On October 19, 2007, Tracy & Will said, “I do!” at the stunning Ocean Cliff in Newport, Rhode Island. Andy & I were lucky enough to have been there with them…documenting all of the love & goodness. It was our fifth year photographing weddings and now, ten years later, theirs still remains one of our all time favorites.
Their wedding didn’t stand out because of the gorgeous setting and details, Tracy’s killer dress, Will’s awesome hot pink socks, or even all of the beautiful fall colors in the changing leaves…though those things were all wonderful. It was because their wedding day was so full of love…Will & Tracy’s love for one another, but also the love directed at them from their amazing family & friends! We see a lot of love, but some just really stands out and theirs definitely did!
Although we’ve kept in touch via email and holiday cards, we only saw them a couple of times after their wedding…once to get some photos of them when Tracy was pregnant with Maggie, their oldest, and one more time while Andy & I were up in Boston for a dinner date night a year or two after their wedding. So, our reunion here on the Cape a couple of weeks ago was long over due and so very happily received!
Tracy had reached out to us about doing a family session in honor of her & Will’s ten-year anniversary. We were, of course, totally on board!! We wanted to do something nice for this wonderful family, who had been through more than anyone should have to go through…and all in less than a year!
It all started on October 6, 2016….and I only mentioned the date because as someone who has their own significant date, when life throws something really horrible at you, you remember the date. Don’t know why…you just do. Despite normal mammograms, Tracy had found a tiny nodule in her right breast. A biopsy determined that it was in fact cancer. More tests were done to determine the stage and grade and fortunately it was caught early, but to prevent metastasis elsewhere in the future, Tracy underwent chemotherapy and experienced all the awfulness that goes with that.
On November 11, 2016 Tracy & Will’s youngest daughter, Phoebe, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I can’t imagine anything worse than having your child diagnosed with a lifelong illness. Pheobe now depends on an insulin pump to control her blood glucose levels. I didn’t know her before her diagnosis, but I can tell you, diabetes does not slow this little love muffin down! And, while I’m not a fan of labels, she is the classic third child….precocious, super fun and spirited and definitely a shining star!
Here she is with her two equally as delicious, kind, sweet, bright, beautiful sisters, Nora and Maggie…
On December 1, 2016, Tracy’s mom, Jane, had a seizure in the middle of the night and was hospitalized and unable to drive for six months. She was planning to move in with Tracy & Will to help out during Tracy’s chemo and had gone home after the first week of staying with them to take a little break. It was that night that she had her first seizure…no doubt a very upsetting and scary time for everyone!!
And, as if all of that wasn’t enough for any family to endure, Will’s mom, Kathy, got some freakish bacterial infection two months later that landed her in a coma. Doctors weren’t sure if she’d make it and told the family that even if she did survive, she would never walk again. This week, after months of fighting her way back to health, she walked with a walker.
“She can’t wait to walk into that doctor’s office and prove him wrong,” Tracy told us. We can’t wait either!!
Tracy finished her cancer treatment in March and now sees an oncologist every six months as part of Dana Faber’s Survivorship Program. And the family will no doubt celebrate tomorrow’s World Diabetes Day and the one-year anniversary of Phoebe being admitted to Children’s Hospital with her diagnosis with some yummy diabetic cupcakes….or brownies.
Despite all of these challenges and hardship, Tracy & Will wanted to celebrate…their marriage and their commitment to being there, lifting each other up no matter what life throws at them. And, they wanted to celebrate by preserving this moment in their lives and the happy memories they continue to make as a family. We could not have been happier or more honored to be a part of that!
And, just like their wedding…there was sooooooo much love!!! Like the love these two sweet girls wanted to give their momma. And, sweet Miss P…can we talk about her big personality and her tiny little crossed legs for a second??? This photo just sums her up for me.
I come from a family of three girls and the bond of sisterhood is like no other. It runs deep and, at times, can cut just as deep. But, there are few others who know you as long as your sisters. They know when something is wrong and bothering you or when you’re on top of the world happy. They’ve been there for all the birthdays and holidays, cheering you on in your triumphs and picking you up when you fall apart. They love you and accept you, warts and all. And, when life throws unexpected things your way, they’re the first ones at your side to help you through. This photo sums that up for me. . . sisters and best friends.
Happy, curious, adventurous, playful…
…..loving, supportive, wonderful sisters!
Phoebe was pretending she didn’t want to smile for us, but Andy jumping over me while I took the family group photo seemed to make her forget her no smile stance for a while. It had a pretty great reaction on the rest of the family too!
Taking a break from all the fun for a minute, Maggie just sat on this cool granite bench with her dad. Soooo much love!
Something tells me Phoebe is going to make great things of her life…whether that means climbing mountains, starring on Broadway or running the country. Just love this kiss for daddy moment, while he was helping her scale this rock wall.
Nora….such a sweet soul, this one! And, that toothless grin….I just want to kiss her face off!
These girls loved climbing the trees at Bourne Farm….nearly every single one! HA! They really are such cool kids…so playful and full of life. It’s amazing how resilient children are…how they have so much more awareness than we think to what’s going on around them, and yet, still they thrive. I think it helps when they know how very dearly they are loved and cared for. And, these girls definitely know that!
More love for momma….love and toothless smiling faces. So yummy!! This photo of Phoebe makes me smile so much I want to blow it up and put it on my own wall, poster size. This little peanut, standing seemingly alone in a forest, defiantly sticking her tongue out like something out of Where the Wild Things Are. I just love it!
And, this one…another brilliant shot by my brilliant husband…like a piece of art that just screams “childhood” to me…the good parts of childhood and the lonely, scary parts…but together they all make us who we eventually become….and with just one eye showing, it’s like giving us a small peek into who that will be and it’s just so beautiful.
Happy gorgeous creatures climbing trees. Where cares and worries cannot reach!
Family….it’s just the best!
Because our sessions are longer than most, we like to incorporate some play time so kids don’t get bored and so they are more relaxed around us…which inevitably allows us to get better photos of them. For these three beauties, we played a few rounds of hide and seek. We were the seekers, they the hiders. It took us a while…but we eventually found them!
Peek-a-boo, I see you!!!
Then it was our turn to hide…. ONE. TWO…. THREEE……….
Ready or not, here we come….
Three little monkeys sitting in a tree, hugging and playing with their sweet Dadddyyyyy. I think the biggest smile we got from Phoebe was when Andy let her and Nora climb our step ladder and then proceeded to shake it with them onboard….earthquake style. Whatever it takes….we have no shame when it comes to doing what’s necessary to get happy faces and make sure our kiddos have some fun!!
As colorful as fall itself….Love these warm, wonderful people!!!
Tracy & Will…thank you both sooooo much for keeping us in your lives all these years and for wanting to celebrate your 10 year anniversary with us in this way!! We know it’s been a really hard year for you both, and no doubt for your girls too. We hope these photos serve as happy reminders of happier days ahead! Thank you too for the amazing photo you took of us with the girls….it’s not often we get that and it’s just the best so thank you!!! We will treasure it!! Big hugs to both of your moms…wishing them speedy recoveries and maybe we can all get together for an extended family photo session next year!! We think the world of both of you and feel so honored to call you friends…friends we don’t see very often, but friends nonetheless! With lots of big love and hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo