Friday, November 30, 2012


This past week we celebrated two birthdays.
These two were born three years and four days apart.

It makes for a busy November.

I can't believe it, but ten years have come and gone.
Youngest has finally reached the double digits.

As a mom it is so interesting for me to watch my girls.
I was the eldest of four girls and now I get to see the dynamic from a whole new perspective.

Youngest has a tough gig.
Her whole life has been spent watching her sisters.
How they dress.
What they say.
What they do.
Trying to keep up.
And for awhile I was worried about this.

But this past year.
I've noticed a change.
She's coming into her own.
Figuring it all out.

She's no longer worried about following in the footsteps her sisters have made.
She's stepping out on her own, stepping off the path and blazing her own trail.
And I really like where she is going.

What I want to remember about her tenth year is this:

It has been filled with really good teachers.
She's become a Starbuck's Aficionado... loving caramel steamed milk.

She really learned how to skate and became a lover of many sports.
Her favourite pastime this summer was hitting the Volleyball around with her sister.
With all that backyard practicing she's going to be good when she is finally old enough to play.

She still has a hard time falling asleep at night 
and sometimes just getting through the night.

She had braces for part of the year. . . 

but now sports a spiffy retainer.
Only one has been lost so far.
Hopefully that will be it.

While her smile has changed, and the little gapped tooth grin is gone,
it still melts my heart.
Her love of all things furry has been taken to a whole new level.
I was told by her instructor that she was a natural in the saddle, much like her aunty.
There is one story I don't want her to forget.

It will be important to remember it
when life throws her disappointments along the way.

I want her to always remember what happened at horse camp.
I figure it's a good metaphor for life.

After the first day of lessons she was terribly disappointed.
She was in tears over her horse, which she thought was ugly,
"Tidy looks like dirt mom."
She was also afraid of him.
She didn't want to return the next day.
There were many tears.
"Could we please ask the instructors to give her another horse?"

Her friend Sydney was on a horse named Ribbons.
A beautiful little chestnut.
She wanted a horse like Ribbons.

Tidy was big and liked to nudge Youngest with his head
which sometimes pushed her over.
There wasn't any other horse for her,
so dad went with her the next day and showed her how to show Tidy who was boss.
By the end of the week Youngest was pushing back and once
he knew he couldn't get away with his antics Tidy was as good as gold.

What she didn't know until a few days in
was that Tidy was a retired Rodeo champion,
A champion who could respond to the slightest nudge
and had a gait as smooth as silk.
Despite her first impression, she had one of the best horses in the stable.
By the fifth day she thought he was beautiful.

As for Ribbons?
She turned out to be an awfully naughty horse.

So Youngest even when it seems like life has given you a rotten horse
and you feel like quitting,
remember to just keep on riding.

With a little work and perseverance
ugly can sometimes become beautiful.

This was definitely one of the best lessons Youngest received in her tenth year.

Youngest also donated her hair to Locks of Love.
She made the difficult decision to cut her hair for cancer.
And even though she has received countless compliments on this new look;
she has missed her long hair from the moment she cut it and is growing it out again.

She proudly owns the title of the first in our family to fracture something.
After a great slide into base during a baseball game with cousins, she was in tears.
It tuned out to be a hairline fracture and four weeks of her tenth summer 
was spent in a splint/cast.

She has become so responsible.
Trying things that I never thought she would.

Like her sisters before her, we loved watching her play soccer.
She played outdoor club for the first time.
This is one of my favourite pictures of the season.

She finally talked her mom and dad into a hamster this year.
But even so she constantly looks at the SPCA website for cats and dogs.
One of her favourite outings is going to Petland to see all of the animals.
Sometimes tears follow the visit because she isn't leaving with one.

She's still mama's girl.
And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Through my lens I can see her changing so quickly.
She will definitely be my favourite ten year old this year.

I see glimpses of the young woman she is becoming.
She is ten now.
No longer a little girl but a young lady.

Someone I can't wait to get to know better.

Love you Youngest!


(aka Mom)

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  1. I love this post, Dana. And I think someday so will littlest:)

    My littlest is a mama girl, too! I think every mama needs one of those!

  2. What an amazing tribute! I love your pictures and adore your words!

  3. She is beautiful. If she was around here, she and my Kyla would get along wonderfully!! Happy Birthday to her!!

  4. What a bittersweet, beautiful and loving post all rolled into one. Happy birthday to your precious 10-year-old.

  5. Happy birthday, and her smile is going to be killer.


  6. She's beautiful!

    What a poignant post about your lovely girl!

    Happy Birthday!

  7. What a great recap! Please get her a puppy!
    Happy birthday to youngest!

  8. I love her. I think my 10 year old(today!) and I need to fly up for a playdate. Okay, it's decided. xo

  9. Dana -- A beautiful and touching post. You are a wonderful writer and photographer. How lucky your kids are to have you as their Mom. Please keep posting. sue


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