I'll never forget arriving to shoot Amy and Kevin's wedding several years ago with storm clouds looming on the horizon and Cathy walking up to everyone she saw, giving them a bear hug and repeating this quote.
Cathy is one of those people who arrive with such a force of joy and compassion that before you know it she has become a lifelong friend. I've worked with hundreds of families over the years and of course I love them all, but there are some that I get to spend time with across multiple weddings and other celebrations, like the Coles, and for that reason they become a part of my own extended family.
This epic gathering of all the kids and grandkids (except Holly!! Miss you!) was filled with every emotion in the book. The kids live all across the country so getting them in one location at the same time is no easy feat. In fact we had precisely a 30 minute window when everyone could be there at the exact same time so we hustled to make the large group portrait happen in exactly that time frame while playing with the rest of the portraits before and after.
Tears of joy were in full swing as everyone hugged and made jokes, drank bourbon hot chocolates, roasted marshmallows and chased around the kiddos. There were other tears as well; as we thought back through all the joyful celebrations and difficult hospital stays, tears of gratefulness for a life well lived and sorrow for a hopeful yet uncertain future. It's situations like this that have me just bawling behind this computer screen as I type. I love these guys so much and it's so hard to watch them in pain. Fortunately they all have a grand view of the world so the positivity abounded.
Cathy and Dayton's relationship is one for the history books...they have provided such an incredible legacy for their children. One overflowing with love, acceptance, determination and unadulterated joy. I am so grateful for every moment I get to spend with them and overwhelmed with the incredible gift the artist's life affords: to be able to be so close to so many families and feel my heart explode with love as they welcome me with open arms into their homes over and over again. Thank you for all the hugs yesterday guys! Miss you already!
If you look close, you'll see the snow falling!
Adam created a low salt version of his famous almonds to accommodate Dayton's dietary needs. They were well received :)
Basically everyone knows by now that smore's, bourbon and cigars are like my three favorite things. That and the community that typically surrounds all three. Love that the kiddos got to participate in this joy first hand. (well, at least the marshmallow part) ;)
Even the littlest one made his appearance just in time for the celebration. It's so exciting watching your family continue to grow Cathy and Datyon!