July 31, 2007

The Sweetness of Little Girls

I get the opportunity to see Miss Gracie and her family frequently due to playdate's with my kids. She is probably the most easy going child I have ever been around, although this morning she showed the beginning of independence. Chatting non-stop at times and crawling away as fast as she could. She kept her mom and I on our toes!

July 30, 2007

Cedar Springs Senior ~ Melisa

This evening was very relaxing. I met up with Melisa and her mother, Cheryl, and headed down to the Rockford Dam for senior portraits. Mid-shoot we headed to her aunts house for a clothing swap and hair change from straight to curly. I'm still impressed!

We ended our outing with desert from Custard on the Dam and people watching.

07.29.2007: Hoskins Family

This afternoon I had the pleasure of photographing the Hoskins family of 24. There was one main reason for this portrait. The family will not be complete again for four years. The two little guys on the right of this photo will be taking their parents out of the states on a mission trip till 2011. When they return the family will be much larger due to all these little people expecting new siblings in a few months.

Thank you Hoskins family!

July 29, 2007

Cedarfield Community Night

Friday evening was Cedarfield's Annual Community Night. Solon Township Fire Department was invited to the festivities. Perfect opportunity to take out the new truck for a community event!

Here are a couple of pictures from that evening...
The event consisted of kids in and out of the cab, honking the horns, running the sirens, and demonstrating the power of their water lines. Fun stuff!!!
To see images of smiling faces from inside the cab click HERE.

Note: the biggest kids are wearing blue.

July 28, 2007


Friday morning I had the privilege of having competitive dancers in the studio! We had so much fun! Sam & Syd brought with them over 20 costumes. They had everything from traditional ballet to hip hop and the enthusiasm to go with it.

These sisters are such a wonderful team. It was fun just watching them interact with each other.

And with all the girlie fun going on my two year old had to get in on the action. Here is Miss Nyla in feathers. She took full advantage of every costume as Sam and Syd were done with them.

All three of the girls were in their element.

July 23, 2007

Murphy BOYS!

Sand mixed with water, add boys, equals the creation of fantastic pictures. Dirty feet are fun little man!Discovery.Excitement.

With as much as I love Grand Rapids, GR does not have Lake MI.

July 21, 2007

Sneak Peak ~ St. Joseph

In one word this weekend has been wonderful...and it's only Saturday evening!

Friday I had the opportunity of meeting the Kerschbaum family. The winds were quite strong coming off the lake, but it only made for a more interesting evening. Such sweet girls, and for a 7:30pm portrait session they were fab.After we said our good-bye's my husband and I decided to take a walk out to the lighthouse. We didn't quite make it...but the short walk made for some great shots. I love St. Joe.I could have brought a tent, because 9:30 this morning I was back at Tiscornia beach to spend time with the Lewis family. They had so much fun playing on the beach together which made for some incredible shots. The image below is one of the very few taken with the lighthouse missing from the background. By 10:00 there were familys swarming the beach and boats coming through the channel.
As I was headed up the beach to look for the Perry family they were already making their way into the sand. What perfect timing! Talk about three cute little blonds. We started with a few pictures in the tall grasses to give for a few more options because the beach was in full swing. The kids collected snail shells, ran a few laps up and down the beach, and then rested for family time digging. The image below was my very last shot. I loved that they appear to have forgotten I was even there.

July 19, 2007

Blues on the Mall ~ Grand Rapids

If you have not been downtown Grand Rapids this year on Wednesday nights you are missing out! Constant entertainment...listen to music and take in all that graces the streets. Only ONE more week! Seriously, tonight's music by Tab Benoit was HOT! Wandering through the bikes between The Bob and Friday's is a must, and do not miss the break dancers. Entertainment is everywhere.

If you're looking to see more from this evening click HERE.

