Monday, August 29, 2011

Here Comes the Sun (SPECIAL FAMILY)

This is a family you are going to want to remember. Bookmark this post, hit the "like" button on the left side of your screen and copy and paste that link into your email and Facebook and tell the people you know about this family. They all deserve it.

The last year has been really rough on me. The hardest I ever have experienced. I have gone through things I never thought I would have had to experience. They say that life is a balance of holding on and letting go... Every day I am caught in between and have absolutely no idea where I belong in my grief.

August 3rd was the one year anniversary of my hardest day and I had struggled to find a way to commemorate the day in a way that would both acknowledge it, and not involve spending it hiding under the bed, waiting for it to be all over.

That's when I got Stephanie's email.

Stephanie is the mom of three AWESOME little boys. Five year old twins, and a three year old... with a baby girl on the way. They are all charmers, with big eyes, flirty eyelashes and amazing curly hair that any of us would envy. She wanted to do a session to commemorate the summer. A summer spent by the pool, playing in the sunshine and just enjoying this time before baby comes. She wanted the session to reflect just that. Her life, surrounded by her kids and memorializing this pregnancy.

The only person who wouldn't be able to be in the pictures was Daddy. Stephanie's husband was called home to be with Heavenly Father earlier this spring. He passed away without warning in his sleep.

It was then I knew where I was supposed to be on August 3rd. And that is where I went.

The boys are awesome little rocks. They kiss their Daddy's picture good night every night. They chatted about him with smiles on their faces. When they are old enough, they are going to take great care of their mom and baby sister Johnna, who was just born last Monday. :)

For this session, we hung out by the pool. The boys swam, just like their dad did, every day of his life. Afterwards the whole family went for a ride in dad's pride and joy, his GORGEOUS VW Bus! So shiny, new, and perfectly restored! Go Stephanie for driving it! We finished up the session by spending some time running around like lunatics in the parking lot before our little fruit-picnic on the shores of the lake by their house. The boys did great!

Now that baby Johnna is here, there are four little munchkins who Stephanie is going to be taking care of by herself. A fund for their education has been set up in memorium of their dad, Justin. If you feel so inclined, Kellen, Grant, Lennox & Johnna Justin (named after her daddy) would be so grateful if you could lend a hand, or share this link.

Please feel free to share the links to this blog post on your blog, Pinterest page, Tumblr page, Facebook, MySpace or email. You are welcome to repost the video anywhere you see fit. It's for the kids, and when it comes to the kids, I think we would all do anything.

The PayPal donation below will take you directly to an account set up for Kellen, Grant, Lennox & Johnna.

If you would prefer, you can also send a contribution the old fashioned way to the family's financial advisor:

Matthew Sheffield, Financial AdvisorAccount number WH10988
UBS Financial Services Inc.
601 W Riverside Ave, Ste 1200
Spokane, WA 99201

Please share all the love you have for this special, special family. I spent the anniversary of my worst day with them, and they made it immensely better. The spirit of being around young children is always joyous, but being around this family is something I will always remember and think of often.















Another donation website has been set up as of January 2013 for the children's education fund. You can see that HERE:

Johnna Justin has now been born and you can see her newborn portraits here!

You can grab a button for your blog here:

Help Our Special Family


Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Emily, thank you so much for introducing me to this family. I love the photos. I want to share this on my blog, definitely. Where is the video? Thanks so much for getting me involved in this.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

Video is fixed! Thank you for catching that Jen! It was showing in the edit but not on the post so I didn't know, but it looks like it is here now!

Hilary Bray-Cantelmi said...

Amazing story, amazing pictures... Well done Emily.

Life Happens said...

Beautiful work, Emily! I will share on FB. Thanks for letting us know about this family. Glad you made it through the anniversary of your worst day. It seems like this precious family blessed you as much as you blessed them. :0)

Amanda Good said...

Emily Heizer, you have out done yourself. These pictures are AMAZING! The family is amazing. Love!

Anonymous said...

Emily, What a beautiful and profound way to take the broken pieces of your heart and fill them with love to share with these beautiful children. You have truly found the meaning of life's blessings and your true beauty. That's why you do such amazing things with your photography; it's a reflection of your inner self. Thank you for sharing and I will be honored to contribute. Doris (Doris M. Brownfield, CPA) :)

jacin {lovely little details} said...

posting about this tomorrow on lovely little details! thank you for doing something amazing.

Laura *You Stir ME* said...

Emily, this is just beautiful. Such a wonderful treasure for Stephanie and her little family! I will absolutely post this on my facebook page!

Diana said...

What a beautiful family. The boys are so adorable and mom is just gorgeous. What a heartbreaking story. <3 I am helping to spread the word about Jacin who is selling her jam for the family.

Emily Heizer Photography said...

Thank you for offering to spread the word. PLEASE NOTE there is only ONE memorial fund for this family. While we appreciate the efforts others are doing to help out, the BEST and MOST DIRECT way to help this family out is by making a direct contribution to the Memorial Fund set up in memory of their Dad, the J. P. M. Memorial Fund which you can donate to through PayPal or through the mail. The links are in the above post, but here is an email link, and the address again. Thank you so much for being willing to contribute and share the message!


Or by mail:

Matthew Sheffield, Financial Advisor
Account number WH10988
UBS Financial Services Inc.
601 W Riverside Ave, Ste 1200
Spokane, WA 99201

Donations sent this way will go directly to the family! Thank you so much.

Java said...

Wow Em these pictures are beautiful...and what a sad, sad story! How awful for her and the boys...and now a baby girl. Just when you think your having a bad day and you read this it bring light to the meaning of life. Thanks for sharing this.

I hope you are doing good girl!!!!

Missing you...

Layla Mayville {Simply Savannah Events} said...

What beautiful pictures! This story brought tears to my eyes as I too lost my dad suddenly. Time heals wounds. Keep strong <3

April K said...

Emily, GREAT POST! This almost had me in tears. You did a fantastic job capturing their happiness and the family did a great job as well.

mdm said...

Emily -- this video, and the all of the pictures, are RAD!!! I'm a friend of this little family. They are the most beautiful creatures - inside and out. You captured them perfectly.

I hope that wonderful day helped heal your own wounds in a tremendous way. You've got a GREAT eye. I love your talent!



Andrea said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I read her sil Gina's blog and she sent me over here. The pictures are beautiful and a treasure of a family who's celebrating everyday together.

Anonymous said...

This sweet family is my cousin and her adorable kids. I can tell you that from the time we were little a zest for life is something my cousin has always had. She is so happy and beautiful all the time! You did an amazing job of capturing all of their free and fun spirits.

Stephanie and Such said...

What a sweet story, but beautiful pictures!!

Is she from Spokane?? Just curious because thats where I am from and we know her financial advisor.

You are a great photgrapher, just stumbled across your blog!

Kennedy Klan said...

Wow! What an amazing thing you have done for someone that has lost a loved one. These pictures are a true priceless gift! Beautiful