“I’m Officially a First Grader!”

I’m not sure how it happened but Evelyn has said ‘so long’ to Kindergarten. Her exact words when I picked her up on her last day of school:

“Mom, I’m OFFICIALLY a First Grader!!!!”

Man was my heart not prepared for that! I responded with sobs I tried to hide behind sunglasses, and tried to thank her teachers but could hardly muster words because I knew said sobs would quickly escalate past the point of being discrete. I quickly shuffled her out of Wellington for the last time, again trying to tell her how proud I was of her, but at this point the tears had turned into crocodiles and were covering my face at a rapid pace.

“Mom, are you crying?! Why are you crying? I’m officially a first grader! I finished Kindergarten, that’s the way the world works, I grow-up!”

Who knew my six year old, Kindergarten Graduate would be serving up the life lessons.

It’s cliche and every time a friend has a baby I hate myself for saying it, but time goes so fast, it is so fleeting. I can’t wrap my mind around how I have a six and a half year old ready to embark on first grade; where does the time go? You don’t think you’ll make it through those years of not sleeping and having your entire universe revolve around a tiny human, constraining where you can go, how your life changes.

But blink and they’re officially a first grader!


To My Official First Grader,

If there’s one thing I want you to always know, is how loved you are. Not only by your Mom, but so many people, whose lives you bring joy. The second, is how incredibly proud you make me! Don’t ever doubt who your biggest fan is, I’ll always support you, even if I don’t agree with your decisions, I’ll support and love you, and no matter what will be your biggest cheerleader! You entered Kindergarten at a new school, with new friends, like you do most things, with a confident ease. You tackled the year at Wellington, an all day Kindergarten program, and while I sometimes worried all day would be too much, you ordered me to not pick you up from aftercare until 6PM everyday. You love being with your friends, engaged, using your brain, creating and problem solving, you never once faltered or showed me that all day school, (literally 8AM to 6PM) had anything but a positive impact on you.

You learned over 50 new sight words. You played on a soccer team for the first time and loved it. You are on the brink of mastering reading, something I hope you will love as much as I did growing-up. Reading will let your imagination soar, teach you about far away lands and lessons in love. You completed another year of ballet and tap; Evelyn, you were the best of the bunch! You knew your moves, you did them with confidence, leading the other girls during your recital, I swelled with pride as I watched all of your hardwork come to fruition as you performed perfectly. You attended The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Aladdin on Broadway at the Ohio Theatre. You were mesmerized and have learned to be the perfect patron during our fancy evenings to the theatre. Swimming is still one of your favorite activities and you even learned and excelled at water polo, during swim lessons this year. You are constantly writing and creating, your imagination is endless and your writing skills are impressive.

You still have never met a stranger! You make friends everywhere you go, never afraid to introduce yourself, you proclaim excitedly every time you make a new friend! Your many friends adore you, because you are kind, empathetic and forgiving. You’re easy to get along with, you let others go first and always try to include everybody. Being a good friend and treating others with respect and compassion will only bring positivity and value to your life. Always remember people remember most, how you make  them feel, and kindness cost nothing. Your personality shines as bright as your beautiful blue eyes, my sweet girl.

I’m still shocked you don’t have a hint of red hair, considering your Dad and the fire red hair you were born with. But you officially have your Mother’s hair. The exact same blonde highlights, thickness and body. We just spent Memorial Day Weekend with your Uncles, and it’s unbelievable how much you resemble your Uncle Jordan. The Wernecke butt-chin, round head, you guys were twins standing next to each other! You are quite the traveler for six years old. You dream about going back to Hawaii, something I promise we will do one day. You transition between Ohio and North Carolina with grace and share how much you love your entire family to anyone who listens.

You are finally tall enough to go down the slide at the pool! You sprinted up flights of step without fear and slid down with a smile, repeating 85 more times on the first day of Summer. I cannot wait to spend this Summer with you, Evelyn Pearl.

Love, Mom

Ooh, sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else

~Four Tops


As always, I have to say a huge thank you to my friend Nursah, the talented photographer behind Exact Moments Photography for capturing shots of Evelyn and I that I will cherish forever. I am so grateful she came into our lives three years ago, and has documented Evelyn’s changes and growth. Without her I’d only have iPhone pictures of Evelyn, so having these sessions means so much. Evelyn has grown over two inches since October, so every time I look back on the photos Nursah has taken, I can’t believe where we started, the changes, and where we are today. There’s that pesky time thing again!

I’ve linked all of Exact Moment Photography channels below. I truly believe the best thing you can do that you will never regret is, invest in good family photos, especially when you have growing kids!

Connect with Exact Moments Photography

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

My dress was the blue, Abstract Holly Dress by Saylor, from Rent The Runway.

I wore a size large and thought it was a fun, flirty option. I would definitely wear it with cowboy boots again to a country concert. Would pair perfectly with a jean jacket. I had to tie the back really tight to keep my ladies wrangled, so if you’re a smaller bust it would probably be an even better fit.

My headband is from a favorite small company of mine, Willow Crowns, based out of Texas. I love their products for myself and Evelyn, we can be spotted rocking it often.

Dress | Headband

Evelyn’s dress is from Costco.

If you’re not cruising Costco for wardrobe staples, you’re seriously missing out. We got her an awesome, warm, winter coat for $23! This precious dress was under $15, she will wear it a ton and it’s adorable! Her headband is also Willow Crowns, Lilly Collection but it is sold out. They’re always rotating their prints, once they’re gone they’re gone, so it’s worth a follow on Instagram.

Evelyn’s Dress

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara
    June 3, 2019 / 1:12 am

    I cannot love this post and the pics enough!! You both are beautiful; Evelyn is a beautiful reflection of you!

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