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Jane's First Birthday Party | Miss Piggy

With the tremendous help from our beloved family and friends, we were able to pull off a successful first birthday piggy party for my sweet baby girl. I've loved Miss Piggy since I was a little girl and since I know my little miss will have a mind of her own before we know it, I had to jump on my Miss Piggy theme! Without going too crazy with Piggy, we found some inspiration online for little details we could use without going overboard. I had actually purchased her silhouette from a designer, but it wasn't exactly the piggy I remember and love so much, so I made a few adjustments to her profile and gave her that 70's hair that only Piggy can pull off. From there, we were able to paint her onto some fabric for her cameo, then we customized tags for all of the party favors. Designing this little soiree took several craft nights with my girlfriends, sister and mom, many trips to Michaels and Joann's, and countless hours in the kitchen (for my mom and dad). My entire family (brother included) created all of the muppet characters out of fondant to put on top of 12 special little cupcakes and made Jane's special birthday cake to dive into. Everything was perfection!

My good friend, PJ Rude of Milk Glass Vintage Rentals provided super cute furniture, props and the perfect little stage for our puppet show! Floral designer and another very good friend, Nicole Ha brought in bright and cheerful flowers to go on all the tables. Our family friend (and flower girl from our wedding), Claire and her friend did the perfect Three Little Pigs puppet show that they all enjoyed - it was so fun to see the excitement on their faces! And last bust not least, my husband did all of the behind the scenes work of setting up and cleaning! :)

I can't thank my family and friends for once again helping turn my vision into a reality. We are so thankful for our little girl and it feels so good to have her loved by so many amazing people! From the bottom of my heart, you know who you are.... THANK YOU!!!!

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2011 : what a wonderful year it was!

It has taken me a while to reflect upon 2011. So much has happened and it has all flown by so fast, it's hard to even sit here for a moment to write this. Aside from a few obstacles and disappointments, 2011 was the best year of my life. I entered the year almost into my third trimester with my first child. I was excited, I was anxious, I was scared, and I was very busy preparing, both professionally and personally. I shot until I was 8 and a half months pregnant and worked around the clock until it was time. On Easter Sunday, April 24th, our own little miracle happened and we welcomed Jane Ryan Stewart into our hearts forever. From the moment I held her, it was as if I had always known her AND she was the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on.

This past year, I became a mother for the first time. Among many things, what I didn't know was how it felt to actually be a mother. Immediately it made me very protective, but also critical - I would inspect her everyday to make sure nothing was wrong. I felt the desire to be a better person; to lead by example. I want her to grow and be an independent woman who goes after her dreams, whatever they may be. Suddenly I realized I was incredibly nervous about anything that could ever possibly happen to her, at times in my mind she turned 15 and I was worrying about those things to! I got sad thinking about her growing up and the many fights we will most likely get in. I learned to appreciate my parents, especially my mom, for everything they have ever done and continue to do. My perspective of things has changed forever.

In 2011, I witnessed my husband become a father, my parents become grandparents, my brother become an uncle, and my sister become an aunt. I've never seen anything put a brighter smile on their faces. It's amazing to see how much happiness one little tiny human being can bring.

I vowed to take on a lighter load, instead, I tried to do it all in half the time. I went back to work about 4 weeks after Jane was born. The wonderful thing is that my parents had decided to start a day care, so she is being cared for by people who love her the most, and she is around other children all the time. When she was 5 weeks, I shot my first wedding of the season. While I couldn't stop thinking about her, it felt good to be back in the swing of things. I'm still working...

In 2011 my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. And in 2011, she beat it. She is a fighter and my inspiration.

I came to the realization that I just can't do it all and built a team for Jennifer Skog Photographers. I'm anxious for the many projects and great things we have planned in 2012!

This past year has certainly been a challenge finding a balance with being a mom, wife, and business owner. I can't say that I have even found that balance, I think it will just be something that happens one day. maybe. Before I could even blink, I have this 8 month old baby girl who's trying to walk around and grow up as fast as she can. She has so much vigor for life, it's incredible. She's determined and fearless, and I'm just so proud and in love with her. It's amazing to think of all if the things that had to happen for her to be here. She is meant to be and she will be something great for this world one day. She's already started with my world :)

But... It seems to only get better!

Thank you for taking this journey with me, allowing me to follow my dreams, and your continued support in Jennifer Skog Photography. It's people like you that make our jobs so rewarding and enjoyable. I wish you all the best that life has to offer and please remember to cherish every moment.

Happy New Year!

{this is Jane at 8 months, she is climbing, waving, and loves to dance!}

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She's Here!

The day I have been waiting for my entire life has finally come, and I must say, every day there after has been even better. While things may not have gone according to plan, it was the most incredible day of my life. Our sweet baby Jane Ryan Stewart arrived Easter Sunday, April 24th at 7:42pm via cesarean section. She was 8 pounds 10 ounces and 22 inches long, and is the most perfect little thing I have ever seen. And as if things couldn't get any better, I got to experience my husband become a father, it melts my heart to see the way he looks at her. I've fallen even more in love with him that I already was. We've been adjusting to our new life here at home and couldn't be more happy. I have been relishing in every moment I have with her because it will be over faster than the blink of an eye. I can't even count the amount of times I have sat staring at her in disbelief that we created such a beautiful little girl. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. She is truly our little miracle.

