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These precious one-year portraits were taken of Eleanor and her family right before I took off for maternity leave at 37 weeks.  I have been photographing their family since their oldest Caroline was a newborn, and her family has become wonderful friends that I look forward to visiting every season….

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I have to admit… Although at 38 weeks I’m not absolutely loving this stage in the pregnancy, this baby has been so much easier on me than with Lyon.  I think it’s a combination of me being so much more relaxed and understanding what my body needs.

The above were some of my must-have essentials that kept me feeling energized and loving every second of this pregnancy!

1.  Comfortable Maternity Wear – I’ve had a lot of fun with this.  My go-to’s are the ever popular Gap Maternity, JCrew, H&M, Izzy Maternity, but recently – I discovered this fabulous new line from Hatch Collection that produces beautiful wear for before, during & after your pregnancy. Brilliant!

2.  Pregnancy Workout DVDs – Around 18 weeks into my pregnancy, I started to experience a lot of lower back pain.  It was the way this baby was growing that made it so hard for me physically… and I knew it was just going to get worse.  So, I started working out for 20-30 minutes a day, and the pain almost immediately went away.  In fact, I felt so much more energy, and it helped me keep the excess weight off.  Perhaps it’s carrying a baby girl that’s different, or that I started exercising daily, but because I’m about 10-15lbs lighter this pregnancy has made it so much easier on me during the last summer month!  Here were my 2 favorites:  here and here.

3.  Biggest Pregnancy Craving:  Watermelon.  I can eat a whole one every day.  And I have!

4.  Belly Band – this has been a life savor during my photo shoots where I’m required to squat up and down, run around chasing toddlers, and get into all kinds of awkward pregnancy positions to achieve a shot.  I never realized how physical my job was until I started to feel the strain it put on my lower back & belly.  This band helped me continue shooting amazingly until 37 weeks!

5.  Mustela for Stretch Marks – a powerful weapon that helps keep marriages together.  True story.

6.  Maxi Dresses – I have been living in these this entire summer.  My favorite finds have been from Old Navy & Gap of all places! And I love that I can continue wearing these after the pregnancy through the rest of the summer.

7.  Mobile Apps – I admit that I haven’t been as in-tune with this pregnancy than with my first (probably because I’m constantly running after my first!), but both of these apps have been wonderful in keeping me up to speed with what I’ve been experiencing and how this baby has been growing.

8.  The summer has definitely drained me during this last trimester.  Staying hydrated has never been more important; I can definitely feel it when I haven’t had at least 8 glasses of water per day.  Favorite water bottles that I tote with me everywhere has made it easy to stay on top of it!

9.  And lastly, preparing my 3 year old – who has not experienced anything but complete 100% attention from both dad & I – was a big priority for me this pregnancy.  I know his world is just about to rock, but I think we’re prepared for it thanks to these favorite books and more!

What have been some of your favorite must-haves during your pregnancy?

I recently ventured up to Athens to visit a few new clients, and I enjoyed meeting baby Trip and his proud big sisters.

What I love about these images was how little staging was done to capture them.  I simply found the gorgeous light and asked them all to love on their new baby brother while I captured all of it on film.

Such a beautiful family…

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This past Spring, as I watched my 12 & 10-year-old nephews teaching Lyon how to kick the soccer ball, a light bulb went off in my head.  What valuable lessons could they learn in developing their own soccer camp for young children?

To say that these boys are amazing individuals is an understatement.  I’ve known them since they were infants and every year, I’m blown away by their maturity, athleticism, wonderful hearts, and go-getter attitudes.  So, when the idea of the pair of them working together to do what they love & make a little extra spending money – the family went to work!

I reached out to Lyon’s classmates first, and within days – the camp was fully booked.  Lucas and Gabriel planned on 3 half day camps at the beginning of June.  Their agenda consisted of soccer drills, fun games like duck-duck-goose and follow-the-leader, and of course – snack time and playground time.  These 3-year-olds could not have looked more adorable in their soccer ensembles with their new balls.

Here are some of the highlights of the camp:

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I just love the way their custom t-shirts came out!  Kyu and I decided to sponsor the shirts for all of the individual campers this year.

In the end, we were so proud of the way Lucas and Gabriel planned and coordinated this camp.  They decided to donate half of the camp proceeds to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and the impact this experience made on the two of them was  immeasurable.

You can find the article on the boy’s donation here.

Next year, they’re thinking bigger.  Larger scale, more players, more organized structure, possible sponsorship opportunities, and of course – a bigger cut to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for all of their hard work.  We can’t wait!