• Kel Donaldson

"I never been the kinda guy to lose sleep over a girl. But her - I lose sleep over her."

For those of you that know me, you have likely noticed my unconventional approach to life. Or perhaps my blunt attitude and wild sense of humor. Interestingly enough, in large part, much of my identity was shaped by growing up next to my best friend, Joey, and his super Italian and Catholic family. I have fond memories of his mom pouring a bag of skittles into a bowl for us just to watch the sugar rush set in. I'll also never forget Gina's incredible cooking. Going to their house after becoming a vegetarian was awful. Not only would they give me a hard time (LOL-all in good fun) but they would tempt me with the best smells ever...and I would just have to sit there.

Then in my adult life, I met Trish Moulton. For those of you who don't know who she is, she is the owner of Dance Studio of Maine and now Dance Studio of Maine South. We met after attending a wedding together of one of our mutual friends, Ashley (now Kane) and there were probably more black flies than we had seen in our entire lives. I remember thinking what a boss of a maid of honor she was, as she made her own bug spray with essential oils, which she brought for Ashley on her big day. It didn't smell bad like all other bug sprays. And I have since stolen this trick to use on my brides who pick buggy settings for their weddings.

Anyway, we became fast friends; from manipulating Ashley's veil on her wedding day, to cheering Ashley on as she gave birth, to having a family photoshoot in her home, to just a few weeks ago attending her god daughter's First Communion.

Trish (Left) + Her brother (Right)

I'm not the most religious person, in fact, I had no idea what a Communion was. All I knew was I was going to get up at 3 am and drive to Long Island, NY on May 18th to get a glimpse into the family of a friend and mentor that I admire. It was on this sunshiny Saturday that I encountered another authentic, hilarious, candid catholic and Italian family just like the one I grew up with. (Like...x 10 on the Italian though. LOL.) And I am not just saying that. I had no idea just how Italian Trish was...until I met her family. And now everything makes so much more sense.

If you know what First Communion is, please excuse me while I explain that it is (and I'm going to botch this) a bunch of little girls getting dressed up as brides and basically marrying Jesus. You might think, alright WTH??? But come on - look at how sweet:

The idea of hanging out with a totally different family for an entire weekend to me was honestly, a dream. You learn so much about people when they open up their home to you in such a way. And there are details you come to notice whereas in your own home everything just blends with the furniture.

Some details of Trish's uncle's home include:

This adorable plastic bag with holes poked through it for the succulents to get sun.

These potted plants I just am obsessed with.

And this amazing little deck where people gather to eat, drink, and be merry.

I have to say that I think the highlight of this trip, for me, was hearing Trish's uncle talk about his cars. He had a story for each of them. The one that stood out the most to me was the one he told about his first motorized bike. Like a scene out of a movie, he goes, "I never been the kinda guy to lose sleep over a guhl - you know? But I lost sleep over her." It was his bike he was talking about, people! That was gold. Pure gold.

He then proceeded to explain that he told the guy he bought it from that he would pay 1/2 up front and the other 1/2 later. Several days later his dad gets a knock on the door, and it's the seller, asking where the rest of his money is. His dad pays the balance, and like any dad, is not thrilled about it.

I am convinced it was worth it, though, based on this guy's love for such toys.

"When are you going to let me buy that car for her?" Galen said.

Response: "She can have it, when I die."

Her nails were red just like the paint. I can just picture Trish cruising the streets in this thing.

First was Communion, then food and drinks at the house, then to the reception. I just love the pictures that decorated the walls of this place. And the sweet pictures of Nadia and her grandfather dancing.

What family event would you pay a photographer to attend? Comment down below.

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