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Lisa's Family Sesson

This session was one of my favorites, to date! Lisa found me on Instagram (yay!), and booked a sunset photo shoot. Lisa, her husband, and their two daughters were so natural in front of the camera, and let me capture some truly genuine moments. It was so much fun to work with them, and I am squealing at how colorful and beautiful these Colorado mountains and skies are! Enjoy!!

 

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Elizabeth's Maternity Session

Elizabeth ("Liz") and her husband, Lawrence are welcoming their second baby girl in September. Their first daughter, Emmylou, will be turning five soon and is so excited to be a big sister! Harper (my daughter) and Emmylou actually go to preschool together, which is how Liz heard about my photography business!

We decided to go to Mount Falcon in Morrison, Colorado for a sunset session. I cannot stress enough how gorgeous and worthwhile it is to have photos taken the hour before the sun sets. The lighting and colors cannot be replicated at any other time of day. So even if you need to keep your kiddos up past their bedtime, IT'S WORTH IT!

Liz liked more posed photos while her husband enjoyed more of a candid approach. We incorporated both styles into her session and I could not be more thrilled with the results. Emmylou did a fantastic job the entire time, which is not the case for all children. I totally get how hard it is for kids to listen and be told what to do for an hour. As an anxious parent myself, I try to advise the parents to relax and just go with the flow when their kiddo isn't cooperating. We will still get awesome photos! However, Emmylou was seriously one of the best kids I have ever worked with, so no problem there!

Here are some of my favorites from their session. I can't wait to meet their baby girl in a few months!

 

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Grace

Grace. Gracie. Oh my Gracious. You, little fireball, have surprised me time and time again. You are CRAZY, but in the best way possible. You test me time and time again, and you are arguably my most needy child. Or maybe it’s Harper. Or maybe it’s EVERYONE. I thought that since you were so quiet in utero, that you would also be this gentle soul once you arrived. When you were born, you had problems breathing. Well, you both did, but yours was more serious. I didn’t know how serious until several days later. I was wheeled back into my room with Izzy, while the doctors and nurses worked on you. Daddy stayed with you, but didn’t want to tell me anything so as not to worry me. So when you were finally delivered back to my room, I had no idea that there had been any extraordinary issues. Here are the notes:

NICU called to delivery due to twin gestation. Twin “B” with good cry and tone at delivery. Brought to warmer. Dried and stimulated. HR >100. Infant apneic (in layman’s terms, “suspention of breathing”). Delee suctioned to mouth and stomach for 2 milliliters of clear fluid. Infant stimulated but remained apneic. PPV (positive pressure ventilations) started at ~1.5 minutes of age with settings of 20/5 and initially room air started but oxygen was quickly increased to 30% based on pulse oximetry in the 60’s. Oxygen saturations improved to 75-85%. Infant with spontaneous onset of respirations at 5 minutes of age. Infant weaned to face-mask CPAP for 30 seconds and then to room air. Infant remained with regular respirations but oxygen saturations would dip to the mid 80’s in room. Infant given 30% blow-by oxygen at 22 minutes of age due to oxygen saturations in the 80’s. Oxygen discontinued at 25 minutes of ahe and infant’s oxygen saturations remained in the 90’s in room air for several minutes.

So there was that. Scary. We soon discovered that you had acid reflux, which meant you were in a lot of pain after eating. It was very difficult to helplessly watch you struggle, and after a doctor visit, several nurse calls, and a variety of medications, we found relief for you. Eventually you outgrew the reflux, but during that time we couldn’t go too many places comfortably with you. If we were going to be gone long enough that you needed to eat, we might as well stay home. It was a process to burp you and get you comfortable again, and you made quite a mess with spit up. With your twin sister and toddler sister also needing attention, it was just too much to handle in public. Your daddy and I would take turns for middle of the night feedings, and in the beginning you two slept in the swing or rock and plays next to the bed. You usually took a lot more time to feed because of the burping/spitting up/being in pain, so we would try to switch off with you every other night. And then I started to notice that you weren’t making eye contact…

When you were about 3 months old, I noticed that your eyes would “scan” the room, or seem to shake. You weren’t making eye contact with people or toys, and your gaze wouldn’t “follow” a toy we held in front of you. I contacted the pediatrician and we were referred to an eye specialist. You have a condition called nystagmus, which means you have uncontrolled eye movements. I was really worried because for some people with nystagmus, they can never drive or need surgery to correct the muscles. The verdict was to wait and see with follow up appointments every 6 months. I started taking you to a cranial sacral therapist in hopes that it would help. While your daddy was not convinced in its healing properties, I was willing to try anything. It is hard to say if it was the therapy or just time itself that lessened your nystagmus. You started making eye contact and reaching for toys, all to our great relief. You hit milestones within days of Izzy, if not before her! While your jerky/roving eye movements are still apparent, they have decreased in severity and have not seemed to affect your motor skills. It is still a waiting game with the eye doctor, and we won’t know how well you can see until you’re able to identify letters on a screen. Until then, I’ll continue to take you in twice a year.

