Two things to celebrate!

When Shelby and Connor reached out to me, they had two very important announcements to make!

If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that despite all of the negativity, hurt, and sickness, there are still so many beautiful moments going on all around us and it is so important to remember to celebrate all of the good coming out of this year!

After moving into our new neighborhood, I quickly had the opportunity to start meeting some of the amazing people living around me, including these two cutie’s, Connor & Shelby.

They moved in a few weeks after us and found me via the local neighborhood Facebook group with a request to have photos taken to capture them and their handsome pup, Lincoln, as they became first time homeowners!

But there was one more announcement to make in addition to building their first home together…

A baby boy is on the way! After taking some shots outside, the two lead me inside and I was shocked to see how put together their home was after just one week of moving in. #goals. We have been in our new home for three months and it still doesn’t look as complete as theirs!

I couldn’t be happier for Shelby & Connor as they embark on this next chapter of parenthood, congrats you two!

What things have you celebrated this year? Drop a note in the comments ❤

Grandparents Fill the World with Love | Family

When Destini reached out to my for a surprise shoot for her parents, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to finally get back out there with my camera!

It has been quite some time since my last shoot. After my fall sessions last year, I took a break and planned to get back into booking shoots in the spring. And then, COVID-19 hit. I have been on a hiatus all spring and summer due to uncertainty, fear, and a huge lack of time on my end. When the opportunity came up last minute to take photos for a family whose parents were coming into down to meet the latest member of their family, I couldn’t pass it up! I miss taking photos so much and interacting with all of the amazing people I get to meet along the way.

Enter, the Anthony Family! This beautiful bunch of people were so lovely, and I so enjoyed my summer evening with them! Destini reached out to me because her father was coming to visit from out of town and it would be the first time he met their new baby girl. She wanted to surprise her mom and him with a photoshoot to capture these special times. The shoot took place in our new neighborhood that we are moving into next week, and that made it extra special to be able to meet this family who would soon be our neighbors and to further explore the community (and potential locations for future shoots!) Enjoy!

Anyone else have the sudden urge to go frolic barefoot through the grass? Ah, summertime ❤

xo, Jen

What Matters the Most

A brief summary of my 2019 and our new family photos where I took a turn in front of the camera ❤

2019 – what a year you have been!

In some ways, the year went by at warp speed, and in others, it’s moved slower than Lucy does when she comes upstairs for bedtime. All in all, without going writing a novel, the year was amazing. There were far more ups than downs which is all anyone could ever ask for. Some of the highlights? We took a vacation this summer for the first time since the kids were born to spend a week in Michigan with my sister and her family. At work, I was able to work on the graphics and AV team once again at our Global Business Meeting in California. In the home office, our team of two grew to a thriving team of five. In terms of my passions, I have stepped up my photography game this year and have had the opportunity to do far more photoshoots than ever before!

The largest and most important highlight was that 2019 was a year of good health and happiness for our family. Bryan and I have been able to embrace the craziness of having a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old and have filled our weekends with family time. We began to really understand that this time is temporary, and even though we may not have a ton of time with friends, date nights, or energy for our own personal hobbies – the time we are spending with the family is what matters the most.

On a whim, on the last weekend of November, we were able to do a family photoshoot with the incredibly talented Ashley Jayde Photography. Before finding Ashley, the original plan was going to be for us to juggle the two kiddos, use a remote and tripod for my camera, and hope for the best. Through a series of very fortunate events, we found Ashley and she captured these gorgeous photos for us at Crown Rose Estate.  I will cherish them for a lifetime and am delighted to share them with you!

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Wishing everyone a beautiful New Year!

xo, Jen

chelsea | maternity photos

Bloom Baby, Bloom!

Earlier this month my beautiful mama-to-be friend Chelsea and I took a Sunday morning stroll through a garden that could have been straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The garden belongs to Chelsea’s family friend, Julie Gaver, an incredible woman who I had the opportunity to meet who brings together women in the community through Must Love Shoes. There were gorgeous photo opportunities around every corner, but Chelsea truly stole the spotlight with absolute elegance as she sports her adorable baby bump and radiating pregnancy glow. It’s hard to believe that in three weeks or less this friend of mine will experience the life changing joy of motherhood.

