There was a day when my daugther wanted to see the sunset, and my husband was working late. We drove on back to South Mountain (our back yard, pretty much) and hiked not far from Scorpions Gulch to view this amazing sunset. Just another memory that I’ll get to look back on some day. Little momma-daughter moments we’ll probably forget one day but can look back on with pictures to remember. anoth reason why you should #takerandomtripswithyourkids
If you ever feel like letting me tag along and capture your family during a south moutanin sunset, or any sunset for that matter – find the contact link above and we can get together and make that happen!
I was born in , raised in, and still visit Grand Rapids, MI. It’s where my parents bought a tiny red brick house and made it their home. It’s where the kids left the nest from. It’s my mother’s resting place. It’s where my daughter loves to visit Papa.
It’s where I met my husband, it’s where my husband’s family lives. it’s where I see my in-laws, its where my husband sees his parents and family. It’s where my daughter loves to see GiGi and Grandpa Joe.
Regardless, it’s a place full of memories. It will always remain a place of memories.
I mock the hashtag and saying #PureMI or #PureMichigan because of the semi-famous “Pure Michigan” (click that for commercial) travel ad campaign that started in 2007 and still runs to this day. I have friends here in Phoenix, AZ that they always see the ads, I saw them when we lived in CA and people worldwide probably have the same testimonial.
She’s never seen a whirly-bird before. (helicopter, whatever you call them.) Her shirt? says it all.
This trip revolved around my brother getting married to his amazing fiance. I may be a bit bias, but she’s awesome. I didn’t photograph their wedding, thank gosh, because I had enough fun in the party to convince me to never shoot a wedding I’m invited to, ever. The amazing Peach Moon Photography based out of Grand Haven, MI shot their engagement photos and wedding photos and were great people to work with. I’m the tall blonde in the family image on the alter with the PRECIOUS flower girl that is my daughter, and the tall bald ravishingly handsome man that I’m married to. Thats my “cleans up well” dad next to me, and then of course her family on her side.
There are plenty of other #thelillis wedding insta-pictures on my IG Feed but you gotta go back a little ways. You can’t miss ’em!
Besides being there for their wedding, we were there for personal vacation as well. We saw plenty of family, scenery, and I took so many nature/still life shots it will make your eyes numb.
We went to the Grand Rapids Arts Festival downtown Grand Rapids, MI.
We went to Traverse City (TC), MI which is known for their berries, and cherries. We went because our daughter had never been there, and I haven’t either. There’s this place called the Sleeping Bear Dunes which is like, arguably one of the prettiest places to visit in the lower peninsula of Michigan. WE LITERALLY SAW A BEAR CUB CROSS THE ROAD. <– caps necessary.
Known for their berries and cherries, so naturally I had to have a very berry filled pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co. Some lighthouse that wanted $4.00 to walk upstairs in it. No thanks! We visited family for Father’s Day. The best part was that my dad came along with us to my husbands side of the family’s gathering. It’s so nice to have them integrated!
My husband and I respectfully saw friends I see once a year (when we visit.) Nothings more refreshing, more awesome, and more rewarding than maintaining friendships over years and years. We pick up where we left off the last time we saw each other — it’s how I’m able to have friends nation and world wide. Friends are the flowers in the garden of life!
Making S’mores with out friends Lisa and Conor whom will be getting married this year.
childhood best friends grow up, and have kids, who hang out with each other — i’d say that’s more like family.
The literally awesome part of the friends that I visit is they continue to grow up, prosper, and I get to see them from afar on facebook them actually meet their kids they’ve had or the ones they’re about to have! (a friend announced she was pregnant on fathers day!)
I saw old high school friends, old family friends. Family.
Oh, and I continued to shoot barns for no good reason at all.
I started off with an idea. I wanted to glorify the unglorified actions of motherhood. I wanted to make it more acceptable to the general public to a mom loving a voluminous spit up, or a blowout diaper, or a tantrum. Let’s stop pretending motherhood is about unicorns and rainbows and let’s remember what it’s really about.
Well besides knowing that much of my idea, I couldn’t really verbalize my idea. Images portray a mood and feeling that words couldn’t quite find.
I met Andrea online when I did a model call for a new SAHM mom with a young infant. Well I hit the jackpot because this woman had twins. Not identical, by the way, so SHOCKER: the babies don’t look alike (it’s actually pretty freakin’ awesome if you think of their lives to come.)
I got to know Andrea in the short while that she welcomed me into her home to shadow and capture the unglorified moments of motherhood. The messy feeding of babies. the poopy diapers. the tired cries of twins, the sweet smiles of waking up from a nap, the constant playing and carrying around with a baby. Get a drink of water with a baby on your hip? I got ya covered.
I knew that I couldn’t possibly write what I wanted to say. I resorted to searching online for a good poem that was published on a website (see source) although it’s from an unknown author. It’s so true. I remember every bit of these words. It is seriously crazy how time and children change you and how priorities shift.
We still remain resilient, super-humans. We are mother’s now. We are a breed of species that isn’t born and only “becomes”. Once you go “mom” you don’t go back. This is for all you super moms, that don’t have the support you probably need. For all the smart, caring, and over-burdened women who care for their young so selflessly. A lot of us set aside our lives to raise new ones. A lot of us put things on hold and never get back to them but are okay with it because we’ve created even better things to occupy our time. (children) You are a rock, and you are solid. You know how to hug like a champion and kiss a booboo like a pro. There’s not a scary monster in a dark closet that you can’t capture and there’s no bug you can’t squash.
Before I was a Mom
Before I was a Mom – I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom – I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom –
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom –
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep. Before I was a Mom – I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom –
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.
Before I was a Mom – I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom. – Author Unknown Source
It took me forever. I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier? I’m not sure, really.
Oh! MG Photo is now in Phoenix.
We’ve been situated for a few weeks but it’s been busy with getting unpacked, figuring out routines. Our daughter is enrolled in PT preschool now which sorta frees up but confuses my mornings a bit.
I’ve met some neighbors and really right now i’m just trying to spread word right now; Meet & greets. Networking meetings. Social gatherings. Uprooting is hard! Especially integrating into such a large city such as Phoenix.
I’m just one family portrait photographer amongst a sea of other photographers.