Tara is my "sister-in-law"... I put quotes around that one because she's technically my cousin-in-law. She and Jesse were so close growing up, they were like siblings.
Tara & Michael got married in 2016, less than 2 weeks after I gave birth to our son Kian (oooweee was that a fun rehearsal dinner... first night out after 9 long months of being pregnant... I had a little too much fun.)
Like so many other women out there (myself included) Tara had some struggles getting pregnant. Did you know that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility? As a matter of fact, the natural fertility rate is only about 20%. Luckily... about 90% of infertility cases can be overcome by science! Thank goodness for science, because after trying a few different methods, IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) was a success and Tara was going to be a mama!
Tara had such a long, tough, and bizarre road ahead of her... being pregnant during an unprecedented global pandemic. Lucky for her... she wouldn't have to do it alone. Tara's best friend Juliana found out she was pregnant with her second baby (Riley) and their due dates were only about a week apart!
Fast forward to February. Mario is getting ready to make his appearance, and right on his due date! Tara spent hours in labor but Mario was so cozy in there, he didn't want to come out... so Tara ended up having a C-Section for everyone's safety. He arrived in the early evening right on his due date, February 25th, 2021.
Riley decided she couldn't wait to meet her bestie. She arrived about a week early, only 2 days after Mario on February 27th. Tara & Juliana were at the same hospital, only 2 doors down from one another.
I went to Tara's home to do a couple different sessions with my new nephew. We did a lifestyle shoot in Mario's nursery, which is dinosaur themed (of course.. because Tara is obsessed with dinos!) It's so bright and cozy in there.
Tara's dad Scott came in and scooped Mario right up from under me! Proud Papa is just head over heals in love with this baby. The only one missing is Tara's mother Tina, who lost her battle with cancer in 2019. We all know that Tina is watching over Mario, and she will always be shining light down onto this family.
I got lots of snuggles in while I waited for Mario to get sleepy so I could wrap him up for some more formal pictures.
This boy has a serious case of FOMO ("Fear Of Missing Out"... in case this is a Millennial term and "not cool" anymore, like a side part and my skinny jeans).
It took him forever to get sleepy, but that's okay... more snuggles for Auntie.
Miss Riley showed up later in the afternoon and was ready for her close up. The second I picked her up, my heart melted. She is an absolute peanut, with a head full of beautiful dark hair. She is like a dainty replica of her big brother Jamseon, who is doing such a good job. Riley even fit inside this Easter basket her grandma had made for her... just like a little jelly bean!
I am completely obsessed with these two babies... I wish they could stay this tiny forever. It makes me so happy that Tara & Juliana were able to go through their pregnancies together, and that their babies will grow up being best friends.