New York City Engagement | Kelsey & Brendan


The Honolulu marathon was a good excuse for a vacation.  That’s what he had told her when he signed up.  Over the months of training, the hundreds of miles he ran alone that followed, with nothing but his thoughts with him, he realized it was an even better ruse for an engagement.  And so he ran and he planned.  And now it was over.  He had run his race, and there was a celebratory glass of wine in front of him.  She smiled broadly from across the table.  He smirked, knowing the marathon wasn’t quite over yet.  As the waiter collected their check, he suggested something. “Let’s go for a walk on the beach”.  She yawned and suggested heading back to their room for awhile first.  He tried to convince her, but she wasn’t budging.  About an hour later, he offered again.  “Let’s go for a walk on the beach.  It’s nearly sunset – we are in Hawaii!”  She was tired. “Tomorrow, okay?  I’m just tired, let’s stay in.”.  He sighed.  “Well, I’m not waiting any longer.” he said, and her head snapped up at the unusual response.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box.  Her hands flew to her mouth, stifling a little scream this time instead of a yawn.  Now the race was won. 

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Laura & Matt | Engagement


She checked over her look one last time in the mirror.  She fussed with her hair a bit and wished her Marquette sweatshirt came in something more fashionable.  ‘Ah, well’ she thought to herself.  ‘It’s a basketball game, who cares?’  She headed for the door, giving Lucy a pat on the head as she went down the hallway.  “Ready Babe?” Matt asked her from the kitchen.  “Yeah, let’s go!” she replied enthusiastically.  He joined her by the door.  “Did you forget anything?” he asked.  “No” she replied, rather absentmindedly.  “Are you sure?” he questioned.  She looked up.  “Yes, I’m…..” she trailed off.  He was kneeling there with a ring in his hand.  “Oh, my!” she exclaimed, and a smile spread across his face. 

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Introducing…. our Second Daughter


Waylynn Day
October 29, 2014
6 lbs 4 oz
21 inches

The most common question I get when people learn we have a new baby is “What is it like having two kids?”.  Well, she’s five months old already and I’m just now getting to blogging about her arrival.  I think that fact might just sum it up nicely.  Almost all of these pictures are from five months ago – when she was new and oh so tiny.  She’s obviously bigger now, but pause time with me for a moment to go back.


Thanks to a rough c-section and recovery, I didn’t get to witness Mini meeting her little sister for the first time.  Though I know her excitement was high!  We were so fortunate that the amazing network of photographers in Milwaukee swung into action and made sure someone was there to photograph these moments when our original plan went to pieces (emergency c-sections will do that).  We are so grateful that our friend Sarah Spottswood dropped everything to be there to capture it for us.


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If you are a reader of the blog, you know that my pregnancy with our newest addition was nothing short of dramatic.  I’ll always be connected to this little one in a special way I think – we spent so many hours, days and weeks just memorizing each other’s heartbeats in a hospital bed, just her and me.

She came earlier than we had planned, but late enough to be healthy and safe.  Since she was 6 weeks early, she (and I) spent the first week+ of her life in the hospital, being monitored.  Hubby and I spent those days introducing her to those who love her most one at a time (as per Nursery rules), holding her for hours, and staring at the monitors keeping track of her every breath and heartbeat.



The last two days in the hospital, Squeak and I got to share a room {finally!}.


Taking this little one home was so emotional.  Just the idea of not living in a hospital, of being able to walk out under my own power – mind-boggling.  As we drove home on the blustery day, just an ordinary afternoon – I turned around to see two carseats in the back of our truck, and my older daughter talking to my younger one.  That moment right there was victory.  We had finally made it.  We were leaving a hospital and taking her home!


The sharp-eyed among you will notice that Mini is holding onto a cart that is wheeling my computer out of the hospital.  My office was all set-up there, in my room.  Squeak arrived at the tail-end of wedding season, and there was still a lot of work to be done!

