I'm not going to lie. This year has been rough (to say the least). A trip to the emergaency room with our 26-month old in February was the beginning of our life as a cancer family. It has been everything you would imagine: hearthache, stress, fear, depression, pain, doubt, and a whole handful of words I wouldn't dare use on this site! But what I didn't expect was the joy, gratitude, sense of belonging, and fresh perspective. I know that probably sounds crazy, but it's true! It was the biggest surprise we experienced in this whole, unpredictable, terrifying year. And it is what got us through the darkest days. When tragedy struck, our friends and family and community all came running. They brought us food, visited the hospital, brought gifts and notes of encouragement to our older kids, paid for house cleaning, and fundraised (among a million other things). Our village became our army and to say that we felt the love is an understatement. People that we had never even met before came out of the woodwork to help. One such person is Courtney Cruey. She first dropped off non-slip socks for our little man so that he wouldn't fall and get hurt when he was running around the house/hospital. She owns a boutique in downtown Danville called Bay Area Fitwear that sells super-cute, unique activewear. We had never met but her kindness and generosity touched my heart. But she didn't stop there. She organized two fundraisers over the next several months, one at a local restaurant and the other was a shopping event on Prospect Ave in Danville that included an incredible raffle and a percentage of sales from stores. She is an absolute powerhouse with a heart of gold!
Needless to say, when she called me to plan her family's photo session, I was THRILLED to take on the responsibility! We had so much fun at the shoot, a sunset session at Borges Ranch in the foothills of Mount Diablo. Her family is bursting with love and energy! And the kids could NOT be cuter! She affectionately calls her family her "zoo", which I have since adopted for my four crazies. We sat down a couple weeks after her session at the ordering appointment and went through her images. She shared that she didn't have many pictures of herself with her loved ones growing up and that it means so much to her to have updated portraits of her own kids. I am so honored to have helped create images of her family that will be cherished. Her Christmas cards are arriving any day now and she has several canvas pieces and a stunning album on the way. I can't wait to deliver them to this incredibly special, deserving woman and her family! After nine months of terror, my perspective has shifted greatly and I appreciate how fragile life is. We are certainly not promised tomorrow with the people we love. Courtney, thank you for allowing me to capture your family in this unique season!