New Blog!!!

August 29th, 2013

Hi everyone! It is SUCH a happy Thursday over here! After lots and lots of hard work, midnight hours, and scrutinizing over color codes, I’m so excited to announce the brand spankin’ new blog and brand! Feel free to bookmark the new site as that is where I’ll be posting from here on out. My old blog will stay here as it marks the beginning and holds sentimental value for me, but the new blog is where it’s at!  7

A big THANK YOU to Dustin Davis who designed my new blog/brand and is just about the best thing I’ve discovered since Samoas Girl Scout cookies. He is amazing in every way and if anyone wants a true professional, creative force, and just a genuinely really nice guy, Dustin is your guy! And!!!! The amazing, gorgeous, super talented, would marry her in a heartbeat if I was a dude, Christine of Ink Lemonade hand drew my logo, which I love so very much. You guys need to check out her amazing letterpress line and hire her for all your calligraphy needs asap. There are a few more thank you’s and an intro so make your way on over and enjoy!!!

Thank you all for following along on this little, simple blog that my husband and I designed one night before we ever knew what was in store for us. I am filled with gratitude.


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Ashley + Ovi: Chicago Wedding Portraits

August 9th, 2013

Every now and then, you meet a couple that you just click with and you just know it’s a match. Like peanut butter and jelly match. That was exactly how we felt when we met Ashley & Ovi… we just about exchanged friendship charms at the end of their day. You know the kind where one gets the best and the other gets the friend? Well, they’d get the best part for sure. Before we head out for the weekend, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite portraits of these two from a few months back. Their wedding was the first we shot while in Chicago and it left me so excited for more. It was a chilly weekend, but the trees were in bloom, and my husband? Cardigan heaven. (Please don’t tell him I associated his name with the word cardigan.) We shot in the most beautiful light with the most beautiful backdrops. And then there’s this beautiful couple whom we’ve come to love so dearly. Ash + Ovi, thank you so much for choosing us. You two are made for each other and we couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to photograph such a beautiful, perfect day. Take good care of that “charm” and can’t wait to one day see you both again. Oh, and hey Ash, love you boo! ;)

Before the ceremony, we quickly shot some portraits at a park they often went to for walks while dating. Would you just LOOK at those trees! Amazing.

5 6 9 4 117 8 How gorgeous is she?!
10 We ventured out into the city after their wedding was over for a different look. Adi’s view below: 28 And mine: 13 15This was new for me: a “beach” with a city in the background. 14 A little pretty mixed with a little gritty: 27 26 25 24 16

We followed them up to their hotel, which had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city, and wrapped up the photos there. Not too shabby, that city. 23 18 17 22

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Back and at it

August 7th, 2013

Hi all! Spent a ton of time in Chicago this summer photographing the most beautiful couples on earth—inside & out. I’ve been back home for a few weeks now spending every moment I have with my little guy, whom I missed like c-r-a-z-y each time we were away, and working when he sleeps. Which by the way, couldn’t someone have warned me that after turning 1, some babies are all “who needs to nap twice?”. Seriously, those nights editing till 2:30AM because someone won’t sleep more than 2 hours a day are making my eye cream pull double shifts. Sigh.

Anyway, just wanted to say we’re back and hey, Chicago! Thanks for being so good to us!! You’re awfully pretty. Can’t wait to blog these and so much more!1 2

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Happy First Birthday Emerson!

July 1st, 2013

I can’t even begin to believe we’re here. Your first birthday. 

There is this giant lump in the back of my throat as I write this. Today, my baby boy, you are ONE! And while we will sing, dance, and high five you all day long, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of tears on mama’s part (during your naptime, of course). Please don’t misunderstand… I’m so very happy and completely overjoyed that this day is here. I mean, we made it! Hip, hip, hooray!! But a part of me is so very sad because that time, man,… it flies. Yesterday was especially hard for me. It was your last day as my “official” baby (even though, who are we kidding, you’ll always be my babay) and as I put you down in the morning for your nap, we cuddled a little longer. You laid your head down on me and wrapped your legs around my waist and I cried silent tears while remembering it all. There was one particular moment that came rushing back to me. I’m not sure why that memory came to me because I hadn’t thought about it since it happened, but I loved reliving it. You were 3 days old and we were leaving the hospital. I swaddled you tightly in your blanket and the cutest freckled faced volunteer girl came to wheel us out. Your eyes were open and fixed on mine and I felt an overwhelming, powerful realization that you were ours. I remembered feeling this sense of pride, in the best, most unselfish way. A sense of protection, immense love, and crazy emotional connection to you overtook my entire being. That cute freckled faced girl asked if I was scared. I told her I wasn’t. Tiny, perfect you, in my arms… it all just felt completely right and I knew I’d give you everything I had. As we waited for the car, I vowed that I would be the best I could be for you. 18 9

