Princess Birthday Fun


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3-Year-Old Giggles!

This princess turns 3 years old this week!  We celebrated a little early last week as we did these photos with balloons, fun at a local park, sweet giggles, and even a made-on-the-fly cupcake to add even more fun!  When she found out that I give prizes at the end of photo sessions to children for doing a fantastic job, she didn't forget! Read on to hear more about our birthday photo bash!

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An Idea for Parents!

At a recent conference, another photographer suggested that I never leave home without a few balloons in my camera bag.  I immediately knew he was on to something!  I packed a few immediately and happened to have colors ready to match this birthday girl's birthday outfit! When you hold them close to the camera and have the aperture set wide open, you'll get a soft color at the edges.  Plus, they were fun to play with and gave her something to look at.  Parents - no matter how small your camera bag is, this is something you can totally fit in there too! Its a great attention-getting idea.  Tuck that idea away for another day!

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Cheeky goodness

This girl has such great faces! I asked her to put her hand on her hip and her mom was smiling because sassy faces come so easily for her daughter (and most three year olds!) but she suddenly got quiet. After some wiggling, running a race with me around the park, and giggling, she warmed up and gave me some pretty sweet faces.  These ones are some of my favorites!

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Princesses, Bubbles, Jumping, & Car Rides

When you turn 3, you suddenly wake up with ideas of exactly what you'd like to do. You can also communicate those goals to your family! Its a pretty exciting stage in every way.  Princess Gianna very much enjoys playing with princesses right now. Filling her day is imaginative play both with her princesses and also with playing "school." Now that the weather is getting warmer, she also enjoys playing outside. Some of the outside activities she enjoys are bubbles, sidewalk chalk, riding around in her cars in the backyard, playing in her playhouse, and jumping on the trampoline.  Oh if we could all fill our days with such treasures!  One of the joys of raising young children is to live all of those simple daily games again - through new eyes!

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On-the-Fly Cupcake Fun

My on-the-fly cupcake idea worked out perfectly for the second outfit of her birthday t-shirt and birthday princess crown! I put a jumbo marshmallow inside of a cupcake wrapper, employed my Meadows Custard (my first job as a teeneger) whipped cream skills on top and added sprinkles and a candle! Kids love whipped cream anyway and it was just as much of a delight as a real cupcake. We all know that kids lick off the icing and walk away from the cake anyway! (Or is that just my kids??) :)

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Pure Delight

The look of delight on any child's face as people sing, "Happy Birthday" is one of my favorites. It's pure pleasure and contentedness and just says, "I feel treasured!" While the birthday girl basks in love, her patience skills must be employed in a fierce way to make it to the end and blow the candle out so that she can dig in and then  - what fun!  I hope you enjoy these "Digging in" photos as much as I do!

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You're Growing!

I was blessed to photograph this little girl in one of my Bubble Sessions last summer when words and posing directions weren't needed at all.  The kids that came for those sessions were actually so young that setting up something for them to do is the best possible scenario.  They don't need any posing instructions; the situation provides that naturally.  This year, she is is nearly a year older and her speech vocabulary has grown in leaps and bounds.  She demonstrated how much she had grown when she politely asked her mom for a tissue and help to blow her nose.  It is in instances like that that you get a glimpse of how much a child has learned about her own body, needs, manners, communication, and knowing when she needs help.  A simple request demonstrated so much!!  

Seeing her grow both inside and out, I can't help but reference a favorite Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Song! 

Mister Rogers' You're Growing Song

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As a teenager, sometimes I used to roll my eyes at my mother annually recalling the day of my birth, but as a mom, now, I get it!  Each year at our little one's birthday, we go back to those early moments when we first learned that we were going to be parents, the stressful drive home from the hospital when everyone on the road seems to be driving dangerously, the first days with a newborn baby in the house, and first smiles.  Every one of those early moments is built into us as parents for the rest of our lives.  They contribute to our children becoming the people they do, for sure, but in this unexpected way, their birthdays are also the anniversaries of us becoming the people we are too...completing us, healing us, teaching us, requiring more of us than we ever expected, and blessing us.

Happy birthday to sweet Gianna, a princess with eyes that sparkle with giggles!

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Check out last week's personal blog story about our trip to the PSU Arboretum. 

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