I was at a wake the other evening for a good friend’s dear grandmother, Louise.  It was sad really.  In a way this woman had been a part of an extended circle of mine by way of my friend.  I’d seen this woman at family functions, birthdays, events during the better part of the last 20 odd years.  It was sad to see my friend’s dad so shaken by grief from the loss of his elderly mom, sad to see my friend holding it together because I know that it’s got to be difficult to see and go through grief in your immediate family and sad because…well…by looking at the many photos that friends and family brought to memorialize Lou with the progression of life seems so linear.  Photos are all that her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends have to really remember her by.

I often think about how my children will remember me someday.  How I will remember their youth.  I know that for many of us as we take our children to professional photographers to capture their likeness we think about how we are trying to hold onto the here & now.  How we cling to the stages of a child’s life because they are ours and we know that time moves quickly.  Quite frankly I myself didn’t realize how quickly the passage of time cruises until my children hit school age and all those early milestones have become a dim memory.

Incidentally enough, last year we took a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan to have our family photographed.  I wanted to memorialize that time in our lives, planned for over a year for it.  I gave myself a year: planned on losing 15 pounds, planned on looking all glamazoned up.  It didn’t happen.  As the day came upon us, all the lost time for losing that last 12 pounds (hey!  at least I lost 3!) melted away and the realization that I do not have family photos of all of us and yes, I still hung on to much of the weight I wanted to lose, but time moves, quickly and it hit me: the realization that life is all too short to NOT do this.  Those images are not the very best photos of me.  I know this.  But I know that at the time of my death when friends and family are (hopefully) gathered around me remembering my life those photos will be there to remind everyone, my children especially, that I thought enough of our family to memorialize the present. 

As an aside, it is remarkable to me that all the photos progressing through Lou’s life, she looked most happy and joyous as a grandmother.  The smile on her face in those images with her grandchildren…those were amazing to me.  There was pure joy.  I think that therein lies a secret somewhere.  Perhaps we will never hold on to our youth and vitality but we will always have the photos there to remind us of who we once were and how happy we were.



p.s. Happy 79th birthday to my very lovely mom!  Today is her big day.  I know she doesn’t use the internet (or understand English very well entirely) but happy day to her! 

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  • Sinead - May 4, 2008 - 8:14 pm

    Very well said.
    Happy belated birthday to your mother!

I re-did the blog yesterday. Once I upgraded the backend everything went smoothly but man oh man…I was biting my fingernails about the whole process.

Anyway, I’m awful proud of it. You should still click on the images to make ’em larger (I’m having some small coding issues with something behind the scenes) but it’s pretty much done. Still Marmalicious 😀 I hope…


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  • ashley - May 1, 2008 - 10:12 am

    o m g your blog is rockin awesome!!! Love ya MUAH!

  • Paula - May 1, 2008 - 11:49 am

    it is fabulous. love love love it!!!

  • Connie - May 1, 2008 - 12:37 pm

    It looks wonderful, Mare! Now go reward yourself for a job well-done!

  • Julie - May 1, 2008 - 1:32 pm

    Looks fabulous! So glad that I stopped by. 🙂

  • kathy wolfe - May 1, 2008 - 2:01 pm

    now come fix mine!!! LOL!! I love it!!!

  • Caitlin Domanico Pho - May 1, 2008 - 6:57 pm

    Very nice!

  • Whitney - May 1, 2008 - 7:12 pm

    LOVE it!!

  • Stacey Woods - May 1, 2008 - 8:00 pm

    Ooooh it rocks!! Yeah come fix mine too, after you’re done w/ Kathy’s. lol! I have my wordpress blog but I haven’t done much with it after Theresa did her thing. I’m still a bit afraid of it, lol! 😉

    Lovin’ Marmablog and Marmaland!!

  • Meggan - May 1, 2008 - 9:04 pm

    Looks stunning mare! 🙂 Great job!

  • his4ever - May 2, 2008 - 8:50 am

    I love the colors. You have a very lovely blog. Great Job!

  • Marianne - May 2, 2008 - 9:51 am

    Thanks guys!

    Kathy, it’s not bad to do, once I got over the fact that I had to wipe out the blog entirely off the server and reinstall the blog software (ugh, scary!) it was smooth sailing. You already are on your way…I love the way yours looks (in fact it was one of the impetuses that put me over the edge to change my old one out).

  • elizabeth - May 2, 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Love it.. it rocks.. looks fantastic

  • PamN - May 2, 2008 - 8:04 pm

    I bow down to you! I want to switch but I can barely figure out typepad, too scared to do the wordpress!

  • Susan Braswell - May 2, 2008 - 9:06 pm

    loooooooove it – 🙂

  • Joyce - May 3, 2008 - 10:55 pm


Yesterday I was getting rid of some old toys in the tub…it made me a little sad to think how quickly time has passed and my girls are about done with the tub toy age. Yeah sure they still play/draw with messy soap crayons but IMO, the tub toy stage passes a little too quickly. Who am I kidding MOST of it passes too quickly…

So I got inspired, haven’t done a shopping blog in awhile. So today’s theme: tub toys!

Unarguably, ALEX makes some great tub toys. This Beep Beep! Tub Stickers set seems like no exception to that rule.

We always loved animal squirters, these seem like a great alternative to rubber duckies and fish.

Another ALEX toy, this one is an Award Winning toy….make over anyone?

