What can I tell you about the Austin’s? Other than the fact that they’re named after my favorite city in the whole entire world, the Austin family is one of the sweetest, most genuinely kind families I have ever met. I was contacted by Nikki’s friend, Heather, back in April and I knew right away this was a family I was destined to meet.
Nikki and Heather met when they were in 6th grade and have remained friends over the past (we won’t say how many) years. Their boys were born 4 months apart and they remained in close contact even though Nikki lived in Washington and Heather was here in San Diego. In September 2012, Nikki received the devastating news that her son, Matthew, was diagnosed with DIPG, an incurable brain tumor. Matthew fought a hard fight until he passed away on November 5, 2013. In the words of Heather,”This amazing family- a dad who is a firefighter, an amazing baseball coach, and a compassionate father; a mom who is an amazing cancer advocate, an outstanding friend, and a loving mom; and a little sister who is amazingly charming and witty, and will always remember her brother- are forever changed.”
Nikki and her family were going to be in San Diego in May for a few days and I was so thrilled when they agreed to meet with me for a photosession. Nikki wasn’t sure at first if she wanted to do the session, but then she read the About Me page on my website and saw that we have a basset hound named Charlie. Matthew used to love watching the Pioneer Woman (who also has a basset hound with the same name) and told his mom he wanted to have a basset hound and name it Charlie someday. That was the sign Nikki needed to know that this was meant to be. So, we exchanged several emails, and arranged a time to meet up one morning during their stay here in San Diego. Before I even met the Austin family in person, I already knew that they were amazing. We welcomed each other with giant hugs and it just felt right. I’ve often been told before by families that they feel comfortable working with me because my own son had cancer and I’m part of the “cancer mom” club. Definitely not a club you really want to be part of, but God has used that to comfort and bless other families, and for that I’m grateful.
Here’s a peak at our Hope Session. Austin Family, it was a joy to work with you and I hope our paths cross again soon. You’re an amazing family filled with love and Matthew was one very blessed little boy to have been part of your awesome crew. Much love to you all!
This is Heather and Nikki … friends for life!
And the whole crew together … what a fun bunch of goofballs. : )