Maternity Session Holland MI
The Kern Family and I spent some time together last week to capture Christine’s Maternity Session in Holland MI.
We had a little hiccup during their maternity session. Sometimes, the right lighting for an outdoor photo session happens at the end of a long day for a 4-year-old. I usually have a few tricks in my bag to coach tired kiddos along during their session, but this little guy just wasn’t having it. His momma, Christine took him aside and the love and patience she had with him are characteristics of a great mother. I’ve been in her shoes before when your child isn’t cooperating, you have a goal in mind, and the behavior puts things at a stand still.
As an outsider to their family, it was a precious moment. The time taken to console her child was beautiful to me, and she shined so brightly while mothering her children.
Maybe it’s because we had our third child less than a year ago, but spending time with them during their Maternity session really took me back to the weeks leading up to having baby number 3. The only difference is that we have all girls and they have all boys.
I can’t pinpoint the moment of when I finally felt like a had a handle on “mom-ing”. I was five years in with 2 kids and always second guessed myself.
Then my number 3 came along and I didn’t have time to second guess. Not that I really had much time for it with 2 kids, but with 3 kids you’re just forced to “do”. Not think, just do. My 5-year-old started calling “mom” more than “mommy” or “momma”. My middle child, who had been used to being the baby for four years, grew in her new “big sister” status. And I realized, that everything I had ever worried about with having 3 kids wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
In many ways, life is so much better than I could have imagined.
And I’m honored to be able to capture these moments for families.
Maternity Session Holland MI
I called Kari at 6pm (an hour before their session) because the radar wasn’t looking so good. We decided to keep their session at 7pm and hope for the best. It was down pouring at 6:15, but thankfully we had a window in between storms right at 7pm! This is why I don’t watch the weather earlier in the day or reschedule sessions until the last minute!
The Dykhuis’ are a family in our life group at church, and I have to say… I really am so excited when friends ask me to take their photos! It’s a good time and it’s special for me to be able to give my friends great photographs. 🙂
We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening for Lindsey’s photo session. It’s been so hot, rainy, and humid here in Michigan that most of my photo sessions end up having miserable weather. But not this night!
I met up with Lindsey and her mom in downtown Saugatuck. When Kim, Lindsey’s mom sent me a message that they wanted downtown and a marina, I knew Saugatuck was the perfect place for them!
It still amazes me how many options for backgrounds there are in such unthinkable places.
We definitely could have spent more time in downtown Saugatuck, but we decided to head back to Holland to Van Raalte Farm. There’s these purple wild flowers that I just adore in photographs. I was able to capture these a couple of years ago, and again this time. So fun!
Disclaimer: Sadie Bug was a little sleepy in her carseat when I took this photo, so she didn’t make it in the picture… next time!
We didn’t have kids when we started our business almost 9 years ago. So to say our business has changed since we became parents is an understatement.
For those of you who don’t already know part of our story… Andrew and I found out we were expecting our first baby in January of 2009. Sadly, I miscarried that baby in the first trimester. Going through a miscarriage is heartbreaking, you have to go through the process of grieving a child you never got to meet. To help me work through my emotions, I focused all of my time and efforts on our business. This is actually how we made the big leap in signing out first studio space lease.
Scary, that’s all I can say about deciding to pay for a studio space that was essentially another mortgage payment. Then only two weeks after we opened our studio, in June of 2009, we found out we were pregnant again! And that my friends, is even more scary!
But God is so good, and he grew our business. It was able to support the studio space itself, plus provide income for us when we were no longer working at other jobs.
But we knew that having a studio space wasn’t going to be in the plans for us always. I think some people wonder why we aren’t in downtown Zeeland anymore, and the truth is as much as I enjoy looking at studio-type photos, they aren’t my favorite to take (unless it’s a wee little baby!) So our goal was to find a home with a large dedicated space for me to work, and also be with my girls.
Thankfully we have been in this home for over 2 years now. Being in a non-commercial space doesn’t mean too much difference for my clients – except the occasional 5 or 6 year old coming in to say hello to them! And my older girls are getting big enough to be a big help at special events we may be photographing. It’s been a joy to see our business grow and evolve just as much as our girls have.
This week has been hard.
Scratch that, this week has been very hard.
My precious little baby, who I used to hold for hours at a time suddenly stopped sleeping. On all accounts that would be considered sleep. No naps, waking 6+ times per night. Sadie = 4 … 6am Bootcamp = 0.
If you see a woman walking around aimlessly in Vriesland, resembling someone from The Walking Dead, (and no, I’m not talking about Maggie) it’s me.
Next to me you’ll see a 6 year old with so many tangles in her hair from swimming we gave up brushing it days ago, a 4 year old who’s just drawn all over herself with a red ink pen, and I’ll be holding a beyond-tired, squirmy 8 month old with cheerios stuck to her harms, crusty banana puree dried to her cheek all while she’s scratching at my face because she wants to get down and crawl.
And that last statement right there my friends is why it’s been a hard week… My baby is crawling. :'(
I’m sure you all are a bit over my “my baby this, and my baby that”. I’m a bit over it too… but why does each new thing just completely have to break your heart when it’s your last child?
And the nerve of this girl. Thinking she can go and start crawling around, leaving me. Scratching at me because I am OLD NEWS. She aint got time to be held by her momma or to even sleep for that matter. Girl is simply on the move.
