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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: ISLA

Have you ever seen the movie “Raising Helen”? Where Kate Hudson goes from a hip lifestyle to an overnight mom raising her sister’s kids? I kinda feel like my life can relate. By no means have I ever been “hip.” I’m much more an order in take out & veg with friends at the house than at a club kinda girl. But when you have kids, things in so many ways change. When you’re engaged to be married, you’re generally in a carefree stage of life. Do what you want, when you want. (It’s a glorious stage! Soak it up!)  But when you have kids things change. There’s nap times. Snack times. And concerns of safety on snowy roads.

I love when I get to capture couples in various stages of life. A few years ago, I captured Erica + Jeff’s big day at Independence Grove in Libertyville. It was a stunning day! One that even years later, I remember well. Fast forward some years and now they have little Isla who is turning one in just a few days. I love that I have relationships with my couples. Where we can message about our kids and know that our lives in many ways aren’t very glamorous but even at the thought of how much we love our kids we could lose it in tears. I love that Erica, knowing there would be a big snow storm said, if you feel unsafe to drive, lets postpone. Part of that is she’s just such a sweetheart to begin with. And the other part is, our mindsets shift now being moms. We have families to get back home to. The photos came second in priority. Well, I did make it to their beautiful home and I’m so glad I did! Hugging my dear couple, and soaking in the cuteness of little Isla. Happy soon-to-be birthday little ONE!


Chicago Baby Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: ELLIE

Sure, winter in Chicago can maybe seem limiting to some when trying to find a spot to take photos with your baby, but more and more I’m convinced that home is the best. Yes. Your drooled on couch. Your toy littered floors. (Though, this home is immaculate, with or without kids) Your pet that lingers around to not be forgotten. Your bedroom that you’ve rocked, bounced, hushed for countless hours. When I say I don’t do really do props this is why; all of this. It’s the memories. It’s the images that you have in your head when replaying your life. To me…There’s nothing more beautiful. And there’s few things more important to capture and save.

“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” Creed from The Office



So much of anniversaries are a pause to remember what all the wedding day was. Though that day was incredible, and spiritually significant, I think the true celebration of the past 13 years is what has transpired since. It’s in the day to day choices of what it is to be not only married (as many people are) but to make decisions that are honoring to each other and to the Lord.  On the daily, for the past thirteen  years, you’ve put the Lord first and by doing so have loved me so well. And then you put pregnancies and kids into the mix and I’m honestly just humbled that the Lord chose you for me… for us. We don’t deserve the Lord. And we don’t deserve you. And yet you constantly outpour His love through your willingness to sacrifice. Willingness to do whatever it takes. Willingness to be all in.

When I put Ryan to bed, I give him kisses and whisper: “I love you so much.” And he’ll whisper back: “So much.” Thank you for being so much to me for thirteen years of marriage. So much to Ryan as a dad for two. And for Mia for exactly one week.

We love me more than we can show or say.
Happy anniversary my Habeebee.

Thank you Michael for these captures of our life! (And being our go to when we thought Ryan needed (hopefully still won’t) stitches) (:


Chicago Wedding Photographer: The Dawson Chicago: JORDAN + MARISSA

If you know me, or have spent more than a minute on my Instagram you’re well aware of my 3 obsessions: Coffee. Donuts. And Brunch. If you get all three in the same day, you’ve hit the delicious trifecta. And if you hit all three, add in bottomless mimosas, a gorgeous venue, and a bride & groom (who also have the well appointed love for such delicious things) who are sweeter than the donuts, well, then, your wedding season is made. And so is the editing of the wedding. I mean, you can’t edit a coffee & donut wedding without ample coffee and donuts right? It just makes sense. (:

Oh, and I don’t think it was the bottomless mimosas (though that never hurts), I’ve never ever seen such a packed dance floor during a day wedding. From beginning to end, so much fun! Congrats Jordan & Marissa!








VENUE: The Dawson:

FLORIST: Marianos: