A family filled with fun, style, good looks and LOVE. / by Julie Cruz

I was first contacted by this mom (Heidi) back in 2011. She had found me through Mom Inc Daily and wanted to book me for holiday photos. When they stepped out of the car that year, I was already in love. Their style was amazing....and within minutes, I had fallen in love with their personalities as well. That first session was one that was one of Lot116's most memorable shoots. Last year, as it got closer to their shoot time, I started contacting Heidi to touch base about our upcoming shoot. Email after email, I didn't hear back. This wasn't like her, so I started to worry a bit. I wasn't sure if they had decided to cancel the shoot, or if something had happened. I finally heard back....and that's when Heidi told me that she had cystic fibrosis. My heart dropped, a lump developed in my throat, and the tears immediately started welling up. I told her we could cancel or postpone the shoot, but she insisted on shooting because it's hard to find days where all 6 of their schedules are open and she really wanted to shoot. She had just gotten done battling pneumonia and being in the hospital for that shoot, but once again, it was another Lot116 shoot to remember. Unfortunately I made the mistake of not blogging a lot of my fall sessions last year because I was so busy, but you can see a few of those photos in this blog entry (the first 2 images and the very last image) here.

For those who aren't familiar with CF, you can read more about it here and why it's so amazing that Heidi is here and fighting for her life every.single.day. She is in the hospital every 10-12 weeks for surgery, is up at 4am every single morning for breathing treatments (as well as 3-4 breathing treatments throughout the day), is only able to eat very little solid foods, etc. In her own words "I truly feel lucky to be alive. My kids are the reason I fight so hard. The toll it takes on my kids breaks my heart, but I know that they have each other. Believe me, I have many many days I feel like giving up, but then they all walk in the door & my spirit is renewed."

Please keep this beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers. They are THE sweetest family ever. These are some words that Heidi has said to me. THIS is why I do what I do... "SOOOOO looking forward to seeing you! Hanging out with you is one of the highlights of my year. You give me the gift of memories of my children and family all together captured in a way that a "selfie" or Facebook pic just cannot make possible. We LOVE you so much and feel very blessed to have found such a talented friend. I feel so lucky to have found you so that you can work your magic with my kids. They grow up so fast and your pictures are capturing a moment for me that I will always have!"

This year was another shoot to remember. They showed up with their rad style and good looks, and we shot at a super cool location that was perfect. The weather (although a teeny bit windy) ended up being perfect (even though we were pretty scared that we might get rained on, be freezing, and/or have to deal with mud since it had rained the 2 previous days before). It all ended up being perfect....just like them. I absolutely LOVE this family. They are SO fun to hang out with and are just ridiculously good looking. Major, Brittain, Reno, William, Heidi and Bill.... you guys are rad.