The cover mom and the babysitter – a “small world” story

Our June issue went in the mail this week but before we say goodbye to May I have one more story to share about this month’s cover mom, Anadee Flint of Phoenix.

Anadee won our Mother’s Day cover contest after submitting an essay about how she is “building a better family” following her husband Brandon’s brain cancer diagnosis and the subsequent months of treatment and emotional adjustments they all have endured (he is currently in good health).

I wasn’t able to attend the cover shoot, which I typically would enjoy as an opportunity to connect with the family and learn a bit more about their lives. But shortly after the May magazine came out, I emailed Anadee to thank her for her inspiring essay and let her know that her other prizes as our winner (tickets to LEGOLAND California and lodging at the Sheraton Carlton Resort & Spa along with a $250 gift certificate from Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace) were on their way.

I wasn’t expecting to hear back from her and I definitely wasn’t expecting to hear that she and I share a common life thread.

“One of my good friends is Amy Johnson,” she wrote. “She told me she used to babysit for you and spoke very highly of your family and your dedication to make your magazine a success.”

She was Amy James then, a tall, leggy teenager with gorgeous auburn curls and boundless energy. She and her younger brother Andy both watched my two sons when they were small and my affection for them and their family endures.

Amy grew up, went to college, started a career (she is a detective for the City of Mesa). She got married, had a baby. That’s when she first reconnected with me and we’ve exchanged periodic emails since then. She told me when she was pregnant with her second child, a son, who was born in September 2007. (“I may have a 21-year-old college graduate but I do still remember what it’s like to be pregnant during the Phoenix summer!” I sympathetically wrote back.)

The next October I was working our booth at Boo at the Zoo and who walked up but Amy — with both of her children! It was wonderful to see her in person and hug her warmly, full of gratitude for her place in my family history.

You can imagine my surprise when I heard that Anadee and Amy are friends. Just one more example of the small world we inhabit in this very large Valley.

Anadee also sent some photos her mom took at our cover shoot. Thank you, Anadee!

How a cover model prepares: breakfast and a hot roller for some curl.

A little comfort before the big shoot.

Big brother Jackson (5) explores the park as he waits.

Photographer Daniel Friedman sets up his lighting.

Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams tells Jackson how the reflectors work.

Almost ready: Dan checks his exposure as Anadee smooths Piper's hair.

One more test shot...

...and just one of the great photos Dan shot that day.

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4 responses to “The cover mom and the babysitter – a “small world” story

  1. Charming! Thanks so much for the insider look!

  2. I love “small world” stories!!!!!!!

  3. suzie steinwert

    Anadee is married to my Grandson, Brandon. I so enjoyed the article and was thrilled that they won the trip.
    Since I live in California, we connect by email and photos. Enjoyed the magazine and articles.
    Thanks,
    Suzie Steinwert

  4. This story brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. First, I am so happy for Anadee and her family! They are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Secondly, Amy and Andy are mine! It seems like yesterday they were babysitting for Karen. So many great stories! Now, I have two beautiful grandbabies! It is a small world and how the time has flown by! Rona

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