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If you have ever been to our house, you will discover that we love pictures of our family – we have both professional and unprofessional pictures on nearly all our walls. They all tell a story about our life captured in a second and I love looking at them as I pass by, reliving vacations and so many fun things that we have done. So many amazing memories live within the photos in our house.

It has been a while since we have had professional photos taken. We were scheduled to get family pictures done in August of 2020 and were unable to due to Nash’s incident. Last summer we scheduled them and then Nash’s leg was casted, so we decided to wait. We talked about getting them multiple times this summer, but I was dragging my feet and just hadn’t scheduled anything. For some reason, I just couldn’t get my brain “ready” for pictures. As luck (or God) would have it, a couple of weeks ago we got a call and found out that we would need to get some pictures done quickly – like within the next week. As soon as I scheduled them, I was hit with a flood of emotions. I have always loved photos of our family, but I was forced to face the fact that somehow photos of our family have felt “different”. We have this photo that we took shortly after Nash came home and I have a love/hate relationship with that photo. It’s a photo of all of us together (which I love) but I barely recognize the faces staring back at me when I look at that photo.

Maybe it’s myself that I notice the most in that picture. As I look at that photo, I see the hollow eyes of a mother who was exhausted with little left in the tank and would do anything to relieve even an ounce of the pain that her family was experiencing. I see the eyes of my 12-year-old kids that were living through a hell that no 12-year-old should have ever faced. I see the eyes of my husband who was carrying the weight of our world on his shoulders and working tirelessly to be our foundation in the midst of turmoil. I saw the faces of a family that was clawing their way out of the unimaginable. Somehow pictures just felt like they carried so much more weight than they once did. I just didn’t want to get pictures – I didn’t want to capture where we were in time!

Nonetheless, we had to have these pictures, so I was forced to face the inevitable. The night that the pictures were done, I laid down in bed and prayed that we would end up with at least one decent photo. The next morning, I woke to an email from the amazing Chelsea Morris of Chelsea Mitchell Photography saying that our gallery was ready. I held my breath as I opened the email and was completely shocked with what I saw when the gallery opened in front of me. I saw the most amazing pictures of my beautiful family – we were laughing, joking, smiling, and having fun! We looked like US – we all looked like US!!! We finally looked like the old us that I had been longing to see. What a beautiful sight.

I am sure when other people see these family photos that they will just be “another family photo” but that will never be what I see when I look at these photos. I think they will forever be my favorite family photos because I see a family, MY FAMILY, that has overcome so much and is just living and loving life. I remember shortly after the incident a very special man said, “I can’t wait to see what your family looks like on the other side of this!” I have thought about those words a lot and wondered what we would like on the other side as well. I think those photos show exactly what we look like on the other side – and I am beyond thankful!!!

As always, I ask you – what “photo” are you dragging your feet on? Maybe if you just take the leap, you will discover that the outcome is so much more beautiful than you expected. You just may find a blessing that your heart needed more than you realized! Take the photo!

- Karen Lindberg


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