Where to begin on this post? Rachel and I have been close friends since 6th grade and that means more memories than I can even begin to think of. Robert and Chris have been friends since elementary school. A true life scenario of 2 guy best friends marrying two girl best friends. Rachel probably knows more than anyone how crazy it is that I am 29 and about to have my fourth child…not really the plan I had back in the day. She survived 6-12 grades with me and all our awkwardness, stood beside me at my wedding, and celebrated with me the arrival of my boys. She also has watched me go from picking up a camera to having a business and now this crazy blog. I have been anxiously awaiting when I would finally get to photograph her and Robert…knowing it would take the arrival of their first child. Soon and very soon I hope to get a call to rush to the hospital when their child is born…and wouldn’t it be a dream to be able to photograph a strong beautiful birth mom placing a delicate baby into my dear Rachel’s loving arms (hint, hint Rachel). They are putting the final touches on a book about themselves for their domestic adoption. It was my GREAT honor to attempt to capture a bit of who they are for that book. Obviously all the pictures below won’t be for that book, but since I finally got to photograph them I was going to have some fun with it. I can’t wait to post again when they are a family of three!

A little bit country and a little bit Rock’n’Roll

I think this is my favorite from the session. I love how he makes her laugh…I have too many favorites from this session!

These last two make me smile. The first just seems so Rachel to me. The second so Robert. Chris has TONS of pictures from high school of him, Robert and a few other guys making this pose. Just makes me laugh, so we had to do it for their session.

Totally embarrassing myself here…I told Rachel this is as close to a ‘being pregnant together’ picture as we’ll ever get.

Next time I’ll be the one adopting and will look all cute and skinny…she’ll be the miserable, sweaty, pregnant one:)

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  • Rachel - Ash – I am honestly speechless (which, as you know, is totally rare). I will treasure these pictures as they will always remind me of God’s call to us to adopt. I can’t wait for a birth Mom to choose us as her forever family, and these pictures will be her introduction to us. I love you and have been blessed to have known you my whole life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the love and time and energy you put in to these pictures. Our life book will always be a family treasure.

  • Jill - Amazing pictures for an amazing family to be! One little baby out there has no idea how lucky he or she is about to be. Rachel and Robert – you are going to be terrific parents!

  • christina larsen - Ashley, that is so cool. Beautiful pics. I met Rachel at the last Adopted community group. So excited for them that they are going to adopt. Congrats.

  • Jeannette Swan - I’m crying!! The pictures are so beautiful and so is the story. I can’t wait to celebrate the baby when he or she joins the family!!

  • Kristen - This post hit very close to home as one of my best friends is at the same stage in their adoption process. I literally have a lump in my throat. You truly captured their personality and I didn’t even have to read the story to know what a fun-loving couple they are. I wish them (and you!) the best of luck with your new babies!! Ashley, you look amazing!

  • Trinity - AWESOME!!!!! It doesn’t matter how many times I hear an adoption story, it totally overwhelmes me everytime….it overwhelmes me thinking of God’s love for us in adopting us into HIS family and how he allows us to have that same privilege with little ones! Can’t wait to see the pictures. AWESOME!

  • bopha - Ashley, the pictures are beautiful but you had a beautiful subject. Rachel, I am so happy for you guys. Any child would be lucky to have you 2 as parents. You are a beautiful person inside and out and I am lucky to have had you as a friend for so long. I wish you the best of luck!!

  • Charissa - I love them! They will be such great parents. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this story unfolds.

    Beautiful photos. Seriously breathtaking. My favorite it the below the waist shot, although Ashley I have to admit I was trying to figure out how in the world you were able to manage shooting that from such a low angle. I wish there was a picture of that on here as well! :)

  • Kari - These photographs are great! You two have more in common- those shoes she is wearing looks just like your favorite pair in the big canvas on your living room wall!! Great minds must think alike! You are so talented!

  • AshleyAnn - Charissa – I was laying on the concrete floor for that. I gave Robert a bit of hard time for it, but it was worth it…

  • Terri - Rachel, I’m just blown away. The pictures are beautiful as is the sentiment. I am so happy to be a part of your journey.

  • Katie H. - As the sister of the most incredible brother and sister in law imaginable you captured the true essence of them as a couple. I know that they are going to make the best parents…and I can’t wait!!

  • Carrie Sowell - WOW! I have tears in my eyes! Ashley, these pictures truly captured who they are. Knowing Rachel from birth I can’t say there is anyone more perfect and deserving than Rachel and Robert to be chosen as parents! Rachel, that is SO exciting. I can’t wait to hear more…..now YOU can start a blog!!!

  • Courtney Connelly - First, Rob and Rachel…you two look AMAZING and I love how the pictures capture your love and personalities so well! Yes, I have huge tears running down my face as I read Ash’s comments and then saw the pictures. What an exciting time this is and can’t wait to spoil that precious baby! Much love.

