“Ask your heart to tell you her worth
Your heart will say, “Heaven on earth.”
– Peter Pan
When I showed up for Lauren’s first birthday session she was still right in the middle of her favorite time of day- breakfast! :) three generations of lovely ladies: I can only imagine how much it must fill a parents heart to watch their children become good friends. it was so sweet seeing Lauren and Connor really starting to play together: hi, blue eyes! Lauren’s favorite part of her room is her butterflies :) I have very similar photos from four years ago exactly of Courtney and Connor during his 6 month session reading the very same book :) I love that their kids have SUCH a love of reading already! Lauren has mastered the art of sticking that little finger up and saying “no, no, no!” to anyone around her who she feels might need correction ;) such a sweet girl! I always tell parents that cake is really hit or miss with kids, in my experience they either LOVE it or really don’t care for it. Well. This is how lauren felt about her cake at first ;) she didn’t even want to sit near it! so we may or may not have stuck one of her favorite little snacks inside the cake, to give her a little taste and show her that cake and icing really isn’t so bad after all! LOVE those chunky little legs! if her big brother likes it, than it MUST be good! :)Happy First Birthday, Lauren! :)
“Ask your heart to tell you her worth
I think it’s safe to say that Florida has officially become my second home at this point. Since just about everyone I know has picked up and moved to the sunshine state, my quick trips down there have now turned into two week long trips so that I can make my rounds and see everyone! I’ve been referring to this trip as my “two week tour of Florida!” since last October! When Beth and Scott told me they would need me down in Florida for Kate’s newborn portraits in February, I called everyone down there and started making plans! With Nicole on one side of Florida, Laura on the other side, and Ingrid up in Northern Florida, it was going to be a puzzle piecing everything together, but thankfully they are all super wonderful and they made it all happen! One of these years I’m just going to get an apartment and plant myself in Florida for the winter so I can see them all for a few months instead of a few days, but for now a week in each of their guest rooms will work just fine :) I’m thankful for such gracious friends and hosts who are willing to feed me, drive me, and spend their time with me. You all ready for me to come back and do it all again next month?! :)
I kicked things off in Sebastian, Florida with my wonderfriend Nicole and her family! Remember this beautiful little girl? After her mom and dad, I got to be the first one to hold this baby just an hour after she was born! Despite my best attempts to convince her not to grow up too much over the past 9 months, she’s a stubborn little one and didn’t listen one bit!
We didn’t get to do an “official” portrait session, but we did take about 4 minutes (literally!) worth of pictures on the beach one night before dinner! With that wind and the cold front that came through florida, that was about all their little bare toes could take! these two have quite the bond… she absolutely LOVES her puppy… and he absolutely loves… when she drops him little bites her food! ;) “ugh! i’ve been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! get hot water! get some disinfectant! get some iodine!” – Lucy :) Eva doesn’t seem to mind Finn’s kisses quite as much as Lucy did Snoopy’s… After a great long weekend with Nicole, it was off to Tampa to spend the week with my cousin and my godkids! they are all WAY too big and as cute as ever :) and they have recently added two new puppies to the mix! the kids are absolutely smitten with them! oooh this kid. she’s full of spunk… or somethin’ like that ;) man these blue eyed babies just melt me! when he walked in the door he almost looked like a teenager and it caught me completely off guard! i think he has changed the most over this past year to me, although they are all growing up way too fast for sure. these two make quite the pair!
yup, I think he belongs to her :) oooh my kenzie mae! I got to spend the most time with this little one (since school for the big kids gets in the way of all our fun!) and man she is just the greatest. She has the sweetest disposition, she’s so quick to help, and whew can she hold her own! As the baby of 4, I think that comes with the territory :) She’s an expert puppy wrangler, and thinks those two puppies absolutely belong to her. She wants to feed them, hold them, correct them, let them in and out, and carries the little one around ANYtime they are both in the same room. We told her if she came outside to let me take her picture then she could take one with the puppies after, and this is the progression that followed… don’t worry she’s got these two under control! :)Then the trip ended in Orlando for the best. birthday. EVER. My birthday fell on a Friday this year, and whew it’s going to be hard to top! That morning of my birthday, Laura, my mom, and Ingrid all met up at Universal Studios and spent the day exploring all the new parts of the Harry Potter section of the park! I had no idea what to expect but the new part just blew me away- it was SO well done! and c’mon, doesn’t everyone want to ride on the hogwarts express?!
I tried really hard not to take pictures of every single thing i saw, you gotta go see it all for yourself! there are a few more photos from my trip over on Instagram if you’d like to take a look! While these elixirs don’t compare to butterbeer, they were still pretty fun! They did such a great job making Gringots Bank come to life. these guys were everywhere!
