I am a part of a local mom's group on Facebook called Kid Cycle. It is an online place to buy and sell used baby and kid items from furniture to toys. It is much more than that though. It is a safe space where moms can seek parenting advice, but above all it is a place to love and lift others. The level of loving and lifting up others is on a pretty amazing plane and feels special to witness all of the paying it forward going on in the Milwaukee area. While visiting a friend up north, I came across a perfect gift to give to a mom in the group and throw around kindness. It was a paper weight with the phrase "love lifts" on it. Kid Cycle immediately came to mind and I decided to snag it up and give it away to a random mom along with a photo session!
Cue the Vogedes family - the winners of the session and paper weight. As it turns out, they didn't have an opportunity to get professional photos taken as little Jillian was born unexpectedly early and they were in the NICU for a while. With a whirlwind start, two years passed and time was spent living life. Rachel was so excited to win this and for good reason - a first for the family!
The family lives in Milwaukee and are urban folk, so it was only natural we chose the city as the backdrop. Jillian was such an articulate little toddler, with big brown eyes and soft golden curls. They strolled along the river walk in the third ward observing flowers, watching boats, snacking on Cheerios and raisins, tickling, chasing, playing on fun urban structures, and overall being happy in the moment - taking in all that is Jillian.
At the end of the session, I handed off the paper weight to Rachel and she told me that it will be perfect in her office that she was redesigning to match the colors in it. Sounded like a perfect match to me. Love & Lift.
I need to pick up my camera more. We have fun daily and I should be capturing more of these memories. Yesterday was painting and Play-Doh. Today, I decided to surprise Callaway with a few balloons we had left over from his birthday. When we came downstairs in the morning he had a new novelty to get his hands on and I had a fun loving subject and nice light pouring into the house. He was enamored with the ease at which they went up and floated haphazardly down to the floor. Easily entertained at 1.5 years old, we played for about 45 minutes. In my world, as a stay at home mom, that was a win! I had to put my camera down at times and step into mom mode - bopping a balloon back up into the air, retrieving one from out of reach, rubbing the balloon on our hair to make it stand up, or chasing him with one - but once he got going I could fade into the background and watch him play. I feel blessed that I am able to raise this little explorer, watch him grow, and ever grateful for my husband for helping create this life that I love. Enjoying the simplicity in life these days.
It was windy and a bit chilly, but we had already rescheduled twice due to rain. We were determined to make a morning out of it and have fun. We kept the kids moving and would take breaks to warm up by doing jumping jacks, snuggling with mom (well, the kids as least), and donning fleece jackets. These kiddos were bright eyed and refreshing to be around - entertained by the simplicity in life like the waves on the lake, the colorful boats, flowers in bloom, and well...goose poop. South Shore Park is a special place for the Hill Family. They frequent it regulary to play at the park or just stroll along the beach. I'm glad I could capture their family time in a place that is dear to them.
This sweet family is expecting a new addition to their family any week now! Toddling Oliver will soon be a big brother. Before the family grows and time is shared, Bridget and Oliver wanted some quality mother and son time. A park promenade seemed to fit the bill. Our morning consisted of a visit from a resident Canadian goose (who was not happy to see us), listening to a babbling brook, a visit from Dad who worked in the park, duck watching, peek-a-boo around a mature oak tree, snacking on yogurt covered raisins, and playing in the crunchy leaves from last fall. As we moved from point A to point B, we squished through the water logged earth dodging puddles. Bridget was a glowing mama wanting so much to hold on to every moment with her soon to be "oldest" and Oliver was nothing short of adorable with his turquiose eyes and baby Toms. It was a jam packed morning for a two year old and I'm pretty sure he napped well on the car ride home. Sending prayers for a safe delivery and healthy baby brother.
Blessings abound this season. I have several friends expecting, including an old friend from high school - Shawna. Her little son arrived early so she is excited to have more of a bump to show off this time around and cherish all the stages in this special journey. I think we can all agree that she is the epitome of a glowing mama. She is expecting a baby girl any day now and her son is pretty excited to be a big brother. I'm sure he'd be happy to share his Curious George with her once she arrives, but until then mama and son are sharing some quality time snuggling and reading together - just the two of them.