Archive for the ‘Kate’ Category

Happy 7th Birthday, Kate!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Dear Kate,
This has been your biggest year yet and I am so amazed and smitten by the little girl you’ve become. You truly are the coolest person I know with the best attitude, and I hope you never lose that.

Lately you’ve had a lot of questions about where babies come from. Thankfully you came via c-section and I can show you the exact spot where you came from because I’m just not ready for THAT conversation (I don’t think you are either, I don’t want to scare or confuse you about your body), but it makes me think of the day you arrived. I was nervous, my belly was gigantic, and I had guilt over how you would affect your brother. If I had any idea how amazing you would be or how lucky Noah would be to have you, I would have loved every minute of the ups and downs from that day and not even noticed the dramatic fashion in which you entered. I write all this down because I fear someday I will forget even the smallest detail. I’m sure I’ve written your birth story somewhere but it’s a good one that includes all the people who love you, the licking of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you being stuck, and you flipping us the bird in your very first photo.

In the last seven years you’ve blossomed into a confident, curious, artistic, and selfless little girl. No one gets you down, nothing can stop you, you have compassion and empathy in spades, and you’re giving and nurturing to a fault. If I listed all the ways you are this amazing little person I would have carpal tunnel and you would have gray hair. You’ll have to trust that you’ve never been bullied because you befriend even those who are unkind, you give your last of everything to the first person who asks, you’re so charming that everyone adores you (you have your teachers wrapped around your finger almost instantly), you sneak around and clean the house when you know I’m stressed, you ask to feed the homeless and always wonder how they got in that position, you let your brother win (always), and you will do absolutely anything to make your daddy’s day better. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t adore you.

Your artistic abilities are way beyond your years. You spend hours crafting, creating, coloring, and drawing (usually gifts for other people). Right now you’re really into drawing hearts and writing love letters and affirmations on your pictures. If you see something you like, you instantly create your own version and add it to your collection. You recently saw an entrance that required a palm scan. You now have a construction paper version on your bedroom door, it’s right next to the pin pad you made a few months ago.

You can be sassy. You’ve come out with “Noah is going to pay for this” when he talked you into the splash zone at the Shamu show, “that’s really inappropriate” for something that totally wasn’t, you’ve learned how to roll your eyes, and you sometimes try to mother us all. You’re so giving and so funny. I know these little glimpses of spunk and drama are just a taste of what’s to come. Try not to lose your self confidence and I’ll try to remember the days when we chuckled at your assertions.

Not much has changed medically. We’re still dealing with the precocious puberty and you’re still taking it like a champ. You get those horrible injections and you don’t even flinch. You wear deodorant now and you’re growing like a weed. At your last visit, your endocrinologist told you that things are probably really confusing right now and a little hard because you’re on medicines that make you wonder why you feel so different but someday, hopefully in the not too distant future, you will even out and you can begin to trust your body and the things it is telling you. I hope things aren’t too weird for you but I’ll never know, as you shrugged it off and flashed her a smile that said, “it’s cool!”

You take time to warm up to strangers. This hasn’t always been the case and it can often times be uncomfortable to watch. I don’t want to push you into being the social butterfly you once were but I suspect you adopted this behavior from your brother after it became clear how much attention he gets for it. Being mute and standoffish is so not who you are but maybe you have to decide if you want to let everyone in before you do. Time will tell but I’m guessing this too will even out and you’ll stop staring at your shoes when new people greet you.

You’re a thrill seeker! You love adventure, travel, and roller coasters more than any of us. You are first in line for anything that gets your adrenaline going or scares the pants off the rest of us! Luckily, we friends who volunteer to ride the scariest of rides with you and we’re doing our best to foster your curiosity for new places and experiences. At the fair this year a good friend, Jessica Quevedo, accompanied you on the crazy attractions, she’s as much of a thrill seeker as you are. You had absolutely no mercy and you ran into every line to wait your turn. There was an upside down ride that had your name written all over it and you were so excited until you came up short on the height requirement. You made us promise we’d let you try again next year. Jessica has moved to Texas, I will get on there myself if I have to – a promise is a promise (I really hope we can talk another friend into doing the fair with us)! You rode your first upside down ride a few months later with daddy at Wonder Works in Orlando.