Thanks to my brother Rob, best friend Jen, and our anesthesiologist, for the beautiful coverage of this most amazing moment in our lives. This is such a gift and being that I have shared the story of our journey, it's only fitting to share this too. I hope you enjoy and always remember just how precious life is.
Thank you to all of our friends and family that has been here with us throughout this journey, Janie is such a lucky girl to have so many wonderful people love her.
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My Maternity Photos by the one and only Tanja Lippert

Last summer I spent the day with my good friends, photographer Tanja Lippert and stylist Tia Reagan for one of their workshops. Maria and I had ended up staying a while after the workshop and we all got to talking. Days prior I had suffered my 3rd loss and that quickly became the topic of discussion. After pouring my heart out and leaning on everyone for ways to cope, the ladies suggested we all unite in prayer. While I am not an avid church goer, I do have faith and have to admit that I had often questioned God for my recent misfortunes. We gathered in a circle, held hands, bowed our heads and prayed while I wept. I have to say that this was a very emotional experience for me and all I could think about is fortunate I am to have this circle of friends in my life. I will forever remember the moment we all shared and know that my tears were heard.

A little over a month later Scott and I were pregnant again with the help of IUI, an amazing doctor and lots of faith. This time it actually stuck and seven and a half month later I'm ready to debut the belly we had worked so hard for. I am a huge fan of Tanja's work and who better than her and Tia to do my maternity shoot?

I have wanted to be a mother since I was a young child, but it's because of the journey that I have been on to get here that has given me a better appreciation for what a miracle life truly is. I can't believe how lucky I am to have such a supportive and caring set of family, friends and the most amazing husband I could have ever asked for. With just a week left until our due date, I can't express what a joy this experience has been. While yes, I'm uncomfortable, my back aches, I can hardly sleep or bend over, I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything. Feeling this little one move around inside me brings a smile to my face and I can't believe I am so close to meeting her! A huge thank you to Tanja and Tia for not just documenting the most incredible time in my life but also for your friendship, I am forever grateful for this gift. These images may show more than some would post, but I think they are amazing and celebrate the beauty and excitement of a very proud and thankful mother to be. I hope you enjoy!

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The Most Amazing Baby Shower {Oh how you spoil me...}

I truly have the most incredible family and set of friends a girl could ever ask for. There are so any things that I looked forward to when daydreaming about being pregnant, and this baby shower was certainly above and beyond what I ever could have imagined. Hosted by a handful of friends, family and wedding professionals, this shower absolutely took my breath away. A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who contributed!

We were lucky enough to get one of our favorite wedding venues, Casa Real of at Ruby Hill to provide the space, a special Thank you to Alyssia for being such a sweetheart and working with us. My BFF, Jennifer Bishop of Jennifer Bishop Design came up with the concept along with floral design extraordinaire, Nicole Ha and Vintage Rental owner PJ Rude of Milk Glass Vintage Rentals. Credit for the Bundt Cake Tower, the most delicious cupcakes I've ever tasted and the bundt cake stand goes to my parents and sister. Maria help organize and bring all of the contributors together, my sister Linz and best friend A'Lisa worked on the games, favors and assembly of things. Susanne Wong of Cards De Luxe provided all of the stationary and printed materials. Fantasy Sound was kind enough to provide lighting and the staff at Casa Real was so awesome, they really couldn't have given us a more enjoyable day. Oh and the food - chicken salad sliders, cucumber mint and tomato basil & mozzarella tea sandwiches, spinach frittata, green leaf salad and homemade potato chips - was incredible!!!!

The favors were cute little baskets with a mini jar of marmalade, homemade scones, fresh berries and had a little tag that read "Pat-a-Cake Pat-a-Cake Bakers Man" on it. It was so clever and cute! Non-pregnant ladies indulged in Lavender Champagne complete with sprigs of lavender and Coca-Cola Classic in the classic little bottles, while the other ladies (10 pregnant friends!!!!) sipped on fresh lemonade. Everything was adorned with sweet vintage elements like doilies, hanker-chiefs, jars, books, and a few Vintage Skog items like my doll Renee that I got when I turned 5 and three little dresses that I wore when I was a baby. Every detail was so well thought out and there were so many personal touches, I'm just beside myself. Everything was amazing.

Thank you ladies {and dad} for everything, the shower was incredible, but even more importantly, thank you for loving me. Your support and friendship is something that I could not live without. And... a hugh thank you to my brother! Who was sweet enough to come early to shoot everything and even hang around to make sure I got shots with each of my guests. I love you!!!!

PS - If there are type-o's, I apologize. I'm too tired to proof read!!!

And the amazing team!!!! {minus susanne who was sick :( }
Thank you ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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