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After leaving the garden, Chelsea and I went to her house to take a couple photos with the rest of the family – her husband Tim (an incredible potter: Sherman Ceramics) and of course their two golden retrievers Tucker & Charlie who are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of their sweet baby sibling!

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Cannot wait to go back next month once baby arrives to capture the new addition to the Sherman family!

Downtown Frederick | Family

A Daddy/Daughter 1950s style sock hop later in the day was the prompt for this retro family stroll through Downtown Frederick!

Almost one year ago, I had the opportunity to do a Mommy & Me shoot among the flowers with Asia and her daughter, Autumn. This time, Asia contacted me to do a Daddy & Me shoot featuring Autumn’s father, Antwan – just in time for Father’s Day!

Antwan and Autumn were going to be attending a Daddy/Daughter sock hop dance later in the afternoon, hence the adorable 1950s style pink ladies jacket Autumn is rocking out with her tutu. For the location, we decided to forgo the planned on natural park setting and head to downtown Frederick for more of that city feel. Being that it was my first time shooting downtown, I didn’t know how easy it would be to navigate around the busy streets filled with people taking in the beautiful Sunday. To my surprise and excitement, everyone was so aware that a photoshoot was going on and would go out of their way to avoid getting in the shot – it ended up being such a fun experience and I look forward to more city photoshoots in the future! Also, I can’t even count the number of people that commented on Autumn’s adorable outfit!

Goal of the session – get some great photos of Autumn with her Dad. Thank goodness, as usual, Asia came to the shoot glammed up and photoshoot ready because the reality of the session was that in order to get said great photos of a busy 4 year old, Mom ended up having to join the photoshoot! I can’t tell you enough how great it was spending the morning with this family, they radiate love and adventure and that shines through in these photos!

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There is no greater gift than spending time with family.

To end with a quote from Asia herself:

Becoming a parent will give you a strength like you’ve never known, love like you’ve never felt, and an unimaginable fear. But for that child you will break all chains and push through all obstacles.

— Asia Holland

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P.S. If you are local to Downtown Frederick, check out The Perfect Blend Cafe! ❤

 

 

The Conor Express

What do you get when you combine a one year old and a cake? Take a peek…

Our little snuggly baby has officially graduated to our big squirmy one year old and i’m sitting here still trying to figure out where the past year went. Time went fast with Lucy, but with Conor it has been flying by at TURBO speed. It’s hard to even remember Conor when he was a tiny little infant, especially since now he is off the charts in his height and weight and I struggle even trying to hold him! The past year has been incredible seeing his personality shine through. He has a devious little sense of humor (just like his sister!) and has such a knack for picking up on all things physical. We gave him a golf club and he instantly knew to hit a ball. We put food in front of him the first time and he picked it up and perfectly and placed it right in his mouth. And, I swear, his throwing arm is already better than mine! I think we have a future athlete on our hands.

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For Conor’s first birthday party, we kept it very small with just a few close relatives to join in on the celebrations. With so much going on – it made sense to keep it minimal this year. Even though it was a small gathering, that didn’t stop me from going a little overboard on trying to play into his train themed party. We decided to continue the theme of a train party to play off of his train themed nursery.

The cute train themed paper goods (cake topper, cupcake toppers, food signage) came from BlueOakCreations. A lot of the small items you will see (the fun conductor hats, lantern, wooden train letters, whistle) are from my last minute impromptu visit to the Brunswick Heritage Museum where I had the pleasure of meeting the museum owner and exploring the gift shop inside. I am really looking forward to going back to the museum with the kids once the model train exhibits open back up next month! Another highlight of the party, was the whimsical smash cake and cupcakes designed by our favorite local baker, The Farmers Daughter Bakeshop. This was our second cake by Keri, and I just love the creativity she used with the icing! Conor, as you can see below, managed to demolish that cake in about 5 seconds flat and required an IMMEDIATE bath afterwards. Another big win in all of the party planning, was getting the party catered by Chipotle. After struggling with a food idea, a friend of mine suggested a Taco Train (thank you Megan) and having Chipotle cater made it way too easy to do and at a really great price.