  • Mandy - Awesome pictures of an awesome couple! I can’t wait for the rest of this story to unfold. Ashley, I am voting for a spot for you as official documentor (is that a word?) of all the details, so we can all have a sneek peek.

  • georgia - Rachel, I’m so overwhelmed with emotion right now. These pictures are breath taking. I’m so happy for you guys and agree with everyone else that you will be an amazing mother. I’m also so sad that I don’t live close enough to experience this with you first hand. I love you and miss ya! On a lighter note, your hair looks wonderful!

  • Jenn G. - I am going to say what everyone else is thinking… you all are stinkin’ HOT!!! These pics are amazing and soooo cute. Way to show some married PDA. On a more serious note, I am so thrilled for you all and can’t wait to see how God is going to build your family.

  • Molly (Murphy) Shockley - Ashley and Rachel! I LOVE THESE! Rachel, I am officially stalking you! Courtney told me Ashley took your pics and I am so glad to “meet” you and see your sweet, sweet face and handsome hubby. I am so looking forward to this journey of adoption and cannot wait to see the miracles God has laid out before you. Hang on girly, God is getting ready to bless your socks off! Thanks for letting me watch you on this fabulous, intense, emotional and spiritual joy ride! ASHLEY…seriously, we need you to take pics of our family!

  • denise - Okay I’m bawling—you are killing me! What sweet pictures–sweet story and sweet friends! Literally you two are blessed with one another—you little cuties!!

  • Amber Dearman - Okay, not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones kicking in or what…but I’m crying!!! What a precious story! And the pictures are incredible!! Ashley, you’re amazing. And Rachel, you’re stinkin darling!!

  • Tessa Brooke - I love looking at your photos! I found your blog through my mom and I can’t get enough of it! I hope to be a photographer one day so your photos are and inspiration.
    Tessa Brooke

Soon and very soon I’ll have the nursery done!

I have not purchased:

any burp cloths (she can use blue ones w/ Rett’s name monogrammed on them, right?)

pajamas (baby girls can look cute in blue & green…I can just stick a gigantic bow on her that a friend has given me)

newborn diapers

baby wash

pacifiers

other somewhat necessary items

I have not packed a diaper bag to take to the hospital.

I have not packed a hospital bag.

I have not filled out pre-admission forms for the hospital.

I have not come to a final decision with Chris on name.

I have not got a car seat ready.

I have not brought the cradle down from the attic to prepare it.

I haven’t even sent off for Littlest Brother’s birth certificate…might as well wait and get them both done at once:)

For some reason it is so much easier for me to work on a nursery than to shop for a daughter.  So basically instead of doing any necessary things to prepare for her arrival, I am working on her room – which of course she won’t sleep in for a while considering her brother is still in the crib….oh well. Priorities.

Not that you care for another sneak peek, but here you go. I know there is nothing remotely close to looking like a baby’s room…I’ll probably be ready to change it before she is ready to sleep in it anyway. Next week I’ll post actual pictures of the room.

POST UPDATE: Since writing this post some very dear friends held a special dinner for me in honor of our coming daughter. I am now fully stocked on some of the cutest girl stuff I have ever seen. I’ll share more later, just had to throw it out there that she won’t be using Rett’s monogrammed burp cloths (at least in public) or wearing doggie pjs (unless she has a new bow on her head). Thanks girls for a truly special SUPER GIRLY night, I am still trying to process it!

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  • Beth - Where do you get that material that is in the top left picture? I’ve noticed it in all your newborn pictures as well and I love it!

  • AshleyAnn - Beth, it is a blanket I got from IKEA about a year ago…

  • Jesse - I am loving it! I think it is perfect!

  • Lisa - I love the messy flower on the wall. That’s the flower for sweet Cora, right? I have a Cora’s playground block in Elle’s room and it’s a wonderful daily reminder that life is so precious :-) Love the room and can’t wait to see more pictures!

  • jill - So beautiful and unique! Again, can’t wait to see the whole thing- what fun you must be having!

  • Serena - I can’t wait to see the rest!! I absolutely LOVE the frames!! I know it is going to look beautiful! :)

  • ashlee - i must say to you i have never had those things done that are on your list, the name always came to us when we saw them…or 2 days later, my hubby always had to go back home for hospital stuff, i only have 1 of my 5 kids birth certificates:) and the other stuff gets done when you have time:) congrats on your girl and i ADORE your blog!

  • christina larsen - So glad you got some girly stuff for your new arrival. However, I have to say that the room looks great, not sure what you would want to change.

  • bopha - We never got lincoln’s birth certificate until he was 2, and it was only because he needed a passport…oops, almost didn’t get the passport in time because of that.

  • meg duerksen - GORGEOUS! i am sure it’s as colorful as can be.
    love your cora flower.
    i started to cry.
    ashley…this room is beautiful. great color combos!

  • leslie - Hi Ashley, do you mind if I share one of these images on my blog (i’ll link back to you of course!). Email me if it’s okay!
    Thanks,
    Leslie of A Room Somewhere