Jessica + Anthony

I have known these two for a very long time, and now they are expecting their first little one!  l met Jessica and Anthony during our years at Farmington High School.  These two have been dating ever since and it has been fun to run into them in the years since graduating and hear their story.  They actually sit near my parents at church every Sunday, so my mom is regularly filling me in on what is going on their lives if I go awhile without seeing them!

Soon after we told my parents we were expecting my mom said that Jessica was due just a week or so after me!  It was so fun to capture these memories with her as we both grow our baby bumps.  It is always funny to me to look back at where I have been in different stages of my life and think, did I ever imagine I would end up in this exact moment? Like when we were 16 at Farmington High did I ever think I would have these two in front of my camera, celebrating their first little one while I am doing the same behind the camera? I didn't expect it, but I am beyond thankful for these moments! 

Jessica and Anthony are going to be the best parents.  They are so joyful as they await their little one's arrival, and I know they are surrounded by family and friends who are equally as excited for their addition! I cannot wait to hear if that little bump is a boy or a girl, and to see your little one grow up!  Congratulations, Anthony and Jessica! 

Greece

Okay, okay I know- this blog post is so picture heavy, but I would never say editing down my favorite images is my strong suit.  And when you travel to somewhere like Greece, it makes editing images even more difficult.  So out of the 600 pictures I currently have from the trip, I would say I am doing pretty good by only sharing 60!  

When we found out we were expecting a little one Ted and I decided we wanted to take one more big vacation before baby's arrival.  We called it a joint 5 year anniversary trip and babymoon.  Greece has always been high on both of our lists, and when we started to look into  the timing and the details it sounded like the perfect getaway for a mix of exploring and relaxing.  Yes I know, for some people that sounds absolutely crazy.  I was 33 weeks pregnant on our 11 hour flight home, and I know that doesn't make sense for every family.  But our doctor okayed it, and since I have been feeling great I had no problem traveling so late in my pregnancy. And with lots of prayer, everything went great! We are keeping our fingers crossed that baby is always this great of a traveler :)

We flew direct from Toronto to Athens.  We only spent one night in Athens, but felt like that was plenty to see the major sites.  From there we island hopped between 3 islands- Milos, Santorini and Crete.  Each island was completely different and I think that is what made the trip so amazing.  It felt like we were in a totally different part of the world after each ferry ride- the food, people, and landscape changed so much from island to island. 

Milos had very few tourists.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel where they completely pampered us.  We spent time at the beach and explored at a very leisurely pace.  Santorini is a must see, it is the perfect picture postcard image of Greece.  The rest of the world also thinks so, so there were more crowds to deal with here than in Milos.  Crete was a lush, endless island.  We rented a car and saw a big chunk of the island, and moved from mountains and gorges to beaches and historic cities within a few miles.  

The trip was exactly what we hoped it would be.  We moved at a slightly slower pace than usual, which made for slow mornings and afternoon chats over lemonade and Greek salad.  The memories from our 2 weeks in Greece are some of my very favorite we have ever made.  The people were kind, and I loved that everyone wanted to chat about our bump.  Always exclaiming- it's a boy! We will find out if all the Greeks were right soon enough!  If you are thinking about a trip to Greece I would say, go!  The blue water, fresh food, and endless opportunities to explore quickly made it one of our favorite travel destinations.

I will highlight a few things in the pictures below, but if you have any questions about where we went or what we did I would love to chat details with you!

We are already day dreaming about another trip to Greece in our future.  But for now I am looking forward to printing some of these pictures to hang in the nursery and telling the baby the story of his or her first European adventure! 

Matt + Liz

I met Liz for coffee a few months back to chat about her and Matt's winter 2018 wedding. The moment we sat down at our little, local coffee shop I knew she and I would become quick friends. The conversation was natural and easy- as we chatted about life, wedding planning and travel.  I was so excited when right there on the spot she let me know she would love to have me photograph her and Matt's big day.  

Last month I met up with these two at their downtown Detroit apartment for their engagement session. Matt quickly made me feel as welcomed and comfortable as Liz did at our first coffee meeting.  These two have so much fun together, and I couldn't help but notice how comfortable and safe they seemed to feel when they were close to one another.  Not to mention, I was so thankful for the way Matt offered to serve me during their session- offering to carry my bag and step stool since I have pretty much perfected my pregnancy waddle these days.  

I had such a wonderful evening exploring the city with these two.  Detroit was certainly showing off.  The setting sun, budding trees, and a city that continues to surprise me with each new restaurant and ground breaking for new buildings.  What a fun and exciting place to start your life together, and I loved being able to capture a little part of their story in the city.  Enjoy all of the planning, Matt and Liz- and I can't wait to see you say 'I do!'

Meadow Rose

I had actually heard all about this sweet family before we met.  I photograph some of their closest friends and throughout the years I had heard stories about their friendship and that they were expecting a little one of their own.  It is always so fun to feel like you know a family before you arrive at their home, and to have some similarities to chat about as you get to know each other.  Not to mention they were beyond kind, so I think either way we would have become quick friends!