Finally, what bathtub wouldn’t be perfect adorned in colorful “bubbles”? The final end product may be a bit over the top but I love the idea behind this bath set to decorate the kids bath…

I’ve shared the image of Becca’s little bath tub dweller before but it seems awful appropriate to show it in a bath thread. 🙂

Bubble Trouble

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  • Heather Gibb - April 29, 2008 - 11:18 pm

    Oh I’m glad you shared it again b/c I haven’t seen it!! What a beautiful shot and a slice of time captured!!!!
    PS Love the slidshow running below to! Cool

  • Melissa - April 30, 2008 - 7:45 am
  • PamN - April 30, 2008 - 12:23 pm

    What a fun post! And that picture is so darn cute – I sure hope it’s hanging in that bathroom, that would be awesome!

  • Denise - May 1, 2008 - 8:02 am

    LOVE the new design. 🙂

  • Anna Mayer - May 2, 2008 - 12:07 pm

    This image is perfect! Love the expression and that tub is to die for!

Two of the sweetest kids I have ever met.  Miss K played the role of shy girl for all of 20 seconds but I saw underneath the cool, quiet exterior to her inner diva:

Miss K

as for C….well, he never played shy boy but that’s only cuz I babbled on about video games and I think that video games are the key to a 7 year old’s heart:

Mr. C

Needless to say I think this brother-sister combo is a pretty awesome duo….

Sofa Antics


Thanks to their parents for bringing them out from Arlington Heights to hang out at the studio for a few hours this afternoon.  I’m so glad the weather cooperated!


xoxo, Mare


p.s. I was given the link for this nicely written article on having children’s portraits professionally done from Real Simple Magazine’s blog.  Please check it out….and if you have not done so yet please feel free to check out the Profeesional Child Photographer website for more consumer FAQ type information.  🙂



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  • Whitney - April 27, 2008 - 10:52 pm

    Looks like another fun day!!

  • Angela - April 27, 2008 - 11:31 pm

    So beautiful Mare, my favorite is the very first one! Stunning children!

  • Joyce - April 28, 2008 - 6:50 am

    Gorgeous images as always!

  • kathy wolfe - April 28, 2008 - 7:08 am

    I adore that last one… makes me want to be sitting there finding out what was so funny!!! Its just perfect. beautiful children.

  • Susan Braswell - April 28, 2008 - 8:14 am

    These are sweet but {wow} that 3rd one makes my heart sing and I don’t even know these children. That is something I’d want to see huge on my wall now, 10 and even 20 years from now.

    Beautiful stuff…

  • PamN - April 28, 2008 - 9:05 am

    oh my gosh, these are so beautiful and timeless – those kids look like pro models (they aren’t, are they?)

  • Meggan - April 28, 2008 - 9:16 am

    These are stunning children! You created beautiful portraits of them!

  • Carrie Steffe - April 28, 2008 - 11:01 am

    oh wow…these are goregeous children and you captured them beautifully!

  • Kendell - April 28, 2008 - 12:41 pm

    Simply beautiful. And yes, that image with both of them is timeless and priceless- I love it.

  • marie - April 28, 2008 - 2:57 pm

    what an awesome session

  • Julie - April 29, 2008 - 3:05 pm

    I just love these images. especially the sibling portrait…makes me want to laugh along with them

  • Ruthi David - April 29, 2008 - 9:55 pm

    Beautiful!! That is the sweetest sibling portrait – it is so REAL!

  • JUne - April 30, 2008 - 1:33 am

    These are fabulous. What I wouldn’t give for a sibling shot of my own like that.:)

  • Mary Beth - April 30, 2008 - 10:16 am

    Beautiful and fun as always! That first one is just *dreamy*. Their mom is going to love every. single. one.

Oh!  Old white garage

with peeling paint

You were only mine

for a small time

(but technically, not really)


Now you are gone…

Disappeared with no warning

Razed down by bulldozers,

tractors, and who knows what else…


When I drove by all I could see

Is a blank spot,

squared off area gravel in your place

They took away all the garbage

surrounding your crumbling, peeling

(yet photogenic) facade

And they took you away with the trash


Oh white garage!  You were not trash

You were beautiful in your own way

Go now, run, be free and play with your old garage friends

way up high….in heaven where you must exist now having served

this photographer oh so well…


Oh lovely old white garage,

a face only a photographer would love

I’ll miss you.



LOL. Seriously tho, another location bit the dust last week. Too sad. Urban sessions will go on! 🙂



Old Garage I

Old Garage II

Old Garage III

Old Garage IV

Old Garage V

Old Garage VI


Knowing that life is about change, I accept that it is gone and it has served me & the families who I have photographed there well. Gotta have a sense of humor bout these things.


xoxo, Mare

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  • Chantelle - April 26, 2008 - 7:10 pm

    oh no! what a shame….such a cool location 🙁

  • Anna-Karin - April 26, 2008 - 10:49 pm

    How sad……… I hope you find a new place to use with great potentials as this one had.
    you got some lovely captures from there to remember though!

  • PamN - April 27, 2008 - 4:57 am

    I know your work will not suffer in the least – you have a knack for finding cool places!

  • Danna - April 27, 2008 - 6:22 pm

    oh no!!! that looks like an amazing location…..I am sure you will find someplace else even better 😀

  • elizabeth - April 29, 2008 - 1:28 pm

    Ohhhhh Noooooo thats horrible.. what a gorgeous old white barn… mean old men on levelers.. booohissss

  • Jen Lane - April 30, 2008 - 10:22 pm

    oh how I love you Mare. lol. Sorry about the lose of white garage. That really is TOO sad! I’m glad the two of you made such lovely art together, you won’t ever forget. And girl, the new blog is GORGEOUS!