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coffee break, black please… meet Jeanne

Black coffee is going to be a common thing around here over the next week and a half. Due to previously cold and/or rainy weather, I have triple the number of sessions I usually schedule plus a wedding! I might end up like those salesmen on the mattress commercial – just start chomping on the coffee beans straight out of the container.:)Seriously, that may happen!

I still have about 8 or 9 moms to feature, so even though Mother’s Day has come and gone – I’m still going to post them as I can. Every day should be Mother’s Day anyways, right?

Today’s mom , Jeanne, is a sweetheart. What can I say, I loved getting to know her boys too. As a mom with three boys myself, I know what she is in for on a day to day basis and any mom with one boy – let alone three – deserves a medal if she can just keep them in one piece to someday reach adulthood. Jeanne’s boys each have their own unique personalities from outgoing and talkative to sweet and shy. It was fun capturing that as well as watching them interact together. Here are a few from their session last summer, downtown Grand Rapids.

So, meet Jeanne… self-described tattoo artist, plumber, chicken nugget gourmet and manager of Team [last name]. She also volunteers at her boy’s school. (Now, you know that everything you read on the internet is absolutely true… ha, ha, ha, ha)

What is your favorite Mother’s Day memory?

My husband gave me the entire day to “play” in my flower gardens and not have to watch over or feed the kids.

What three words would you choose to describe yourself as a mom?

supportive, learning (I’m a work in progress), loving (a little nuts, too, if I could add another)

What three words would you choose to describe your mom?

strong, teacher, faith-filled

How would you describe a perfect Mother’s Day?

A perfect 70-degree, sun-shine day with my family and me in our back yard. My husband makes a delicious grilled dinner and cleans up, the kids play together, no fighting, my husband tends to their every need and I get to listen to this all unfold and get to just garden and read, perhaps get a little back rub somewhere in there and a few kisses from the four men in my life. Simple. Family. Perfect.

note: oooo, that does sound perfect! Now, when you are done with your flower gardens, you can come and tend my rock gardens.:)Sound like fun?

Kids are always making us smile or tear our hair out… is there a recent quote from your kiddo or a funny antic you’d like to share?

The other day, while stuffing a chicken, I explained to my 7 year old son that where I was putting the lemon, herbs and garlic was called the “cavity” and that is where the heart and lungs were. His response was, “Now he can’t play any music because now he doesn’t have any organs!” What made this even funnier is that we just made our little chicken friend stand up in the roasting pan and dance while my son gave the chicken a singing voice. We now call this dish “Dancing Chicken”. The song that goes with it is yet another story.

note: That sounds a little more gourmet than chicken nuggets there! I’m not sure my kids even know that chicken comes on a bone!

Before you had kids, what did you swear you would never do?


If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and why?

My dad, he died three years ago and I miss him so much.

What book are you reading now?

I’m in a rut with The Magic School Bus series and also keeping up with the Press.

What is a favorite children’s book at your house?

Horace and Morace but Especially Delores

If you could take lessons to learn a dance, which dance would you choose and why?

Heck, I’d just like to learn to DANCE!

If you could change careers with someone for a week, what career would you choose?

Supreme Court Justice

note: now THAT would solve so many of the problems in this country… I say appoint Jeanne!:)

Even though “green” is the new black… taking care of the planet we live on has always been important. Do you have a favorite activity or tip that your family does to save the world one little bit at a time?

reusable bags, recycling, turning off the lights when not in the room, etc.

Is there a charitable organization or cause that you support and would like to shine some light on?

There are two I especially like outside of church related ones: Amazon Relief — even while it is a hemisphere away, 100% of all donations go directly to the people in need (no donations go toward administration). The money sets up schools for the poorest of the poor in the Amazon Regions, provides food in soup kitchens, medical relief for lepors and teaches farming and survival skills to adults. (616)453-9104 – It truely serves some of God’s neediest people. The other is a scholarship fund at Aquinas College specifically set up for students studying in the Ireland abroad program. I did this when I was a student and found it to be such a positive and life learning experience, that I support it for future students.

note: Sounds like an amazing experience… I’d love to visit Ireland! I found this web page, if anyone would like to read more about it. Ireland program, Aquinas College

How would you describe your experience from your Simply Life Photography session?

MaryBeth, you certainly have a way with children. Our kids warmed up to you so quickly. and there is no doubt you have unbelieveable talent. We made an investment that we enjoy seeing every day on our walls. Further, we get frequent compliments on your work…another tribute to your artistry. We appreciated how you went out of your way to re-do our boys photos downtown, too. Awesome little boys captured!

note: For the original session, I photographed the boys in Jeanne’s beautiful yard and I had the BEST time hanging out with them. They are such amazing little boys in person – maybe too amazing, because I got home and looked at all the images and just didn’t feel like I captured “them”. So, I did something I’d never done before and haven’t since – I called Jeanne and asked for a “continued session” downtown Grand Rapids where we could let the boys run and explore new territory. I’m so glad I did and that she agreed, because I loved the results and the combined images equal a session I’m thrilled with.

  • allie - mary beth, these images are AMAZING. Just beyond amazing- gorgeous results from the “continuation” of the session!

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