This family session holds a special place in my heart, and that’s because I love the Smith family dearly! I have known Hannah and Barrett for almost a decade now (wow does that make me feel old!), having met while studying together at Cornell. They are two of the smartest, most compassionate, and most loyal people you will ever meet. I actually became friends with Hannah shortly before she and Barrett started dating, and for the next few years, as their relationship grew and bloomed, so did our friendship. In fact, we jokingly referred to ourselves as “The Tricycle” because I was constantly tagging along as a third wheel, a job that I took very seriously! 😉 Fast forward a few years to the week after graduation, and Hannah and Barrett tied the knot, where I was very proud to continue my third wheel duties as a bridesmaid! It was honestly one of the happiest days of my life.
As many of you may know, it takes a lot of effort to maintain close friendships after graduation, and while I’ve lost connections with many people over the years, I’ve always felt extremely blessed and grateful to have kept in touch with Hannah and Barrett despite the hundreds of miles between us. Over the years, we’ve watched each other’s lives and stories unfold: I moved to Alexandria for work, met the love of my life, and got married (with Hannah by my side as my gorgeous Maid of Honor!), while she and Barrett went on into seminary and graduate school and slowly began to expand their family.
I will never forget the first moment I met baby Leo. Manuel and I had driven up to New Jersey to visit them, and when we had arrived and gotten settled, Hannah brought Leo downstairs to meet us. As soon as I saw his adorable little face, I was bowled over by a tidal wave of awe, protectiveness, and affection, and I realized that for the first time in my life, I loved a stranger not because of anything that he had done, any abilities that he had, or any existing rapport that we shared, but simply because of who he was: Hannah and Barrett’s baby boy. Beloved of my beloved. I knew in that moment that I would love him forever.
Naturally, when it was their turn to visit us several months later, we decided that we had to take some portraits to commemorate their beautiful little family, and I am super duper excited to share them with you all! And I also think that by the end of this blog post, you’ll agree that Leo is simply one of the cutest babies on the planet. Just looking back through these photos makes me want to reach through my computer and hug him! 🙂