Throughout yesterday, Adi and I talked about all the “firsts” of this year. That first moment the doctor placed him in my arms, our first night together as a family of three, the car ride home and how tiny he was, that first terrified bath, all the sleepless nights of rocking him through his colic, that hour in the morning after Adi would leave for work and I’d pull him into bed with me so that we can sleep snuggled up together a little longer, his first time rolling over, the little frown as he discovered the world and his fingers, that smirk he’d give us to let us know a diaper change was coming, his first time sitting up and falling over, his determination in taking that first crawl, the time he learned to give us hugs and kisses, and then, that very first step he took all on his own. All of it, every last bit of it, was perfect. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a single moment. 7

Emerson Cayden, my happy baby boy, you are the best part of our world. I wish I could capture the joy you bring us (lord knows I try with the thousand and one pictures I take) but I’m pretty sure it’s just not possible to tell someone what only our hearts feel. There is nothing like it and I could have never, not in a million years, imagined it. This love between a child and a parent, it’s really something. I thank God every single day for creating that bond and for giving me the opportunity, the honor, of being your mama. I cannot tell you how much I love you and how lucky I feel that you’re mine. My mini-man, my sweet boy that gives me wet kisses, my independent little baby that walks ahead of me but stops to look back and make sure I’m following, my littlest love that tugs at my heart each and every day when we roll around laughing, thank you. Thank you for being the best experience of my life. We are so excited to see all the beautiful ways God will continue to bless our little family and we pray that we will teach you and guide you and love you just as Jesus taught us to do. 3 65

Happy first birthday, Ems. We love you through and through!!

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Traveling and such.

June 25th, 2013

Adi and I have been traveling a lot lately for weddings and oddly enough, almost all our travels have been to the lovely city of Chicago. Besides our disagreement over sports and weather, Chicago and I have become good pals. I’ve grown to love its city, great pizza, and it gets the biggest bonus points for my best friend and her husband living there and getting to visit them every time I’m in town. I’ve photographed some amazing couples and have gotten the chance to meet such kind souls along the way. I know I’ve said it before, but I so love this job of mine. Not only do I get the opportunity to document love, but I get to practice photographing a newly married couple in a party bus with one hand while balancing myself on a pole with the other. Wait—-what was that?

Oh, yes. You heard right… and that, my friends, would be me photographing a newly married couple. In a party bus. With one hand… while balancing on a POLE. Oh, how I love this job of mine. :) Happy Tuesday! 1

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Happy Father’s Day! .

June 16th, 2013

To you, my heart and soul, the most important man in both mine and Emerson’s life, we are beyond blessed to have you. In my heart of hearts, I always knew you were going to be a great dad, but never did I imagine just how made for this role you are. I can’t wait for Emerson to grow up so that I can tell him all about the times you rocked him to sleep, cradled and calmed him down when no one else could, taught him how to kick a soccer ball at 10 months old, made him laugh till it hurt, and ran around empty fields together. I can’t wait to tell him just how much he adored you as a teeny tiny baby and I can’t wait to see how he will grow to love you even more than he does now. To the man we both adore more than anything in this entire world, you are the greatest there is. Thank you for always taking such great care of us, showering us with hugs and kisses, and making us the happiest bunch around. We love you oh so much.1To my dad, my papa bear, my tati, I love you with my whole heart. For years, you were the only man I looked up to and when I thought about what kind of father I wanted my children to one day have, I prayed for someone like you. Thank you for being such an example to me, for loving me no matter what, and for teaching me God’s ways always… I’m so thankful for the way you’ve sacrificed everything, your selflessness, big heart, and giving spirit. You are the greatest dad a girl could ever ask for and the greatest grandpa Emerson could ever have.

To my father-in-law, I always hoped that someday I would be lucky enough to get another dad that loved me like his own. Not only did I get lucky, but God was so good in giving me much more than I could have imagined. For being so good to me always, telling me I’m your favorite, showing me what patience looks like, always speaking with wisdom and kindness, and displaying a true character modeled after God’s heart, I love you. I couldn’t have picked a better father-in-law and I’m so glad your ours. 2

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and a big thank you for the role models you are to your children!

