing to her, teach her, love her and point her to the Savior.

This morning I captured a few photos of him with our little princess.

 

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Christi Rudduck

Uh Oh! Jeremy looks like he might be wrapped around that finger! That might get expensive later in life. :) PS. These are so cute!

Beautiful, beautiful photos of such a sweet relationship. I have enjoyed watching my husband love our daughters over the years in such a special way. It becomes hardest when you walk them down the aisle to give them away…so emotional, but so wonderful when it’s the ‘right man.’ ;-) God bless you – enjoy the days!

Addie Greenacre

These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Krista Morgan

perfect pictures!

Debbie Phillips

HOW precious, Jeremy. You are holding what love made! Enjoy and love her richly!

Carrie Chavel Cole

so precious Kristin! :) And she looks like she’s lost some in her cheeks just like Moriah did. AND it is too funny about her hair. Because if I can see correctly, it looks as if it kinda swoops to the right and her left side (at the front) doesn’t have as much. Don’t know if that makes any sense, but that is just what Moriah’s does! How ironic!

Amber Mullenix

My fav is the nose to nose. <3

The pictures are wonderful!! You can see the LOVE!! She is truly a beautiful little doll.

Megan Andzulis

I literally almost started crying these are beautiful!

Kerry Kelb

I definitely teared up while reading this. You all have such a beautiful family and are very blessed.

Jillian Tree

Amazingly beautiful <3.

Marilyn Schmucker

Makes me tear up just looking at the pictures. Oh so can’t wait to be there!

Lynn Wills

I know I can’t believe this is your baby holding his baby !!!

Marilyn Schmucker

Amen sister.

Priscilla Frantz

Lord help us…Jeremy is a DAD! Kristin, I’ll be praying REAL hard for Stella! Thankfully, she’s got you for a mom! Haha! Seriously, she’s a little angel! Congrats to both of you!

Joan Pitcha

Beautifull photo’s. Beautiful family. Auntie Joan

Stella Grace, Gratefulness, Christmas Pictures, and Fried Chicken

This blog post is written by Jeremy.

The past week has literally been a turning point in our lives with the addition of our wonderful little baby girl, Stella Grace. Only 8 days ago our little bundle of joy made her debut into this world and wow how time flies! Kristin keeps joking that those last few days of her pregnancy seemed like FOREVER, and now all of a sudden Stella is already a week old! Crazy, right?

With all blessings there are usually trials. We had a minor trial this week when Stella Grace was officially diagnosed with Jaundice, a yellowing of her skin and eyes.  It was quite scary having her get an IV in her tiny little hand and forcing her to lie still under those blue lights, but all in all, we are thankful she is healthy. But not just thankful, grateful. For Stella’s treatment we are at Cook Children’s Hospital here in Fort Worth. During our 24 hour stay I made my way up and down the halls looking for Chik-fil-a (yes there was a chick-fil-a and a Starbucks in this hospital). I couldn’t help but notice the scores of children that were not so “luck” as Stella to be there with only a mild condition. I saw an 8 year old boy with no hair being pushed in a wheelchair by his mom, obviously fighting cancer. Another 6 or 7 year old boy still wearing diapers running through the halls with autism. Watching these parents chase their children and struggle to be “strong” for their kids while their worlds are collapsing around them gave me a greater sense of thankfulness. Sure, Jaundice can be scary if not properly treated, but all things considered it is mild compared to what many kids face today. Watching Stella at the hospital not only made me thankful for her health, but also gratefulness.

On a lighter note, I have been cooking dinner recently! Scary, I know. Kristin is a superwoman and I know nothing about cooking! Needless to say, I saw this easy recipe on the Today show yesterday so I gave it a try. Simply put, it was a little bit spice and olive oil to make fried chicken on the stove. Yum. (btw, Kristin said it was good and would eat it again).

Enjoy these BEAUTIFUL pictures of our precious girl. We know we are biased, but she really is the cutest baby EVER!

Can you pick a favorite? I can’t…

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Tammy

Love everyone! She really is a litle bundle of joy!

Jaclyn Rose

She is so beautiful! A perfect mix of both of you. Congratulations!

Krista Morgan

Adorable little girl! :) I think the first one might be a favorite but it’s hard to decide. The ones she is laying on the presents also are adorable. Hope Kristin is doing well. :)

Cindy Clinton-Kinsey

ADORABLE! I wish you lived closer so you could do pictures of Jackson :(

Elaine Joy McDonnell

She is beautiful.

Amber Olsen

Hard to believe you have a little girl! So cute!

Laura

Are those all presents for Stella? :P haha What a beautiful blessing, just in time for Christmas! :)

Kelsey Lemonhead

LALALAlove these! so beautiful! I’m so happy for you two and little Stella for getting such amazing parents (:

Jared Johanna Spangenberg

Aww! Such a precious post. Good writing & cooking, Jeremy ;-) So happy for you guys. She is beautiful and precious. Keep enjoying every moment with her!

Aww…she’s too cute! Congratulations!!

Jillian Tree

She is so so so cute! Major congratulations <3 <3.

Pop Pop

Wish I could be there!

Vivien Tran Jordan

Ahhhhh! SOOOOO stinkin’ cute! Praise the Lord for your precious gift! Love all these photos! Such great ideas here.

God Created our little Stella Grace

Jeremy is writing this blog post:

These past few days have been overwhelming to say the least. As I sit here staring at my little angel I can’t help but realize how good God has been to Kristin and me. Sure, Kristin and I both had some challenges during the pregnancy, delivery, and now recovery process, but it all fades away when we look at Stella’s cuteness!

Kristin and I are so grateful to our Savior, Lord, and Creator Jesus Christ. He gave us the most precious little girl we ever could have asked for and I think the picture says it all.

Psalm 139:14-16 – (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works; and that my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

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Tammy

Crying….as I read this post, and thanking God for this beautiful family He has created.

Tammy

Crying…..as I read this post, and thanking God for this beautiful family He has created.

Caitie T.

Sooooo….maybe I cried again? :o)

Nicole Davis

please tell me that the headband was a pinterest idea as well…the scripture, the baby, your heart…all BEAUTIFUL.

Carla Malinowski Dicken

How precious!

Patty Thompson

Beautiful!

Kinzie Marie Harvell

L.O.V.E

Kristin Schmucker

actually the headband was an etsy idea – we bought one just like it from etsy and realized the flower was from the scrapbooking section at hobby. with a little bit of elastic string so we made this one.

Caitie Sheppard

Soooo…maybe I cried…again? :o) <3 <3 <3

Denise Schwenk

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
She is the most beautiful baby I have seen in a while!!!
And I have some gorgeous ones but they have grown up!!!!
The LOrd has truly blessed you! So happy for you!
Grandpas and Grandmas must be delirious!!

Bethany McDonnell

so adorable :)

This post gave me the shivers. I love this picture. I love that baby. So happy for you two. :)

Shelby J

They really are a miracle and a blessing…cherish her every moment!

So lovely. Her cute little lips looks so adorable. Fantastic work, Kristin. I so love the idea of a child lying on the scripture.

Amanda

She is gorgeous! Congratulations on your sweet blessing.