Joan is the matriarch of her family. With six grown children, she has had her hands full most of her life. When her daughter, Lisa was thinking of a way for her and her siblings to give back to their mother, she thought “What could be better than a family photo session in their hometown of Hastings, Nebraska?” Something they had always talked about but never done. With several of Joan’s grown children living out of town and out of state, it would be the perfect time to have everyone travel ‘home’ to share a special day with their mother.  The Dream team swung into action, putting into place plans to make Joan’s Dream ‘picture perfect.’  

The night before the photo shoot, the siblings took their mom to her favorite restaurant for dinner. Fortunately, it’s one that’s still open in Hastings after all these years have passed. Joan kept looking around the table at everyone, just smiling. She held hands, shared stories of their childhood, and even got a bit playful. She crumbled up napkins, throwing them at people while laughing, and even recruited her two youngest daughters to help hoist the paper balls even further across the table. 

The photography session was set for the historic Pavilion at Chautauqua Park. This park held so many special memories for Joan’s family since the house they grew up in was just a block away. While gathered at the park, Joan’s family reminisced about their favorite childhood memories – endless hours in the Pavilion, rides at Kiddyland, playing on the rocket, and at the swimming pool. They recalled the yellow season swim passes meant spending hot summer days at Aquacourt pool, but they had to make sure they were home in time for 6 p.m. dinner! All together back in their childhood hometown it felt like it was only yesterday that they were a bunch of kids. 

It was a beautiful Monday afternoon; the skies were slightly overcast yet the weather was comfortable. Joan’s hair had been done by her beautician and longtime friend Deb, Lisa had painted her nails, and she donned a new outfit, selected especially for this big day. 

Lisa, Karen, and Joan arrived early at the park, soon joined by the rest of the family. Hastings-based Nattie May Photography was selected to take these very special family photos. A statement chair was brought to the park, so Joan could sit comfortably for the photos. Many different poses and combinations of photos were taken – of Joan individually, of her children and of her together with her children.  

To surprise their mom and make the day even more fun, the six siblings had t-shirts designed for the photo shoot. The shirts included characteristics unique to each person. More photos were taken with funny faces and poses, meanwhile Joan sat nearby, laughing, and enjoying the show. And Joan’s son Randy even brought his Harley Davidson motorcycle for Joan to pose by. 

Joan was so surprised and pleased with her family photo shoot! And it was an exciting surprise for the kids to experience with their mother. They all now have new memories of a day in the park plus family photos to cherish. The Dream team was happy to be a part of Joan’s ‘picture perfect’ day!