Sailing Trip #3: Our First Sail on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan wave photo

Jeff and I set last weekend aside ages ago to go up north and go sailing—even before we had a sailboat of our own, my parents had offered to watch the girls, and we planned to charter a boat out of Traverse City for the weekend.

This ended up being a great chance to get the sails up out on Lake Michigan for the first time (before this, we had only sailed on Lake Muskegon and motored on Lake Michigan).

These photos make it look so calm, but there were definitely moments when I yelped as the boat bobbed across the waves or heeled over in the wind (I’m still getting used to that part). Not to mention the minor injuries—a bumped head (mine), a few bruises and cuts from the lines. But injuries aside, there’s really nothing like sailing across the water with the quiet sound of wind and waves.

We did get a chance to practice our anchoring—we anchored in one of the arms of the channel in Muksegon, and we paddle boarded over to the beach to pick up some takeout from The Deck, a restaurant on the beach (we also learned that they sell sunglasses for $5 after Jeff lost his). It was a bit surreal looking out at the boat anchored there as we shared our plate of nachos. It was like looking out at a decade of hard work—multiple companies, multiple cities, late nights and long trips—all coming together to realize our dream.

a photo of Allie Siarto sitting on the deck of a Catalina 30 sailboat A photo of the deck of a Catalina 30 sailboat a photo of the waves in Lake Michigan a photo of the shore in Muskegon while sailiing

Lifestyle Newborn Session at Home

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I’m finding myself so drawn to the snugly at home lifestyle newborn sessions lately. I remember those first few days when we got home with each girl—both times we were so excited, so relieved to be home, so in awe of these tiny girls that had our features. I never want to forget how that felt, and I never want to lose that awe that I still have for my children.

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Breaking in the Catalina 30: Sailing With Kids

Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares photos of her young daughters on a Catalina 30 sailboat

We’re officially three trips in with the new Catalina 30 sailboat—one overnight trip with Jeff and I, one overnight trip with both girls and one day trip with both girls.

I’ll be perfectly honest—we haven’t gotten out on the water a whole lot so far, but we were able to get one sail up with the girls on Lake Muskegon with the whole family, so we considered that a win. Jeff and I are going to go up today to finish setting up the lifeline netting and to finally try our hand at a sail on the big lake before we try it with the girls.

We knew going into this that the first few years would be a lot more about hanging out at the marina with little day sails when the girls are on their best behavior and the weather is cooperating. The pool at Great Lakes Marina was a big draw (Arden has shown us that she’s not a fan of it, but Zel loves it), and we love that we’re so close to multiple gorgeous beaches where we can play in the sand and watch the sunset.

We’re still learning how to adapt to some of the challenges of “living on a boat” while we’re in Muskegon—converting our main living area to a toddler bedroom, naps in the v-berth, dealing with public meltdowns with 100 other boats in close proximity, where to put all of our stuff while we’re there, the bedtime routine, etc. It’s not always perfect or pretty, but it’s our little adventure.

Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares photos of her young daughters on the deck of a Catalina 30 sailboat
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares photos of her young daughters playing on the deck of a Catalina 30 sailboat in Muskegon
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her young daughter in swimmies climbing out of a Catalina 30 cabin
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her young daughter in swimmies climbing out of a Catalina 30 cabin
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her young daughters in the cabin of a Catalina 30 sailboat
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her young daughters snacking in the cabin of a Catalina 30 sailboat
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her young family in the cabin of a Catalina 30 sailboat
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her one year old napping in the v-berth of a Catalina 30 sailboat
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo the cabin of a Catalina 30 sailboat set up for a one year old
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her husband and daughters at Great Lakes Marina in Muskegon, Michigan
Michigan wedding and lifestyle photographer, Allie Siarto, shares a photo of her husband and daughters at Great Lakes Marina in Muskegon, Michigan

Sarah + Ron: Adoption Profile Photos

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Sarah and Ron asked me to help them with a very important project—they needed photos for their adoption profile and book that would let their personalities shine through. I learned pretty quickly that these two are a hoot—with a few interactive prompts, it didn’t take long to get them laughing together and showing off their goofy side.

Sarah and Ron, I loved hearing your stories, and I’m so excited to follow your journey into parenthood. One very lucky kid is going to have the honor of calling you Mom and Dad soon.

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