So yes, it’s been a hard week indeed. But I’m praying it gets easier, and that my sweet little Sadie has mercy on me soon and decides to sleep again.
Don’t mind my crummy photo, it’s a video still from my phone. Look at how happy she is though.
Julie & Jared’s Pillar Church Wedding in downtown Holland was the most perfect day in July. I was so happy to be a part of their special day!
About The Bride and Groom
We first met Julia and her son a few years ago while doing their family photos at the Holland State Park. Fast forward a couple of years and I met her again, only this time with her fiancee, Jared. These two actually met while they were both working at Gentex, in Zeeland. I knew right away at their consultation that their wedding day would be a great one to photograph! You might remember their engagement photos I posted earlier this year… you can view them here!
About Their Wedding
July 1st not only marked the start of a new month, but also the start of a new chapter in Julie and Jared’s lives. They were married at Pillar Church in downtown Holland on the most perfect July day ever. There are so many details from this wedding that I just love! From Julie’s super cute nails, to the wooden center pieces that my brother-in-law cut, to the mother of the groom’s shimmery dress that matched so perfect. If I ever got to do my wedding all over again, I’d be sure to copy every aspect from this wedding!
Pillar Church Wedding
Pillar Church is by far one of my favorite wedding ceremony locations. The church itself offers so many background options for photos, but there are literally endless spots in downtown Holland, which is Pillar Church is located. Julie & Jared’s pre-ceremony photos didn’t disappoint at Pillar Church!
After their ceremony, we finished up a few family photos outside, then headed to Baker Lofts, which is where their reception was located. I’ll have a full post on their reception soon! Mp<
Congratulations Julie & Jared!
Pillar Church Wedding Photos
I loved this dress by…
This floral bouquet was stunning by…
There once was a little girl,
born in another world.
She did not know that every day
there were so many people who would pray:
“God bless this child, and bring her home to this family, where she belongs.”
He is faithful, his love is true,
Leah we welcome you!
One of the things that makes a great photo is beauty in the unexpected. To capture this, you have to be open to photographing things that others might scrunch their noses up to. Although my area of expertise in photography is photographing people and not objects, I am still constantly searching for unique things that I can use to create an interesting background. Every time we drive somewhere, the photographer in me can’t help but point out different locations that would be great for photo sessions.
<strong>And it makes me wonder, why can’t finding the beauty in everything come as easily?</strong>
How can we reprogram ourselves to look on the bright side of things?
What will become of our children if we continue to knock everything down?
When will we see the beauty in all of God’s creation?
To the father who gave this neighborhood kid a ride to church on Sunday and an extra long ride in the country after, taught me the value of looking someone in the eye when you’re speaking to them, and the importance of volunteering… even when it means putting your life in danger by being a fireman.
To the father who welcomed me into the family with just the wave of his hand, worked so hard to provide for his family, went out of his way to help anyone, always thought my projects looked “darn nice”, and left such an impact on my life.
To the father who cried and held me during my miscarriages, took care of me through all of my HG pregnancies, and take care of our girls. You are the greatest father I could have ever asked for for our children. Whether it’s making breakfast, playing soccer in the front yard, washing their hair, changing diapers, working every day to provide for us, reading the girls stories, taking them fishing, or playing games in the pool, you do it all. You set a high standard for the type of husbands our girls should marry. To me, no other can compare. And I thank you.
To the Father… our Heavenly Father. I have felt your arms wrap around me tighter and tighter every year since becoming a mother. I thank you for the fathers you have introduced into my life. I have no words to express how much you have blessed me… even with growing up without a dad, you have placed men in my life that have shown me the meaning of a truly great father. And with that, Father’s Day has a completely different meaning for me.
So this Father’s day, I want to wish say thank you to the father’s who do without asking, the ones who show up and care, would rather be with their family than anywhere else, and show the glory of God through their actions. Thank you for all that you do, Happy Father’s Day.
If you’ve ever contemplated having more children… don’t.
If you’ve ever thought that having one child is enough… it is.
If you’ve ever wondered if you would like having a few kids… you won’t.
You know the thoughts that run through your mind after you have your first child… “There’s no way I could love another baby as much as I love this one!”. Or the feelings of guilt, that by having another child you would be taking time away from your precious toddler.
But let me tell you… and I tell everybody this… One of the best gifts that you could ever give your child is a sibling. And I’m not just saying this because my girls are best friends and get along so well.
I’m saying it because it’s true.
Our oldest two are 18 months apart. They literally don’t know what life is like without each other. The first 4.5 years of parenthood was a blast, literally so much fun… hard, but fun! But the last 6 months, since Sadie came into our lives, has been even better. It’s better because you can see just how much little Sadie affects the personalities of my bigger girls. You can see just how much she is teaching them about love, patience, gentleness, kindness, and so much more. And when they do something that makes her giggle, they light up like the sun. Or when they help me to take care of her, they grow proud and feel rewarded for a job that they do so well.
And it’s so, so good for my heart to see my big girls take care of their baby sister. Like when they hold her close, and snuggle her cheeks. Or when they sing her the song that I made up for Kenlie when she was just a couple of weeks old.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if you would like having a few kids, or if one is enough. My advice to you is this: Don’t contemplate it, do it. One child is technically enough, but more than one is so much more. And having a couple of kids is something you won’t like, but you’ll love.