As the mother of a 22 year old (and several others) I can tell you that photos of your daily life, photos of your carpool, bread-making, haircuts and tantrums are the photos that you will really love ten years, twenty years, fifty years from now. Seriously. This family was so much fun! The girls want “Anna Banana” to come take their photos every day, forever. Now THAT is a compliment!
If you’ve been following Cate’s journey you will love this news; Cate has rung the bell at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin signifying her scans showing No Evidence of Disease! Cate has beaten back her cancer and is ready to resume her regularly scheduled life! At her bell ringing ceremony her mom took the time to thank all of the people who did big and small things to help their family through this challenging season. She held Cate’s Beads of Courage, a really cool tradition of collecting a bead for each instance that required her to be brave; a big needle, a scary scan, a trip to the ER in the middle of the night. She talked about how each small moment of courage in the face of fear were just that; one small triumph. But when you string them all together into the incredible chain Cate has collected over the last nine months you really see how much she’s been through and how much she has accomplished. It’s the small triumphs, strung together. She spoke of how their community came around them, not just in the grand moments, the big gestures of help, but in the small, sometimes unglamorous moments like the sister-in-law that cleaned out the family pantry or the family that mowed their lawn all summer or the friends that showed up with meals or rides for Cate’s brother or just a text to say “I am thinking of you and praying for you.” When you string all those little gestures of love together you have a chain that can surround and support a family through a dark and challenging time. That day they all gathered to ring the bells of celebration for Cate’s amazing news.
Yesterday I taught my first photography class to a group of local moms. As part of my lesson I wanted to capture some real-life moments of a real-life family; bedhead, naked butts, bad lighting and all. So I showed up, coffee in one hand, camera in the other, to my dear friend and neighbor’s house. She had no warning. She was, luckily, out of her PJ’s when I arrived. When I got home and started sorting the photos I felt like my heart would explode. I’ve watched Laura go from a newlywed to a mama, twice, with her third now on the way. I have watched her transform and grow into a great mom. She is real. She makes mistakes and yells sometimes and wants to pull her hair out. But she’s also amazing and fierce and wonderful. Watching their little family grow has been so special to me. Gah, I am such a sap. I love you, Laura!
Feeling tired, grouchy and uninspired, I really struggled today. The weather in Wisconsin right now is just UGH. Not the cold, because it really isn’t, but the DARK and the lack of snow. Sigh. I stepped outside, trying to “see the joy” in my world. I took photos of some plants, blah. I noticed my son’s homemade fixie bike leaning up against the woodpile on our front porch, his choosen home for it that drives me crazy because, honestly, this bike is ugly. He built the thing from scraps from the trash and a bike frame from my childhood ten speed; hello 1988. He rides it all around town, to school every day. Just everywhere.
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