Spreading the word…once again asking for your help in saving State Parks in Illinois.  As you may remember there are 11 State parks and 13 Historic Sites that are slated for closure come November.   I received this email from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn this morning.  I’ll just cut & paste the letter here.  Also after signing the petition and calling the governor’s office–PLEASE, I implore you to cut & paste this letter and spread the word!!

Dear State Parks advocates:
We would like to provide this update to you on the “Save Our State Parks” campaign, launched by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.  If this is your first notification from us, we would like to thank you for signing the “Save Our State Parks” petition.

The current status is that our state parks are still in danger of being closed.

On Tuesday, Governor Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 790 into law, sweeping dedicated funds into a special budget restoration fund.  Although we disagree with some of the funds that were swept and the consequences of the sweeps, this is still only half of the action needed to restore funding to DNR and keep the parks open.

The action that is needed is for the Governor to sign Senate Bill 1103, and authorize spending to keep state parks open.  Without the Governor’s signature, state parks and historic sites will close at the end of November and state workers will be laid off.  We ask that you continue your citizen action and send a loud and clear message to Governor Blagojevich that it is not acceptable to close 11 state parks and 13 historic sites.

What can you do next?  Two things:
Please call the Governor’s Office and let him know that you want to keep these parks open!
Chicago Office:  312.814.2121
Capitol Office:  217.782.6830

2.      Tell your friends to sign the “SaveOurStateParks. org” petition!
We are currently at 23,000 signatures so far on the petition drive, and we would like to double that number by the end of the month.  Please forward this email and ask your friends to sign the petition.  This will make even a stronger statement that our parks are important to our citizens, our health and our economy.  
www.SaveOurStatePar ks.org

Background:  Lt. Governor Pat Quinn has launched the “Save Our State Parks” online petition drive to prevent Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich from permanently closing 11 Illinois state parks and laying off 39 employees.
On August 28, Gov. Blagojevich announced the closure of 11 state parks as part of his effort to slash $ 14 mil lion from the budget of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
State parks which will be closed on November 30 include: Castle Rock State Park and Lowden State Park in Oregon; Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park in Sheffield; Illini State Park in Marseilles; Channahon Parkway State Park in Morris; Hidden Springs State Forest in Strasburg; Kickapoo State Park in Oakwood; Moraine State Park in Leroy; Weldon Springs State Park in Clinton; and Wolf Creek State Park in Windsor.

In the most recent year, there were more than 44 million visitors to Illinois state parks and recreation areas. Wildlife watching, hunting, and fishing contribute $2.4 billion to the Illinois economy each year, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Survey.

Marc Miller, Senior Policy Advisor
Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn
Room 414, Stratton Building
Springfield, Illinois 62706-4700
Direct Phone Line: 217-557-5625
Stratton Office Main Line: 217-782-3734
Fax: 217-782-9879 -or- 217-782-9728
E-mail: Marc.Miller@ illinois. gov
www.StandingUpforIl linois.org (main webpage)
www.CleanWaterIllin ois.org (water webpage

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Soundtrack: I’ve heard this song at least a dozen times and randomly found it this a.m. while looking for something else.  It’s catchy and fun…totally suiting today’s featured sneak peek 


For the sneak peek, this guy looks awful familiar…

sword boy

one of my all time faves

now he has a handsome partner for brother trouble!


brother trouble!





A big huge thanks to Mark & Mia for coming out and letting me photograph these two handsome guys.  It was beyond great to see you all again and thank you for making the travel out to see me while you are in town from California, I loved catching up with the little guy who graces my current business cards 🙂 and his adorable little brother who is as cute and who is just as much fun.  E and A: Thanks for all the hugs and laughter the other day.  Enjoy the sneak peek!

Thanks for stopping in… 

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  • Melissa M - October 12, 2008 - 6:46 am

    Of course I remember him! What gorgeous boys! These are lovely, Mare.


  • mia r. - October 12, 2008 - 5:16 pm

    luuuuuuuv it!!!! oh my gosh Marianne, these are great!! A moves so fast but you have serious skillz with that camera! and i don’t have any great pictures of the boys together because i can’t pin them down long enough to get both of them smiling or even looking up. i knew if anyone could get that shot it would be you!! i look forward to seeing the rest. E has grown so much just since last year…Mark almost threw his back out trying to throw him up in the air this time! haha! i hope we have many more opportunities to see you document these important moments in our lives…

  • Ellen - October 12, 2008 - 7:19 pm

    These are adorable! The camera loves them both. Who let my baby chew on rocks? I bet it felt good against his gum! I can’t wait to see them in December.

