Maria first came to me seeking information on driving. Yes, driving. She'd heard me speak about my struggles with panic attacks after a car accident and wanted to pick my brain. From there, a beautiful friendship blossomed and we encouraged one another on our rough days, celebrated victories and successes, and she rejoiced with me upon hearing news of sweet Adelaide's pending arrival.

But Maria wouldn't be the Maria she is today with her other half-Nick. She often refers to herself as his Beloved Rib and I think that he would agree, she is very much his beloved.

They're the kind of people who make you feel right at home the instant you meet them and you feel like you've known them your whole life. Nick & Maria have been married 5 years now (a whole hand's worth of fingers!) and they've encountered more obstacles than some couples have in 20 or 25. They've certainly had their fair share of living out the 

'in sickness and in health

' part of their marriage vows and yet they still have a whole 'lotta fun together.

To commemorate their five years, we scheduled a photo session and Maria got what I call Artsy-Fartsy with a prop:

I asked her the meaning behind the anchor-- since it's Maria, there's usually a strong meaning behind her intentional actions.

"And we have this Hope as an anchor for our souls."

she responded.

"It's from the book of Hebrews."

Hopeful to be parents in some way, some day, but not putting their Hope in parenthood, Nick and Maria have a different outlook on their future these days and the anchor reminds them to stay grounded to God's truth.

 See what I mean about the 'having fun together'?

These guys are professional Silly Face Makers and have albums dedicated to these cheery faces as a reminder to keep things light.

 I realize that guys aren't nearly as enthusiastic as ladies to get their pictures taken and Nick readily admitted to Maria that he was doing this out of love for her. So, when I announced that we were on our last pose of the night, these are the facial responses I received:

Maria + Nick: I'm so thankful the God brought you both into our lives. You've always been such a blessing to me, Maria, and I pray distance doesn't keep us from sticking together. Plus, you know you and your smooth radio voice can probably soothe Adelaide to sleep any day (or night!). I have to keep you within arm's reach!

Blessings as you celebrate this milestone!


PS You can view the remainder of our session