When I had my first baby, I felt an acute awareness of how quickly the days were flying. I was overwhelmed with tiredness and hormones, and trying to take in every moment, every first, every little bit of growth and change.
I worried that it would all go faster than I could take it in. That I would blink and she would be grown up and leaving home, when I was still enjoying her babyhood! I wanted to slow down time, pause it even…
But obviously we can’t do that!
What I could do however, was capture all of those moments in photos so they were saved forever. That knowledge went a long way to comforting a new mama who was frightened she’d forget it all, amid the haze of nappies and night feeds.
Lauren Kennedy is an Enthusiast Photography Course grad and she’s been in exactly the same position… as all mamas have been… new baby, all the things, moving too fast!
She started documenting her daughter Evie’s childhood in photos. As she grew, Lauren decided to learn photography so that she could take her photos to the next level. In fact if you scroll through you’ll witness the fabulous transformation in her photos!
Then just before she started school, Lauren wrote a heartfelt letter of love to Evie. It was the perfect thing to tie all those photos together and tell Evie her story.
Read on but be warned… you’ll need tissues!
Five and a half years ago your daddy and I welcomed you into this big wide world. You gave me the greatest gift and made me a mummy.
My whole world changed at that very moment, some changes obvious and others subtle.
I became a better person for you and I thank you every day for sparking that change and showing me the best version of myself.
Now after what feels like a blink of an eye you will be skipping off to your first day at school. You are just so excited and filled with much anticipation, I hope with all my heart you love it as much as you want to.
I hope you make good friends and enjoy learning as I did at school. You are just so social and happy it makes my heart sing with pride to watch you.
You have grown into a beautiful caring smart little girl and your Daddy and I couldn’t be prouder of you.
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I want many things for you in this world my love but if I can instill anything in you it is that I believe happiness is the key to a wonderful life. I hope you always feel full and satisfied with your life like I do with mine.
I want you to feel the love around you, confident and knowing that you are cared for, safe and adored.
But if you surround yourself with people that truly love you, and be confident in that love, you will always find happiness and satisfaction in your life.
I can confidently say at this age, today, this year and those past, you are a truly happy little girl. You are curious and sensitive, caring and kind, loving and stubborn, smart and sassy, strong and generous.
You are a beautiful child and I am sure that you will excel at whatever you put your mind to. You can be unsure of yourself and I wish with all my heart to help you feel confident in yourself and your own decisions. You can do anything.
You are pieces of me and pieces of Daddy all wrapped up in your own personality. There will be things throughout your life I won’t understand or be able to help you with but I will always be here by your side to hold your hand and talk it through.
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But they will be tears of excitement for you and sadness for me because I am saying goodbye to your babyhood and hello to your childhood.
I have loved every moment of your baby years and all the time we have had together.
I am sad because from this point forward you become more independent and other people become important in your life. I am selfish like that, I don’t want to share you and all your wonderful thoughts.
But at the same time I am filled with satisfaction and pride in watching you grow and share your wonders with the world.
Tell those you love that they are important to you.
Never go to bed angry, always talk it out. Pick your battles, not every fight is one worth having.
Your opinion matters but you don’t always need to give it. Be kind to everyone always, being mean is beneath you.
Forgive and forget and move forward. Regrets are a waste of time.
Live life in the moment and move forward with each decision you make confident in knowing it was the right one for that moment.
I love you forever and always my darling girl,
Love your sentimental Mummy.
A big thank you to Lauren for allowing us to share your words and images! Lauren is a family photographer based in Sydney, Australia, and you can see more of her beautiful work over here.