letters to my daughters … chubby cheek photography

This one might be long…this one might be mushy….but this one isn’t slipping by me.  to find some of our old letters CLICK here 

 

My sweet freckles,

It’s been a while…I can admit it, it’s been too long, since I’ve written you a birthday letter!  and for that I am sorry, I am sad, and I am disappointed (heck i even missed writing a letter last year for the big double digit birthday), every year I promise myself ill write it tomorrow or the next day and then here I sit…having been 5 years since the last letter 🙁 more than anything though, I forgive myself.  Life, seem’ed to shift for us and we went straight to fast forward in the blink of an eye.  You started kindergarten, you started playing sports, your sister started school, yall changed schools, you found a love for singing and baking and life just seemed to whiz around me as i stood in the middle of the ocean just trying to catch my breath, grasping for a pause button.   I seemed to think every year that I wouldn’t forget what i wanted to say about you or how you were at 7, 8, 9, but i blinked again.  Here is the thing about life…it goes on.  Every day is a new start, a new day and a new chance!  So here I am, ready to write today’s letter, a blinking cursor and a blank page.

This year you are 11, you are finally older than the number of fingers on your hands, hands that don’t have baby dimples anymore but do have nails that still get bitten down to nothing (it’s okay i still bite mine too).  The last few years have been interesting to watch as a your mom.  Last year you conquered some serious fears and with gentle nudges you took the stage in 4 School of Rock Performances at various venues that had everything from small audiences filled with other band mates parents to huge bar venues that were filled with strangers.  You, my dear daughter, were one of the few who chose to be a lead singer and with that you always took the stage and the spotlight alone.  At every concert, with every new band you were paired with you with and with every new venue i was there.  I learned every single word to every song you had to sing (even Eleanor Rigby, and this one took some time to grow on you ha), with every single concert and every single spotlight, i sat in the front row, i rocked out to Lynard Skynard and Nirvana (i even wore my middle school plaid shirt and converse ha), made up hand motions to help you remember lyrics, and practically hummed The White Stripes in my sleep because we had it on repeat every time we got in the car.  I was, am and will always be your Number 1 fangirl!  You have more “get it together” and “take the stage” than I ever will!  I never told you this but i would practically throw up from nerves every time you had a concert!  I would seriously be shaking so hard and so nervous until the moment you started singing your first song and then I knew you would be just perfect!  I could not have been more proud because i know you were scared too but girl, you did it!  And every time you do this, every time you prove to yourself that you are amazing I will be here to say it to you!  You, my sweet girl, are amazing!

There is just something about you.  Your heart is big and your love for making other feel loved is bigger.  You have always connected to the world on an emotional level and i have talked about this before and how much it scares me because life is not fair and “middle school girls” have a knack for breaking big hearts like yours.  But do you know what you have shown me over and over these last few years?  That while you may not be able to control the world around you or the people in it you can control how you choose to react to the things that happen to you!  My tendency is to shield you and that big ol heart of yours but thats not fair, it’s not fair to the world and it’s not fair to you.  You thrive on making others happy!  In fact the past several years your birthday and Christmas list is always filled with gifts for other people…I finally understand that it’s because in your world, the greatest gift FOR YOU, is giving a gift to someone else!  You radiate joy and love and sparkle and I’m lucky enough to get to wake up to it.  so thank you, thank you for teaching me how to be better, how to forgive and how to love even when it’s hard.   You are incredible!

This year you started 5th grade (intermediate school) and well let’s be clear, you drew the short straw, sweet girl hahahaha.  You are officially 5’4 and you got a bottom locker 🙂 This year for you and this new school has been a blessing for you that i never saw coming.  While i was busy crying over you not being in elementary school anymore, you and daddy were practicing how to open a locker in 4 seconds flat and planning your shortcuts through the halls of the school in between classes!  I’ll be honest you are the typical first child, as in I have always done everything for you, but not because you wanted me to but because ummm hello you were my first baby!  But this year you have shown me that i can loosen my grip a little because you, my sweet girl are flying on your own just fine.  You have taken so much responsibility on to yourself and have shown maturity I didn’t even know you had.  You are truly spectacular!

Last but not least Happy birthday my sweet baby girl…You may almost be taller than me but you will always be that teeny tiny little thang that has been on this journey of motherhood with me from the moment it started.  You will always be my favorite big sister, the best lead singer and my pause button.

love

mommy

 

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finishing out the jammie parade…

Shutterfly included a pic of one of our very first years of jammie mini sessions in their latest article 100 Fun Family Photos so I figured I would blog another jammie session from this year’s indoor setup!

Seriously though can we discuss how these kids could make one heck of a Hanna Andersson Jammie catalogue cover!  We (their moms friends and i) lovingly refer to them as the “unicorn family” because who has this many beautiful children that are all so sugary sweet and well behaved y’all!?  But seriously i adore each and every single one of them <3

 

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holiday pajamas are where it’s at … chubby cheek photography

y’all i legit have at least 18 pairs of Christmas jammies…well not me but my girls!  and for some reason it’s the one bit of clothing i can’t seem to part with when i get rid of their clothes hahahahaha…probably because we have shot so many significant pictures in them when we do our yearly Christmas tree pic…i don’t know y’all I’m a bit of an emotional mess this time of the year, it could be the lack of sleep from all nighters editing or maybe it’s that i just love watching this season unfold through the eyes of children or maybe it’s just that I’m a mom and my kids are growing up faster than i want hahahahaha either way here is more of the christmas jammie parade!  you might recognize these two beautiful kids from their wild and free mini from earlier this year 

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Bubble Blower + Glitter Thrower + Magic Maker

Hey yall!  I'm, Shalonda, the eyes behind the camera of chubby cheek photography. I am a nationally published child photographer, based out of Houston Texas, where I am drowning in glitter + princess dresses with my two daughters, also known as the cheeks girls, and the love of my life, daddy cheeks.  I am inspired by REAL life + the magic of childhood and I truly believe that the in between moments mean the most... even when that means stepping on a Barbie shoe before I have had my morning coffee!

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