Monday, October 24, 2016

.anna turns five.

A lot of people assume that as children of a photographer, my kids will have thousands of beautiful photos of themselves. Sadly, that is not completely true. Their faces appear more on our iPhones than they do on mommy's "big camera." However, once a year, we make an intentional effort to document their current age to the best of our ability....the birthday session. My girls have come to anticipate these sessions...picking their outfits, planning a location, and going for a walk. Lots of laughing, dancing, exploring and of course, a reward afterwards :) Anna was SO incredibly excited for her 5th birthday session...she knew how she wanted her hair, that her leopard boots were a must, and that a caramel apple spice from Starbucks would be the treat. And this is just how Anna is...she knows very much what she wants...down to the detail, and help be to those who stand in her way. Her latest aspiration is to one day be a policeman. Her reason? So that she can take whatever she wants from stores and not get in trouble. That's peace and a safe community are not on her mind; she wants to be a crooked cop. Sigh. But her little story is not over, and she is not completely lost ;) Her ferocity extends to the way she loves. She loves big...she loves her sisters, her grandparents and cousins; she loves Jesus and her friends. She loves me and her dad so much and frequently reminds us with words, snuggles and kisses (her current favourite is on the lips...trying to discourage this one). I know that I baby her too much...but she is my baby. Her lasts are my lasts. All my kids have had lasts...last nighttime feed, last diaper, last time needing to hold my hand as they learn to walk. But it is different with Anna...her lasts, are MY lasts. As she proudly and confidently walked into kindergarten last month...that was a big last...the last time I would have a little one as my sidekick day to day. There is grief in that...there were some tears. But there is also joy in it. Joy in the next season, in the little taste of freedom. Joy in watching her grow, and thrive and become. Anna Grace...I really, really needed sweet third girl. I needed to be your mom and I'm so glad for the precious five years that you have're my little white whale on the go.

Monday, April 4, 2016

.halle turns nine.

Going through the images from Halle's birthday session was a little bit of a kick in the face. She may just be nine, but I feel like she crossed a bit of a threshold this year. I looked at her face in these pictures and saw so much beauty; and not just the incredible beauty of a child through the eyes of her mother, but the beauty of this little woman "seedling" growing before my eyes. And my heart beats a little faster.
This has been an eventful year for Halle. After much thought and prayer, we decided to keep Halle in the same class, with the same teacher she had for grade two. Her BFF (this is a real word in our household) was moving forward to the 3/4 split which was a major pull, but the benefits of being in a 2/3 split...this time as an older student... pulled stronger. Our girl is soft-hearted, very cautious and shy; new and uncomfortable situations are genuinely painful for her. That is why this year has been such a victory. Our girl has blossomed...still maintaining the attributes listed above, but adding a measure of confidence, leadership and JOY. After three years of tears ...she actually likes school. Halle has an incredible teacher (another huge reason we kept her in the 2/3 split)...seriously...if I could submit this woman for some kind of award, I would. As the year has gone on, and Halle has faced friend issues, and a nasty parasite that won't get lost, she has been buoyed by her awesome teacher and the sense of safety she has at school. Halle and I have also started having some pretty solid mother/daughter chats once the little sisters are in bed...clearly the topics are confidential, but they are increasing in maturity and complexity...just like her. She is full of questions and thoughts. My heart's prayer is that she never stops coming to talk to me.
It's hard to sum up a year of growth in a few short lines, and as I do, I am filled with immense gratitude for each of the 365 days that have been added to Halle's journey...and mine as a mom.
My little baby...I love you so!

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