At-home family photos

I have had the privilege to capture each stage in this family's life - from the proposal, wedding, maternity, newborn, and now to 9-month photos. Watching families grow and change is an honor that I don't take lightly.

Laurel, this sweet little munchkin, has been through more in her less-than-a-year life than a lot of us have, or ever will be. But she's a tough little lady, because she has an amazing support system behind her. And she is now thriving and being the cutest little bugger in all of Pittsburgh.

Last May, I did a giveaway for Mother's Day. I asked my audience to nominate a deserving mom in their life. The response I got was heartwarmingly overwhelming, and while every single mom that was nominated was more than deserving, there was one mom who stood out. She was nominated not once, not twice, but seven times, by seven separate people. This mom was Tawney, lucky little Laurel's momma. Below is what her husband, Brad, said about her when he wrote in to nominate her.

I'm nominating her (Tawney) because I have witnessed firsthand what it means to be the "best" mother and it comes in the form of her. Several weeks ago we were informed of some alarms our pediatrician saw in regards to the health of our daughter Laurel. Long story short, she ended up needing open heart surgery. She's currently recovering and coming along great and where Tawney comes into this is that at all times she has been by our daughters side. She has literally not left the hospital since she was admitted (except maybe to go out front to meet her GrubHub driver but that doesn't count). To top it off, in her time at the hospital she has come to know the other parents and learn about their kiddos and the troubles they are having. She's also done what she can to help in even the smallest way. The hospital is not a fun place to be and so she took it up on herself to try to brighten it up some. She had balloons handed out to the rooms of other patients. She even had me pick up coloring books and crayons to put in the waiting room to give family members something to do to take their minds of of what they are truly there for. But don't just take my word for it. After she had balloons handed out, one of our nurses came to our room to ask if it was ok for a family in one of the other rooms to know our daughters name. Why? They wanted to make her a bracelet with her name on it because of the balloon they had been given. She's the mother to our daughter, yes, but she treats every kid like they're her own. Whether it's the students she teaches, the kids that say hi to her while we're waiting to be seated at a restaurant, or the kids in the CICU ward at the hospital. If that doesn't embody what it means to be the "best" mother then I don't know what does.

And that, my friends, is what a true superhero looks like. Enjoy the photos of Laurel, Tawney, and Brad below!

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