People gathered gradually in the morning hours of a lazy Saturday for a birthday brunch with Aunt Barb at Jordan Creek's Marriott. She knew some of the family would be there from around the Des Moines area, but what she didn't know is there would be a few surprise guests. Additional family had flown or driven in from Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Michigan, Oregon, California and lastly Germany!  

The men gathered with mugs of coffee in hand, the ladies oogled over the growing babies (in and ex utero) and eventually, they all came together in a semi-circle facing the door where Aunt Barb would enter. 

She had barely rounded the corner, when her jaw hit the proverbial floor. Having had a rough past couple months (note the arm in a sling), this was the incredible pick-me-up that Barb's family knew she needed.  

Orchestrated by her niece, Lynne, I'd been contacted months ago to document candids and different family combinations throughout the morning, especially nabbing a huge group family shot at the end.  I first photographed this family group 4 years ago. Babies are no longer babies, new babies have come into existence and new spouses have entered the picture. What fun to watch a loving family grow and genuinely enjoy each other. You could tell even the "in-law" married-in folk loved the group. 

Aunt Barb-I hope you had the most genuinely BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. I also hope you were thoroughly surprised! If those in attendance are any testament to how much you are loved, you are one of the luckiest gals in the world!

Happiest of birthdays,

Carrie

PS You can view more of our time together HERE

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