Kai the "Cookie Monster" - Cake Smash!

It's not every day I get to photograph my own children.  As a mom of five, photographer, educator, athletic academic coach and doctoral student, I have a pretty hectic schedule.  My last baby of FIVE is turning one.  Wow.  Truly unbelievable.  Kai was our surprise baby.  The day we decided we were done having kids, which was also the day we made a decision to medically stop having kids, was the same exact day I threw up and found out I was pregnant about one-hour later.  We were driving from New Jersey and had made a stop in Virginia so I could go into a CVS to use the restroom.  The restroom break turned out into a pregnancy news.  Five kids.  How were we going to raise FIVE kids?  To make matters worse, we already had 3 boys.  What if this baby was another boy? How would our daughter take this news because she had a heart attack every time she found out we were expecting another "BOTHER" as she would call her siblings.  Flash forward to nine-months later, Josiah Ashton Kai was born on February 23 at 10:20 pm.  What was supposed to be an induced water birth, turned into a speed race down I-85s from our house.  I started feeling contractions around 8:00pm, decided to run to Ingles for some lunchables for the kids and to make a quick deposit at the ATM.  On our way back around 9:15pm, I said to my husband, "I think this may be the real thing".  About 2 minutes later, I realized my contractions were less than 2 minutes apart.  "Oh crap, it is the real thing" I screamed.  My bag wasn't packed yet, I did not have school lunch, school clothes, or agenda's signed for my other kids.  I have OCD.  I am an organized nut case.  What was I going to do?  After getting on my knee to scream to the top of lungs about five times, I realized it was time to head to the hospital whether or not I was ready.  I texted my birth photographer and dear friend, Julia Ketola from Julia Elle Photography, and told her to head to Greenville Memorial.  While driving to the hospital, my contractions were coming so quick, we weren't sure if we would make it.  We dialed 9-1-1 and they told us it was best to keep riding.  We made it to the hospital at 10:10pm (a 30-minute drive).  I walked into the room screaming that I was in pain.  The nurse took one look and replied, "his head is coming out".  "Huh? My water birth" was all I kept thinking,  "Is it too late to get an epidural?" I asked.  "Honey, we are going to lift you onto a bed, roll you into a birthing room, and you need to start pushing", my midwife replied.  All I kept thinking was "I was supposed to have a water birth".  By the time Julia came into the room, I was already pushing, screaming at my midwife, and telling my husband to "leave me alone".  Yeah, Julia caught it all on video.  After screaming that I was dying and there was no way I could get this baby out, Kai was here.  Perfect, handsome, and a true blessing from God.  One year later and I am still amazed at this priceless miracle.  To be quite honest, we cannot imagine life without Kia.  Kai is strong, he is smart, and he makes me laugh.  He has the same attitude as his big brother Micah, but he looks like his big brother Derwin.  Kai is the perfect medicine for his big brother Cameron.  He is the perfect baby bear to his sister Jada.  As a matter of fact, he loves to say "JJJJJAAAADDDAAA" instead of mama.  I asked my husband to describe Kai by using one word and he said his one word would be "fearless".  Kai is not afraid to try new things.  Kai is ambitious and perfect for our family.  We love you Josiah Ashton Kai Batichon.  Happy birthday.

Westbrook Family - New on the blog!

Meet the Westbrook family.  A young beautiful charming family of four who will make your heart melt.  Sarah is sooooo sweet and such a beautiful mom.  Her husband adores her.  By the way he holds her, kiss her, and hugs her, I can tell that he is deeply in love with her.  Her children are the cutest.  As you can tell by looking at these pictures, Sawyer stole the show.  As a photographer, getting families to relax for a lifestyle session can he a hard task.  However, as for the Westbrook family, if you told them to jump they jumped high.  If you told them to tickle, they became tickle monsters.  If you told them to run, they acted like they were running a marathon.  Were all singing, laughing, running, and jumping to keep the children in their comfort zone.  Photographing the Westbrook family was truly an honor.  Together, they are photographer's dream family.  If there is one advice I would like to remind the Westbrook family, it would be "family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song."  My hope is that they can cherish these pictures forever and it is a reminder of how little, charming, beautiful, and innocent her children were as they get older and blossom into young adults.

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Sadler Family

I have been meaning to post these for a while, but just have not had the chance. Although these are a little late, this was probably one of my favorite sessions.

A family
is made of love and tears
laughter and years
It grows stronger
with the passing of time
More precious
with the making of memories
sometimes a family is made of ones
you don't like for a while and fight with a lot
But you love them for a life time
Not in numbers but in its capacity to love
It's the place you find
someone to encourage you
believe in you
Celebrate with you and comfort you
A family is where your heart
feels most at home because you're
Always wanted always welcomed
Always needed
Always Loved
And always precious to everyone
So always love your family

Thank you for the opportunity to capture your beautiful family through this lifestyle session!

Willey Family

Yesterday was supposed to be a rainy day according to every weather app created.  However, I had the pleasure of meeting the Willey family in Greenville, SC.  A beautiful interracial couple with a beautiful baby girl.  Mom and dad were a pleasure to work with.  My hope is that this photo session reminds the Willey family that, "your photo session is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.  What we caught on film is captured forever.  It remembers the little things, long after you have forgotten everything".  Enjoy Ramsey while she is young.  Take lots of pictures and make it a family goal to capture her growth and your love.