Before High School.
Before Junior High...
...there were kids. I became an Aunt for the first time at age 11. My baby-sitting skills were sharpened at an early age. I have lost count on how many children and families I grew up with. Because I did, really...grow up right along with all of them. Helping grow other children was my livelihood. I never collected a real 'paycheck' until my freshman year of undergrad. (This may shed some light on why I cannot help myself to love on or grab for other little ones in my life. It is who I've become.)
Last weekend I shed my Mama cloak for a glorious 24 hours. Thanks to my great husband and wonderful parents for their help.
I picked up my Nikon (and trusty smart phone), got behind the wheel with tunes blaring and headed two hours north to assist NicoleLeePhotography shoot a wedding.
It wasn't just any wedding.
|Julianne. The Bride.|
One of my little ones grew up, found a sweet guy and said "I Do" at the family cottage in front of about 50 family members and friends.
I drove home early Sunday morning with the biggest smile plastered across my face. The entire day was filled with images such as this one above.
And this...little Paul (bride's brother) and me. Twice a week, from the tender age of 6 weeks old, this guy was a fixture in my family life as his parents worked. He's all grown up too, obviously.
And how Mother Nature threw us a bone, threw away the 80% chance of rain and storms, and gave us an unbelievable evening.
And this...energy and love.
And this...you may recognize Father of the Bride as "Fireman Chris" from a few months back? I can still feel the love when I look at this image.
And this...in between dancing and laughing and eating and drinking (yes, even the photographers), Mother of the Bride and Babysitter/Lifelong Friend/Photographer stole a quiet second.
What I could not capture in smart phone images:
- how I cried uncontrollably from behind my camera lens as Julianne walked down the aisle on her daddy's arm;
- my sore stomach muscles two days after this event (from laughter);
- the 2am hotel giggling fits that NLP and I had, sprawled on our beds, with dirty-black feet, looking through the images on our respective Nikons;
- the renewed spirit I had after exercising my creativity surrounded by these people;
- the blessings I feel to have been a part of it all.
And so that y'all don't think I've forgotten about my Ella Girl (who survived beautifully without me for 24 hours!) in this post, look who got all Big Shot on us the day I returned...
The strides she has made since we took this video are just awesome. We are super proud of her!
We are wrapping up our kitty fostering duties tomorrow. More on that later, promise :)