I opened my eyes this morning gleaming at the fact that I had a day off and could sleep well pass 8:30. I stretched and realized that I could probably sleep for hours and not feel guilty about wasting half a day laying around in my bed with my pj's on but I thought to myself: "What does today hold?" I looked through my text messages and e-mails - zero new ones, of course. Then I scrolled through my Instagram feed and instantly caught wind of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. And in that moment, it's like my entire world no longer mattered. My daily life, my ability to sleep on the comfiest of beds, my needs. None of it mattered anymore.
I shot out of my bed and ran into the living room dreading to hear the story and when I did, my entire heart broke. It broke for the 20 little souls who will never experience life: family, graduations, careers, children. I sat there with tears rolling down my face fearful and wondering "what if that happened here?" and "what if that happened at my job?!" and all I could think of was all of the children I work with day-in and day-out at my job and church.
An anger had erupted deep in my chest for the man who selfishly took the lives of those who woke up this morning probably thinking almost the same thing as I did. And a few hours later... they were gone. Gone like little whispers that travel through the air.
Twenty-six people - strangers to me - in one moment became a family member, a friend, a sister, a cousin, a sunday school student, a child at my workplace to me. They became close to me and as my heart broke with complete sadness, my heart became heavy.
So, with all the prayers I can pray for them and all the kind words I can write, hug your kids, hug the people you love and cherish every single moment, even the bad ones.
I haven't done a family photo shoot in a while and I could tell because I double booked myself on Friday morning (one at 9am and another at 10:30am...on Black Friday). But, it's okay, because it was a breath of fresh air and I got to capture a lot of the fun moments that they share when no one else is looking.
The weather was perfect that morning. The sun was out, there was a weird fog covering the mountains and the air was crisp! Everyone was in great spirits - probably due to the awesome deals they got in the early morning - and it was just beautiful.
I have known Andie, Mario and their 2 kids (and her mom) ever since Mandie was in the second grade - she just turned 13 a few days ago! Yep, time flies and I feel old! They are a crazy, comedic family and I wanted to capture the funniness that runs through their bones. If you knew them personally, you would know that whenever you are around them... you laugh your face off! They love dance parties and opted to dance to Psy's Gangnam style. If I could post the 50+ pictures I got of them dancing, we'd all have tummy cramps from laughing so much.
It was a great day. They closed out the photo shoot morning for me - we literally finished a few minutes before the afternoon. Stay tuned for the first shoot I had that morning.