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!
We’re taking a different route this blog-post around, as I’m editing through my latest wedding, I thought I would take a little break and share a little bit about my family! This past weekend was Thanksgiving, and it was the first time in over a year that we had been together since my sisters wedding…in September 2011!!! Needless to say, time together was overdue, especially as my nephew is 9 months old and I hadn’t seen him since he was 6 weeks!! It was a great weekend jam-packed with family, and on Saturday morning we had my mom’s family over for breakfast, since none of my aunts, uncles or cousins had met baby Andrew yet. What made this especially special was that Andrew was able to meet my Grandpa Tom and Grandma Joanne. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, and since then, his health has slowly been decreasing, so every family gathering with him is a blessing as we are not sure how much time we have left with him.
If I haven’t spoken about him before, my grandpa has been one of the most important and influential persons in my life, and he has played an incredible role in my family since before I was born. He is full of joy, and his sense of humor is simply unmatched. His love for his family is unconditional, and it was said on Saturday that his 8 children, 21 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren have never doubted his love. Now I guess we can’t speak for the 9-month-olds, but they’ll feel it soon enough, right?! That love goes all the way back 26 years ago when my grandpa led my dad to the Lord by coming alongside him and showing my dad the unconditional love Christ has for all of us. I have seen the Lord in my grandpa, my dad, my brother and I am confident His goodness and love will continue on in Andrew. I am so thankful to have had such amazing and God-fearing men in my life, and am grateful to learn new things from them every time I’m with them. My mom was also an amazing woman of strength, and as the years have passed by since she passed away 6 years ago, I see so many similarities between my grandpa and mom, especially when dealing with illness. As my mom said to me on my 16th birthday, “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!” And I can confidently say that my mom and grandpa faithfully lived lives that brought glory to God through the relationships they had and the experiences they shared with others.
Now the picture below is of my sweet sister and grandpa having a conversation on Saturday morning. Lindsey’s husband nudged me and had me sneak a pic, which I am so grateful for because I find this moment to be so beautiful and such an accurate representation of my grandpa and sister. There were a few moments throughout the morning when grandpa wasn’t speaking to anyone, he was just simply taking in the scene and smiling as he was surrounded by his family. Those that he loves with an unconditional love, and cherishes moments like the one pictured below. I am grateful to have witnessed those little but powerful moments, as I know his days are limited and he is truly taking in every moment with his family and closest friends. I just left the weekend with family feeling so lifted up and so thankful for the family God has blessed me with, and I hope this post, though a little different, encourages you this week!!
I’d like to start this off the right way and say that this post is totally and 100% dedicated to and posted for my family, the Andersons! Tommy is my older cousin, who met his beautiful bride while attending St. John’s, and they’ve been together ever since. They currently live over in Chiba, Japan, but came home to celebrate their marriage with our family and close friends on an absolutely perfect September day. To give you an idea of what the day looked like in terms of celebrating, my mom was the oldest of 8, there are 21 nieces and nephews, and 4 great-grandchildren. Needless to say, any gathering is a good time, so Tommy and Minako’s wedding was an absolute celebration! I was a little lost that day, going back and forth of being part of the day, as well as photographing it, but I am in love with the images as they are chalk-full of those I love most and have experienced life’s greatest and hardest moments with. The wedding took place in Plymouth, and the reception was in my Uncle Tom’s backyard, a total dream for those of us who grew up watching Father of the Bride (aka me). To say that being with my family is always the best is an understatement, but I truly love being with them and seeing how all the aunts and uncles (nieces, nephews, etc.) pour themselves into each other and their big life moments. September 8th was that for Tommy, so I hope you enjoy this post knowing a liiitttle bit more about the people in the pictures than usual! What can I say, they’re my people?! Congrats Tommy and Minako!
If the title of the blog doesn’t give it away, as of February 27, I am a proud aunt of Andrew “Wonder-Lips” Kirkbride, the beautiful boy featured below. Now for a little backstory introduction:
There are a couple of things to know about me during this time in my life. My dream, is to be a full-time photographer. My reality, is working full time in corporate America, trying to figure out how to make the latter, happen. As you can imagine, it can be a little overwhelming trying to pursue it while working 40 hours a week in a cubicle, but I have to say I have felt really encouraged lately. I met with an unbelievable photographer, Gina Zeidler, a couple of weeks ago and it. was. SO. good. We met for a couple of hours, and words can’t describe the gratitude I felt and still continue to feel after meeting with her. It was so refreshing, and I so appreciate her willingness to get together with me and share, encourage and give wisdom to a little aspiring photographer like myself. Needless to say, I left feeling inspired and just, calm. I tend to get impatient sometimes in this process, and just want to GET THERE. But, a wise-man (my dad) once said, it takes 10,000 hours to truly learn something. So with that, I’m thankful for each new day that presents new opportunities and exciting experiences, and I can’t wait to share some of the exciting things going on in this little business of mine, here on the blog.
So let’s begin with the new addition to the Kirkbride family, Andrew! As another side note, you should know that I love vacation, I do, I love it! So I was able to take some time last week to go and see my little newborn nephew out in California. It was just the best. It is so cool to see Bren and Em as parents, and to see how much they love the little man already. It is safe to say that there was a day when Bren was in class and working all day, and Em and I literally just stared at him, probably for eight hours straight. Staring. He’s SO CUTE. Bren and Em are so sweet with him, and I’m so thankful that I was able to capture them in their natural moments with him. I have a feeling Andrew Thomas is going to be kind and compassionate just like his parents. Anyways, here are a few from the weekend of staring and loving. It was so fun going through these, I literally couldn’t stop giggling. He’s so precious and he’s so loved, and I hope you enjoy the few photos I was able to get of him while I wasn’t distracted by his cuteness
Over the last couple of months, I have also been shooting family sessions, which has just been a blast!. SO. With the combination of the holiday season coming up and the need for that “family photo” I wanted to offer families a session with me! For a grand total of $75, you and your family would get a 45 minute-session with me at the selected location, as well as a disc of 20 edited photos from the shoot! My availability for the month of November has changed, and I am able to do the sessions on Fridays and Sundays, so please contact me at 763-227-5198 or firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and questions!