When starting this website/blog I didn’t really think I’d have a lot to write about. I believe I said to my web designer, “Who’s going to read my blogs and what would I write about?” I wanted to connect with my client base, but didn’t want to bore them with inane details. However, after the first two blog pieces, I realized that this is really a great tool to add a personal touch to my business. Not only is it great for business, but it offers a side of me that I often can’t express while I’m working.
This one is a very personal blog, so bear with me. I’ve laid awake thinking about this for nights so it’s time to share my life with you and just blog it out!
I have been blessed with many sisters in my life! I have a close-knit group of lifelong friends that I call my soul sisters. I have three wonderful sister-in-laws that I love and adore. And, I have been blessed with my beautiful biological sister Samantha. She is 4 1/2 years younger than me, and like most siblings, we fought and terrorized each other pretty much until adulthood. I would describe us as polar opposites on almost everything, and we challenge each other constantly. But it’s all about passion and genuine respect for one another. We love each other deeply and fiercely. I wholeheartedly believe that you don’t love anyone or want the best for anyone more than your sisters.
My mom was the only girl in a family with brothers. When she was 10, she met Wendy, her lifelong friend and my aunt. Yes, my mom ended up marrying Wendy’s brother when they reached their twenties. She was lucky to have a best friend and a sister all in one person – how cool is that? And although my parents are no longer together, my mom and aunt are still the best of friends. They shared the joy of pregnancy together, each pregnant with a girl – me and my cousin Courtney. We were born just six weeks apart and grew up thick as thieves. I was so lucky to have such a strong, sisterly bond with my cousin.
We had an unexpected tragedy when we were 18, Courtney was hit by a drunk driver and taken from us far too soon. She was such a shining and beautiful spirit – we feel her absence everyday. But, as life has a way of working out, we have all become closer because of our loss. Life, and our sisterly bonds, are so, so precious.
The next generation
My sister and I have had the incredible pleasure of experiencing motherhood together. A few months after my first daughter was born, Samantha announced that she was pregnant! It was such an exciting time! We both attended each other’s births and nothing could have made us more bonded after that. Before each of us found out the sex of our first children, we each said that we wanted boys. But God had a different idea and gave us what we needed – two beautiful girls came into our lives and they are exactly 1 year and 4 days apart! We knew that having two girls so closely in age, that we wanted to raise them side by side. Cousins and sisters. They are incredibly close and we are continually reminded of our own childhood watching them interact with each other.
Life takes another turn
Nine months ago I was overjoyed to find out that I was pregnant with my second child! Lo and behold, just six weeks later, my sister discovered that she was also expecting her second child! In true sister form, we are apparently competitive at everything, haha! We each were anxious to see if this time around we would end up with boys – but were thrilled to find out that we were keeping our girl streak. Yes, we’re each having another girl! Sisters upon sisters upon sisters! Life is so funny that way. This time, our pregnancies are even closer – just 6 weeks apart! History is repeating itself in the greatest way. I couldn’t wait for us to both be showing our baby-girl-bumps so we could do a fun sister bump photoshoot together.
Samantha’s pregnancies have been a little more trying than mine. It’s been so hard as her big sister to watch her struggle with health. A month ago our family was hit with the news that Samantha has stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. You can’t imagine what this news does to any family unless you’ve been through it. Finding out that someone you love has cancer is difficult to take, but it hit us especially hard since Sam is pregnant. But, she is so strong and handling this daunting news amazingly well. I’m in awe of her strength and have questioned my own since this happened. We’re all optimistic that she will get through this unscathed and so will the baby. We do know that there may be harder challenges ahead we are yet aware of, but we know we can handle those issues as they come. We have grown even closer, and know that love and support are the most important tools in life and in sisterhood.
In light of Sam’s health, I knew that time was of the essence and we had to get some photos of my sister’s pregnancy. We knew she had a lot of chemo coming up, and that she wouldn’t be feeling up to a photoshoot. As my due date loomed closer, and Sam’s health isn’t the absolute best, we definitely felt the pressure to document our sister-pregnancies. We didn’t go all out as we normally would, but this photoshoot is probably the most important and special sessions I’ve ever done. We got to take pictures together as a family, documenting a bittersweet time. And of course, we kept some humor in there too.
“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, but it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it” -Unknown
At this point in our lives, we’ve endured some sisterly bumps and bruises and I’m sure there will be more to come. But life has taught me that we can face anything with our sisters by our side. I’m blessed to have all my sisters next to me for the love and support.
Don’t be afraid to photograph the hard times too! Sometimes those are the most important memories and the outcome is surprisingly beautiful. You’ll never regret having a photo to remember who you are, what you’ve gone through, and what you’ve overcome!
To see more maternity and family shoots see Bumps are in Bloom Blog post for a slideshow or Babies and families page.
Contact Angela for your special photo shoot at http://firstname.lastname@example.org