I received the best note today! I've been anxiously waiting to be able to share these pictures and this story as this family has completely captured my heart!!
Back in January a friend read one of my blog posts and saw the pictures I took for one of my awesome OpLove families. She passed along the information about this program to her cousin - the "W" family!! Another week or two passed and then I heard from Mrs. "W" herself!! Her husband is currently deployed so we decided to set up a photo session with her and her two kids for late February! She wanted to surprise her husband with some photos of her and the kids! I of course was very excited to be in on their secret surprise! This was also the first session I would have that I haven't met Dad prior to deployment!
The day of our session arrived! It was a beautiful day for February - I'm almost certain all of March and April were colder than this wonderful day in February! We decided to meet at Longwood Gardens for our photo shoot because being February we hadn't anticipated being able to get outside for more than a minute or two!
From the moment I arrived at Longwood until I left it was a great adventure! While I was waiting for the "W" family to arrive, a security guard noticed my beast of a camera and told me that Molly Ringwold was wondering around in The Conservatory and to be on the lookout! Fun! Photo shoot AND stalk a celebrity - don't mind if I do!
A few minutes later the "W"'s arrived and my goodness are the gorgeous! They are the type of family that you talk to for less than five minutes and you know that they are sweet and genuine. Their eyes sparkle with love for one another.
Mrs. "W" took little miss "C" to the restroom to change her into her photo clothes (because we all know that you can't put a toddler in the carseat clean and expect them to come out clean - an amazing phenomenon in the toddler world!). The most amazing thing happened in the restroom - somehow Mrs. "W" started talking to another soldier in the restroom and came to find out that she knows Mr. "W"! What a small world!
By the time we got to the Conservatory to start our photos I had been so wrapped up in getting to know the "W" family that I completely forgot that I was stalking Molly Ringwold!
Mr. and Mrs. "W" have been through two deployments together prior to this current one. This one is their first with children. Although I have never walked in either or their shoes, I know that it is not easy to hold down the fort while your spouse is deployed. I admire so much that Mrs. "W" is not only keeping it all together, but she laughs and she smiles and she lives. And therefore, so do her children. I know she worries about her husband and her kids because you can see a tiny hint of this in her eyes, but she doesn't let it rule. She is absolutely the meaning of the saying "lead by example". I really look forward to seeing their family together - complete - because I know that the happiness I will see when they are all together will by far outshine the happiness that I saw in them on this day!!
With three months left to go in his deployment, Mr. "W" is more than halfway through!! He will return right after his beautiful little girl turns 2 and just before his little man goes to Kindergarten! I look forward to this day for them! Until then, you are all in my thoughts and prayers "W" family and I am so blessed to know you!
Here are just a few of the highlights from our special session:
Thank you Mr. "W" for your service to our great country! I very much look forward to meeting you sometime this fall! I know that I will be even more captured by your family that I already am when I see you with them!
♥ - Kristi