It was the most glorious day for their wedding. The sun was bright and the air was crisp without being cold. Lindsay and her ladies were getting hair and makeup done in the bridal suite at Bella Sala, while the guys relaxed in the reception hall. The waterfall outside splashed water down over the rocks, gurgling along the tiny little stream. At long last, it was their wedding day! And it was perfect.
Gideon surprised Lindsay with his proposal right before their one year anniversary in 2016. “We planned a trip to Des Moines the weekend before our anniversary to celebrate. We made reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant and before that, Gideon wanted to show me Gray’s Lake. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going and it made me so frustrated! It was freezing that night and me eyes were watering, my nose was running, and I wondered why in the heck he’d chosen that night of all nights to show me this lake. I was ruining his special plans by complaining. While we were walking, I realized he wasn’t standing next to me anymore. When I turned around, I saw him down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I didn’t believe him! It felt so surreal! The bitter cold disappeared and all that I saw was him. Nothing else mattered. We kissed and hugged and then he looked at me and said, ‘So is that a yes?’ I then said yes a thousand times. To think I could have ruined such a beautiful night with my bad attitude.”
I asked what their dreams are for the future and Lindsay said, “To always be honest with one another. To always love and care for one another. To enjoy every trip, every milestone together. To have and raise beautiful, healthy, smart children of our own to love for the rest of our lives together.” I love that. I love seeing the special, beautiful bond they share.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Their first meeting was at The Bluebird Diner back in 2014. They dated for 6 months before she introduced him to her daughter and the connection came easily, mostly because her daughter fell in love with his cat and determined that he was an okay guy because “only good people have pets.”
The part of their story that strikes me the most is the love that grew between Pat and Elise’s daughter: “As Eleanor came over more often [to Pat’s house], she started to get into more stuff. I knew the relationship with Pat was one I wanted to last forever when he researched ways to organize for autism and took pictures of what was in each drawer/pantry in his apartment so she didn’t have to open them all to get what she wanted. Seeing him take as much care as I do to meet my daughter’s needs meant a lot to me.”
Pat and Elise share an easy-going, complimentary love. It is clear to anyone around them that their family, especially Eleanor, is the most important thing to them. They like to laugh and have fun together. Elise described their interests as “I think the big thing is we like to laugh and anything that brings us laughter is something worth doing.” I love that outlook!! They have found their treasure and it has been such an honor to witness it and document it. I asked Elise what she was most looking forward to about the wedding and she summed it up absolutely perfectly: “I look forward to being old and looking through the wedding album and seeing how young we were, how much love we had for each other, and that feeling you get when you realize how much more love you have for your partner now.”
They requested doing a few quick photos at The Bluebird Diner, where they first met and it was absolutely perfect!
After that, we headed straight to Iowa River Power Restaurant, where they would have their ceremony and reception dinner. It was the most perfect, glorious Wednesday afternoon!
These days your smiles come easily and your opinions are strong. For the most part, you have become an easy baby, though evenings are still when you get crankiest. You are a good sleeper and you really prefer your room and bed over sleeping on the go, but you don’t always get that luxury with the warm weather and an older brother and playdates and walks to the park.
I have realized that time is going faster with you, my second child. It’s partly because I have less first-mom-syndrome and partly because my focus is split between two kids. You’re reaching milestones before I’ve even had a chance to think about them. With Henry, I was always aware of what would be coming next; soon he’ll roll over, soon he’ll laugh, soon he’ll sit up. With you, I’m so focused on each day that I barely realize time is passing and you’re either doing things already or will be soon. Because, see, you’re already four months old and it feels like I just pulled you up onto my chest in the hospital room.
When you turned three months old, you could start going to the daycare at the gym rather than coming with me in the carseat and stowing away in the corner while I worked out. It’s been an adjustment and most mornings there, you refuse sleep until about 10 minutes before I pick you up when you finally conk out in someone’s arms. Thankfully, so far you’ve been good about going down for a nap once we get home and getting back on track for the day. I love seeing your resilient little self and am thankful that you’re learning to be flexible.
We finally (finally!) have warm weather after a seemingly endless winter. We’ve been spending our afternoons at the park, on ice cream runs, having playdates, playing outside, and going for walks. Again, I’m thankful that you’re learning to be flexible because the fresh air is so good for all of us.