Little Meadow made us work for her pictures, but it was so worth it! I love how many things the Shankin family included in the session that brought out their personalities.  Dad loves baseball and mom is part Native American, so including those two aspects of their characters made the session so personalized.  And as always, the pups had to jump in for the last few pictures.  To be honest, it was seeming like there was no chance we were going to get a picture of everyone looking at me.  Meadow was ready to be done, and the dogs were anxious to be up on the bed, but somehow it happened! That last pictures in this post just makes me laugh because if you could have seen the few moments of chaos leading up to it.  But it was so worth it! 

Shankin Family, thank you so much for inviting me into your home to photograph your sweet, baby Meadow.  I hope you are loving every moment with your new bundle of joy! 

Baby Douglas

Baby Doug was so great for his session.  I had to keep reminding his mom and dad, 'just so you know it doesn't typically go like this.'  I typically spend a lot of time during newborn sessions just cuddling and swaying newborns, waiting for them to fall into a deep sleep.  Doug was sleepy and ready for his session right when I arrived! A photographer's dream!

I loved getting to know Doug and his family.  His mom and dad made me feel like we had known each other for ages.  I love when I come into a family's home and I immediately feel at home, and that is exactly what happened at this shoot.  Their space was light and bright and made everything simple and enjoyable.  And when a little guy is born with a head of hair that awesome, it needs to be documented!  Katie and I started talking about if the wives tale about heartburn and hair is true.  I have been experiencing a good amount of heartburn lately, so we will see if that means our babe will come out with a full head of hair!

And of course we had to end the session with a few family photographs.  Which means Doug's two pups got a chance in front of the camera! They were so sweet around Doug, and even though they were so excited to finally be included in on the action, they were cautious and calm around their new baby. It was such a peaceful session with so much love, and I am beyond grateful to have captured this exciting time.  Enjoy all of your new baby snuggles, Kilbourn Family! 

Ariana Phyllis

Baby Ariana, we are so glad you are here!  Ariana's mom and dad are in the small group Ted and I are blessed to be a part of at our church.  I remember the day Kaitlin and Nick shared with us they were expecting like it was yesterday.  Our group had gathered for a little evening pool party, and before everyone headed outside they shared they had a joy- a baby on the way! Since I get to see Kaitlin weekly, it was so fun to watch her bump grow throughout the months.  

When we found out we were also expecting I immediately thought about what a blessing it would be to raise our little ones alongside Kaitlin and Nick.  Kaitlin has been so open and honest about mommahood, and I have already texted her with some of my more personal questions.  When can I go back to work? Is this normal? Is Ariana taking a bottle yet?  I am sure by the time our little one arrives Kaitlin is going to be so sick of hearing from me! ;) 

I had such a sweet afternoon hanging out with Kaitlin, Nick and Ariana at their home.  In-home newborn sessions are just the best, as they capture what life looks like at your house right now.  I love being able to use your space to tell your story.  Kaitlin and Nick already seem like parenting pros, and little miss Ariana spent the majority of her session fast asleep.  Ariana, we are so thankful for your life.  We can't wait for you to meet your new baby buddy in July! 

Kang Family

Last time I saw the Kang Family it was just mom and dad anxiously awaiting the arrival of their little guy.  We captured their maternity session at the park, and I had such a great time getting to know these two.  I actually think Esther and Dustin may have been the first people I told I was pregnant (besides Ted!) They were asking me if I had any little ones, and I couldn't contain my excitement to share with them I was expecting.  They were so sweet about it and shared in my joy, since we were still keeping it a secret from family and close friends for a few more weeks.  

Now their little one is here! Esther had the sweetest idea of doing a photo session on Carter's 100th day.  I love that she made the sign that says, 'today we have loved you for 100 days.'  Carter was so great for his session, and can we just talk about those big brown eyes?! What a cutie!  Carter is just learning how to smile, so we had to click fast when we saw those little giggles.  We were pushing him right up to his nap time, so that last image really was his way of announcing he was done! No tears, just some big yawns! 

Thank you so much for welcoming me into your home, Kang Family, and trusting me with capturing these exciting life changes with you.  I hope you enjoy the next 100 days of loving your little guy even more than the first 100! 

Ember Catherine

Teeny, tiny baby Ember! There is just something about those babes that are born extra small that makes my heart melt.  Ember was an angel for her session.  She slept soundly the entire time and just enjoyed being all snuggled up!  I still have to pinch myself when I realize this is my job! I get to snuggle newborn babes when I go to work?! What a dream! 

Ember's mom and dad had the coolest style, so I loved being able to pop into Ember's nursery for a few pictures.  I also love being able to use a family's home for newborn pictures and to really capture a few candid images.  For this session it was being able to use mom and dad's room for those cuddly, candid moments. These are really the pictures you are going to look back at and say, remember when? I love knowing that this family will forever have these pictures of their first few weeks with Ember.  Especially since those first few weeks can be such a blur!

