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Elmhurst Newborn Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: ELOISE

I have December babies. As in the brutal cold of Chicago’s polar vortex babies. I had all this ooey gooey nostalgic feelings of my first born coming into the hospital to meet his little sister. Him getting the gift “she” picked out for him. Snuggling for a photo on my hospital bed. And yet, in true parental reality, what we got was a car battery that wouldn’t start, a toddler that didn’t get to meet his newborn sister at the hospital, and one very upset kiddo who woke up from a nap one day and all of a sudden there was a baby. From which he slowly backed away crying: “No. No. No.” (:

How I envisioned it all sweetly happening is more so how today’s newborn session went. Maddie, (who I photograph often and I just think is the sweetest little thing ever) just so sweetly giving her sister kisses. Or when she was “done” holding the baby, she’d nicely say she was done, rather than the log roll thrust my son would do with his sister. I hope that these two girls continue to be on each other’s team. Not jealous of the other. Both shining in their own ways. Can’t wait to see how their relationship grows over time. Welcome to the world Eloise!

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CHICAGO ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS: FARM: JOSH + JENNA

From being a camp counselor, to a college athlete. From going to TIU to being believers. There’s a lot I have in common with Jenna + Josh and it helped us hit off right from the start. One big commonality we have is our value on marriage. I pray that as these two embark on the next chapter that the Lord has for them (In under a month!!). That they’ll remember the steps and ways He took to get them to where they are, and to be open to where He is leading. So excited not only for the wedding but to see what the future holds for you guys!

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Chicago Art Institute + Millenium Park Engagement Photos: COLE + LIBBY

The city of Chicago can sometimes (at least to me) feel a bit cut throat. A little hurried, a bit chaotic, and often, eyes down power through mentality. But Cole + Libby brought such life to the city this day. Eyes up exploring the city’s possibilities. Bringing laughter, and fun rejuvenated the playfulness that can sometimes get lost amidst the “serious business” of the city. I absolutely loved our day together and have no doubt that the wedding will be even better! Can’t wait!

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LOEWS HOTEL CHICAGO: UP UP + AWAY 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY: ALINA

Alina’s “Up Up & Away” 1st birthday was a smashing success! In some ways pretty literally. The stunning floral wall may or may not have fallen on her birthday cake from some windy city wind up on the rooftop of the Loews hotel. So…the smash cake started early, that’s all. (:

For real. I can’t claim that I wouldn’t be upset about it. And I can’t say that nobody noticed. But what I can say is the friends and family that came to the party “rescue”…that, and they, I noticed. It was impressive. Everyone who was there just scurried into action. Fixing, redecorating, replacing, not pretending something it wasn’t but doing their best to make it as right as possible no questions asked.

Miss Alina…You won’t remember your 1st birthday party. Though you’ll have some great photos to see how fun it was. From a bubble creator, a portable play gym with a ball pit. Treats galore! Stunning flowers fitting for any princess. One of the best skyline views in all of Chicago. It was great! But something you’ll come to know very soon as you grow is the friends and family who celebrated with you that day. Now they…they’re even better. They will tell you how it is, but be the first to come to the rescue. They’ll shower you with all the things any little girl would want, but most of all, they’ll shower you with love. This marks 1 amazing year with your family. Here’s to a lifetime more! Happy Birthday Alina!

Oh! And on the year you were born the lingo “lit” was a thing. And at your 1st birthday party the bubble creator literally let your friends and family hold bubbles and lit them on fire! Don’t think anyone else in your lifetime will be able to say that they’re party was “lit” in that way!

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Chicago Family Photographer: Lincoln Park Zoo: Melissa Marie Photography

As many people have recently sent their kids off to school, I’m reminded that my husband claims our kids are never allowed to go to school out of state. (: Ha, his theory (which I get) is that they’ll find someone, get married, and then plant roots far away from family. I get it…I can’t imagine being far away from my family but I love that this group, despite literally now living all over the world, came together in Chicago to spend a week together. I love that they not only allow but encourage each other to follow their dreams wherever that may take them, and all the while knowing they’ve got “home” within family. I also love that the said when people come to visit their actual home, they’re handed a glass of champagne! Here I’ve been offering coffee or a glass of water like a basic fool. (:

Haha! Seriously though, what a FUN, dynamic, caring, sweet family! So glad you all got to reconnect!

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