It truly doesn’t get any better than days like this — a family outing on one of the last days of Summer at the stunning Mohonk Mountain House
. The location had much meaning for Mark + Melissa, but for their little man, Mason, it was a place of adventure and wonder. His mouth dropped open at seeing the huge size of the koi in the pond; he scaled vertical cave walls with abandon; he giggled with delight as he rolled in the grass with his mom & dad; century-old benches became train tracks for his toys. Every moment was a delight with this beautiful family, and happy tears flowed freely when they saw the results. We can’t express what a privilege it is to know and photograph each of them.
Although a busy working mom, Melissa shared a MUST-READ inside look at their family and very kind words about our time with them:
Mark & I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in October. Instead of an exotic vacation, or a piece of jewelry that will inevitably get lost or broken, I wanted to showcase the past 5 years in photos. Now, I’m sure most marriages experience their first years differently than they would have expected, but this is particularly true for Mark and I. Shortly after our nuptials, we learned we were expecting, and delivered a *perfect* little boy the following November. Mason seemed to be developing “normally” according to all of the thousands of text books we had read. I can’t pinpoint exactly when things changed, but they did. The few words that Mason had acquired slowly left. He became very frustrated and angry, seldom made eye contact and preferred to be alone, spinning wheels in a corner. He began drifting away right before us and we didn’t know how to help him. With the help of an amazing team of therapists, support from family and friends (and an autism diagnosis) we started to put a plan in place. The next few years were difficult, to say the least.
So much of our daily conversation is consumed with “special needs chatter:” appointments, progress notes, testing, paperwork, etc. Mason is so much more than a diagnosis, and we are so much more than an autism family. He is a success story, a relentless fighter, and our hero. Who better to showcase the fun and love our family has for one another than Ulysses & Jenni? Mason was immediately at ease with both of you as he greeted you with a warm hug. When I look at the images, tears just flow down my face; because you captured that much emotion in each print. You captured the fighting spirit of our perfect little boy, and a relationship among spouses that has strengthened through the unknowing and not-so-great times. I can’t wait to hang these prints in our house, as a reminder of the perfect day with my perfect family.
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