"If the eyes are a window to the soul, this must be a beautiful soul"

by Caiti Jackson

My Mum quoted this about me after she saw my senior photos. It didn't make much sense to me, until I met Marissa.

If there's one word I could use to describe Marissa, that word would be STRONG. This girl. Where should I start? Tall, athletic, eyes that make your heart melt, always smiling, always laughing...This girl is absolutely stunning. The thing about Marissa though, is that while her physical features alone are stunning, her big, beautiful heart with it's enormous capacity to love puts her looks over the top. 

After our first consultation, I walked away from her thinking, "There is something about Marissa. She's different. If I was in high school with her, I would have wanted to be her BFFL!" 
It wasn't until she was changing outfits during her session that I was talking to her Aunt Janell and Grandma Wendy. I asked if Marissa's mom was working and that's why she couldn't be at her session. They quickly informed me that Marissa's mom died from cancer when she was 8 years old. Talk about learning to overcome! This young lady has grown up and raised her little brother alone with her dad since she was 8 years old. That's why she seemed so confident to me! That's why I could tell from the beginning that this girl, this incredibly beautiful, incredibly humble, incredibly happy young lady was hiding a strong story from me. 

You are amazing, Marissa. This simple blog post does no justice to your character. I'm proud of you for overcoming and choosing joy instead of bitterness. It radiates from your head to your toes. You are going to move mountains, young lady. Don't ever forget that God only gives trials and tribulations to those who can handle it. Not only were you strong enough to handle it, but you overcame. I can't wait to see what this amazing life has in store for you! Thank you for inspiring me to be as joyful, confident, and absolutely happy as you are.