Springtime baby in my arms, I watched tiny green beginnings of leaves push out from branches, crowning. Leaves uncurled like little fingers holding less tightly as they opened to the world. They fanned out wide, forming a hideout around us. Then, they scuttled around in a flurry of color to rest until the next growth spurt.

This has been the view from our chair, a real-life time lapse of the tree line outside my window, every frame of motion captured in the memory.

A whole year of tiny changes.

Tomorrow will be the first time in 12 months that I won’t put baby Gracia Rose in the rocking chair, add a rose to the vase and click the camera.

Over these months, I’ve watched her uncurl her body frame by frame, gather her strength, then hold her head up. I’ve watched her rally the hand-eye coordination for reaching out and grabbing soft petals, sometimes eating them. In the midst of our troubles, I’ve watched her first kick her heels up, then pull to her knees and then her feet, rocking the chair, feeling her power and toppling the vase. Finally, she discovered she could do cartwheels off the chair, giggling all the way down the mountain of blankets I’d placed below her just in case.

The vase is full. My cup overflows.

A whole year later, leaves burst once again on the treeline outside my window. But my view is changing.

I’m rising up from the chair where I’ve nursed this little person for uncountable hours. She’s on her feet now. There is a world to get out and explore, and I am going with her.


Tips for doing a Dozen Months of Roses pictures with your baby:
1. Pick your flower ~ Make sure you pick an easy-to-find flower. I love these Movie Star Roses, but halfway through the year, my local grocery stopped carrying them and I had to scramble to find a new source. Thanks to Oberers for coming to my rescue!
2. Choose your location ~ Do your photo shoots on the floor or a large bed. Things got a little crazy with the rocking chair as Gracia got older and more mobile.
3. Make it match ~ Use a plain wardrobe (neutral diaper covers, onesies, etc.) to make the month to month shots as uniform as possible. You may also want to try to do your photo shoots under similar lighting conditions (unlike mine) for better matching. This will mean accounting for time and season changes as well as cloudy vs. sunny days.
4. Keep clicking ~ Take plenty of shots each session so you’ll have a variety of poses and facial expressions to choose from when piecing the 12 months together.
5. Have fun ~ Even if you miss the right date and scramble for your roses and a clean diaper cover, pick the wrong lighting and placement, and you run back and forth between the chair and the camera trying to keep the baby upright…laugh along and enjoy the view!