I first photographed this little cutie a year ago, right when she turned the big ONE year old. This time, we headed out to nearby fields to give her more room to run and roam than our downtown Rochester location last year. Running and roaming: two very important things to a two year old! I confess we used a bit of bribery to capture some of these images, up to and including fruit snacks, promises of hugs, and my personal bribe of choice with my own kids: an iPhone. Kennedy loved the music, and spent several minutes dancing with the volume turned way up. And she insisted on holding the phone herself. She knows what she wants.
Oh, Miss Beffers. Beef-a-licious. Beef. Baby Joy. It doesn’t matter what we call you, you’re always our little big ray of sunshine. I remember watching moms with their daughters at the mall or restaurants and wondering what it was like to have a little lady for a best friend, a little person I could tell secrets to. You’re more wonderful than anything I could have hoped for or dreamed of. I love every moment of being your mom; I used to wish that you could go back to being a newborn because I loved how you were small enough to sleep on my chest at night; now I just want time to stand still so I can drink you in, keep you from growing up, and freeze those moments where you just look at me, smile knowingly and snuggle up to me. This mother-daughter connection is powerful, so different from the fierce love I felt — and still do — for the boys.
You are soft and sweet and silky and curly and sassy and saucy and persnickety all rolled into one perfect little 16 pound(!) blonde-haired, blue-eyed, curly-cropped bundle. Pure Joy. Your middle name fits you so well and we flatter ourselves that we experienced a flash of prophecy when naming you.
In keeping with your independent and feisty spirit, you wanted nothing to do with me during your multiple one-year sessions. So I let you be, hung back with my camera, and just quietly snapped you exploring fruit orchards, running away from me, wandering through fields, smashing apples together, and tiptoeing around in your new little boots you are so proud of.
You may have turned one in November, but you’ll always be our baby.