it's the strangest thing, time is. how i can feel like i've known you all my life, but marvel that you've already been here a whole year. i find myself loving each new milestone, but wanting to slow time. not so that you'll never grow up, but just so that i can savor each minute a bit more.

you are lively, Tess. beautiful, fun, full of energy, always ready to cuddle, and obsessed with your big sis and your daddy. you seize every opportunity to dance and you can light up a room with your giggles. though you look like you're 8 or 9 months old, you walk steady and confident. you are determined, you don't give up, you just keep going until you get it right. it's a stubbornness i think you got from me.

you're constantly asking "dat?" while pointing to things for me to name them for you. inquisitive, observant, nothing gets by you. especially not the crumbs that fall to the ground, that you absolutely have to pick up and put in your mouth. you don't want anything to go to waste.

i love how you walk straight into your sister's room every morning as soon as you wake up, as if you've been waiting to pick up where you left off the day before. i love that you have a built-in friend, but i always feel bad for those days when she's at school and you walk around a bit aimlessly, looking for her.

you're quite the daredevil, crawling up the sides of the stairs and out of shopping carts and under beds. i never quite know where i'll find you. although lately i just need to look outside and i can usually find you running around in the grass, playing in the playhouse, picking tangerines. you are naturally an outdoors gal. the minute that back door opens in the morning, it's hard to get you to come inside for anything. i love that.

as you grow, i can't wait to discover more little pieces of your personality. you are an absolute joy to our family and though we didn't know it, we were not complete before you, not even close.

happy birthday, my sweet baby girl. you are loved.

** all photos taken by Melissa Sniff [during the four complete seconds that Tessa was not screaming.]
her dress is Liberty of London from Target... remember that line? 
one of the main reasons i love having another girl: cute hand-me-downs. 


  1. this is so sweet! i love the pics...she's beauty.

  2. Aly I could hug her through the screen I swear! What a beauty she is. Happy Birthday sweet Tessa!

  3. What beautiful little girls you have!! Happy Birthday Tessa! :)

  4. happy birthday tessa! so fun! and that dress --- ooh, i am so in love!!

  5. she's gorgeous! happy birthday! :)