You want to try everything and belong to it all. You’re doing Zumba, taking guitar lessons, you want to sign up for every after school club, and you’re weighing your options between swim, tennis, soccer, and martial arts. You’d do it all if we’d let you! Don’t ever stop learning or being curious!

Today I will bring doughnuts to your class and I will probably get choked up like I do every year. It’s been so incredible to watch you blossom and I can’t believe we’re already to lucky number 7!

I love you so much!

Kate is SIX!

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Dear Kate,

I know I say this every year but I can’t believe you’re not a baby anymore! Today is your sixth birthday. Sixth! I can still recount every detail of your birth, down to what everyone who came to visit was wearing. You completed our family and made me a mother for the last time. You really are my sunshine!

You started kindergarten last month. It was a very hard transition for you. You’ve been teacher’s pet at the YMCA ever since you first toddled in at 13 months so public school was quite a shock. There are days you’re still apprehensive but you’re getting there. This is the first time in your life you’ve ever been hesitant. In general you meet life and all of its ups and downs head on!

You are a lover. You love your family and friends with all your might. You’ve recently discovered empathy, sincerity, and appreciation. You’ve also learned that practicing all of these things gets you further (and more spoiled) than those who don’t (ahem, Noah). It’s no surprise that your aunts, uncles, and grandparents are wrapped around your little fingers and will do anything for you. PS It may be confusing but you have a lot of “aunts” and “uncles” who are friends-turned-family because you’re just that cool.

Your fifth year brought another health struggle. This seems to be a recurring theme, please stop. Your old wounds and ailments are perfectly healed (though you say your knee is still bad because of the scars) and now we have something new to worry about. It’s called general precocious puberty. Basically your body thinks you’re nearly eight and you’re maturing way too fast. It turns out your growth spurts (which made so many people confuse you and Noah for twins) were more than we realized. You’ve been so brave through all the testing, poking and prodding. It’s easily treated with hormone therapy which will start any day now. We’re hoping it will help your emotions as well as your growth. You and I have been on the same cycle and daddy may offer to move out if you and I continue to be unbearable.

You are standing up for yourself more and more, especially when it comes to Noah. Though I’m still convinced you would share your last breath with him he’s winning fewer wars. You used to always give in and do whatever it was he argued for because it was easier and kept the peace. Now you’re not afraid to stand your ground on the things that are important to you. This makes me very proud! It also makes me a little worried that one of these days when Noah is really pestering you, you may punch him in the face. I may or may not be willing to turn my head just once because honestly, he may deserve it.

You’ve finally declared your hatred for photo taking. You’ve been so patient and such a trooper all these years but I think you’re done. Whenever we mention pictures you start to whine and fuss. It’s not fair, I know, you and Noah get tortured. We really appreciate you being the guinea pigs though and your grandparents love the results!

Your artistic abilities grow daily! Just like your father, you are a master of pen (crayon) and paper! You have a very unique style and an amazing imagination. I’m still keeping all of your favorites but I’m running out of places to put them!!

Soccer is still your favorite sport. You start again in a few weeks but at a new place with new people. I know you’d give anything to have your old YMCA buds with you on the field again but six brings big changes and you’re going to do great. We may also try tennis or sign up for a swim team this year. You have my coordination, I apologize, but I’m trying to help!

There are a million things you’ve done this year! We’ve all laughed and cried together, we have grown together and we are learning more about what makes you tick. Please continue surprising us (but not our health insurance)! I can’t wait to see how this next year treats you, I have a feeling it will be one of your most formative years. Let’s get those training wheels off and do this!

I love you my fearless one!


Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 20th, 2014



This morning started with an Easter egg hunt around the house, ripping apart of baskets, and Noah losing a tooth. That was the first two hours! After the morning madness we went to church for another egg hunt, service, and a butterfly release and then to Grammy and Papa’s for lunch and a swim. It was a great day and though the sugar gave us some bumpy fits along the way, we had a very happy Easter!

Here are the kids at church before the festivities!

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Hugs from Kate

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Kate is one of the most affectionate people I know! She’s always cuddling up to anyone she can get her hands on but she has to run Noah down to show him some love. Today he met his match and couldn’t run away any longer! We were at a park with an egg shaped cage that spun. They both got in and begged me to spin them – again and again and again. They were having so much fun, and I have plenty of photos of that, but then THIS happened. The spin spun them out of control and they fell on top of each other – leave it to Kate to soak it in! She’s pretty awesome and some day her brother may just let her hug him!!



Happy 5th Birthday, Kate!!

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013


My dearest Kate,


You have made some pretty big waves in your short 5 years! You are the most generous, strong, and selfless person I have ever known. Your love is fierce and unconditional and you never leave a group of strangers without a handful of new best friends.

This year you’ve had some ups and downs medically. Your ear tubes wriggled their way out in perfect timing, you’ve finally stopped catching every germ available but you somehow ended up with lice (please don’t ever put me through that again), and last but certainly not least, you had two knee surgeries. We learned to trust you. You can be a little dramatic and you exaggerate sometimes but you knew there was something wrong with your knee even when doctors couldn’t find anything. You kept telling us your knee *sparkled* (cutest description ever) which was likely numbness or tingling. You were brave through countless doctor appointments, ultrasounds, X-rays, and an MRI that most kids need to be sedated for – but not you! You are a champ and excelled through both procedures without the need for a walker, crutches, or rehab. You stunned us all, even your doctor. Thankfully your knee is now just as perfect as the rest of you. Here’s to hoping we never have to worry about that again!

You have finally found your backbone and you stand up for yourself, sometimes too much. You and Noah still love to play and make believe but you’ve also developed a love and art for confrontation (please stop, he’s the only sibling you have and you’ll eventually see that you need each other). 

You’re pretty darn cute, you’re growing like a weed, and you’re a total tomboy. You’ve made it clear that gymnastics and dance are not your thing. You absolutely love soccer though and what you lack in skill you make up for in pure passion. You work hard and you’re so excited to kick the ball, no matter which direction or for which team (yours or theirs). You ask every morning if it’s “soccer day”. Maybe when you’re older you can go more than once a week, even if it’s just so I don’t always have to disappoint you by saying no. 

Your babyisms are fleeting. You still have a few sayings that we won’t ever correct, I know you’ll figure it out in time and I can’t bare you growing up! Opposed – used as “you’re not opposed to do that” is the one we hear most often, but you also use “crunches” instead of crutches, and chick munks instead of chipmunks. Sometimes you break out the baby talk – huggie, drinkie, etc – these get under my skin but I know they’ll be out of your vocabulary soon enough. You tell stories like a Valley Girl. We aren’t sure where that came from but you are forever telling us tales with the perfect pitch and inflection to make people wonder when you moved here from CA!

You answers to Kate, Katers, Kay-Kate, and Pumpkin Wompkin. You don’t like it when I call you Baby but you put up with it, and for that I thank you. 

You are our artist. You love to color and you have your own style. The lines mean nothing to you and you color block every drawing. May you always march to the beat of your own drum! I’ve tried hard to keep a lot of your artwork because I really think you have a unique style but you draw and color 5-50 pages each day. Forgive me for being selective, I’m running out of room!

I could go on and on about how wonderful you are, how crazy you make me, and how much everyone loves you. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings you. At the moment you have big plans for soccer and play dates and you’re quite nervous about kindergarten. We all know you’ll be just fine though. You’ll have the whole school wrapped around your finger in no time! I love you to the moon and back, my sweet baby girl!!