    Love Ellen

  • diana - October 13, 2008 - 7:28 am

    what a doll!!!

  • Jennifer - October 13, 2008 - 5:15 pm

    oh my goodness what a handsome little guy and a beautiful family!

  • Jana kunz - October 13, 2008 - 9:35 pm

    I LOVE these! What a adorable children. Mom will be so happy with these – I would be!!

  • Daveen - October 15, 2008 - 10:35 am

    These little ones are absolutely precious and your images of them are fantastic! I love your rich colors!

Do you recognize this sweet face?




Well he’s done some growing up in the past year…

the door


Katie & Josh, I totally had to include the pic of the pumpkins!  🙂  (inside joke)….

Thank you for coming out from Chicago the other day to have another Urban Session with me.  It was wonderful seeing you guys and sweet little Ro.  I hope Ro is feeling a bit better!!



g girl 1

t family

g girl 2


Victoria, I think you’ll be very happy!  The pics of the family are gorgeous. Thanks for having me out the other day.  It was great seeing you guys again…

Ok, I am days behind with, well everything.  Welcome to the busy season!!  🙂  Thanks for stopping in!

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Soundtrack backstory: a few years ago when this song first came out it was about this time of the year when I became seriously obsessed (as well as my children who would sing "do you do you do you wanna…" from the backseat).  I think that it’s only appropriate that this song is the song for today:


• • • • • • • • •

SAVE OUR STATE PARK (and all the others).  Please link here and follow the directions, send some mail to our good Governor and the State of Illinois to make your voice heard.  It is reprehensible (and the more I think about the more I am outraged) that any of our State Parks are being taken away from the good people of our state. 

There was a walk from Channahon State Park to Stratten State Park in Morris on Sunday.  We did a small part of the walk (I couldn’t imagine the girls making the 17 mile walk that day) and went to the rally.  Excuse the snapshotty nature of these, really quick photo grabs:

Save Our Parks Rally Sign

Back Signage

Petition Sign


Honest Abe


All readers that reside in Illinois: please please I beg you to give the Governors’ Office a call or drop them a letter.  PLEASE sign the petition at petition.org.  On behalf of over 30,000 people in the state that have already signed I thank you in advance.


• • • • • • • • •

More Sunday fun!  We spent some time at Dollinger’s Family Farm in Minooka.  I promise you if you go here for pumpkins and fun you will not regret the drive out to Minooka.  Dollinger’s is an amazing amazing place.  Best of all admission is free!!    There is also hayrides, corn maze (we did both, good times), face painting, haunted barn (which is housed in the historic I&M canal mule barn) and lots more.  Check it out if you can.  The kids love this place–honestly it’s a hard place to not love…

A few images:








corn maze corn


corn sky


• • • • • • • • •

I’m so behind with the tagging blog.  So here goes!   To the wonderful Corey, thanks for the tag!  🙂  You must know I have that guilt trip thing that makes me HAVE to do these sort of things!  😉

The rules are:

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.


Seven random facts about me:

  1. My oldest sibling is 22 years my senior.  That makes him, ooooh, close to retirement age in a few years! 
  2. My youngest sibling is 17 years my senior, that’s my youngest.  I think it’s safe to say I’m an oops!  Hopefully a good oops!  🙂
  3. I grew up speaking Polish before English.  In fact, English being my second language as I started speaking English only after starting kindergarten.
  4. One of my oldest and dearest friends was in kindergarten with me and remembers me as "that Spanish girl" because of course, everyone who spoke a different language speaks Spanish!  😉
  5. My passion for Canon and photography began about the same time when my youngest brother (who was 20 something at the time) bought his first Canon film SLR, an AE-1 body.  I still remember him allowing me to hold it and look through the viewfinder.
  6. I love a good Bloody Mary and am fortunate to have my studio near one of the best places in the world (IMO) for one, Hayden’s Place.
  7. I had a very bad Bloody Mary episode in my early 20’s where I spilled one on a girl from high school in a very unfortunate mishap in which her beautiful black dress was ruined (I sort of lost my balance, go figure).  I still feel bad.  So if you catch me on a rare occasion where I have a drink in hand you may want to keep your distance.  😛  And Kendra, if you’re reading this…call me on my business line, I will totally make it up to you!!

