Melissa and Calvin welcomed their second little boy, Cayde Alexander, two days before Thanksgiving. I was invited into their Buckingham home for a newborn session shortly after Cayde celebrated his one week birthday. During our visit, Cayde was calm and alert, soaking up his new environment. The only time that he was mildly discontent was when Melissa undressed him which, 1. who can blame him? and 2., honestly, that moment produced some of my favorite photographs—I love being able to see some personality. I also lucked out and was able to get a quick snuggle session in with the perfect little fellow.

When I share newborn sessions the focus tends to be on the adorable new baby—of course. This session obviously is no different, but I want to shift the focus to be shared with this incredible mama. I’ve known Melissa almost my entire life and, like anyone who has met Melissa, her friendship has been a blessing. There is just enough of an age difference between me and Melissa that, as kids, we did not hang out together. Yet, having been raised in the same small church, Melissa feels like family.

Many years ago, Melissa babysat for me and my brother. She will forever receive credit for introducing me to the deliciousness of milk-based tomato soup. I remember watching my old favorite movie “Gold Diggers” when she brought lunch to me. Initially I was horrified because my tomato soup looked different (I grew up making it with water). After cautiously crumpling my crackers into the bowl and taking a taste, I was delightfully surprised. The soup was creamy, rich, and extra delicious.

While her soup-making tip enhanced my life, her supportive generosity repeatedly warms my heart. Well loved by our community and owner of The Spa, Melissa has always given freely to our home county of Buckingham. She is a treasure to our community and an incredible mother and she deserves to be celebrated.

And with no further adieu, the wonderful mother and her adorable newest addition…