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NAPERVILLE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER: CAKE SMASH GRAUE MILL: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

My infant ate a puréed pouch of beef, apples, and carrots for dinner. And generally, most of her meals are some variation of that. As are a lot of infants. (Please tell me I’m not the only one feeding my kid this stuff. ) (: So now imagine babies going from essentially puréed beef stew to a full fledge birthday cake! I so wish I could insert a gif here. Look up dancing baby in gifs. It’ll make your day. How could a baby not do a happy dance getting A.) a non-liquified food. (And an amazing one at that!) I LOVE cake! Okay…what I really love is frosting! B.) Getting to have it all to themselves. (No one wants a piece of that mashed up sugar pile)  C.) They are allowed to make as much of a mess while eating as they’d like! Sounds like the best day ever in the life of a 1 year old! Loved capturing sweet Oliver before his big first birthday!

 

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ELMHURST FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: SAWIN FAMILY

 

There’s certain things that until I was a mom, I just didn’t get it. “What? Just skip nap time….” I’d think to myself. Pssshhh. If there were a nap club president, I’d be in the running for sure. One thing I for sure didn’t understand was how much I would absolutely and undeniably LOVE becoming a mom. People say you’ll never love anything more. And so I worried when I was preggo with #2. I couldn’t possibly love something more than my first. My heart wasn’t ready to share. My mind couldn’t wrap around it. And so in the nights leading up to giving birth to my second, I just rocked my oldest with tears streaming down my cheeks. Dangit, my eyes are welling up even typing that memory. It’s real. But this I can promise. It’s going to be amazing. More than you could know, and more than I can tell. And no doubt, miss Maddie will be one phenomenally fun big sister.

 

 

 

 

 

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CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDENS FAMILY PHOTOS: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: CONNOR

I feel like motherhood is squeezing. The askings of many; both little and big; young and old. “My need” becomes almost a cog in the perpetual moving wheel that is mom life. The days are long yet time is ever so short. The lists are long and the actual checked off agenda is few.  On paper…It’s a tall order of a job. Despite Instagram’s illusions, it’s often a messy one. I type this with mis-matched pajamas that have two flavors of kid’s food pouch’s on them from dinner tonight.  Even my husband, who just got home, literally just said: “You’re still here? Working mom life.” Squeeze. Yes. It’s a lot. But the love of a mom is so much more! So here’s to squeezing in one more bedtime story. Here’s to squeezing my kiddos for the millionth time today. And here’s to squeezing out the distractions of daily life to allow moments of being fully present. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to this image of Megan with her son, Connor. First, mom’s are so rarely ever captured. We’re like unicorns. (: But she’s so intently being in the moment with him. He probably will never fully know what all she does on the daily to make his life what it is. But thankfully for him. She’s going to do it all anyway. So I’m grateful to provide little images that hopefully squeeze in more memories with the beautiful side of what it means to be; mom.

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SKYLINE LOFT BRIDGEPORT ART CENTER WEDDING: WALDORF ASTORIA WEDDING: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: JEFF + BETHY

Like a parent, I can’t choose a “favorite” when it comes to my weddings. Each one and each couple brings something to the table. Well, Bethy + Jeff’s actual table was my favorite (Shh…Guess I can choose a favorite for that!) (:  table setting so far this season! It looked so good I could eat it! Except I actually could! The lemons, grapes, artichokes, and rosemary were all real! It was on top of the most gorgeously distressed wood table. It was like the prettiest charcuterie (I mean…cute is literally in the name!) cheese board came to life in wedding form. Every detail was even more beautiful than the next.
You think you’re in line to hop on the freight elevator for a lift to cocktail hour… but when the doors open, the elevator is an actual moving cocktail bar! Whhhhaaaat? The Bridgeport Art Center can be transformed in so many different ways but surely, Bethy & Jeff’s wedding must be the best it’s ever looked and felt! From teary toasts, to all wedding guests up in the stage sing-a-longs, it was as fun and special as it was beautiful. Loved being a part of it! Thank you Bethy + Jeff for letting me! Congrats!!!

HOTEL: Waldorf Astoria Chicago: https://www.waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com/

EVENT PLANNER: Bliss Weddings & Events: http://www.blissweddingsandevents.com/

CHURCH: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church: https://www.stalphonsuschicago.org/

VENUE: Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft: https://bridgeportart.com/

FLORIST: HMR Designs: https://hmrdesigns.com/

CATERING: Blue Plate Catering: https://blueplatechicago.com/

HAIR: Ann Krause Beauty: https://www.beautybyannkrause.com/

MAKEUP: Anjelica Bannos Artistry: https://www.anjelicabannos.com/

DRESS BOUTIQUE: Gigi’s Closette: http://www.gigisclosette.com/

DRESS DESIGNER: Paloma Blance: https://palomablanca.com/

BAND: Bill Pollack True Blue Band: https://billpollackmusic.com/true-blue-band/

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CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: LANGHAM CHICAGO COWDEN BIRTHDAY

A milestone as sweet as Honey!

Honey and Papa just celebrated their 80th birthdays with their families atop the iconic Langham Hotel in downtown Chicago. I absolutely love seeing multiple generations of family together. I could easily see why each family individually each were unique and special yeah also in ways quite similar to the starting point within the grandparents/great grandparents.  They all are incredibly intelligent, social, welcoming, well traveled, and perhaps most of all; sweet. I’m sure they’d be the first to say that it’s thanks to Honey. (:

Here’s to family…to love…and to legacies. Happy Birthday!

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