Beth emailed me, her excitement tangible even across a computer screen. She didn’t even need to use emoticons=) She wanted to do another family session. Her son, Ian, and his family were returning to Hawaii for a visit and Beth wanted to bless them with a gift family photo session. I just love Beth and her family. Beth was referred to me a few years ago and I first met the whole extended family when I took their family photos at Waimanalo Beach. It was the largest group I’ve ever had for family photos. I remember her initial email where she listed everyone in the family right down to her three adorable grandchildren and there was ten in all. TEN!! Turns out that all ten were completely beautiful and sweet.
Beth and I have kept in touch thanks to the magic of facebook and she’s been a supportive voice this past year as my husband and I dealt with living in the NICU day after day. Her family had dear friends who had a preemie 12 years ago and he was in the hospital for 23 months. Wow!! The 81 days my daughter spent in the hospital seemed like forever. I can’t imagine living the NICU life for 23 months. So, Beth and her daughter, Emma, were a faithful part of the “Aunty Patrol” for their friend’s baby and took turns with feeds and cuddle time. Emma, who was just 15 at the time, was inspired by the experience and found her life’s calling. She is a NICU nurse now. So, Beth and her family have insight into our world and have been there with constant words of encouragement and prayers.
Preparing to take photos of Ian and his wife, Chantel, was an amazing trip back in time. In my first intial email exchanges with Beth, she wrote “Ian, Chantel, TBA (baby due next month) coming from California “ as she listed everyone who would be present for the family session. Baby “TBA” arrived in time for family pictures and I had the pleasure of meeting him so now I can call him “T.” He was an adorable baby with inquisitive blue eyes and soft whisps of dark hair ruffled by the wind. He was contently perched in the strong arms of his dad as he took in the crazy family antics taking place on that beach. Fast-forward to 2011 and “T” has grown a few feet and learned to use his two feet. Energetic? A resounding “YES!” I usually ask parents to bring snacks as a back-up plan to use in the latter part of a shoot when I need to slow children down and get them to sit still for particular shots. This would be the first time EVER that we had to break into that snack bag in the first ten minutes. “T” was a rocket chasing after his favorite ball and wrestling with the family dog. And those snacks bought us just a few milliseconds and he would pop a cracker in his mouth and jet off. But those milliseconds were perfect. One glimpse of his big blue eyes and cheeky smile and we all melted, much like the chocolate chips in his snack bag.