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emily crall blog

April 2, 2019

FILED IN: Personal

Hi my little bug,

In the span of three months—just since your first birthday—you’ve grown so much I can hardly keep up. You are now walking and running, talking (“pees” – please, “booboo” – blueberry, “mama”, “dada”, “Henwee” – Henry, “Annie”, “pupu” – puppy, “bwuh” – brush, “aw dooo” – all done, “baby”), you’ve gotten more teeth, you are riding a little tricycle around…I mean, it’s hard to keep up, literally as well as emotionally.

I had forgotten how much I love this age, like truly love it. You have so much personality pouring out of your little tiny frame and you have so many feelings, sometimes outrageous silliness and sometimes intense frustration.




March 20, 2019

In the days leading up to her wedding, Lindsay was doing a lot of prepping, but it wasn’t the kind you’d think of. Instead of relaxing, she was baking some 500 cookies for the reception. Lindsay isn’t a fan of cake and she loves to bake so homemade cookies sounded like a delightful plan, but I would guess that even she was over it by the time her wedding day came. (They were delicious cookies though!)

March is such a weird weather month for Iowa. It could be 60 degrees and sunny or…it could be 20 degrees and snowy. The forecast was looking very cold so the plan was to do a small space-flip and have the ceremony inside then move a few tables and have the reception. Brenda (Town or Country Event Design & Coordination) did an incredible job pulling it all together and making everything perfect for Lindsay & Allan.

Lindsay and Allan first met at the Iowa State Fair. It was one of the Lindsay’s friends (and bridesmaid!) who knew them both and they all ended up meeting for a drink. Lindsay admits that she knew right away Allan was her one. “I saved his contact info in my phone as ‘Future Husband’ from the very beginning,” she said. And now she can take the “future” prefix off because they are finally married!



March 15, 2019

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.



March 14, 2019

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.



March 13, 2019

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!


I cannot handle how happy he is!!


March 12, 2019

I was so excited to get to photograph the Duerksen kids two days in a row! (I got to photograph them the day before with their dad and stepmom!) As I told Jenny, I so highly admire the co-parenting philosophy that her and Patrick and Vanessa have taken on. It’s such a beautiful thing to witness parents working so well together and truly, genuinely loving each other and getting along! I’ll never forget something Vanessa told me once: “We just decided that we would never, ever speak badly about anyone else.” And while that seems so simple, relationships are hard and sharing is hard and life is hard. So, to be able to make that decision and stick to it is something that is truly admirable. I have so much respect for this whole family and how they work.

This session was easy because, hey, grown kids can listen to directions so well! But we did run into misting rain and it was getting really cold! They were so flexible and were able to come a little early to avoid most of the rain.



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