Tuesday, October 24, 2017

.anna turns six.

Oh this girl of mine. She has added so much spark to our lives in the last six years. More specifically, what she possesses, runs anywhere from spark to forest fire.
I remember when Halle was little, we used to always say she was strong willed; then, when Maya arrived, we thought, "No no... Maya's actually the strong-willed one." Then Anna came along and rendered these parents of two relatively mild-mannered, obedient, little girls, completely befuddled. Six years later, we're pretty much still there. And we couldn't love her more.
One of our dear friends always says that when she grows up, Anna will change the world. And I think she very well could. Anna feels and does everything with fervor. If she is sad, she's devastated. If something is funny, it's hilarious. If someone has wronged her, they should go to jail. If she's hungry, she might actually die from it. If she draws a really good picture, she's "probably the best grade one drawer in the world." If she doesn't want to wear a certain pair of pants, she takes them off.
Yes, this precious girl keeps us on her toes with her antics, but she also loves with the same fervor. She gives amazing hugs, writes me endless love notes, and she will always be my baby. As I do my final checks before I head to bed each night, I often linger by her bed and stroke her cheek. I honestly think I can still feel some of the softness that was there as a little baby.
I know that she is ours for a reason; that we were meant to watch HER grow, to be her people. And I am as thankful today as I was six years ago when I saw her little face for the first time behind the OR screen; when I kissed and smelled her forcep bruised lips, and watched as her Daddy and sisters fell in love with her right before my eyes.
Anna - you are a precious gift. You are strong and smart, funny and creative. You are a unique and beautiful creature. And I am so very happy that I get to be your mom. I love you.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

.halle turns ten.

Double digits you guys...double digits. It's never been a secret that I am somewhat of an emotional and sentimental creature, so this milestone birthday hit me just as it should. Arrow to the heart. Milestones with this oldest child are always my milestones as well. Ten years of life for her, ten years of motherhood for me. It's big stuff.
People often ask me how I got started in photography, and that again comes down to this milestone. I took a course in high school, and always loved taking photos. However, the intensity and the drive to document moments arrived with Halle. I guess we could call her my muse. 
So, as I stop to share these images and mark this time...this decade...it is important to me to jot down some words to fill them out and help me remember. To remember how we had a mother-daughter battle over what pants she would wear for these photos. She wanted yoga pants...."but Mom....I wore jeans for you LAST year." Clearly I am a stubborn ox of a mother and won this battle. To remember the emergence of her increasing sass and wit. Her ability to banter with me and say things that I can literally hear rolling off my own tongue (Note to self: tone down the sass). Watching her climb the hill with exuberance and excitement. She is an explorer...loves discovering things...IF she feels safe. The hormonal tsunami that is already starting to come in undulating waves. I want to remember the leap from primary to intermediate. That subtle, but distinct change in her school life. The things she is learning...not just from books, but from watching those around her grow and face challenges. Her heart is extremely tender and inquisitive. She sees friends in her life hurting; she watched her sister...our whole family...go through a scary time of sickness; she learned her precious Auntie has cancer (and is going to completely kick it's butt)...and she is increasingly understanding what these things mean. Her feelings and comprehension are going beyond primary and she is making connections that wouldn't have been made a handful of years ago. 
And everything in me wants to grab a giant receiving blanket, and swaddle her up like I used...to protect her from this next decade. I remember this decade that literally took me from girl to wife (and trust me...there is NO way this child will be a 19 year old bride like her mother), and I can't believe she's taking her own steps into it already. But I can't swaddle her...they don't make swaddling blankets that big for a reason. So I must learn to just hold her hand...when she lets me. To watch her run up the hill ahead of me like she did for these pictures. To teach her that I am always waiting at the bottom, and watch as she jumps and twirls at the top. To prove myself steadfast, and continually try and hold loosely, to pray fervently, as I already know she is in the best of hands. And when the waves of hurt and anger and tears come, to relish the opportunity and once again hold her against myself and be her home, as my momma was to me. That's my plan for this next decade. .I'll let you know how it goes.
Happy Birthday to my baby girl...I love you so.

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