Finding Saoirse | Adeline’s first fury friend

My Adeline has never really been into dolls or Barbie or princess stories, but she has always LOVED animals.

A short while ago, while visiting some friends (and their daughters with hamsters) some things became clear.
1. she still absolutely loves animals, especially these tiny critters
2. she was ready for a special responsibility

She needed to wait nearly a week between receiving the special birthday gift
(a gift card and the cage set up) and the day we had planned for her to choose her fury friend.
So I surprised her one Friday afternoon with leaving school early to head to the pet store.
It was kismet, she knew her friend the moment she saw her. We brought her along for frozen custard on the
trip home (Kopp’s caramel cashew – my favorite), and brainstormed names on the car ride.
She narrowed it down to “Sugar-Cream”, “Helen” and “Saoirse”, and then gently settled her tiny pet in to
her new home, with a new name. She’s now proving to be a wonderful pet owner.

And Soirse is the coolest little hamster ever… friendly, active and curious. Just like Adeline.

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Ezra is Five | A Polar Express Birthday

Last summer while I was editing a very high end, very extravagant wedding, Ezra walked up to me at my desk and said, “Who’s birthday is that”?
I knew right then that I’ve been setting the bar a little too high with these fancy birthday parties, and I swore I’d tone it down notch from then on…
But it’s so much fun!
(and Ezra deserves at least one grand party before I ease up)

This was Ezra’s first official birthday party, and it was a blast!
Our little” trainac” is obsessed with the Polar Express.  And with his birthday only month before Christmas, it was the perfect theme.
We looked at the classic book, watched the movie, had nougat candies and hot cocoa, and of course, played with trains… all in our p.j.s.
The boys all had a great time, and I can’t believe my baby is already 5!

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Adeline is Eight | A Harry Potter Birthday Party

Holy smokes!
It’s entirely possible that I enjoyed her birthday more than she did… well, not really.  But if ever there was an amazing
theme for a birthday party, Harry Potter is definitely it.  When Adeline told me of her idea, I was simply giddy.

If you know me, you know I get WAY too into the birthday party thing.  It’s a lot of work, but the kids love it, and so I love it.  And that’s
my reward… plus I’m a super type A, detail oriented person.  So going psychotic on party decorations is expected, right?
You may remember the rainbow party from last year, which was great fun.  The year I was hoping to go above and beyond.
I’m not sure if I did, but the kids were certainly blown away by the party!  SUCCESS!

If you’re interested in any of these decorating ideas, check out my board on Pinterest where you can follow the links.

Milwaukee Children’s Lifestyle Photographer | Adeline’s Rainbow Birthday

Seven has always been a lucky number for our family… it pops up here and there, always bringing a small piece of joy with it.
And this time it’s our Adeline’s turn as she turns 7 years old.

It all started with my baking a for a cake walk fundraiser for her school a few weeks prior.  When Adeline saw the photo on the recipe, she asked
me to make one for her birthday too… and then we took off.  While I tried to keep things tame, there is so much fun rainbow stuff
(and candy) available, I may have gone just slightly overboard.  At least it was a quaint sleepover party and I had only 5 children to think of.

Adeline even contributed by making her own piñata (a rainbow unicorn) with her Dad in the weeks leading up to her party.
I thought there might be separation issues when it came time to smash it, but she said it was her favorite part of the party!
It was even her whack that broke it open and let the candy pour out… again, lucky 7.

Here is a little peak at my favorite little girl and her birthday festivities.

Milwaukee Children’s Lifestyle Photographer | Photogs and Trainiacs at the Mitchell Park Domes

 

Milwaukee has pretty great county parks system, with tons to experience in terms of education, numerous wedding and event venues
that are beautiful and affordable, and plenty of fun to be had by the little ones.
One of the best stops though, is the Mitchell Park Domes.  I vividly remember my Dad taking me there as little girl, and it’s just as awesome for my kids now.

When my colleague and friend Maggie (of Something Blue Images) told me of a special train exhibit taking place there, we packed up our little trainiacs 
(we both have 3 year old boys who LOVE trains),  and escaped the Wisconsin winter day in the warm weather climates of the Domes.

The exhibit was amazing, with realistic model trains weaving through a huge circus themed track.  And the controllers were so kind to the boys… 
letting them watch as they fixed different engines and engaging them in friendly conversation.  And they even let the boys each hold a Thomas
car that had broken down (which is a big deal).

