Two years ago I met the Connelly family, a family who knew how to celebrate the milestones in life. They reminded me very much of my husband's side of the family---a big Italian & Irish crew who knew how throw a party! Photographing their celebration was a blast!
Two years ago Sheila had hired me to chronicle her mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary at a surprise party she and her siblings were throwing. Aside from the wonderful night celebrating love and family, I walked away from that job with two nuggets that stuck with me.
The first was that Sheila had warned me ahead of time how much her mom detested having her photograph taken. I laid back to photograph her in natural moments with her children where she radiated with the joy of her family. She didn't even know I was there for the first 30 minutes of the party! Upon viewing the gallery, Sheila told me my photographs were the first she had ever seen with her mom smiling. Wow--that one stuck with me! To see that same smile radiate in Sheila now with her own children...priceless!
The 2nd nugget that stuck with me after the anniversary job was that Sheila had mentioned she was trying to have a baby. She and Tony had tried for many years unsuccessfully to start their own family. She had stopped talking about it with friends and family because, as time drug on, it didn't seem as though it was meant to be.
Chronicling the anniversary party, I could see Sheila was a special kind of aunt to her nieces and nephews. She vested in their lives in ways it's hard to do when you have children of your own. I knew there was a special bond there, but I could also see she longed for children of her own. I told her I would pray for her for that and did so randomly over the next year.
You can imagine my excitement when Sheila sent me a message that she was expecting twins! I also knew she was about to have the most exciting and most tiring year of her life!
Capturing Sheila and Tony so joyful with their twins was something I knew would be very special for Sheila. When you have twins the first year is a blur. It just is. You are too busy nursing, rescuing, making baby food, comforting, bathing, cleaning, etc. to see the beauty of what you do everyday. Hundreds of hours are spent doing these things and often there's no photographic record of it because it's not a 'milestone' moment. Sheila's completely devoted to investing her whole self into raising these two precious little ones she waited so long for.
Sheila and Tony hired me to photograph the twins for portrait time prior to the party and then to chronicle the party. Their home is on the water, so we knew we had to photograph the twins on their dock. The coolest part about their gallery is that they got to see pieces of their special day that they would have missed otherwise. First birthdays are kind of like weddings, they pass in a blur of activity.
Nicholas and Seraphina were so full of joy and exploration through the whole party! I thought for sure at some point they would melt down from all the excitement and sensory overload, but it never happened! So many lent helping hands through the day to help make the party such a success, but Aunt Amy was the busiest bee there working behind the scenes to make this day special. By the end, the twins were still full of
giggles for Aunt Sue as she entertained them with a hand puppet wash cloth
during bath time. By the end their tired eyes showed it was time for baths and snuggling into Momma to be nursed into almost sleep.
Tony and Sheila wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who stepped into their lives with love and support during her pregnancy long bed rest to get Nicholas and Seraphina here safely.
To our family and friends,
Celebrating Seraphina and Nicholas turning one is a milestone that we truly reached together.
We are deeply appreciative of the many ways you have helped to reach this milestone in such an amazing way.
The prayers, calls, laughs, cute messages, sleepovers, flowers, cookies, meals, at home dinner & lunch dates, pedicures, preparing the entire nursery, securing our home for Hurricane Sandy (the day we brought the little angels home), words of support and optimism, and tireless listening skills, are just a few of the many wonderful ways you helped us make two happy healthy babies.
We are blessed to have so much love in our lives. Thank you so very much.
Tony and Sheila