10 Years

Ten years.  The Mr. & I celebrate 10 years today.  I've honestly been thinking about this blog post for months.  Trying to piece together a few thoughts, but for once, I'm a tad speechless. For a good seven of those years I've been photographing weddings.  With every wedding, there have been reminders of why we've persevered, why we've fought to have what we have.  Pastors, ministers, JOPs, and priests have all shared lessons on life and love.  How to love, how to forgive, how to grow, how to pray, how to prioritize each other, how to sacrifice, how to communicate.  You'd think I'd be a pro at this marriage thing with all the weddings I've attended. Nope!  We've had to work on it day in and day out.  There have been many times we've loved when we didn't want to.  Forgiven when it wasn't easy.  Did the exact opposite of what we really wanted to do in the name of the other. 
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Prenatal Massage in Decatur Il

Pregnancy is amazing.  What our bodies do to grow tiny humans is incredible.  But.  SO many aspects of pregnancy are less than comfortable.  In fact- with my second, I'd say that the discomfort started well before my first trimester ended.  I think Ella started out as sciatica, and my SPD flared up shortly after.

Somehow. it never occurred to me to get a prenatal massage.  For me, pregnancy tended to be super stressful.  With Gemma, we had personal issues, financial, housing, you name it, we had it.  Typical of Jen & Dan, we managed to get through them.  When Ella came along- I found out I was pregnant with her THE DAY AFTER I OPENED THE STUDIO.  So just after dropped five digits on a reno and building up HGP, up pops Ella.

Anyways, I love massage.  So how it never came up, I have no idea. 

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Mini Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Calling all March & April babies!

My calendar opened up a bit unexpectedly, so I'm running a little special.  It expires at the end of February- so you do have to act now.  Since it's adding a nice little perk- I'm only taking FOUR babies for each month since I have a few other sessions already scheduled as well.  Obviously- that means only eight spots- and when they're gone- they're gone (much like the newborn phase)!  I'll be giving YOU a complimentary mini newborn lifestyle session with the purchase of every newborn session that takes place in March & April.


I'm launching my lifestyle newborn brand this spring/summer and to kick it off, I'll be visiting all of my March & April babies for an in-home lifestyle session (if you'd like, of course) after the studio session (not the same day).

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The 9 month milestone session (a.k.a. one of my favorites)

It's no secret that one of my favorite parts of this job is watching your families grow.  But besides that I love to grow with your littles as well.  Jodi has brought both Sofia and Kohen for their milestones to HGP.  The milestone program typically includes the newborn, three, six, and nine month sessions ending with the one year smash  and splash.

Nine months though is one of my favorites.  Most babies are sitting up completely on their own, but have yet not mastered moving faster than me- that happens usually by the one year ;).  They are usually suuuuuper easy to make smile, and you've just about figured out their schedule so we can as happy babies as possible.  Kohen was SO smiley he was giggling.  I honestly had forgotten what a sweet sound a baby's giggle is.  We try to schedule their sessions right after their morning nap; at this age, that doesn't leave us a ton of time until the next nap, but we don't need much- as evident in his gallery below! 

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When to schedule your newborn session

Nine months.  Ten, if you ask me honestly. There is so much to do in that short amount of time from when you see those two lines to when your baby comes, whether on their own or evicted like Gemma.  There are hundreds of lists that will try to get you prepared for the birth of your child.  Books to be read, nurseries to be designed,  birth plans to be established, the list goes on and on.

I get it.  A photographer might not be at the top of the list.  I mean, being comfortable with your OB is pretty damn important.  Knowing the hospital, what kind of maternity leave you qualify for, and deciding between breastfeeding and nursing all take precedence to hiring a photographer.

However, getting your baby on the calendar once you hit your second trimester is always a good idea. 

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