April 4, 2017

Dear Daughters

Well its a few days into April, but I took these photos in March, so better late than never, right!?! The last month was a sweet one watching my girls personalities grow and finding out new things about them. Each time I ask to take their pictures they show me a new side and its extremely entertaining to watch. These girls of mine! They sure keep me on my toes. 

("dear daughters"--a portrait series of my daughters once a month for 2017)

Dear Raleigh, 

You are all full of laughter and goofiness more than ever recently. Your imagination is running wild with pretending to play family and talking to your friend "flower" and making up the most clever (and random) song lyrics. You never stop singing. You sing about almost everything and everything and its the best off key, loud, and ear piercing music to my ears. I've watched you bond with each of your sisters in different ways which delights my heart to no end. And even though some days you'll play or laugh with one of them more than the other, your tenderness and love for them is evident with each of them. You are continuing to teach me how to be gentle and patient with you as you are growing and learning the world around you. Our conversations and conflicts show me just how much you actually understand and take in and it gives me perspective to remember how my own actions have an extreme effect. I will never want anything more than your trust and your heart, and even when it breaks me to discipline and give you boundaries sometimes, I want you to always know you have access to me and my love for you will never waver or go away. 

Dear Jocilynn,

The past month I've seen more and more of how your heart is so sensitive and genuine. You are so smart with everything you're learning and comprehending. You have an attention to detail that I've never seen another two year old have more than you. You notice the smallest things, like when my nails are painted or the way my hair is different or the color of someones eyes. They don't go unnoticed by you because you watch people intently and looking back I realize how true this has been since you were a baby. I remember you watching me closely like you were studying my every move and mannerism, trying to learn life through me. I think this is a gift in you that will allow you to enter in with people unlike anyone else. I think you will know how to notice the details of someone's heart and learn how to love them better through it. You are still opinionated and strong willed, which I think can serve as a good thing too, but parenting it can be so hard sometimes. We're learning how to love each other in this and I want to always be able to understand and know your heart even if we can't see eye to eye. You are teaching me how to pay attention and I'm learning so much from you and the world around me because of that. I love you with the deepest love. 

Dear Jaelynn,

This month I've seen you flourish in who you are more than ever. We took a family trip to Park City and something about us being away with all your closest people around you made you come alive. Your little tiny body brings out the biggest smile and laughter I've ever seen. It makes a whole room light up and grin. You have the best sense of humor and you constantly make us laugh...and you definitely know how to. You are so smart with your words and can remember things I never thought was possible. We've battled it out quite a bit, trying to teach you how to be kind and gentle and use a "big girl voice", but this month I've see you maturing more and more in that. You're still learning, but you're starting to catch yourself before you start to whine or complain and it gives me hope and peace knowing some of the redundant things I've been unsure about in parenting is starting to pay off. I've loved watching you run around and be yourself and play with others and make them laugh with you. You teach me how to laugh at myself and how to always bring others into the joy of the moment with me. My love for you never stops growing!

Dear Sage, 

You've been more clingy and feisty lately and I'm still figuring out why that is. Maybe its because you just love to be around people constantly and almost can't stand it when you're alone. You seem to never want to be missing out on the fun of whatever your sisters are up to. You're just about the same size as all of them so this has given you some confidence to stick up for yourself a bit, which can be pretty entertaining to watch sometimes. You still give the best and biggest hugs and cuddling with you is the sweetest feeling. You teach me how to keep smiling and that being with people is always the best medicine. I love you with an extreme and affectionate love!

I love you more than life itself. 

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