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Little LIFERS Grow to Be Larger Than Life


Personally, I love before and after pictures. They can be of anything. People, places or things. There’s something satisfying to me about seeing a house that’s been rebuilt or redecorated, or simply cleaning something and seeing the dirty area, then the clean area side by side. I love seeing progression between people who change their bodies, or just grow up.

In that vein, we asked the LIFER staff to show us some cute and/or embarrassing baby pictures to compare with what they look like now, to see just how far we’ve come.

LIFER-Stephanie-Swearington-2018

Stephanie Swearington, Business and Client Development Specialist - Age then: 15, Age now: 36

Ok, so the old picture is Sophomore year of high school (1997) and taken at a family reunion. I was probably about 15 years old, and of course thought I knew everything. I’m the one in the middle. I worked a part-time job as a cashier at the local grocery store in Hebron, where I also went to school and participated in the Drama Club.

The second photo is of my family. I am 36 years old with two children, and married to the most amazing man who supports me in whatever I decide to do. I hold two degrees – Bachelorette in Arts and Masters in Healthcare Administration. I have successfully launched several new programs in the field of mental health, put in place thousands of processes and improvements throughout my career and increased productivity throughout all the teams I have worked with. The most important thing to me is that my family is well taken care of and provided for.

LIFER-Anna-Ortiz-2018

Anna Ortiz, Coverage Team - Age then: 7, Age now: 26

So, this first photo was taken on Halloween when I was 7 years old. When most girls chose sparkly fairy wings or indulged in princess dresses and tiaras for trick-or-treating, I chose to be a little green freak running around with candy. And I'm proud of that.

Fast forward 19 years and I'm still just as much of a nerd. This photo was taken at a Star Wars party (May 4th) where I dressed up as one of my favorite Star Wars heroines, Jyn Urso, from Rogue One.

LIFER-Candace-Arvin-2018

Candace Arvin, Business and Client Development - Age: 2, Age now: 32

Even as an adult, people often ask, “Is your hair naturally curly?” Why yes, yes, it is! And, “Do you ever stop smiling?” Nope! Apparently not even when I have the chicken pox!

LIFER-Gina-Cullen-2018

Gina Cullen, Graphic Designer - Age then: 4, Age now: 27

I’m pretty sure this photo was taken at a JCPenny, back when having your family photos taken at a mall was still pretty common. Does anyone remember that? Weird that it was even a thing...anyways. Look at that glorious dress. Complete even with a headband and a sunflower on the collar. Man, did my parents have great fashion sense.

I’m a little less princess-y these days, but I still really like flowers! (And I got cooler glasses).

LIFER-Angela-Abina-2018

Angela Abina, Coverage Team - Age then: 5, Age now: 25

Here are mine! I was about 5 in the before picture. I’m not entirely sure what I was doing, but you can see I was outside so I can guarantee I was doing something weird, running around with my frizzy hair, like building a storm shelter for ants, or playing in the dirt. Not too much has changed.

LIFER-Peter-Krivas-2018

Peter Krivas, Contributing Editor - Age then: 11/12, Age now: 28

A much younger me somewhere around the age of 11 or 12 receiving a Star Wars action figure and video game while on vacation in Florida around my birthday and wearing what must be among the top ten most embarrassing shirts I've ever had in my wardrobe.

Now, still appropriately nerdy, I'm a little older and wiser with a wife, Natalie, daughter, Elianna, and two dogs by the names of Perry and Sammy. My nerdiness has only expanded since then and I have a passion for science, history, and reading & writing. My daughter now plays with my old Star Wars toys...and I join in sometimes...for her of course. No, I don't know what happened to the shirt. It's probably out in the world somewhere now, hurting someone else.

LIFER-Jennifer-Bissonnette-2018

Jennifer Bissonnette, Contributing Editor - Age then: 3/4, Age now: 29

In the first picture, I believe I’m about three or four years old. Clearly, I’m digging for gold and rocking the haircut my mom decided to give me! Since then I’ve let my hair grow back and stopped picking my nose – how awkward I look in photos hasn’t changed though!

LIFER-Jenny-Craig-Brown-2018

Jenny Craig-Brown - Age then: 10, Age now: 34

I always complained when I had to brush my hair. So, my mom made me cut it all off. She literally used a bowl, hence the name "bowl hair cut."

LIFER-Justin-Luna-2018

Justin Luna, IT & Web Developer - Age then: 7, Age now: 22

This photo of me when I was a little boy (probably holding a toy phone in my hand). My aunt always told me reach for the stars; the sky is the limit. My dreams off hand when I was little were becoming a Mexican David Beckham in soccer, becoming an IT person (more of a programmer), and traveling the world.

This “after” candid photo was taken in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic where life out there was totally different, but the experience and its attractions is what made it all inevitable.

Chris Mahlmann, Founder and CEO, Ideas in Motion Media - Age then: 11/12, Age now: 52

Reminding the world how cool white pants and a belt are when you are in the 6th grade, about to enter junior high. The feathered hair was classic, and my hands are even sending the message to “chill ladies, there is enough of this smooth dude to go around.”

LIFER-Cody-Morse-2018

Cody Morse, Processing Editor - Age then: 3, Age now: 26

Over the past 23 years, I swapped the suspenders for a Muttonstache, but my hair still does that wing thing.

LIFER-Allison-Tunstall-2018

Allison Tunstall, Contributing Editor - Age then: 16, Age now: 22

This was me back in high school, trying on the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter at a Barnes and Noble bookstore with a friend. At this time in my life, I wanted to be an FBI agent and help people, and the girl who took the photo I considered to be one of my closest friends. Since then, the only thing that has stayed the same is my love for Harry Potter and I love that!

This is me now, standing in front of the Library of Congress, a little too excited to be there. I no longer have a dream of being an FBI agent. Rather, I’m following my dream of being a nonfiction writer and am currently working towards that in graduate school. A lot has changed (except my love for Harry Potter, of course) and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

LIFER-SJonathon-Eddy-2018

Jonathon Eddy, Contributing Editor - Age then: 5, Age now: 42

The first pic is proof that I had a serious disease as a child that persisted into adulthood – the inability to keep my mouth closed when a camera is present. Rocked that classic bowl cut.

These days, I’m primarily focused on fostering an unhealthy addiction to coffee, wine, and bacon.

As you can see, everyone changes as they grow older. But it's always fun to go back and take a look at where we came from, especially at how cute and/or embarrassing we looked. Just make sure your friends are around when you do.

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