In June, we converged to the little-known town in the mountains of Lopez, Pennsylvania near the corner of Maple and Maple to meet my nephew who arrived just over three weeks before. Just like the harsh winters of Lopez leave the buildings with a perfectly weathered patina, my sister Leni’s labor could compare. Harsh. Long. Tough. In the end was this perfect baby boy for us all to love. We drove from Virginia and from Michigan and slept in tents and on couches to make room for all the extra overnight guests. Bonfires and porch swings seemed to have more meaning with a swaddled newborn passed from cousins, to dad, to grandparents, uncles, aunts and back to mom again. Even with 720 miles between our doorsteps, may our shared stories, photographs and visits forever keep us close.
Twin Lake, Michigan
My grandfather used to give me “spinners” or flips in the air when I was a little girl. I owned a popcorn business when I was 13 years old. I used to ride our family milk cow, Blue Bell, like she was a horse. My sister gave me a huge shiner when I was a sophomore. And guess what? I don’t have any photos of those memories. Not a one. Not even a snapshot.
Here’s my point, this is the third year the Schalks have invited me to photograph their family, mostly with a focus on their three adorable daughters. I can’t help but to think what a true treasure that they’re giving their girls. Whether or not I’m the photographer taking the photos, it’s just a reminder that life happens so quickly. So get out your cameras, folks, and take some pictures!
Oh, and if you love the clothes that the girls are wearing, Kate makes them. She’s incredibly talented so check it out here.
Ashley told me when I first met her that she and Drew were friends long before they dated. She also told me that he was quiet, didn’t like to be photographed and a LOT taller than she was. Drew was a bit quiet but when he’s around Ashley, those two laugh, joke and are so right for each other. Add in their adorable puppy and Ashley’s platform heels and all was perfect.
Drew and Ashley, I can’t wait for your wedding in May! Until then, keep on laughing.
Oh, and a big shout-out to the owners of Fish Dock (the funkiest and coolest marina in Muskegon) for letting us use your place to shoot.
I applaud Barrett and Erin for agreeing to meet me at sunrise. Not many folks are willing to meet me with a smile at 6:45 am. We only had one tiny issue, there was no sunrise – – only rain and a very cold breeze. With purple toes and more goosebumps than you could count, Erin and Barrett just took it for an extra excuse to cuddle and laugh. I’d say these two will face marriage in the same way, with a whole lot of love and a go-with-the-flow attitude.
They say good things come to those who wait. As I photographed Nick and Michelle who were preparing their home and their hearts for a baby boy, Michelle said to me, “You know, this baby is a miracle.” And indeed it’s true. Nick and Michelle, as I have learned, just gave birth to their son a couple days ago. I feel so blessed that I got to document their love and anticipation for what was to come. With a love of good tea, knitting, super funky fashion, books, and a dog – – this little boy is going to have an enriched life with crazy awesome parents.