Anna is 7!

The Bug is SEVEN!  SEVEN YEARS OLD! When? Where? How did this happen!?!!  She is, and always has been, pure sunshine and joy. She loves to giggle, play with her sister and brother, do anything related to art, swim, pretend she’s a mermaid, hug her mama and dad, play outside, make friends and be happy.  We love her for exactly who she is and look forward to the many amazing things she’ll do as a bright, funny, smart seven year old.  Happy Birthday, Anna Bug.

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Like usual, Anna had her own ideas for her birthday photo shoot, and was nice enough to invite me along to capture it all.  :)  We had the best time laughing and I adored the quiet time with my girl watching her paint.

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Oh yes, she has a bit of a dramatic side…  ♥

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Before all of her cousins left for vacation, we had a special “art” party for Anna.  She had so much fun creating and eating cake with her friends and family.

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Today, on her actual birthday, we started with the traditional powdered donut, pottery painting, park playing and spending time with her best sister, her best brother and her best friend.  It’s good to be seven.

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July 24, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Aunt Amy - Happy Birthday cutie pie! Pictures are fantastic. You’re so sweet! Have a great vacation, lots of love to you from Charlie, Lily, Uncle Jason & Aunt Amy

July 24, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Momma Dar - Happy Birthday to beautiful Anna ! Love all the pictures!

July 24, 2014 - 9:03 pm

Leah's Mom - Tell Anna great ideas on the photo shoot!
Lovely. xo

July 24, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Larissa - Amazing pictures! Love love love that last pro one!

July 25, 2014 - 8:51 am

Melanie T - Happy Birthday Anna! Love the her photo shoot idea! :)

Cate

Took these photos of this beautiful girl the other day and it just seemed fitting to post them now.  We are so thankful for her kind heart and her presence in our family.

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July 23, 2014 - 5:32 pm

JMorgan - Love this child so much…these photos show how much she is losing that little girl look and turning in to a beautiful young lady. So blessed that she calls me grandma.. :)

July 24, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Aunt Chopped Liver - beautiful pix, love the back photos!
xo

Until later…

It is with great sadness that I share with you that our courageous amazing friend, Angie has passed on.  She put up the most admirable of fights against breast cancer, until the very end.  Her’s is a story that hits close to everyone’s heart.  This is our story. Angie is your sister, your daughter, your wife, your mother, your friend.  It’s impossible not to put yourself in her shoes and then ask, ‘Would I have fought as hard?’ ‘Would I have been so gracious?’, ‘Could I have been so courageous?’. Angie has taught us all, from the very beginning of her fight, how to deal.  By example, she has shown us how to be strong and loving.  She has shown us how to fight with her, and in the end, how to say good-bye to her.  Just a few weeks ago, she told me that she wasn’t scared of dying because she knew she’d still be right here, with us all…but that we would have to learn to look for her.  These next few days, weeks, years, we’ll need to show up for her family…for her daughters, her husband, her sisters, her parents…we’ll need to look for her, she’ll be there.

There are few words that can comfort those of us who miss her dearly already, but my Mama sent me this last week (she’s good like that) and it has been a comfort for a loss that has been so very tragic.

On Joy and Sorrow
 Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

Just last week, Angie insisted on family photos at her home. She knew how precious her time was, and she knew how precious her loving family is.  Though these images may be difficult to look at now, I hope that one day they will bring a sense of peace, especially to her beautiful daughters. These were important to her…images of the most important people to her.

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I will be forever grateful to Angie for so many reasons.  I am thankful for the example of love and courage she has left for her daughters, I’m thankful for the laughs, and the talks, and the tears that we’ve shared.

IMG_7343I am thankful to our little girls who have formed a true bond of friendship and allowed us to become friends too.IMG_1774

I am thankful that even though this journey has been a difficult one, it has reminded me the meaning of friendship, compassion and ‘showing up’ even when it’s hard. IMG_2739

I will forever remember my sweet friend as this smiling, content, full-of-life-Mama-of-two, full of passion and overflowing with light. Angie was always adamant about awareness.  She was a strong believer in knowing and listening to your body.  She believed in taking care of your body and taking care of those around you.  Her message of  “be well and have hope” will live on forever.  Thank you dear friend, for everything, I will miss you.

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You can follow Angie’s story here and here.

She also had dreams of starting a non-profit, you can follow her vision in the years to come here at Little Pink Ribbon Girl.

July 17, 2014 - 10:05 am

Megan - The photographs might be tough to view, but this was an important part of her journey and I think that it speaks volumes that it was her wish to have them taken.

July 17, 2014 - 10:14 am

Carolyn Hoelzle - Just beyond beautiful. Thank you for this.

July 17, 2014 - 10:23 am

Sondra - This is an amazing tribute to a wonderful and strong woman who we should all look up to and remember what a real fight is! My prayers are with all of her friends and my love and prayers are surrounding her family!!!! She is an angel watching over all now and she will never be forgotten!

