Kelli is an extremely talented individual. She is an illustrator, a children’s designer (Rylee & Cru), a mother, a wife and a friend. I’ve been lucky to get to know her this past year and work with her. Plus she has a daughter named Rylee and my angel baby is named Rylee! Going into her home and being able to photograph her sweet family was pretty awesome.
Here is Kelli’s response to my question: What was your best day?
My best day. It’s near impossible to choose one….because there are three that together rank at the very top of my list. And they are the most cliche, but I’d be lying if I told you that any day was greater or more meaningful. The first is when I married my husband, Sam. I was never the girl that grew up dreaming of her wedding day. I knew I wanted a husband and a family one day….but it was always that, one day. I set my mind on my career and personal goals and there was nothing or no one stopping me. But when I met Sam at 24, I fell hard. I quickly realized that he was the man that God set out for me. He made me a better person. He helped me to see outside of myself. He encouraged me in my strengths, and challenged me where I fell short. And mostly, he loved me. I remember walking down the aisle with my dad. Looking up at him, with tears in both of our eyes, letting the significance of that moment sink in. And then looking around to see all the faces of every person I have ever loved or cared about, together, celebrating that moment with me. I’ve never felt more loved and supported than I did that day. I’m not sure any other party will top that one for as long as we live!
The next best day was the day my daughter Rylee was born. She was our “whoops!” on our one year anniversary, to the day! The several months prior to her conception were some of the hardest of my life. I was struggling with my health and not finding the answers I needed. After months and months of visiting more doctors than I can remember, I finally found one that diagnosed me with severe food allergies and an immune function that was nearly shut down. I went on a drastic diet of gross tasting shakes and over 20 herbal pills a day with the hopes of rebooting my system and gaining my health back, my life really. As I was just getting used to this new lifestyle change (and still not yet feeling it’s benefits) is when I realized I was pregnant. I started crying when I saw the two blue lines slowly appear in the bathroom stall. Mostly out of fear, not knowing how this messed up body of mine could sustain a healthy baby, when I felt like I could barely make it each day on my own. I call Rylee my miracle baby because I truly feel like she was a miracle in my life. As 6 weeks turned into 12, turned into 20, I found my strength coming back. I was ravenously hungry, ALL the time (just ask my husband), and I soon realized that the foods that once made me so sick, no longer affected me. Somehow in the process of growing this child, my body was healed. Let’s just say, pizza never tasted so good. Rylee decided to come at lightening speed. 3 hours and 2 pushes later I was holding this perfect screaming healthy baby girl in my arms. Overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace in my life, and feeling so privileged to be her mother. It was an experience I will never forget. And then three years later, on the NEXT best day, my son Cru was born….and I got to experience that same joy all over again!