Stepping Stone Learning Preschool

This week as I get back into blogging (finally!) I want to feature somewhere near and dear to our family hearts… Lalo’s preschool!!

This fall we had to begin looking for where he would enter his first year of preschool and we were fortunate that our church building hosted a new preschool just starting up.ย  We were a bit apprehensive because Lalo doesn’t always make adjustments well (or so we thought) so we wanted to make sure this was the right fit for him.ย  We visited last August and he was shy but that first September day we dropped him off he flew into the classroom and has never looked back!

We have been overwhelmingly pleased with the care that the teachers and directors give to all of the students as well as the smaller class sizes.ย  Lalo has made some great friends and I have met some really wonderful parents and I am sure we will both have some lasting friendships ๐Ÿ™‚

The center is run by Kristi San Miguel and Donatella Arona.ย  Both are certified Early Childhood Educators and there are two classroom teachers as well.ย  The school has a playbased learning philosophy were students are encourage to explore and engage in their education as well as have some time to learn center based education prepping them for kindergarten.ย  Lalo has greatly benefited from this program and not only loves it but has succeeded wildly!

Stepping Stone Learning is enrolling NOW!ย  If you want to schedule a time to swing in let me know or fill out their contact form.ย  If you do enroll we both get 50% off a month’s tuition so make sure to let me know so we can both get that benefit! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  2015-05-19_0003 2015-05-19_0004 2015-05-19_0005 2015-05-19_00082015-05-19_0002 2015-05-19_00012015-05-19_0006

The Arrival of ร‰owyn

So anyone that knows us from before the birth of Lalo knows that we waited a LONG time for Lalo to be born.ย  By that I mean he was due Christmas Eve… and he was born January 7…. and the doctors kept assuring us that whole time he would be here ‘any day’. (starting around THANKSGIVING time they thought he could be here anyday…)ย  It was a long Christmas, New Years and after season…ย  After a very rough delivery and recovery he finally was with us!!ย  Needless to say, he was worth the wait and effort! ๐Ÿ™‚

When we decided to try adding to our family we were met with some hurdles of a miscarriage and quite a few months on either side trying to get pregnant again.ย  So when we found out we were expecting little Missย ร‰owyn we were hesitant to celebrate and prepped ourselves for a long and late pregnancy.ย  Well,ย ร‰owyn had very different plans.ย  She ended up coming not anywhere near her due date of April 21… but the last week I had planned to work and a full month before her due date March 30.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ย  She came quickly and easily and has proved to be polar opposite of her brother the last few weeks she has graced us with her beautiful self.

Thanks to a wonderful community of friends and church we have been enjoying lots of snuggles with our sweet little miss and adjusting to life as a family of four!ย  Lalo is an awesome big brother and so farย ร‰owyn seems to be a much better sleeper than her big brother (YAY!)

We owe a HUGE thank you to my friend Miranda at Inner Circle Photography for capturing this beautiful moment of Lalo (and my parents!) meetingย ร‰owyn for the first time.ย  I am so thankful she was able to capture this moment (and drove out twice to get it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ )ย  View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More:

12/52 Welcome ร‰owyn Olivia

2015-04-07_0007So I missed last week’s and this week’s 52 post because we were a little bit busy… HAVING A BABY!

She came fast and furious March 30 and we are so grateful despite the fact we were a bit surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

We are home and adjusting well and Lalo is doing great being an awesome big brother!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 2015-04-07_0002 2015-04-07_0003Lalo loving his new easter undies ๐Ÿ™‚ 2015-04-07_0004 2015-04-07_0005We have the best light in our house ๐Ÿ™‚ 2015-04-07_0006


Planning, wrapping up and catching up!

So 2014 is coming to a close, when did that happen!!!???!!ย  This whole year went by in a giant whirlwind and I am so incredibly grateful!ย  We had a lot of ups and downs this year but looking back now I cannot even write how blessed we were!ย  I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do with the blog to show every event, family and senior I was able to capture so you can look forward to that in the coming year!

As many of you have heard 2015 will be another year of change for us as we prepare for the addition of our ร‰owyn Olivia this Spring!!!

I am still working and will be accepting weddings for the year but will only be shooting 15, so that means I will not be able to accept every one that comes my way.ย  I will be focusing on more local weddings (with the exception of my September Holland wedding… YEA!!) and smaller events.ย  So if you know of any brides looking for a SE MI photographer send them my way, please! ๐Ÿ™‚

The last year I have been slowly changing my family sessions from posed portraits to more of a lifestyle feel.ย  I will continue to do that as well as some new opportunities ๐Ÿ™‚ so if you are a regular family client get EXCITED!

