Hello there; it's been a while!

Post & Photo: Alexis

The past eleven months have been quite busy for my husband and me, so I feel like I could easily write a blog post rambling on a myriad of topics. To give you a short run down, we moved twice - first from Boston to New York, then from New York to Northern New Jersey. My husband started a new job and was ordained a Deacon in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. In the midst of all of these changes, Erin and I have squeezed in some intensive, week-long cooking, shooting, and editing marathons to keep the ball rolling on the cookbook. (We're almost there!) Although I am still booking photography sessions and weddings in New England, I've also begun to book in the Greater NYC and NJ areas as well. Also, for those of you who haven't heard the news, my husband and I welcomed our first baby, Sonia Noor, into the world seven magical weeks ago! 

As I'm sure you can imagine - or know from your own experience with a little one - Bet L'mssih looks a little different than the last time you heard about it here. Instead of the bed-and-breakfast-of-a-home that I dreamt up as a newlywed, our second floor, metropolitan apartment feels much more like a slightly organized mess most days. Rather than the sound of chickens outside of our dreamy, imaginary, New England farmhouse, Bet L'mssih sounds a little more like the vacuum cleaner I left running to calm our sleepy newborn. It smells like a freshly percolated pot of coffee and also like someone needs another diaper change. It looks more like unpacked boxes in one corner and an overflowing basket of laundry in the other. Breakfast is eggs that were boiled three hours before and a cup of coffee that went cold quicker than I could actually drink it. Dinner is a freezer stocked with crockpot meals (thanks, Mom!) or a thrown together pot of pasta carbonara to use up the leftovers. So although our home is not what I imagined or expected, I wouldn't trade what we have for the world; I never want this short, savory part of my life to end.

It is true what they say, that "a house doesn't make a home."  All of the clutter and unfinished tasks for this Type A Momma seem to disappear when I'm awakened at 2:30am - when the world is still asleep except for the two of us; when the ten-pound weight in my arms is piercing into my soul with her deep blue eyes and intentionally smiling at me for the very first time; when her cooing fills the air with the sweetest sounds the world has ever heard... 

Is this what they mean when they talk about Heaven on Earth? I've always imagined that Heaven is Earth, but that maybe our hearts are transformed when we finally meet our Heavenly King. Maybe in Heaven, we still do the everyday tasks of tending to our homes and working within our communities, but instead we do our work with a new understanding, a new togetherness, participating in the choir of angels all together, singing praises to God with our voices and with our working hands. Maybe our work is not work at all, but simply our whole selves in active prayer, giving and using our unique gifts to participate in and give glory to God's awesome creation.

I think of this as I hold in my arms the precious gift of life. Thank you, God for the challenging, yet beautiful and immense responsibility of motherhood! Help my husband and I to exemplify a marriage that is Christ-centered; one that is self-sacrificial and forgiving.  Help us to raise our daughter and future children to value hard work, to have grateful hearts, a love of service, and unwavering faith. Bless our home - in whatever state, shape, or form that may be - as a little church, filling it with love, prayer, and a place of true hospitality and joy. Thank you for this season, and for every season that has brought me to this day and allotted me this sweet taste of Heaven.