Tour of the station

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The kids and I went to visit a local fire station today. I was checking it out for a possible photo location and they came along for the ride, not expecting to enjoy themselves. Judge for yourself, I’m pretty sure they’re glad they came!

Thank you, station 55, for putting up with my overly engergetic little explorers!

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Noah couldn’t get enough of this pole! An adults weight opens the hatch so they can slide down from the second floor. Luckily, Noah had me to help pull on the pole! Kate finally got up enough courage to slide down but I was too busy catching her to snap a photo!

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While we were there, they recieved 2 calls. It was pretty exciting watching them head out!

Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

This is Kate’s 4th of July self portrait! I just love the fireworks and American flag!


Playing dress up!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

I have always wanted to photograph Kate in my wedding dress. Not because it would fit, or because I hoped she’d wear it someday (I actually hope she doesn’t), but because there is nothing more special than to see a little girl play dress up – and this was the ultimate.

We had such a great time doing these photos, I was surprised that she thought is was so fun! Of course, that made my day!


The dress is so heavy, she had trouble standing up but she loved trying to twirl! I can’t get over how little she looked in it!

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I will love these forever! Someone suggested giving her these photos on her wedding day but I’m pretty sure they will never be as special to her as they are to me!


Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Santa brought the kids a gigantic bubble wand contraption. We had so much fun making kid-sized bubbles but there is definitely some skill to the process. Of course all I can think is – PHOTO SHOOT, but I’ll have to work on technique (and sharing) first!




Happy 4th birthday Kate!!!

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Dear Kate,

You are the spunkiest, most confident, and courageous little girl! You are full of life and love. You’re the most thoughtful and compassionate person I know. You share everything with everyone no matter what or why. When we ask what your favorite color is you always answer “rainbow” but your most favorite are pink, purple, and blue.

You have NO inside voice. We constantly remind you to speak softer. The doctor promises you’ll outgrow this by the time you’re eight!

Everyone is your friend. You light up a room and do your best to win everyone over, which has never been a problem.

Your favorite food is pasta. It had always been macaroni and cheese but lately you are opting for butter instead of cheese. You’ll eat vegetables but won’t ask for them. Fruit is a favorite but you aren’t too picky (much unlike your brother).

You are very clumsy but you come by that honestly (sorry, that’s my fault). We joke that you have a frequent visitor card to the ER since you go so often (one more visit for a free xray). Your worst accident was when you took the phrase “I’m going to go jump in the shower” quite literally. I’ve never been so scared in my life but you were a champ. Nine staples to your head and you were good as new, I, on the other hand, got a few more gray hairs!

You still use a few “Kate-isms” but as they fade I’m reminded you’re growing up, which is very bittersweet. My all time favorite is the way you pronounce the word use. It’s more like “ooze” and it’s so very sweet in your baritone voice.

You’re growing like a weed! You are in the 90th percentile for height and 95th for weight. You are still modeling some but we’re starting to think its not your thing. It hurts you to hear no and you’re not a huge fan of having strangers take your picture. Today you have a casting with Carter’s and I think it would be such a great gift if you booked them. Your first hire was on Valentine’s Day in 2011.

At school you’re known as “Kate the Great”. You always tell us that you’re “just” Kate but we know that will never be the case. You console your classmates that have trouble saying goodbye to their parents, you dominate circle time, and make sure everyone is being nice and playing fair. Everyone at the YMCA is always so happy to see you!

You’re a great swimmer and amazing artist! There isn’t much you can’t do, except maybe a cartwheel – though you haven’t stopped trying!

My sweet daughter, I hope you never change! You completed our family and completely changed my life 4 years ago and it just keeps getting better. I’m so lucky you’re mine and I can’t wait to watch you grow, even if I wish you could slow that down just a bit!

I love you always!


(All photos since your 3rd birthday. You are so amazing and you’re growing too fast!)