Monthly Archives: November 2016

Charlotte | Newborn Session

Today’s post is about a very, very special girl. She is so special. Her story is amazing & miraculous, one of hope & promise. In fact, I’ve asked her momma to share her story, their story of how they prayed, waited & longed for Charlotte. It’s a story that she needs to tell, not me. Their story is a wonderful reflection of the power of God & needs to be told as only the mother of Charlotte Elizabeth can tell it. I invite you to read these words that are directly from Charlotte’s momma’s heart.

“We had almost given up hope that we would have a child. Charlotte has three siblings in Heaven, who sent her to us. After the heartbreak of two miscarriages and one ruptured ectopic pregnancy, she is the blessing of God’s redemptive power. I thought my body was broken, and because we prayed through tears we learned God’s healing is perfect. She is perfect, because God takes the broken and makes them whole.

She is our miracle…



The odds have been stacked against her since the beginning, and yet here she is. The road on the journey to this point of her life was paved with many obstacles. I had gestational diabetes and a marginal cord insertion while pregnant with her. Every minute of her life, even before conception, has been covered in prayers of those who love her. She is the living proof that God listens to His children. I held my breath for nine months. I was guarding my heart from another lose, but she is here. God’s protection is perfect. She is perfect, because God shields those who find refuge in Him.

She is our fighter…

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Diamonds are formed by heat and pressure over time. Our story is one of walking by faith through the fire. She is the outcome of our refining and the embodiment of God’s faithfulness. We have been waiting years for her, and while still not understood with our finite minds, God’s timing is perfect. She is perfect, because from ashes God makes beauty.

She is our diamond…


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Our story will shape the kind of parents we will be. It will shape the person she will become. I prayed that she would be healthy and that she will grow to know Jesus. We still have scars on our hearts for the ones we lost, but she is the string God used to stitch the pieces back together. I pray she will be the light of God’s love. I believe that God has big things in store for her. While we do not know the future, we rest in knowing that God’s plan is perfect. She is perfect, because God creates life where there was nothing. She is our joy…

 She is our child.”


Thank you Elyse for sharing your heart. Your beautiful words needed to be put along these photos. Tears well up in my eyes every time I read your story & look at these photos. May the Lord grant you & Chuck wisdom, patience & peace as you raise Charlotte. May her story, your story be told to encourage others. You’re a strong momma because you lean on the Lord. I love you. I can’t wait to watch Charlotte Elizabeth grow up into who the Lord has designed her to be! – Naomi

Chuck & Elyse’s maternity pictures are HERE if you missed them.




Olson | Family Session

It’s the week of Thanksgiving & I’m finding myself listing things I’m grateful for. It’s not a surprise to me that most of  “things” are indeed people & the list of people I’m thankful for seems to be unending.

I’m thankful for my friend Kaela. We met about 7 years at a weekend retreat for pastors kids in Illinois. Kaela was coming with a team from a church in Rockford to volunteer their help & my sister & I were coming from Normal. I don’t remember how or even what we said when we first met, but I know Kaela & I clicked & I wanted to be around her laugh & wise words as much as I could that weekend 🙂 If you know Kaela she’s all about scarves, messy buns & loving people. During our time at the retreat, God used her to confirm some stuff that was going on in my life & I’ve never forgotten that.

Kaela & I did get to meet up a few years ago in Fargo, ND where she was working & my mom’s side of the family live. We exchanged updated life stories & I told her about the guy in my life (Eric) & she told me about the guy (Peter) in hers. Fast forward to 2016 🙂 Kaela & her little family have been traveling in the U.S. this year & getting ready to travel back to Africa to love on the people there & tell them the Truth & Good News of life. It worked out perfectly for them to come by Normal & we had a mini photo session, spaghetti AND the BEST PART of all was that our girls got to meet! (Photo of that at the end of this post!) Oh & of course our husbands had fun meeting too 🙂

Now I’ll quit writing & let you look at these pictures- pictures of such a PRECIOUS & SPECIAL family.


Arielle sure loves her mommy & daddy!!!!

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This one just melts my heart to pieces.


And of course this!


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She’s the joy of their worlds.


Those eyes & that smile!!!!


I love this next picture. I wasn’t planning on this happening, but if you look close to the right of this picture, you can see mommy & daddy in the picture 😉


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JOY overload!!!



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And these two!


Peter, Kaela, & Arielle, we love you guys!!! We hope to have many get togethers, even if they’re several years a part 😉 in the future. We are praying for you three & that God will protect & use you. Love, Eric, Naomi, & Elizabeth




Hackbarth | Family Session

Kenny, Katie & Gavin moved to Bloomington-Normal almost two years ago. If you know Eric & I, you know that we love our church & are thankful for the community that we have there. The Hackbarth family moved here so that Kenny could be our Worship & Fine Arts pastor. We’ve enjoyed getting to know their little family & having them in the same small group as ours. Katie is just plain gorgeous, Gavin is hilarious & Kenny is so kind.

Katie had a particular vision on mind for their family session & it meant to much to me that she chose me to carry that out. We met up in a fun part of Bloomington downtown & I just love what happened! Their personalities & my camera was a match made in heaven. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all these pictures we got. I know after looking at these you’ll want to be friends with Hackbarth family too & I don’t blame you 😉


Gavin Paul is seriously like a little model. He’s such a sweet kid!!!!!

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One of my fav’s! hackbarth-7hackbarth-4

Gavin, you completely stole my heart during our time together. hackbarth-5hackbarth-9hackbarth-3hackbarth-6

These two! I love their connection & playfulness with each other!

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Katie, you are SO beautiful. hackbarth-17

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Hackbarths, my family is so thankful your family is here. Thank you for your serving & loving hearts. Kenny & Katie, your love for Gavin is so special. You are AMAZING parents & I can see in your eyes how much you care for him. He is growing into a strong & sweet little guy. We can’t wait to see all that the Lord does through your family here. And thanks again for letting me come hangout with you guys 😉 Just say the word & I’ll do it again in a heartbeat 🙂