I want to thank all of our parents for their help with parts of the party, and especially my mom & stepdad for hosting it at their home. The kids are so lucky to have such amazing grandparents, and having 6 our of 7 of them joining in on Conor’s big day was so special!

I hope you enjoy scrolling through these photos from Conor’s party!

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Cannot wait to see you grow up my baby boy ❤ We love you so much Conor!

baby noelle | newborn photos

Can we talk about the sheer joy you get while holding a perfectly new little newborn in your arms?

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What comes next in the series…one adorable baby boy…two (identical twin!) adorable baby boys….

If you guessed three adorable baby boys – you are incorrect – and I think Nikevia and Julian are breathing a sigh of relief that their 4th child was not in fact triplets, but instead one beautiful baby girl, sweet Noelle!

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When Nikevia contacted me about doing a newborn shoot for her daughter, I felt like I was counting down the days till her arrival just as much as she was. Her and I went to school together and not only did she excel at everything – sports, academics, heck she was even our homecoming queen – she is honestly the nicest person on the planet and someone I am lucky to have stayed in touch with over the years. Spending time at her and her husband’s house taking photos of their family was such a fun experience…and also a challenge! Do you know how hard it is to try to get a photo of three little boys three and under all smiling and looking at the camera? Throw a newborn into the mix, and its darn right impossible! Despite the challenge, I was able to capture some real candid family moments, and I hope they treasure these photos for a lifetime!

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Fun fact: Somehow between juggling 4 kids under 4, Nikevia owns an incredible business called Cinnamommy. If you are local to western Maryland, you need these in your life!

Asia & Autumn | Mommy and Me

What do you get when you combine a 2-year-old, matching twirly pink dresses, and a secret garden? This fairytale Mommy and Me session!

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” 
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

I had the absolute pleasure of shooting a Mommy and Me session for Asia & Autumn this past weekend! They are such an energetic pair full of love, laughter, and playfulness and when you combine their cheery personalities with gorgeous matching pink tulle ballgowns, you get a photoshoot that dreams are made of! I went to school with Asia and when she contacted me for a Mommy and Me session, I was overjoyed! We originally had plans for a spring shoot but rain caused us to postpone. Finally this past Saturday on the day of our shoot, we lucked out with a 70 degree summer day. It was absolutely the perfect weather to explore the magical gardens of Surreybrooke. The endless gardens on the property were blooming with beauty, and sweet little Autumn loved to walk around the paths to see what she could discover! Whenever I have the chance to take photos of children, I can’t help but smile as I catch a glimpse of the world through their eyes. Autumn loved watering the flowers, chasing the kitty that walked around the property, and having a tea party with her mommy. Enjoy these photos from our magical morning!

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Fun fact: Asia didn’t show Autumn her dress until the day of the shoot. When Autumn saw her dress she couldn’t wait to put on her pretty princess dress. She spent most of the time at the gardens twirling around in her dress and anytime her flower tiara fell off she wanted it back on immediately! #princessautumn

Thank you Asia for allowing me to capture you and Autumn’s special bond. Now time to schedule a playdate between Autumn and Lucy ❤

Little Man

Choo Choo – all aboard the Conor express!

I cannot believe Conor is already 7 weeks old! The time is flying by and we are loving this new life with our little man.

This past month has been BUSY! In between bottles, naps, and diapers, Bryan and I have officially set up Conor’s nursery. We decided to do a train theme to celebrate our town’s history. We live a few miles from the C&O Canal and train tracks and the town itself is known for being the “Home of the Railroaders”. In addition to setting up the nursery, I decided I would take Conor’s newborn photos myself! With Lucy’s newborn shoot, we used the incredible Annette of  Stadkind Photography, but this time around I wanted to take on the challenge myself (but we SO look forward to having her take family photos of us this spring).

I used Conor’s train nursery theme as inspiration for his shoot. Below you will see his nursery, lifestyle photos, and some up close and personal portraits of our little man!

