I want to talk about an old friend of mine, Nancy Dennis. I first met Nancy when my son was in preschool. She was one of his preschool teachers. At the time Nancy had teenage daughters, and we worked out a way for one of them to be my kids’ nanny for the summer while I was working full-time. Kelly came into our home that summer of 2004 and the kids fell in love with her. She taught Jack how to read, took the kids to the pool and to get slurpees. Sometimes Kelly’s younger sisters Molly and Ashton would hang out as well. My kids loved Nancy’s kids. It was a great summer.
Fast forward to 2013 and we hadn’t seen the Dennis family in about five or six years. Stuff happens. A lot of stuff. Kelly married Whit, her high school sweetheart and had two adorable babies. She became a teacher then stay-at-home mom. Molly went off to the Marines, served several tours of duty, then met Mr. Right and had a baby. Ashton graduated high school, then college, and now graduate school. They all turned out incredibly awesome.
In July they came into my studio to do some family portraits. Because Molly is often stationed overseas and Ashton is living in the Northeast, they don’t always get to see each other. It was so special to capture them together as adults. I asked Nancy to please participate in the photos, and I am so happy she did. Being present in your children’s lives, and being present in photos with them is so important. There is no greater gift. I know each mom says they need to lose 10 pounds, get rid of their wrinkles, excuses, excuses…but there really is no better time than the present. And no better present.
When I brought the family their finished portraits and album Nancy presented me with the most special gift. This camera was purchased by her father-in-law in Stuttgart, Germany, during his duty in the Korean War. It is such a cool camera – built with amazing German engineering and precision mechanics, but it is even more special to me to own a piece of their family history.
Thank you Dennis family — for the special camera, which I will treasure always, and for trusting me with the incredible duty of making that day one you will always remember. I am blessed to know each of you.