We had such a great time, we might go back next week!

Ezra’s always excited and surprised.

Declan’s adorable face.

We managed to visit and explore the other 2 domes for a few minutes, before we headed right back to the trains.

his “i love trains” dance.

And Maggie was nice enough to snap a few pics of me and my Ezra..

 

For more information on the Mitchell Park Domes visit the Milwaukee County Parks site here.

OBX-Outer Banks, NC Lifestyle Photographer | Family Vacation 2012

My husband and I are notorious for having bad vacation experiences.  Though we always make the most of it,
we have horrible luck when it comes to travel.
I’m talking monsoons, bedbugs, floods, the Red Cross, 30 degrees at Sea World, trips cancelled due to hurricanes and much more!

So when this year’s family vacation turned out wonderfully, you can image just how enjoyable it was for us.

We had wonderful weather and zero drama from the kids (who were SO good on the long car ride).   Justin’s brother Evan (uncle Eban)
was able to stay with us for a few days… the last time he met us on a trip he spent the night with the Red Cross!  
We had some sunny beach days, some family activity days, and even some lazy days around the house.  
Justin was able to get out surfing at least once, nearly every day we were there (which is a very BIG deal to him), maybe next
time I’ll be able to get some shots of him in the water…  
Most importantly, the kids had an absolute blast, and we all enjoyed our time together so very much!

We can’t wait to return.

Many of my favorite shots from our trip to the Outer Banks are on Instagram, you can view my IG feed here.

I’m no landscape photographer, but I couldn’t get enough of these gorgeous colors at sunrise and sunset!

Our beach rental… she treated us well.

Me looking thrilled about the misty winds, I was having fun.

I love this sea grass, I even took a piece home to Wisconsin to put in a frame.

 

All photos taken in:
Waves, NC
Rodanthe, NC
Ocracoke, NC
Cape Hatteras, NC

Milwaukee Wisconsin Children’s Photographer | Winter Lifestyle Portraits {my Adeline}

After my Adeline got this goofy hat for Christmas from her Grandpa, I couldn’t wait to take her outside for some photos in it…
The girl can  r o c k  a hat!

So when we got a light dusting of snow a couple weeks ago, we dashed outside for a super-quicky-10 minute session.

Despite all her quirks and stubborn demeanor, one of the the best things she has ever given me is cooperation in front of the camera.
And I think she’s come to truly enjoy our photo time together almost as much as I do.  She’s relaxed and natural, and she really allows me to
capture her personality.  She takes direction incredibly well (though she needs very little), and she has an amazing ability to peer through the
camera and straight into your soul.

 I love my goofy girl.  And I hope she’s always able live life as fully and happily as she does right now!

And it wouldn’t be a shoot with my Adeline without at least one drama shot… this girl.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Children’s Photographer | My Ezra is 3

When you first become a parent, it’s difficult to imagine that you could ever possibly love another being as much as you love your child…
until you have another.

My Ezra: amazes me every day, is incredibly sensitive… and equally sweet.  He is terribly smart, and completely hilarious.
He loves trains, and pickles, and warm snuggly blankets.
He loves to wrestle his Daddy, turn light switches on and off, and walk on his tippee toes.
He describes anything in multiples as “too many”, anything small as “teeny tiny”, and is almost never seen without a toy engine in hand.
And he adores his big sister.

He’s a tiny spark of wonderful in this questionable world, and has taught me so much about love and about who I am as a mother.

He’s become such a big boy, and does most things on his own now… but I hope he’ll always call me “mommy”.

Milwaukee Lifestyle Photographer | Highland Winter Celebration

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… we LOVE our daughter’s new school.

And we had loads of fun at this year’s (and our first of many) Winter Celebration.  MacDowell Montessori let us utilize their new, and great space 
to put on our show.  And it was wonderful to see all of the kids and parents in one place with so many smiles decorating their faces.

I wanted to share a few of my images from the show for the awesome parents and staff at Highland Community School to see.
What’s cuter than children singing and dancing?

Our family is so happy to be a part of this community!

There’s my silly girl in her Santa sweater (made by her great Grandma Dee-Dee when I was her age).

WOW!  This proposal Mr. Barry incorporated into the show surprised us all!  Congratulations!

I hope everyone had a great winter break, we’re excited to be back at school seeing everyone’s friendly faces in the halls.