It’s a pretty cool thing to know your name has been chosen to reflect an answered prayer. Elliana means “the Lord has answered” and it’s Matt and Julie’s desire to always remember the goodness of God when they see their little girl. The path to Ellie’s arrival was a rocky one. The Kumpar’s found their faith was grown along side a greater understanding of how God works in lives willing to listen for His still small voice.
Matt and Julie's first 'baby' Zoe realizes she's no longer the 'baby' so she has beautifully stepped into a protective big sister role with Ellie!
Elliana’s projected due date was just days before Julie’s grandfather’s birthday. Julie’s grandfather held a special place in her heart. So, when the due date came and went Julie began to wonder if Elliana would actually arrive on her grandfather’s birthday. This was the very first page in Julie's book of photos to help calm her during labor, just her and her grandad.
Growing up, Julie’s father did not fill the role a father should in a little girl’s life; in fact it was just the opposite. When the role of father in a little girl’s life is a painful one, a gaping hole exists that requires filling. Thankfully, Julie had a gap filler in her life, her grandfather. He was always in her corner and was a constant encouragement to her, reminding her ‘keep smiling’.
The man who meant so much to Julie growing up and the baby that she has waited 2 years (her whole life for) would both share the same birthday! Julie couldn't have been happier about that!
Julie wears her heart on her sleeve. Several years ago when her grandfather died, her Aunt gave her the charm “Smile” as a reminder of all her grandfather had meant to her. Knowing how devastated she was by the loss of her grandfather, her Aunt also gave her “Courage” to remind her what would be required of her now. Years later after Julie suffered a miscarriage, her Mom added “Believe” to the collection of reminders that Father God can be trusted.
Everything about having a baby tends to center around the mom, so Matt was pretty pleased when they received this pink camo blanket! His love of hunting was not forgotten! The family jokes wondering which bow Ellie will prefer.
We were able to beautifully incorporate Matt’s elk skin and white tailed deer European mount into Ellie’s session. I fell in love with the timelessness of this image---I feel like it could have been taken hundreds of years ago….
Matt says the first time he saw Julie asleep on the sofa after they watched a movie together he thought she looked like an angel….well, now he has two angels in his life! I got the distinct impression that baby hood will be fast phase for little Ellie as she was doing her best to crawl already at less than a week old!
I was at the Kumpar house a few days ago and saw Julie’s mom and identical twin sister Jenn just busying themselves to do whatever they saw needing done. These two women stepped in with such graciousness to be of help in any way they could. Ellie's is blessed to be surrounded by so much love! Julie’s new mom experience is going to be the envy of her friends!
You may remember Julie’s maternity session blog and how she played sweet music through our outdoor session. She serenaded Ellie with “Amazing Grace”as the whole family (including their first ‘baby’ Zoe) reveled in God’s goodness. Julie’s love of violin has been a family tradition. This violin belonged to her grandmother who has also passed away (just one day before her grandfather’s birthday). Oh wouldn’t she smile at these images!
Throughout our time Julie calmed Ellie by singing “He’s Still Working On Me” which has been stuck in my head ever since! It was really cool to see how Ellie calmed at the song. There’s a lot of truth to chew on in this simple little tune.
HE'S STILL WORKING ON ME
By: Joel Hemphill
He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.
1. There really ought to be a sign upon the heart,
Don't judge her yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands.
2. In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.