Waiting For Eleanor | Maryland Maternity Session

"I'm confronted by the irrationality of love by my children.
They are these stealth Love Torpedos.
They are powered by an inexhaustible id,
powering through whatever defenses I thought I had
with absolutely no respect for my rational, adult concerns.

That's what love is.
It's irrationality taking the place of logic.
It's emotion taking the reigns where intellect fears to drive.
How would we live without that?"

(Meghna Chakrabarti)

The power of a pregnant woman captures me. I might be wrong, but I think there is an admiration alongside whatever other feelings or opinions may exist when it comes to a woman with child. We know it is hard. We have that sense of bow-and-honor. "Good for her." "Man, I don't know if I could do that." "Go supermom." Of course observation is the front porch to the home of personal experience. Now that I have been pregnant, I'm as intrigued as ever by the miracle it is to carry a baby.

Not to mention that watching a family's story unfold behind my camera is "why I do what I do." I photographed Eric and Erica while they were still dating, then for their wedding, then with their first newborn, and most recently as they waited for Miss Eleanor to arrive. The love they share with each other, and now growing bigger with their children, is a sweet joy. I loved watching Eric and Emmett's connection. I loved catching Erica rubbing and looking at her belly. I loved the laughter and eye-contact mom and dad found in the little guy. I loved their chill, relaxed happiness.

"My love for my son makes my fundamentally irrational too. I give up sleep, food, money, energy, time, and all sorts of other things for this child... and I do so willingly! It goes against all we need to survive, and yet... we give into it all the time. Why do we do this?  'Forgive me, my logic is uncertain where my son is concerned.'" (Meghna Chakrabarti)

This session had such a Christopher Robin/Calvin & Hobbes/Tom Sawyer feel to it and is one of my favorites ever! Everything nostalgic that childhood should be - barefoot, anticipating, throwing rocks, "present," outdoors, and silly with the whole family.

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I love you guys! And am so happy dear Eleanor is safely into your arms, hearts, and home!

Jessica Shae | Maternity Portraits

the next time we meet,
a new kind of "hello!"
both our hearts have a secret,
only both of us know.
josh ritter - kathleen
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She was born in 1989.  So was I.  She was the firstborn daughter.  So was I.  She became the oldest of seven children.  So did I.  She was homeschooled.  So was I.  After graduating highschool, she went to Chicago for an internship.  So did I.  She was interested in starting a photography business.  So was I.  She liked to travel.  So did I.  She likes Chipotle, tanning in sunshine, getting nails done, wearing maxi dresses (or dresses, period) and the colors coral and Tiffany Blue.  So do I.  I started dating a guy, and three months later she started dating a guy.  I got engaged to a guy, and three months later she got engaged to a guy.  I married my guy, and three months later, she married her guy.  My guy and I became a family of three, and a few months after her guy and she, also, became a family of three.
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For better or for worse, Jessica and I have managed to connect over, well, pretty much everything.  She's far neater, and I'm a bit messier and wilder.   She is a bit more thought-through and I'm a bit more impulsive.  She rarely (until) finishes her Chipotle, and I always do.
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And she's a friend who understands, feels and knows things about me that very, very few do.  Some things you can never explain or describe.  You just know.  Our life pace-car has been step-by-step for nearly our entire lives.  When we met, we were little blonde whirlwinds, just dreaming about eerily similar things. And four years and a whole lot of story later, we are a little and bigger blonde, living out those eerily similar things.  We had no idea how sweet they'd be.  Or how much fun they would be to enjoy together.
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Little Ras has an extraordinary mommy.  Full of insight, thoughtful consideration, life lessons, fight, quirky charm, happy grace, and love.  She loves your daddy, Ras.  And they have quite a story.  She loves you, Ras.  And has for a very, very long time.  In so many ways (which sounds so vague.  Sorry. It's going to have to), Tiny Jessica Shae is a very different person than I met years ago.  But, truly more than that, she is one of the most consistent, sure and stable people I've ever known.  Her course has been tried and proven true, so she's stayed the way.  Her heart has wanted and hunted down good, real desires.  She's been like that for as long as I've been her friend.  You're going to have a life-of-lives being raised by this woman.
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Thank you for, well, you know.  Thank you :)  Yesterday was wonderful, and your burrito bump is even better and I can't wait to see you again - hopefully with a little munch in your arms.