Senior portraits are still one of my favorite types of sessions because they are SO different from student to student and allow for some awesome creative expression!ย  I am hoping to add to these sessions for the 2015 season (2016 class) and will be looking for some help!ย  So if you are a past AMP Purely Senior or know of someone who may be interested I will be looking come May/June for some additional help, so keep that in mind too ๐Ÿ™‚

Another exciting thing I am pumped to start in the new year is a monthly challenge!ย  With the new babe on the way I want to have a schedule set up for artistic exploration!ย  I will be focusing on off camera lighting as well as artificial lighting because that is one way I am excited to grow my business in the next year ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to join me please feel free!ย  And if you see me, feel free to hold me accountable ๐Ÿ˜‰

So as I just sent out my last wedding for year be on the look out for me to catch up on blogging my last 8 weddings from the year as well as my ump-teen portrait sessions!ย  2015 sure is looking EXCITING! I cannot wait! ๐Ÿ™‚

And since a photographer’s blog isn’t complete without PICTURES! I leave you with some pictures of my loves! (minus starbuck who has been firmly planted next to my belly protecting the baby… silly pup!)


This is what happens when a photographer’s child puts up ornaments and you tell him ‘no, look at the tree but keep your eyes wide so I can catch the sparkle in them” …. he looks like a deer in the headlights…. goofball!

2014-12-15_0002His first trip to see Santa ๐Ÿ™‚ 2014-12-15_0003But seriously… those EYES! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Love my brown eyed boy! 2014-12-15_0004Had to include the brown eyed pup too ๐Ÿ™‚ 2014-12-15_0005These three are such goof balls and lights in my life! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

What’s Up Recap!

So, on a rare Saturday evening off in July I was sitting at the table eating a yummy dinner (of leftovers… like I said… it was a saturday off ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) with the boys when Lalo gets out some stampers…. and then before we know both boys are giggling (well I guess laughing since boys don’t ‘giggle’) and I look over to them both covered in barn yard stamps… everywhere.ย  When I could have eye rolled or even gotten frustrated that they were covered in ink… I instead took a deep breath and realized how I felt unbelievably blessed.

During the midst of ‘the crazy season’ย  I think I just needed a reminder that its ok that sometimes I miss being home, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work and sometimes I miss out.ย  I mean not everyone gets to work their dream job, so I count myself as completely blessed.ย  Just sometimes it is a bummer to work during everyone else’s time off and vacations.ย  But today as I worked on some ‘wediting’ watching the Lego movie with the boys before bed I was grateful for all of the memories we do have together…

So I bring you a sappy and nostaligic blog post of our recent happenings.ย  Because sometimes, when work is busy you forget that life is still happening around you.ย  Even if it is chaotic… you can still enjoy it.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ย  So take lots of pictures, be intentional, make time for laughing and for getting stampers everywhere or digging in the dirt… because even if you can’t dwell on the moments for too long in the present, reminiscing will be that much sweeter later ๐Ÿ™‚

2014-08-02_0002My sweet, sweet boy ๐Ÿ™‚ย  So photogenic but just like every other child needs a little coercion to get a ‘good’ picture (ie… not sticking his tongue out) so like all good mamas… I bribed him ๐Ÿ˜‰ with taking a picture of me after I got the picture *I* wanted of him.ย  2014-08-02_0003those eye!!!! 2014-08-02_0004how did I get so lucky to have such a handsome, loving boy!ย  2014-08-02_0005and this is how he sees me ๐Ÿ˜‰

So on that funny note, here is a recap of our summer thus far ๐Ÿ™‚ย  *LOTS* of trips to the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village!ย  Grammy and Gramps have a membership so we go a LOT ๐Ÿ™‚ย  2014-08-02_0006Lots of time playing with Chani …. and she still acts as if we don’t play at all ๐Ÿ™‚ย  An insurmountable amount of time wrestling with papa and calling Mama a ‘butterfly’ since we don’t pile drive mama on the floor…..2014-08-02_0007Made some home made bread and meals for dear friends to love on them.ย  Got a ton of snuggles in ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Dressed up as dragons… and then slayed them ๐Ÿ™‚ Got to hang out with some *awesome* photogs and the creator of HH Boogie for a summer ‘retreat’ of sorts for photography creatives. ย  2014-08-02_0008Played in the rain, walked to the ice cream place.ย  Snuggled with Starbucky and read lots and lots of books.ย  I also got the opportunity to do the Chicago Ragnar Relay race!! 200 miles in three days! (Well my leg was about 25!)ย  In addition to running I have also been kicking booty working out at RydeOn and PureBarre Ann Arbor! (staying fit GREATLY helps morale and energy levels when you feel like you have no time to even sleep!) 2014-08-02_0009We got more snuggles in (see a pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ ), had some family tickle fights, watched some firework shows by Papa in the hammock ๐Ÿ™‚ Fell asleep buried under tons of lovies and snuggly things and watched entirely too many cartoons snuggled in blankets while mama was still covered in sweat from her earlier morning run…. 2014-08-02_0010I realized writing this post I still have written about my Birthday Trip/Easter Trip to the Smoky Mountains so I will do that soon ๐Ÿ™‚ But here is a hiking picture from that trip ๐Ÿ™‚ Some burying of Chani under dirty clothes, and yet MORE snuggles ๐Ÿ™‚

