Illinois

Cabin Time by Meredith Washburn

Family time....it is some of the best time. And with moving three hours away from my hometown, family time has become a little more scarce (and seemingly more valuable). Recently my family built a pretty sweet cabin at the Giant Goose Ranch, which is a little ways from my hometown. I love spending time there, it's just my cup of tea <3. It is such a cozy and relaxing way to get away from the hustle and bustle of things. Here are some pictures from one of my last visits with my adorable family (special hugs to you, Silas....missing my Colorado pals <3)!

The hardest thing is when your family is in two different places, which often leaves my heart in two different places. Leaving my current St. Louis home to go back to my Illinois hometown to see family often means leaving my husband, who just started his first year of residency. And heading back home to my husband means leaving my family. Taking photos when I am with those I love is one way that helps them always seem close, even when they are hours away <3.

Adam + Summer // surprise proposal by meredith

You want to know one of the best parts of my job? Getting to photograph sweet moments like surprise proposals! Seriously, it's the best.

There are so many parts of Adam and Summer's proposal story that just melt your heart...! Earlier this year Adam contacted me describing his perfect idea for his proposal to Summer. He was in the process of custom designing her ring from Bremer Jewelry, and wanted to propose as soon as possible when the ring was finished. Around this same time (a little prior), Summer had contacted me asking me if I could take some photos of her and her beautiful dog, Lexi, who was dying of cancer. She was only given around one month to live, which was surely not enough time for a girl and her best pal. Soon after our photos together, Lexi slipped into the gates of doggy heaven, where she is having so much fun chewing on sticks and wagging her tail joyfully looking down at Summer.

Adam had arranged for Summer to think that she would be doing a family photoshoot at Ewing Manor in Bloomington, Illinois (Summer is also a talented photographer!). When she showed up, she quickly realized that she wouldn't be doing a photoshoot, but she was actually the one being photographed! Adam had rose petals all along the pathway leading to a table with a vase of flowers and a beautiful photo-book he had created for her.

Surprise Proposal at Ewing Manor Bloomington, IllinoisSurprise Proposal at Ewing Manor Bloomington, Illinois

Surprise Proposal at Ewing Manor Bloomington, Illinois

In the book, Adam wrote about all of the reasons he loved her and how he was so excited for their future together. He told her that he had asked for her family's blessing and that there was one special family member who was extra excited....LEXI! When Summer flipped the page, there was a picture of Adam with Lexi. He had taken some photos before Lexi passed away, showing her the engagement ring and asking for her blessing as well. Lexi obviously agreed by happily chewing on a stick (her favorite!).

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Then Summer followed some arrows pointing her toward where Adam was waiting for her.

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Adam hung lanterns all over the trees at the location he was proposing!

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 SHE SAID YES!!!!!!! 

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Adam and his soon to be sister-in-law had decorated the entire property with glowing lanterns, lights, flower petals, and a romantic picnic area with champagne and strawberries! The whole proposal was just dreamy!

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Summer seeing her sister for the first time after the proposal!

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And obviously we had to snap a few photos of this stunning and newly engaged couple!!!!! Also, props to Adam on choosing the most gorgeous setting to propose. The entire property was covered in spring flowering trees and fields of flowers.

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Congratulations to two of the sweetest people I know!

Eric + Kristen | wedding by meredith

This is my first wedding post of 2014.. & what a great way to start!

I couldn't put my camera down the entire day as I watched the love these two shared for one another. It was an extremely cold day, which made a great excuse for these two to get all close and snuggly for their outdoor photo session--just what I was hoping for. I love getting to work in new environments, and their wedding was nothing short of spectacular. The wedding day took place at the Allerton Mansion in Monticello, Illinois. If you haven't visited the place, you should! It's stunning; the perfect compliment to such a beautiful couple. Eric and Kristen are two of the kindest people I have known, and I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to photograph their wedding.

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