Entitled to Coffee

Today I caught myself thinking, “I deserve a cup of coffee” when Hadleigh was humiliating me in Home Depot.

To back up, Hadleigh was having a literal throw-down on the floor. People were passing with awkward “You need to do something about this” or “I pity you” faces. The meltdown lasted. And lasted. We’ve always compared Hadleigh’s cry to a screeching baby pig, but with the volume of 10 piglets. If you’ve never heard a baby pig, go to your local petting farm and check it out. Your eardrums will be singed.

So there I was, and the Spirit was holding me back from losing my cool, and I was feeling this entitlement toward coffee. It was a seemingly harmless thought that showed the depth of my heart.

Sometimes we think we deserve things. We think we deserve the perfect marriage, dream job, or for me, an angel baby.

I immediately thought of Romans where we learn the opposite is true. We are actually enemies of God (Rom. 5:10) and deserve death (Rom. 6:23). Not even a cup of coffee, just death, eternal separation from God. That’s what i deserve. “But God”–these words encouraged me today, showing God didn’t leave us there. “But God demonstrates His own love toward sinners” through Christ’s death (Romans 5:8), but then expanding even more, He gives what only Christ, the Perfect One, deserves–His very own righteousness, presence, inheritance, and blessing–to His children.

Seeing my child today gave me a glimpse of who I am–needing No reward based on my behavior. I am no better than a tantrum-throwing, screeching piglet. And quite honestly, I can throw a good fit, myself. I NEED the Gospel!

Fear not, I DID get that cup of coffee, but not because I deserved it, but because I really wanted a homemade pumpkin spice latte. And, Hadleigh DID get disciplined with her beloved babydoll taken away from her for a while, as well as a good Gospel/Grace-centered 2-minute sermon. Though I’m pretty sure she wasn’t understanding most of what I said, it was a reminder to me.

Grace is abundant and beautifully undeserved.


When Hadleigh came to me later and asked for kisses, snuggled on my lap and asked to play babydolls with her, God reminded me, it was His grace on display, not something I was entitled to. Any goodness in my life, even the breath in my lungs, can only come from the source of all good. Praise to Him, from who all blessings flow!


A letter to my mini-me

Dear mini-me,

A part of me gets nostalgic every time summer comes to an end and we start buying school supplies. I totally connect with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail,” and melt at the smell of “bouquet of newly sharpened pencils” (especially if they are perfectly labeled with a label machine). I’m reminded of my elementary years. I LOVED school, and I say that with no exaggeration. I adored every bit of it (minus the occasional relational drama), and I honestly pray that you and your siblings would be lovers of learning, as well.

When Connor went to kindergarten, I was ecstatic. I wasn’t necessarily dying for him to get out of the house (even with you at home and Hadleigh on the way). I truly enjoy having you all with me, but I was beyond giddy for him on his first day of school. I did cry…in the car…and I blame my pregnant hormones 100%. You might have slight memory of that.

This year was a little different. You were so excited to go to kindergarten, but a part of me was aching inside. Perhaps it’s because you are a girl, sweet, with fragile emotions, or perhaps it’s because when I look at you, I see a mini-me. It’s probably a little of both, but I have realized seeing the “me” in you creates an unhealthy protectiveness. It’s selfishly motivated, like I could possibly change the bad that happened to me by trying to protect you.

Why do I do that?

I want to protect you, it’s my responsibility to protect you, and I promise to fight for you, but the problem comes when I place pressure on myself to insure your happiness at all times. It’s exhausting, dear one, and someday you might experience that with your own babies.

Somehow, I believed the lie that failure or sadness would harm you. However, if God’s desire is for His children to be more and more conformed to the image of His Son, then sometimes happiness has to take the fall, maybe even a big fall. I often pray protection over you, but when the unavoidable pains of life happen, as they always do, I need you to cling to this: You can be so deeply strengthened and shaped during the times you have no strength to shape yourself. That might just be the beauty of pain. It’s then that our self-promoting, self-seeking, self-protecting inner person crumbles, and we can only rely on God, Himself, to do something glorious in and through us.


When you make a mistake and you get embarrassed, your face turns red, and you feel like crying, God can shape you. Let Him lift up your head so you can bask in His perfection.

When a classmate doesn’t accept you, and maybe even makes fun of you, God can shape you. Let Him remind you that you are His creation and lead you to those who are hurting, themselves, and need a friend.

When you hurt someone’s feelings, and you you feel the burn of regret, God can shape you. Let Him show you forgiveness and give you humility to ask for forgiveness.

When you face the choice to be brave or accepted, God can shape you. Let Him go before you and give you courage.

When you have to wait for something, something you really want, God can shape you. Let Him be your treasure.

In moments of despair, suffering, or frustration, God can shape you. In moments of sadness, anger, and error, God can shape you. In all things, God can shape you.

