ARAMBULA-REYNA FAMILY || Fresno, CA || Carmen was one of my very best friends in college. We lived together my junior and senior years, which meant she also saw every moment of my pregnancy with Isaac, including being there in the room for his birth. The only girl who grew up in a house full of brothers, her maternal tendencies were so strong and so good, even when we were kids of just 20. She'd gather my newborn boy into a sling made from folds and folds and folds of fabric, and wear him around the house for hours; I'd have to peel layer upon layer back just to see him down there, and the part of me that felt he must be suffocating became replaced with trust because I knew he was with Carmen.

We live about five hours apart now, and in the hundred years since we finished college she's become Mama to Izel, 9, and now baby Sebastian. How special it was then a couple weeks back that Corey and I, with our kids in tow, got to swing by their home in Fresno while we were on the road for spring break. We spent the afternoon meeting baby, catching up, ogling over the beautiful flower garden Carmen's wife Kat had just planted out back, and the nearly wall-high windows throughout their cozy space. The kids played video games and then basketball, Izel stopping just long enough to show me how much he's grown and sit for some portraits with his new brother.

Seeing Carmen with her children is always a full-circle moment for me; never do I see her with a baby in hand and not think of those days back with Isaac. It's needless to say this little window light portrait session holds a special place in my heart. Also that I got to share the experience with my sister. Corey shot the sweetest video encapsulating our time together, which you can enjoy at the bottom of this post . . .