In full disclosure, I intended to write this blog post last week and share it on her actual birthday, which was Friday. But I'm staying true to my goal of being "present" more, which has been a wonderful excuse to stay off my phone & computer. So, here we are, writing the blog post on Tuesday, an entire four days after her birthday!
For this year's birthday session, I wanted to incorporate her love of poufy dresses & cupcakes, & my love for the camellias blooming on UF's campus. I ordered her dress from Sadie Then Ty in January to allow ample creation time, & was unsure of the location until a week prior. I knew I wanted pretty golden light, & the clouds played tricks on me all day. I had nearly convinced myself to put it off another day until Jack reminded me that he didn't forget about our cupcake promise- if he cooperated & behaved, he could also have a treat!
To say the last three years have flown by would be an understatement. I keep seeing my Facebook memories remind me of what we were doing three years ago: her baby sprinkle, enjoying our last weekend at the springs with Jack as an only child, my last day of work before maternity leave, photos of Jessie in the hospital, & her first photos at home with us. The speed of life & time & growth continues to amaze & awe me which is a great motivator to put down my phone (even if it means taking less photos) & look up at the two blessings before me.
Our family from California made the trip to Florida this past weekend to celebrate our birthdays (Jessie is the 5th, I'm the 8th!), and boy was it great to be together. We are usually able to see my Mom at least once a year, but like lots of people, it had been over two years since we've seen her. I'm grateful for vaccines, singing "Happy Birthday" to Jessie as a family, enjoying a boat ride on the lake, & consuming way too many sweets this past weekend.
Three-year old Jessie is truly an amplified version of the baby/toddler she's always been: independent, sassy, articulate, observant, & affectionate. Her face lights up & she trots towards me when I pick her up from daycare, she still loves her mornings at Mi Apa with Dad, & loves building forts with her brother. She loves being around her family, loves cuddling with her kitty, & enjoys a nightly cuddle with mama.
I've never met someone who enjoyed dress-up, princesses, & frilly stuff so much! It has been so fun (& entertaining) watching her play "mom", wear a purse around the house, and insist on carrying a baby doll everywhere. I made the mistake of showing her the dress I ordered for her photo session, & she insisted on wearing it around the house until I hid it! Her guilty pleasure is watching annoying YouTube videos of other kids doing stuff & making money off of our views. She still has a super healthy palate, and will try nearly anything I offer!
All kinds of people have remarked lately how well her speaking & sentence structure is, & I guess I never gave it a second thought because I have become accustomed to the chatterbox she is! My hope is that she is always confident, kind, friendly, & curious (in a positive way!).