I am going to make it Chicago engagement week on the blogI have a few more 2014 sessions & weddings to blog and I just love looking back on the amazing couples I got to work with. Tim and Andrea are one of thoseI seriously love these two and want to hang out with them all the time! They are two of the sweetest, most genuine people ever! There has been more than one occasion that Andrea has sent me an encouraging text out of the blue and it makes me cry every time. They love each other deeply and I love how they laugh together. Last fall, we headed downtown to Lincoln Park for their engagement session and we just hung out for hours. It was so much fun! Even posting these pictures makes me miss them!
I’ve been reflecting these past few days about what a special job being a photographer is. There are so many moments, emotions, and occasions in life and I get a first hand chance to capture. It almost gives me a reason to be places I typically wouldn’t be and for that I am grateful. This past Saturday was one of those special times. Tegan and I go way back to high school. She is one of my oldest, dearest friends and we have been through so much together. I could literally gush about her and how much her friendship means to me but I will save that for later6 & 1/2 years ago, she started dating this kid Reise from Sycamore. I actually helped introduce them and I remember their first meeting at our church in the youth room. So I always take a little credit for thatI have watched these two literally grow up and fall in love together. You may have seen their faces on here a few times because they are the perfect models! They have provided an example of a solid, Christian relationship and the Lord’s work is SO evidant in their lives. I look up to their relationship and aspire to it in my future relationship! Reise cares for Tegan so perfectly and is her strong, steady, and calm in the midst of storms. And Tegan adores, supports, and loves Reise so deeply. One of my favorite things about them is that they still have that spark after dating so long. Tegan still texts me after dates that he gives her the butterflys and that is rare these days. They just being together and their kindness to each other is so refreshing to see.
So a few weeks ago, Reise sent me a text that it was time and he wanted me there. The tears started because I knew how much Tegan had wanted this and how many conversations we had dreaming of the day Reise would propose. Kenosha has always been a special place to Tegan. We went there for a photoshoot last year and we both fell in love with it’s lake views, lighthouses, and adorable storefronts. She mentioned over and over how she would love to take Reise and plan an epic date. So when we were planning, Reise had the idea to propose in Kenosha. He said he wanted to create new memories for them there and have a place to call their own special date spot. It just so happened that I had an engagement session in Kenosha this past Saturday and Tegan was free to be my assistant. So after many texts and secret phone calls, Reise and I had a plan that this was the day he would ask her to be his for a lifetime. I was a nervous wreck because I wanted it to work out perfectly. I guess in my nervousness I just couldn’t stop eating my macadamia nuts. Tegan and I had a laugh last night because she wasn’t sure why I was eating so many nuts and why I was crabby. It was difficult though because I had 90 min in the car on the way to Kenosha with her and all she could talk about was she wonders when Reise would propose. I had to put my acting hat on and it was so hard not to give anything away. At the end of the engagement session, I told Matt & Emily (shoutout to them for being on board with all of this) that we needed to go back to the lighthouse for sunset photos. Once we got there, I told Tegan to stand there and be a light tester. After I saw Reise approaching, I told her I had something for her and I handed her a letter. The rest is history and here are the photos to prove itShe was in such shock that she barely even cried when it happen. The tears hit later when we were in the car: ) All of the stress and secrets were so worth it and I am so excited for these two and their next season!!!
I can’t even type words to say to sum up this proposal so I won’t even try. I will tell you that I could not be happier for these two though and they are so near and dear to my heart. I have known Shep for years as he is good friends with my brothers. He is one of the most genuine, caring, God centered men I know and I have so much respect for him. And LizShe is a gem and such a blessing to my life. Our friendship started at a bible study that Shep had invited her too. She has become one of my closest friends who is a constant source of encouragement and love. A few of us in our friend group have had the pleasure of watching this relationship start from the very beginning. There were coffee dates with Liz talking about how she liked Shep but wasn’t sure if he felt the same. But he noticed her and saw all of the qualities that so many of us love about her. And then the first date, my friend Brit and I were there afterwards dancing and celebrating with Liz. We knew from there this was a special relationship. Their love grew and then brought us to Friday night when he was going to propose to the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It was so so beautiful and I am crying just thinking about it again. I will let the photos speak for themselves because Liz had the best reaction I have ever seen. It is so special to see years of prayers answered before your eyes and I love being apart of that. These two are some of the most beloved people around and I am so excited for their wedding !
P.S I know this is a massive photo post but there were just too many good ones not to share!
Back in September, I took a big step of independence. I moved out of my parents’ house and took another step in being this adult thing. I was excited yet pretty nervous about the whole thing. I love my family and I loved living there and life was easy. But at the same time I knew that I couldn’t live in their basement forever. So then the opportunity came up to live with two of my best friends and I jumped on it! We had always joked about it happening and now it was a reality. We looked at a few houses to rent in the area and then we found this oneI fell in love immediately. Well, I did that with every other house too but this was different! It had so much character with it’s creaky wood floors, closed in front porch, and white trim all over. When we heard that we were chosen as the renters (against a few other people) there was lots of screaming on the phone. Fast forward to now and it has been such a wonderful experience.
Let me brag on Lauren and Cait for a minute. They are amazing. I am a person with a lot of “quirks” to put it nicely. I am pretty odd in the way I do things. They put up with so much with me. When we moved, I wanted to have a little start over, so I became a clean person which can be pretty annoying. Well with the exception of turning our laundry room into my closet because I am too lazy to bring them upstairs. I am sure I’m not the only one that does that. They listen to my crazy dreams from the night before, deal with my weird health foods and rants, respect my introvert time, and put up with my mug collection. They are my shoulder to cry on and laugh with me when I need it. They even let me borrow their scarves and jewelry. They are the sisters I always wanted and now have. I have learned so much living with other people other than my family and I think God has grown me in that process.
The word to describe our home is cozy. We call it our safe haven. A place when we can feel at peace and breathe amoung a crazy, hard world outside these walls. I am so fortunate that they are designers and I really didn’t have to bring any furniture at all. So here is part 1 of our home tour: )My roomies are so amazing and allow me to have my “creation corner” aka my fermentation areaSomebody was posing for a picture here and I didn’t even know it!Zoe is their dog but we have bonded and I am her step-mother now
In one of our first emails, I remember Patti telling me she had a lot of tattoos and wanted to make sure I was ok with that. I think my reaction was “are you kidding me? I love tattoos!” I knew then this was going to be a good match. I met them at a coffeeshop, I instantly fell in love.They have such a cool vibe; with her bright red hair and his slicked back hair and beard. But I fell in love even more when I got to see how they interact and hear their story. They also have the biggest smiles and just adore each other. So I was so excited for their engagement session and they didn’t disappoint. We did the session in downtown Elgin which is where a lot of their relationship has taken place. It was freezing but they were all smiles and we had a blast. At one point we were at Al’s Cafe not even taking pictures. We were just talking and I love how they have turned into friends.