A Love Letter To Holt | Mahomet-Seymour High School | Class of 2018

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It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago, I already began the fun for my Class of 2019 SLP VIP crew with a styled shoot at the pool.  Each year, through the VIP program, I get to spend time with high schoolers way beyond just their senior session.  They participate in styled shoots, enjoy quarterly social gatherings, volunteer together, and make lots of memories.  The VIP program makes the experience of having your senior portraits taken as unique as you are.  If you're interested in learning more about the VIP program, shoot me a message.  Applications are already being accepted for the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.  That's the beauty of Sweet Lemonade Photography's VIP program... the fun starts way beyond your senior year.  So let me tell you how you can start enjoying the perks as early as your freshman year!  Class of 2020 VIP Application can be found here. 

As we begin the 2019 VIP season, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the 2018 VIP crew.  I've invited all the parents of the 2018 SLP VIP team to share a few thoughts or a few pages of thoughts about their child with the world.   Whatever was on their heart.   

Eighteen years ago when these babies were born, high school graduation seemed like forever away.  And now here they are, their babies have graduated and very soon they will be packing them up and saying goodbye to them as they begin their next adventure at college.  Some of them are staying local while others are moving half way across the country.  I pray all these kids know that they are loved fiercely.  By their family, by their friends, and by me.   I've enjoyed watching them perform in plays, photographing them playing their favorite sport, taking them out for ice cream, and just being one more person in their fan club.  I wish them continued success, encourage them to work hard, let fear take a backseat and chase their dreams.  I'm rooting for you! 

Up first is Holt Campion, a graduate of Mahomet-Seymour High School.  Enjoy this first letter to Holt from his mama. 

 

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Dear Holt,

 

May 5, 2000. This is the day that my heart expanded to a capacity that I never thought possible with the birth of you, our firstborn, Holt Campion. You were born via an emergency C-section, due to a rapid drop in your heart rate, and I would like to attribute my, our, well...no, MY overprotective parenting, at times, to be a direct result of this, but it basically boils down to the fact that you are our first born of 6 children and, therefore, our guinea pig. There have been unrealistic and probably unfair expectations placed on you (by us and by yourself), at times, but you have truly embraced the role of the firstborn leader, in our home, with much grace (and sometimes forgiveness) through the years.

 

Holt, you did everything early: from rolling over at four months, to sitting up at six months, to walking at 10 months and running by 11 months.  Dr. Striegel, your pediatrician, predicted that you would be very agile and athletic, and both have proven to be true. 

 

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As a toddler, you loved being outside, you loved for things to be fair and logical, you were a deep thinker, and you had a deep and passionate love for Jesus, and these attributes are still evident in you today. We often talked about Jesus and the mercy He extended, on the cross, for all of mankind, and so you have been taught and you have known the love of the Father since you could speak. During one occasion, when you were about 2 years old, you were being disobedient, and you were about to receive a spanking. I told you that even though you deserved a spanking, I was going to show you mercy and NOT spank you, just like Jesus showed us mercy by dying on the cross for our sins.  Well, the next time you were about to receive a spanking, you said, “Mama, wait! I need to say something!......Please show me mercy! I need mercy, Mama!” Such a little deep thinker and theologian...

 

Holt, you have always been a leader among your peers. Your example is one of humility and is more quiet in nature, but you positively influence the environment you are in, regardless of where you go. As a 17 year old, you currently attend church with our family on Sunday, Young Life on Monday, youth group on Wednesday, Young Life Campaigners on Thursday, and FCA on Fridays. Attending these Christ-focused activities is your choice and one we are certainly proud of. Your role as a Freshman mentor the past two years at Mahomet-Seymour High School has been rewarding to both you and to those boys you have nurtured and cared for. We will often receive a text or phone call from you saying that you will be a little late coming home from a church or Young Life activity because you are giving a ride home to kids whose parents can’t and/or won’t provide their own children with rides. This is our Holt. The quote that best sums up you would be: “Preach the gospel at all times; and, when necessary, use words.” Continue to shine for Jesus, everywhere you go, Holt.

 

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You were able to learn hundreds of scriptures, through the years, during your participation in the AWANA program and in our morning family devotional time, and it is our prayer that you continue to recall all of God’s promises, that you have hidden in your mind and your heart, especially during the challenging times but also in times of thanksgiving, as well. A missions trip to Mexico, the summer before 9th grade, was a pivotal encounter for you as you were able to be the hands and feet, of Jesus, in a practical and tangible way. This experience deepened your faith and dependence on God, and we are thankful for this opportunity, and for the solid spiritual foundation you have received at our home church, The Urbana Vineyard, along with the time spent attending and serving at FCA and Young Life.

 

Holt, you had an amazing season on the basketball court this year and we were so proud as you led your team as one of the Varsity captains. Of all the awards you have received, however, the two that stand out the most are the  Sportsmanship Award and the Most-Improved Award.  While leading your team in the highest field goal percentage is awesome (and yes, we are proud that you received that award, too!), the most-improved award is significant because you had a few specific goals in mind, at the beginning of your season, and you fought hard, overcoming sickness and injury, to accomplish and succeed at reaching those goals, all while being a Godly leader, both on and off the court. The qualities required to accomplish this are ones that you, AND others, will remember, and these attributes will serve you well as you begin the next leg of your journey as you go off to college. 7 hours away. To the University of Mississippi. Sigh……..

 

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Through your hard work and determination, you have earned yourself a full-academic scholarship to attend Ole Miss, in the Honors program, to study Biology, with the end goal of becoming a pediatrician. Many years of dedication, perseverance and just plain hard work have gotten you to this place, and there is no doubt that you will succeed, Holt, in all that you set out to accomplish as this has been your story, thus far. As Dad always says, “Holt, EXPECT to score!”

 

Intelligent. Kind. Hard-working. Conscientious. Lover of Jesus. Logical. Leader. Compassionate. That’s our Holt. Thank you, God, and thank you, Holt, for the privilege and blessing of being your parents; we couldn’t be more proud or love you more ♥️

 

Psalms 91:14-16. “Because Holt loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect Holt, for Holt acknowledges my name. Holt will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with Holt in trouble, and I will deliver Holt and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy you, Holt, and I will show you my salvation.”

 

We love you to the moon….and back,

Mom and Dad

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Heather is the owner of Sweet Lemonade Photography and co-owner of Sweet Darling Weddings located in central Illinois (Mahomet).  Life gave her a bunch of lemons (you can read a little more here on her personal blog Sweet Lemonade Life) and by keeping her focus on God, finding the positive in each day, and surrounding herself with supporting, loving and encouraging people she has turned those lemons into the sweetest lemonade.  This blog has been created to share her heart, her adventures and find ways to bless others.  You can contact her at heather@sweetlemonadelife.com or heather@sweetlemonadephotography.com.