babies

Rockford, IL Newborn & Family Photography | John, Jackie, Dylan, & Lucille

Rockford, IL Newborn & Family Photography | John, Jackie, Dylan, & Lucille

I just photographed this family back in the Fall, and it was great to see them again as they welcomed darling Lucille into their family on May 17 (which is a pretty darn good day to be born, if I do say so myself!  ;) ). Lucille was just 8 days old when I photographed her, and she was such a content little babe!! 

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Isn't Jackie absolutely radiant for just having a baby?!?!? AND they were moving literally the day after our shoot! Talk about a supermomma!!

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Dylan cracks me up. He was all about these pictures, as you can see. 

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I also photographed John & Jackie's wedding. I love being able to follow these family from their very beginnings!!

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To John & Jackie, congrats again!! You're great parents and it was so good to see you again! <3

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photography | Brandon, Amber, Ava, & Ella

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photography | Brandon, Amber, Ava, & Ella

About a year and half ago, I posted a blog about our good friends Brandon and Amber and their 5 year struggle to have a baby, which led to them adopting their daughter Ava as a newborn. Well, about 5 months after I posted that blog, we found out that Amber was expecting!! Sweet Ella was born December 19, 2017, about two weeks after Ava's 2nd birthday. I'm so happy for these guys and in awe of God's redemption of what was once thought to be impossible. <3

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Rock Cut State Park Family Photography | Joe, Kelley, & Alice

Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL Family Photography

YOU GUYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSSS!!!!!!! I am SO excited to share these images with you all!!! This couple is very near and dear to my heart because Joe & Kelley's wedding was the VERY FIRST WEDDING I EVER PHOTOGRAPHED!!!!! They took a chance on me when I was wet behind the ears and I will be forever grateful! And I gotta say, after just scrolling through those images for the first time in awhile, I'm still incredibly proud of those images! 

So that was 7 1/2 years ago (!!!!), and now these two have a sweet little babe, Alice, who is absolutely darling and the obvious joy of their lives. It was so great to reconnect with these guys and photograph them in this new stage of life!!!  

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Bloomington-Normal, IL Family Photographer | Scott, Sharon, & Charles

After photographing their engagement session in 2014, their wedding in 2015, and baby Charles last year, you know I was super excited to see this group again!! It was so good to catch up with Scott & Sharon, and Mr. Charles has changed sin the last year from being containable on a blanket to being a curious explorer of the big wide world. When I used to work at a daycare waaaaaay back in another life, this was one of my favorite ages to work with. Toddlers are so full of wonder and excitement over the everyday things we take for granted, and it's so fun to observe them taking it all in! They always remind me to slow down and appreciate what I consider to be mundane. Maybe "slow down" isn't the right phrase (can I get an "amen!" toddler moms?!?), but they at least help me look at things with fresh eyes. ;) 

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Sycamore, IL Family Photography | Pete, Holly, & Benjamin

Sycamore, IL Family Photography

I just photographed this bunch at Matt & Anna's wedding in July (Pete is Anna's brother, Holly was her matron of honor, and if you check out the post, you'll see a shot of Benjamin in a sweet tux onsie!), so it was great to see them again and get to know them a bit more. Benjamin is already a little heart-breaker (hello, huge blue eyes!!), and I was dying over all of his cute expressions!! 

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Cantigny Family Photography | Chad, Stephanie, & Beatrice

Cantigny Family Photography.

I know I've said this before, but one of the best things about being a wedding and family photographer is having the opportunity to follow a couple over the years and take part in so many of their important and exciting milestones. Chad and Stephanie are one of those couples!! I just checked, and I photographed their engagement back in December 2012, and then their wedding in September 2013! WHAT?!?!? Wasn't it just last year?!? I seriously don't understand time. 

Well, it was time to photograph these two again, and this time they brought their stinkin' adorable wee one, Beatrice, who just turned one!! It was so much fun wandering around the Cantigny grounds with this sweet family!!

 

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Thanks for spending the morning with me you guys!! Blessings, and until next time!!

Sycamore, IL Newborn Photography | David, Michelle, Leah, Addy, Eliza, & Anna

Sycamore, IL Newborn Photography.

Sweet little Anna was born at the beginning of February and, you guys, she is such a little doll!! Just wait until you see her cheeks! The temptation to squish them was almost too much to handle, but I dug deep and restrained myself (mostly because my hands were cold). ;) Those of you with baby fever may want to use extra caution while looking through the rest of this post because, seriously. Doll baby. 

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That little babe is already so cared for by her 3 older sisters!!! 