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My sweet Emerson,

June 1st, 2013

Today marks 11 months since you’ve blessed our lives by becoming ours. Eleven months… whoa. That gives us exactly 30 more days with you as our little baby—well, officially anyway. Emerson, my sweet little boy, I wish I could find the words to describe how very much your daddy and I love you. From the moment you wake up in the morning with that goofy grin on your face to the very last yawn at night when you cuddle on our shoulders, you are nothing but pure joy. Our lives are happier, brighter, sweeter, and totally complete with you. And you’re so much fun! We laugh all day long at your discoveries, your little antics, and your big personality. You love singing, you love walking, and you’re obsessed with being outside. So much so, that I can count on hearing you banging on the front door or waving “bye-bye” at me, letting me know you’re going outside with or without me at least 10 times a day. On my worst days, your energy and that big smile that is plastered on your face, makes my world happy again. 3 4 2

Your daddy and I are so lucky to have been chosen to be yours. From the beginning, we’ve celebrated every single milestone you’ve hit, big or small, with photos, videos, journaling, silly clapping, and lots of “yay’s!!!” You crawled before you could sit up confidently, at 6 months. And three weeks later, when you picked yourself up by holding on to furniture, we knew it wouldn’t be long before you took your first steps. I tried to hold you in my arms as much as I possibly could because I knew the day was soon coming when you would want to be on your own. At 9 months and two weeks, your daddy and I were playing with you on our floor when we saw you crawl over to the wall, pick yourself up, turn to us, and before we could even grab our cameras, you took three confident steps towards us. I have a confession to make: I cried that night. I know that to some people that just sounds silly, but to me, you were growing too fast. It was all happening way too quickly and I was secretly hoping you would take your time growing up. But it’s okay because even though you don’t always want to be held in my arms, you still want to hold my hand as you discover this world on your own two feet… and that’s pretty darn awesome. Last month, you started to know how to “play” with us and let me just tell you, your daddy and I have never had more fun. You not so quietly hide from us and when we “find” you, the squeals and bouts of laughter that come from you make us the happiest bunch in the world.   1 9

Your perfect day is when mommy and daddy are both home, you get to go to the pool (goodness, do you love being in water), and then a picnic at the park where you swing for as long as we can push. You don’t care for slides much and you’re more interested in picking up sticks while walking around with them like a warrior heading for battle. Should your daddy or I try and take those sticks away from you, prepare for World War IV everyone. Though you are fun and adventurous, you’re also kind of an old soul. We often find you quietly looking out the window in apparent deep thought. You sometimes get real serious and just sit with your books around you, and I daydream of you being a writer or a poet. But then you take your little drum stick (my wooden spoon) and bang on the books, and well, that’s the end of that daydream. 8You have your preferences of who can hold you and love on you and you’re kind of cautious when it comes to strangers. You smile at almost everyone, but some people you’ll go right up to and others you’ll run away from. I sometimes feel bad for chuckling at the way you “choose” people, because we really have no idea what your criteria is. Grandma and grandpa are your favorite and you are your happiest when our home is full of people you know and love. You prefer me the most, which I love, but your daddy is your world. He is the only one you give endless hugs to and when you hear keys in the door, you will stop everything and run towards it with your arms stretched wide open. Oh, how I love you both.  10 5 You adore your friend Abi, and she adores you right back. It’s the sweetest thing to watch the two of you together.

My sweet Emerson, we love you oh so much. We’re the luckiest in the whole world and we can’t imagine life without you. Our hearts are the fullest they’ve ever been with you in our lives and we can’t wait to keep on doing life with you as our baby. Happy 11 months, Ems! 7

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A late Mother’s Day Wish.

