the first time ever i saw your heart

Family Portraits by Chris Nelson

The first time I laid eyes on you, you were a mere blip on an ultrasound machine. That blip was the beating of your heart as you were nestled, warm and tight inside of me. Your heart, ironically, is still the first thing I see, as soon as you walk into a room. In fact, it’s the first thing that anyone who meets you notices, straight away–your big, gracious, caring heart that you wear on your sleeve. The joy in your heart shows through your smile and the warmth of it shows through your expressive, hazel eyes. You continually amaze me with how much you love your family, your friends, your surroundings and life in general.

Last night you hugged me tightly after I tucked you in and said, ”I don’t want you to go.” So I crawled into bed with you and we snuggled. I told you the story of the day you were born. You wanted more, more, more of the story, fascinated by every detail. I wanted to “lasso the stars and the moon and pull that rope tight,”* just to hold on to that moment with you. Nothing is as precious as those quiet moments between us, your heart and mine.

Alas, I finally tucked you in and said good night because the, “the sooner you fall asleep, the sooner that it’s your birthday.”

As you turn six today, and move from needing one hand to two to count “how many,” I am beyond grateful for you and your big, beautiful heart.

Happy Birthday, my sweet, loving girl.

Love, Your mom

Happy Birthday Lily*Quote from P!nk’s Glitter in the Air

Family Photos by the amazing Chris Cho Nelson



  1. 1
    Jess says:

    Happiest of happy birthdays to the sweetest little girl with the sun-kissed pig tails. She’s got the spunk of her mama and I wouldn’t expect it any other way. :)

  2. 2
    Meg Salas says:

    This made my heart so happy. Beautiful birthday wishes to yours <3

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    What a beautiful girl. I wish her the best birthday.

  4. 4

    Love you Lily!!! Your beautiful smile and soul make me smile every time I see you! You grow more beautiful inside and out everyday.

  5. 5
    Dan Pearce says:

    That was really beautiful. :)

  6. 6
    Chelsea says:

    My eyes are full of tears and I have goosebumps. So sweet, Mary! And she is truly such an amazing person – my family just loves her (and all of you!). XOXO

  7. 7
    Middle State says:

    Beautiful. I always go back to that little ultrasound blip when I think of the first time I saw my oldest girl.

  8. 8
    jen says:

    …how much am i loving the knotieties in the photo :P

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