Long before the ultrasound, Erik knew Mary was a girl (that’s a story for another day). Still, as the cheery technician spread cold jelly across my belly he faltered, “you do realize it’s probably a boy?” He wrapped his hands around mine.

“Yep,” I chirped, “six boys. It will be fantastic.”

I was extremely defensive of my brood of man cubs. After the birth of each of my boys I was bombarded with the question, “So are you going to try again?”

Cradling my adorable baby boy in my arms, I replied, “Actually, I think this is a pretty good one.”

I adore my boys. I hope that’s evident. I’d take a couple more just like ’em. But I’ll admit to coveting little pink dresses, wishing I could sign someone up for ballet and admiring little girls who sat quietly at church coloring in a book. My adorable boys were a maelstrom of energy; I thought a baby girl might mellow our family out.

Heart- pulsing beautifully, arms, legs, skull, lungs– all in perfect order. I breathed relief at each measurement and nodded when the tech asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. “I want to be absolutely sure. 100% sure. I think, I can tell– yes, yes, it’s a girl.”

I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. Tears slid down my cheeks as Erik whooped for joy.

We bought a pink dress on the way home.

And now, she is six.

“Don’t worry Mom, I think six is still pretty little.” Mary reassured me.

But six is not a baby; six is a girl.

Mary, my little love, has not mellowed out our household– she’s a whirling dervish of energy. But it’s different sort of energy. She lines up pillows and cartwheels across them. She recruits the boys for games of ‘house’ and ‘store’ and ‘school.’ She sings and twirls and laughs at all the boys antics. Despite her vivacity at home, Mary hides behind my leg in public and rarely speaks to my friends. She is, as she expresses it, “a very shy person.”

And yes, she sits quietly in church and colors in a book.

If Miss Mary had her way, she’d wear jeans and t-shirts (not sparkly ones!) every day. My obsession with dresses baffles her. Still, who can resist twirling in a garden on a snowy winter day? Many thanks to my friends Kit and Kevin for inviting us to the greenhouse.

wanna know how she really feels about photos?

January 20, 2010
January 25, 2010



  1. Jan Russell

    January 22, 2010

    She is an absolute dream – such a beautiful birthday girl! I am so glad she indulges you with the dresses, because oh my, she is perfection when she twirls in them! Happy Birthday Mary!!!

  2. Brooke

    January 22, 2010

    six is not a baby, six is a BEAUTIFUL little girl. happy birthday sweet mary. i know all about girls not wanting to wear dressy clothes…

  3. Selwyn

    January 22, 2010

    What a stunning little girl!

    And pics… always amazing pics.

    Happy birthdays lovelies!

  4. Robyn Lamoreaux

    January 22, 2010

    I know that this post is about your beautiful Mary but I have to tell you how much I loved reading about your response to having so many boys. I just found out our fifth baby is a boy. That makes 4 boys and 1 girl. I cannot get over the responses we keep getting. We do have one girl, and we do love her, but we also adore our boys. Just a little thank you for writing that about your boys….That was just what I needed to hear today:)
    I love Mary’s wardrobe and your pictures. Happy Birthday pretty girl.

  5. Mathmom and family

    January 22, 2010

    She is just beautiful. The pictures of the best of her I have ever seen. I see so much love in her, and so much spunk.

  6. Jeanelle

    January 22, 2010

    Happy birthday, Miss Mary. Let’s go have butternut squash soup again very soon!

  7. Linn

    January 22, 2010

    Happy Birthday cute Mary girl! She is an absolute doll!

  8. Blue

    January 22, 2010

    i need a much bigger monitor 🙂

    your ability to capture moments like these astounds me. so glad you got your girl…i know you can hardly imagine life without her now. and what a delish age!

    See you soon M’dear! Mary’s not the only one whose life we want to celebrate ♥

  9. Sue

    January 22, 2010

    It must be nice to be your own, built-in, family photographer!

    Great shots!! Great birthday girl!!!


  10. Christie

    January 22, 2010

    Gorgeous. I love them all.

    I think she’s absolutely beautiful. Even if she’s shy.

  11. The Planet Pink

    January 22, 2010

    Just stunning, your Mary. Happy birthday to your sweet, spunky girl!

  12. Tracy

    January 22, 2010

    Happy Birthday, Sweet Miss Mary.

  13. House of Estrogen

    January 22, 2010

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, as always! Love that first one of the booties! She is a lucky girl to have all those big brothers! Happy Birthday, mary!

  14. Trainer Momma

    January 22, 2010

    Again, your photos leave me speechless. What a joyful mother you are. I love it when you post — I know I’m going to be a better mother that day after reading your words. Thank you.

  15. Chelle

    January 22, 2010

    You heard it in person this morn, but I’ve just goota say it again.

    These pictures are breathtaking. (but that’s kinda how you roll….)

    : )

  16. Kerri

    January 22, 2010

    Heavenly pictures. I love the one where she looks a little sour about having to be a little model.

    And funny. I have a Kathryn and my Sophia’s middle name is Elisabeth…spelled identical to Mary’s middle names. 🙂

    Six broke my heart this year with my Kate. It’s much too old.

  17. Denise

    January 22, 2010

    This reminds me of my experiences with the births of all my girls and then John. I’m just glad I’m not in charge. I would never have been able to choose as delightful spirits as were chosen for me. I know the same is true for you.

    Happy Birthday Miss Mary. Kisses from NY!

  18. Bonnie

    January 23, 2010

    I love the pictures! And the dress! And the greenhouse! And the adorable, shy, perfect little girl!

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

  19. seven smiles

    January 25, 2010

    There’s a guy in our ward {father of 5 girls} who constantly refers to our daughter as the rose among thorns {4:1}. I have to say, it bugs me EVERY time he says it. I love my “thorns”- wouldn’t trade them for anything.
    That said, the first time I did laundry after our daughter was born, I cried because there were pink clothes to fold.

    Beautiful pics–

  20. Kim

    January 25, 2010

    Happy Birthday Mary! I agree that six is a big girl.

  21. Jennk

    January 28, 2010

    Happy Birthday, Mary! I can’t believe she is six. Lovely pics.

  22. Rachelle

    February 1, 2010

    The pics in the greenhouse… priceless. If for some reason (like mothers usually are), you are unsatisfied with them, wait awhile… they are gorgeous.

Comments are closed.