It’s crazy to think that I have known Tommy for 16 years now, that is almost half my life! And though we have heard tons of stories about each other’s childhood, there are new things we learn about each other all the time — be it through old stories, family photos and videos, or through meeting people who have stories to tell 😀 If there’s one thing I’ve always known about Tommy’s childhood, specifically his teenage years, it is how sports had a huge impact on his life.
Whenever he talks about his “glory days” in high school sports AKA his Al Bundy flashbacks hahaahaha (LOVE YOU babe!!!), it is never without mention of the Ciarelli family, who is the pretty much synonymous when it comes to Huntington Beach sports, especially volleyball. From the Ciarelli’s lineage of great coaching to producing generations of all-star athletes, this family has athleticism running in its blood. But one of the most recent memories my husband recalls when it comes to Ciarellis is when he saw some of their faces out in the crowd during his Dad’s memorial celebration a few years ago. Seeing them there to support his family really meant the world to him.
Tommy never fails to mention how kind and influential the Ciarellis were to him growing up. “They’re dope, from Grandma and Grandpa to the little kids, I love that family,” he tells me anytime he speaks of them.
This past holiday season, we had the wonderful opportunity to do a quick family session with the Ciarellis at Lake Park in Huntington Beach. Because they are a huge family, coordinating a day when 22+ people could come together for photos was a challenge. But we managed to carve out about half an hour on a rainy Sunday afternoon to snap some quick pics in between the downpour. Here are a few of our faves …
Meet Frank + Sue — the patriarch and matriarch of the Ciarelli family. They’ve been married for 64 years, so it was a must that I capture a few frames of this beautiful pair. A lifelong love is meant to be celebrated. Always.
Such an adorable bunch of kids! When you have cousins, you will always have friends 🙂
Thank you Ciarelli family for spending this rainy Sunday with us! And most of all, thank you for having such a positive impact on my husband throughout the years 🙂