May 15th, 2013

This year for Mother’s Day, we traveled to Chicago for a wedding, and Adi and I were both away from our moms. I so love my job and I especially loved this Chicago couple, but I have to admit, it wasn’t easy missing my first Mother’s Day ever with my little Emerson and being away from my own mom. Did I also mention my dad’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year? I think it’s safe to say I won’t be getting daughter of the year award. I’ve never really understood the kind of love a parent experiences for a child until I had my own. This mama thing is no joke and when you add up all the restless nights and the full workdays with no lunch break, you get on your knees and thank the good Lord for giving you that kind of unconditional love in your own parents.  I’m convinced that for me, there’s nothing on planet earth that comes close to being Emerson’s mama and I feel overwhelmingly blessed to think that I’ve been chosen for that role in his life. When that little boy of mine reaches for my face, plants a big juicy one on my lips, and holds my hand as he wobbles around, my heart swells so big that I swear it could burst open. To know that my own parents have loved me like that for all these years is mind blowing. It also makes me want to go back to my teenage years of eye rolling and lip smacking and body slam myself to a brick wall.

My parents sacrificed everything for me and have loved me at my very worst. They’ve taught me to value the important things in life: not bigger and better, but simpler and wiser. They continue to inspire me and amaze me with the exemplary lives they lead… lives filled with a desire to serve others and a will to follow God every single step of the way. Mom and dad, I’m the luckiest daughter in the world to be loved by you two and I hope with every ounce of my being that my son will one day love me as much as I love you both. So, a Happiest of Birthday’s to my daddy and a Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Adi’s mom, who is the best mother-in-law a girl could ever hope for, and all the mamas in the world. Though you deserve to be celebrated year round, I hope you all got a thoughtful card, some beautiful flowers, and a delicious breakfast in bed!

I know I’ve shared these photos before, but they are such treasured photos of my parents and my mother-in-law on the day that I became a mother. I can’t wait until Ems knows just how very lucky he is to have them. _MG_6167_MG_6246

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One of those days .

May 9th, 2013

You know how every now and then one of those days comes along where nothing goes as planned, you have a million things to do, your baby skips a nap, and you don’t get a chance to eat lunch until almost 4, yet somehow, it’s still a good day? Today was one of those days. N-o-t-h-i-n-g went how it was supposed to go but strangely enough, I felt that it would be okay. I really shouldn’t feel that way though because Adi and I will be traveling to Chicago tomorrow for a wedding and I have yet to do laundry, pack, run my thousand and one errands, make baby food for Emerson while we’re away, and wash my hair (no, seriously, it’s a luxury these days). And here I am, making time for a bowl of rocky road and an episode of Flip This House. Priorities, people… it’s all about priorities.  Anyway, while we’re super excited to be going away for the weekend, I’m also incredibly sad that I’ll miss my first Mother’s Day ever with my little boy. There will be a lot of face-timing, phone kisses, and tears on my part and some good making-up celebrating when we come home. Meantime, I’m sure we’ll be instabombing pictures of one of our favorite cities while we’re away, so feel free to follow along here if you’d like. And because every post is just better with a photo, here’s one that has nothing to do with this post (you know, to go with the theme of my day) and everything to do with what I love more than my rocky road: a gorgeous bride in a beautiful gown with lovely light. Perfect day after all.

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May 3rd, 2013

Hi there! If I have any readers left out there, I’d just like to say a big THANK YOU and bless your hearts, you kind, kind souls. You guys, I’m sure you already know this and I know I sound like a broken record, but I have been so incredibly bad with blogging and it’s really not Emerson’s fault. Though I’d like to blame it on the fact that look, I have a 10 month old (whoa!!) who refuses to let me get near the computer, we all know there is nap time. Truth is, I’ve been working a lot and trying to rediscover that initial feeling I got from blogging. If I’m going to be honest, I’ve kind of lost that feeling and it makes me sad because I miss it. The excitement of hitting the “publish” button and the anticipation of the first comment has been replaced with life stuff. There is so. much. going on over here (good stuff, happy stuff, stressful stuff, work stuff, and all kinds of other stuff) and I really need to get better at managing my priority list. This has been a battle of mine for as long as I can remember and having Emerson (poor thing is getting blamed again) has only shown me just how much I really struggle with that.

I’m really close with launching a new look on this blog (hallelujah thank you Jesus amen) and with that will hopefully come a fresh, new start for me. One that will involve better prioritizing, more blogging, better time management skills, and reconnecting with those feelings I get from writing. Gosh, I miss it. Anyway, that’s the plan Stan (couldn’t resist) and I’m just hoping you’ll stick with me. And if not, that’s okay too. But here’s a little incentive… you know I love a good first look and since we’re talking about “feelings” and all, this one gave me butterflies. I’ll be sharing this beauty of a wedding with you all soon as we launch the new blog. Have a happy Friday, friends, and may your weekend be as lovely as can be.



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