The day after Judah was home I invited myself over for a little in-home session to get some photos of the sweet trio (+ kitty) in the comfort of their home. My sister is a NICU nurse and she tells me stories a lot about NICU families, and I can imagine while you’re super thankful for the awesome care your baby is getting (and the support you’re getting from nurses!) you also just wish you were at home having that normal newborn eat-play-poop-sleep-poop-eat-repeat routine. I loved seeing Judah’s sweet nursery and chatting with Serena and Lathan about life and ministry and how they ended up in North Carolina (and are now in California!). They are such a strong couple and honestly are total naturals at the parenting thing. I cannot get enough of newborn sessions, guys. Their rolls, squishy cheeks, funny faces and noises. Their crazy dinosaur hands and the yawns. THE YAWNS. This guy was especially chubby and wonderful.
Oh Serena and Lathan — thank you for having me and while I’m sad our time together was short, I’ll carry your friendship with me always. Cheering you on from NC!
This summer, I was given to Lathan and Serena as a baby gift and as it often turns out, they were a gift to me! This sweet family has such a heart after God and his calling on their life in ministry, they were truly inspiring to talk to and get to know during their time in North Carolina. Hearing them talk about how God had ordered their story and orchestrated everything in their life thus far (including Judah’s amazing birth story) was like balm to my soul. This year was a whirlwind for me serving in ministry, and it was so encouraging to hear from someone outside of my normal circles as to how God was moving and inspiring them.
I had a blast hanging out with them on their last day in the NICU before they got to bring their sweet rainbow baby home. The timing worked out perfectly and I arrived just as they were officially discharged and got to capture them putting Judah in the carseat for the first time to go home after a weeklong NICU stay. He is such a little miracle– and blew his doctor’s minds with his resilience and speedy recovery after a complication at birth. He is mighty, that Judah and it was an honor to document the moments leading up to his first nap in the car.
This sweet little fresh 48 brings me to tears every time. Every dang time. I met sweet Cayden not long after he acquired the greatest bonus mom ever– my friend Katie that I grew up with. She is just golden, inside and out. An incredible friend, wife, mom, photographer… and it was so special watching her step into the role as his stepmom years ago, so watching her introduce him to his baby sister was so sweet, I was pretty weepy. I am constantly overwhelmed and honored and humbled that I get invited to these moments.
Originally the plan was for me to document Emelyn’s birth, but as we know, births RARELY go according to plan, so I came the next morning as soon as I could to snap a few fresh photos. We were able to time it perfectly to when Cayden came to meet her and his reaction is just one of my favorites ever. His whole face just lit up as soon as he walked into the room. The age difference makes it so sweet. Toddler siblings don’t usually grasp the weight of what this little person means, but Cayden teared up a little when he saw her… he knew exactly that everything changed and his world was about get a little louder and so much sweeter.
Mother’s Day had me all nostalgic for this baby’s birth day and I got to see these friends in real life earlier this week and snuggle this bean, and I just can’t help but marvel at what a gift he is. Stephanie and I have been photo swapping for years, and you may remember Steph & Ben’s Everyday Session a little over a year ago. Stephanie and her husband struggled with infertility for years leading up to Benjamin’s birth in 2014 and then again two years ago when trying for baby number two. She had come to terms with the fact that she would be a mom of one, gave away all their baby things and stepped into her new role as part stay at home mom and part small business owner. It was Mother’s Day last year when she had a suspicion she may be pregnant and got a positive pregnancy test at home. This was a true miracle, as they had stopped fertility treatments months earlier, and the fact that it was on Mother’s Day was just beautiful. I love when God does stuff like that.
Fastforward to December, she had a scheduled repeat C-Section at 37 weeks to the day after being diagnosed with pre-eclampisa for the second time, and her sweet baby boy Isaac Nathan was born healthy, strong and to the sound of Christmas music. He brings us laughter. He truly does, I saw him a few days ago and the kid is the happiest, chillest baby I have ever seen. Cannot help but smiling and chuckling with joy when you make eye contact with that guy!
I had the complete honor of documenting those first sweet hours of baby Isaac’s life and to get photos of him meeting his big brother and grandparents for the first time. Fresh 48’s offer such a sweet relaxed time for mom and dad to be fully present in the moment without worrying about getting their own photos. It’s such a joy to serve in this way and watch my friends’ lives change in an instant. Such an honor. Happy Mother’s Day to one of the bravest, strongest, hardest working, realest moms I know. Your boys (all three of them are blessed to have you.