Sunday, August 5, 2012

She is 10 (Sunday Snapshot)

Grace is 10 - 1

Dear Grace,

 Happy Birthday! Today you turn 10 years We can't help but think back to the little baby we brought home nearly 9 years ago. So sweet and innocent...not much has changed in that department. You have grown so much - physically, mentally and emotionally. Though you are still a girl, we can see the beginnings of the young woman you will become. 

Grace is 10 - 5
When you have children of your own one day (through biology or adoption), you'll find that you never know what you're going to get. Everyone is different and all have their strengths and weaknesses. We've been blessed to have you - which is where we got your name in the first place...By the Grace of God. your name couldn't be more appropriate. You're full of grace, carry yourself with grace...and we delight in being a part of your life because you brighten ours so much. 

Grace is 10 - 4

There are so many things that you'll learn over the next 10 years that we can't begin to tell you everything. Instead, we'll give you some advice gathered through our own life experiences.

 1) Be happy. This is easily said but requires work every day. Every day of life is full of good and bad things; winning, losing, happiness, sadness, hard work, pain, good luck, bad luck, accomplishments and failures. It's all there and we all control how we respond to it. Focus on the good, fun and enjoyable things in life. There are so many. Get through the hard times...."Hit, lift and drive," as Grandpa likes to say. Bad times will happen but once they're in the past, they don't seem that bad. 

Grace is 10 - 6

2) Let your light shine. You've always been a happy, joyful person who loves to laugh and smile. You can brighten a gloomy night and bring a smile to sad faces. Share your joy and love of life. Don't be afraid to take risks or be yourself. There will be mean unhappy people in the world who will be jealous of your happiness. Ignore them and don't let them steal your smile or joy. 

Grace is 10 - 2

3) Challenge yourself. Set your own goals and don't take the easy road. We grow by stretching ourselves out of our comfort zone; by trying and learning new things. Self confidence comes from achieving what we set out to do. If we let others set goals for us, we'll always be trying to live up to someone else's standard. Set your own course and enjoy the ride.

Grace is 10 - 8

4) Lastly, be strong. You don't need to be told this but it's good to remind yourself from time to time. Whether you realize it or not, you have overcome tremendous obstacles and challenges in your short life. There will be more but you have a strong spirit and your inner strength will carry you the rest of your life.
 It is a gift from God.
 Never let it go.

Grace, you're a wonderful daughter, a great sister and a beautiful person - inside and out.
We thank God every day that you're a part of our lives.
Happy Birthday darling.

Ni Hao Yall

I chose the first image as my favorite because of Grace's expression.
The last one makes me cry every time I look at it, I imagine
she looks very much like her birth mother.
A woman who I honor and pray for especially on this day.

Nikon d700
35mm 1.4 lens
ISO 200
1/640 sec.

The location was the Wisconsin Historical Society Building
on the UW Madison campus.
The stone on the steps and walkway were a natural reflector.

I wanted to do something special for her 10 year old portraits
and that's why we chose the silver embellished crown.
It's handmade by Kelly of the Love Crush Bowtique.
You can find her here and here.

27 kind words:

Kate said...

I love them all Gail. Grace IS a beautiful girl...and you are so so blessed. Happy birthday...may she have a wonderful day and year ahead!

Courtney said...

Happy Birthday! She is such a beauty. I am sure this year will be a wonderful year!

Jodee said...

Happy birthday to your sweet gal! I love, love, love these pictures and post! You are one blessed mama!

Isa + Steph + Sijia said...

Hard to say which one is the best one, they are all beautiful! She's definitely aging with grace ;)

Happy Birthday!!! Bon anniversaire!!!

RamblingMother said...

Happy Birthday!

Life with Kaishon said...

This made me cry. So beautiful. Happy Birthday sweet Grace. I love the advice you shared. May she forever be happy. We can choose that every day! Beautiful in every way. Love to you. Becky

Chris said...

As always....
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Happy Birthday to your precious daughter. :)

The pictures and your words.....just took my breath away.

Eva said...

Your photos and words have left me breathless!

So tender and loving. Grace is so blessed to call you Mama.

Happy Birthday to an amazing girl!

Sharon said...

Stunning beyond words. Happy Birthday Grace!

Danae said...

Oh my goodness....what a beauty she is! Your words to her were just as beautiful. Happy Birthday!

Dita said...

I have always been in awe of Grace's beauty and have told you this countless times...but these images truly take my breath away. I see the woman she is to become...and her name could not possibly be more fitting...she is Grace in all things.

Happy 10th Birthday, Grace...the world is your oyster!


Stefanie said...

Absolutely, positively breathtaking, Gail. You have such an amazing way with your pictures.
Happy Birthday, beautiful Grace :)

Wanda said...

Gail - these are some of your best work. These images are just so perfect.

And Grace....what more can be said. Sublime beauty! Happy Birthday to your big girl!!!

likeschocolate said...

So sweet! What a beautiful tribute to your daughter.

the meaklims said...

You are truly amazing Gail! Your work is fabulous, that last picture of Grace... it is beyond gorgeous. I'm sure it was hard to choose a favourite.

And you are so right, Grace's name suits her perfectly... she was made for that name.

Oh and thanks so much for letting us know where the crown came from, another blog I follow had a similiar crown, but I was too shy to ask where she got it! It's stunning.

Happy Sunday! And Happy 10th Birthday Grace!


katrina said...

Beautiful Photos and advice

Terri said...

Happy birthday Grace! I hope you had the best birthday ever! You get prettier and prettier each and every day!

Hannah said...

Happy Birthday Grace! I can not get over the beauty that just radiates from Grace. I can only imagine that she is every bit as beautiful on the inside.

Your photography always inspires me, however this set is my all time favorite. It is simply stunning.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Exquisite photos of your beautiful girl!!

What a lovely and special way to celebrate 10 magical years!! Hope she had the happiest of days celebrating with family and friends.

Have a great week.



Chasing Dreams Photography said...

OMW!!!!! She is stunning!!!! Every single image is gorgeous!!! Your processing is captured her so perfectly...she looks like a little lady...Livi will be 10 next month :::sigh:::: they are growing so fast.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

oh Gail, your finest work E V E R! And there has been some fine work over the years. Absolutely stunning. You have out done yourself.

Happy Birthday to your sweet Grace. Not surprised at all that you found your way to each other.

Can't wait to hear her birthday party plans.

Enjoy celebrating this special girl.


Steffie B. said...

Beautiful Gail....she is simply beautiful.....she looks so grown up in these pictures....these are by far my most favorite of her yet.....


Sharon Ankerich said...

Words just can't say what my heart if feeling about this amazing post!!! LOVE every single photo~ this is the first time I have thought EK favors Grace but it it true~ that have such a similar face shape. Beauty!!! LOVE what you said about her looking like her birth mom~ beautiful! LOVE this post and love you!!! XO

Love Letters To China said...

I'm so happy we were able to be together at Grace's birthday celebration. You have one special little girl. She is as beautiful inside as out. Happy Birthday Grace!


Gina @ Gigi Marie Photography said...

I adore the crown & these are absolutely breathtaking!!!!!!! Is that right? Can it be that she & Munchkin have the same birthday- Aug 5th?? And a year apart! How awesome is that??!!

Stefanie said...

P.S. Back over here again admiring these Gail... and my Dalton thinks Grace is very, very pretty :)

Lindsey said...

Grace is postively stunning. Breath taking actually. Happy Birthday to her!


© Aging with Grace and strong Will
CoffeeShop Designs