Anastasia, Brandon, and Lincoln are about to have their world turned upside down with a new baby girl due in just over a month. And before they become a family of 4, they wanted to celebrate this short but precious time they’ve had together as a three-some. We met along the trails in Orangevale, near where they live, to capture Brandon and Lincoln’s simultaneous giggles, and Anastasia’s beautiful, pregnant glow.
It was the first of a new hot spell and the sun was pretty blazing along the pathways; unbelieveable to think that just a few weeks before, these rolling hills were lush and green. Little Lincoln started off in a cute khaki shorts and then – as you’ll see from the photos – progressively began to be disrobed as his cheeks got redder and his temper shorter (heck, I don’t blame him, the hot sun makes me cranky too!) Chubby thighs appeared and then, soon enough, he was in a diaper only, falling into his mommy, sweaty and exhausted from all our playing around. He really was scrumptious and I loved the way dad made him giggle while it was always mom he reached-out for when he wanted to disappear into a hug. It reminded me of the first couple of years of my own daughter’s life and how it felt like just yesterday and forever ago.
It sure does go by fast and I’m so happy that they took this time to capture what it was like before little sister joins the family.
When life throws you a series of curve-balls, you reach out for those those things that bring you joy. For me, one of those things is photography. And I was having one of those weeks. Well, really it has been like one of those months (or two or three) and I was pretty much sick of my own sourpuss mood. I wanted to burst my own negative bubble and celebrate something real and meaningful, to feel something positive and loving and that gave me hope.
All of that spoke newborn baby to me and so I decided that I wanted to shoot a Welcome Home Baby session (my storytelling version of a newborn session.) Just one problem: I didn’t have one scheduled.
No matter, I figured, I’ll just give one away.
Enter the Slovak family who, just as I posted online, were heading into a local hospital to welcome their third child and first son, Kaleb. My friend, Renee, connected us and I visited their home shortly after Kaleb was born to photograph baby Kaleb’s first moments with mom, dad and his two older sisters.
As it turns out, the Slovaks were exactly what I needed. Down-to-earth, warm, welcoming and open, they let me follow them unceremoniously around their home, baby-in-arms (and on-breast much of the time.) Mom, Ashley, and I really clicked. She’s a easy-going girl even with her hands full with three kids, and is just so relatable. I loved how she paced around the house breastfeeding baby Kaleb while tending to the moment-to-moment needs of her youngest daughter who was still breastfeeding herself. (Yep, this lady has some serious mom-chops!)
Dad, Jeff, who has 3 jobs to make all this beautiful family stuff happen every day, whipped out his guitar and sang some Dave Matthews Band hits for us all, lulling baby Kaleb to sleep on the couch to Ants Marching.
Really, it couldn’t get any better. Kaleb is one lucky little dude.
The Brittons are waiting for the arrival of their third child.
Mom, Maricris (or MC as she likes to be known) knows this will be their last. She has two beautiful daughters already but just couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was missing. And now she realizes this is her last time feeling the firm and smooth belly grow and move. The last time her girls will cuddle up to her tummy and speak in soft words of excitement and anticipation. Her last time soaking up and appreciating the beauty and miracle of what her body can do.
“I’ve always found pregnancy to be very liberating,” MC says, “My clothes fit much better when I’m pregnant.”
MC’s been spending the last 9 months eating double the amount of chocolate chip cookies, taking long showers, putting Sons of Anarchy on repeat, and reminding herself that the aches and pains are only temporary. “They were all activated sooner than in the past pregnancies,” she says. In fact, I saw her just yesterday to reveal her photo gallery and she’s now getting around on crutches due to a back injury. (They loved every photo by the way. They should. Mom is gorgeous.) But MC still had a smile on her face and is still in no hurry for baby 3 to arrive. She wants to wait until at least after the weekend when family come into town. I bow to her strength. By month 9 my body was literally falling apart along with my mind.
The Brittons are one of those families who clearly have their priorities in life straight. Their house is warm and lived-in, hinting at time spent snuggled on the couch and their back yard is a blank canvas ready for grand plans that MC’s husband, Chris, talks enthusiastically about. But there is a swing for the girls which Chris attached to the big tree that sits in the middle of their lawn. It reminded me of my own childhood swing back in England where I spent many hours trying to bury myself into the bushes behind me in my quest to get as high as I possibly could. I couldn’t leave their house without capturing the girls doing the same.
Here’s to keeping that baby in as long as possible. In the meantime, I wanted to share some pictures we took at their home to make sure MC, her husband and daughters never forget what it was like to wait for baby #3.