5/08/2008

From Penguins to Princesses

Six months ago Penguins were all the rage. She couldn't get enough of them. But today, they're so 2007! Life now revolves around princesses — Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel and even that red haired girl who sings really well from the movie Enchanted. Such is the life of a 3-year-old girl.



Three years old...Today! Wow, it doesn't seem possible. Every parent says it seems like it was just yesterday, but it really does. May 8, 2005 was Mother's Day and that's when Graycen arrived.



The last three years we've spent every day teaching her to sit up, crawl, walk, drink from a straw, drink from a cup, sit in her high chair, sit in a booster chair, sit in a grown-up's chair, eat on her own, put on her shoes, put on her clothes, brush her hair, brush her teeth, sing, dance, laugh, play, sleep, make-believe, and talk to Jesus.

Today we marvel at what she has spent the last three years teaching us: love, patience, compassion, forgiveness, peacefulness and devotion. All abstract concepts that are developed over time and perhaps never fully mature to completeness. But she has also taught us something more concrete and tangible. In the midst of the busyness of life, we're so much better off if we follow her lead by singing, dancing, laughing, playing, sleeping, making-believe, and talking to Jesus. And after completing a task, clap wildly for yourself and then gracefully take a bow.

As photographers, we continually search for art and symbolism in each image we create. The following image speaks volumes to me. As Joy and I have been blessed to travel the world we've become increasingly aware of how enormous the world is and how small we truly are. As parents of a little girl who wants to be a big girl and do everything on her own, this image proves just how small she really is. The world does not revolve around us, we revolve around it. It's full of possibilities and potential, but one must go out and find them.


And finally, one of my favorite images that we've created in a long time. If someone would have told me that we would someday have a daughter and dress her up as a fairy to photograph her, I'd think they were crazy. But now that my perspective has changed, maybe I'm the one who is crazy.

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots: the other, wings." -Hodding Carter

Happy Birthday, Gray.

28 comments:

Bob & Dawn Davis said...

Grayson... you are an incredibly beautiful little 3 year old with parents that adore you. We hope that you have a wonderful birthday and you never lose your enchanted spirit. Happy Birthday!!!! xoxoxox Big hugs! Dawn, Bob, Bobby and Alli

6 of Four Creations said...

You are going to make me cry! What a gorgeous post. This little lady truly is growing up. I'm so proud of you both as parents. You are living out a dream in more ways than one. You are great examples of how to make life and work dance together. We love your passion and your heart for your beautiful little Gray.

Love to the entire Nudd family.

Happy Birthday Gray!

Jenna Walker said...

AWWWWW - SO amazingly beautiful. Beautiful words. Beautiful images. those last two images are just breathtaking!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Brandy J Photography said...

Oh my goodness this is such a wonderful post. Stick and I think the world of this little girl! Obviously she is just about the cutest thing we have ever seen, but she is also smart, adventurous and independent. She is impossible not to love which I am pretty sure she has gotten from her parents=)

We wish you a WONDERFUL 3rd BIRTHDAY lil' g! Stick and I are so grateful that we did not go with that 6' penguin as a gift, lol!!!

sticky said...

Happy Birthday, Lil' g!!! I am sure that your affinity for princesses is not a direct reflection of your father, but of your distant uncles(Timco, Jim Cook, and Regis)!

Stunning pics, G!

Courtney Craver Photography said...

I love what you posted about Grayson. My little boy just turned 4, so everything you wrote is exactly how I have been feeling! They grow up way to fast. I also love the quote at the end. I pretty much summarizes parenthood. The shot at the end of her as a fairy is priceless. I can only hope God graces me one day with a little girl as precious as her.

the mombergs said...

happy HAPPY birthday, Graycen!! May your third year be ever filled with singing, dancing, laughing, playing, sleeping, make-believing, and talking to Jesus. Oh, and don't forget to clap for yourself and take a bow- you're THREE!! yahoo!!

love and hugs,
~lori & chris

Karen said...

Such great pictures. We can't wait to see you guys on Saturday. It has been too long. Thanks for the tips on what she likes. It has been too long. And thanks for reminding me a stay at home mom who perhaps takes all the time I have with mine forgranted. I had such a rough day with them yesterday. I just need to stop and play more:)

Karen

Daniel J. Watkins said...

Happy birthday Graycen! Jonah celebrated his 4th birthday yesterday with a trip to the emergency room to stitch up a nasty cut on his leg...yep, that's my boy... ;)

Catlin Humes said...

I love the last shot, it so captures the spirit of young girls.

c r y s t a l said...

What beautiful images and wonderful words! Brought tears to my eyes! Today is a special day indeed! Happy Birthday Graycen!!

We are celebrating the one year anniversary of Brayson's homecoming from the NICU today. How fun that our kids share a special day!

Mel McLellan said...

Happy Birthday Gracyn! :) Joy and Garrett - she is such a treasure! Kuddos to you both for raising such a precious little girl! :)

Amy C. said...

Beautiful post in all ways--priceless photos, heartfelt words, a family that is obviously smitten by each other! Happy 3rd Bday!

Andrew said...

What awesome images and words to describe how Graycen has changed your life. Thanks for sharing, and pass on some birthday wishes.

Jim said...

I love this post and awesome pictures. I am sad that she doesn't care for penguins anymore because I loved little penguin (aka goat) and playing with her with it.


Tell Graycen if she no longer cares for her goats -- I want them!

Regis said...

Wow!!! Very heartfelt post. Makes me want to go and have a baby.

Heck, I'll just bypass getting married and start with a baby first. Thanks Garrett for this hidden message in your post.

Happy Birthday Gracyn!

Rika said...

i love this girl! watch out world, graycen is on the loose. enjoy the life of fairies and princesses because soon it's gonna be drums and eyeliner! j/k. can deny that she's a rocker-chick though!

Erin Cady said...

I wish I could have met her- she just seems like such an amazing, fun little girl! Enjoy every little moment you have with her! They all grow up way too fast. The image of Graycen in the field is priceless- please make sure you print that one HUGE and hang it in your home! ;)Congrats guys, you've raised an absolute doll.

Melody Hood said...

Thanks for making me cry.... jerks! Hahah... Very touching words about a very beautiful girl! I miss you guys, we need to go have lunch (Mexican, of course) soon!

Amy Martin said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing!

Heather Behlendorf said...

the last 2 images are amazing.....the light makes them amazing!

Brian said...

Beautiful!
Happy Birthday!

James Christianson said...

simply beautiful. you have been blessed with a beautiful family.

Joy Nudd said...

Thank you for all the heartfelt and special comments. Graycen will be reading this someday so we truly appreciate all the love friends and family have for her. We are so so blessed with all of you in our lives from clients, to online friends to family, thank you for taking the time to comment about our family.

What a special day and weekend indeed, and for all the moms, Happy Fabulous Mother's Day!

Jessica said...

absolutely precious. i found you all recently. i'm from knoxville. i love love your stuff. i'm going to see if i can find a mailing list. . .just in case you all do some sort of local workshops!!!!

J Sandifer said...

Happy B-lated Graycen! That last image is beautiful :) Congrats on your wonderful family!

Jason Armond said...

I don’t think Graycen could have asked for two better parents. I can tell from standing on the outside looking in that you have it all in perspective. Faith, Family, and Business I strive one day to get this in order. Happy B-day Graycen you have been blessed with two awesome parents and they have been blessed with a special little girl.

megan said...

wow. i think i've left two posts & that's how they've both started. you guys are such a geniune, lovely, happy family. your little girl is so precious & you are able to capture her wonderful spirit sooo well!
the pictures are amazing!

happy belated bday Graycen!