Dear Peanut – 2.5 Years

Sweet girl,

You’re officially two and a half, and I don’t even know if I have the adequate words to tell you about your larger than life personality.

You are so fiercely independent, Peanut. You want to be the one to put on your socks & shoes. To open or close doors. To feed the puppies. I love that you are so confident in yourself and want to self-reliant, but I’ll be honest it definitely tries my patience some days! That need to be independent isn’t always paired with any sort of communication about what you want to do, so it tends to end up in you getting upset, but that’s a small price to pay to know that I’m raising a daughter who wants to take care of herself, and will be capable of it.

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

Some things you’re loving these days:

  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (you’re pretty obsessed with this one)
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • singing
  • coloring with chalk
  • talking in your own silly language
  • telling me to stop or go at traffic lights
  • playing in the sand box at school
  • oatmeal
  • getting tucked into bed with your monkey, Lovey & elephant
  • the kolaches Pops brings you
  • PlayDoh
  • pretending to be a tiger to scare us
  • and your baby sister. Oh, how you love your sister.


Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

You’ve recently started to want to have your camera in hand whenever I’m taking photos of you or your sister, and it just makes my heart happy! I love it, but it’s a good reminder to me of the way that you’ll likely follow my cues on what it means to be a woman, and I take that responsibility so seriously. There are a lot of lessons I need to pass on to you, but if you also end up with my love of photography too, that’ll just be a lovely bonus!

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

Here’s just a few shots of that big ol’ personality of yours… This first one’s your daddy’s favorite.

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, PeanutNacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

We have gotten into some major tantrums and fits with you… and o my goodness are there some good ones (I’ve heard “Leave me alone, Mama!!” more than a few times lately… I expected that at some point, but I’ll tell you I didn’t expect it this early). That stubborn strong-willed side of you makes parenting a challenge, but it’s so worth it. Because you know what? You’ve also got this genuinely sweet, loving side too. You make sure to give hugs and kisses almost every morning before you leave for school, and if you get out the door without giving me hugs & kisses, odds are you’re going to come running right back through that door to make sure I get them before you leave. You’re also always wanting to hug or kiss your sister too.

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

You’re getting so grown up… we’re working on potty training, which is a challenge, but you’re doing pretty well. You went to the dentist and did so well that they did things they normally wait until 3 years old to do – proud parent moment!!

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

Sweet girl, I am so glad I got this photo of you because I never want to forget this view – you right by my side with your little face looking up at me, traces of your snack still clinging to your mouth and chin, eyes sparkling, hair wild.

Nacogdoches photographer image of 2.5 year old daughter, Peanut

Keep living life ferociously, Peanut. Give your mama some grace in the process, but keep living full-force. Keep learning. Keep testing your abilities. Keep being silly. I love you to the moon and back!!!!

Dear Peanut – 2 Years

Sweet girl,

You’re two. Two.

You’re two and almost two months now. And I still can’t quite wrap my brain around it. I look at you sometimes and can see no trace of the baby I had – you’ve become a little girl already.

Nacogdoches photographer images of daughter at two years old for Dear Peanut letter

You are so incredibly full of personality, and it seems as though you’re just growing up over night. You just moved out of your crib into a “big girl” toddler bed, and you have started to sometimes be able to use the potty like a big girl. These things both made my heart swell with pride and my eyes tear up at the thought of losing pieces of you being my baby. But I am mostly just so proud of you and the way you’re growing up.

You are so incredibly smart and it amazes me the things you learn each day and how quickly you pick up on them. You can count to 10 and say your ABC’s on your own (a few letters may get a little jumbled from time to time, but I’d say you’ve got it). Your daddy is quite proud of the things he’s taught you – most of all the old-school wrestling moves/phrases like the People’s Elbow and Rick Flair’s “WOOOOOO!” You’re inquisitive and observant and although you’re usually busy running through life, you somehow pick up on the little things still – which is a good reminder for me to try my best to pay attention to the details, even when life is moving waaaay to fast already.

Nacogdoches photographer images of daughter at two years old for Dear Peanut letter

You’re such a talker, Peanut, and you have a few favorite phrases that tend to be said many times each day:

“What’s this?” (This is asked about everything, even when you do know what that particular thing is – I think you just want to keep the conversation going and our attention on you, so you ask us what everything is.)

“What haaaappened?” (This is usually said quite dramatically – and it’s often after you’ve dropped, ripped or broken something on purpose.)

“That’s really reaaaaally cold/hot/silly/etc.” (You love to stress just how “really really                   ” things are lately. The facial expression that usually goes along with this one cracks me up almost every time.)

“My hands soooo dirty, Mama.” (This is normally said similarly to the way you describe things as “really really” – such emphasis and emotion with it. Pretty cute.)

“I be RIGHT. BACK.” (I love this one – whether you’re going to grab a book out of your room, or throw something into the trash can, if you’re leaving the room you tend to start walking running out, then stop to turn around and reassure me that you won’t be gone for too long.)

“Mommy hold you!/Daddy hold you!” (This is said a loooooot, and while it may get old a little bit, it still cracks me up the way you say it.)

“No.” (Thank you, toddlerhood.)

