I still remember the day of my ultrasound like it was yesterday. It was my fifth baby, Dave was away for a couple of months, and it was the middle of a very cold Minnesotan winter. My mom had flown out, much to her regret, from sunny & warm California to help me with the boys. Specifically, to help me with 3-year-old rambuctious Cole.

Cole who I had literally found swinging from the chandelier, trapped on the top shelf of the fridge and cooking his own snack. At three. It wasn’t safe to sleep with Cole in the house. But this isn’t about Cole, it’s about Tess. That day we all piled into the minivan & drove to the ultrasound office. My mom was going to come in, since Dave wasn’t home, so I wouldn’t be alone.

Sadly the ultrasound office would only let one person in with the expectant mom. There was no way I could leave four boys, one of them 3-year-old Cole, in the waiting room alone. I was pretty sure my pregnancy was running smooth. I was 100% sure it was another boy. I told my mom it was okay & to stop the boys from breaking stuff.

I don’t remember much else. I don’t remember the ultrasound. I just remember sitting on that table, in my memory in a dark solitary room, holding that first photo of Tess. My daughter. A girl.

I must have walked out clutching that photo, a look of shock on my face because my mom panicked immediately:

“Is everything okay?” And it was.
“Mama, it’s a girl.”

I knew then what my face must have looked like to her, because her face looked as schocked as mine felt. A girl. After four boys. How the heck was I going to raise a girl?

It turns out… pretty darn well! Tess is an amazing, vibrant young woman. She is tiny, spunky, opinionated, curious, kind and fierce. She will stand up to the biggest of the big, defend the smallest of the small and treats everyone with a friendly kindness. I am exceedingly proud of the wonderful person she has grown into.

It’s been a while since I dragged her out of the house for a photoshoot. I really wanted some photo’s of her now. It wasn’t a perfect day. It was cloudy & rainy. It was last minute, I gave her 20 minutes to get pretty & dressed. Yet the pictures turned out beautiful. So colorful. So Tess.

First pictures are always awkward. She’s feeling shy in front of the camera.
I have 100 with goofy faces. I should share at least one. Right?
And 100 more with her beautiful, perfect little face.
The light was so dark & dramatic. I love the contrast with her hair.
I couldn’t decide between black & white,
or color. I love both!
So sweet. So beautiful.
So done.