And let me walk beside you, sweet one. As your character is shaped, let me always walk beside you.

You are my beauty, and I love you very much.


“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither present things nor things to come, neither powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39


1 year, 2 months, 3 days ago…

…baby #3 was born.

I was reminded Sunday at our church’s ladies’ night out just how good moms are about reminiscing and re-telling birth stories.  I adore that part of being a woman.  I can almost cry when I hear the sentimental details, laugh about the crazy things that women scream at their husbands, and I hate to say that I am even intrigued by the stories about 48 hour labor and 10+ pound babies.  (It makes me more thankful for a 19 hour labor with my firstborn.)  I can honestly say I have no problem with the tendency that women have to “one up” the other women with how horrific their birth experience really was.   I love every bit of the competitive story-telling.

As I was driving home from the ladies’ event, I realized I had never shared photos that my friend and talented photographer, Jessica Mooney, took at the birth of Hadleigh Kate 1 year, 2, months, and 3 days ago. (***Side note: She and I have a quirky thing for numbers, so I thought she’d appreciate my posting this with a numerical reference.) I meant to post on Hadleigh’s first birthday, but that happened to be election day, so my mind was swamped with red, white, and blue thoughts.

My precious Hadleigh has been such a gift this past year, teaching us so much to depend on the Lord.  After our first two babies, Drew and I pridefully thought we had the parenting thing down, but Hadleigh has kept us on our toes from the beginning.

My water broke on a Sunday when my husband was a couple hours away, supposedly picking up the kids from a weekend getaway to their grandparent’s house.  In actuality, he was stranded a couple hours away with a flat tire, and the bolts were so tightly screwed that the tire-changing process was a little longer than normal.  He didn’t answer his phone. I laughed.  Several friends and family members didn’t answer their phones. I laughed. I finally got a hold of one brother who I thought was in DFW, but was actually going back to West Texas.  I laughed. My husband’s secretary and dear friend, Cindy, did get my message while I was on the other line, and she was the heroine of the day, rushing me 45 minutes down the road to the hospital.  When we were at a dead-stop in traffic on the highway due to the Cowboys game, we both laughed.  When I heard my parents (who share one car) had not one, but 2 tires (ironic?) that were to be replaced the next day and some other repair was to be done, I laughed cried. My doctor had the flu.  The hospital didn’t have the paperwork from the doctor.  Everything seemed so badly timed, but I think it’s times like those that, in hindsight, you can laugh again and praise the Lord because He, and only He, could carry you through.

I’ll spare you from the remaining details and save them for another ladies’ night out birth-story swap, but here’s the rest of the story in photographs.


Can you tell Reece dressed herself that day?  Her “Lolli” said she was adement about this all-pink, girly outfit. I love the fact that she was 100% Reece that day, excited to welcome her sister in the most froo-froo way!

My brother, sister-in-law and sister were immediately at the hospital to help with the kids.  I’ve heard some silly stories from the waiting room. If only I had been a fly on the wall.

Oh, and I have no idea what that little playdoh creature is.


Our friends drove all the way from Oklahoma to see us.  It made us feel pretty special, and gave the kids some company when the labor seemed to drag…on…forever.


She was due to be born on 11.11.11 (and my numerical heart sank for a split second in time when my water 5 days early), but I guess she decided wanted to surprise me.  My numerical heart is trumped by my love of surprises. The timing was perfect. She was perfect. God was good.

1 year, 2 months, 3 days later, she’s still surprising us, and God is still teaching us.  We are so blessed.


Highlights: 10 months of love and marriage

Just as with my family post, I’m sparing you once again.  Here’s a few of my favorites from the past 10 months sans blog.

1. How about an adorable wedding downtown Frisco with an elated bride and groom? Yes, please.

2.  This sweet day included a lot of very excited children in the wedding party, which meant shooting at 36 weeks pregnant was actually really fun!

3.  The English tea-inspired bridal session couldn’t have been more beautiful, and the fact that the bride and groom had the most adorable matchy-matchy names (Eric & Erica) made my heart happy!



4.  Yet, another wonderful name–Lemmons!  I couldn’t have been happier to photograph engagements, bridals, and a wedding, full of citrusy goodness!

*Side-note: I just had to include the “exit” photo because it had to be one of my all-time favorite memories at a wedding.  To continue with my goal to be brief, let’s just say that a man lit about 40 sparklers…and you can imagine how that turned out!

5.  To understand how amazing their love story is, you must realize that Jaimie is a cancer survivor.  The day was filled with praises and tears because of  the story the Lord had so beautifully written for them!

6.  Can you see the giddiness?  Melissa and Will’s day could not have been more beautiful!






7.  Though I’m no golfer, I adored this golf-inspired engagement, as well as Megan’s glamorous bridal session in Fort Worth and wedding in Waco!  They are such a beautiful couple with beautiful families!

