If there’s one thing I’ve learned since picking up a camera – it’s that every image tells a story. However grand or insignificant the story may seem – there’s one to be told, shared, enjoyed, remembered… in every image. This is something I’ve been learning and processing since day one of being a photographer. I know how to technically and artistically make an image, but being a storyteller is something I’ve been recently figuring out and I think it is one of the most important parts of who I am. As I journey through my own story, I’m so grateful for the chance to come along others, watch their families grow, marriages blossom and lives continue to unfold. This past season, I’ve especially learned a lot about what it means to be storyteller and I’ve had the joy of spending much time with families and couples, young and old. I can’t wait to share more of this storytelling process and journey with you as time allows, but for now, I have a really wonderful story to share with you… one that hits very close to home…

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We were overjoyed when my brother, Peter, called last spring to announce that they were expecting another baby. This was to be their fifth child and they could not wait for his/her arrival. Having had a couple difficult pregnancies before, my sister-in-law, Nicole was put under the care of a high risk doctor. Unfortunately, in May, at about 18 weeks, there was little movement and doctor’s struggled to find a heartbeat. The baby’s fluid was dangerously low, to the point where doctors told my brother and his wife to “expect the worst.” One doctor even asked if they would prefer to terminate the pregnancy because it was highly probable that the baby would not live to see the light of day. Their answer was immediately, “no” – not only because they believe that God is author of life, but because they also were not just going to give up on this child. This baby, for however long they were given with him or her, was theirs to take care of and love and cherish. So, Nicole was placed on full bedrest and monitored for weeks (did I mention she had four other children at home??).

After many big + little miracles, we were able to watch this sweet babe continue to grow and levels begin to stabilize. They found out they were having a baby girl and with every passing week, we praised the Lord because that meant we were potentially one step closer to meeting her! The initial goal was to make it to 24 weeks… and every week after that was a bonus!

The stakes were high even as this girl got close to full term (a miracle in itself!). People around the nation were praying and we were hoping and believing for the best. At 36 weeks, it was unclear whether or not it was a good time deliver, so they let her stay in for a few more days…

On September 5th, almost 20weeks after the doctors told her parents to give up, a healthy + happy baby girl named Alexis entered the world! She is a sweet, gentle girl, who is loved to pieces by her parents, four siblings and a plethora of family and friends. I can’t wait to watch her grow and see how her beautiful story develops! :)

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Friends, I believe this story is a testament to life and perseverance. I don’t know what trials you are facing in your life, in your relationships, with your health, your job or your loved ones… but don’t give up. We are only given one life, one story to share with the world. Fight + persevere through the tough days, snuggle + laugh on the sunny days and never, ever give up on believing in truth and love. This crazy life is worth fighting for and I hope this sweet babe can be a solid reminder of that to you today…


  1. Pingback:three years of marriage | Grand Rapids Wedding Photography | JennAnibal.com/blog

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