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Family Photos | Dunbar Family + Baby Troy

The Dunbar Family and I had a really neat moment of star-alignment a couple weeks ago. Not only was the schedule free and the weather nice for a last-minute photo shoot, but it was the last weekend there were still leaves in Canfield Park! I'm always sad when the City does the Great Leaf Clean Up every fall ;-) But we got to sneak in our photos really quick that Sunday and it was extra special because it was Baby Troy's first family photo session with the crew!  And he was pretty much a pro,

Newborns at Home | Baby Ava

A week after Ava's amazing birth, I got to come back to her home and hang out with her family. It's my favorite type of photo shoot for babies.     Big Brother showed me all his favorite toys and he was such a good sport! Family photos can be super tough for a two-year-old, right? ;-)     I especially loved some of the photos we took in the bedroom where Ava was born.      When I do photos at home, I always love the flexibility we have to just sit and chat while the baby eats, or has a diaper change, or whatever the family needs. Kids can have snacks and adults can have coffee-breaks. I think it makes a big difference in the photos.  But more importantly than all that, I just think it's really important that Mom and Dad and siblings don't walk away feeling like it was a huge stressful ordeal. We want the photos but we don't want the stress, thanks!     It was a

Kids in the Kitchen | Scrambled Egg Soup

You're gonna love this soup recipe. Only two ingredients guys. Chicken stock and eggs. Wait, three ingredients... you gotta have a heaping hunk of patience with kiddos in the kitchen ;-) Oh crap you also need salt and pepper. So ignore my "two ingredient" comment. But whatever it's so easy even your littlest helpers can help big time!      Quick note on farm fresh eggs. I hard boil about a dozen a week (school lunches and quick protein snacks) and I found a trick. You do need to treat fresh eggs differently when you're trying to hard boil them because otherwise the shell will not peel right AT ALL. It sucks. So I follow my America's Test Kitchen {affiliate link} rule of bringing the water to boil, removing from the heat and covering for 10 minutes, then a 5 minute ice bath. BUT I now punch a tiny hole in the bottom of each egg first and am happy to report clean angst-free peeling!  Key is to just poke a hole through the shell without

Birth Photography | Welcoming Baby Ava

Being present for Baby Ava's birth was a special treat because I had the opportunity to celebrate with her Momma Amanda, who was empowered to choose a home birth for her second baby. Her induced labor and delivery of her son was apparently a very long and grueling experience that she would rather not repeat. I discussed in this post how there are always two stories unfolding in the birth of a baby. One is the child's and one is the mother's. The power of a woman’s body in carrying and delivering another human into this world is a beautiful intersection of pain and triumph… the end and the beginning And how that story plays out can have a huge impact on the way a mother thinks of herself. It can be a very empowering and beautiful experience! (Jessica Aiduk)   Amanda and Art waited patiently as Baby Ava decided that she would extend her stay at Hotel Uterus past her due date. Then they wanted patiently through labor at home. There was soft music playing

Happy St. Martin’s Day

Today in Germany, villages of children will celebrate St. Martin's Day with a parade of lanterns. I got to see the celebration once through the eyes of my daughters. And the memories of the night have always stuck with me... I think of it when the leaves have mostly fallen and the nights get longer. St. Martin's Day chases away the dreariness of long cold nights with thoughts of cheer and warmth and generosity. St. Martin is a famous Christian saint.  He was a bishop known for his charity and good heart.   Every November, the children in the German villages celebrate the day he was buried. The legend is that when St. Martin was a soldier, he was out on a cold winter's night and saw a poor man with no cloak. Martin took his sword and cut his own cloak in two so he could give the freezing man something to wear.  This scene is re-enacted each year (the bigger kids in the kindergarten did a short play) and it is the act that St. Martin is famous for. So in