Posts Tagged ‘birthday photos’

Personal Post: Juniper Turns Three

Green Bay Photographer Rainbow Birthday PartyLife is different right now. We see less people and go fewer places. Things that used to be general toddler rules — keep your hands to yourself, cover your cough, don’t lick things — are a little higher stakes. Somehow nine months have passed. And as a reminder that time doesn’t stop, Juniper is three.

Where’s my Fashionable Pandemic?

Excuse me while I derail this blog briefly with my strange thoughts… I keep thinking about pandemic movies and how everyone is walking around with full gas-masks and wildly fashionable armor. The camera pans to show the world in upheaval as buildings burn and people fight for resources. There are epic battles and elaborate ways to purify water and some pretty sweet dirt bikes.

I don’t mean to make light of what we’re facing now. Things are ugly. People are dying. And quite honestly, we have no idea what’s coming next. But I just keep thinking about how strange it is to live the part you don’t see in the movies… to be living during the pandemic but not in the pandemic.

Trying to Keep Things “Normal”

Ben and I are privileged to be far from the frontlines in jobs that could be altered to function in these circumstances. I am super aware of this and exceedingly grateful. This gives us distance. And unlike the movies there are not bodies lining the streets and the world has not ceased to have electricity or government. Instead, the bad things are happening in swirls around us and we are in the eye of the storm with threats and worry coming at us in fits and starts. Meanwhile we’re just trying to figure it out as though any of this was something we expected.

Things that were once carelessly easy are now decisions that have to be made, boundaries that have to be set, protocols that have to be established. We are constantly assessing what feels safe and what feels necessary to decide how much risk we are comfortable with. And here’s the clincher: we are doing it while trying to keep things “normal”.

In pandemic movies nobody is logging onto dating apps and trying to decide if it’s safe to meet face to face, nobody is continuing to earn their college degree and adapting to hybrid virtual education models, and nobody is planning birthday parties for their three year olds and trying to figure out how to do it safely and responsibly. But here we are, trying to do normal during the weirdest year.

Happy Birthday, Juniper!

Juniper celebrated her birthday with a rainbow themed party — a sign of the end of a storm when that’s all we’re wishing for. Her grandparents and uncles came by the house and enjoyed cocoa bombs and cake in the backyard, and Juniper unwrapped her presents from a safe distance with her own little propane heater to combat the 40 degree temperatures.

I would have never chosen this party; it would have been too small, too cold, too unimpressive. But it was just as it should have been, filled with sunshine, laughter, and Juniper’s favorite people. Most of all it was filled with gratitude. We are safe and healthy. Not everyone can say that right now. And even though the afternoon ended with longing faces, arms wrapped tightly around ourselves as though we were giving the hugs we so desperately craved, we know how lucky we are.

Cheers to my wild girl, full of boundary-pushing energy and all the words in the English language (at top volume, at 7:00 am). She is all the good things I love best in this world.

Personal Post: This is Two

Kasey and Ben Photography Mayflower Greenhouse, Green BayThis week Juniper threw epic crying fits for the following reasons:
1. My hair was too crazy.
2. She needed to take home a middle grade chapter book at the library.
3. Daddy was being mean. (Daddy did literally nothing.)

This is two.

Two is also wispy hair that makes the teeniest ponytail, a new imaginary friend who she cares for and tortures, and cute catch phrases like, “Ju-per loooooves that; it’s Ju-per’s fave-it” which is said for nearly everything.

Between Babyhood and Toddlerhood

Two is funny because we are stuck somewhere between baby and toddler. When she gets tired, she still wants to curl up in my arms and when she loses her pacifier in the night she still calls for us to make it right. We wander in bleary-eyed in that same stupor that brought us into her room when she was just a few weeks old. But the next morning she is back to her regular self, independent and demanding. This girl starts the mornings at full volume with so much to say. I shake my head thinking that there was ever a time I worried about the number of words she would say.

