Last weekend we traveled to North Carolina to reunite with my husband’s side of the family. It was the first time that all 6 cousins have been together and the love and happiness we all shared in this reunion was something I will always cherish. I love my husband’s family like my own. From day 1 they welcomed me into their family and his mom even asked me to call her, “Mom” even before we were married. I was with them the day they said goodbye to their father and it bonded us forever having gone through such a difficult time together. Shortly after that my husband and I got engaged and then started a family of our own. Our brothers and sisters all had kids at about the same time we did so they are all close in age which is great. However, we are spread out across the country so it’s very rare that we all get together like this.
Being all together in North Carolina was more than we could have hoped for. I met my niece, Elle (age 4) for the first time and I haven’t seen my niece, Bailey (age 5) since she was a baby so seeing her personality shine through was so much fun too. I loved them instantly and hugging them in person was so special to me. There’s something about Elle that really drew me to her and I immediately loved her quiet and gentle nature. Bailey immediately connected with my daughter, Emily and the two of them were inseparable the whole weekend.
My mother-in-law told me before the trip that she would love pictures of all of her grandchildren so I made a point to capture all of them together. Aunt Sara bought them all matching Frozen pajamas which made for an adorable shot.
Next my mother-in-law asked me to photograph her own, grown children together including my husband and his brother and sister. It was this photo of her own children that brought her to tears. I can only imagine how this must have made her feel seeing them all together after all of these years and with children of their own now too. It was such an emotional moment that I am honored to have been a part of. The gratitude she and we all were feeling was such a beautiful moment. This is what made me think about the power of a picture. Memories like this need to be documented and each time you look back at your photos, those beautiful feelings you were feeling that day will come flooding back to you.
On our way home from the trip I told my husband that I was feeling sad that we were heading back to Maryland and that his family was not there. It was then that I realized how hard being apart from his family really was for him too. We agreed to make more of an effort to make annual trips to all be together again.
The night we got home from our trip, I received a text from my mother-in-law that she took while on an evening walk with her dog. It was a photo of a fountain that I had said that I loved and in her message she said she knew that I loved it so wanted me to have a photo of it. This made me feel so special that she was thinking of me and I responded by telling her what a great family we have and she agreed. What great memories we all have now until we meet again!