A lot can change in a year. We watch our kids grow and change before our very eyes- sometimes on a minute-to-minute basis. Our hair may change colour. Perhaps we find a few more greys than we swore we had last year… Our kids learn new skills and dazzle us with all of their tricks. Though sometimes those new tricks may be some of mommy and daddy’s habits that we wish they hadn’t picked up on! It has been a year since we last photographed the Korchinski family, and a lot has happened in that time.
Their daughter, Valley, has grown soooo much in the last year! She is almost two, and my goodness, she brings the biggest smile to my face. This girl has got some sweet dance moves, let me tell you. When music comes on and those little hips get grooving, it is just pure magic. I have never seen a child with swagger as this girl has got! Valley is walking and talking, and her toothy little grin could melt hearts for miles around. And her WINKING- oh be still my heart- seriously the cutest! That little pirate eye she kept giving me had me in hysterics! What almost two year old has enough control to know how to ACTUALLY wink?! Watching her laugh and play with Kim and Lisa brings me so much joy.
Last November, something else changed for the Korchinski family. Lisa was diagnosed with a sizeable cancerous brain tumour. In December, on Valley’s first birthday, Lisa underwent brain surgery to have the tumour removed. Aside from the fact that she had a tumour growing in her brain, due to where it was situated, the surgery came with a number of potentially serious complications. In removing the tumour, there was a chance that Lisa could lose her vision, experience paralysis, memory, or change in her temperament. The result of these complications could come in any combination and they could be a temporary or permanent side effect. Needless to say, in those weeks leading up to, and past the surgery, I learned what it meant to pray without ceasing.
Lisa was taken in for surgery on December 1, and we waited for what felt like years to hear the result. My darling friend has always been an overachiever- of course, I have always said that to her out of love and admiration of her hard work ethic!- and she crushed that surgery. Her outstanding team of doctors was able to remove about 90% of the tumour- which was ended up being about the size of a fist. Lisa came out of the surgery with ZERO side effects. Not. A. Single. One. I am consistently thankful for God’s hand of protection over her, and how my friend is literally a walking, talking miracle. Through the transition from surgery to radiation and chemotherapy for the last 10 months, Lisa has walked this journey with positivity, grace, and a radiant smile on her face.
Kim & Lisa, you have handled a year of difficulty with strength and poise. It is inspiring to watch from the outside, as the two of you fall even more in love with each other. Cam & I have seen your relationship grow and flourish amidst trial and hardship. And your smiles continue to shine brightly through it all. I pray those smiles never dim, the laughter continues for many years to come, and that your grip remains firmly in each other’s hands.
Korchinski family, we love you guys so much. Kim & Lisa, to see you grow as parents alongside Valley is a special blessing. Valley is an amazing girl, and she has so much of both of your admirable qualities. She definitely has your shared thirst for knowledge and an infectious smile. This girl is going to learn what tenacity looks like from her amazingly determined mom and dad. She is (and we are!) so truly blessed to have both of you. Thank you so much for giving us the honour of capturing these family memories for your family. That you entrust these precious moments to us brings me to tears every time. We love you all!
Courtney & Cam