Ember already has three guard dogs, that I think are going to be taking pretty good care of her! It was so sweet to watch the dogs as they walked and moved more gingerly around the baby.  It is like they know this new little person is extra delicate!  They jumped on the bed with their mom and dad, but were careful to sniff gently around Ember and then of course went ahead and gave her a few big kisses! Welcome to the world, sweet baby Ember! 

Third Trimester

This week we welcomed our third trimester with baby Beatty! When we first found out we were expecting a little one the third trimester sounded so far off.  And so real.  I remember thinking, when we get to the third trimester I will make sure we take care of x, y, and z.  And now we really need to take care of that long list of things! 

With that long to-do list aside, we are feeling amazingly calm about welcoming baby into our family.  We have been anticipating this day for so long, and the thought of holding our babe in a few short months is beyond exciting. 

Ted and I made a simple list of things we want to do before we become a family of 3.  I have a feeling the next few months are simply going to fly by, so hopefully writing these down will help keep us accountable! 

1. Pick out baby's name!  We still haven't found names that seem just right.  We have a few front runners, but nothing in stone.  Since we didn't find out if baby is a boy or girl we want to have a few options for both and then make our final decision once we meet our little one. 

2. Go to a Tigers game.  It has always been one of our favorite downtown activities.  When we first started dating we went to a lot of games and we want to make sure we catch one more game- just the two of us. 

3. Finish up the house.  We have been renovating three rooms in our house to prep for baby and they are almost finished! We now have a playroom, a new office space for me, and of course babe's nursery.  

4. Sleep in.  I have always been proud of the fact that I rise early and accomplish so much before the rest of the world wakes.  That has gone down the drain the last month.  When we have the chance to sleep in we take it.  We have had so many more lazy mornings at the Beatty house.  The best part- on lazy mornings Ted almost always makes pancakes and bacon, and baby and I both love that. 

5. Take our last big vacation.  A babymoon, 5 year anniversary celebration, or just a strong desire to explore the world- whatever it is, we are headed to Greece next month.  I personally cannot wait to lounge on the beach and eat all of the gelato and Greek food.  Ted can't wait to explore the ruins and take in all of the history. 

6. Read a few more books.  Seriously, you would think we are running a library over here.  The stack of books on our nightstands keeps growing.  We have been reading everything from more fiction since we know we won't have much time for pleasure reading once baby gets here, plus parenting books, books on sleep schedules, labor and delivery, the list goes on and on.  We both spend a lot of time with little ones, but we both love learning so we are taking in as much information as we can now! 

7. Have our maternity photos taken.  After being on the other side of the camera for so many sweet moms and dads-to-be, it's a little surreal that it's our turn. We are certainly enjoying all of these little milestones and steps along the way. 

8. Socialize! We love having friends over, going out to dinner with family and wandering downtown for appetizers on Friday evenings.  Since we know our schedule will be changing we have been scheduling meals with friends we haven't seen in awhile, planning more date nights, and visiting family.  We want to make sure all of those relationships get the love and attention they deserve now! 

9. Make baby's nursery feel like home.  I am not much of a shopper, so baby's nursery has been bare.  Over the past month we have received so many sweet baby gifts.  I can't wait to assemble the furniture, hang decorations and wash blankets. I have a feeling this room might just become my favorite space in our home. 

10. Enjoy it.  I have been trying to be aware that this time of pregnancy with our first babe is fleeting.  I have been sitting down and enjoying the little kicks and hiccups.  When the baby is on the move Ted and I will stop what we are doing to just marvel at this little miracle. We pray for the baby, dream about what his or her little face will look like, and chat about the way life will change.  It is such a fun time of dreaming and changing, and we never want to take that for granted.

There it is! 10 things we want to do before baby arrives. Anything we missed?! I would love to hear from you mommas if there are a few things we should add! 

Smith Family

Oh goodness, how sweet is this family?! I got to meet these two older siblings last spring, and it was so much fun to reconnect with them and meet the newest addition to their family.  These two are so proud to be big siblings!  

We started off our session with sibling pictures.  After we finished that part of the shoot, mom let the two older siblings know they could head downstairs to play.  I love that these two decided they wanted to stay with baby Lachlan instead. This sweet older sister even went and got her own baby doll and blanket and imitated each pose I did with Lachlan.  These two would get as close as possible to me just to make sure they had a close eye on their baby brother and all of the action.  It was so adorable! 

Lachlan did so great during his pictures and was such a trooper with letting me change his swaddles and having two older siblings hold him and smother him in kisses.  He is going to be a tough one! And can we just talk for a minute about his hair.  You can really see his faux-hawk in the last picture! How cute is that?! Enjoy loving on your newest addition, Smith Family!