the beginning of a baby story

last weekend, i had the honor of helping to throw a sprinkle to celebrate my very best friend's second baby.  i've been so, so excited for her and her family since she told me they were expecting; an excitement that's only been increased by the fact that i've had the privilege of documenting many of their pregnancy milestones for them.  first, we did some announcement photos:

when they announced to the world, along with one of these pictures were the words "every superhero needs a sidekick"  :)

and of course, i just had to snag a more documentary style announcement photo after we did the others!

then i took a few early belly shots because we were so in awe of how quickly she popped compared to her first kiddo- and how perfect her belly was right from the beginning.

then they had their gender reveal party- and i got to be the only one who knew ahead of time that they were having a little girl so that i could make the cake.  it pays to be the only person your best friend knows that can bake a cake to fit her gluten free diet:)

the picture right after they cut that cake open and saw that they're expecting a daughter might be my very favorite picture of my sweet friend, ever.  she absolutely was not expecting it to be a girl, and you can just see the surprise and the joy spilling out of her here.  i'm so blessed to have been able to capture that moment for them- and for their sweet girl.

a few weeks later, i took the kids over to their place for a play date (which is really just our grown-up excuse for some solid catch up time!) and while i was there i managed to get a few shots of my friend working on the nursery with big brother.

then we took a pre-christmas mini vacation down to their family's bay house, and even though it was freeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing (think 20 degrees, with crazy wind), we braved it for the sake of getting some more belly pictures.

so, last weekend, even though i was supposed to be helping to host the sprinkle, mostly what i did was run around and take as many pictures as i could.  not only did i want to document the day as well as i could, but my friend's mom is such a fabulous hostess that there wasn't too much for me to do (except bring the cake!).  i did arrive early with the momma-to-be so we could help get things set-up and ready to go.

that was when i grabbed some detail shots of all the hard work the baby's nana put in to throwing what was just a beautiful, perfect celebration of this new little one and her momma.

as guests began to arrive, i'll confess that i took a break to enjoy a mimosa (one of the advantages of being the unofficial photographer means having fun as a guest AND a crazy camera lady), but i did catch a few moments that i really love- and a few more detail shots, too.

the above photo does come with a quick qualifier- when i saw all these ladies at work in the kitchen, i thought "ooo, i should grab this" so i snapped quickly in between sips without putting much thought into it.  i realized later, as i was editing, that this is a four generation shot- my friend and her little one, her mom, aunt, and gammy.  i'm kicking myself for not realizing it in the moment and working more purposefully to catch better angles and interactions with everyone.  but, having this image is better than not having one at all (or at least that's what i'm telling myself!).  i left it in color along with converting because i truly can't decide on my preference.

and then we moved on to the best part of any baby shower (or in this case sprinkle!), and that's opening gifts :)  i love, even as a guest, seeing all the gifts that were so thoughtfully picked out with such love for a new little one.  the anticipation of how baby will look in each little outfit, or the sweet snuggles she'll get while wrapped up in each warm blanket just make me feel squishier than a marshmallow.  and this was even better because it was for a precious little girl- and even though i wouldn't trade my boys for the world, there's something about ruffles and bows and pink pink pink that makes a momma swoon a little bit, you know?

i may try to sneak in a few more belly pictures if time (and circumstance) allow it, but now that momma has been sprinkled with love and gifts, the nursery is ready and the bags are packed, all that's left to do is wait for this sweet little girl to make her arrival.  i can't wait to meet her, to see my friends experience the joy of watching their family grow by one more, and one day be able to show their sweet daughter all the joy she brought to this world before she even got here <3