8.  Willing to go biking, hiking, and even kayaking, had they been open on weekdays, this couple was loads of fun!  Just wait until you see their fun wedding!

9.  These TCU fans bleed purple!  What a joy it was to photograph such a wonderful couple!



If you want a peek at more photos from these sessions, skip on over to my Facebook Fan Page!

Highlights: 10 months of families

To spare you from 10,000 posts, here’s just a few of my favorite family moments…

1. Little Ethan loved this part of his ONE year session!  I guess most boys would like a dirty old bathtub to play in???

2. What other session would correlate with the number TWO than these adorable twins?

3. These THREE make quite a happy family, don’t they?  Ok, enough with the number/word play.

4.  One of the quickest shoots I’ve ever had.  Under 15 minutes, and these boys were all smiles.

5.  One of the sweetest, most feminine shoots ever!

6. How precious are my old friends from Fort Worth?  I truly think they could be a Dr. Pepper advertisement!

7.  Yet, some more sweet friends from our old church!  The Gentry fam knows how to infect my blog with cuteness!

8.  I seem to have a theme going here…here are some more old friends!  The Russells had an incredible fishing-themed shoot last year.  Just you wait til you see their session I did just the other day!

9.  And how could I ever forget this fabulous session that went from

A. Nautical, beautiful, perfectly sunlit…


B. Crazy, wet, and perfectly awesome!

If you want a peek at more photos from these sessions, skip on over to my Facebook Fan Page!

Finally: getting back to the bliggity blog

I feel the need to direct your attention to my last post.

Yes, you read correctly. 10/22/11. Now that that embarrassing tidbit is out there, let me catch up on the last few several months in a brief paragraph.

I had baby Hadleigh. Drew became a pastor. We lived through Hadleigh’s reflux and colic and random hospital visits. My firstborn went through his first year of school and graduated kindergarten. We moved…cities, schools, churches, and houses. I ended my maternity leave and started back into photography. We remodeled our house (ok, only partially, but in big ways). We went without internet for 4 1/2 months. (Yes, people still can do it!) I changed my website to haileyerickson.com. Aaaaand that brings us to today.

Much has changed. We are tremendously blessed. Praise God!

FYI: I am about to post a series of blog posts so that you can see just a few details of my major-busy-no-time-for-blogging last several months, but for now, I thank you for your patience! Love and blessings to you! –Hailey

Announcement, Excitement, Changes!

I’m sitting here enjoying a cup of Central Market’s Decaf Snickernut coffee.  Decaf because 1. It’s so late and 2.  I’m pregnant!  Had to get that news out there somehow! 😉  At the end of this post, I will explain how that will temporarily change business in several months, but first, I want to tell you our news in the same, exciting way that we told family and friends.

We found out I was pregnant the day we were to leave for Boston for a Spring Break vacation.  Drew and I quickly decided over a nice dinner date that we would use our vacation to make a video to announce to our immediate family (who are all over Texas) and then the rest of our family and friends over Facebook (technology is such a good thing).

Drew and I think family should come first, and I skyped my parents as they watched it.  Once again, thanks to technology, I was able to screen-capture their responses.  It was great!  Here’s the brief version of what happened…

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse inside our lives and excitement, I wanted to quickly explain how this wonderful blessing is going to affect business.  Of course, nothing is predictable with pregnancy, but if I can somewhat judge from my other 2 children, I will say that I plan on continuing photography through the summer and early fall.  (With my first child, I had a photo shoot on his due date! Ha!)  Because I’m due in November, I do not plan to travel outside of DFW during the last couple months for photo shoots/weddings.  I also plan on taking maternity leave, but my due date is set at a great time to do so…right before the holidays, which I like to take off of any way.  Props to ‘baby’ for wanting to come a great time!  I cannot completely plan as of now, but I will continue to update my plans on here.  Blessings on this week, and I hope you are experiencing as much excitement as we have!

“Style Me Pretty” & “Texas Live” Magazine

These past few months have been a whirlwind of activity.  (Hence, the lack of blogging and then blogging like 15 posts in 2 nights to try to catch up!)  I have gone through a busy semester of ministry, teaching senior girls’ sunday school (my fave!), soccer season and ballet, homeschooling my kids their preschool curriculum, and everything else that life has brought our way.  After “life” comes photography, and I have to say that I’ve been a little taken back by what the Lord has done.

There are far too many great photographers out there…great photographers with lots of awards, constant publications, and expensive marketing.  I have no business ever comparing myself to them or wishing to be them.  I do, however, have the responsibility to claim every bit of “good” handed to me as an amazing example of both God’s sovereignty and grace.  Know that this post is not about me, it’s about Him.  These publications I will briefly talk about (and a couple in the workings), as well as all the floods of business I received, have not been sought out by me, but rather handed to me by Him.  GOD has provided for, marketed, and affirmed the business He’s called me to in undeserving, unreal ways.  He’s beyond gracious, and I really don’t understand it.

