When I arrived at the park to take senior portraits of Nyasha and met up with her and her mom, I hugged her and told her, "I love your mom so much that I feel like we're already friends." Nyasha's mom, Michelle, was my midwife with all four kids and so for years I have heard her name, often in conversations about running her around to basketball tournaments. It was so good to put a beautiful face to a name. We wandered around in the sweet evening light at Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, my first time there but it certainly won't be my last. It was so fun to chat about all the quirky things that my kids are doing and all the stuff the baby's getting into. I got to hear about Nyasha and her last year of school and the sports that she's into. Michelle is also working now for an awesome organization OPEN ARMS PERINATAL SERVICES. She only took me on this last baby when I solemnly promised that he was my last one.

Nyasha is warm and personable, fun and so easy to visit with. I loved that she came ready to have fun and enjoy being herself in front of my camera. We tried all kinds of shots and she was game to try it all. At the end I felt like we got a good glimpse of her heart, which is just as beautiful as she obviously is on the outside.

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This girl is quite an athlete. She's pretty low key about it all but her mom was telling me about offers she's getting from some pretty impressive schools to play for them next year.

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This, my friends, is why evening light is so wonderful.

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Then a quick change-a-roo.

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I told her if the basketball thing doesn't work out...well, modeling would definitely be a possibility :). Isn't she so pretty?

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There really are not enough words to describe what Michelle has meant to me and how much I love her. (Not hard to see where Nyasha gets that smile!). She has walked me through some of the darkest and most stressful times of my life with preterm labor and has been at my side for the highest elation of my life too when each of my littles were born. With all the kindness that I could soak up, she cared for me and my family way beyond what her job required, and I am so very grateful. She has been a true gift from God in my life and when I think of having my babies, I will always, always think of her.

I know she dearly loves her girl.

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Nyasha, you are a girl full of talent and full of heart. You will be a gift to many people and I am excited to hear of the impact you will have. Have an awesome senior year!

Michelle, thanks for spending this night with me and your girl. Also, thanks for the yummy potatoes from your garden and for carrying them around for me the whole time :) . I put them in some homemade minestrone this week and they were de-lish!