I will oftentimes tell you that you are crazy because you get into everything. You climb on everything, stick your hands in everything, eat everything, all the while laughing because you know you’re not supposed to be doing it. You are also very accident prone, and I attribute that to your daredevil-ish and fearless attitude. I sometimes wonder if you actually get hurt more often , or if it just seems that way because you make a bigger deal of it. You and Izzy could endure the same injury and she would maybe complain a little and move on. But you would scream bloody murder and let everyone within 5 miles know that you fell down/bumped your head/tripped. We have a water table in the backyard that you like to climb into and stand in, then look up at me and laugh. On the other hand, if I turn the sprinkler on so you all can run in it (which you never do), Izzy will cry because she’s terrified. When I have taken you to the pool or the lake, you’ll walk right in without any sense of danger. You’ll try to run, fall (because who can run in water?), then laugh even if your face got in the water. Izzy will cling to me like a leech at the pool, but at the lake she will venture to the shoreline and play with the sand toys. I have to keep my eyes on you at all times, which is hard to do with two other young children running around. You’ve definitely been my most challenging child so far, but I’ve learned a lot from you.

You’ve started to get more snuggly recently, which is nice. As a baby, you didn’t particularly enjoy being rocked or prolonging the bedtime process. You go through phases where you are fiercely independent,  and other times it’s like you want to crawl back inside my uterus (no can do). You LOVE, and I mean L-O-V-E your pacifier and bottle. I have had the hardest time weaning you from the bottle, but it calms you down and makes you happy. I have tried to put water in it, but that pisses you off. It must have milk in it. You also have a bunny lovey that you’ve become attached to…so that’s three things. See what I mean about being needy? Only kidding.

You’re not as advanced as Izzy on the talking, but you’re picking up more and more words. Your most recent development is “cracker”. You keep me on my toes, that’s for sure. And I have a sneaking suspicion that you always will.

I love you, Grace Emelia.

 

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Isabel

Isabel. Izzy. Izzy Bizzy Bee. You are bright, like the sun. You have a beaming personality and an infectious laugh. People always comment on what a great laugh you have. It is a deep, belly, genuine laugh. You can’t help but smile when you hear it. You have thick, blonde hair, and stunning blue eyes. You are the chubbiest of your sisters, but you’re “average” (50th percentile) according to statistics of other children your age. I’ve always loved your baby rolls and your round, full face. When I was pregnant with you and Grace, I could always feel you move more. You reassured me that you were there, and that you were ok. It gave me a sense of relief and joy in a time full of anxiety. Grace didn’t move as much, and I worried about her. But you, you were always there. Thank you for that.

Because you were the more active baby, we felt that Isabel/”Izzy” was more fitting. You were also the bigger one, but ever so slightly. You only weighed 4 more ounces at birth. From the get-go, you were the easier twin. Your needs were simple: eat, diaper change, cuddle. I often felt guilty that I couldn’t give you more attention because you were competing with two other children. Your twin sister had acid reflux, which meant she felt a lot of pain and discomfort right after eating. You, on the other hand, did not. I was thankful to not have two babies with reflux, but it also meant that Grace needed much more attention to help ease the pain. 

You took to a lovey very quickly. Your lovey is a bunny that was given to you while in the hospital, and you needed it to comfort you when I didn’t have enough arms to meet everyone’s needs.  It is still your favorite today, and you can now say “bunny”. I had to go on Ebay and order an extra one (darn limited edition), which proved to be a lifesaver when it was left at grandma and grandpa’s house one evening. There were times when I was alone with the three of you at bedtime before daddy got home from work. It was a juggling act, and I was almost always crying and/or sweating by the end of the process. As soon as you would calm down, Grace would cry and get you upset again. This would go back and forth, round and round. Eventually, I had to put one of you in a separate room and shut the door. Otherwise, neither of you would go to sleep. I regret not getting hired help for those early evening hours when I was struggling to stay afloat. I was drowning, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I felt sorry for all of you. Sorry that I couldn’t hold and sing to each one of you individually, sorry that I got so frustrated and couldn’t handle the crying anymore, sorry that you had to split the attention when I so badly wanted to give all of you my 100%. But instead, someone got 30% here, 21% here, 49% there. I remember also trying to potty train Harper at the time, which was incredibly stupid and premature. I would give her my phone to play with out of desperation, and when I could finally come back to her, I’d find that she’d peed on the chair. I didn’t even have a moment to take her to the potty. I was trying to do it all, and I was failing. Even though you were just a baby, I thank you for being patient. I wish each of you could experience being my one and only child so I could spoil you.

