Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wrapping up an awesome year...

What a ride it has been! So many great adventures and so many more on the books for a great 2010! Here is what I have been up to this holiday season...

I did finish my shopping, thank you for all your concern and encouragement. I did it! Chad and I shopped til we dropped and got it almost all done in one day...then proceeded to spend the next day wrapping it all for about 6 hours. Whew, I was exhausted! And it was not a moment too soon, we finished up everything once the kids were in bed on Christmas Eve's Eve.

I have had some great sessions that did not get a "sneak peek" on my blog because I already posted the pics in their galleries for them to see:

Looking forward to a swanky wedding at the Hotel Baker in May with Ann & Jim. They invited me out to their gorgeous home in Palatine to meet the rest of the fam and do a fun engagement/family session.

And I can't forget baby Aubrey...what a doll she was!

I have also been a busy little card are some of my faves:

And let us not forget the most memorable family session that took place just two hours after the infamous "haircut." I can't wait until I can look back and laugh at this. What is funny is how adamant Brynn was about NOT wearing a hat in our pic.
Chad and I have the most forced smiles and Ky is like, "What are these people doing to me?" Even Berks looks a little pissed. Oh well, what can you do?? ;D Good times.

Random note, this pic of B in the hat was taken two weeks before she cut her hair...go figure. Also a big shout out to Chad's aunt Nancy for knitting Ky's hat...LOVE it!

Here's Court, Adam & Ella's card.

A couple updates on some past clients...
Brad & Kristina got engaged. I was lucky enough to be there to capture it since he did it during the Vanderploeg Christmas Grab Bag.
It was pretty awesome.

I got the cutest email/birth announcement two weeks ago. Tori had her baby. Another little boy.
Here is what was in my inbox:

Twas a week before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that our baby soon would be here...
Sawyer was not nestled all snug in his bed,
But rather running down the halls with visions of toys in his head.
And mamma feeling something different than she had before,
She called to my office and said head for the door!

When in Tori’s belly there arose such a clatter,
I raced home from work to see what was the matter.
Out of my car I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and made a mad dash.
Upstairs in the bedroom my wife had such a glow,
She said grab our bags we definitely need to go.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature head, and two tiny baby ears.
That little guy was moving so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment that this was definitely it.
More rapid than eagles, his body it came
And I whistled, and shouted, and called him by name!
Sebastian Adler Conroy joined us on Monday night around 7:30 pm, December 14th in the comfort of our own home. He weighed 7 lbs. 14 ozs. 21 in. long. Mom and baby are healthy and doing great!
"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night!"
Nate, Tori, Sawyer and Sebastian

Now for some sad news :( I am sending a prayer request for Carol Gentile who you may recognize from a family session I did this summer. I shot her with her husband and three beautiful daughters. I also did two of her girls' senior pics in the last couple years.
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that she has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer - a fit, healthy, non-smoker enjoying traveling and spending time with her husband now that all her girls are away at college. Why can life be so unfair?
She just started chemo two weeks ago and we are hoping and praying for the best. Please go give your mom a hug and tell her you love her. That's what I felt like doing when I heard this awful news.
Carol, if anyone is in the physical condition to give this cancer a run for its money, it is you. You fight this with every ounce of you so you can be around for me to photograph at all your daughters' weddings ;) (just kidding -- unless you want me to).

To me, this is why I do what I do...create memories that make a fun moment in time last forever in a photograph. If you are waiting for a "momentous occasion" to get family photos taken, don't wait. Do it now. You never know what life will throw your way.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Brynn is a believer!

Santa Grandpa Van.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and hope you remember the 'reason for the season.'
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A welcome surprise

When I shot Meghan & Josh's maternity pics in October, they were in transition mode. Hoping to make some changes in their living situation up in Milwaukee to make room for their baby girl. Two weeks later, they moved into a bigger place and Meghan nested frantically all day and night trying to get everything perfect for the arrival of Meredith. She worked so hard that she went in to pre-term labor very early the next morning and gave birth to a healthy 4 1/2 pound bundle of joy, 6 weeks early!

I caught up with them last weekend, which ironically was one day before her actual due date, and took some 6 week old/newborn pics of sweet Meredith. She was ready to come into this world and join the party. She is a riot and I can't wait to watch her grow this next year on my "baby plan." More good news, Josh has taken a new job and they are now living back in the Chicago area! The timing could not have been more perfect with this move with their new baby and also in time for the holidays. I am so happy for them. There is nothing more important than being with family.

