Masthead header


For the past year, on the regular, Bart would ask if our “new” and by that I mean major fixer upper house felt like home yet. He’s typically gotten the response: “No, but don’t get me wrong, I like it!” That is until the other night. While brushing our teeth, he finally got the answer that he’s been hoping for: “Yeah…Yeah it’s does.” “Really?” he said. “Why now?” We hadn’t just had some cozy date night creating some nostalgia but rather just the opposite. He’s been sleeping sick on the couch for over a week. Even when we are sharing our bed my massive preggo pillow is a cuddle killer we like to say. (Don’t get me wrong, that sucker is worth every isolated night to my preggo body.)  We have a “Wash me” layer of construction dust on just about every nook of our house which for the most part we’ve given up trying to clean until we finish reno on the basement or my water breaks; whichever comes first. (:  So how is it that now this house of ours which is in massive transition all of a sudden feels like home to me?  Well, we’ve experienced home before. We’ve had two prior to this one. Though as Ruggiero says: “He’s dying in this house.” And with all the construction he puts into this place I hope it’s not from that! (: We’ve experienced 3 homes, 22 birthdays, and as of today, 11 anniversaries of the day we said: “I do.” But amidst all the familiar of what 11 years of marriage can bring,  we’re starting something new. Something neither of us have experienced until now.






Barto- With a coffee table full of empty mugs of tea, fruit, disinfectant wipes, and sheets downstairs all disheveled from being slept on all week, I hear you peel yourself from the “sick couch,” putting on your snow gear & boots to go plow our massive driveway for the second time. You never complained, you never tried to score brownie points of “look what I’m doing even though I don’t feel well, aren’t I great?” But without announcement you went to get done what needed to be so that I didn’t have to. For the past 11 years, you’ve done such things. Things that we light-heartedly ask if I could do if you ever weren’t around. It is these things that have made it possible for me to be where I am today, and accomplish what I have. It’s these things (and so many more) that have made you the most AMAZING husband.  And as I brushed my teeth, and you asked for the hundredth time: “Does it yet feel like home?” I knew the answer was yes. Not only for my comfort, but for baby “R.” There will be countless times where you won’t be acknowledged or thanked and you’ll do it all anyway. That’s made you an amazing husband for the past decade+ but I’m even more confident it’s what’s going to make an amazing father for a lifetime.

Here’s to building our home on the unshakable foundation of Christ…

Here’s to building our family one cat and one kid at a time…

Here’s to building upon what’s been and looking forward to what’s to come…

The story is more than we could have ever written for ourselves. Through Christ it will go on forever, and each chapter is better than the one before. Can’t wait to turn the page into year 12 and parenthood with you!

Cherise - December 18, 2016 - 12:02 AM

Missy that was a beautiful picture of Christ serving His bride selflessly! Bart, you WILL be a great father and Missy will fall more and more in love with you while she watched you admire, goo goo, and love on your child. And Missy, you will undoubtedly be a terrific mother and have had lots of experience caring for other children. May you both be overwhelmed with joy as you encounter the greatest gift of all this Christmas! Love you guys abd can’t wait to meet that baby!

Chicago Family Photographer: When Our Kids Will Be A Month A Part In Age!

Trust me…There’s no person on the planet that cares for people the way that Karen does. Whether you’re having the best of days or at your lowest of lows; she will go there with you. Actually, she’ll go there ahead of you; preemptively thinking of how your day could be better because she’s done something about it. She will remember the date of just about every milestone, not only of her own but yours, celebrating with gusto the things that you’ve forgotten. Miss Noelle Vera was due one month and 3 days ahead of our little one. (Who has yet to join us) When Noelle came early I may have panicked a little (Thinking my day surely is around the corner) and ran across the street to Target to buy a diaper. But why should I panic? Karen has forged the way for me to succeed in motherhood in ways that I’ll always be grateful for. She’s the one that texts to see how am I’m feeling when she’s perhaps under-the-weather or say um…recovering from childbirth! She’s the one that sent me a detailed what to bring to the hospital list so I’d be all set. (She knows I love me some lists!) She’s the one, that texted the first morning of December to celebrate our “birth month” of our soon-to-be. She’s the one that hosted a baby shower that was one of the most encouraging moments that I’ll never forget. She’s also the first to say “that it’s nothing” or to dismiss something that only someone that thoughtful would remember to do. She doesn’t do these things for some blog post, or me to give her a public shout-out (Though I couldn’t sing her praises enough) but rather she does it out of pure love for others. What an amazing characteristic to have as mom and a true gift to give to one’s children.

Jonathan is one of those people that everyone loves. Even if you haven’t met him, you’d love him. He’s got charisma by the boat load, and will have you laughing like few people can. When I was over at their place the other night, their oldest was having a hard time. As in if I made eye contact with the little guy, he’d lose it hard time. I saw Jonathan for over an hour pull every trick of funny possible to tide the storm and allow his wife and I to chat. He’s not one to get fazed easily. Well, actually, he’s not one to get fazed at all, he’s so chill it’s remarkable.  I know full well I won’t have the same quick-wit response when my toddler thrashes on the floor. I also know I most likely won’t be as gracious when after a long day of work, coming home to the toddler tantrum, and holding down the fort so my spouse can have time with a friend.

Don’t get me wrong, of course I want to be all these things. They aren’t my natural inclination in many ways but I want to be the type of person, friend, and parent that these two already are. Thankfully, they’re lifers with us. Friends that no matter what comes will be there. So when we mess up doing this new to parenting thing, they’ll be the first to encourage and make us laugh to keep pushing forward. We love you guys so dearly. I am so excited that our little ones will be so close in age! Here’s to many more life adventures! Much Much Love!



One of my favorite parts of photographing certain people or families consistently is I get to see how people grow. I’ve been photographing Mae for a few years now and I’ve come to see such a huge change in her. She once was a bit more reserved, would take a bit more to get her out of her shell. Seemingly overnight, she’s now super spunky, outgoing, and well, funny! She and her family were about to take a trip to Disney to have breakfast with the princesses. (Cue every little girl on the planet to be jealous) I asked her which was her favorite and she said she’s not really into them; she prefers scary movies. Haha! What!? Totally didn’t expect that! As we wandered the farm, exploring, she continued to surprise me with her new found confidence. Granted, there may or may not have been a bribery of getting a 7-11 slurpee after the photo session so of course she’ll bring out her A-game. (: Excited to have seen Mae grow so much in so many ways.



There’s nothing sweeter on a wedding day than when a groom gets emotional over his bride. Matt melted before he even saw Kimi! (Sorry, don’t want to rat you out Matt) (: But it was so sweet how he just stared at her card for a bit and let it all soak in: “I’m marrying my best friend” he said. Yep! And an amazing one at that. Kimi strikes the balance of “Life of the party” and “Super down-to-earth.” Together, they’re a sporting power-couple. I mean, come-on, they exited the church to a hockey stick salute! (Which was awesome by the way!) To have these kinda hard-core athletic people be so tender with others but especially each other is all the more precious. Many in their positions would maybe be tempted to “tough it out” to be “fine” but these two have no trouble showing the other how much they care. May that always continue!

CHURCH: St. Paul of the Cross:

RECEPTION: Rosemont Hilton:

HAIR: Colours Hair Salon:

MAKEUP: Sisters Chicago:

WEDDING BAND: The Mix Musical Services:

FLORIST: Romance in Blooms:

WEDDING DRESS: Eva’s Bridal: