Friday, May 13, 2022

Lifestyle Newborn Session: The B Family

I love photographing newborn portrait sessions... new mothers and fathers are so excited for their little one and there is so much joy and beauty in this season of life. Through the tranquil moments and soft light, I'm able to capture love in all of it's essence... a newborn baby adored by her proud parents. Here are my favorites from this beautiful lifestyle session!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Angela & Fernando | Spring Maternity Session

It was a gorgeous spring day when we went to the Deep Cut Gardens to photograph Angie and Fernando's maternity session. I photographed Angie and Fernando's wedding back in 2020, and I'm so excited for their arrival of their little baby girl in the coming months! Here are my favorite photos from their portrait session!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Goodbye is not the end: Dedicated to my Nonna

It was only a few months ago when I wrote about my Nonna in Italy passing away, and yet here I am again.  

I lost my Nonna that lived here about three weeks ago and truthfully I still don't believe that she's not here anymore. I think of random things throughout the day and I want to pick up the phone to tell her about it... but she won't be on the other end to pick up anymore.

I'm heartbroken and am really finding it hard to put together any words that can describe how I'm feeling. She was my oldest best friend, my connection to her old world that I cherished so much. Sometimes I think it's all just like one of those dreams I used to have that someone would die, but then I'd wake up and she'll be there waving to me from her little window when I go see her. 

But this time it's not... she's really not here anymore.

Many people don't ever get the chance to meet their grandparents, let alone get to know them. But the Lord blessed me with more than 32 years of my life with the relationship I had with my Nonna.

Sundays were for Nonna's house. For the past 32 years, my family---aunts, cousins, everyone would get together and eat pranzo (lunch) at Nonna's house. It was our time as a family to be together and we truly loved it---and if anyone couldn't come, you honestly felt like you missed out on something. No matter how old the grandchildren got... Sundays were for Nonna's house. 

I got to know who she was over espresso and pasta e ceci and speak to her about our love for Italia. I had her recount old poems, songs, recipes... as I wrote them all down and recorded her. She often laughed at me wondering what I was doing. Though I didn’t inherit her blue eyes, she always reminded me my name was beautiful, because obviously it was hers.⁣

My Nonna was one of the toughest and strongest women I knew... she boarded a ship on her own from Italy to be with her husband across the world in Venezuela at such a young age. She lived in 3 different continents in her lifetime, but through all of that tough skin... was an immense love for her family and all of her grandchildren.

And we loved her right back and held onto her... until her very last heartbeat. 

The day of her wake, my Zia reminded me how good God had been to us throughout all of the years of being together with all of the memories we made in that little house... that even our final goodbye was on a Sunday.

My Nonna was a simple soul, she didn't need anything fancy or cared about traveling the world... she truly knew how to slow things down and just loved being gathered around the table or outside in the summertime, eating together as we all talked and laughed until late at night. 

"E mo stammo u meglio...", meaning "Now we're at the best time of the night..." when it was midnight and we all told her it was time to go home.

She always told me not to worry about jobs and this and that "ehhh managia bu ba..." she would say, she truly knew how to be still and understood that the value of life wasn't in things... but rather the people you love and surround yourself with.

At her wake, all of my cousins and I took turns recounting memories we held through the past years. I couldn't help but think, our Nonno would want us to tell the gospel. 

That memories are beautiful, and yes these seasons of life bring sorrow... but the truth is that this isn't the end.

Those of us that know that our Lord Jesus Christ came and died for our sins on earth, unless He returns in our lifetime... every single one of us will have the same fate and death will come to us too.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. // Romans 6:23

I know this goodbye isn't the end, because Jesus promised us eternal life. That one day, there will be no more tears for those that love Him and call upon Him to save them.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. // Revelation 21:4

The past few months have been incredibly difficult and painful for my family watching my Nonna decline in health. But I'm so grateful and blessed that the Lord placed me in my family.  

Watching every single one of us----my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins come together and take care of her so she wouldn't be alone, God showed me what true love really looks like... serving one another in love.

I'm left with her funny voicemails that make me laugh, the sound of her giggle in my head, her stories that filled my notebook all the years I spent with her... and her smile when she watched me walk to my car from her little window. 

I still can't imagine my Nonna not meeting my future children, or not being there for all the other special events in my life, but her memory will live on through me, through all of her stories and love in my heart.

Though I still don't understand why things happen the way they do, it's not my job to do so. My little brother reminded me I'm still here for a purpose, and God has work for me to do, there are so many people that still don't know His love for them... and I won't stop until He calls me home.

Nonna ti voglio tanto tanto bene. Sundays will be never be the same again, but I’m grateful the Lord placed me in my family and gave me those beautiful memories. They provided the foundation of what Jesus' love looks like... everyone surrounding a table in communion with food and laughs and love.

Ciao Nonna, I await the day to see you again around the table... in Jesus’ loving presence.