Portraits... Ariana

It was 7th period reading class during the first day of sixth grade when I was given a sheet of paper with a crossword puzzle on it to complete by my teacher. After introducing herself, going over what the class would cover for the year and reminding us that she was the team leader she passed out crossword puzzles to the class so that we could work on them for the remainder of the class time. I sat towards the back of the classroom and when the puzzle dropped on my desk I quickly grabbed my pencil and smirked at the thought of finishing the puzzle first.

Yes, I am an overachiever. 

I lean forward, pencil in my hand, and turn my paper backwards.

Uh huh, you read correctly... backwards.

I am great at crossword puzzles and can finish them in record time. I love figuring them out!!! One of my strategies is turning my paper backwards because I can find the hardest words that way and finish faster. It's a quirk, I know - but it works for me. 

Sitting next to me was a young lady, way taller than me, but just as quirky. She didn't say hello or what her name was. She simply said, "So you turn the paper upside down, huh? That seems to work well..."

Immediately, we became best friends. I remember thinking SHE GETS ME!!!

In a very non-chalant way, Ariana knew I was different and understood me. She didn't ask why I worked the puzzle out that way. She acknowledge that I did but didn't question it. 

That's a true friend in the making. 

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of seeing Ariana again and photographing her growing belly... Ariana will be having a baby within the next few weeks! She'll make a beautiful mother. 

I have the utmost respect for motherhood. I think it is becoming of a woman and very much hope to look as beautiful as Ariana does someday if I have children. Gorgeous!!!

Ariana, you are beautiful my friend! Congratulations to you and your beloved on the newest addition to your little family. I am delighted that you allowed me to photograph you in all of your beauty and motherhood glow. You make a beautiful pregnant woman and will make an amazing mother. It is amazing how life continues to keep us connected... stay close friend!

Be blessed friends!