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VOLKERING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: BALOGH FAMILY

This…This photo right here gets me. No, I’m sure it won’t be the highlight of their holiday card. It may not get framed or even printed (though I would!) The little things that are special to a family are some of the most beautiful images. Sure, the most meaningful. This family, kisses each other’s hands and my heart melts every time I see it. I want to forever remember how my little one hold’s my cheeks when I lay in bed with him. I want to remember how my youngest buries her head in the pillow as I rock her, to thrust her head up real fast, give the biggest smile, then to plummet her face back down to the pillow. Give me the Ugga Muggas (anyone with a toddler will know that reference) give me all the reminders of each stage of this precious life with littles. I know I want those things. And I desire to capture that, whatever that may look like, for my clients.

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VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: KELLEY FAMILY

You guys…. Look at these photos! Okay… Now look at them knowing it was 37F with wind so strong that my lips are still cracked nearly a week later! Sure it helps that they’re a walk off the set of a Gap commercial beautiful family; that is true. But I can’t tell you enough how gnarly of weather was goin’ down during it. Have I said lately that I work with the best families ever? K. Just checking. (:

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VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: SPIERING FAMILY

I saw a meme about getting ready for family photos and I died. After a 8 trips to Target, a forgotten pair of new shoes, the “wrong snack/bribe” the almost guaranteed sibling fight in the car, and now lets all unload and smile. (:

The prep for family phots. Not easy. When you arrive with me, I want it to be a breeze. We’ll crop the photo so we don’t see your mismatched shoe. We’ll be sure to capture that super cute outfit that took 8 times to get right. We’ll have the siblings playing with each other not against. Because after all, family life can be pure chaos sometimes. But in amidst it all, there’s moments we never want to forget. That’s why this was all worth it. So glad I’ve been able to do that for countless families so far this fall.

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INDEPENDENCE GROVE LIBERTYVILLE WEDDING: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL + JACKIE

When I say: “Peanut Butter” You say…”Jelly.” Right. Okay great. Next one…When I say: “Holiday: You say (or if you’re today’s bride, Jackie you say: INNNNN.” You probably don’t want to say much beyond that. I just looked up the lyrics and my goodness, there’s not enough filters on this blog for that. (: But having that song on repeat while the bridal party got ready in where else? At the Holiday Inn! Made for some easy reasons to get roudy, laugh, and have some fun. We are supposed to have fun at weddings right? Well, Jackie & Mike are all about it. Even in some of the genuinely hard moments of their day, they were quick to console each other with something to laugh about. I love that. This world has a lot of the hard. Be the soft. Be the joy. Be the laugh. Be there. They’ve shown each other that they will be that and so much more. Had so much fun capturing your wedding!! Here’s to a lifetime of laughter, and anniversaries at the Holiday Inn!

VENUE: Independence Grove: https://eventsatindependencegrove.com/best-wedding-events/

FLORIST: Floral Harmonies: https://www.floralharmonies.com/

BAND: Rendezvous Music Greenlight Band: https://www.rendezvousmusic.net/

VIDEOGRAPHER: Amor In Motion: https://amorinmotion.com/

DRESS BOUTIQUE: Volles Bridal: https://www.vollesbridal.com/

HOTEL: Holiday Inn Express Libertyville: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/libertyville/chilv/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-EX-_-US-_-CHILV

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WHEATON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: BABY MACK

For a long time, (at least 11 years since that’s how long it took us to finally have kids of our own) I sorta internally cringed when people would say: “People who have kids get it.” Peeved, that it seemed “exclusive” or in a way unknowingly narrow-minded of me to not be able to fully “relate” to people who do have kids. Well, like many of the cliche’s of parenting: “You’ll never love something more…” “It’s different when they’re you’re own kids…” “Your heart will grow in ways you never thought possible.” “It’s the hardest and best thing you’ll ever do.” That saying about those with kids “getting it” now rings truer because well… I do have kids.

When my brother and sister-in-law (Who I would just say is my sister; adore her) first had kids they lived in Grand Rapids. I’d get to pop-in when I had photoshoots in Michigan, snuggle the babies, I’m sure mess up their house and dishes and not think twice about it and head back home to my sleep and do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted routine. So it’s been phenomenal and eye-opening for me to see them parent (now that I am one myself) since having moved back to Chicago. They now have 4! Yes, that’s right…4 kids! If that’s not impressive, you probably don’t have kids. Just kidding. (: But seriously, I feel knee deep in it with 2. So 4…? That’s gotta be pure chaos. But for them it isn’t. They’re amazing. Well rounded. Thoughtful. Incredibly bright. funny. Inclusive. Tight-knit family. I now know what it took (and takes) to be making it that way. It’s sacrifice. It’s effort. It’s intentionality. It’s love. It’s being both self-aware and aware of others. It’s parenting. And to see the fruits of that labor within their family is amazing, motivating, and inspiring. So glad they moved back here to Chicago so my kids have more cousins to look-up-to. Love you guys dearly! And Mack attack…Well, he’s already a stud!

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Clar Lyn Morris - October 22, 2019 - 8:24 PM

Love everything about this post and pix……and…. you’ll never know how wonderful it is when your adult “kids” love each other until you’re old!! Ha

Renee Morris - October 14, 2019 - 3:43 PM

Awww, Missy. You are making this hormonal momma weepy!? Much love to you and your beautiful, growing family. Such a blessing to live closer to you, not just for the cousin love, but also for the sister friendship.??