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Why I Travel With Kids

As my daughter sleepily stumbled into my bed this morning she said, “Mommy, I had the best dream. I dreamt we were the Bucket List Family and we were on a plane to Maui.”

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McKeeby Photography in the Bahamas

Unfortunately, we are not a sponsored family nor do we have a huge budget. However, 2 years ago we decided to reprioritize our lives. I replaced my full time teaching job with freelance work (hello photography), my husband took a more challenging position, and while relocating to Georgia, we downsized our home by 1,000square feet.

We decided to stop going through the motions and to take control of our lives. We made the commitment to stop letting our jobs consume us and to start putting our family first.

We continue to have ongoing conversations about our dreams and desires, as they’re always evolving. We’ve include our children in budget making and in conversations about the opportunity cost of spending. Just as full time work gave us more possessions, our tighter daily budget allows us to enjoy more time together. We hope our kids learn to ignore the pressure to be a consumer and to speak up for what matters most to them.

As a family, we’ve all decided we’d rather collect memories, not things.

We limit our daily spending by eating at home and discussing our monthly purchases to bring awareness to our spends. We aren’t scrooges, but being intentional about monitoring our spending makes us aware of areas where we are unintentionally splurging. By tightening down our daily purchases, we’ve discovered that while our family income has stayed the same since making our move, our travel budget has grown. We’ve traded dinners out and unnecessary spending for moments we will never forget.

We get asked a lot how we travel with 3 kids, but we do a lot of activities while at home in Georgia, so traveling doesn’t feel any harder (once you survive the flight). In our daily life and in travel, we limit screen time and encourage our kids to read books, to be aware of their surroundings, and to engage in conversation. We talk and sing and play all the games in the car. I know handing over an Ipad over would be quieter and easier, but I strongly believe by refusing to do so is what makes our travels easier. Our children have the stamina to sit still and enjoy the world around them. We’re also strategic in when we travel to optimize nap time and pack a bag loaded with snacks (because fed people are happy people). You can see my tips for flying with kids here.

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Grand Tetons

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes we plan “vacations” in our own city or going “home” to visit family. So many of the lessons and memories aren’t found at the destination, but are discovered along the journey.

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Georgia Family Photographer

We realize that our kids (8, 6, and 9months) will probably forget many details of these adventures since they are so young, but they add so much adventure to each trip. Their tiny legs and curious minds force us to slow down and see the beauty in simple moments; the excitement of meeting a pilot, the beauty in seeing native plants, and the excitement of doing anything for the first time (T’s favorite: riding the metro in France).

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Overcoming the fear of water in St. Augustine, FL

Our deal is simple; we will continue to show them the world if they promise to continue to try new things; speak a foreign language, make a new friend, taste unique foods, or push themselves to do something challenging and maybe even a little scary. By doing this, we hope to raise kids who are more aware and respectful of the differences of people and their cultures. We want them to know that we have the choice to make this life exactly what we want it to be if we choose to push outside our comfort zone.

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Exploring Georgia

 If we choose each day to be just a little bit braver and a little bit kinder,
we might just be able to change the world.

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Traveling with kids

 Where should we go next?

 

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Peachtree City Mommy & Me

It brings me so much joy to be able to capture moments like this. As a  mother of 3, I know the chaos of raising a family. The early mornings, sleepless nights, and endless days that all magically become years in the blink of an eye. The beauty of these motherhood sessions pulls on my heartstrings as I think back to the quiet moments of nursing my own littles. My 3rd is still breastfeeding, but at 9 months old, he is rapidly seeking independence and I know these quiet moments are fleeting.

Thank you to this gorgeous mama for braving a summer session. That morning light and breeze make it all worth it here in Peachtree City, GA.

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St. Augustine Family Session

Tonie had written me months ago asking if I would be in Florida anytime soon because she was hoping to schedule a session to celebrate their 10 year wedding anniversary. She wanted something fun and colorful. She envisioned a graffiti wall and after weeks of trading dates and ideas, we realized we weren’t going to be able to sync up our calendars and the likelihood of find grafitti in St. Augustine was slim.

I came to Florida and while driving through town, drove by this beauty! I pulled over on the side of the road and sent a message letting her know that this gem had been found and I’d be in town for one more day. Lo and behold, she was free and we brought her vision to life.

Her boys are young and strong willed and that night they took control of our session. While we lacked a lot of the poses Tonie wanted, we captured the real genuine beauty of her family.

Happy Anniversary! You’ve created such a beauty family.

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Family Session at Washington Oaks Garden

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I was able to spend a little time this summer back in Florida and met up with the M family while in St. Augustine. Its been years since our last session and we had so much fun catching up. While none of them looove being in front of the camera, their easy going personalities made it so much fun to capture their genuine personalities.  I mean look at J’s sweet smirk and Z’s crazy adorable smile.

After our portraits at Washington Oaks Garden, we headed across the street for some beach fun at Sunset. We had so much fun splashing each other in the ocean and making memories as the sunset.

I’m back home in Georgia and ready for all the upcoming Fall sessions, but  the McKeebys have the travel bug, so if you’ve got a vision for a session, just ask. We love to travel.

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Mead Garden – S Family

I was fortunate enough this summer to spend a couple of weeks traveling through Florida; Gainesville to Orlando and back up through St. Augustine. The days were hot, but we were in good company ❤ I captured this little guy when he was just a bump in his mama’s tummy and it was incredible to see how much changes in one short year.websize2The morning at Mead Garden gave us a cool breeze and gorgeous light. I can’t wait to come back September 1 & 2, 2018 for Labor Day weekend minis. if you’re interested, email mckeebyphotography@gmail.com for details and to secure your spot.websize1websize3

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Voyage ATL

I am so excited to be selected as Voyage ATL’s feature for this month. Moving to Peachtree City, GA has been such a great move for our family and rebuilding a business has been a fun challenge.  The downtime of the move has given me the time to perfect my craft and develop my editing style, so I can provide you and your family with a flawless and fun session from the moment we meet to the moment the images reach your home. We love calling this area our new home and can’t wait to be known as your favorite Peachtree City Family Photographer.JAN_1727

Read our feature here:

http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-christina-mckeeby-mckeeby-photography-south-atlanta-peachtree-city/