On rainy days like today, ya just want to curl up in a blanket and get cozy. It is also the perfect day to post a beautiful newborn lifestyle session with the Britt family as they just welcomed the newest member of the family, Charlie, to their home! I grew up going to church with Debbie, and we also overlapped our time at Bethel, where she met her husband Ryan, who was an RA in my freshman dorm. Did you follow that at all?! It has been so fun staying connected with them throughout the years, and was thrilled when she contacted me about photographing such an exciting time in their life, welcoming their first child to the family! It was so sweet to spend time with them during the session, and most of all, to see how much baby Charlie is loved by Debbie and Ryan already. I don’t think I could actually tell you how many times I heard them say, “I love you,” to him, but it was so sweet to witness their love and to see how proud they are to him their son. It was truly a joy to capture a little bit of their life with them, and share it with you today! Thank you for letting me be part of this new adventure in such a sweet way!
Kristen and I met way back in the good ‘ol days of Bethel. We lived in the same freshman dorm, and stayed in contact through each year we attended school. I could always tell she had a passionate heart for serving kids in numerous ministries and showing them a kind of love they may not have experienced before. The Lord’s love is evident not only in her life, but she lives it out in what she does every day. Her smile is simply radiating, and the love her and Trent have found is nothing short of beautiful. I was so thrilled when she contacted me about shooting their wedding, and it was just so fun to get to know them as a couple and capture them in their engagement session below. To put it simply, I cannot wait for August, it will be beautiful and I’m beyond excited to be part of your day!
Some of you may have seen him in my photos before, some of you have not, but I would love nothing more today than to introduce you to my brother-in-law Brian Moon. Husband to my sister Lindsey, brother to me, and friend to so so many; he is a man with passion for relationships and lives life to the fullest every day. He is the biggest little kid I know (like, actually…I know people say that all the time, but spend 10 minutes with the guy and you’ll know what I mean!) and every time I leave Chicago after seeing him and my sister, I have more appreciation for life and I love it! Born and raised in Chicago, he is a full-time Real Estate agent in the Windy City, and last weekend I had the privilege to head down and tag along with him and take some head shots for his new branding. It was SO fun to see him with his clients and really see his passion for the city come out with his line of work. Of course, we ventured on our own and found some beautiful locations to shoot at and in, but it was just so great to really see what he does! Seriously y’all, if you live in Chicago and you’re looking for a top notch agent, he’s your man! So really, without further ado, let me know introduce you to the (handsome) man of the hour…
You would be amazed by the number of people I have met in my life who have the birthday April 8th, but…hate to break it to ya, no one quite compares to my mama. Today, she would be turning 58, and nothing brings me more joy than being able to honor and celebrate her life, and the gift it was to me. It’s been a few years of her birthday passing by without me really taking time to reflect on her life, so I thought I’d change things up a bit this year by blogging a little bit about who she was, and I hope you enjoy hearing a little bit about my mom, Debbie.
She loved and lived for relationships, and she loved being with people. She was often known as being one of the last to leave the party, as she hated missing out (a trait she seemed to pass on to her youngest daughter). She was the oldest of eight, and was close to each one of her siblings in a special and unique way. Her friendships were dear, and she loved spending time with each one of them, as one of her most cherished relationships was with Christ, and she experienced much joy spurring on those close to her in their own walk with Him. On one of my birthdays, she shared with me, “celebrate each day-it’s one of God’s precious gifts to you to enjoy and to use as a vehicle to love, honor and glorify Him.” She was an amazing example of living life to be in God-glorifying relationships, and I will always cherish the words she spoke and the love she showed to me and so many others in her life.
Now, she also loved German Chocolate Cake, and each year on her birthday my Grandma Kate would make it for her from scratch. So today, though it’s not my grandma’s, I thought it would be fun to make (almost all of it from scratch) and celebrate her life. My friends and I have a tradition on birthdays where we all go around and say our favorite thing(s) about the birthday gal or guy. It’s actually one of the greatest gifts to give, and one of the most humbling to receive, and I wish more than anything my mom was here today; to be celebrated by her family and friends and to be able to hear how amazing and deeply loved she was by all of us surrounding her.