Your brother adores you. His voice changes to a high-pitched, adorable, baby-gaga voice when he talks to you. And he gives constant updates on your response to him. “Mama, her eyes are open!” Mama, she’s looking around!” “She’s smiling at me, mama!” You are fascinated with him and always look around to see where he’s at. He will be your best protector and I am so excited to see the relationship between the two of you grow.
This next month will undoubtedly continue to bring more changes; you keep growing and discovering and learning new tricks. I love to see your personality shine and I’m so excited to continue to watch you grow. I’m savoring every moment, while also looking forward to new milestones: sitting up, crawling, climbing. I’m just soaking you in.
I am so grateful to have you in our family, Perrin. You bring joy to my heart and I will never be able to describe how much I love you. Some day I hope you will understand when you have children of your own, but for now, you have to trust that the love I have for you is just indescribable. It’s deep and wide and goes farther than you can see. As one of your books say, “You’ll never outgrow it. It stretches itself.”
Oh, my sweet, I love you so.
Taking these monthly photos is no easy chore and I’m usually sweaty by the time I’m done. I already know from experience with Henry that these photos are priceless and I’ll treasure them always so the effort is worth it. This month, Perrin was waaayyyy more interested in chewing on her hands or making duck faces than she was in smiling. And Henry was trying to do his own photoshoot so that made for some extra fun workaround.
Weighs: Not sure, but I’ll find out next week at your checkup!
Loves: your play mat, music & singing, being held upright, having people talk to you, cooing, your pacifier
Wears: 0-3m in clothes in a few, but going up to 3-6m now, size 2 diapers
Sleeps: 8PM-8AM + 3 naps a day (two long ones and one shorter one in the late afternoon)
On her handkerchief, she had their names monogrammed as well as their wedding date and “Colossians 3:12-17”, which reads, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
From the very start, their day was filled with such joy and love. Christina & Cam have exuded grace and happiness since I have first seen them together and it has made every interaction with them so much fun.
When we arrived at Price Creek Event Center in Amana, it was quiet and calm. The ladies were still at the salon finishing up hair, but all of Christina’s accessories and her gown were there, just waiting to be photographed. It was the perfect way to get my creative juices flowing for the day. The weekend before had been freezing cold, incredibly windy, and rainy so I was sooo excited to have milder weather, still chilly, but not uncomfortable.
These flowers were some of my favorite! So springy and pretty, while also not being too “fussy”. They were just perfect.
There was a grassy area outside of the venue that we used for their first look before we hopped in the car for a short drive over to an area I had scouted out beforehand that I knew would be a dream to photograph them in.
Their bridal party was such a riot! I loved photographing this crew!
Look at these handsome guys!
It was cloudy all day so we didn’t get a true “golden hour”, but I still think the 10 minutes of photos later on in the evening are important. It’s the chance to get away from the noise, the hugging, the congratulations, and just savor a few breaths together, alone.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Wedding Coordinator: Rachael May
Cake Artist: Stephanie Coons
The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. But with alternate plans, it was still a perfect wedding day.
Just two days before Elizabeth & Seth’s wedding, we had sunshine and 70 degrees. But on Saturday, the wind blew so hard that the rain was going sideways. The skies were gray and the wind was biting. The plans for an outdoor ceremony were quickly scrapped and the reception space was set up to double for the ceremony as well. The staff at Rapid Creek Cidery and all the vendors pulled together to make the space the vision that they had dreamed of, despite the unwelcome weather.
We came armed with umbrellas for some photos outside, but it was just too cold and windy so we made the most of the indoor space and it all worked out! The rain even stopped for a little bit later in the evening just long enough to pull Elizabeth & Seth outside for a few minutes of portraits! It was cold, but absolutely worth it. (Ironically, their engagement session last November was the coldest session I’d ever photographed. They have been troopers since we first met!)
Elizabeth & Seth first met while serving in the Iowa Army National Guard. She recalls him coming in for a site visit with the chaplain and she greeted them and escorted them to the individual they were meeting with. “We had very short interactions with each other when we were both serving,” she says. Five years later, they had their first date. “I invited him to wake up early and come with us [to the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market], but then he ended up staying all day and I made dinner for the two of us. I felt warm and comfortable with him. He was easy and fun to talk with,” Elizabeth remembers. Seth adds that he “felt like I wanted to spend more time with her.”
