I have known Amanda for quite some time. She is a welcome and much loved remnant from my days working political campaigns (which I did for quite some years before I decided to ditch partisan politics for pixels - say that three times fast).
We originally met back in 2001 on a gubernatorial race in New Jersey and were fast friends then. In 2004, we combined (extreme) efforts working with a grassroots campaign which took us seamlessly into another gubernatorial campaign. Long hours, late nights, endless miniature york peppermint patties, and lots and LOTS of volunteers to keep busy and happy - Amanda and I had each others' backs. We were there when the campaign was just the two of us in a small corner office in Jersey City that had drafty rattling windows and a less than ideal bathroom situation.
When we moved to larger and more luxurious offices in the suburbs, we no longer sat three feet from one another at rickety desks, but she was always just an intercom buzz away to grab coffee with, bemoan campaign woes with, or to spell check with. :)
Amanda comes from a big family, just like me, and when I left the political world to pursue more artistic ventures, we talked at least a half dozen times about me coming up to New Jersey to do family portraits with them. Time passed, Amanda got married, her younger siblings grew up and some even moved away to other far off places... and those photos never became a reality.
Then came a phone call last fall with the news that she was expecting the start of her own family come spring time. I immediately began the thought process of newborn photos for Amanda! And as fate would have it, little Francesca arrived exactly a week before I was due to be up in New Jersey for a cousin's wedding. Fate had family photos planned for quite some time - just not exactly in the way that we originally thought - and I couldn't be happier for it.
World, meet Francesca Luisa DePalma; she could not be any sweeter. What a perfect, alert, and lively little girl she already is - no surprise given the stock from which she comes! And yes, I counted - ten perfect little fingers, with ten perfect little toes to match.
Congratulations, Nick and Amanda! Can't wait to take family photos with you guys for years to come.