Friday, December 14, 2012

A Teenager

A few days before her birthday I was feeling all artsy fartsy
and coolish, so I decided to set my camera on monochrome.


I can't believe this is our very own 'little' Middlest.
She was turning 13 in a few days.
Somehow looking at these pictures made it very real.
She was growing up... and fast.

I have realized that at least with girls, save for 'Year #1',
'Year #13' comes in second, in terms of the most dramatic changes in your child.

Somehow little girls turn into young women.
And it happens, over the course of 12 months.

That being said, 
I also believe the nature of a child remains constant from the day they were born.
The above picture may enlighten you as to why I didn't post 
the coolish photo shoot with birthday wishes.
While they represent a part of her,
they somehow didn't quite seem to 'wholly' represent my Middlest.

So I went back over the year to take a closer look
at the last twelve months.
And here is what I found:
You know what they say?  The more things change the more they stay the same.

There... now doesn't this look familiar?
Somehow I felt I was on the right track.

Notice the same expression and colour shirt?
I'm just thankful she's grown out of the habit of showing us her food...
at least most of the time anyway.

It has been a year of braces.
After having them off for a few years, it was time for phase two.
And a year of new glasses.
Many possibilities were explored,
but after many months of searching and searching aaaaand searching some more.
She finally found "the" pair.
After looking after a few double vision issues which you can read about by clicking here,
she also graduated to wearing contacts.

She decided two holes were better than one.

And that one hand is better than two.

Middlest is forging ahead to become a fashion icon.
She has become a fabulous nail artist.
I'm guessing possibly due to her ongoing addiction to Pinterest.
Her signature look however is a little unorthodox.
She only paints her left hand while leaving the right bare.

With just a few months to go before getting her braces off for good.
The transformation to teenagerdom will soon be complete.
This was a year of many sports.
Middlest is naturally fast and agile.
What I would have given for her talent when I was younger. 


She played club Volleyball and participated in school track, basketball and soccer.
It was a year of many coaches.  
Mom being one of them was a huge surprise to both of us.

After being invited to a summer Volleyball camp,
it has been decided.

Volleyball is her sport.
She loves playing it.
And she's good at it too.

For a good portion of her thirteenth year, Middlest did not want to be photographed.
Grandpa even enquired as to why Middlest was not getting her fair share of the Bungalow'56 posts.

Thankfully it seems this stage has passed.
And I for one couldn't be happier about it.
Middlest is a great sister.
She is also a great party planner.
She loves to decorate and make everything look great.
Both of her sisters have been happy recipients of her talents.

Over the past year,
Middlest has had much to celebrate.

She shows us in a very tangible way
how fortunate she feels to have been blessed with such amazing parents.

IMG_1425 - Version 2
And sisters too.
We often find her spontaneously jumping for joy and we just smile at each other,
knowing she is thinking of us.

A highlight of her year was a wonderful trip to Hawaii.

She snorkled and sunbathed and was a true connoisseur of the island's shaved ice.

IMG_0475 - Version 2
She is a friend you would love to have.
The life of the party.
Always up for a good laugh.

This year was the year of the iPod.
A lost iPod and a broken iPod.

And while we love and appreciate her wild and crazy side...

We also know there is a very thoughtful side to out Middlest.

Sometimes instead of 'being' the life of the party,
she likes to sit back, observe and wait before participating.
She is able to read people and has a with-it-ness far beyond her years. 

People are drawn to Middlest and love being around her.
Good friends are found at every turn.

This is especially apparent when we are with family.
Cousins flock to her like bees to honey.
And why wouldn't they?

While her sisters may not be as enamoured for as much of the time.

We all have a happier day because Middlest is in it.

Now lets be clear.
Middlest is not a saint.
She can be bossy and quick tempered just like the rest of us.
Telling her sister in particular, what to do.

Yet she is quick to say sorry when she has messed up.
And is always finding her family to tell them she loves them before bed.

As I've said before, she is in the middle for a reason.
She is the glue that keeps us together.

She can be old beyond her years

yet still be my little girl and her sister's sidekick.


Most days I can't believe she is ours.
Thirteen years have flown by.
She has the world in her hands.
And I for one can't wait to see what she does with it.

Middlest, you are thirteen,
and I couldn't be more happy to be your mom.

A teenager.

The parenting books always warned us about this stage.
But I can't wait, if it's anything like your toddler, schoolage, tweener stages?
Then this is going to be a whole lot of fun.

We love you Middlest.

Thank goodness God saw fit to send you to us.

We often jump for joy too.

...because we are so thankful to have,


(aka mom)

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  1. I'm jumping for joy myself after reading this beautiful tribute. And what a lovely, complex, and interesting girl she is!


  2. You take the most wonderful pictures of her! I love getting to read all the wonderful things you said about her too.

  3. She is beautiful. Absolutely wonderful inside and out.

    My favorite picture, though, is the one of you two together. Wow. That brought a lump to my throat.

  4. wonderful, wonderful. so let's talk about that book you're going to write and illustrate...

  5. Such a wonderful post Dana!!! Happy Birthday Middlest!!

  6. Happy birthday to Middlest! What a wonderful post, to read of the qualities that define this beautiful young woman.

  7. simply wonderful! happy birthday, middlest! may you continue to let your light shine with others... you heart shows through in your very smile!! and Dana... I agree with Naperville now... :)

  8. I would kill for Middlest's lips.

    (And her hair, and her smile, and her lithe frame, and her exotic beauty. But those lips are something special.)

  9. Happy happy birthday to Middlest. She is a gorgeous young lady already. And you are a wonderful mama...really any teenager that allows parents to take and post photos of them in a public forum is doing something very very right in the parenting department.

  10. Oh my word she is stunning. 13. Happy Belated!!! xoxoxo


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