Blakeman Family Portraits - Grovetown, Georgia - Euchee Creek Trail

As I left my neighborhood Saturday evening, I gasped when I saw the clouds. Do you remember the sky that evening? The light was reaching down in beams. As I caught the highway, I prayed repeatedly ,"Oh please let it still be visible for our portrait session, that would be absolutely beautiful."  I drove in awe, smiling as I tried to remember what I had heard the phenomena called.. was it ladder to heaven? It was the perfect message from God as I drove towards Euchee Creek Trail to spend time with the Blakemans. They always radiate God's goodness and love. It seemed as I kept driving along I-20 I was actually moving in on the sun beams. I was practically dancing in the drivers seat! It hid once I took the Grovetown exit but when I took a turn onto the street for the park, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was directly above where our session was taking place!! I quickly messaged Keturah "God's showing off for you!" 

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I couldn't help but reflect on the moment when Keturah told me she was expecting. She had come over for a playdate in the spring, gracefully shepherding her four boys into my backyard while my baby napped. We sat under my blooming jasmine, taking in the heavenly scent, when she handed me the spring issue of the Magnolia Journal.  "Did you hear Joanna is pregnant again?!" she asked. "Yes isn't it wonderful!" I replied. I didn't find the topic out of the ordinary since we often bonded over the beautiful things in life: Jesus, marriage, motherhood, calligraphy, and Joanna Gaines. "Well, we have another one on the way..." She looked at my slyly. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the ground. She was beaming as she looked over at her four boys playing ball. 

 

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It wasn't long after that she and Mark hosted a gender reveal. She had waited until almost second trimester to even spill the beans! You can imagine the excitement that filled their living room. Was it going to be a 5th boy? Or their very first girl!? My heart was pounding, I was so invested in the anticipation that was building. That pink balloon popped up I started SCREAMING! I'm not even that crazy I swear, but I couldn't help myself! ...then a second pink balloon popped up... "WHAT?!?!" I shouted "TWINS?!?!" Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that they'd be expecting twin girls. Never ever! I got goosebumps. I started sobbing. What had come over me?! I just knew from the bottom of my heart God had something big in store for this family and these two baby girls. 

 

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I get butterflies just thinking about that moment, even still. These boys are going to be the most doting big brothers; I cannot wait to witness it. And Mark! Embrace yourself for so much pink and frills - it's coming!

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Such a loving, caring, Christ centered family that God is blessing in leaps and bounds. It shows in the way they love one another and love others around them. Add a dash of silliness and you've got it on the nose. Speaking of which, the boys want to show you how they dab - 

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I don't know what God has in store for these two little girls but I do know it's going to be nothing short of inspiring and absolute beauty, just like rest of the crew. 

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Mark, Keturah, Justice, Jasher, Ezra, and Eli- you are all so amazing! Thank you for spending your Saturday evening with me facing the Georgia heat and braving ginormous puddles :) 

Love, Araka

Augusta, Georgia Photographer: Birdie Lane & Co by Araka Walker

What an exciting day! Eight months ago I was still in the Air Force and began my first photography course.  My job was very rewarding, but to be honest, it was emotionally taxing. By God's grace I'm happy to have made that transition to being invited into the lives of others on their happiest days and capturing their joyous moments. With each genuine laugh I photograph I can feel my spirit heal a little more. I absolutely love it and I'm honored, just floored that this is my job now! 

Photo by Lin Rae Photography, Pittsburgh PA.

Photo by Lin Rae Photography, Pittsburgh PA.

 

I am originally from the Pittsburgh, PA region and like to travel home often; if you're from those parts, don't hesitate reach out! So naturally I'm a Steelers fan and I'm pleased to find many from Steeler's Nation here in the South! But hey, I'm not here to make enemies. We are a divided house, my husband is a Broncos fan, so all NFL teams welcome here in Birdie Lane & Co family.

My other loves include: 

- Starbucks. All my close friends know my gold card is already good through like 2025. I might sound proud of that, but I can assure you... my husband is NOT . Soy latte at kid temp (because I'm impatient when it comes to drinking my lattes) or iced coffee - weather depending! 

-Blush/Peach Pink. Literally the only color I know to buy. I don't know whether I need help or I'm just fine as I am because it's very easy to match this way. Mmm.. I think I'll just stay in denial.

-Traveling. I used to have a severe case of wanderlust. I traveled to Spain, France, Greece, and Turkey before joining the military. I joined thinking I could travel the world! But alas, I got stationed in Georgia my entire career. God had bigger better plans for that season in my life! 

-Stationary. This leads to the other side of Birdie Lane & Co, calligraphy! (launching this Fall) But stationary goods make my heart pitter patter and all the heart eye emojis. Technology is great, but there's something irreplaceable about putting pen to paper and sending it to a loved one.

My Cultivate What Matters goal journal, accessory by Madyson & Marie, and Paper Mate Flair markers

My Cultivate What Matters goal journal, accessory by Madyson & Marie, and Paper Mate Flair markers

My biggest loves are my faith, my family, and my friends.  All the love in the world and my heart goes out to them. God is so good. My husband Nathaniel is so incredible, sweet, & supportive. How I landed a guy like that only God knows! #marriedup  My baby girl Noelle, she is always smiling and laughing. She's the biggest extrovert you'll ever met. Noelle loves everyone and "longs to be where the people are". How do two introverts raise an extrovert? Seriously if you have advice send it my way! 

My ray of sunshine I was telling you about :)

My ray of sunshine I was telling you about :)

Thank you for reading my VERY FIRST blog post and being a part of this journey with me!