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Photo overload! I just cannot get enough of him ❤ I hope you enjoyed these photos. A huge thank you to my brother for taking the photos with me in them.

As to keep up with tradition – our photo wall in the morning room has been updated as well! I love seeing our family photo wall finally complete.

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love & lots of whit – jen xo

Crib & Dresser: Baby Cache Harbor – Navy Mist (BabiesRUs)

Glider: KACY Collection Madison Glider – Ash (BabiesRUs)

Accessories:

Personalized Hat (Etsy seller: All Aboard Whistle)

Swaddle (Etsy seller: Sweet Lullapie)

Bedding: All Aboard Crib Bedding (Crate and Kids)

Paint: Cathedral Gray  (Behr)

 

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Our first decorating project, designing our Morning Room.

After MONTHS and MONTHS of not posting, I am going to make an attempt to begin sharing some of our home updates since we moved into our house! When we moved into our townhouse, my first project was what I call our “Morning Room”. When you walk in our house you enter the living room, walk through the kitchen, and then there is another area that leads out to the deck that I had no idea what to do with! This room became mine for decorating and I decided it would be a great space for reading, drinking our morning tea, and a space to enjoy a glass of wine (here you can find my Pinterest board where I gathered all of my thoughts and pulled ideas from)! We had absolutely no furniture when we moved in that would fit the space so deciding on the furniture was the first priority. My parents and Bryan’s parents each generously bought a piece of furniture as our housewarming gift, an amazing matching coffee table and server from World Market (part of their Clayton collection which has been since retired). From there, we bought a custom sofa and two chairs for seating from Wolf Furniture. The next step after the furniture had arrived was to decorate and bring the room to life with accessories. Bryan and I are VERY keen on British accents and the focal point of the room is a custom Union Jack painting (pallet art) that we received as a wedding gift. We incorporated more British elements that we used as decor from our wedding on the coffee table (England books from a local secondhand book store, a French Bulldog statue to represent Rooney, and our gold royal wedding crown cake topper found here: Etsy)

Morning Room

Coffee Table

On the adjacent wall, where our server is located, we knew we needed something on the walls. After seeing so many amazing examples of gallery walls, I decided to do my own using the amazing frames I found at Pottery Barn. In order to get all of the frames bottoms straight I made my own template using Adobe Illustrator and printed it to scale via a large format plotter printer. We adhered that template to the wall and measured where the hooks on the back of the frame were to know where to drill the screw into the wall. See our process below:

The template in place.
The template in place.

Measuring the distance from the base of the frame to the hook.
Measuring the distance from the base of the frame to the hook.

Drilling directly into the paper template.
Drilling directly into the paper template.

The screws in place once removing the paper.
The screws in place once removing the paper.

Hanging each frame.
Hanging each frame.

The end result before we chose all of the pictures to fill the frames.
The end result before we chose all of the pictures to fill the frames.

Now it was on to the fun part, choosing which pictures/artwork to place in each frame. We chose pieces that best represented us as a couple. The pieces as seen below are from: our wedding day by our amazing photographer Rebekah J. Murray, a Maryland Wine print from the talented artist Matt Long, song lyrics by Mumford & Sons done in hand calligraphy by PoppyPressDesigns, a quote from Peter Pan in gold foil calligraphy by Maison Everett, gold foil scrapbook paper found at a craft store, a hand made number 11 to represent a number that is very significant to Bryan and I, and a fish cut out from my favorite yearly calendar at Paper Source which represents Bryan and I’s nickname of “fish”.   Here is a look at our final gallery wall:

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Wrought iron wine rack made by my Grandfather.

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Maison Everett Calligraphy
Maison Everett Gold Foil Calligraphy https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaisonEverett?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Gallery Wall

Matt Long Maryland Wine Print, Rebekah J. Murray Photography
Matt Long Maryland Wine Print, Rebekah J. Murray Photography http://www.mlongdesign.com/ http://rebekahjmurray.com/

PoppyPressDesigns Calligraphy
PoppyPressDesigns Calligraphy https://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppyPressDesigns?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Next post – powder room refresh…stay tuned!

love & lots of whit – jen xo