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It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas…

Christmas decorating is one of my favorite events in the Kantukule household. It is usually mass chaos and the kids tire of it when it is about halfway done and I spend the next two weeks finishing it slowly, only to enjoy it for a couple of weeks and take it back down again. Nevertheless I love it, and the kiddos do too. I got some super sweet photos of the kiddos this year too…check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

 

The Birth Story of Colin James

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about the miracle of birth and loved everything about my birth stories thanks to my amazing midwife and her team. So when I saw a post on a local moms group Facebook page from a mom looking for a birth photographer I had to jump on it. I had not yet professionally photographed a birth but it had been something that I hoped to break into so I reached out and after talking to the poster, Amy, about how passionate I am about birth I was lucky enough that she chose me!

Amy was due on Thanksgiving day but this was her second baby so none of us expected that she would start showing signs of early labor on the Friday before. I cannot begin to tell you the excitement I felt when she reached out to me to let me know that it would probably happen in the next couple of days. I kept my phone next to me for the next 36 hours and checked in multiple times (sorry if I was annoying, Amy!:)). She contacted me on Sunday morning to let me know that she had started contracting at 1:30 am and she would keep me posted as things progressed. I quickly arranged childcare and then waited, and waited…and waited; I am sure the wait was much worse for Amy but I cannot begin to tell you how long those few hours lasted! I got the call just after 1:00 pm to start heading to Kathy Brace’s birth suite.

I arrived at Kathy’s at about 1:25 pm. I have to tell you that although she had to have been exhausted after her long night (she was 12 hours into at this point), Amy could not have been more stunning. Her birth was long, hard, emotional, raw and everything I could have ever imagined in capturing a birth. Kathy and Kyle were beyond wonderful and everything was so peaceful and beautiful that I completely fell in love with everything about birth photography. Colin James was born about 2 hours after my arrival and he is truly perfect.

I invite you on Amy, Jim and Colin’s birth story…I hope that these images below truly capture the beauty of this gift.

 

 

 

Turkey and Birthdays

Another Thanksgiving in the books and I have all of the pictures to prove that a good time was had by all. We overate, had an amazing amount of family time and are still all feeling a bit of a holiday hangover. The kids are slowly getting back into some sort of decent sleep schedule, the sugar is just about completely out of their system and our stomachs are beginning to shrink back to normal size!

There were multiple things to celebrate over our holidays as both my mom and step-dad turned 60! I have some lovely pictures of the two of them below and I am sure you will agree that they don’t look a day past 50!

I assure you that there were LOTS of adults around the day of as well, I guess I just didn’t get any pictures of them! Sorry family!! I hope you enjoy our Thanksgiving photo story!

 

 

A Love Like No Other

I have the most beautiful step-sister, her name is Brooke and she is truly incredible. She was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia when she was very young and has lived much of her life in a wheel chair. Although these things are true of Brooke, she does not let her diagnosis and disabilities define her, or get her down. She is one of the most positive people I know and I am so lucky to be able to call her my seester.

When Brooke met August nearly 10 years ago I had no idea that it would blossom into what they have now. They are one of my favorite love stories. August is one of those people who is easy to love. He is witty and smart and is probably one of the best things that ever happened to Brooke. The love that they share is undeniably beautiful.

Brooke invited me to her mom and step-dad’s cabin to take pictures of her, August and their fur baby, Seven, a couple of week’s ago. Talk about a hidden treasure in the middle of Kansas! Everything about our night was perfect and the images were nearly impossible to narrow down! Check them out below…


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Happily Ever After

Natalie responded to a model call in August and asked to have me document her and Trevor’s newly married life after their wedding in September. I was excited about the opportunity to capture a time that is very rarely documented; that time between marriage and kiddos can be so fleeting! I had so much fun with these two and their two fur babies! From the way they looked at each other, to the way they laughed together, to the little pieces of love scattered throughout their home-everything about these two screamed love. Such a beautiful couple inside and out and we had the best time capturing this new chapter in their life. Check out my visit below and see for yourself just how beautiful these two are together.

 

Go to Everybody’s House

Our littlest man has been begging for weeks now to “go to everybody’s house and get candy”. At first I wasn’t understanding why he would ask such a thing and then when I finally got that he wanted to go trick-or-treating it shocked me that our four year old actually remember Halloween from last year! So we started a count down exactly 13 days ago, everyday when he would ask to “go to everybody’s house and get candy” I would say “Not today, we can go trick-or-treating in 13…12….11….10 (you get the gist) days”! And then this morning came and this little guy has a crummy cough and didn’t get enough sleep and it’s only 37 degrees outside and not getting warmer….but when I told him that we would indeed go to everybody’s house and get candy tonight, you wouldn’t know any of it! There is no one more excited about Halloween this year than our little man is and that is making Halloween a little less stressful/exhausting/thankless for this Mama! I wish I could just bottle up his excitement and keep it on reserve for those days that I really need it (but lets be honest it would be gone in about a week! Ha!).

This is a Halloween to remember, it is the first Halloween that I was able to take the time to make costumes for my kiddo’s, the first Halloween that Liam understood what Halloween really was, the first Halloween that I had to worry about my 11 year-old being too big to trick-or-treat (no worries, he will be going, too big or not!), the first Halloween that I am participating in Safe Halloween with the Andover Chamber of Commerce, in fact this is a big year of firsts and I am so happy for it! Check out our FIRST Halloween photo shoot with the littles below!

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P & M Pumpkin Ranch

I have lived in the Wichita area for all of my life and am SHOCKED that I am only just now discovering P & M Pumpkin Ranch!  My sister, Nana, the cousins, the littles and I all ventured out the Sunday before last to experience this pumpkin patch in the tiny town of Moundridge. What a gem of a place in the middle of Kansas!! From the pig races to the bouncy pads to the corn maze to the numerous slides and much, much more; there is no lack of entertainment for kids of all ages! We left about 3 hours after we arrived after hours of playing, losing one child for a short time (thank you for the heart attack, Liam) and with extremely beautiful pumpkins in tow. We were all exhausted and SUPER cranky but it was SO worth it for the memories made and watching the joy on the kiddo’s faces.

My sister and I decided that it would have to be a yearly event from here on out. If you are in the Wichita area I am sure that you too will feel like the hour-ish drive is worth it for the beauty of this property along with the fun that will be had by all-children and adults alike! Take a look at the pictures from our day and try to tell me that you you’re not jealous! 🙂