So I am now tagging my buds and friends:  Sylvia, Paula, Cindy, Kimberly Ann, Angela, Connie, and June.

Ok, finally.  Done!  THanks for stopping by and please please please do NOT forget to stop by and sign the online petition and / or send some snail mail love to our governor about State Park and Historic Site closures.  TIme is running out to save the heritage, history and amazing recreational areas of our states!




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  • Terrilyn - October 6, 2008 - 6:24 pm

    Great post Mare!! I love that you are taking a stand to save your parks AND that you are teaching your children how to have their voices be heard. Loved learning a little more about YOU too!!

  • Paula - October 6, 2008 - 8:34 pm

    a ha! I have been tagged! Well I will write that up tomorrow morning!

    Great post – my fave shot is Lauren signing her name……. what an amazing capture! 🙂

  • Paula - October 7, 2008 - 8:43 am

    Ok, I have posted my 7 random facts….

  • corey civetta - October 7, 2008 - 10:02 am

    How cool you all are taking part in saving the park! I hope it remains open for you all!

    Love your 7 random facts, too! lol

  • Pammy - October 11, 2008 - 1:46 pm

    Okay so I posted to the wrong post. See my comments on the other regarding your tagged post.

    Love the fall images in the other posts.

Admittedly it has been a fantastic month for me (to get even better and better)…  I am so lucky really, lots of previous clients, lots of favorites to shoot.   Tuesday’s session…Miss AnnaB.  Oh Miss AnnaB was/is such a treat to shoot/talk about/hang out with/play dress up with…such a true joy.  I cannot believe she is TWO years old, such a wonderfully happy two! 

However and I know I said it in my previous post but seriously WHERE is time flying?  I remember her when…(if you’ve been to the studio you totally know this image 🙂 )

baby anna b



anna b 2


anna b 3

(i love messy kids!  i had to show it!)


So yesterday when Beth brought her out to the studio I was excited to see how much more adorable she has gotten in the past year since I saw her last.  I didn’t think it was possible but I really do think she got even cuter!!


annab 2008


annab 2008 2


Isn’t she absolutely beautiful?

Thanks to Beth for coming out from Highland Park to hang out with little ole me for a bit to get some beautiful imagery of your gorgeous girl…I know it’s a really busy week for you and appreciate your taking the time to come out and hang and get pictures…  Send your mom my love.  I hope she has a great visit with her gorgeous gal!  🙂 

On that note, until we meet again….

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  • PamN - October 1, 2008 - 9:19 am

    Oh wow, I’m lucky if I can get a blur of a busy two-year-old in focus, let alone beautiful shots like these! Mom must be thrilled!

  • Jana Kunz - October 1, 2008 - 10:00 am

    That last image is just stunning, wow!

  • diana simpson - October 1, 2008 - 10:47 am

    wonderful!! all of them

  • Lisa Kelly - October 1, 2008 - 3:12 pm

    That last image is just stunning, I adore it and can only imagine how mum will feel when she sees it. Lots of amazing images you’ve captured for this family over the years, I’m sure the family will be thrilled.

  • Rachelle - October 2, 2008 - 7:36 am

    the wisps of hair and her expression are breathtaking!

  • Stefanie W. - October 2, 2008 - 11:05 am

    everything about that last shot is perfect–her expression, her hair blowing, the texture, and the delicious tones of your b/w.

  • corey civetta - October 3, 2008 - 8:24 am

    What a doll! I absolutely love that last one! Beautiful work, as always. :]

  • corey civetta - October 3, 2008 - 9:40 am

    ps – you’ve been tagged 😉

  • Terrilyn - October 3, 2008 - 7:05 pm

    Oh Mare how completely adorable!! Yes she IS sweet and just as beautiful as can be! I guess I’m not the only one who wanted to hear some juicy Mare gossip, I was coming over here to tag you too! ha ha ha Now you HAVE to answer the questions right? 😉