Take a second to think back on the people who really helped shape your life. The ones who were there watching you grow up, make mistakes, shed tears, overcome obstacles, realize your potential, etc., etc. These photos here are all about those kinds of relationships.
(yeah, that’s her).
…is a sweet twenty something who wanted to make a difference in the lives of young girls. So she began volunteering as a mentor for girls at her church who were about to enter the eagerly anticipated (and also secretly dreaded) world of Junior High!
They bonded that first year as the girls stepped into 7th grade facing school dances, making or not making the cheerleading squad, friend problems, figuring out which group they fit in with, and ultimately discovering who they really are.
8th grade came along and Chelsea decided to stay along side the girls and help them through their upcoming challenges that she knew through experience, would continue to come their way. That year she stood by helping them through more friend problems, moral dilemmas as they began defining and learning to live by their personal beliefs, saying good bye to good friends as they headed in different directions for high school, and preparing to become full fledged teenagers!
Guess what? They SURVIVED Jr. High!!! Hooray! And off to High School they went! Chelsea decided to come along for that too! Of course the group members changed from time to time, but even with that, they remained very close as a whole.
They had already spent two years together maturing into real live teenagers and now they were headed into four of the most life changing years… still together… still with Chelsea supporting them, guiding them, and comforting them all along the way.
They made it through football games, drivers license testing, break ups, good grades and bad grades, senior year goodbye parties, more friend problems, more fun, more pain, more drama, more growth… more of life… together.
Which brings us to now. Now they are graduating. Now they are all following the paths they’ve been discovering and working towards along the way. Now they are saying goodbye to one another. To their support, their comfort, and their friends.
Their relationships with one another and with Chelsea will be changing as they head to different parts of the globe. So they are grieving those changes together, but who am I kidding? They live in the land of Facebook, emails, texting, Skype, etc. This isn’t goodbye! This is just a celebration of moving forward!
Time for a last hurrah together with everyone in the same place at the same time! Of course we all know what that means….
They packed their bags, left the AZ desert and headed to California for a weekend full of Disneyland, the beach, van sing alongs, boy talk, and you guessed it… a photo session with Radiant Photography!
I (Breanna) have to admit that I was so excited for the girls as they embarked on this memorable trip that I was actually a little jealous! I wanted to be a part of the fun and the memories, but I knew I was just going to be a third party observer. But before the photo session had even started, I realized that wasn’t going to be the case at all because they swept me up into the crazy fun and made me just as much of a part of it as if I’d been in the group all along!
Photo session, food truck night, and Disneyland…
…I got to be right there having a ball with them through all of it!
I’ve never been lucky enough to have a group like they’ve all had together, but while they were here I felt like a part of something I’d always wanted to have! So a special thanks to the girls for making me an honorary member, I LOVED it and you guys made my year!!!!!
And a special note to Chelsea… Chelsea, you are incredible. I’ve been around you as you’ve poured more and more of your heart, time, energy, thoughts, etc, etc into these girls and I have to say that I think it was all worth it.
You’ve been a huge part in helping these girls grow up into the amazing people they are now and I know they will remember your role in their growth for the rest of their lives. I’m so proud of you for the things you’ve sacrificed in your own life for the good of these girls and I’m sure they’ve thanked you for this from time to time and I want to do so myself as well. Thanks for being an incredible role model, not just to the girls themselves but to everyone who sees you with them. You truly are a great example of what it means to love and give of yourself to others. You’re a hero to more people than you know, Chelsea.
We had so much fun capturing this incredible group of girls who we could easily see were super close and had been through so much together. They really love one another and we were so happy to get to be a part of this great group as they celebrated their time together, their friendships, and their upcoming new adventures. Cheers to all of you!
Scottie and I have enjoyed getting to know all of you at different points through various things we’ve photographed that you’ve been a part of, and of course through this trip. We can’t wait to meet up with you in the future and see who you’ve all become and what’s going on in your lives! You’re moving forward into life with enthusiasm, and we couldn’t be more excited and happy for you all!
Click to see the rest of the photos from this Farewell Session here.