a year together

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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one_year_cupcake_photo03You are one. I don’t have a baby any more, because a baby does not wiggle away and start walking around while you try to change them. A baby does not pass the dogs their wooden blocks because they think it’s funny to watch them chew on them. A baby does not start clapping and dancing when they hear their favorite song. Yes, you will always be our baby, but these days you are so much less like one.

Your dad and I still look over at each other and can hardly believe you are ours. A year ago, minutes before you were born my midwife was telling me “he’s almost there” and everyone was cheering me to the finish line of labor. You came out and much to her surprise (and almost everyone else who guessed your gender) you were not a boy but a girl! Your dad was so happy as he hoped for a girl and I felt like I knew it all along. I had a dream a that we would have a girl a year before you came and I couldn’t tell if it was my mind playing tricks on me or a sign. So, when you came, in a way I felt like I knew you… even though it was the day we first met.

From that point on everything in our lives changed. Time together was more precious as was time by myself. Life revolved around when you slept and ate and I was focused only on that. I’m so happy that I took time off to dedicate to you, even though I look back at those days and can’t always remember clearly through the post baby fog. You responded to the sound of my voice and felt at home in my arms and soon your smiles and coos were intentionally for us, if they weren’t all along.

It was hard to get used to my new life, and I know the same was true for you, but we tried to find rhythm. For me, everything had to be done more quickly or be simplified if I wanted to accomplish it. If it ever was about me those days ended when you came into the picture… and in many ways for that I am grateful. I am happy to live a life that pours into another and who better than you? You are teaching me to do so in other areas of my life as I seek to be less self seeking and more giving.

For you, as soon as something was established it would change, and lifting your head up turned into rolling over, which turned into sitting and then crawling and now walking! Your teeth came in two waves and as soon as we started feeding you solid food you put them to good use. You traveled with us, especially in the summer when I photographed weddings every weekend, and spent those days usually with your dad going on adventures. Through it all you have been a remarkably happy and easy going baby, and we can’t wait to see how your personality continues to emerge.

At this point in your life it seems as though we’ve reached the top of a mountain. You eat well, you sleep for roughly 12 hours at night from 6:30pm – 6:30 am and you love interaction and play. It’s a world of difference from one year ago. I know we have a lot more climbing to do as we help shape the person you will become, but I love being a part of your life and I know the same is true for your dad. We’ll climb some real mountains along the way and here’s to another year of adventure with you.

Happy birthday Daphne!

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I made you beet chocolate cupcakes and let you eat one for breakfast… which I think makes up for putting beet in them. I’m probably not going to stopping making healthy or healthier versions of food however, but you’re used to that. Find the original recipe here and if you have buttermilk (like I did) use it instead of the almond milk + vinegar. Enjoy!

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