You are my child that is the most affectionate. You used to go to anybody and when they picked you up, you’d rest your head on their shoulder. It made everyone’s heart melt. You really enjoyed being held and rocked your first year of life, whereas Grace preferred to be laid down as soon as possible. You have since become more particular about your snuggles, but you definitely enjoy being held, sitting on laps, and giving hugs. You love to read books and cry at bedtime when it’s time to stop reading and go to sleep. Your vocabulary is astounding, and it seems you learn at least one or two new words a day. You can say apple, mommy, daddy, baby, cheese, water, dog, and many others. You make me laugh when you run because your arms are out at your sides, and it’s more of a skip/gallop. You especially love it when I tease “I’m gonna get you!” Although you are more vocal in the sense that you talk a lot more than Grace, you can also be very quiet. When you wake up from nap or in the morning, you’ll make little, barely audible noises. You are content just lying there until I come get you. Grace, on the other hand…I’ll leave that for her section.

You and Grace have been playing together more and more. I’ll find the two of you looking at books together, playing with toys in the basement, or getting into the cabinets. You’ll laugh at each other about God knows what, and you like to lay together on the floor when you drink your milk. Grace will usually pick the spot, and you’ll follow and lay down wherever she is. Sometimes you’ll drag the dog mat around, find a spot that you deem worthy, and lay down on that. You also play with Harper a good amount, but you hate sharing my lap with anyone, especially her. Sometimes she’ll want to read a story with us, and if she comes to sit on my lap with you, you’ll scream and cry. You are also this way about other toys and other children. If you’re in the wagon and another child tries to pull/push it, you scream. If I do it, you’re content. 

You, like your sisters, bring so much joy to my life. You are always making me laugh, and I can’t imagine how I ever lived without you. I love you, Izzy.

 

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Harper, Summer 2017

I wanted to break away from my usual blog posts and write something a little more personal...my three girls. I am constantly photographing them playing, and sometimes I wish I could stop being artsy and enjoy the moment. But I can't help it! I think, oh that would make for a great photo! Or, the lighting right now is perfect! My eldest was recently dancing in our backyard in her underwear, and I fear that if I don't photograph it, I'll one day forget about these carefree days and the magic of childhod. While I will spare her the embarrasment of putting those photos of her online, I will post some of my favorites from the summer this far.

You may notice a lot more black and white photos than color. This is because I simply adore black and white images. They speak to me so much more, and make me FEEL so much more. There is something so raw, unfiltered, timeless and real about black and white. It seems rare to find people other than photographers who share these opinions. But when I do, well, I've found a new soulmate! Ok, back to my children.

Harper is my first born. I was so ready, so excited, so....IMPATIENT. I wanted to have children ASAP. It was my goal and dream to be a mother. She was born the first week of January, and very shortly after her birth I started to recognize symptoms of postpartum depression. Depression and anxiety are things I have dealt with for many years, so I was aware that I could fall victim to these issues postpartum. I wanted to be a mom so badly, then when she was born I felt so ill equipped, isolated, overwhelmed, and scared. I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep. The pressure to breastfeed pushed me deeper into this dark hole. I didn't want to tell anyone for fear that my baby would be taken away, or that I would be deemed an unfit mother. It wasn't that I didn't love her, because I did, fiercly. I just didn't know how to handle those negative thoughts and waves of panic and sadness that rushed over me. I had taken anti-depressants pre-pregnancy, and I took it upon myself to start them again. Thank goodness I did, because I started to feel relief and normalcy shortly after. Nothing can prepare you for having a child, you are just thrown into it full force. People will tell you about functioning on little sleep, about endless diaper changes, about pumping, about hardly getting time to sit down and eat a meal. Despite being told all that, the reality of it still hits you like a wave. Eventually you adjust and it becomes part of life, but going from selfishness to selflessness is a difficult transition. I see the world so differently now that I have children. My interactions with people, with nature, with myself are all so vastly different, but in a good way. I fully recovered from PPD, but the experience was very grounding. And guess what? We had two more children...TWINS!