Juniper has so many ideas of what we should do together, and when she really wants to do them, she mimics my encouraging tone with eyes wide and voice higher, getting as close to my face as she can. She wears socks on her hands every day (it’s a thing) and will only wear her black dress shoes no matter the weather. One week she loves oranges so I buy oranges, the next week “Ju-per don’t ike oranges”. It’s ever-changing, frustrating, hilarious, and heart-warming all at once.

Parenthood is Crazy Like That

I’m not sure what comes next (okay, three, obviously), but I’m in no hurry. For the number of times I am willing the clock to get to 12:30 pm so I can put her down for a nap, an equal number of times I will find myself watching old videos of her 10 minutes after she’s asleep. Parenthood is crazy like that. We crave our independence and when we have it, we miss our babies. It’s really the whole process of growing up and letting go on a miniature scale.

But I don’t have to worry about that right now. Any minute Juniper will wake up from her nap and come wandering out of her room, hair crazy, blanket dragging behind her. She will climb up onto my lap and I will enjoy the 15 seconds of blissful snuggles she gives me before she reaches out for my keyboard and makes an attempt at deleting this entire blog. This is two.

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Photos above from Juniper’s second birthday (cactus themed) at Mayflower Greenhouse in Hobart. Taco bar catered by Moes, amazing sugar cookies by Tina’s Cookie Corner, and tower of itty-bitty succulents by my talented mom.

Personal Post: juniper’s first birthday

And just like that, a year has come and gone. One year ago we were in the hospital meeting our baby girl for the first time, trying to settle on a name and realizing, awestruck, that life would never be the same. This year, I am watching Juniper run from room to room with an excited gallop-skip, shrieking just because she likes to hear the sound of her own voice. Time is a crazy thing.

A few weeks ago we gathered together with family for a first birthday party at The Art Garage in downtown Green Bay. Juniper was in a wool pleated 1960s-ish dress we found at Little Bird and the theme was lemons with lots of bright yellows and soft pinks. We had lunch with a lemonade bar, and a little photobooth area for guests to take snapshots with our Fuji Instax. Juniper liked eating watermelon and playing on the floor with her friends. She was very excited to see people she knows and likes everywhere she went as she cruised the room. Grandma Jeanie made a three-layer lemon and raspberry cake for guests, and I made Juniper a simple white smash cake. She tasted the frosting and little bits of cake, but wasn’t wildly excited about it until daddy started helping her smash it. It was a fun way to celebrate her first big milestone. Happy Birhtday, Baby J!

Portraits: victoria’s 15th birthday session, beach and preserve

After setting up Luis’s senior photo session and planning for photos at Voyageur Park and downtown Green Bay, Matilde had an idea to celebrate her daughter’s 15th birthday: her own portrait session. Victoria loves natural, artistic photos that have fashion photography influences, which is a perfect fit for our style. Together we looked at some source images to pick the perfect locations – one with blue water and a sandy beach, and the other with rustic fields of wildflowers and warm sunlight. We got exactly what we were hoping for, and Victoria chose outfits that complimented her boho vision for the session. Victoria celebrated her 15th birthday away from her extended family, and we hope that this session helps her feel extra special on this big milestone! Happy Birthday, Victoria!

Personal Post: turning 30 and celebrating with confetti

Maybe I’ve watched too much Sex and the City but turning 30 never scared me. I didn’t associate it with growing old, or needing to achieve some unreachable level of wisdom. Instead, my milestone aligns with goals as frivolous as thinking I might figure out how to dress better and cook actual meals (like meat that roasts in the oven – can you imagine?) It’s not as though “growing up” gives us some free pass to no longer think critically and use our actions to make a difference, it’s more that our experience shows us that there is no age when all our questions are answered. As it turns out, divine wisdom doesn’t come down on our birthdays to provide the certainty to feel like we “know what we’re doing” (or if it does, I haven’t hit that birthday yet).

Keeping our eyes high above daily life would mean overlooking our small achievements and disregarding little moments of feeling at peace with where we are at. That’s not how I want to live my life – pretending I’m too [smart, serious, high-minded] to enjoy whatever silly goal I have set or accomplished. Each, deserves recognition.