She is such a stitch! Her eyebrows and lashes are just growing in now. It is super cute.

I love her baby bedding.


Looking forward to our next session!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I love peppermint ice cream

But I hate how you can only get it this time of year. I love eating it with a fork right out of the carton and digging through it to eat all the chunks of peppermint so all you are left with is vanilla ice cream. When I was pregnant with Brynn, I was due in May. Do you know how hard peppermint ice cream is to find in April? Well, I found it at Colonial late one night while Chad waited in the car and I ran inside in my jammies.

Heather, lucky for you, if you crave it at this point in your pregnancy, all you have to do is go to Jewel. That way you can pick up some pickles at the same time. I took Josh & Heather's engagement pics a few years ago, before I had a blog. Now, I had the pleasure of taking their maternity pics. I feel like I have known them forever...well, I have known them for a really long time...since middle school. They haven't been together since middle school, but were lucky enough to find each other at just the right time. I was so happy to hang out with them and do some fun photos.

I know I always say this, and I may be biased, but I think all my clients are so good looking. Maybe it's because I see their inner beauty and try to bring that out in them. But the inner beauty here is rivaled by the outer beauty in this family ;)

This is Heather's daughter, Anna. She looks so much like her mom when she was a young, little firecracker.

Heather is due at the beginning of February with another little girl. Josh, you are in deep trouble with all these women around the house!

Pregnancy sure agrees with you, Heather!

I just love this one.

These are Anna's hands with her mom's. Isn't that the sweetest?

Thanks guys for a great shoot. I can't wait to meet the little princess!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I am so behind on my blogging. All those germs going around finally caught up with us here in our home. Knock on wood, but I have not gotten sick yet, but I have been taking care of some sick kiddos this past week. Last night was truly wonderful. Brynn is feeling better now, so Chad took her with him to get a haircut and then to play some games at Chuck E. Cheese. I was planning to do the dishes, put away laundry, edit pics, pay bills, make a grocery list, etc. all in the hour and a half they were going to be gone. But Ky had other plans. He is still not feeling that great and he wouldn't let me put him down. So, I did something that I never do and really struggle with letting myself do. I forgot about my "to-do" list and put on some comfy clothes, lit a cinnamon candle, turned the lights down and rented a movie on-demand ("Julie & Julia" - it was wonderful) and just snuggled my baby boy until he finally fell asleep in my arms. I can't tell you a better feeling in the world.

We have been getting in to the Christmas spirit around here too. I introduced Brynn to the movie "A Christmas Story" with Ralphie and his BB gun. She loves it. She always wants me to fast forward it to the part where he "shoots his eye out." Is that normal?

How are you doing on your Christmas shopping? I have barely scraped the surface on my shopping lists. I always do this...I stress over what to get everyone and then I wait until the last minute.

Here are some random pics from our trip to Florida over Thanksgiving.

Brynn loved hanging out with her cousins from Atlanta. We have enjoyed getting all of Emma's hand-me-downs since B has been born...keep 'em comin'!

You can tell they are related...they are like two peas in a pod. Too smart for their own good and their personalities are so similar.

We went to the beach to do some fun pics and a nasty storm was rolling in. We got about 10 minutes in before it started pouring on us. It was actually pretty cool lighting and I love how they turned out.

I think the water was a little chilly!

The weather was actually really warm and humid and we had the a/c on the whole time we were down there. B wasn't cold in her hat and scarf...she had just gotten them that day at the GAP, so she had to wear them since they were new.

Back to Christmas preparations, we went to my father-in-law's work Christmas party on Sunday and Santa was there. B said she would go talk to him to tell him what she wanted, but there was no way she would sit on his lap. So she told him what she wanted while keeping her distance. She said she wanted a dollhouse, but later while we were eating, she remembered she got that last year. So we had to go back up in line and amend her request to Santa. Who does that?

Also, who gets their face painted with a snake at a Christmas party? Where did I get this kid??

A shout out to my bud, Di, for these rockin' snowman cupcakes she made for our playdate yesterday. They were tasty.

Ky is three months old now and just the sweetest snugglebug ever. We sit and stare at each other all day and say, "I love you more," "No, I love you more!"

What do you think? Is he a little Chad? He also looks a lot like my brother, E.
Happy Tuesday. Lots more photo session posts coming soon...