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Snapshot of a Tragedy

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These pictures really are worth a thousand words, especially now.

Stephanie Nielson Family photo

When mom blogger Stephanie Nielson and her husband, who have four kids under age 6, were in a plane crash last month, the blogging community was in shock. More than 80% of Stephanie's body was burned -- and 30% of Christian's body was burned as well. They are currently hospitalized, and both have a long road to recovery ahead. The news footage of this tragedy was always accompanied by a beautiful, almost haunting, photograph of the picture-perfect family. The photographer who snapped that shot is Stephanie's friend Wendy Whitacre of Blue Lily Photography, a mom of 2. Here is her story.

I, like so many other mothers, am addicted to mom blogs. They're my way to relax, my therapy. One night, I was up really late hopping from blog to blog when I found the Nie Nie Dialogues. I devoured the whole thing that night, savoring each and every post, then kept coming back daily for more. That was almost three years ago.

The Nie Nie Dialogues wasn't just any blog. Like so many others, it was written by a mom who stayed home with her little children. But this blog stood out. Reading Stephanie's posts was like taking an inspirational mini-vacation right there in my office chair. Her words, stories, values, and photos encouraged me to try harder to make life a little more magical and vivid. She focused on the positives of motherhood rather than the negatives. I enjoyed her kind, vibrant spirit that shined though her musings.

I first came in contact with Stephanie when I, as a photographer, was featured as a "Friday's Face" on her blog.  We exchanged e-mails here and there, which led to her scheduling a family photography session this past summer. We were both ecstatic about the session. She really needed some photos that reflected her unique family, and I knew that a soulful person like Stephanie and her adorable little children would be delightful to catch on camera.


Stephanie Nielson family

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16 comments so far | Post a comment now
April September 10, 2008, 6:50 PM

What a sad story. I just feel so sorry for the family. I hope she makes a full recovery. She was (IS) such an incredible mom.

Jane September 10, 2008, 7:09 PM

This story moved me. Reading this family’s sad story made me realize how much I take for granted. I wish Stephanie and her husband all the best.

Janet September 10, 2008, 7:26 PM

Wow, she is such an inspiration. I just read through her blogs. She doesn’t b*tch and moan all day about being a mom like I do. I need to treasure the little moments.

Anonymous September 11, 2008, 1:55 PM

I love the pictures

Anonymous September 11, 2008, 3:53 PM

I hope she survives. prayers from georgia.

Eve September 11, 2008, 6:16 PM

So beautifully written. I love seeing new people find nienie lately. She is so inspiring and I know she has made us all better mothers.

Adrienne October 16, 2008, 3:37 PM

I just read about this tragedy in People Magazine. I’ve never heard of Stephanie Nielson or read her blogs. However, I will lift up prayers for both her and her husband. I wish them both a full and speedy recovery. May God bless and care for them both.

federal student loans November 4, 2010, 2:14 AM

nice post. thanks. March 25, 2011, 9:17 AM

Snapshot_of_a_tragedy_1.. Great idea :) April 22, 2011, 3:07 AM

Snapshot_of_a_tragedy_1.. I like it :) April 23, 2011, 6:33 PM

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