cake, candles & rose

For the last few months (basically since photography season started in May) I rarely saw my family unless it was a sanctioned holiday (4th of July, Father’s Day…) and it coincided with a photo shoot I had scheduled back in Wisconsin. The further along the summer went – the more I realized how much I missed my family. (Initially I was so caught up in photography that I didn’t have time to think about much else… sorry family, friends, husband… I’m working on this.  :-\)
Then September came. 
I purposefully didn’t book any shoots in September (except for one wedding at the very beginning of the month). I felt like I needed this month to myself to do some catching up in my personal life. It was my birthday month after all – and I felt like I deserved it. 
I had no idea what my plans for the month were when it began – I just knew that I had no plans. Which. Is. Amazing. 
As the month went along weekends slowly filled up. The best part about it? They filled up with family. I don’t think I’ve seen my family as much in the past 6 months combined as I did in the month of September alone. I spent 3 weekends with my sister, my nephews, my brother Will and my Dad. I visited more often with my brother Ben (who lives in Chicago as well… at least for another day). And very much missed my brother Josh (move back to the midwest already! pleeeeease!). 
But the best part about September?   … I saw my mom every weekend
We went to the Milwaukee Art Museum with my sister. She hosted a surprise birthday party that James planned for me. She came to Chicago (along with my Dad and brother Will) to visit. And this last weekend we all spent back at my parent’s house – celebrating my mom’s birthday. 
It’s been amazing getting this much time with her lately. You see, my mom is one of those people in life that you feel lucky just to know. She’s the kind of person that through her actions alone makes you reevaluate your own behavior and makes you want to be a better human being. She gives and gives and gives so much to so many people – not out of obligation or for selfish reasons – but simply because she wants to and because it’s the right thing to do. 
And lucky me – I get to call her mom. I’ve spent my entire life watching her and learning from her. Sometimes James will laugh at something I do and call me “Rose” – and rather than be embarrassed or get upset that he’s calling me my mother (like some people would be) – I’m actually humbled and honored by it. (I know my sister gets the same thing from her hubbie as well… because she and I are both equally similar to my mom in different ways.) 
I could go on about her for pages, I’m sure – but instead I’ll leave you with some images from this past weekend. It was filled with laughter, board games, delicious cake, playhouse building and most importantly – family. 

Making mom’s cake…. (Delicious!!!!!)
Building a playhouse… (or contemplating building a playhouse…?)
My sis had her dog, Bodie, home as well… Bodie looooooooooves him some Phoenix, let me tell you! 🙂 After tiring of his constant chasing, Phoenix finally jumped up onto Will’s lap for some refuge…  
Thankfully they chilled out eventually and were pals:
Decorating the cake… you can never have too many sprinkles!

It should be noted that my mom is actually not 58. However, my nephew insisted she was when they went to purchase the candles… so we just went with it. We may be incredibly confused when looking back on these photos someday… 🙂

Littlest nephew becomes the happiest child on the planet whenever someone sings the ‘birthday song’. Seriously. This kid’s face lights up. It is fantastic to witness. 🙂

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!  I hope you had a fantastic day and took some time to yourself to relax and unwind.
~Love you~

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chicago & worldwide

Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!