For me 30 means setting intentions (big and little) but also allowing myself the freedom and forgiveness to quit things that don’t work. It means taking chances that scare me, owning up to what I want, and making time to sit quietly with myself. Big ideas begin with small actions, and sometimes that’s as simple as better sharing the love you have for the people in your life or taking a break when your mind/body says you need it.

So I might not “know what I’m doing” but I can find bliss in the questions, and triumph in the tiny fractions of answers I stumble upon. In the meantime, I will break out the confetti and champagne for the littlest of achievements and I encourage you to do the same. Cheers!


Photos above ^^ taken with Jackie and Ashley, my elementary school buds and closest friends, by Riverland Studios in Charleston, SC. If you liked this post and want to read something similar, please check out Three Years of Marriage and I Still Do and Why We Need to Stop Comparing Ourselves.

Personal Post: girls’ weekend in charleston, south carolina

Birthdays are a big deal in my family. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 3 or 30, it will be celebrated with multiple events, fancy desserts, and lots of family and friends. (Check out The Family of Over-Celebrators blog post after this!) When I thought about how I wanted to spend my 30th, a big party or gift didn’t feel right, and around fall I began thinking about a girls’ trip. I contacted my friends and we started brainstorming places that were warm and historic. When I imagined our trip, I saw long brunches, pretty views, and a little time to draw… all of which I got in our four days in Charleston.

My friends, Jackie, Ashley, and I flew to Charlotte, NC and made the drive south, stopping for high tea at Laura’s Tea Room halfway there. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast rental with a beautiful garden courtyard and felt absolutely spoiled. After an afternoon wandering the historic neighborhood, we made a picnic from goodies gathered at the local farmers market and checked out White Point Gardens. The next day was Magnolia Plantation (where we got a little sketching in) and Folly Beach where I watched my friends dive into waves with exactly the same enthusiasm we would have had in middle school.

Ashley described the trip as a “mental reset” and I think she’s exactly right. With friendships as old as ours and distances so great in between, four days together was a luxury. The more candles on my cake, the more blessed I feel to have a life that allows me to see new places, try new things, and reconnect with my favorite people.

Portraits: charlotte’s one year session, pamperin park, green bay

fall-family-pictures-pamperin-park-green-bay-child-one-year-outdoors-lifestyle-leaves-colorful-photos-1 fall-family-pictures-pamperin-park-green-bay-child-one-year-outdoors-lifestyle-leaves-colorful-photos-2When newborns we photograph come back for their one year milestone, I am always amazed by how much can change in a single year. Nothing marks a year gone by more pointedly than a baby’s growth. In wonderful cases like Baby Charlotte, we’ve gotten to see them in between as they start to sit up, smile and interact. But when we see them at one year old, standing, laughing, and – in Charlotte’s case – running, it’s really incredible. Those tiny sleeping bundles grow up and we love seeing the new things they learn and the little people they’re growing into. Charlotte’s session was all fall fun, starting with mommy and daddy time and ending with balloons, pumpkins, and leaves. Her favorite things are songs, books, and teasing us by running the other way. Happy First Birthday. Charlotte!

Portraits: mara turns four

Green_Bay_Child_Photographer_Studio_Indoor_Portraits_WisconsinWhen this cold winter weather hits (negative 2 for a high today…really?) it’s time to huddle on into the studio for indoor portraits.  For kiddos with winter birthdays, there is no need to hold off for warmer temperatures; we have lots of options for backdrops indoors.

We have been photographing Mara since her first birthday, and we’re always excited to see what she will be wearing for her photo sessions as she has a personal seamstress on call (aka: grandma) to make things just for her.  Mara is full of personality – she told us so many stories while she was here for her session, and with each new outfit she strolled into the studio as though it were a fashion show.  That is Mara, and we love it.  It is so fun to watch kiddos grow and change – to hear all about what their new interests are and feel as though we know them personally.  Happy Fourth Birthday, Mara!