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Mon. Apr 16, 2012 by Mary    Portraits

Meet: Sharon Elizabeth

I've been known to come undone when the internet wasn't working.

Have had complete meltdowns over a to-do list that's not to-done yet and an inbox that is getting a little too full. When the laundry and the paperwork pile up or the hair is having a bad day, I have a tendency of going to pieces.

In short, it is a very easy life I lead.

Because see... it would have to be an easy life, for me to be afforded the luxury of worrying about such small, small things born out of the inconsequential. I go along like this, caught up in the Monday minutiae....wallowing in the mini tragedies of grown up life, things like plugged up shower drains and cars that need oil changes. Until something comes along that slaps me in the face. It lands hard, square across the cheek bone. A dizzying blow, that is at once sobering and unsettling. It snaps me back to reality. Holds the world up in front of my face. Like a magic mirror with the ability to reveal great acts of ingratitude.

It is a very easy life I lead. And it's one that I take for granted.

A little over a year ago, I met the absolutely beautiful Sharon (not quite yet) Hundley at a Spread the Love and Walk Through a Wedding down in Charlotte, NC. And I instantly adored everything about her. She was all things bright and happy, a heart overflowing with joy. And she does ninja kicks during casual conversation, because she just has more energy than one body can hold. She's the kind of person who shines from the inside out, and you just love being around her. Because you feel yourself start to shine a little more too. So I decided right then and there... I was going to make her a friend for life.

Shortly after that weekend, Sharon hired us to do headshots for the new brand she had started dreaming up during Spread the Love. And we got her all squared away on the calendar. But as the date was approaching, she reached out again to say she was going to have to postpone because her mom had gotten sick, that the doctors had just discovered it was breast cancer, and she just really needed to be by her side. This of course was not a problem, and we decided to just stay in touch on rescheduling the shoot at some point in the future. As the months went by and the shoot got pushed back further, Sharon (now Hundley) was dealt another blow when it turned out that her brand new husband, Chase, had to go in for what turned out to be not one, not two, but three open heart surgeries. Each one more harrowing- more next to nothing chances-than the next. She of course tells this story way better than I ever could, so I definitely recommend you head over HERE to read it. But just be warned, it's a tear jerker for sure.

Right around the beginning of March this year, Sharon wrote to say that her mom was just finishing up her last rounds of radiation and Chase was finally home from the ICU. So she was ready to get this shoot on the road! :) After talking about it, we decided to make the shoot span over two days. One day just for the headshots, but the other devoted to documenting her and her family, and of course her and Chase. Just as they are together, right in this moment of time. With, yes, not every question answered, but so so grateful that they still all have each other to hold on to.

So about a week ago, nearly a year to the day when I first met Sharon not yet Hundley, Justin & I drove down to Virginia. Where I met the same bright and happy, heart overflowing with joy, faith-filled girl I've always known. The one who still does ninja kicks in casual conversation. Because she has more energy than one body can handle. Who after all this, it has not changed her. Except that she's just become even more grateful, more joyful for all that she has.

And here, I have meltdowns when the internet goes down.

Sometimes these things come along and slap you in the face. They land hard and snap you back to reality. Remind you of all that you have to be thankful for.

And today of all days, I'm especially thankful for that. And thankful for a friend for life named Sharon Elizabeth Hundley.

Meet: Sharon Elizabeth


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