Carlee and Luke are Celebrating One Year!

It is so hard to believe this fun and beautiful wedding was a year ago already! I met Carlee a couple of years ago, when Luke was still her boyfriend. She actually shadowed me on a some jobs to learn more about the photography business. I remember her talking about hoping her boyfriend would propose…and then shortly after, he popped the question!

Carlee and Luke are one of the sweetest and most fun couples you will meet. Don’t be fooled by her quietness…she’s a riot! They try not to take life too seriously and truly enjoy each others’ company, being silly together and living life to the fullest. From following along on their lives through through social media, I know they have been tested over this last year. Moving to another state, home ownership, job changes, none of it comes easy. But through the tough stuff they know they can always lean on each other.

Cheers to a year and many more! I hope you’ve had a wonderful anniversary Mr and Mrs Ernst!

Here’s a look back on one of the happiest days of your lives!

Meeting in the Middle | {Hoover Family Sneak Peek}

First of all, the Hoover family is pretty awesome! Jessica got in touch with me a few weeks ago to set up a session for her family since they would all be together. A rarity now that the kids are all grown up! In fact, the baby of the family graduates high school today, he’s the reason for the special occasion. They literally came from both sides of the country - California to Florida and a couple places in-between to meet in the midwest and see their brother graduate. Isn’t that awesome?! I just love that!

I’ve always been kind of envious of big families with lots of siblings and they are exactly why! All the different personalities and relationships make for some entertaining times, always a shoulder to lean on and lots of love to go around. I’d be willing to bet mom and dad would say there’s never been a dull moment raising 5 kids! And now they’ve happily welcomed 4 more people into their family with open arms.

We fought the bugs and dodged the impending thunderstorms at the BIckelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton, IA and I’d say we won! However, this was a huge reminder to stock my mom van with an array of bug spray! Thankfully, the Hoover family is full of troopers who took it on like champs and didn’t let it get in the way of capturing some wonderful memories together. I really loved pulling each couple and the graduate aside for their own little mini session. It’s fun to get to know everyone and it helps me immensely to remember names when I have a few minutes to talk to everyone! They also had some fantastic ideas of their own and I’m glad we got to incorporate them into the session! All in all, it was a great family session, but even more importantly, I hope they truly enjoy every moment all being together again this weekend!

Welcome to Your Life, Sophie!

The first thing I noticed about this sweet baby girl were her gorgeous big gray eyes! She was wide awake for almost the entire session, but it was a-okay with me. Her eyes are too pretty not to photograph anyway!

Sophie came into the world a week later than her due date, so mom and dad were anxiously awaiting her arrival. She ended up with a May birthday instead of April. Perhaps she wanted to bloom right along with all of the beautiful Spring flowers. We were so thankful that we got a perfectly sunny afternoon amidst the many midwest thunderstorms we’ve had lately. The nice day allowed us to take a few shots outdoors as well as inside. I absolutely love these newborn lifestyle sessions. All of the moments captured are so real, raw and fleeting. This time in the life of new parents will soon feel like a blur.

That’s one of the things I love most about photography, the ability to keep memories tangible. Proof that, yes, your baby really was THAT small! She held your finger tight and made that same face as a newborn that she does as a teenager. All of those little details that become too easy to forget but are the things we want to remember most of all. That is my hope anyway, to give those memories to families so they can cherish them forever!