From the moment that I saw Gianna and Ryan sprint to each other on their wedding day, I’ve known.  These two.  They will find the other’s hand and walk through whatever life brings together.

Life has brought them 3 beautiful girls.  Three little girls who are growing up to know that they are treasures.  Three little girls who know how to serve and love with their whole hearts and how much THEY matter.

Ryan and Gianna, I LOVE YOU.  I know…it’s obvious, but it’s true.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the backstage pass you have given me to your story and lives.  I look back through these moments and I find myself speechless over the grace that capturing your story has been to my life.  Thank you.  Thank you for loving your girls with your whole hearts.  For pouring into them, your community, each other and the world to let people know just what a gift they are.

And little ladies – you are fierce.  Hilarious.  Joy-filled.  And I consider it an honor to watch you grow.

Also, I am BEYOND excited to tell you about Gianna’s amazing styling abilities. She is a stylist for Mac and Mia and the outfits she puts together? BEYOND PRECIOUS. I know one of the biggest challenges for most of my families is WHAT ON EARTH DO I WEAR?!? That’s where Gianna comes in. Simply go to here:
https://app.macandmia.com/launch/style-survey/?c=GIANNA
and you’ll be ready to have Gianna as your stylist and watch as all the hard work of choosing outfits goes away and the perfect combination arrives at your doorstep! (Basically my idea of HEAVEN. I hate shopping…). Granted, this also works for back to school outfits, Christmas gifts and just a little needed style refresh. But the idea of taking stress away from family pictures is something I can ALWAYS get behind. I want to document your love and if there are any ways to help eliminate stress or anxiety along the way? COUNT ME IN.
Head over to her profile (@mrstij on IG) and click on her link in profile to get started!

 

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To see more from our time together CLICK HERE to view their slide-show.

Wonder.  Joy.

To look into their eyes is to see it humming in all that they see.  In all that they do.  Watching them toddle and laugh and find themselves wrapped up in mom and dad’s loving embrace?  An absolute gift.

Sweet Dix family, thank you SO much for running and playing and looking for sticks with me.  You reminded me of how fleeting these moments are.  They are full of feels and falls and learning – and they also go by so quick.  Re-entering that wonder with you brought so much joy as I treasured even more deeply those years with mine.  Thank you for that gift…

 

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To view more from their session, CLICK HERE to view their slideshow.

6th grade is where it all began.  Because sometimes love finds you before your ready…before you could know that you’ve met the person that you want to hold hands with through ALL the things.

But that spark still remained.  As did their friendship.

And so years later, when they saw each other at a party in college – that friendship and love quickly led them back together.  Because home was each other.

 

Alexa and Ryan, I CANNOT EVEN.  First and foremost, thank you for waking up at the CRAZY EARLY hours of the morning so we could have perfect light for a Chicago sunrise engagement session.  Thank you for sharing your story and your hearts for each other with me.  For standing in the middle of the road and taking over Starbucks and WALKING IN HEELS through it all!!!!  (That last part was just for you, Alexa…)  I cannot wait for your wedding day.  To watch as you two get to celebrate this beautiful love in front of family and friends and FINALLY BE DONE WITH LONG DISTANCE!

I love you both to the moon and back!

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Alexa, I’m just gonna go ahead and say what we’re all thinking: HOLY BUCKETS OF STUNNING.

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I CANNOT EVEN.

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Could they be any more adorable?  Nope.  Not possible.

 

 

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To see more from their engagement session, CLICK HERE to view their slide-show.

I still remember seeing them together in high school.  You could see it in her smile; in the way he held her hand.  They were made to walk this beautiful road together.

High school sweethearts became best friends who pledged their lives to one another.  In sickness and in health.

And that is just what they did.  He sat beside her as she fought the courageous bedrest/NICU path that brought their twin boys into this world.  They opened their arms even wider and welcomed two precious boys who entered this world a little earlier than their bodies were ready.  And so they made trips to the hospital and made the NICU their home.  And they loved these boys all the way through it.  They gave up sleep and the comforts of home to walk their little ones, and each other, through the trenches.

Stephanie and Andy, I watched this road you traveled to these boys from afar originally.  I ached as I saw the winding road that you walked with these two.  And yet, your love and your commitment has been obvious with EVERY step.  Getting to spend time with you two and watch you with your sweet, hilarious boys is one of the greatest honors.  To know the long road that led you all together and to listen to Andy sing to the boys and to see the way you held them and brought them in close, Stephanie…well…it left me speechless.  What a beautiful family you are making.  And to my precious little friends, oh boys…you are JOY.  I can still hear your giggles and I’m still swooning over the way you would talk to each other.  I am thrilled to keep cheering you on as you world changers grow and THRIVE.  And you get to do it with amazing parents.  Just do me a favor: keep working on sleeping through the night for your mom and dad.  Okay?

 

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To see more from their session, CLICK HERE to watch their adorable slide-show!

Every session is different.  Though I have certain activities and prompts I use – they are merely just opportunities to help a family be THEMSELVES.  To capture who they are…

This session?

I don’t think we ever stopped laughing.  And between the smiles and sweet words and hills explored…I knew that this family’s story reads LOVE.

Meg and Jay – you are making magic.  And it’s beautiful.  You are raising two hilarious, wonderful kids who shine like stars.  Thank you for giving me the backstage pass into this beautiful work you are doing and love you share.  Because I am BEYOND grateful for our time together.

 

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