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I know I talk about this every time I post a session like this, so excuse me for beating a dead horse, but I just can't get enough of in-home sessions!!! The day of this family's shoot happened to be one of the colder days we've had here in IL this winter, and who wants to go outside in the cold with a 2-week-old?!?!? When I was photographing Anna by herself, Leah, Addy, & Eliza went off and played with their toys. AND everyone is more comfortable in their own home. Win-win-win!! I could come up with a few more great reasons for an in-home session, but I don't want to take the focus off of how STINKIN' CUTE THESE GUYS ARE. 

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One last soapbox moment and then I'm done. I love squishy posed baby pictures, and I have some of my own kids framed in my house. I follow photographers who do that type of newborn photography so well and I have so much respect for them. BUT. The images I love most of my kids as little newborns will always be the ones that show them as they were naturally. How they held their hand a certain way when the slept or how they stretched. The little things that change so quickly because babies change so quickly. Those are the images that really speak to my heart and are the images I aim to capture for my clients. I mean, this session was just two weeks ago and I'm sure Anna already looks different!

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David & Michelle, congrats again on your sweet little darling and thanks for welcoming me into your home!!! Blessings!!

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photographer | Brandon, Amber, & Ava

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photography.

It's hard to find the words to express just how much these two mean to Seth and I. We've know Brandon and Amber for around 10 years and they are two of our closest friends. We've walked through so much life with them. We've taken trips with them, had countless late nights talking and playing games, laughed until we couldn't breathe...they're our people! But there's been some pretty tough stuff, too. Around 6 years ago they started trying to have kids, and 6 years ago on Christmas Amber had her first miscarriage. Obviously, Christmas since then has been a difficult time of year for them. After years of trying and one more miscarriage, B&A made the decision to start the adoption process. Through a whirlwind of crazy, God-ordained details, within about two months, Brandon and Amber were holding their daughter Ava in their arms. Ava was born December 7, 2015, just a few weeks before the 5-year anniversary of Amber's first miscarriage. Ava means life, and what a beautiful, sweet miracle of a life she is! I wish I could go into more detail about just how amazing Brandon and Amber's story is and all the ways in which God worked to bring about this adoption, but there's so much I'd end up leaving out because there was so much that happened. These two need to write a book because this short account doesn't do their incredible story justice! They've been a wonderful example of what it looks like to have unwavering faith in God, and anyone who knows them knows what a privilege it is to be friends with them! So, it's with great joy that I share these images with you all. Happy Birthday, Ava!! You are such a blessing and we love you!!

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Belvidere, IL Family Photography | Chris, Karissa, Bennett, and family

Belvidere, IL Family Photography

You guys know how much I love extended family sessions! It's such a special thing to have multiple generations of a family in one photo and to be able to document the legacy of two people. This family is extra special because I photographed Chris and Karissa's wedding in June 2015, but now that family has grown by one! Mr. Bennett joined the family in June and he is just as sweet as can be!! 

Aside from family pictures with Bennet, one of the reasons for our shoot was because Karissa's parents are selling their home, Karissa's childhood home, so she wanted to have some images of the whole family in front of the house before it sells. 

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Bennett was enamored by the leaves rustling in the wind on the tree behind me...nothing could break his stare, haha!

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We headed over to Belvidere Park for the second part of our shoot. Fall was really showing off with its beautiful colors and amazing light. 

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Grandpa is the best at getting Bennett to laugh!

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Wanna hear something crazy? Last week I posted Scott & Sharon's family pictures and shared about how I photographed their engagement session in October 2014, wedding May 2015, and now family pictures with their little one in October 2016. Well, I just checked dates on Chris and Karissa: Engagement session October 11, 2014, Wedding June 13, 2015, and this shoot was October 23, 2016!! Serious deja vu over here people!! So good!!

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Thank you so much to this entire group! It was so good to see you all again! Thank you so much for trusting me with your memories!! <3

Bloomington, IL Family Photographer | Scott, Sharon, & Charles

Bloomington, IL Family Photography.

I'm soooooooo stinkin' excited to share this session with you guys!!! I photographed Scott and Sharon's wedding back in May of 2015, and it was SO good to see them again AND to meet their sweet little man, Charles!!!! It truly is a special thing to be able to photograph families as they grow! It might sound weird, but when I photograph someone's wedding, and then have the privilege to photograph them as they grow their family, I kind of feel like a distant Auntie. Like, I was there for Sharon and Scott's wedding, now I get to meet their little guy and squish his cute little cheeks, maybe next year I'll get to chase him around while I try to photograph him, and when he's 18 I'll embarrass him by talking about how I knew him when he was thiiiiiiiiiiiis big and all he wanted to do was eat a leaf!! Good ol' Auntie Chrissy!! 

