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New Schedules and Embracing Spontaneity with Midday Margaritas

It’s keeping it real time…It’s been a long week…or a few weeks. We are in a  major period of adjustment around here. We haven’t found a childcare solution for the tyke yet. The spouse is constantly coming and going with the new job, out the door by 7AM to be home at an always undetermined time to often have to leave again for a few hours after the kid has gone to bed for the night. Her work phone constantly ringing and pinging. I’m trying to be a present mommy and be there with Grayson when I am with him, instead of getting frustrated he wants to play when I have mounds of work to do. Housework has been piling up. Making daily to-do lists was becoming futile as I never knew how much usable time I would get in the day to tackle them. And, to be honest, I was missing my spouse like crazy. She is often way too busy all day to even shoot me a few texts, let alone call me, while at work. I never know when she will be home for the day and when she does finally step in the door, I flit off to tackle my own work. And next thing you know, the kid is asleep, and we are on separate floors of the house, in our respective offices, working like crazy…as if we are on opposite ends of the world. Not to mention, wedding season is here, so goodbye weekends with my love! I’m not going to lie, it’s bringing me down. And I’m pretty sure it’s a big reason in why I feel so depleted lately. It’s not just being physically tired, but it’s also being not fulfilled emotionally. Who knew our mundane little evenings at home, cuddled up on the couch, did so much for the well being of my psyche! I need that down time to recharge. And I need that time WITH my love to reconnect. To bring me back down when I’m going off the deep end with stress. To lift me up when I’m feeling unsure. To hold my hand just because. To be my happy. To remind me we are in this together, building a life together.


But, instead of wallowing in self-pity about this new way of life of awful schedules for us, I’ve decided we just have to find a way to make it work. Figuring out how to work these changes into our life will be the key to not ending up exhausted, cranky, and totally disconnected people all the time. So, I’m trying to let go of the reigns on my daily to-do’s a little, prioritizing the ‘MUST get done’s’ and knowing what is not essential to accomplish that day. I’m trying to turn off all the tech when I can to spend as much time with my little family as possible. I’m trying to make the most of the time we do have together. I’m trying to make it work the best I can….even when it isn’t easy and feels like I’m getting no where. Because just complaining about it and feeling bad about it all the time is so not the answer here. Having the right attitude about things is half the battle. And at least knowing that we are collectively trying to make the situation better and work with these new crazy schedules makes me feel better about the whole thing. Knowing we are trying to make it doable. Heck, we are trying to make it enjoyable! And for me that means embracing some more spontaneity in our life. As a text book Type A kind of gal, being spontaneous has never come easy to me, but if we are going to make the most of the little time we find together, I need to embrace it head on. So, even though I had plans of hunkering down at a coffee shop and working the day away in between meetings yesterday, when I found out the spouse was 2 hours early for a meeting just a few miles away…I knew we needed to take advantage of the time together. With margaritas, of course! And if midday margaritas are the way to making these new schedules work, I’m all in!!! So, here’s to less whining (on my part) and more trying to make it work with a whole lot of patience and a good amount of spontaneity!



Bridgette Haight - April 17, 2014 - 4:30 pm

Solidarity with you on this! It can be so hard to find the time with crazy work schedules. We should all meet up for drinks near OakBrook soon and vent our frustrations of juggling work schedules!

Brienne Michelle - April 17, 2014 - 6:01 pm

It’s never easy, is it? Hang in there. I’m confident you’ll make your own happy ending with all this. :)

Crystal Carlson - April 17, 2014 - 7:12 pm

Don’t worry, lady! Your full-time nanny will be moving in ASAP!!!! ;-)

Christy Tyler - April 18, 2014 - 3:15 pm

That sounds like a perfect way to make it work, if you ask me! Just take it one day at a time! Adjustment periods are tough but inevitably bring us closer to our loves if we allow it to! xoxo

Things I Love: Mish Mosh Edition XI

It’s about time for an April edition of Things I Love! From silly little things to oh so pretty ones, I’ve got it covered today!

Party of Five on ‘On Demand’

In the silly things department….Late nights of spring cleaning and working away at the computer have lately been made possible by countless back to back episodes of the 90s classic ‘Party of Five’! My spouse loathes it, but my 90s loving heart is oh so happy that every episode of the six seasons is available on ‘On Demand’! Clear your weekend people, it’s Party of Five marathon time!


Lo & Sons Bags

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a bag obsessive. I have far too many too count. Between being a professional photographer, avid traveler, and generally an accessories lover…I’m constantly picking up new bags for one reason or another. And when I fantastic one that works well for me, I want to use it nonstop…exhibit A: My new Catalina bag by Lo & Sons Bags! It makes me want to take little weekend trips every free moment I have, because it is the perfect overnight bag! (Use code HELLOSPRING2 for 20% off any Lo & Sons Bag right now!)


Cocktail Bling jewelry

These couture accessories by Haute Bride are my new obsessions! Specifically this gold shield pendant! Is it not the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen?! A long dainty chain that makes layering it with other shorter necklaces just perfect. Gorgeous sparkly crystals. And a tag that you can personalize. I pretty much never want to take it off! I’m in love.


So, there’s my random smattering of things I love for the month, now tell me what YOU are loving on right now!!! New music, movies, products, or anything you are obsessed with right now…throw them my way in the comments! 

Growing Up Grayson on Film

So, remember how I told you I have been hoarding all my personal work on film over the past 6 or so months? Well, today, I’m excited to finally share some snippets of our life over all that time from that hoarded film I recently had processed…and since the biggest change in our life over the past year was a kid…it is mostly Grayson photos from about 3 or 4 months old through to Febraury! So, here is our little one growing up right before our eyes in a mish mosh of different film stocks I just happen to have on hand.ChicagoFilmPhotographer_0084

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Caili Helsper - April 15, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Your film work makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Can you please do more of it so that I can get my AMM film fix?

Christy Tyler - April 15, 2014 - 10:10 pm

Pretty much obsessed with every one of these photos, Amanda!!! Really, really stunning work. Now I’ve decided I must shoot film at home (not just on trips) — this is getting to be a very expensive habit! ;) xoxo

Spring Cleaning: Good for the Soul

Let’s be real…whenever people talk about spring cleaning and all that sunshine-y motivation to purge, organize, and clean, I kind of shrug my shoulders and go about my way. I don’t really get that spring urgency to clean like crazy and re-organize…but maybe it is because I generally like everything to be clean and organized all year round! That was until I had a kid!

Now, the time for keeping everything organized, put away, and in tip top condition 24/7 just isn’t readily available. When free time comes along, I instead take that time to shower, paint my nails, do more work(!), so lately the dishes pile in the sink a bit longer, our master bedroom has become one giant clothes heap, and my office has looked like a bomb went off in it for over a year now. It was bad, guys. Real bad. You could barely walk in my office or see the surface of my desk. Our bedroom doors were constantly closed so we didn’t have to see the mess. And as much as I didn’t have the time or energy to devote to cleaning and organizing those parts of our life, just having the mess and clutter around us was making me so stressed. Seeing it everyday and having to live my life around it was such a crappy way to start and end each day amidst the mess. I felt constantly frazzled and felt like I couldn’t get a handle on my to-do lists no matter how much I was getting done on a daily basis. I am firm believer in a clean space makes for a happy space, so I had to do something about it. We finally hit some windows open kind of weather and I got that spring cleaning bug. I had to reclaim my space and make it my happy space again. My mind is just lighter, happier, and more settled when the spaces around me are lighter, more clear, and organized.


So, over the past week, I started picking up all the little things that have collected out of place around our house to return them to their correct places, I did a total purge of my office, I hung every piece of clothing collecting on the sitting chair in our bedroom, I vacuumed like crazy, I put crisp fresh white linens on the bed, I lit new candles in each room, I bought a half a dozen bunches of white tulips to bring some life back to our house, I spring cleaned like mad! And I have to tell you it was SO worth staying up until 3am a couple nights in a row to get a handle on the chaos our house had become. Because ever since I got our home back in order I have felt SO much better about everything in life! I feel so much happier! I am calmer. I’m much more at ease. I feel like I’m in control again. I feel confident about my work. I  am so much more motivated about both my personal and work goals. And I honestly feel so much more grateful for all the things I have in life because the clean spaces give me so much more room to appreciate them…physically and mentally! I’m on a total spring cleaning happy high! So, get after it people! Spring cleaning does a body (and soul!) good!

A Glimpse of Vegas on Film and Getting Back To My Roots

I haven’t posted much about it, but lately I have been shooting all of my personal work on film. Yup, people still shoot film! A lot of people actually! And, boy, does it feel good to get back to my roots. I started in film photography in college and actually resisted digital for a really long time after graduating. Eventually, I gave in to the ‘darkside’ as I saw it and threw myself head first into digital photography for the efficiency of starting up a business. But, I’ve always missed my darkroom days. I missed loading the film, that shutter click, advancing the frame, all of it!

So, over the past year almost everything I shoot at home and on trips, I shoot on film! The ease of just shooting and being done with it is so freeing…no downloading images right away, editing them, and fussing. I can take a couple frames and get back to living my life, making my little boy giggle or enjoying a walk around the neighborhood with my love. I love it so. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so great with the follow through lately of getting the film processed and scanned…so I am just now getting scans from as far back as when Grayson was 3 months old! Eeek! But, the good news is that means I have a lot of fun stuff to share! Starting with a little peek at some shooting I did while in Vegas for WPPI. And next week, some adorable Baby Gray goodness on film! And, maybe, some real film sessions at some point.


Click through for more!

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Christy Tyler - April 10, 2014 - 3:38 pm

LOVE IT! Cannot wait to see more film goodness!!!

Caili Helsper - April 10, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Ooh, gritty film. So, so so so so beautiful!

[…] remember how I told you I have been hoarding all my personal work on film over the past 6 or so months? Well, today, I’m excited to finally share some snippets of our […]

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