letters to our daughters ~ june

As I sit and write this letter to you, I’m remembering the day you were born; exactly 5 days from today…4 years ago.  It was an incredible day, one of the best of my life, and I remember every moment like it had happened just a second ago.  Before you were born, I felt like I knew you already, and when you were finally here, I did.  I knew you; I could see you, you were my cells, my heart, my light, the very breath in my body.  You were incredibly small, I could’t believe how small you were, yet your presence in my life has been enormous.  Now here we are, and in just a few days you’ll have been here for 4 years.  I find myself a little sad that your babyhood is slipping further and further away from where you are now, and at the same time excited to watch who you are becoming.  You are spirited, independent, sweet, affectionate, silly, and, at times, a total stinker.  I love these things about you, these things that make you who you are, these things that make you so very “Wren”.  I love the way you still use the “f” sound instead of “th” (“sharing our foughts”) you still say “feets” instead of “feet”, and “s’use” instead of “use”  (the other day, you were so proud to “s’use the screwver-driver” to help me fix the front door).  You love “Plablo” from the Backyardigans, and you write your name in the most adorable, wonky, 3-year old way.  These little bits of your babyhood will probably disappear this year and I find myself wanting to write down everything you say, record every conversation we have, photograph your every moment; I want to freeze time.  That’s the blessed curse of being a parent; that feeling of living in a bittersweet space between the ache of the memories of baby and childhood, and the excitement for the next milestone, the next stage of your evolution.  For your 4th birthday, we sat down and did a little “interview”.  Years from now, I want to remember your thoughts, your opinions, the things that were “you when you were 4″.  I’ve interspersed the answers with images from a very special place.  A place I used to visit when I was a little girl, and that we now go to every year to take your birthday portraits (and where finally, this year,  you were able to reach the drinking fountain…all by yourself ).  So here you are Wren, you when you were 4; as seen through my eyes, and your words.

I love you Wren Alice,

Love, mama


What is your favorite color?:  Black!   Who is your best friend?:  Reagan.

What is your favorite thing to do?: Play at the pool and ride my scooter.   Where is your favorite place to go?:  To Uncle Jonny’s!

What is your favorite toy?: Ellie (the elephant)  and Thomas trains.  What is your favorite book?: Amos McGee!

What is your favorite show to watch?: Your backyard friends, the Backyardigans!!  What is your favorite song?: Montessori, Montessori, where we go to work and play.

What do you love to eat?: Potatoes (tomatoes)   What is your favorite treat?: Licorice and MARSHMALLOWS!!!

What do you like to learn about?: Making a necklace and driving a race car.  What do you like to do with your family?: Play and climb and go to Geema’s

Where do you like to go?: to Uncle Jonny’s with Elizabeth and Elizabel, and the pool, and to a bike ride.  What is something that you don’t like?: Cows.

What makes you happy?: My daddy.   What makes you sad?:  When I fall on the driveway.

What is something that you are good at?: snow dancing, and I turn the light on for Jonah when he’s scared.

What do you like to think about before you go to sleep?:  Ummm…riding an elephant, and riding a horse, and seeing an elephant, and watching Blues Clues, and seeing Uncle Jonny, and seeing Quincy.

What do you want to be when you grow up?: A person…Wren.


 { “4″ | june, 2012 | nikon D700 | 85mm 1.8, lensbaby 2.0 }

I hope you’ll follow along through the circle of letters.  I’m happy to be linking to Stephanie Beaty | Lifeography | Tampa Bay-Area Photographer this month.  She is incredibly pure and real in both her words as well as her beautiful work.

Letter to my Daughters | June 2012 » Kirsty Larmour Photography – Abu Dhabi Lifestyle Photography - [...] I’m lucky enough to have already had a sneak peek at Julia’s amazing images of her beautiful daughter so I can’t wait to read her letter too… follow this link to see Julia Stotlar | Chicago-Area Photographer [...]

Anne - *swoon* I love your photos and your words so so much, Julia. What a treasure it will be for her when she’s all “grown up”. <3

Karen Rodgers - It’s so wonderful to experience the circle of life through my daughter’s eyes. I can remember feeling the same way about her, but I know how she grew up…a warm and caring mother with a wonderful sense of humor, a heart so close to mine, a delight full of life and light. To my daughter and granddaughter…I love you both so much. Mom/Geema

Amy Lockheart - What a beautiful letter and stunning images, Julia. She reminds me so much of her mama. I love her answer to the very last question….She wants to be Wren. :) That just melts my heart. <3 xoxo

Sarah C - Oh how beautiful! The light in these images are so dreamy and she is just a little doll!! Happy early birthday to your sweet girl!! What an amazing letter you wrote her!! I absolutely know how bittersweet these birthdays are and you are such an amazing mama!!!!

Lauren - Beautiful letter and images Julia. I love your interview questions and her sweet answers. What a great idea.

Emma Wood - Oh your sweet little Wren Alice, seen here through your eyes, she’s just so beautiful and this is so heartfelt. These images, these words, they are all wonderful memories for you to hold onto forever, I’m so glad that you’ll always have them. Hold onto her tightly Julia, as I know you will…she’s so precious.

Karen Forsyth - gorgeous, just gorgeous. i adore the last image, so much.

cynthia stotlar - What a lovely way to memorialize the days and years as they slip by….I see a book!! You are such am amazing woman! I am blessed to know you and have you in the family.

heidi - These are some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen. Really. Truly. Such lovely light and she is beyond precious!!!

Kirsty-Abu Dhabi - Oh Julia, I knew this was going to be a beautiful one but the perfect mix of your words and images to tell the story of Wren just as she is right now could not have been put together better – Happy Birthday to your dear sweet daughter xxxx

Jon Rodgers - Your words and images of Wren warm my heart with thoughts of a little girl I once knew who’s fleeting words and images still occasionally float into memory like a butterfly lighting for a moment, only to flutter away leaving traces of wonder and love. 

Rashmi - What is something that you don’t like?: Cows

haha!! I love love love this interview. I am so going to copy you Julia! Gosh.. it is so sad to forget these little gems of memories, you will be so glad to have written them down many years from now. And the photos of your sweet Wren.. absolutely gorgeous. The last one with her fingers in her mouth and the light behind her.. stunning.. she is beautiful child. <3

jaime lackey - i adore this!!!! your words never cease to amaze me and make me tear up! i am so glad you are doing this for her! i love the interview idea. i am sooo going to do that starting tonight!

Jody - I love the interview! I wanted to do one for Ben too, but didn’t want to wake him up. I may have to add it in. Also, this quote really hit home for me Julia… “That’s the blessed curse of being a parent; that feeling of living in a bittersweet space between the ache of the memories of baby and childhood, and the excitement for the next milestone, the next stage of your evolution.” Stunning photos as always. My favorite (although hard to choose) is the BW of her on the path. So sweet.

Jes Gwozdz - Licorice and Marshmallows? Now that’s my kind of girl! :)

Katrina Stewart - Loved reading your letter and her interview. Beautiful pictures Julia.

Letters to Our Sons – January » Jessica Gwozdz Photography – Chicago maternity, newborn, child, and family photographer - [...] was inspired by a blog post that Mrs. Stotlar did for Wren a few months ago. It was an interview with Wren for her birthday. Since you just turned 7 I thought I could do the [...]

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