Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Just after I completed my last to "showcase" blogs on my sister and husband, Amanda approached me in her bedroom. She said to me, "Mom, you know those things you did on your blog of Auntie Michelle and Steve? Will you do one on me?" So, without any further ado, I give you AMANDA. 
Amanda Michelle (yes, named after her Auntie) was born 15.5 years ago. She was the sweetest, little angel baby any mother could ever have. She was quiet, soft, and very pleasant. She walked early and talked late. She never needed to talk because her big sister Alix could get her whatever she needed. The first sentence she said was at two years old in response to the question, "Who wants a cookie?" in which she answered, "I doooooooooo".
It figures that a cookie would be the vehicle used to get her to talk.  

We call her Mandy and it's probably not a coincidence that it rhymes with candy! Mandy's favorite food is sugar. She loves all things containing sugar and if they don't, she'll add it. When she was a child and played outside and got sweaty, when other kids smelled like stinky puppies Manda smelled like jam. Even when I remove all candy from the house it's as though she somehow produces it from her body.  One day I was changing her sheets on her bed and when I pulled them down a roll of sweetarts came out. Every load of laundry contains random candy wrappers that have fallen out of her pants pockets. 

I'm a firm believer that Manda's disposition just has to have something to do with all the sweetness she fills her self with, because she fills our life with sweetness too. Don't get me wrong, she is a teenager and she certainly has her moments that reflect that but it's hard to stay angry with her because she is so disarming. This skill will probably come in very handy later in life ;-). Amanda is the type of person that the more time you spend with her the more time you want to spend with her. Like candy!

Anyway, here is a darling stream of images I chose to show you how she's grown:
Four days old

Three months old

Nine months old (casper the friendly ghost)

First Birthday 

Two years old

Three years old

Six years old

Seventh Birthday

Nine years old

I became a single Mom when Amanda was 16 months old. She was the kind of baby you could throw in a back pack and go. She traveled well in a car and would stay with anyone. She liked everyone and never complained. (Except for the daily crying about things like blankets, breakfast, and toys) She has always been the girl that crawls up on anyone's lap and is friend to all. Before she started school our babysitter asked me to bring Mandy over for the day because when she walked into the room all the kids seemed to settle down and feel happy. 

When she went to her Dad's house for visitation she would squeeze the soap in our shower just so I could feel her hand print while she was gone. I would kiss her baby doll's lips a hundred times so there would always be a kiss readily available when she needed one.

Amanda has always been able to express her feelings and articulate what she needed from a very young age. She is so imaginative and creative. She can dance, draw, cook, and sing. She can imitate almost anyone and nail it. She is a comedian, a poet, a counselor, and a friend. The only things I see in Amanda that ever drive me crazy are the things I don't like so much in myself.  As I write this I can hear her singing her heart out in the shower, how can you not love that, even if I've had to tell her six times tonight to do her homework that I'm sure she still hasn't done. She is a free spirit and she is beautiful. Raising Amanda has been a bit like herding a flock of cats, not really going they way you think she should but really darling while she's doing it.

The original three girls.
Amandy was the baby for the
first eight years of her life until
Emma came and she became a middle child.

 Mandy in her starring role as middle sister.

When I found out I was pregnant with Emma Amanda was the most excited person on the face of the planet. PS Moms like it when people are excited about the fact they are having a baby. Pandy X'd each day off her calendar for nine months, until Emma was here.  She plays with her and pays attention to her and is sooo patient with her. Yes, they fight all the time, but they are crazy about each other.
I secretly think Amanda likes being able to live in a little kid's world every now and then and Emma makes that happen for her 15 year old sister.

 Amanda and Emma

 Always up for a kiddie ride with Emms

 Girls being, girls.

 Amanda and Alix

I think sometimes, as a middle sister,
Amanda can feel invisible. This picture 
reminds me of how important she is in
their lives. She fills in the empty space
between them. She feels in the empty 
space in all of our lives.

Amanda is always up for any adventure. She will go anywhere and will meet anyone. She models for so many of my photo ideas. She never complains about it she just nails the pose, the look, the action. She wont complain if she has to sit in the back seat (well maybe she will but then she'll get over it)or sleep in the weird bed. She's a great team mate and looks like a fairy but fights like a tiger. Every one should be able to have one Mandy in their life!

Mandy in the desert.

Manda in G-Ma's pool 

 Mandy with her love...

Posing for me in a light test...

Taking a minute out during a shoot (foreshadowing?)

Shooting for a composite assignment

 Doing the dishes... had to be documented... lol

 Out location scouting

 Modeling for yet another assignment

 Scouting, more foreshadowing...

 Amanda and her BFF Alix her sister

 Just trying some stuff out..

 Manda ran a half marathon this year with me
and her Aunts, mostly for the company, that's
how she is

 Bounce Testing...

 Learning the ropes from Alix, literally.
On the Hume Lake rope course for the 
first time. 30 feet up in the trees on a
tight rope, running obstacles.

I love my girl...

The writing of this blog inspired all kinds of discussions and activities at our house. It made Amanda stroll through old pictures which inspired her to write about it on her own blog Paint splatters and cupcakes
Amanda's blog entry inspired her sister, Alix to write a long planned blog about Amanda! Her's can be seen at The Real Deal


  1. Well from your words & pictures Kelley it certainly looks like Amanda has carved out her niche in the family - never easy I'm sure as a middle child. (I'm the elder of two, so I can't speak from experience but I can empathise!). That puppy dog eyes expression in the photo of her as a 3yr old would soften the heart of any parent - can she still call upon that looks when required? :-)

    She certainly looks like Mum in those last few pics and most especially I think in image #4370.

    @Amanda - loving the image of the ice cream van on your blog!



  2. David,
    Thanks for your nice words, and YES she can still call upon that look and does, and it still works. I will pass on your comment regarding the ice cream truck, she'll be thrilled as she took it herself. It was her first personal Photoshop class. She has a crazy great eye and is passionate about taking pictures without ever really talking about it. If I have my way there will be more one on one classes with that girl.

    Thank you so much for stopping by! Kelley