Southern Magnolias, Central Illinois Wedding and Event Planning Sisters and Girl Bosses by Meredith Washburn

I had so much fun getting to photograph the wedding and event planning team, Southern Magnolias. Co-owned by the Laven sisters, Ainsley and Bethany, they serve the Central Illinois area and are definitely worth checking out! They are so sweet and just an absolute pleasure to work with <3.

Southern Magnolias Website: click here

Cabin Time by Meredith Washburn

Family 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.

Phil and Becca's Maternity Session by Meredith Washburn

I had such a good time hanging out with Phil and Becca. I'm really surprised we ended up getting this session in as Becca was due like a week after we photographed. She ended up having a sweet little baby boy a few days later (maybe hiking across that field and climbing down the hill really did send her into labor!). In a few weeks, I get to meet their new sweet addition to their family, and I'm way excited. Because honestly, how could their family get any cuter?

Taylor Family by Meredith Washburn

I've been photographing this beautiful family ever since I started photography. They've been so supportive of everything I've ever done and I'm so grateful. Now, a family of 5, their family is cuter than ever.

Newborn Baby and Eleven Great Dane Puppies, heck yeah! by Meredith Washburn

My excitement had been building for quite some time when I found out that my friends, Nick and Alex, would be flying me out to Texas to photograph their beautiful family. Their newborn baby, Ryker, had been in the NICU for a number of days following his birth due to his lungs not being fully developed. A few days prior to me flying out, Ryker was cleared to come home. The night before my trip, I texted Alex to let her know how excited I was to come see them! She texted me back and said something like "oh yeahhhh, we also have 11 newborn Great Dane puppies, I hope you're ready". Minute by minute my excitement was growing exponentially to get to Texas!

I counted down the hours and minutes to give one of my best friends a big hug. I knew that their weeks prior to me coming had been absolutely exhausting for them, so I was sure that sleeping would be on the schedule. Now, here's where things blow me away. I step off the plane around 11:30 p.m. to be greeted by Nick AND Alex at the airport. These two people are seriously rock-stars. For two parents who have had little to no sleep, I still cannot believe how happy and awake they were when they picked me up. There's no better feeling than getting to hug the people you love after being apart for such a long time.

Over the next few days, I entered into a world that was a bit unknown to me. Watching my friends parent and take care of their babies just made my heart melt. One would think that with 2 babies, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 11 puppies, life might be a bit chaotic. However, Nick and Alex make literally everything look easy. Every second spent with their family was a true blessing. They welcomed me into their personal space at every moment of the days and let me see all of the little special things that they have together. They welcomed me into their bedroom (as I creepily stood on their bed), into story time, bath time, breakfast together, going to church, family laughs and hugs, dancing in the kitchen, etc. Seeing everything they have together just made me love them all a little deeper. For all of you Texas folk who get the joy of being with this family, take good care of them... they're some of the best people I've known. Enjoy the video and preview of photos below!

Alex recently celebrated a birthday. I put together a little video of their family as a birthday present. Happy Birthday're one of a kind. I love ya pal <3