That was weird and random. ANYWAYS. Pictures!! :D

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Isn't Charles such a charmer?!?!

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Ollie was slaying it. 

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Random Fact: I photographed this session on October 15, 2016. I photographed S&S's engagement session October 25, 2014. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?! (And yes I looked it up because I'm cool like that.) So much has changed in two years!!

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That drool. <3

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DeKalb, IL Newborn Photographer | Matt, Erin, & Decker

DeKalb, IL In-home Newborn Photography.

I don't think I've mentioned lately just how much I love in-home family sessions, but I really really do! It's much more cozy and comfy for my clients, and I love being able to document what their every day life looks like. Or, in the case of newborns, what every day life now is. ;) 

I photographed Erin and Matt's maternity pictures back at the end of July (those are some of my faves I've ever taken, btw!), and it was so wonderful to be able to meet fresh little Decker! I was in dire need of a baby fix since my youngest just turned two in August (*sigh*), so snuggling him was definitely a highlight of September! 

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Oh those little lips!!! After having 3 little babies of my own and seeing how fast this stage goes, I treasure these little detail images. <3 <3 <3 

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I normally insist on using natural light when I'm in someone's home, but when grandma makes an AMAZING quilt for her little grandson, you turn the dang lights on and photograph that bad boy. I mean, MY GOODNESS, what a piece of art!! 

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Decker was the most chill babe I've ever photographed!

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Seriously! He's just hanging out, enjoying life on the outside. 

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This one's for the ladies. ;)

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He looks so happy in momma's arms!

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Miss Jade joined the fun for a few full family portraits. 

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Now, I know what I said about shooting in my client's homes, buuuuuuuut it was so nice out and there was a field across the street and I juuuuuuust couldn't help myself. ;) And you know it's Fall when you can shoot outside at 1pm in full sun and it's actually looks pretty dang good! 

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Congratulations Matt and Erin!!! Decker is such a sweet little man!!!! Blessings!

Happy Birthday Abby!!

That title is a little misleading, considering Abby's 4th birthday was actually at the beginning of May (on Mother's Day!). DOH! Once wedding season hits I get swamped with editing, but I still wanted to get something up here for her because I loved the process of putting together Lucas's b-day post back in February. Better late than never, right? ;)

Abby is passionate, funny, and smart. She loves all things pink and sparkly, but doesn't shy away from playing in the mud (she actually prefers to play outside barefoot, even in the cold, which is a constant battle with mom and dad, haha.). Her love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, and Cheetos. She's always had a good grasp on language and constantly shortens words creatively. For instance, when she was two, she had two pink blankets that she adored. They started out as her "pink blankets", then became her "blanks", "pinks", and "pinkeries" interchangeably. She was the first to start calling me "mom" instead of "mommy", not because she knew she could call me mom, but because she was shortening mommy. She cracks me up all the time with her creativity and silliness! Happy (late) Birthday, Girly Girl!!

Happy Birthday Lucas!!!

I can't believe it, but my little guy is SIX YEARS OLD. What in the actual what? It's hard to believe that I've been a mom for six years! Seth and I have now reached the point in our marriage where we've had kids for longer than we haven't. It's a strange thing that has me feeling all kinds of old, but also so, SO thankful. Lucas is one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted kids I've ever known and it's such a privilege to be his momma!

Coincidentally, I just got caught up on editing the last two years worth of personal pictures. It's never happened that I've been current with my own family pictures, so I'm pretty excited about this (and maybe I want to brag a bit!)!  I thought it would be fun to post my favorite pictures of Lucas since his birth. Another special thing is that Lucas was born in February of 2010, and I shot my first wedding in June 2010, so I feel like this is not only Lucas' life journey in pictures, but the journey of my photography. Now let me warn you, it's a LOT of pictures. But ya'll can handle it, right?!?! :D

DeKalb, IL Family Photographer | Dan, Elizabeth, & Hannah

Back in 2011 (eek!!), I photographed Dan and Beth's wedding. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of photographing their sweet little babe, Hannah!!

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That little smile!! She's so stinkin' cute!

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Dan and Beth have been living abroad for the past 5 years (first Australia, and now the Netherlands!), so they brought Hannah here to the U.S. to visit the grandparents. Obvs, we needed to get pictures of proud Grandma & Grandpa!!

