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art, beaches and family time | Michigan Lifestyle Photographer, Mary Beth Vreugdenhil


Three of my favorite things!

I’ve been going through the photographs from last summer’s little vacation and I’ve unearthed a couple of fun photos I wanted to share with you.  What can I say – snow makes me grumpy and looking at these is like a breath of fresh WARM air.  We had a great time at the lakeshore and this time I decided that there would be no taking the kids for any sort of formal “session” – just snapshots all week long.  And GASP – some are even taken with our little point & shoot that was bought for it’s ability to take abuse and not necessarily great photos. :)



This is our 2nd oldest – A – who pretty much never dried out all week!  And yes, that little p&s is waterproof!  Yay!


Looking for buried treasure?  Now if we were on the shores of some secluded Caribbean cove where pirates used to roam… maybe.  But we are on the shore of Lake Michigan for crying out loud!  haha… whatever!  Dig away…  Mom is a happy camper on the beach with her camera and her book.


Our 6-year-old, L, developed a strange habit that week.  Whenever I aimed the camera at him he gave this funny little wave as if to say “Greetings, my loyal public…”.  He could totally be famous some day – he already has a head start.  What a nut.


 Here is princess G in all her life-jacket sporting glory. :)


 G eating yogurt one afternoon while we were just hanging out at the cottage.  Can you tell she has 3 older brothers?  Was it the goggles or layers of artistically placed filth that tipped you off?  I have to admit that this is my favorite shot from the week.  How could I not be crazy in love with this child! :)



One day we took a little day trip down the shore and stopped in at those harbor towns I’ve loved since I was a little girl.

Leland, MI – what they call Shanty Town



We stopped in at this one little “shanty” that my kids LOOOOVE – “Why?” you ask? – well, because it is filled to overflowing with candy!  Sweet love of all things sugar and every flavor of Jellie Bellies that one could dream of.  Mmmm


G has learned to cope with having a mother who is a photographer.  Hey – at least on this particular day she wasn’t scowling at me or running in the other direction. 


While we were in Leland, we happened upon the Brenda J. Clark art gallery.  Her paintings just drew you in.  They are vivid and colorful impressionist paintings… each one totally unique.  What a statement one would make in a room & it would most definitely improve one’s mood over a long Michigan winter. :)  If you want, you can see some of her paintings on her website,  However, I have to say that they are a million times more incredible in person.

Sweet, sweet L with his daddy’s blue eyes… sigh.


And a rare serious one of A who was patiently (or not) waiting for lunch.


Not that there ever was any doubt – but these next two photos prove that these are definitely their daddy’s children!



And before you’re all yelling at your computer screen… “WHAT! – they let their 4-year-old and 6-year-old have cell phones!!!”… I must inform you that two are OLD phones that serve a better purpose as toys than in a landfill somewhere.

Later in the week we went to a local farm that rescues animals.  They have animals that are old or recovering – ones that a zoo wouldn’t take.  The kids (and we did too) had such a fun time there.  There were kittens popping out everywhere much to G’s amazement.


How cute is this one!


They had some very… um… unique aminals – including this one.  I wasn’t too sure about a few little electrified wires protecting me, so I took this shot and moved on rather quickly.


To name a few there were goats, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and even a lama and a very rotund pot-bellied pig.




This sweet little kitty had a broken leg.


And this is what it is all about, isn’t it?  Time together… memories to cherish.


  • Laura - Those are wonderful! I want to know which ones were taken with Point and Shoot since they all seem amazing!

  • Mary Beth Vreugdenhi - Laura ~ you made me go look. :) P&S images were… the one of A on the yellow intertube, the three kids with the cell phones and two of L giving the camera his little wave. I do carry around my Canon most of the time – because, well, I have this thing for getting a good shot when I release the shutter. Call me a control freak ~ haha. The P&S is tiny, light and nearly indestructable – but a good shot is NEVER a sure thing.

  • Cousin Nancy - Love the pictures “up north” and of your kids. They’re growing up so quickly. Thanks for sharing them with all of us. I love to go to Leland too when I’m up there. Special people, special places.

  • PamN - You captured such wonderful memories! Thanks for making me feel that summer will eventually get here after all – I was beginning to have some doubts.

  • Cheryl J. - What great pictures of up north! They make me want summer to come NOW! Love the rocking chair shot!

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