Hayes Jackson Goehring

I know I’m just now getting back into blogging… Maybe it’s because I have more time at home on my hands, but honestly I think it’s because there are some big things that have happened that I want to share with others. From having a baby of our own (post to come soon) to watching a dear friend loose her own son, I’ve seen my photography take on a whole other meaning.

I think I always saw photography encapsulate the really joyful moments of life and never fully understood, nor do I still, that joy & love can also be captured in the moment of extreme pain and grief. I want to preface this post by saying I struggled with if I should post or not because these photos included here are very hard to look at. But after talking with this friend, getting permission to post, backed with a lot of prayer, I pray you see the beauty here. I pray that this helps someone in their grief know they aren’t alone and maybe encourages another to be willing to sit in the grief with someone else, even if it is uncomfortable, even if it’s scary.

I felt unworthy to capture such raw moments but yet soo honored that the Lord would allow me to capture life here today and gone tomorrow. Watching the verse in James 4 play out before your eyes is incredibly hard to swallow but yet a needed reminder for me:

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

The morning Leslie called me was completely orchestrated by the Lord. My son Jax normally will wake up between 4 & 5 AM to nurse, but on this morning he had an unusual 2 AM wake-up call that had me nursing and looking at my phone that was on silent when the dreaded phone call come through… I knew Hayes, Leslie and Seth’s son, was having some trouble staying stable after being born with a Diaphramic Hernia and a phone call at 2 AM couldn’t be good news… As soon as I heard the words, “Hayes is gone, can you please come up to the hospital and capture these last moments we have with him?” The only words that could come out were “…. Of course, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

I hung up and cried while holding Jax. As soon as I could, I headed that way and praise God that my camera was somehow completely charged. I’m telling you, everything was an act of God and his grace…. Which reminded me that he is acquainted with every bit that we go through… even our grief… He knew the pain and grief that Leslie and Seth were going through and wanted to remind them that he valued Hayes’ life to give them memories to look back on and remember him.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

He knows what it’s like to have His son die. Jesus knows the sting of death, but he also knows the victory over the grave and full eternal life that Hayes is experiencing RIGHT NOW.

Even though we may not know how to be with people in their grief, I think the thing I was reminded of is that our God knows. He alone equips us for every good work and word to meet people where they are and simply to be with them, because he is acquainted with grief and equips us to do every good work and word.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Photography captures moments that are fleeting. Here and then so quickly gone. Moments that can never be replicated… That’s what I watched unfold as I quietly clicked the shutter release on my camera at the hospital. These sweet friends wouldn’t have any more moments with their son… This was all they had and I HAD to give them every single moment. The moments I wanted to look away were met with the the thought of “This is all the time they have with Hayes.” And thoughts of, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore.” were met with the reminder that our Father is constantly present with us in our most joyful and sorrow-filled moments, so we as his children get to do the same for others.

I’m thankful that the Lord would allow me to capture these moments. Hayes’ life impacted me in ways that I can never fully put into words. I can’t fully express how it reminds me that the Lord’s plans are for a greater purpose than I can comprehend, or even how our deep love and affection for the things He gives us, like our children, are to be even more grand and beautiful in eternity because they will be complete in the presence of our Savior.

Hayes’ you made me fall more in love with my God. Lord, I’m grateful for his life. Thank you Jesus for being so near in the days of joy and especially in the days of grief.

Thank you for reading.

Much Love,

These photos are intended to honor the life of Hayes Jackson Goehring.

The Holidays and Crested Butte Vacation

This past year I have OVERLY busied myself. I struggle often with finding my worth in my work and still fight that battle, daily having to lay down my selfishness.  For example, the holiday season was a running back and forth between family members, photoshoots, and my full-time job because I struggle with saying no. AND I'm the one in charge of our families calendar?!?!

Maybe we need to rethink that role and hand it over to my husband who has no problem with saying no.

Christmas day, Austin and I ended up taking a much-needed vacation with some sweet friends in Crested Butte, Colorado. I had never been to Crested Butte and I hadn’t been to Colorado since I was around the age of 10! I love nature, so all the emotions that I posses (and I possess A LOT) were on overload as we drove into this beautiful place! 

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I mean I was in awe! Blown away by my Creator! As we drove in and everything slowed down, I actually sat and spent long lengths of time with my Lord. Praying, reading, and simply being still for hours. Nothing making me rush to fit it in. Just simply spending as much, uninterupted time as I wanted in His word

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The God of all comfort, love, peace, and joy flooded my heart and mind that was exhausted, calloused and weary. There was a realization that I can’t do it all, nor was I meant to. There was a surrendering (and still is a day-to-day surrender) to His will and what and where He is calling me.

I got to sit and read a book, guys!!!! Like outside of my bible, I rarely read. Mainly because I busy myself to the point that doing another thing stresses me out. But I picked up a book. I picked up the book “Cultivate” by Lara Casey and wow, it was like the Lord was speaking directly to all my selfishness and tenderly saying,

“I’m enough. Not all the things you try to do. I fill you up, give you nourishment, and understanding.”

I highly recommend the read so far! I’ll let you all know my final thoughts once I finish.


Alongside that growth, I learned how to ski! It. Was. Awesome. I told Austin that we need to move our log cabin back in Texas to the mountains! I mean Austin is a highly skilled skier and you know, I and my beginner self could totally make it work! ;) I’ve at least talked him into going back in the future! PRAISE! We also got to go with some dear friends, the Etters and the Nunes! And of course, when you NEVER see snow you insist on doing family photoshoots to capture these beautiful families in this beautiful place! 

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Friends, if you can read and remember one thing from this post, I want it to be this. Be okay with and make space for being at rest with our God. Stop. Be okay with the silence, enjoy knowing him and his word deeply, and sit and be with the Lord. I know it can be hard! I don’t like sitting and thinking over my mess. I don’t like at times what the Lord has to deal with within my heart. But let Him. Listen to Him. Delve into His word. Delight in your Savior. If your searching for understanding, peace, worth, love, you can and will find it in Jesus. 

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Grace and peace,