So today, I eat a piece for me and a piece for her. And I remember all the things I loved about her, and I wish I could tell it all to her. I would tell her that I loved her joy. That I loved her smile, and especially her laugh. It was loud, but so is mine. I would tell her that I loved her gray hair, and I loved her rosy cheeks. I would tell her that I loved her love for McDonald’s Diet Coke, and how she always had Winterfresh gum on hand. I would tell her that I loved her everyday hoodless sweatshirt and leggings outfit, and maaaaybe even the wind pants and turtleneck combo too. I loved when she gave me back scratches every night until I fell asleep and I loved when she called me Lulu Belle. I would tell her that I loved her relationships with her brothers and sisters, and loved how they would stay up until 4am at Thunder Lake around the fire, having life conversations and quoting their favorite SNL skits in hysterics. I would tell her that I loved how she loved the movie “Meet the Parents” so much that she saw it five times in theaters, and I would tell her that I loved that she loved ME so much that she bought me every single Beanie Baby in existence. I would tell her that I loved all the notes she wrote me, and the encouragement and support she gave me each day. I would tell her that I loved coming home from school to find her watching Oprah, and after it was over, letting her in on all my life secrets from the day. I would tell her that I loved her love and commitment to the Lord, and how it has inspired me in ways I will forever be grateful for. I would tell her that I loved how she didn’t let cancer define her life, but instead allowed it to draw her closer to others and the Lord. I would tell her that she taught me how beautiful relationships are, and how much I wish she was here to see where her family and friends are in their relationships with others. And I would most of all tell her that I plain and simple loved her love. For me, Bren, Linds and my dad. And that her love is missed the most, in the deepest part of my heart.
Happy Birthday mama! Know that your life is being celebrated today…not only by me writing this post, but also by eating an entire cake. Why did it take me almost 25 years to realize how good it truly was?! Love you. Xxoo
Chris and Ali. These two. Are absolutely amazing. After dating for three years, Chris proposed to his beautiful gal in January, and I could not be more excited for them to start this life together! It was so fun walking around the Stone Arch area with them, hearing more about their future plans and the details of their October wedding (which, by the way, is going to be STUNNING) and capturing their beautiful relationship. There is nothing I love more than spending time with a couple whose love for one another radiates and whose joy is simply contagious. They are two individuals who have such passionate hearts for serving others and it is SO fun to see those hearts come together for one another. With lots of smiles and a few kisses here and there, it is my absolute pleasure to share these two with you today!
Just a little Friday afternoon inspiration sesh. I’m getting SO excited for all the engagement sessions coming up this spring, and love using so many different resources to find inspiration for them all! Feeling thankful for all the talented photographers and designers out there who inspire me, and for all the different means by which they share their brilliancy! Here’s my view today…Happy Friday y’all!
This post really goes back about a month ago, when I went from working full-time downtown, to working not-so-full-time-downtown. The company I was working for unfortunately had to do some reconstruction and my position was one that had to be eliminated. Sooooo in a matter of 3 minutes life completely changed! It’s funny when you think you have a plan and you think you know how it will evolve. I think it’s in those moments that God says, “Nope! You got it wrong, girl.” It’s always been in my heart and been my dream to go full-time with photography, I’ve just always had the mindset that I’ll work full-time until I can go full-time with photography. That it would just happen and that I would know when it was time, and I felt okay with that. I was comfortable with my plan. Key words, my plan. It was nice to be comfortable with the amount of inquiries and photo opportunities I was getting. However, a few weeks before I lost my job, I found myself wanting more, and a stirring for truly going after it was instilled. I almost began to feel uncomfortable and uneasy being comfortable, and felt overwhelmed as to how I would be able to dedicate myself to truly pursuing it full-time when working 40 hours a week downtown was so consuming. Well then, I got laid off. Ha! Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think unemployment is the answer, especially as I am aware of the fact that I am not full-time (yet!!!), and a girl still needs an income. However, I am absolutely sure that it was and is the fuel that got me on my knees in surrender of it all. That I can use this time to be inspired, to blog more, to challenge myself and to ultimately shoot more and use this time to the fullest. To really and truly give it all I can, and prayerfully go forward in reaching and living this dream of mine.