In November, I had a wedding published and in Style Me Pretty.  You can see the link here.  The wedding in the previous post was a spectacular event with beautiful people (as genuine and humble as can be, by the way), and so I was not surprised that SMP decided to publish it.  It’s a wedding of dreams for shabby chic brides!  Go and check it out!

In December I was contacted for 2 possible magazine publications, and a couple of weeks ago, I received the first.  It was the “Texas Live” bridal issue.  My photos are numbered below.  What sweet proof of God’s kindness to my family and business!

Excuse the loud tablecloth

IMPORTANT NOTE:  This is not photography-related. Well, only one bullet point is. 😉

I really don’t know why I do this occasionally, but sometimes I just have the urge to finish several projects, and I can’t figure out which is the most important, so I use my kids’ afternoon nap-time to complete absolutely nothing, but get one step closer to completing everything.  Haha!  Maybe some of you moms can say “Amen!”  I actually LOVE the accomplishment I feel in checking things off of my weekly list, so once again, I don’t know why I ever do this.  Maybe it’s somewhere way down the line in the gene-pool or maybe it’s the combination of my self-drive and idealism.

Whatever it may be, I found myself there today.  I had stopped to fill the coffee mug, and I looked down, and I saw something.  I realized I was surrounded by some of my favorite things.  I then took a step on a kitchen chair to stare down at the mess.  Ahhh!  Seeing the birds-eye view was actually quite stress-relieving.  I stood there, sipped some coffee and enjoyed the view.  Then, I took a picture to remind me that my messes are  the reflection of what I love most.  Well, not always, but sometimes.

So, I thought I might share.  About a year ago, I blogged about authenticity.  Well, THIS is authentic Hailey.  Here’s a few of my favorite things that I experience, use, and enjoy on a daily basis.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE:  This is the exact view I got from the chair…except that I traded a dirty bowl for a clean one (for your benefit), and of course, I wanted to use my good camera for the shot, and so just swap that little point-and-shoot for the mental image of my 5D.  Haha!

1.  Bible:  I love how this is in the left-hand corner because, yes, this is the most important time of my day.  Apparently, I never cleared the table between Bible time and make-a-mess time.

2.  Homemade Planner:  Ok, this is just a cute notebook, that I have personally tabbed, but I just couldn’t pass up the cuteness to get a boring planner at Target.  This is the list that I was sub-conciously rebelling against checking off today.

3.  Cell Phone:  Yes, I need contact to the outside world, one way or another, at all times.

4.  Coffee:  A must.  My coffee break is during my kids nap-time when I can actually savor it.  Today’s flavor…Central Market Coffee Nut.

5.  Entertaining and Ministry Combo:  I’m currently preparing for a weekend girls event at our church.  That means lots of cutesy decor prep.  Those napkins wrapped in twine remind me not only of entertaining, but, more importantly, of the ministry to students that my husband and I adore at Travis Avenue Baptist Church.  I do love a good (creatively decorated) party, though!

6.  Graphic Design and Crafting:  Also in my plans for the weekend…a baby shower for a friend at Travis.  I’m currently in the midst of creating a centerpiece with cards that I designed to look like old plane tickets for an aviation-themed shower.  Blog to come about that! I absolutely LOVE projects that combine both design and craft.

7.  Camera:  This is where you should imagine the 5D.  Not much discussion.  I just love it!  I love how it reminds me of how the Lord has brought me the best clients and wonderful memories.

8.  Apples:  Actually, I should say fruit.  The old get-to-know-you question, “What’s your favorite food?”  is always answered, “Fruit!”

9.  Paper Towels:  Yes, I do love them.  With a 3 and 5 year-old, we use them A LOT.  We should buy stock.

10.  Candle:  A triple-scented, hand poured candle from Midland’s Candle Cafe.  Check them out online! In my opinion, “Cinilla” makes the mess smell good.

11.  Anthro Bowl:  Cute dishes make meals happy.  Even Mac and Cheese tastes gourmet.

12.  Kids’ Cups:  I don’t necessarily like when my kids trail their mess all over the house.  In fact, we have taught them early on that they are in charge of cleaning what they get out.  (Makes the parent’s job easier.)  However, I love the reminder of how blessed I am to be at home…with the kids…with the mess.  The cups=memories in my mind.  How great it is to remember that the time of Princesses and Toy Story will be over in the blink of an eye.  I won’t always have those kids’ cups in the cabinet.  Ok, away with the emotion…

13.  A Very Loud Tablecloth:  Please excuse the fact that my projects blend in with it.  Or maybe that’s why I love it.

Nap-time is over.  Will blog again soon!

Love, Hailey