the one about yesterday

Yesterday, you were three years old.

The day before that, you were two.

Two days before that, you were born.

At least that's how it feels.

Today, you are four.

I blinked and all of a sudden your chubby legs with all those squeezable, kissable rolls smoothed into skinned knees and bruised shins and painted toes.

You traded onesies for twirly dresses. Diapers for Super Woman underwear. Sippy cups for Starbucks hot cocoa.

You traded porcelain skin for freckled cheeks, sun-speckled by hours upon hours of bike rides and sidewalk chalk and rolling around in the grass.

I blinked.

Your feet hit the floor each morning with intention. You're on a mission from the second you wake up until your body gives out at the end of the day. You always have been an early riser-- beating the sun most days. If you keep this up (and we all survive it), I know you will grow into a productive, purposeful adult.

You pick out your own clothes, and I'm convinced you pair certain items together just to drive me crazy. Stripes with florals. Reds with greens. Frilly dresses with tennis shoes and socks with Crocs. Your socks never, ever match.

Underneath your fingernails are 2 days' worth of adventures and explorations and, well, dirt...perfectly disguised by pink sparkly nail polish.

I'm just sure your springy curls, soaking wet, would stretch fully down your back...if you'd ever let me comb them. Rather, you insist upon spraying on your own concoction of detangler and my hairspray and calling it a day.

You watch everything I do, and I watch you reenact it when you think I am not looking. You're the most perfect, flattering, yet brutally honest and humbling mirror I could ever look into. Each day, through your words and actions, you help me to be a better mother, teacher, person.

I blinked.

You're sensitive, perceptive, and completely alive from the ends of your curls to the purple paint on your toes.

You feel everything, just like me...and because of that, your heart will break-- over classroom crushes and sad news stories and friendship betrayals and lost opportunities and sappy commercials.

The good news is, you'll always have me.

First to pick you up when you trip and fall down.

First to pick you up when your car runs out of gas.

First to pick you up when your boyfriend was a jerk.

First to pick you up when you didn't listen to me and you went to that party anyway.

Nothing will keep me from you.

There have been days that felt like years.

Days I was convinced you tried to kill me with your tantrums, your attitude, your opinions. Days I physically felt the gray hair taking root upon my head. Days I spent 2 hours trying to get you to serve a 2 minute time-out.

But mostly, there have been years that felt like minutes.

A minute ago, you were a garden gnome for Halloween. A minute ago, you proudly pronounced "papa" as your first word. A minute ago, you smiled from behind your pacifier.

I blinked, and here you are.

Four years old.

Full of amazing, full of intelligence, full of wit, full of happiness, full of bounce, full of color, full of life.

Don't you dare change.

Yesterday, you were three.

Today, you are four.

Tomorrow, you'll be awesome.


  1. Well that was a good cry. What a beautiful blog. Happy Birthday Noelle!!

  2. Very sweet and well written. I always enjoy reading your posts. Happy birthday Noelle!!! You have a wonderful mommy!

  3. balling. my. eyes. out.
    Happy (belated) Birthday Beautiful girl, I look forward to photographing your new outlook at life in May! xo

  4. Your kids are so adorable! Great capture :)