Midwest Motherhood Stories / The White Family / Chicagoland Portrait Photography

Perfectly imperfect. This paradox is one that I am seeking to embrace now more than ever after a dozen years of mothering. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I am all-too aware of the imperfections that exist in myself and my family. And yet I am learning that those imperfections are not a hindrance to having a thriving family; rather, they are an integral part of it. The imperfections encourage growth and grace. They keep us humble and human and reliant on God and each other. And if we don’t take ourselves too seriously, they keep us laughing!

One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, writes, “Perfectionism is slow death by self. It will kill your skill, your spark, your art, your soul.” How true! Whenever I fall back into chasing some ever-evasive perfection in myself, my motherhood, or our family, I see how quickly joy evaporates. And so, in choosing to lay down perfectionism and view myself and our family and other families through God’s grace-filled eyes, I choose life. And part of that surrender has to be being okay with not seeming perfect to others. Both the relationships and the floors in our home can get pretty messy! It takes a heavy dose of grace to keep us loving and laughing. And this mama has to continually remind herself of the truths that perfection is not required in order to be a good mother or a thriving family – thank goodness!

Nikki, thank you for capturing these lovely photos of our perfectly imperfect family. They will forever remind me of how God can take broken and imperfect people and make something whole and beautiful. We will cherish them always!

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All Who Wander Are Not Lost/ Midwest Motherhood Stories / Shop Pink Blush

Happy Wednesday, Last Fall I had recieved this gorgeous floral Dress is from Pink Blush In all honesty I have only worn it a handful of times. I love it, the colors are perfect for any season and it fits so well. I wish I would have had it sooner, like when I was pregnant all 3 times. 🙂 Let me explain why I refuse to wear it often. When I slip into this silky floral dress, I am reminded of memories of my Mom. She too has the same exact dress after seeing mine. Mother has always taught me the importance of having dreams of your own and to Dress Up, Show Up and Do Your Best. She’s always had a business that she was passionate about. While raising teenage foster girls when I was a child and all through my teens. Even still at 70 years old she goes to her little Vintage Consignment Boutique and dresses women all day long.  Even while having Cancer she would sit in her wheelchair just to be present at the shop. As busy moms of young kids its terribly easy to fall into this gigantic rut of yoga pants and sweaters. We can loose all sense of the world beautiful and feminine. I can’t tell you all the times I hear the women I photograph tell me how they cried after viewing images from their family or mama and me photo shoots. How it’s been so long that they felt beautiful. Makeup or no makeup, for me I can’t even tell you the last time I wore makeup. The solid truth of the matter. It’s not me or my photography. It’s not the gorgeous autumn golden hour. Yes all those things do help make your skin and hair glow. The reason they and I feel beautiful, is the dress. Wearing a long flowy dress just has a dinamic that can change an image or rather a feeling into whimsical, dreamy, beautiful and the list goes on. Seeing a mother surrounded by her husband and children wearing a gown or dress she feels beautiful in. Sets the tone for all emotions to rush in and create the magic i just stand back and get to capture all the feelings. Back to the reason I only wear this dress a handful of times is exactly that. I don’t want it to ever loose it’s newness to me. Its like a special occasion to me. I encourage you to splurge when you can on a few special dresses that give you all the feels. When you do, be sure to set a portrait session and save those memories close to your heart. If you can’t do a portrait session then just like us staging our homes for a clean crisp home interior vignette. Throw on a dress and dance around your home asking your kids to take photos. I promise you, it will do something for your soul. xoxo Nikki P.S. Willows Dress is from La Monique 

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An Afternoon by the River / Carde Family

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This family has a special place in my heart. I have been photographing them since the girls were babies. Keep scrolling to see what Valerie had to say about Motherhood. Who better to tell the story of these images then the mama in them. 🙂 Read on….
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I look at my life everyday and thank God for allowing me to be a wife and mother. My husband works so hard for his family and my girls are beautiful inside and out and have a heart of gold. I ask how can I be so lucky. To see them jump and smile when I come into a room, to them never wanting me to leave their sight. They truly complete me and I’m excited to go through this thing called life with them. Thank you God for my beautiful family, words will never show how thankful I am but I hope my actions do.

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Motherhood Stories / Midwest Mama Lindsay / Chicagoland Photography


Meet Lindsay. “I love gorgeous pictures of my littles (who doesn’t?) and have hundreds of pictures of them and likely only a handful that I’m in as well. And, let’s face it, those ones are goofy selfies and ones I forced my husband to take and are chaotic or posed. Getting actual photos done I considered a splurge even though I’ve been wanting them done for a year or so. However, I’ve been trying to be more cognizant lately of putting some of my wants first (little or big) here and there. The kids are typically getting the best while we are in our old sweatshirt (or at least I am) and putting all of their needs first. We need to put some of our wants first. And we need to be in more pictures!
To be a part of not only gorgeous photographs, but to have us all captured as we are- goofy, sassy personalities and all- was such a great treat to myself. We will be able to look back and the kids will have pictures of us, as we are. They are my life and it’s only fitting that now we have pictures to capture some of those feelings.”

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Midwest Edition / Motherhood Story / Chicagoland Photography

Motherhood: mastering the art of multitasking. It can all feel so busy and the lists are continuously growing. I’ve found that making it a point to stop and just p l a y once a day helps to keep my mind on track and reminds me not to take myself too seriously. My children have aged me but at the same time keep me young. As a busy adult with real life stuff to deal with on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget the magic that our world truly is. My boys bring so much spunk and fun to my life that I really could not ask for more. I’m typically doing 10 things at once, always trying to compete with that to-do list… but as long as I keep those little moments with them at the top of that list, nothing in life could ever take away the joy and the love that fills my heart.


Shelby K. Moran