Dear Holly: You are a Photo Shoot Waiting to Happen!

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

We recently drove to Jasper to further celebrate Papa’s retirement.

After our lunch at Top of the Rock, we enjoyed the scenery there, overlooking much of Tennessee.

As always, I had my camera handy. You just happened to be wearing your favorite rainbow skirt.

Because… of course you were!

I’m not for certain you were aware that I was following you around with the camera, because you were just simply being you.

But as you casually pranced around like the little rainbow princess you are, it might as well have been in intentionally photo shoot.

Because either way, you were ready!



Dear Holly: The Song Wrote About You- “If She’s a Princess, I’m a King”

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Earlier this summer, I challenged myself to write a song about you- specifically, about our relationship as father and daughter.

This past week, I finished writing the song and published it to my YouTube channel.

The concept is this: You are a princess. Since I am your father, that means that I am a king.

Here are the lyrics:

Never thought I’d be the king of anything/Or live in a castle married to a queen/ It never seemed that would be my reality/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Well I’m a king if she’s a princess/A slumber party in an Elsa dress/The proudest ever ballerina, the blondest ever senorita/I’m the beast and she’s the beauty/An interruption to my routine/She’s always happy when she sees me/I am royalty, believe me/If she’s a princess, I’m a king

My midlife crisis came a little soon/An existential view with doom and gloom/I was so confused thinking, “What am I here to do?”/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need



Dear Holly: Mommy Painted Your Nails for the 1st Time

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

All last week, you kept asking Mommy: “We paint my fingers and my toes this weekend?”

There was much anticipation for this event.

So Sunday afternoon, before you and your brother watched a movie with Mommy, she took you to the bathroom floor where she carefully painted each of your fingernails and toenails.

Needless to say, you were so proud to have Mommy do this for you.

I wasn’t surprised at all when I dropped you off at school on Monday and the first thing you did when you saw your teacher, Mrs. Kim, was to display your fingers and proclaim:

“Look! Mommy painted my nails!”

Yeah, you are such a little girl.



Dear Holly: Your Hair is Nearly Getting Long Enough for a Pony Tail

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

Now that you are 2 years old, the shift from toddler to child is becoming much more obvious.

One thing is that your hair is finally getting long enough to nearly put in a pony tail.

I only took you to get your hair cut  a couple of times; each time, you got a pixie cut.

But I insisted to Mommy that if we just waited a few months, you could have enough hair to pull back your hair so it’s not in your face.

While you would look adorable with bangs, I really like your hair being longer, now that you can grow enough hair to make it work.

Your current look started as what I called “The Unicorn”, where Mommy would pull your hair up into a sprout on top of your head.

Perhaps that’s the reason that one of my current favorite nicknames for you is Little Sprout.

I think you’re now at the stage where if someone who hasn’t seen you in a while sees you in person, their reaction will undeniably be, “That’s Holly? She has grown up! She is a little girl now! When did that happen?”

My answer is that it happened around your 2nd birthday.

You changed so much physically, as well as psychologically. You can talk. You can role play with your toys. You can throw a ball. You can socially interact.

This is what people are talking about when they say that cliche, “Don’t blink, ’cause they grow up so fast!”

Fortunately for me, I haven’t been blinking. I’ve barely been sleeping. But I have definitely taken a lot of pictures. And from October to May, I was able to spend 6 months with you as a stay-at-home dad.

I am grateful. Most dads don’t get to experience that. I’m lucky I get to be your Daddy.



Dear Holly: You’re Really Starting to Look, and Act, Like a Little Girl

1 year, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

There are certain weeks that I especially notice how much more you look like a little girl and less of a baby who happens to be a girl.

This has been on of those particular weeks.

Now your blonde hair is beginning to quickly turn brown. It’s also finally getting a bit longer, and when we put a bow in your hair, it reveals your pretty little face.

You’re now less than 2 months away from turning 2 years-old.

Now, you walk.

You’re beginning to talk.

And this past weekend, you even decided to use the potty instead of use your diaper.

One of the reasons I write these letters to you every week is to help prevent living the cliche about kids growing up too fast.

By examining pictures of you each week and documenting my perception of what you life was like that week, it helps me to put into perspective the little things I might otherwise be overlooking.

Clearly, the theme of this week is this: Holly is really starting to look, and act like, a little girl.

I feel especially close to you in that since October, I have been working from home. So you and I spend a lot of time together. I get to see what you’re like during the day time when you used to be at school all day.

You and I have built a special bond. I understand that part of it is that you’re learning to communicate more anyway.

But still, I’m grateful that in the midst of my branch closing where I used to work, I am able to enjoy spending my hours now taking care of you; while getting work done while you’re asleep.

I know that I will always cherish this phase of our lives, where we got to spend more time together than perhaps the average father and daughter would.