Then the night ended with Nicole and Eva joining the party, and we had the best table for dinner at Narcoossee’s, at my most favorite Disney Resort! It has a perfect view of Wishes, the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom over the castle :) like I said, best birthday ever! all thanks to these ladies! they each made me feel so very loved over this trip, and I know it was a sacrifice for each of them to be there for my birthday. I appreciate each of you more than I can say! the next day we were off to introduce Eva to the happiest place on earth :) It was a beautiful 70 degrees and everyone was VERY excited to be there.. including my mama, who waits all day just for these darn tea cups! She spins like a maniac in them, so she and Laura had their own cup, while the rest of us had one that was a little more Eva’s speed :) think she’s just a little excited?! Eva wasn’t too phased by the tea cups… maybe she SHOULD ride with Miss Shawn next time! Now dumbo.. that’s a different story. It takes a LOT of convincing to get my mom to ride Dumbo since she swears it goes “WAY TOO HIGH!” and despite Laura’s best efforts, my mom may or may not have threatened to kick her out of that flying elephant if she touched the handle to make him fly higher. By the end of the ride when ALL of them end up at the highest point before they all come down, I looked up to see her cowering in fear (… really? ;) ), while Laura triumphantly exclaimed “WE FINALLY MADE IT TO THE TOP!” :) and Eva? Well she woulda loved dumbo… if she had been awake! she took this opportunity to take a little snooze in the Ergo carrier, and of course she woke up JUST as the ride was ending! figures :) Dumbo has always been a favorite ever since the first trip with mom and Ingrid :) aaaand not too much has changed since then :) Laura and I stayed at the park until it closed around 1:00AM, and I think main street all lit up at night might be my favorite part of all of the parks :) Thank you all for making it such a wonderful few weeks! Can’t wait to do it all over again next year ;) Now, how about you share a little bit of your sunshine and warm weather with us here in Virginia?!? :) Happy Monday!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Posted in Baby's First Year
“there’s a weight off my shoulder
there’s a laughter in the air
you are the answer to every midnight prayer
it took some time to wait it out
but I see it now
you’re worth all the dreaming of
you’re mine to love.”
oh friends, I am so very happy to be introducing you to sweet baby Kate today! this little girl has been prayed for, longed for, ached for, fought for, and prayed for some more. it’s not really “fair” how some couples have to fight so much harder to grow their family, but gosh isn’t this end result more than worth it? Beth and Scott have been dear friends for a few years now, and I was so thrilled when they asked if I would come down to Florida to do Kate’s newborn portraits after she was born. I think we did about 3 hours of portraits, and then I snuggled that kid the WHOLE rest of the day :) she’s an answered prayer for so many people, and I’m so very (very!) happy that she’s finally here! Isn’t that sign above their bed awesome?! My sweet friend Katie made it! Kathryn has the most perfect little features! love those little baby smirks :) these portraits of Beth and Kate literally stopped me in my tracks. I turned the back of the camera around to show her one and she immediately made me take it away before the tears started. Motherhood looks SO so very beautiful on you, my friend! love that smile :) Thanks for allowing me to walk with you guys over the past few years, and for letting me be “Aunt Jessie” to this beautiful little girl :) Can’t wait to have the three of you in front of my camera again soon!
“… happiness is a warm puppy. happiness is finding somebody you like at the front door. happiness is a smooth sidewalk. happiness is eating out. happiness is mellow. happiness is being able to reach the doorknob. happiness is anyone and anything that’s loved by you…”
– charles schulzCan you believe this little lady is already 4 months?!
lets be honest, I think they both preferred this arrangement to the one right above it ;) look at those two little teeth getting ready to pop through! :)
Happy Wednesday! :)
“it’s a big deal to have a baby. after you have a baby, you are left with a softly pooched out tummy and aching nether-regions, sore breasts and your entire heart now laying beside you making noises like a kitten. you are weepy and exhausted, gloriously alive and powerful. you are a life-giver and so now you want both a nap and a hearty roast beef dinner for your troubles. your skin is criss-crossed with stretch marks because you don’t participate in co-creation with God without being marked by the experience. you became a mother…”
– sarah besseythe last time I saw Gabe and Eli was back in 2013 when we spent the afternoon playing at the park. last week they added a sweet baby sister to their family, miss Elizabeth Anne! they didn’t know if they were expecting a brother or sister, but two days before her birthday Gabe had a dream that the baby was a GIRL, and sure enough now here she is!
I walked in the door and could not believe how much the boys have changed in just two short years! this little boy was just a toddler last time I saw him! love this portrait of these two best buddies: Elizabeth is already crazy about her big brothers :) as soon as they came close she reached right for them! meredith asked for a few photos of her and elizabeth nursing, and these are some of my favorites from the session. i can only imagine the amount of time each day that they spend in this very position, and i think it’s so sweet when we’re able to document that in a beautiful way:
yep that looks about right to me! quite possibly my favorite photo of the 5 of them ;) how precious is she?! i bet meredith was so excited to walk into the girls clothing section and be able to pick up some pink after all these years! :) if you couldn’t already tell, I was absolutely smitten with elizabeth’s sweet strawberry blonde wispy curls! she had this one curl that formed a perfect little mohawk right in the middle :) i am ALL ABOUT letting your kids be themselves during our session. i want the images to always feel true to my clients, and i want to incorporate the things that their days are filled with. as soon as we finished a few family portraits the boys immediately found some of their old halloween costumes, and i thought it represented this stage so perfectly :)
i knew this would be a favorite from the moment i took it. the boys are completely obsessed with dinosaurs; i mean i learned more about dinosaurs from Gabe and Eli in the 3 hours i was at their house than i ever have before! Eli was rocking his dino costume, and as soon as he gave me this look with those big brown eyes my heart melted! dinos have to behave themselves, otherwise the police officer will be quick to handcuff them and send ‘em to jail! ;)
again with those wispy curls… i couldn’t get enough!
thanks again for having me over for the morning! can’t wait to see you all again soon! happy friday! :)