You looooooove to play in the water – whether it’s bath time or in your pool or at your water table. Makes me think you may end up loving swimming like your Uncle CJ and I did! (Also this next photo on the right cracks me up – apparently you inherited the need to stick out your tongue slightly when really concentrating on something – this is a generational thing, so just own it, little girl.)

Nacogdoches photographer images of daughter at two years old for Dear Peanut letter

Some things you love lately:

  • Finding Nemo (or Memo as you call him)
  • FaceTime with family members
  • Oatmeal
  • Getting on the roller with daddy
  • Checking the mail
  • The sandbox at school
  • Changing diapers on your baby dolls/stuffed animals
  • Taking off your own diapers
  • Bathtime
  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Throwing things (which drives your mother crazy, by the way)
  • Craisins
  • School busses
  • The fountain at church (especially if you get to throw pennies in)
  • Seeing pictures/watching videos of yourself on our phones or iPads
  • Stickers
  • Tutu kisses in your ear


Sweet girl, you have such a big personality and such a strong will. This tends to make for some exhausting or frustrating days for me and daddy when you’re determined to do things you’re not supposed to do, but at the end of the day, I’m glad to see you’re a strong little girl. You know what you want and you’re going to go after it – keep that. Don’t let life’s experiences dull that determination, Peanut. Channel it (and that energy of yours) to go after your goals and your dreams.

You’ve also got a very nurturing side, which makes my heart melt – you pick up your stuffed animal after putting on a diaper and holding it close to pat its back, you give your baby sister kisses almost everyday and have started reading to her, and you’re willing to give daddy or I kisses to make a “boo boo” go away. Keep that too. Strength and compassion are a very powerful combination.

Nacogdoches photographer images of daughter at two years old for Dear Peanut letter

Peanut, as you keep getting older, smarter and more strong-willed, remember to be patient and forgiving of your mama. I may not have the best parenting days everyday, but know that I’m trying my best and love you immensely. You have taught me so many life lessons, and I hope I’m able to give back even a portion of that to you.

And as we get closer to your sister’s arrival, know that while my time may have to be split between you two, my love isn’t. I will continue to love you more deeply and more fiercely each and everyday. You’ll always be the one that first made me a mama. Thank you for that, Peanut.

I love you, sweet girl!

Dear Peanut – 18 Months

Sweet girl,

I thought I was going to just write your monthly “Dear Peanut” letters until your first birthday, but I have to be honest and say that I miss them. I miss writing them and really taking the time to put into words what you are like at each stage – what you love, what you do and say, what you make me feel and think. I don’t know if I’ll go back to monthly letters, but I know I just can’t stop writing to you, Peanut. And I have the feeling that someday when you’re grown (and maybe having babies of your own), I will want to be able to come back to these letters and remember what those days and moments felt like. And maybe, you’ll be able to read them and see the similarities in your own motherhood experience…

Nacogdoches photographer letter to daughter at 18 months


You are the sweetest and most challenging thing in my life little one. But let me tell you, every single challenge is sooooooo worth it. You’re talking so much now, and really starting to show your little personality and your preferences. We may not be in the “terrible twos” just yet, but you sure do know how to let us know we aren’t doing what you want us to do. You know what you want, and you know how to make an unreasonable amount of noise when you can’t have whatever “it” is at the moment.

We get this face a lot… accompanied by your not-so-great fake cry (it’s also usually in conjunction with you rushing to us like you were in this photo):

Nacogdoches photographer letter to daughter at 18 months

But you also know how to show us affection now… you wrap your little arms around my neck and squeeze tight, and I melt. You say your own little version of “I love you,” and I melt. When I ask you how much I love you, you throw your arms so far out to the sides that they end up being behind you, and I melt. When I tell you I love you to the moon and back, you respond enthusiastically with “Moooooooooooon back!”, and I melt. Sure, these things may just be a repetition of what you have seen from us, but you say it. And you share those things with such conviction that it doesn’t matter that the phrase didn’t come straight from your brain. It came straight from your heart, and that’s even better.

You love going to school, and it is so fun for you daddy and I to get to see you socializing with other kids and bringing home artwork. You LOVE being outside. If you could be outside all day, I think you would. You’re not afraid to get your hands covered in dirt, which is something I hope you hold on to. We search for the moon in the sky, and we’re always on the lookout for birds. Every time you get excited about hearing or seeing birds, I think of just how much your great grandma would have loved sharing an appreciation of birds with you. It helps keep her memory always in my mind, so thank you for that, Peanut.

You still love bubbles, books, bath time and bananas. Your hair is still wild, although it’s getting longer and longer – and makes you look so grown up. You don’t always like the process of getting your hair done, but you love bows. You love our puppies – especially sweet Dixie Bear. That dog is a giant ball of patience with you, and she’s often a good reminder that I need to keep getting better with that. She lets you climb, hug, kiss and love on her. It warms my heart seeing you two together.

Peanut, you are growing so fast and learning so much. I hope I am teaching you the important things – love, kindness, forgiveness, trust, grace, respect, and the meaning of family (among so many other things). I hope I’m also teaching you the little things along the way too.

Nacogdoches photographer letter to daughter at 18 months

Sweet girl, you are my biggest lesson in patience, and and even bigger lesson in life and love. Thank you for giving me the gift of being your mama.

I love you alllllllll the way to the moon and back.