The Birthday of a Lifetime

On February 10, 2011, Brad and Amanda Daugherty welcomed twins into their lives totaling their family to six. On February 11, 2019, Brad and Amanda welcomed me as their “adopted” fifth child to the family birthday party.

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And boy, was it a birthday party! To help the twins celebrate their possibly final birthday together, the family wanted the party to be bigger and better than ever. Local catering businesses chipped in for the food, a bounce house was donated and the decorations were organized.

After a crazy filled weekend already, the twins got to see their dreams come to life with Flash and unicorn decorations, friends and family everywhere and the biggest and best cake they have ever had.

Walking into the party, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I have never covered personal events nor followed a family so close before. I had already spent hours on hours with the Daugherty’s and loved everything about them. But a birthday party? That’s too close, that’s too much, I thought.

I was nervous the entire time. I met grandparents, uncles and cousins but didn’t think much of the meetings. I’m editing this post six months later, and boy were those initial interactions so much simpler, so easy from what I see now, from what emotions I’ve shared with these people now.

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I ran around the birthday party taking photos, capturing moments and awkwardly laughing with strangers. I captured kids with the biggest smiles on their faces and I saw them run towards the Texas Roadhouse mascot, an armadillo! I followed Christian and Grace and took selfies with Madyson while trying to secretly catch the weird and funky positions Elijah would play on his iPad in.

Grace wanted me to follow her everywhere. Christian wanted me to capture him running faster than the Flash (and then he asked me to add flames to his feet!).

What a birthday party. I am a wildly outgoing person, but boy was it exhausting. And wow did I have no idea of the impact the photos I took that night would have. I had no idea how much I would lean on these photos, on this night. But here I am, six months later, reminiscing and loving every memory, every click of the shutter and every hug and human I met that night.

Never let moments and parties pass by too quick, too soon. Take every chance you can until you don’t have any left.

Read more about Christian and our stories intertwining here.

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