Outdoor Maternity Portraits - Pittsburgh PA, Northern Virginia

Ever have one of those sessions that's like honey on your soul?  Just souls the burn and fills the void???

So i was having a pretty crappy week.  Actually, like epic on the suck scale.  On Halloween, my little sister went to the ER and she didn't leave for the next 34 days.  She was diagnosed with leukemia.   A pretty aggressive, acute version that...sucks.  

She was diagnosed the night before my birthday, and while clearly it wasn't my birthday that mattered - it seemed to hurt even more.  We grew up with a mom that created a virtual carnival every year for our birthdays.  They were a HUGE for us.  We always loved our 'birth weeks' because without fail a few days later we'd be celebrating again with our dad.  And so every year when my birthday rolls around - it's less about celebrating ME as it is celebrating all those i have around me.  Celebrating the gift that I had in a wonderful childhood.  My friends, my tribe of mamas that go out of their way to co-parent and build up each other.  My kids who i get to share that love with every day and my husband who is the most appreciative and support man I've yet to meet.  But here I was instead - silently falling apart.  

So i did what I do best.  I ran away to the country.  To a little town outside Pittsburgh, PA that I affectionately call my "lil Stars Hollow", but the postal address reads - Ligonier, PA.  The librarians know my kids names, the town square -called 'the diamond' has summer concerts complete with ice cream cones, brass bands and grandparents dancing in the streets.  There are acres to roam, streams to toss rocks, catch trout and hills to hike.  And family.  

Despite the towns best attempts, no amount of gardening, 4x4 riding or amazing birthday dinners could fill the emptiness inside me.  And then to top it all off - I had a portrait session on Monday.  ugh. 

To say I dreaded this session was an understatement.  I mean, it hadn't even been a week since my sister had been diagnosed.  The effects of her chemo were still unknown.  And yet, when the client kindly asked me if we should cancel,  i knew in my gut that I didn't want to.  I couldn't despite logic telling me that everyone would understand if i did.  

And so we forged on.  

And somehow ~ the day was magic.  The weather was unseasonably warm.  The light... insane.  And Cara was magic.  She brought the perfect "wardrobe", was peaceful, and yet still her bubbly little self.  And open to just doing whatever.  And it was magic.  

Thank you so much Cara!  Thanks for having faith that in the midst of it all,  this was worth your time.  These images filled me up in a way I didn't think was possible.  

jenn alcantara1 Comment