July 17, 2014 - 11:03 am

susie linquist - All I have been thinking the last few days is how I wish they would have had some photos taken in her final days… for her family, but mostly for her girls. I am crying tears of sadness for her loss and joy that she will live on in such beautiful light. These photos are so beautiful.

July 17, 2014 - 11:37 am

Lea - Jaime, this is such a touching tribute to our angel. You have done an outstanding job over the years in documenting the joy and tragedy in this family’s life. Such a triumphant ending for Ang… I can imagine how beautiful she looks in heaven. Thank you for sharing your love for them all.

July 17, 2014 - 12:19 pm

JMorgan - My heart breaks for all of the family and for you, my dearest daughter. You have shown me what it is to show and pay attention. I am proud of you and I love you.

July 17, 2014 - 12:53 pm

Vikki - I didn’t know Angie, but I came across this on my facebook page (through Emily Eberhardt’s page). This beautiful story, along w/ the pictures literally bought tears to my eyes. I pray for Angie’s husband, her 2 young daughter’s and the rest of her family. May they have comfort and peace until they meet again. God Bless!

July 17, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Jen - What good you just did here for Angie’s memory and for everyone’s soul. God bless.

July 17, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Melissa Magel - I am so sorry for the loss of such a close friend. How special that Sofia will have your daughter as a forever friend and be connected to her Mom in so many ways.
Your work and words are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

July 17, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Linda - So sorry for your loss. A beautiful tribute in pictures and words.

July 17, 2014 - 2:49 pm

Michele - Jaime, I’m so sorry for your heavy heart right now and especially her family’s. These photographs are beyond special. Beautiful job.

July 18, 2014 - 7:23 am

Debbie - I did know her but I am so sorry for your loss, the pictures are amazing and really touched me. I feel so horrible for her two little girls God be with them.

July 18, 2014 - 7:49 am

Sharon Ritchey - Jaime, incredibly beautiful photographs and your words are such a loving tribute. I met Angie only once but her words of encouragement to me, as my son is fighting cancer, was a conversation I will never forget. Thanks for sharing your tribute with us <3

July 18, 2014 - 10:14 am

Momma Dar - Jaima. I am so sorry for your loss! Anyone is blessed to have had you in their life! Thank you for sharing your heart!

July 18, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Vicki Haupt - Your pictures are so very beautiful and your tribute to Angie, Dan, Sophie and Hanna is the most moving words I’ve ever read! Angie continues to be an inspiration to so many people! Thank you…..

July 21, 2014 - 8:50 am

maike rinaye - :/… *tears*… so glad you took these images.

July 29, 2014 - 9:26 am

Carolyn Jennings - Jamie I am sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing your tribute.

{Daniels} Family::2014

The Daniels Family! I have to start by giving them HUGE props for this shoot.  The night we met, it was at least 1,000 degrees and 2,000 percent humidity, for real.  And! Oh my gawd, the gnats and mosquitos were biting!  Tod and Erica held it together, with smiles, and their kiddos followed suit.  I’m not sure I would have been as graceful if I were in front of the camera, but I’m thankful they were!

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Erica did such a fun job of introducing her tribe, I though I’d allow her to introduce them to you too…”Tod, dad and soccer coach extraordinaire. Erica, mom and master schedule organizer. Emma, 8 oldest child and loves to be in charge. Hannah, 6 middle child, shy but loves to be the center of attention. Robbie, 4 youngest child and has an unhealthy obsession for John Deere.”:)

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Erica just also happens to be my second cousin.  I always remember her smile and laugh while we were growing up and adore that she still holds these fun qualities.

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Our kiddos are just about the same age, I felt like I was looking at my own little family while photographing them…the dynamic (and amount of silly) is the same as my family.

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Sweet Hannah…

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Biggest sis, Emma…

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Erica’s one request this session?  Close-ups of her babies beautiful eyes…check.mark.

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Robbie just turned 4, he’s so sqeezable!!

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Three words that describe this group…complete, content, happy.:)

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I’m thinking Emma’s practicing her ‘teenager looks’ here…:D

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This family loves being together, camping and being outdoors, and staying in and watching movies together….they really are all kinds of sweet.

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Tod and Erica, you two really do bring out the best in each other. I love how you make her laugh, Tod.  ♥

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Erica, you’re gorgeous.  How is it that you never seem to age?

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This was the last shot of the night, there was sweat, bugs, hot kiddos…but gorgeous light and a gorgeous family who really stuck it out, sure made for a beautiful image.  This is one of my favorite shots, ever.  LOVE getting to see you all and am so thrilled for the true happiness that you share.  Love you all!

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July 12, 2014 - 1:31 pm

JMorgan - GREAT job to all!! I feel like I am looking at Erica when I see Emma!! Love, love, love!!