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Taking pictures with infants is so unpredictable (I should probably change that to life with infants!), so if babies get fussy while I'm shooting, I keep going while the parents try to soothe them. Years down the road, the images will be just as treasured as the nice, happy, smiley ones (I'm speaking from experience!!). Also, there's the added bonus of capturing something special, like the fact that Hannah loves to be bounced on an exercise ball when she's sad. 

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Worked like a charm!!

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That cry face, awwww! Cutie!!

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Dan & Beth, congrats again and safe travels back home!! 

DeKalb, IL Maternity Photography | Aaron & Marie

How's about an cute baby bump to warm your heart on this frosty day? Marie was 7 months pregnant when we met for our session, and her and Aaron will be meeting their sweet baby girl in January. Like, NEXT MONTH, January!! EEEK! What a joy to be able to photograph this magical time of anticipation!

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I mean, can you even handle this image below?!?! Such a proud daddy!

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Congrats, you two!! Enjoy your last Christmas season as a family of two! :D

Andrew, Chrissy, Aliyah, & Trey | Geneseo, IL Family Photography

Hows about a cute little baby to make your life better? I was so honored to photograph sweet Trey on his 3rd day of life on the outside!  

I LOVE this family!! Be sure to check out their sessions from previous years: EngagementWeddingAliyah NewbornAliyah 1-year 

Can't you already tell that Allie's going to be a great sister?!?! 

That face melts me!!!

Hope you guys are all adjusting well!!! Blessings to you! :D

Joe, Rachel, Emma, & Roman : DeKalb, IL Family Photography

I'm going to be brutally honest with you guys. I had family pictures taken right after my third baby, Ezra, was born a couple months ago. He was two weeks old. I was tired and hormonal. The kids were HORRIBLE (I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old as well). I looked like I was still six months pregnant. The last thing I wanted to do was have my picture taken. But I'm soooooo glad I did it, and not just because it's a sweet memory that I'll cherish having documented for the rest of my life (which it is!). Now I can relate to my clients a little bit more. Having a baby is such a huge life change, and when you throw other kids in the mix, it's INSANE. Oh, and lets do a photo session where we all have to look happy and rested and like NOTHING MAJOR HAS JUST HAPPENED TO US. How the heck do you do that????

Anyways, with all of that in mind, I'm extremely proud of these images. Not as proud as I am of Rachel and Joe, however. I can relate to the craziness I'm sure you experienced preparing for your session and appreciate you guys so much for it!! :D 

I love this family portrait!! 

Little Roman was 7 weeks old at the time of the session! Emma was so sweet with him!

 And like most 2-year-olds, she didn't want to stay put for too long!! 

Roman!!!! You're too cute!!

It was a tad chilly out, so we headed back to their house for the rest of the session. If I'm being honest, these are my favorite. It reminds me so much of my family right now: Mommy's feeding the baby while daddy's a human jungle gym. :D 

JUMP!!

I might be crazy, but I love the newborn stage. Sure, you're sleep-deprived, emotional, and, more often than not, in want of a shower. But I've see how quickly it goes. I feel like this image of Rachel feeding Roman captures all that is amazing about having a newborn. It makes me a little teary!!!

See those bears in the crib? They were Rachel's when she was little. 

Thanks again, you guys!! Blessings!! :D

Michael, Jessica, Reese, & Paisley | Belvidere, IL Family Photographer

I'm so excited to share these images from a recent session with one of my dear friends, Jessica, and her family!! I've photographed her first baby, Reese, twice before (2010 and 2012), and it was an honor to photograph the newest addition to her family, darling little Paisley!! 

I love Reese's little smirk here...such a proud big brother! 

P.S. Jessica, I'm way jealous that you look so smokin' hot two weeks after having a baby!! (Seriously, ya'll, click the 2010 link from Reese's newborn session up above, she was smokin' then too! Nevermind, I'll just link you to it again.)

Glamorous windblown hair, smiles full of love...not to toot my own horn, but does a family photo get any better than this?!?! My absolute favorite from the day!

Michael and Jessica, thanks again for letting me photograph your sweet family! So much love to you guys! :D

Brett, Kim, Halle, & Clayton | Sycamore, IL Family Photography

I love this family so much and am so thankful I was able to photograph Brett and Kim with their two precious little cuties!! I met Kim a couple of years ago through a Bible study and she has been a constant source encouragement in my life ever since. It such a joy to watch their sweet family grow. 

Apparently this is how Halle tells secrets. ;)  

Oh how I love this one!! 

Little Clay with his two mommies. ;) 

Kim, you are such a beautiful momma!!

My heart is literally melting over here!! 

We asked permission for Halle to jump on the bed...Mommy allowed it just this once and she was certainly enjoying herself. ;)