There just can’t be a happier, smilier baby than Alex at one-year-old.
It seems impossible that just over a year ago this little buy was just a sleepy little five pound baby.
Duck was one of his first words, so it felt very fitting to make sure that we took some pictures at the duck pond.
How neat to watch this little guy grow over the last year; the first year is truly just so incredibly amazing. Thank you to Alex’s family for letting me be a part of it!
How incredible to watch this little man grow up over the last year.
To celebrate his first birthday, he also got his first cake, made just for him. Although he had been eating solid foods for a while, this first foray into cake was more about exploration than eating.
It’s just amazing to see how much he grows each week. Two weeks later we took family portraits at Mill Pond, where the Moerleins spend so much time throughout the year. Look at how much he has changed!
This week, he was standing and toddling, but was still working on walking without assistance.
I think that makes this week one of those special times where as a photographer I get to capture the moments that add up to the big milestones. That has been one of the things that has made me feel luckiest about getting to see Theo grow and photograph him throughout this year. It’s amazing to see so many moments: big and small, that make up a first year for such a delightful little guy.
Theo had really started to get into books around his first birthday and Dinosaur Kisses was his favorite book.
Theo has been just the biggest joy in his parents lives and I adore him tremendously.
We are all so very, very happy to have him around. It will be so much fun to watch him continue to grow and develop, and hopefully become the older, cooler friend to our little one when my husband and I welcome our addition sometime in the next month. It’s incredible to have so much wonderfulness in your life and the Moerleins are such a big part of that for our family.
As my best friend and amazing photography assistant, Dorothy, prepared to have her baby turn one-year-old, I couldn’t help but look through all the photos we had taken over the first year of his life. From the baby bump, to her baby shower, to his birth, to the first few days of his life, there is nothing more special then being there each one of these incredible milestones.
I also realized there were some photos that we didn’t get to share when they happened.
Here are some of those amazing moments around six months old. Theo was pushing up, crawling, and discovering how amazing his hands and feet are.
His little expressions are just the most amazing. I hope you’ll come back next week to see how much he had grown by his first birthday. You won’t believe how much he has changed (although still just as cute).
One of my favorite things about newborn photos is getting to capture babies at their very tiniest.
He will grow out of his squished nose and his little hand tucked up by his ear.
When I did the viewing of these newborn photos for the parents, Dorothy kept repeating, “I can’t believe how much he has already changed.”
Since the first few days and weeks are an amazing profusion of every new things at once, constant change and learning, I feel remarkably lucky to get to capture a moment in time.
When I was knitting these pants, they seemed so small, but they were still too big for this little guy. It’s easy to forget how truly tiny newborns are.
I’ve been waiting so long to share this one. Theodore Douglas, ten days old, and his gorgeous family.
Of course, there was way too much adorableness to get into one post, so please come back next week for the second installation.
Nine months ago, Dorothy and I met up at Georgetown-Rowley State Park for a hike. We walked for hours talking about the kinds of things you only share with your very best friend. It was a gorgeous day and I can still remember the scent of cedar as our boots crunched over the trails. Before we parted, Dorothy said, “Oh, before you go, there is something I want to tell you.” She didn’t need to say anything else, I just started crying and hugged her while shouting something super eloquent like “Really?! Really?!” That’s how I learned my best friend was pregnant on the very same day she found out the amazing news.
Since then, it had been nine months of anticipation. Dorothy and Alex had prepared everything that could be done: reading the books, taking the birth class, cooking and freezing meals, hand crafting mobiles, the baby’s blanket, the crib, and hanging shelves full of books from those who love this little baby already. (For more images of the of all the preparations you can see the maternity photos here and the baby shower photographs here.)