Before I get to my youngest babies, I would like to say more about Harper and what a positive influence she has been on my life, and what a kind soul she is. Even as a baby, Harper was very cautious. She had to assess a situation or person before deciding whether or not she wanted to be there. If there was too much stimulation or unfamiliarity, she would let you know. I started to wonder if there was something wrong because of how serious she was. But alas, I learned that it is just part of her personality. She takes a lot of time to warm up, even in school where she goes twice a week, and with friends that she plays with on a regular basis. Once she is comfortable, she'll let loose and have a great time. But, I always have to allow that extra time for her to adjust. Harper teeters beween being independent and wanting to be by my side every moment of the day. She is very much a mommy's girl, and goes through phases where only I can do things for her. While this gets exhausting, I know one day she may not want anything to do with me. In my opinion, Harper is an introvert. She enjoys going on errands or to the park, but she's also happy to stay home and play or watch a movie. I see a lot of myself in her, which could be why we connect like we do. I will often tell people that I feel sorry for her because we brought two newborns home when she was not yet two. It was a huge and difficult adjustment. When there isn't man on man coverage anymore, someone is going to get less attention. Because she wasn't a crying infant, oftentimes that meant she had to play alone, deal with interrupted story times, and not leave the house too often. Now she is 3 and a half and won't ever remember what it's like to not have siblings. I hope they grow closer and closer together, because sisterhood is so sacred. I love you so much, Harps. You've made me a better person. Thank you.

Next up, Isabel and Grace!

 

 

 

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Monisha

Monisha contacted me to do photos of her infant son and husband at their Denver home. They didn't do newborn photos, but didn't want to miss out of getting some adorable shots of their growing boy. As we all know, time flies! It's my job to freeze these moments in time before they are blurred or forgotten entirely. I remember with each milestone my daughters' hit, I thought, "they've always been able to do this!" It's always so strange to look back and photos and videos from before they could sit up, roll over, walk, talk, etc. I was so honored to be able to capture these truly precious and fleeting moments in this family's life.

 

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Thomas

Remember that GORGEOUS mama wearing the floral crown? She had her baby!! Thomas was born 8 days early on Easter Sunday! I was thrilled when Amanda asked me to return to their home for a newborn session. I was seriously impressed with how big brother, James, was handling having a new brother. He absolutely adored him and was more than happy to pose for me and give him kisses. Thomas was a rock star and complained for one millisecond during the whole process. This session did make my ovaries twitch a little, but only slightly ;)

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Joey is ONE!

I was thrilled when Joey's parent's contacted me to do one year photos. I did a family session for them last fall, and it is still one of my absolute favorites. Joey is incredibly photogenic, and they are just the sweetest family. I can't wait to do future sessions with them because they are so fun and easygoing! Joey was definitely on the move, but still gave me a ton of adorable poses...check him out!

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Natalie's Maternity Session

Natalie and her husband are expecting their first baby, a girl, within the next few weeks! Natalie wanted to do a lifestyle session in her home, which I LOVE! We also went around her neighborhood to capture some of the blooming trees. I can't wait to hear of baby's arrival and the name they choose (it's between Olivia and Audrey...awwww!!). Here are some of my favorites from this session: 

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Erin and Justin's Wedding

I have had the wonderful experience being what's known as a "second shooter" several times for two very talented photographers. It has given me a glimpse into what it takes to be a wedding photographer, which I have found is A LOT! It can be so many emotions rolled into one experience...exhilarating, fun, stressful, heart warming, and the list goes on. I don't think I've ever not cried during a ceremony, even though I had never met the couple before their big day. There is just something so special about bringing two families together to celebrate love, no matter how that love came to be or what it looks like. I genuinely enjoy being a second shooter, and I've developed some lasting relationships from these experiences. 

Erin and Justin's wedding was on April 1st, and they chose a 50's theme. I had a blast hanging out with the groomsmen while the main photographer (Chesney Louie Photography) was with the bride and bridesmaids. Erin and Justin were such a fun, down to earth couple, and their love for one another shone through. We did photos in several places in Downtown Denver before landing at The Soiled Dove for the ceremony and reception. Here is their big day from my point of view...enjoy!

 

 

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