January 5th was the last day I took photos with my camera, of my family before our lives went south. It was cold out on that January Day. it was a Sunday, and we decided to get our hair cut, as a family. As we got ready to leave, we made a pathway through the mounds of Christmas toys that were covering the living room. We were all still very much in the Christmas Spirit. Still excited that Santa came, and our Elf on the Shelf, Sparkle Shirley was right. Santa would come if we were all on our best behavior!
We all set out with snow boots on, and chatted in the car about all of the new bow’s we will get to wear when we cut our hair. (Not the hubbs of course, he’ll take the more masculine route). Our oldest Daughter told us she wanted short hair. I was sad, nervous, depressed. It was a HUGE change, and I didn’t know how to handle it. She was set. She wanted short hair. Her hair was gorgeous. It was down to my butt, had baby curls on the ends. I remember her running up and down our hallway, on the wood floor. She would clomp like an adult and the curls would just bounce. To this day, I can close my eyes and remember her learning to walk down that hallway. Crawling for the first time. I remember her and I sitting in that hallway, eating goldfish and laughing. That hallway was such a short hallway, but gosh it had the BEST memories. As we set out to get our hair cut, it was 1:38pm. It was right around the time that our youngest daughter would nap. Today though, she didn’t want to nap. She was all too excited. She was just getting a trim, but it was her very first hair cut as well. It would be an exciting day for all of us, the last weekend where our lives were normal.
When we got to where we were going, our big girl didn’t know what to expect. It was her first time getting her haircut, her beautiful long, gorgeous hair. She held her daddy’s hand the entire time. After she was done, she was the happiest little girl ever – Dancing around and swooshing her hair from side to side. She had a grin from ear to ear! “Thank you Mommy! Thank you Daddy!” How could we be upset? This is what she wanted, and she was happy. That is all we ever wanted for our babies, to see them smile, and to see them be overjoyed with happiness. Today was a good day. A day I will cherish forever; the last weekend of normalcy. Our little baby girl was brave. She held a teacup in her hand and didn’t flinch once. Where did she get her bravery? I thought long and hard and hoped it was from me. I was so proud of her on this day.
As we drove home, there were tired eyes, big smiles that ended up being the soft whispers of little snores, echoing from the backseat. Today was fantastic. Today was perfection. I loved today, and wished everyday could be so sweet. This was the last weekend we were normal. This was the last weekend in Galloway, at our home.
Monday came, and then Tuesday; they were normal days. Normal days where I got up for work, and drove an hour away to a great job. Normal work schedules where I took my lunch break and sat in the car thinking about my family, and missing them. Monday was like every other Monday. I got up so early, I didn’t get to see my kids except for waking them up way too early, dropping them off at my parents or his parents. Picking them up and putting them right to bed. Tuesday was different. Tuesday changed everything. That Tuesday was a Tuesday I wish never happened. I wish I could erase it, and I wish it were not in our history. On that Tuesday, I was relaxing in my car. Thinking of my family as usual, relaxing before I had to go back to work, when my phone rang. A friend of mine who normally does not call me, called me. When I answered the phone, it was total disbelief. That phone call, made my heart stop. She told me my house, my home, where my husband and children and pet bunny were… was on fire. It wasn’t the phone call you want to receive. I was an hour away from my family; an hour away from being able to do anything. I was no help at all. When I finally got there, to our home, my family was safe. THANK GOD. My family was safe. I later found out we lost our beautiful bunny- our daughters’ beautiful bunny. There was nothing they could do. I didn’t have anything. It was the coldest day of the year, and all we had were the clothes on our backs, and the shoes on our feet; And, each other; All of my photo equipment, all of our memories, our wall art from our wedding, our daughters’ artwork, our memories; Everything, gone in just a few seconds, on the coldest day of the year.
It was a mess. It is still a mess. However, we had insurance, both homeowners insurance AND business insurance. Without those things, we would be lost. I was able to replace ALL of my equipment, and my business is going strong without interruption. Our house is still there, burnt and full of one day of bad memories. Everything is ruined and I cry thinking about everything we lost. We will demolish, we will rebuild, and we will be stronger than before. We are still here, and we are positive that things will work out in the end. I know they will, and my husband knows they will. Now, I can proudly say I am a full time photographer, and I am so happy that I get to stay home with my family, I can be there for my children when they need me, and I can focus on my passion. For those of you who know me, you know that I have been dealt with a very unlucky hand, but, that cannot and will not stop me from climbing higher. I can do this, and I will do this, because failing just is not an option.
My advice to any photographers or homeowners out there is to get insurance. It is so important. So so important, to protect what you own, to protect your things, no matter how much you think you don’t have “anything”, you do, you definitely do.
I am going to be keeping a regular blog update on our new home; it’s process from building it to finish. When it is all done, I will be doing our new home reveal! I am very excited about this, and I am going to think of it as our personal project! I hope you all enjoy, and tune in! Until then, have a great night and remember – what doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger!
Bokeh Love Photography