July 17, 2007

Saturday ~ July 14, 2007

Saturday morning my friend Larry & I started our day with breakfast at a little place on Michigan Avenue. Then we were off to battle the rain at the Farmer's Market at Fulton and Fuller. One of the very first
stands we stopped at to admire was D & L Farms & Greenhouse. Their stand was packed full of onions, tomatoes, peppers of all colors, and a variety of other wonderful items. To see a few more images from the Farmer's Market click HERE.

The weather cleared
up and I was back downtown by 8pm to meet up with the Grand Rapids Camera Club and Grand Rapids Flickr groups for a bit of night shooting. It was so fun and everyone is great. I learn something new every workshop, meeting, or program along with enjoying the company of other photographers. This image was taken laying on Monroe looking west with Division behind me.

July 15, 2007

JULY SPECIAL: Engagement Session

Meet with me July 15 through July 31, book your wedding, and receive a complementary engagement session!Local engagement session valued at $50.

Please contact for details.

Leda Vander Laan


Beautiful, versatile pottery hand crafted in America.
As I was cleaning this afternoon I ran across Bret Bornter's business card and full line brochure. My last trip home (Stevensville, MI) the end of May I wandered through his store. In one corner he had on display his current collection. His chip & dip serving plate (round above) is in my kitchen! He over heard my mom and I talking and said there was a few pieces he had designed for Crate & Barrel. I then found I have quite a bit of his work in my kitchen. I love simple, versatile, white pieces.

That same day I headed towards Michigan City to find that the Crate & Barrel location was gone.

If a trip to St. Joseph is a bit much you can find Bret Bortner Design's ONLINE STORE at WWW.BRETBORTNERDESIGN.COM

Bret Bortner Design
210 State Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085

July 13, 2007

Truck #2720

The long awaited four passenger truck for Solon Twp. Fire arrived today! We, of course, had to go check it out. This beast is over 30' long and holds 1200 gallons of water. Christmas in July!Imagine this view at 70mph...

I can not wait to hear the story about the first time this rig hits the streets!

July 12, 2007

Blues on the Mall ~ GR Flickr Meet

Today in one word was fun. I started the morning in Zeeland meeting Amanda and Adam who are getting married at The Piper in Holland on September 8. What a great couple. I'm looking forward to working with them. After that it was sun & swim...both of which are top priority during the summer months.

Our last stop was Blues on the Mall downtown GR. I had such a great time with the GR Flickr group. Kids were incredible. Wasn't quite sure how the evening would go...fun2 against 1. Here are a couple images from tonight.

And here's a pic of the fun2 not wanting to leave the fun downtown, already an hour late for bed. Attaching themselves to the meter did not work for them, but I found great humor in it.

July 7, 2007 (aka 07.04.07)

I know I'm late, but I have to toss in a great shot from Saturday night. Kids, friends, fire, and fireworks. What could be better.

July 10, 2007

Flag FOOTBALL season!!!

Flag football started tonight! I will be cheering for my 4-yr old every Tuesday and Thursday evening until August. I LOVE THIS!!! All I need now is a Cedar Springs football on the back window of the vehicles (okay, I'm joking here). Yes, I'm a MWAC. What makes it even more fab is Tyler's coach is one of my husbands childhood friends...so our boys are playing together! Here's a pic from our first night of practice. Future STATE CHAMPS!!!

July 08, 2007

How can you not smile...

Meet Nikky. His parents are doing a photo competition open to the GR Flickr group for his six month shots. Competition? COUNT ME IN!The portraits were done the morning of the 4th and this is the first image to go public. Nikky makes me smile. Hope to see you again soon little man!

July 05, 2007


Meet our neighbor, Miss Rin. She brought her mom with her yesterday for two year portraits. We had a lot of fun...I needed a nap after she left! Rin's one busy little cowgirl!

"Cowboy Wanted" for all you cute little cowboys!

July 02, 2007

Vera Bradley ~ SALE!

Vera Bradley has gone through and discontinued a couple of my favorite collections. One of them being Hope Toile which helped to raise critical research funds for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer in 2006. Joining the Hope Toile is the Citrus, Nantucket Navy, and Bermuda Blue. Why am I excited about this? Semi Annual Sale!