The Prize

I first met Brie after she won my April photo shoot giveaway this past year.  She was so excited and wanted her photos to be perfect.  She told me so many times how blessed she felt and how she never won anything.  When they pulled up and she hopped out of the car with her sweet smile and gathered her children in her arms, I knew it would be a special time.   

It was SO windy and we had to hide out behind brick walls, crouch in protected areas and even wander down sheltered alleys to get the shots we wanted.  We chatted the entire time, her husband Eric quietly following and leading his daughters by the hand.  She lamented that Eleri wanted her pacifier so much and I tried to assure her that paci or no, the pictures would still be cute and so representative of "this time" in their lives.  I remember it was challenging to photograph both of them together as Eric was so tall and Brie was so dainty.  He picked her up at one point and she beamed and laughed….so happy.  

Our friendship was casual and new.  We met at Chik-Fil-A and let our girls play as we chit-chatted about this and that.  That is the day she told me she was expecting a third baby.  So excited and a bit nervous, she wanted to know how three children were…was it a hard transition from two to three?  how did you do this and that? and other questions a new pregnancy brings.  Her girls played with Gillian,  they got in spats, we all ate chicken nuggets, we spilled a lemonade in the play area, we were scolded by the chik-fil-a ladies for breaking the "no food and drinks in this area" rule, we giggled it off as we sopped up lemonade with thin napkins, we hugged and said goodbye.  

I had no idea.

I've been hesitant to write this blog post.  Mainly because I haven't known what to say. How do you describe the impact a person makes in a mere blog post?  How do you explain something so tragic?  How do you begin to process these thoughts?   How do I describe our brief time together in short, succinct paragraphs?  How do I describe this sweet person that came into my life and then quickly entered a new one?  My heart aches for her children and husband and yet I am also so glad that she is dancing before her beloved Savior right this moment.  Her smile is so bright.  

Our brief friendship affected me.  She showed me love and life.  She showered her friends with encouragement and support.  She took the time to send sweet notes of happy thoughts.  Her blog is full of beauty and truth.  She smiled and was thankful.  She wanted the best for her family.  She loved capturing moments through her own photography and words.  

She loved Jesus and worshipped Him.

And as for winning a prize, it was me that won that day.  I just didn't realize it when I pulled her name out of the hat.   And for that I am so blessed.



By | 2017-02-06T10:56:55+00:00 January 7th, 2011|


  1. Kara Piehl January 7, 2011 at 11:50 am - Reply

    AMAZING post. I found out about you through Brie and she loved her family pictures. You are so talented and I feel the same way about Brie. We’ve only been “friends” since the birth of our babies (her Eleri and my Joshua are 2 days apart). She was so passionate about her family and I’m thankful you were able to bless her family (both eric and the girls and her extended family and friends). Thank you for your post, it brings tears to my eyes. And please keep blessing others with your gift that God has given you.

  2. Katy January 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Wow! Those are beautiful pictures! You did a great job of capturing her true spirit. These pictures say it all! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kimberly Hill January 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, amazing post…..gets my already “fragile” emotions overwhelmed again. Everything you “worried” about capturing or saying just right – you said perfectly.
    The pictures not only show Brie’s outer beauty & the love in her family, but her beautiful heart as well.
    Thanks for posting this & God Bless!

  4. melissa blair January 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing, girl. You captured a beautiful time and preserved it perfectly.

  5. Alice White January 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    What beautiful pictures, you have totally captured Brie’s happiness, thank you so much for sharing. She has blessed all of our lives.

  6. Michele K January 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    What gorgeous pictures! You captured her true beauty & grace. I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. Jana January 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    She’s so beautiful and dearly missed. Thanks for posting these!

  8. Chrissy Howard January 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for writing this post. Brie was a one of a kind person. You will never meet another person like her. You described her so perfectly! Your trip to chick-fl-a sounds like many many times we shared together. Thank you so much for capturing such wonderful beautiful pictures of my dear sweet sister Brie, who I miss so very dearly.

  9. Janine Buckles January 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful photos of an obviously beautiful person…inside and out. I’m sorry you’ve lost your friend. God bless you.

  10. Hilary January 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    What beautiful photos. I am speechless. Thank you for sharing her spirit with everyone through your photos.

  11. Jennifer January 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Beautiful portraits! What a lovely post too!

  12. Toya January 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    She sounds like an amazing woman who touched many lives. I just read the newspaper article and it tore me up. I’m so sorry you lost your friend.

  13. Lisa January 8, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Your pictures are just beautiful and they do capture Brie’s happiness and love for her family. Eric and the children will have these beautiful photographs to remember her by.

  14. stacy g January 8, 2011 at 11:06 am - Reply

    So beautiful. Words. Photos. You have made me miss her as well and I don’t know either of you personally. What a wonderful gift you gave her family with the photos.

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