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Alana is 4 today!

Today is Alana’s fourth birthday!

This year has, without question, felt like it has passed more quickly than any other year of my life. I turned 30, had Sierra, and here we are ten months later and I’m wondering what just happened to 2011.

It’s been a year full of blessings, laughter, love, growth, and family bonding, and there have definitely been some stress and some challenges along the way. But we are so very thankful for this little girl and so honored that God saw fit to put her into our family and ask us to raise her to love Him.

We are doing the best we can, and some days that feels like enough, other days it feels like our “best” isn’t very great at all. But we know that God has plans for this little one, and so we pray for her. We pray that as she grows, God will help her to glean whatever wisdom we can offer and we pray that He will give us grace in the areas that we fail.

Here are some photos that I took of Alana – a little 4th birthday portrait session in the backyard. Maybe it’ll be a tradition, to keep taking photos at each birthday in the backyard like I did last year when she turned three. It’s all I can manage to actually get some photos of her during Sierra’s natime (otherwise she’d be in the backyard with us, crawling around and eaitng dirt, bugs, and leaves, no doubt). So anything beyond our yard, at this point in time, seems unlikely 🙂

Here are some that I loved, primarily because Alana’s personality really comes through in these photos!

We walked onto the back porch and she was so excited about all the leaves that had fallen lately. She is so girly, but also such a tomboy! She wants to wear nothing but sweater dresses every day yet loves to play in the dirt, with sticks and leaves. Something about this simplicity of life makes me want for her never to grow up 🙁

This photo is definitely one of my favorites from the session. I love her expression and the way she’s sitting. Argh. Too cute.

Can you be a ballerina while flinging around a stick???

Then a change of sweater dresses was in order. After all, she can’t decide which is her favorite. And this session doesn’t even include her purple sweater dress that she wears almost every single day. I’ll have to be sure to get some of her in that one, too 🙂

And as you will see in the photos below, I am really, super, outrageously funny 🙂 At least my little buddy thinks so.

Happy, happy birthday baby. We love you more than the words we could possibly type.

And I hope you never forget the game we play almost every day.

You say to me “I love you mom. How much do you love me?”

And then I say to you, “I love you all the way from Chattanooga, down to Fort Lauderdale, out to South Dakota, back down to Fort Lauderdale, and all the way back up to Chattanooga.”

And then you say to me. “Wow, mom! That’s a lot of love!” 

  • Tobi Weldon - November 20, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    absolutely precious – what a great photo shoot of your girl. She looks so grown up and just gets more beautiful every year.

  • Robert - November 21, 2011 - 8:29 am

    So fun! Love the smiles and the shot sitting on the porch steps. She’s so adorable.

  • Lacey - November 21, 2011 - 10:47 am

    Love the one with her twirling with the stick. Reminds me of “Where the wild things are” for some reason. 🙂

  • Wendy - November 21, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    This is the first time I’ve seen Rich in her. Every other picture she always looks like you (or your Dad) but I think her and Rich have the same smile. 🙂

  • amber - December 4, 2011 - 2:40 am

    I just tried to doubleclick (iPhone tried to autocorrect that to double lick) everyone one of these pictures. No little red hearts popped up tho…so I guess instagram hasn’t crossed over yet:)

    Love these. She’s such a big girl now!

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