This time of year you see a lot of people posting on Facebook and blogs about being thankful for the things in their lives.  I think its great that as Americans we use the month of November to focus on all the gifts we have in our lives.  We are all guilty of taking the things in our lives for advantage- whether it is our spouse, our children, our jobs, our talents, our friends, etc.  The experience I had this afternoon not only made me grateful for those things, but it changed my thinking forever about my job, my talents and my children.

I am a member of “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”, a non-profit group that connects photographers with hospitals and grieving parents.  I have long supported this organization, but until today I had never been called on to photograph one of the children.  Around 10am this morning a beautiful full term little girl was born still and quiet, not surviving her birth.  I went to the hospital and photographed this angel before her mother had even held her.  I write this post through a curtain of my own tears, as I am so incredibly thankful for my own healthy children, for my ability to give this mother memories of her tiny little girl and for God giving me the talent, strength and courage it took to do this.

I am blogging this not to highlight what I have done, but to hopefully inspire others to do the same.  Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is completely not for profit and all the photographers provide these grieving families images at no charge.  To the photographers who read my blog– Please go sign up as a NILMDTS photographer.  No baby should leave this world without images for the family to remember them by.  It is not easy and it is heartbreaking, but for the gifts that we have been given, we need to give back.  For all of my amazing clients and friends– you can donate to NILMDTS by visiting their website at www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org I also encourage you to donate to the March of Dimes, www.marchofdimes.com to promote everything they are doing to reduce infant mortality.

Lastly- go hug your children.  We get so wrapped up in the little petty things in this world and so easily forget the things that matter the most– our family.