Mini is a wonderful big sister.  She adores the role, and takes great pride in helping and teaching her younger counterpart all the ways of the world.

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A friend once characterized her second baby as a “bonus”.  She was so right.  We are already broken-in as parents, and I’ve found we get to just enjoy Squeak’s baby-ness so much more this time around.  The sweet smiles, the heavenly scent, the never-ending snuggles.  Since she was a preemie, we had an extended period of newborn-ness that was really fun to relish in.  She was so squishy, and preferred to be in the best version of a pretzel she could create, and snuggled up against the closest heartbeat, for months.

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She was so tiny too – that’s a spit up cloth she’s using for a blanket!


I marveled (still do) at her hair – Mini had almost none when she was born, and Squeak has a bunch of light brown locks.  So sweet.  They look a lot alike except for their coloring – we can’t wait to see how Squeak grows into her features.

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This next picture is possibly the best photo I’ve ever taken, entirely for personal reasons.  It turns me inside out with emotion each time I look at it.  Getting our little Squeak was a huge challenge.  Medical complications from Mini’s birth and subsequent surgeries made it unsafe to conceive naturally.  It’s a story that could fill a novel (maybe one day I’ll have the stomach to write it).  Squeak is an IVF baby.  What it took to bring her into this world, it’s not something I can really convey with words.  But this photo does it for me.  This photo was taken just a month ago, on the one year anniversary of the day we implanted Squeak.  That’s her – at 8 cells in that little picture.  A picture we hung on our fridge and hoped with everything we had that it would work this time.  Maybe it’s not something you can understand until you’ve walked that road.  But seeing her hold the first photo of herself – and knowing what an incredible little human we have been blessed with – there are no words.


  1. Sarah posted the following on April 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm.

    Such a precious moment to capture. Such a beautiful little girl. Congrats once again Michel Family!


Miscellaneous Monday

It’s time to kick off wedding season in earnest….starting with Lisa & Jake this weekend at Whistling Straits!  My gear is tested and ready, and I can’t wait to document a wedding story!  It’s doubly nice to be starting the season off with one at one of my favorite venues.

If you are looking for an extra part-time job, and have an eye for fashion and an open ear, then you should check out the position open at Miss Ruby!  Erin and her staff are crazy nice, and I can only imagine, a dream to work with!

The truly lovely magazine Dainty Obsessions is also hiring!   They are looking for a sales manager.  I was lucky enough to be published in their beautiful tome once, and I was blown away by the gorgeous layouts, functional but beautiful design, and care and consideration Valerie puts into each issue.  I’m still wishing they included Wisconsin in their coverage so I could have my work featured again.

We took Mini to her very first movie-at-a-theater last week.  It was a stitch!  She enjoyed every second of the little adventure.  We chose the new version of “Cinderella”.  She insisted on a “cinderella bun” for her own hair before we left, and then ‘shushed’ us in the theater anytime we talked.  It was adorable!  The movie was fantastic by the way – utterly gorgeous in every way.  The production design and costume design are award contenders for sure.

Squeak has moved onto solids, which has been a fun adventure of peas, carrots and bananas so far.  Mostly all over us and her.  It is just a blast watching her discover new things.  Speaking of Squeak, I realized the other day that we never did an introductory blog post for her – so stay tuned for that tomorrow – long overdue!

Spring, Spring, Spring!  The little taste of warm weather last week was very nice.  Now if the trees would start to bud – we would be in business.   I’ve noticed the weeds in our yard are way ahead of schedule and growing, well, like weeds.  So, add that to the to-do list.  On a more positive note, the golf course is calling our names….

I stumbled on this TED talk about how mushrooms are going to save the world – it is totally fascinating, and well worth the 18 you’ll spend watching it.

I also found the series The Last Man on Earth on Hulu (it’s really on FOX).  The concept alone has me so thoroughly intrigued.  The show is sharp, funny and vivid too.

If you know photoshop, then you’ll find this video utterly hilarious.  Especially if you’ve been using it since the early days.

Have a great week!