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INDEPENDENCE GROVE LIBERTYVILLE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS: JONATHAN + KYLE

What they’ll do for love…

Willingly take engagement photos amongst wildflowers when he has severe allergies? Yep. Hunch over your car’s AC grasping for relief from the blazing sun while your fiancée changes outfits? Sure. Despite it being a bazillion degrees outside, you still want and give all the unsolicited hugs and kisses?

Yep!  It’s love! Blazing hot outside, burning hearts inside love!   

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SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT SALT LAKE CITY UTAH WEDDING: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: DAN + HANNAH

 

People say follow your passion. But really, how many donuts taste testers can the world really have?  For real though, everything about Dan + Hannah’s Solitude Mountain Resort Wedding was straight out of the dreamiest dream in my heart.

To start, I got to scratch something off my bucket list! I’ve always wanted to fly on the 4th of July in hopes of seeing fireworks in multiple places at once. Like twinkling little colorful stars I saw hundreds of towns’ displays all at once!

Then to be out amongst the mountains…lakes…nature. It captivates and resonates so much more than the concrete jungle of Chicago. I was after all, a camping major in college. (Not kidding!)

But honestly…Even better than me getting to do my bucket list item…Even better than the jaw dropping beauty of the mountains of Utah….getting to capture Dan & Hannah was incredible! They are the most laid-back, easy-going, and kind people! And as much as they so evidently love those around them, they have this way when they’re together that everything else fades away. It almost felt like they were eloping! It was swelteringly hot. Melt your face right off hot. But these two held on to each other, nestling their faces together like they could inhale a memory of that moment and keep it within them forever. It honestly was just pure love for where they live and for each other emoting through absolutely everything!!

Dan + Hannah, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your incredible wedding day with me. I hope you always find solitude with each other for a lifetime of more memories together. And may this not be the last time I get to capture the pure magic of your love! So incredibly happy for you guys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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