How did this happen?! My cousins are somehow seniors in high school, and time is a thief. I grew up in a town called Valparaiso Indiana. I moved away from my home town and all my family in 1998! I have now lived in NY for as long as I lived in Indiana. That’s crazy to me!
The long distance means that I miss out on a lot of the important things that go on with my family. I have several cousins that I grew up with who were as close as siblings, and now they all have kids. If I still lived in Valpo, I would be there for the birthdays and the performances and the big games and the graduations. But I’m not. I miss damn near all of it.
But this year, I got to go home and take my cousins’ senior photos. I was home for a visit, and we got to capture these. These are my cousin Rachel’s kids Lauren and Hayden. Rachel is 2 months younger than me and our mothers are sisters and were very young mothers so yes, we spent a lot of time together as kids. I love her kids, and was so grateful to get to do their senior photos. They are very sweet young people who are clearly intelligent and charismatic and have a big wonderful life in front of them. I can’t wait to watch it all unfold, even from a distance.
I have to give a shout-out to this amazing location Hamstra Gardens. It’s a stunning creation by a private family and you can only go by appointment. It’s a fascinating place that you can get beautifully lost in. I highly recommend exploring for an afternoon. But be respectful! This is a special place and I don’t want it abused in anyway.