The John Family

People often ask me what I most enjoy photographing. And my answer is always ‘children’. They are free to be fully themselves in a way that adults rarely are.

This family is a perfect example of the joy children bring in front of the camera. I asked these handsome boys to throw leaves at me and that was all it took to get them to laugh and run and let their little souls spill forth.

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California

In some ways, this trip was an escape from the disappointments that hang heavy on our hearts. We entered the year hopeful that this would be the year our family would grow. And as the end of the year drew closer, we felt a growing need to get away. Vacation days had been stored away and the west coast was calling. So we made an uncharacteristically impulsive decision and booked two tickets to San Francisco.

It turns out that the week before Thanksgiving is a great time to find airline deals. It’s also a perfect time to visit the bay area. Fall on the California coast was balm to our tired souls. Walking among the redwoods, driving the pacific coast highway, biking through golden gate park, watching the sunset over the pacific ocean – it was all so restorative.  We had a week to breathe deeply and to disconnect from the heartbreak at home. And it was so so good.

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Finalization

Complete. Finished. Official. Final.

The adoption process does not end with the birth of your baby. And it does not end when you bring that baby home. The legal process does not come to an end until a finalization hearing, which typically happens in the six to eight months after the baby is home. It’s the official end to the paperwork and the home visits. It’s the day the state officially recognizes what you’ve known since the moment you met your son or daughter – they are a part of your family.

Finalization is the end of the road to adoption. And I imagine it’s the day you breathe a sigh of relief. It is finished.

Rejoicing in your finalization Isaiah!

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Waco

My mom wanted to celebrate her birthday with a girl’s trip to Texas. Like every devoted HGTV fan, her heart was set on traveling to Waco to experience Magnolia in all its glory.

Not having ever been to Waco before, it’s hard to imagine that downtown had much life at all before Chip and Jo resurrected the silos. The Magnolia grounds are an oasis in an otherwise sleepy cityscape. While we did enjoy some unique shopping and dining options, much of downtown Waco is empty. It came as quite a surprise to our group who (let’s be honest!) probably expected the whole town to have undergone a ‘fixer upper’ makeover. It seems the Gaines are breathing new life into this town. And it will be interesting to see where that momentum will take Waco.

A day at the silos is definitely worth the trip to Waco. The shopping, the cupcakes, the garden – it’s all been so thoughtfully designed. And it was the perfect spot for a weekend with the girls.

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The Barringer Family

Big brother has a love for science and an extraordinary imagination. Little sister has a mind of her own and a head full of curls. Both are smart and silly and prone to giggles. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this family for over five years. They have shown me what it looks like to be good neighbors and they have become good friends. So thankful for you Barringer fam!

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The Harrison Family

The Harrisons are preparing to make a big move back to their home state of Iowa. But before they go, they wanted to get some family pictures in the only town their daughters have ever called home. It was special to capture these photos for them as they prepare to say good-bye to the Queen City.

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