This sweet family used their session last year to announce baby #2 and now, this year, look at Nile’s adorable little smile and swirl of hair! Kane is still very much into football, as you can see, but not so much into having his picture taken, haha. It is so much fun to see families back year after year and to be able to watch their babies grow, even if from a distance.
I actually do not know how Kailee and I first met, but I do know that somewhere along the way, I hired her to do my hair for my wedding ten plus years ago when she was still in cosmetology school and we’ve been friends ever since. (And I still to this day wouldn’t change a thing about my wedding day hair! It was perfection!) In the span of time since then, both of us have had babies and started businesses, me with photography and her with her own salon & spa!
So, just to bring everything full circle, we now get to work together since her and the Eden team do a lot of hair and makeup for my brides and bridesmaids! Anddddd she also cuts my hair so, you know, we have a lot of mutual respect and support.
I was so excited to be able to photograph her beautiful family, but was not even halfway prepared for the location they chose. Isn’t this the most gorgeous spot?! (It’s the family land of one of the massage therapists at the spa!) We had a lot of spaces to choose from and we kept it pretty simple because I know how quickly I have to work when I’m photographing kids and I absolutely love what we ended up with!! For what it’s worth, these girls were so incredibly well-behaved and sweet! Look at these adorable smiles! I love that we could bottle up this space in time for this family because we all know babies grow up.
You’re officially a year and a half now. I don’t know how that happened. In my mind, you’re still a baby, but then I see you running around, trying to catch your brother, and pulling out the coloring books and Crayons because your favorite thing to do is “coyor” and following multiple-step directions and…you’re just so big.
But you still fit on my hip, tucking your legs around my waist, wrapping your arm around my shoulder. It’s one thing I distantly remember savoring with Henry, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before I wouldn’t be carrying him around anymore. And now I find myself treasuring the same way you fit on me, knowing just as before that it doesn’t last long.
Your hair is growing in (yay!) and the curls in the back of your head are bopping everywhere in the heat and humidity. Just last week I was able to make a teeny, spiky little pony tail on top of your head—that’s the hair that’s been the slowest to come in—and it made me smile all over again that my lifelong wish of having a daughter came true. One of the things I have looked forward to most about having a daughter is doing your hair—braids, curls, twists, pig tails, the whole bit—and though it’ll be a while yet before anything more intricate than a single, pointy ponytail can be done, knowing that we can spend time together doing your hair someday makes me so excited.
You continue to be a daddy’s girl and you shriek with joy when he comes in the door. You can hear the garage door from anywhere in the house and immediately go on alert, “Daddy? Daddy?!”
While you still love to read books and will gladly bring an endless string of them to us to read to you, you have also picked up a love for coloring. The shelf with the colors and books is easily accessible to you and barely an hour goes by that you’re not dragging everything out. Your fine motor skills blow me away because you hold the colors, skinny or chunky Crayons, in your right hand exactly as I hold a pen to write. I don’t know how you learned that, but when I first saw you do it, I actually took a picture to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.
My best friend has been begging me for years to take her boys’ photos and I have always declined, aside from, of course, candid photos when we are playing together. Then, when they thought they were going to be moving across the country, her one wish was that I take their pictures before they move away and there was no way I could say no. (In a miracle, they didn’t end up moving and I think I remind her probably at least once a week!)
What made this whole session so much fun was that it was like photographing my own family. And in a way, they are. Pagelyn and I met when our oldests were just a couple months old. Our kids haven’t known a life without each other and we are constantly adventuring together, whether that means a simple trip to the park or an hour drive to try out a new museum.
This family, oh, how I love them. Let me just show you the wonderful times we’ve had together so far: their wedding on the family farm was so much fun to photograph and was one of the first weddings I ever photographed (here and here), then, after years of infertility, I got to photograph them while Lisa was pregnant with their daughter, and again shortly after Vaida was born. Last fall, right after Vaida’s first birthday, I got to see them all again for some family photos and, oh, what a joy to celebrate with them their little family!
After a few months of thinking she had a sinus infection, Lisa has very recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma. She is one of the most positive people I know and is overflowing with peace and determination, even facing this mountain of a battle. In February, she had a craniotomy surgery and the surgeons were able to remove 90-95% of the tumor. She just finished her second week of radiation and told me, “The staff and doctors are so great. I’m feeling good and am surrounded by blessings everyday!”
There are several fundraisers set up to help Lisa & Andrew with Lisa’s medical expenses as well as to donate to brain cancer research. If you know Lisa or you want to help this family, you can click through here.
Out of all the families I got to photograph last fall, at least 1/3 of them were former wedding couples of mine and those are some of my favorite sessions! It’s such a fun reunion to get to see these people again, now post-wedding with little kids of their own! I said this in another one of the blog posts, but it needs to be repeated: From witnessing first hand their love during their engagement session and their anticipation for their wedding day to then celebrating their wedding day with them, with all the joy that comes along with it, meeting their families and seeing their support system, and witnessing their vows. As much as I love weddings, there is something especially sweet about the aftermath of the weddings when I get to meet their child(ren) and see how their love for each other, however flourishing it was before, overflow now into a brand new human. It is truly one of the sweetest of life’s cherry-on-top moments.
Stephanie & Matt are just the most fun couple! I have gotten to see them several times since their wedding and watching them become parents to little Silas is just, well, even better than watching them fall in love with each other. They are both lovers of nature and exercise (one of the reasons we shot their engagement session at Sugar Bottom!) and I love how much Silas also loves being outside, clearly a place he’s comfortable!