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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

I’d say not much as changed but in the three years since I photographed their wedding, they’ve moved out of state, and had two kids! She’s still one of the most naturally beautiful people I photograph. And even with two kids, they’re still super chill and laid-back. They are the type that we hit it off right from the get-go and to this day feel more like friends than clients. So so glad you guys made the stop for photos when coming into town! 

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

This family right here…They’ve got guts. Like move across the country (twice!) with young kiddos brave. The get up at 4AM to workout to maximize your family time type of motivation. People that train for marathons (again, with 3 kids!) like it were a stroll around block. (That’s the All American Athlete genetics for ya but seriously, ridiculously impressive) For as goal oriented as this crew is they are “roll with it” kinda people. Get dirty. Have fun. Be a good sport. Challenge yourself but love others type of people. I know they’d be the first to say, their greatest motivation in life is to Love Jesus above all else. All other goals are a byproduct of doing the first well. Love these peeps.

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

I’ve heard it said that if you have 3 kids you may as well have 10. Being out numbered is a feat of parenting bravery if you ask me. George & Maria however, roll with the kid chaos like pros. Having fun yet being there if a kiddo needs a little extra TLC in the moment. George even stacked all the kiddos on his back to cheer them up. It’s been so fun to see them grow as parents and as a family over the years!

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

In my relatively new to being a mom opinion, “mom guilt” is a real thing. We obviously want to give our kids the world. When that world at times seems like it’s shaken a bit, or at minimal, not as joyful as we envisioned or hoped in the moment, it can be discouraging. Something I love about kids though is they are so incredibly gracious & resilient. When I’m at my wits-end of: “What on earth is going on!?” I’m minutes away (usually) from smiles, and laugher, as if all was right in the world again.

I feel like family sessions are a good reflection of that. We may come in with a certain vision in our minds as to this “Sound of Music” frolicking, when in reality we have meltdowns. (: However, I always say, just keep loving on them, don’t worry about the photos, and inevitably they soon enough are their adorable, precious, joyful selves again. These are the real days of life with kids. And besides…I can always cut out the meltdown photos. (: The smiles and precious moments are the ones that sometimes get overshadowed in our memories. Through photos…Want to highlight them! Store them for your rainy days. Hold on to them when the “mom guilt” kicks in, and we think we should be or do more than what we are. Grace & love are enough.

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

My husband and I didn’t choose to know the gender of our baby. Though I had a very strong feeling it was a boy, a day or two before I had him I panicked that my inkling was wrong and bought a couple bows. Well, my gut feeling all along was right. It was a boy! To my accessorizing dismay, I returned the adorable bows. Little miss Aria’s outfit is exactly why girls are so fun to dress! How adorable is she!!? Which I’m not surprised her outfit is on-point. Her mama’s wedding dress is still one of the most talked about out of my brides. Loved seeing you guys & getting to capture beautiful Aria! 

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