Now let’s bring in the title of this post, “Amen, Hallelujah, Thank You Lord.” Pretty much right after I was laid off, I realized how my bedroom walls were 100% blank and 100% boring. I follow a brilliant branding pro (among many things) Lara Casey, and she sells these frameable prints that I kept seeing, and finally had to get one (see below!). Besides having cinnamon toast and coffee for breakfast every morning, buying this print has been the best decision I’ve made this last month, as I see it come alive every day. Though I know I’ve only been in this place for a month, I am amazed at what the Lord is teaching me about his timing, his faithfulness and his plan for me, and because of that I can’t help but each day say, “Amen, Hallelujah, Thank You Lord.” I am SO excited for the engagements and weddings I have coming up this year. To work with the beautiful brides, and be part of their story in such a unique way is a gift to me. And I can’t wait for more!! There is still A LOT that’s unknown, and it’s going to take A LOT of (really good, fun and beautiful) work, but I trust the Lord and his plan. I know this is just the beginning for me, and I have a ways to go, but I truly can’t wait to invest my whole heart into this and see how the Lord brings Lauren Kirkbride Photography to full fruition. Woop woop!!
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go up to Lutsen, and it…was…beautiful. Eighteen of us headed up on Friday night, stopped in Duluth for a quick dinner at Grandma’s, and then made the hike to Lutsen to stay at Surf Side on Lake Superior. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves all things beautiful and all things Minnesota. On Saturday, the group split up, and half went skiing, and the second half of us hiked a good ‘ol 7 miles up and down Eagle Mountain. To say it was beautiful is a complete understatement, as I was in complete and total awe from start to finish. I’ve gone on a few hikes in my day, and I love going up north, but I found myself stopping every three seconds to take in the beauty that was literally encompassing us the entire time. I was captivated from start to finish, and as my father says, I couldn’t help but say, “Yay God!” as it was a complete joy to be experiencing His creation in such an incredible way. And to think it’s just four hours away! There’s something about snow and pine trees I tell ya, it just gets ya. And I love it. Though I’m well aware that the photos below are all trees and snow, I hope you enjoy and can try and experience the winter goodness in your own way!
If there is one thing you should know about me, if you don’t already, it’s that I LOVE donuts. Love ‘em. I blame my dad, really. Growing up in the Kirkbride household, weekdays consisted of donut holes, while weekends consisted of the big guys…long johns, glazed, sprinkles, powdered sugar…you name it, we had it. I also blame my dad for being the one to buy donuts for your roommates on Saturday mornings, and you pretend you only bought one for yourself, but really you bought two and ate one on the way home because you love them so much. So now that I’ve officially created an image of a fatty sitting behind the computer, let me introduce you to Glam Doll Donuts! A brand new and ah-may-zing donut shop called Glam Doll Donuts that opened up on Nicollet just less than two weeks ago. It is a large and beautiful space, with the theme based around pin-up girls and offers some of the most delicious donuts you’ve maybe ever had (and yes, that IS a donut with bacon below). My good and amazingly talented friend Carly Wright is the brilliant mind who designed and created the brand for them, and I am so so proud of her work for them! I had the pleasure of stopping over there last week with her and snapping a few for the shops website, so you’ll have to check it out here and don’t waste another minute before stopping in and having a donut (or two, like me) for yourself! You won’t regret it, I promise! Enjoy!