Seth proposed last January when they were in New York and their ongoing commitment to each other and their daughters is beautiful to witness.
Beth’s students did the watercolor artwork for their paper suite. That, among so many other details, were the perfect touches to make their day personal and unique.
During cocktail hour, there was a break in the rain so we dashed outside for some quick photos. These two! I’m so thankful for their trust in me and weathering (no pun intended) the elements!
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
My sweet girl,
Shortly after you were born, I read something that referred to the first few months of life with a newborn as the “100 days of darkness”. They’re hard, those 100 days. Keeping a tiny human alive, wild hormones and #allthefeels (anxiety, guilt, sadness, joy, pride, rage), the sleep deprivation, a healing, postpartum body that feels strange and foreign and saggy, the loneliness that hits at random times, but especially during the middle of the night, the mental wearing of dealing with colicky cries, the knowledge that your life has irrevocably changed and you have to figure out how you fit in this world again. Those first 100 days are hard.
But then it passes. The 100 days slip by in a haze and suddenly, one day, you realize you’re on the other side (or technically speaking, we are almost on the other side; I guess we are only 90-some days in right now but close enough). The tides shift. It becomes easier. It feels more doable. The bad days are fewer; the good days more numerous. We sleep again, full, restful nights of sleep. You smile at our crazy sounds. You coo in response to singing. You chew on your little fists in the most adorable, drooly way. You look around with smooth eye movements and are curious about everything you see. You become less fragile and more stable, holding your head upright and pushing yourself up on your hands. You become less fresh and more human.
It’s the most wonderful thing, making it through those hardest days. The best thing about a second child is that, even though it’s harder in many ways trying to juggle it all with multiple kids, as a parent, you also know it will become easier instead of just hoping that someday it won’t be so insurmountable. And with that thought in mind, I’ve been counting down to 3 months since a few moments after you were born. I knew it would be hard; I remembered it so well from when Henry was little. But I also knew it would become easier.
I’ve continued lugging you to the gym and you sleep in the carseat while I work out. Now that you’re three months old, you can start going to the gym daycare and I’m admittedly a little nervous about it. Henry will give me a full report, I’m sure.
He loves to go in before me to get you up from your naps. He turns off your sound machine, turns on the light, and goes over to your crib and starts talking to you. You love it. “Perriiiiinnnn. Hiiiii little Peanut. Did you sleeeeeep good? I think you did. Your mama is coming.” And you smile at him like he’s your hero.
You love laying on your play mat and kicking at the piano keyboard to make music and batting at the toys hanging overhead. Your little fists have become your favorite chew toy and they are constantly in your mouth.
You haven’t taken to your pacifier like Henry did. We use it occasionally to calm you down, particularly when you’re tired, but you have to be in just the right mood to actually suck on it and, even then, after a few minutes, you push it out with your tongue because you’ve had enough of it.
Naps are finally getting better. Though you’ve been sleeping through the night since 7 weeks, naps were a constant struggle where you’d only sleep for 30-40 minutes and then wake up crying and couldn’t settle yourself back down. The last week or two have shown significant improvements though and you will sometimes nap over 2 hours now. Unfortunately, it’s not at the point of being guaranteed yet so I can only semi-plan things to do (clean the bathrooms, reply to emails, workout on the spin bike, schedule client calls, go play outside in the yard with Henry, etc.) with the knowledge that they might be interrupted. But we’re getting there, slowly but surely.
With your age and development, your personality is continuing to shine. You’re a fairly relaxed little baby now and you generally don’t fuss unless you’re tired, hungry, or overstimulated. In fact, I can always tell when you’re ready for your naps simply because you start to get fussy.
And so, my sweet girl, three months have passed and you have seamlessly inserted yourself into our family, making it nearly impossible to remember what it was like before you. We are whole. We are complete, the four of us. You were just who we were waiting for. You have been absolutely worth every tear shed, every sleepless moment, every throbbing headache, every doubtful terror.
Loving you has been such a pleasure. I am breathing in every moment with you and loving you more than I thought possible. You are my joy.
I love you.
Weighs: 12 pounds, 1 ounce
Loves: your play mat, music & singing, being held upright, having people talk to you, cooing
Wears: 0-3m in clothes, size 1 diapers (size 2 overnight)
Sleeps: 8PM-8AM + 4 naps a day (two long ones and two shorter ones in the late afternoon and evening)
« Older posts