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a letter to my sons | virginia beach children’s portraits

“My sons, you may outgrow my lap, but never my heart.” ~anonymous

Liam (age 3) – you, my lumpy, my oldest, are insatiably curious, uncommonly extroverted and silly to the core. you’ve never met a person you didn’t like–or want to talk to. in so many ways, i wish i could be like you — always an optimist, forever looking forward, and yet savoring every moment (then dissecting what happened and why, over and over again). you have more energy than i know what to do with — and truly, if i could bottle just a bit, i’d be wealthier than my wildest dreams could fathom. you are perseverant and fiercely independent, yet you still want me to cradle you, and rock you, and sing to you, and lay with you “for just a little bit, momma.” i love it when you say, “hey, waiiiiiiit a minute!” when you pause to ponder something. and how you always dance with abandon when you hear music, as if no one is ever watching, but of course, someone almost always is. already, you are a voracious reader. and you have the memory of an elephant. you love your daddy more than most anyone in the world…but trains, jets, superheroes, cars, playdoh, swimming pools and trampolines are tied for a close second. you are never lukewarm. you are always passionate–for better or for worse. but when it’s better, it’s one of the most amazing things a mama can witness. and for now, you tolerate your brother (on most days). there’s not much more a mother could ask for–except a long hot bath and warm cup of tea at the end of the day. you wear me out my dear son, but you amaze me every single day. you keep my spirit young. how i adore you. you have shown me a love i never knew i was capable of. you have my all.

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Finn (8 months) – you, my sweet baby, are the newcomer here, and in so many ways, we are still getting to know you. in fact, you haven’t quite figured out who you are yet. but let me tell you a few things that only a mama knows. already it’s clear to me that you have a heart of gold. i nearly burst every time you smile at me because there is something magically sincere and true about your demeanor. you are calm. peaceful. restful. honest. you love your big brother in a way i can only pray that he reciprocates some day. you are a quick learner — in the span of three days, you learned to sit up, crawl and began to pull yourself up. you’d rather nurse on mama than eat the homemade food that i diligently prepare for you–and i think i love you even more because of that. you are social and perhaps, the happiest person i have ever met. your daddy is a close second. God has blessed you with a cheerful heart. it shines through and through, and anyone who meets you notices it right away. they also admire the curly mop of brown hair that sits upon your head. hair that is really older than your years–but makes you a bit of a novelty. and, i must confess, you are exactly what i envisioned my children would look like at a time when children were only imaginings for me. you scoot when you crawl and it brings me joy just to watch you move. when you are still, you twirl your ankles incessantly. the day this stops, i will feel like i lose a little piece of you. for now, i treasure it so. that, along with your newness, which is already beginning to fade. you are my little one. the sweetest muffin. my dearest. i love you to the moon and back.

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  • Nicole Z. - Super, super sweet. Thank you for sharing that! Your love for your children is undeniable, and they might not know it yet, but some day they will realize that they are 2 lucky….lucky kids to have you in their lives! Beautifully written letters. And I am sure they will treasure them always!!ReplyCancel

  • christine.s - i love your photography- so pure & simpleReplyCancel

  • Kristy Lane - This is incredibly sweet. My two boys are so much like how you described–I couldn’t NOT comment on this. I absolutely love your words and can totally relate to the spirit, love, energy and exhaustion that you must get from your oldest:)ReplyCancel

  • stacey woods - oh steph. you have me in tears. i love the way you love your children. you are infinitely blessed.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - Steph- That was wonderfully written. Both of the boys will love to be able to look back and read this when they are older.ReplyCancel

  • melissa deakin - oh wow.
    i have goosebumps.
    these are such gorgeous words…they are a treasure.
    i have three boys myself (6,3 and 6 months); life is busy, noisy, loud and lots of fun, and i couldn’t imagine it any other way.
    thank you for sharing these.
    your images and words are incredible!ReplyCancel

  • stacy larsen - Your love for your boys is undeniable, and inspiring. They are lucky to have you, and there is no doubt their cups runneth over. You have me thinking that this is something I need to do for each of my kids. They grow so fast, and it leaves you wondering where all that time goes. I feel so blessed to call you my friend. Oh and the pictures of them, well they are perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - oh you have me in tears. what a beautiful letters for your sons…….keep writing.
    your gorgeous photography with these heartfelt letters will be treasured forever by them!
    thank you for sharing xoReplyCancel

  • martha - oh…no words. just tears. tears of complete understanding. this is beautiful. xoReplyCancel

  • Robin - Niece, I marvel at your talents. You have the most amazing ability to capture in pictures special memory moments of time and also paint us a beautilful word picture of a mother’s love.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Makes me look forward to having a baby one day….ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Wheeler - what a beautiful post about your wonderful boys. thank you for sharing yourself, your love, and your children. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Penta - Stephanie, I must say that though I have never met your children, and it has been years since we’ve spoken, your children are a reflection of you…for that they (and you) will always be blessed! Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Courtenay & Michael - Buckets of love – that is what you have given us in your words and pictures. We love how the blue in Liam’s eyes just pops right out, piercing our hearts and souls. Lots of virtual hugs & love coming your way.ReplyCancel

  • Mike - Well beautiful…you certainly know how to make me feel like the luckiest father in the world. Even more so…the luckiest husband. I love you. MReplyCancel

  • alpana - you have a wonderful way with words and pictures both! I am sure your boys will treasure this forever. Beautifully documented.ReplyCancel

  • heleen/toddlertoes - oh wow. You’ve so inspired me to write a letter like this to my children as well. What a wonderful loving, deep, thoughtful sweet words. Love your work. This is beyond sweet. What a wonderful mother you must be.
    x HeleenReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - What adorable little boys!! I love your conversion – it’s rich and maintains the integrity of the shadows. Beautiful work 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Letters For My Firstborn « WOMAN MEETS WORLD! - […] Googled around to see what else I could find of people doing similar things. Check out these three: Lifeographer & CreativeMama & MommyMoi. I’m LOVING this […]ReplyCancel

  • Jasmine Stewart - You are amazing! I am in love with this idea. Thank you for being such a loving mother to your children; we need more like this in the world. And thank you for being such an inspiration to your readers as well! God bless. I wish you and your family the best.


  • Letters For My Firstborn « WOMAN MEETS WORLD - […] Googled around to see what else I could find of people doing similar things. Check out these three: Lifeographer & CreativeMama & MommyMoi. I’m LOVING this […]ReplyCancel

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