Since I can remember the Trippe’s have always been a part of my family’s community. They are not family friends; they are family. Growing up, I used to hear the story of how my mother was in the room when the two youngest Trippe children were born. They retell the story of how in their sleep deprivation my mother and their father, Mike, tried unsuccessfully to convince a laboring Mary Kay to name the baby Trina Thomasina Trippe (Clara Mary was a much better choice) and about Mary Kay almost biting my mother in the middle of a contraction. For this reason, it seemed incredibly normal to me that best friends would be present at the birth of their children, even in the room. However, when I mentioned to my dismayed husband that I hoped to be at the birth center, in the waiting room, at the birth of baby Moerlein, he wisely suggested I should probably check before driving up at the first news of labor. Maybe not all families feel the same way about friends in the waiting room.
Out to dinner one night, I “casually” brought this up to Dorothy. Emphatically, she grabbed my arm and said, “Oh thank goodness, because I really want you to be in the room.” Somehow the universe really did perfectly match us as friends.
For weeks, I excitedly checked my phone every time it vibrated. My amazing co-workers heard me talk about it every single day (they really are the best). I checked and recharged my camera equipment every night before bed to make sure I would be ready for a call in the middle of the night. In the meantime, Dorothy was as calm as I had ever seen her. She was ready, but waiting patiently.
After many hours passing on this gorgeous spring day, there was an hour of contractions five minutes apart. Alex called the midwives. The next time they passed through these doors there would be a new member of their family in their arms.
Dorothy and Alex are one of those couples who give you faith in marriage.
Watching them this day, I was astonished by their care for each other, and certain that they will be the most incredible partners for each other and parents to this child.
I am honored to be their friend.
Only Dorothy could make labor look this pretty.
The care Dorothy’s parents and Alex displayed throughout the day restores ones faith in how remarkably powerful love can be.
This has been one of the most surreal and fantastic experiences I have had in my life.
I am so remarkably grateful that Dorothy and Alex let me be a part of this indescribable experience and let me try to tell it through photographs.
Welcome to the world: Theodore Douglas Moerlein.
You are already loved endlessly.
Stay tuned for newborn photos, coming soon!
Photographing Dorothy’s maternity portraits was such an honor, being a part of these special days of anticipation.
Dorothy and Alex have chosen not to share the baby name until he is born, but they also didn’t want to slip up and accidentally use the real name. So, to be on the safe side they have taken to calling him Juan Pablo. Whether this is referring to a race car driver (Alex’s hypothesis), the Bachelor (Dorothy and my hypothesis), this playfulness is part of what will make them such great parents. They never stop making each other laugh.
It was such a privilege spending the afternoon together, laughing, talking, and being astonished about this incredible thing that is about to happen.
For all the rest of the photographs visit their gallery and stay tuned for baby Moerlein’s big debut in April.
We’re counting the days.
To call Dorothy one of my best friends is somewhat of a misnomer. Dorothy is not only my photography assistant (she is truly a baby whisperer and has the miraculous ability to make anyone feel comfortable in any situation), but truly my laotong. We first heard about this concept in Lisa See’s lovely novel: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
“A laotong match is as significant as a good marriage . . . a laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity.” We are “sworn sister[s],” “old same,” we are a perfect match. I cannot imagine a life without Dorothy (and now soon, with baby boy Moerlein).
I cannot describe my joy when Dorothy told me that she was pregnant. She and Alex are truly one of those couples that give you hope for true love and a lasting happy marriage. They have had that magic spark, from the first time they picked each other out from a crowded dance floor. That ember now warms their home. They will make this baby the luckiest little boy in the world.
Dorothy has been the face of grace as she grows this new little person. As baby Moerlein reached the 27th week and his ears were able to hear voices for the first time (see the baby milestones as embodied by fruit here!), Dorothy started reading him The Little Prince. She has loved this story since French class and it seems only right that the first words he hears were written in French.
The entire house is readying for him. The nursery is painted. Dorothy is knitting the baby blanket and Alex is constructing the crib (yes, they are that amazing). Even Gatsby is practicing guarding the baby.
I have rarely seen Dorothy more relaxed, content, and replete with happiness.
Also, she looks incredibly gorgeous. Pregnancy definitely suits her.
I cannot wait to meet him and begin this next incredible stage of our lives and our friendship together. I am so very grateful.
Dorothy and Alex are so incredible that I will be sharing more of her images next week. And stay tuned for the baby Moerlein in April!