Over all when I look back at the last three months I feel how much I have worked (Dear To Do List: please let me BREATHE!)ย  but more I see how blessed I am that I have the opportunity to hang out with two awesome guys nearly all the time… and when I do have to work, I get to come home to their smiling mischievous faces! ๐Ÿ™‚

Not only do I have one of the world’s most awesome jobs of serving people by providing images of their important moments but I also get to have important life events of my own, as long as I remember to make time and be grateful for them.


Until Next time… which will probably be in October when its time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin farms, Firefighter Open Houses and Cross Country ๐Ÿ™‚

run often, smile more and LIVE ๐Ÿ™‚ No one else can live your life but youย  โค

Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚

Throwback Thursday: Us.

So continuing with the theme this week I stumbled upon a bunch of pictures of Rico and I together pre-Lalo ๐Ÿ™‚ย  So for those of you who may have met us since Lalo here is a little bit of our history ๐Ÿ™‚


We were so cute!! And for all you who don’t believe me, here is Rico with short hair!! 2014-05-01_0002Our first trip to Lake Michigan together! 2014-05-01_0003Here is our first Christmas together!2014-05-01_0004Our engagement pictures that my awesome Daddy-o took for us ๐Ÿ™‚ 2014-05-01_0005We are super fun ๐Ÿ˜‰ 2014-05-01_0006When we first bought our house we didn’t have A/C…. so Rico did shave his head not long before Lalo was born too ๐Ÿ™‚ 2014-05-01_0007We are pretty cute ๐Ÿ™‚ and lucky! โค

What’s Up Wednesday

So today’s what’s up Wednesday is unique in that there isn’t much to post!ย  Upon coming home from vacation it has been a whirlwind of laundry, cleaning, catching up and tackling email inboxes!

I am thankful because in the midst of all of that Spring seems to have finally sprung and so I was motivated to finally being some of the Spring Cleaning tasks I had set for myself this year!ย  (HOORAY!) I also have been *loving* working out 2-3 times a week with RydeOn and on the heels of my successful race of the Martian Half it has been nice to have some awesome cross training (not to mention it has made me realize just how important cross training is [read: spinning has KICKED my booty!])


Now after having a week off of vacation, a week of some minor computer maintenance (shout out to the amazing techs at the Learning Center of Ann Arbor!! if you have a mac and have questions, seriously, check them out!)ย  I am seemingly back on track to world domination… or at least productivity!

Since I haven’t finished editing all of the photos from our Smoky Mountain adventure I figured I would share a few winners I stumbled across from backing up my iphone ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Be warned, cuteness of Lalo is about to follow!!! #iphoneography

2014-04-30_0001check out his cuteness!!!! I can’t believe how big he is!2014-04-30_0002My son, the non-sleeper. (though I admit, I love taking pictures of him sleeping… I am sure some day he may think this is creepy but I like to think of it as excellent blackmail material ๐Ÿ˜‰ )2014-04-30_0003Rico wrote me this letter one morning after a particularly hard night.ย  I woke up to it…. and I spit my coffee out I was laughing so hard!! I am so lucky to have you babe! 2014-04-30_0004I really do love this little guy so much I could squish him!! All.the.time. 2014-04-30_0005being goofy!2014-04-30_0006more sleeping pictures and some sunday morning snuggles! 2014-04-30_0011 A little bummed because I have pictures of him every year on this grasshopper in the park.ย  Turns out my organization of client’s photos is waaaaaay more efficient than my personal photo organization…. Someday I will find those pictures.ย  But at least I know I have them.ย  Somewhere.ย  But here are two of them ๐Ÿ™‚ 2014-04-30_0010Some more Papa fun!

2014-04-30_0012These are from one of my favorite shoots with my little man.ย  I will always love this set!