That family that has been through so much.
That has had such hard times.
That is so kind, welcoming and abnormally friendly.
These families make you grateful for your life in a fresh way.
They make you realize how good you have it.
They help you take your eyes off yourself for a bit.
Rachel Marini e-mailed me last Fall about doing a shoot of her family. I did and since then we have e-mailed back and forth a bit and Rachel and I even went out for lunch once.
I honestly think it's impossible to not love Rachel. She's like a sweet little bunny :D She is so calm and tender, so smiley and adorable.
I just love her.
Rachel e-mailed about doing another family shoot this summer. I was 100% there.
Not just because I love Rachel (which I do).
Not just because I was available (which I was).
Not just because I love photographing her fantastically cute daughters (which I do).
But also because, I love getting to see the Marini's little boy, Gabe.
When Gabe was born, all seemed perfect! Though Rachel and Shaun were shocked to have 3 kids in 3 years, they were thrilled with their new baby boy. Within three months, however, things took a scary turn. Gabe was hospitalized and after 8 grueling months in the hospital - and after being diagnosed with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), Gabe was able to go home. But on many medicines, monitors and not the same baby. While his body does grow bigger and bigger, he "sleeps" most of the day. He doesn't talk or play like most kids his age might, and he still has a long road ahead of him.
Living day in and day out with such hardship takes a toll on anyone. I know for a fact that it's very hard on Rachel and Shaun. But it's impossible to talk about it with Rachel without her praising God. She, with her bright but tired eyes and her "always-on" smile, loves to talk about how God is seeing her through. It's amazing.
(This is the extended family - not gonna lie, I was pretty excited to get so many people looking and smiling!)
Oh, and this is Rachel's sister and husband!
Rachel, it was a JOY to see you again and I hope you love the pictures! I love your family so much :D