July 24, 2015

A Letter To My Daughter

Dearest Ireland, 
When I reflect on our last years Mother’s Day photo shoot, it’s hard to believe how much has changed for us. You were still nursing, crawling, and cooing. Now, you are helping me cook, sprinting and swimming and dancing, and speaking full and adorable sentences.
We were a family. We had a dog, a house in a beautiful neighborhood, I stayed home every day with you, and your daddy and I were married.
Now, our dog has a new family, you live in one apartment and one house, mommy works, and your daddy and I are no longer together.
I know sweetie, it doesn’t seem fair.
Grace is your middle name, sweet daughter. We didn’t know when we named you that you would be a child blossoming with such grace. It held meaning then, but only God planned it to be flawlessly a part of your design.
Ireland, this year has been such a transition for you. Even though you’re full of delight, my heart aches for you, and I feel like all I want to do is cradle you and whisper I’m sorry. I often do, actually.
But daughter-of-mine, allow me teach you something. Life can get really messy. We have a choice to either discover and expand or be stagnant and ache.
I chose to mature. I still choose to grow every single day. I want nothing more than for you to know you are treasured. I want nothing more than to teach you that you, too, can be unruffled in the midst of a storm. Your sweet little two-year-old self has been the lead exemplar of that. Gosh, I thank you for that.
Little girl, I desire to continue to take yearly pictures for Mother’s Day with my children. This year it came a little late, but that’s okay. I had once seen butterflies used in photos and for a long while I dreamed of doing it with you. When that seed was first planted, I had no idea it would become THIS expressive or profound.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to get there.” – Maya Angelou

I read that. And I FEEL it deep within my core.
That quote is the emotion, spine, and nectar of this photo shoot. One day I’ll tell you over lemonade, then again over coffee, and again over wine, how lovely things grow from such chaos. Just like my mom taught me, I’ll teach you about forest fires and how they are necessary for rich forests to grow. Or how the lotus blooms from muddy water. And mostly, about butterflies and the changes they go through to become so stunning. Change and beauty are parallel, but only for those who choose to see it through that lens. 
I won’t be the mom that shields you from messes, but I will be the mom that encourages you to allow space for expansion. I will run along side you and teach you how change and transition isn’t to be feared. I’ll shed tears with you, embrace you, and pray with you. I’ll laugh until we pee, kitchen dance, and forgive gracefully. I'm not going to be perfect, but I'll work hard to teach you about the freedom that comes embracing our imperfections, as well as the lessons they offer when complimented by grace. 
You are loved. You are a worthy. You are a child of God. You are my GIFT that keeps giving. 
Here is to celebrating motherhood! What a plentiful, frightening, adoring, venture it is.
My wildflower, I thank you for your grace during our transition…it is SUCH an honor to do life with you and experience the colorful world we live in. I see differently because of the changes we’ve gone through and YOU have brightened and expanded my path. I look forward to our abundant life together ahead. 
I love you!
Butterfly kisses,

The woman behind the lens is my dear soul sister, Jasmyn Smith. We have created a beautiful friendship, one I will deeply miss because she has moved to Hawaii! She's a really rad chick, she's super fit, and she's a really loving mama. Follow her, her work and posts will always bring you joy. She will be returning to Vegas to visit in October and is already booking up for Christmas photos. Get on it if you love her work as much as I do!



  1. Katie. These are beautiful. YOU are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for being so incredibly transparent. I am so encouraged by you, your words and your faith. God bless sweet friend!

  2. Ps.... Where did you get your dress? I absolutely LOVE it!!! 😊

  3. Absolutely beautiful Katie- the picture and the letter. I look up to you greatly! You are a very strong woman

  4. Katie,
    This is beautifully written. I recently came across your blog. And it has truly gotten me through this rough time in my life. Your writing gives me hope, brings me to tears because I feel I can relate, and has me laughing out loud. Keep writing. You have a gift, and such a beautiful soul. Xoxo

  5. I've never liked butterflies (they freak me out), but this just gave me new perspective. What a beautiful letter for your daughter to read some day. Lovely things grow from such chaos -- I love that!