A little girl's first birthday ever is always cause for celebration!

I first met little miss Edlin Ensign's mom, Taylor, when we were both members of the Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-River Falls. After college, Taylor married her high school sweetheart, Evan, and together they started dairy farming on the farm Taylor grew up on near Dorchester, Wis. First came love, then came marriage, and...that was the rest of the story. They also became foster parents, and are currently raising 13-year-old Bailey, who joined in on the fun of getting cows ready to take pictures and hopped in many shots with his foster family. Funny side story: Sam conveniently timed a stop at a farm near Athens, Wis., to look at a bale grinder. Evan knew the location of the farm we were going to, let us know that Marathon County had recently renamed all of the roads, and gave us directions to help us on our merry way.

Edlin turned one on August 1st, and we spent a lovely storybook morning together taking pictures of her in the barn and with her cows (and her family, of course). The meaning behind her unique name is especially poignant, as it's a combination of the names of Evan's late father and Taylor's late mother, Ed and Linda. I'm not crying - you are. Edlin is in the barn while her parents do chores every day, and when I rushed to get her dirty thumb out of her mouth for one shot, Taylor told me it wasn't the worst thing she'd sucked on compared to the cow tail she was chewing on the night before. #toddlers

After getting some shots of Edlin by herself, we pivoted over to family photos with Evan, Taylor, Bailey, and a Holstein and Jersey cow. The cows were generally cooperative except for not wanting to have their ears forward (which is preferred with cattle photography), but infinite patience is a must with cattle whether you're taking their pictures or not. The whole session truly went perfectly, and I wish the Ensigns all the success and love in the world with their farming career and other endeavors! I truly enjoyed getting to know this sweet family, and I think you will too when you look through some more of their photos below.