Leigh Skaggs Photography » I am a wedding and portrait photographer in Hampton Roads Virginia.

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To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!

How did this happen?  I know how cliché it is to say, “you were just a baby yesterday”…but you WERE!!  And now you are 16 years old.  And soon you will be driving, on your own, and then you REALLY won’t think you need me anymore.  I am always reminded of the scene in Toy Story 2, when Jesse is telling her story to Woody about how she used to have an “Andy”.  And the song “When She Loved Me“, by Sarah McLachlan, plays in the background.  And her little girl, grows up and drives her to a pick up station and leaves her in a box…because she doesn’t need her anymore.   I have known this was coming your whole life…but it doesn’t make it easier now that it is here.

Raising Daughter’s is HARD!!  When they are little, you are their WHOLE WORLD!  Their number 1 playmate, their best friend, their snuggle buddy, their let’s play together “ALL DAY MOMMY”!!  But then they start to grow up.  They go to school, they make friends and hit the dreaded teen years.  And your relationship changes.  They no longer think you are super smart and wonderful…in fact they pretty much think everything you do is annoying and stupid.  (I know some of you think this won’t happen to you…and maybe it won’t…but I am betting it will!!)  And, ya know what??   It’s OK!  Because it means you have done your job!  You honestly can’t treat anyone in the world like you treat your Mom!  No one else would put up with the eye rolling and snarky way they speak to you, and still go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need.  And the fact that they know this, means you have done it right.

It is their job to pull away from you, to learn to face life’s tough challenges head on, to figure out who they are separately from you…and it is so HARD to watch!  Seeing your once cherub-like, sweet and naive Daughter navigating her way through High School is a very unique experience.  It changes her.  It changes you!  You can try all you want to give advice and be her friend…but the best thing you can do is be a shoulder to cry on, a steady rock in the storm and take some of the brunt of the UMS’s (Ugly Mood Swings).

And it is YOUR job to make sure that they know that no matter what…at the end of the day…you LOVE THEM!  And you will be there for them, ALWAYS!!!   So sometimes they test.  Just to see how far they can push.  And sometimes they push too far and you will fight it out.   But in the end, you forgive and you will forget…because you know that this is just a phase…like potty training and checking under the bed for monsters…and all too soon this will end.  And then they will be gone.

But see this is where I am different from Jesse, the yodeling cowgirl.  She got put into a box and left at the end of her story.  And if I have done my job really well, the end of my story will just be the beginning!  You see the magical thing about Daughter’s is that after all the fighting, bickering, pushing, eye-rolling, and yes…even hatin…they come back to you.  And if you are lucky, they become your best friends AGAIN!!  I think Morgan and I will be lucky like this.  She and I share a love for hilarious sarcastic humor.  Morgan is literally one of the funniest people I have ever met, in my life!!  And if you know anything about me, funny is high on my list of awesome personality traits!  She is also smart, kind, easy-going and thinks about things in a way I have never even considered, which I love!  It floors me to listen to her talk to me about issues.  She will come up with a point of view I never would have even imagined!  And I LOVE this!!

I LOVE YOU my little girl!  You will always be my FIRST baby, my number 1, my DAUGHTER, even when you are grown and have kids of your own.  And I will always be here for you.  There is NOTHING that you could ever do that would change that!  Happy 16th Birthday!  (Gosh I feel OLD!)

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Morgan got her braces off this year!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Kissed an Ugly Duckling!!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Had several hair colors!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Hiked to the top of a mountain!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  And was a GREAT KID!!  Proud of you Baby!!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!

Also Happy Birthday to my Daddy!  His Birthday got hijacked 16 years ago…I don’t think he really minds though!  We LOVE you!!!

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!

And some of Morgan in the Winter Wonderland…on her actual Birthday!  We braved the frigid temperatures to snap a few photos.  She was so excited to have NO SCHOOL today!

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Happy 16th Morgan!!  Love you!

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