A letter to my daughter, April 2013 | Oregon family photographer

April 15, 2013

I’m Marla
Sprinkled throughout this journey are the little joys, moments of inspiration, and snippets of life that add color to our human experience. Join me as we embrace the beauty of imperfect perfection, the magic of a beautiful moment, and the endless possibilities of creativity.

Dear Eva,

I often think about you throughout the day. I think about a lot of little things, like the look of completed bliss on your face as we hug or snuggle; the way you sit at the table just happy as a clam as you work on whatever project you have going on; how you are always so thrilled to show me absolutely everything; the way you love surprises and how much you hate a ruined surprise… so much so that you will want everyone to pretend that it’s still a surprise; the sweet little things you say; even how grumpy you are when you wake up in the morning and I laugh because I think it’s so funny, but it just makes you more grumpy; how talented and accomplished you are at so many things; the way you love so well and think the best of absolutely everyone and everything… essentially, I have so much to think on so often, and I do. And it makes my heart happy. Just the thought of you makes me so very happy. It causes me to wish I could keep you forever.

Last week when we were out, you so wanted me to pick you up and hold you. But I couldn’t because I was carrying something and wouldn’t have been able to hold the both of you. Instead, I told you that you are a big, strong girl and that as much as I would love to hold and carry you, you are just too big at this point. You kept asking me though, completely exasperated that I would refuse something so wonderful… sure that if you asked a few more times, that I would concede and we would both be filled with joy about it. But I didn’t, and quiet tears started to slide down your cheeks. Not in a manipulative way though, because you were actually embarrassed and so sad about it. I asked about the tears and you said, “I dislike getting older. The older I get, the less you are able to do all the things I love most.” Ugh, it pulled on my heart strings because I feel it too. You were mourning the loss of something you loved much, and you said, “I wish I could stay little , so that you could keep me forever.” Me too, darling.

Every stage of your life I have loved the best and wished in my heart that it could be kept frozen in time… just so I could enjoy that exact you as long as I wanted. But magically you become older, bigger, wiser, different and I love you even more. This precise time in your life though, I really think this is my most favorite. You have such solid ideas with such a determined and inquisitive nature, yet you still depend so much on me and you still want my help and attention always. It feels like a delicate balance of growing up, yet still wanting and loving me as much as a young child loves their mama. Dependent, yet capable. Still oblivious to the hurts of the world, tucked sweetly and safely in our little nest.  Innocent and untarnished in any way; a big girl, yet a little girl at heart. I try to treasure this every day.

Unfortunately, you cannot stay little forever and this magical time in your life must change and evolve into another one. Through it, I will continue to find joy in your beautiful smile, your gigantic and generous heart, and your limitless and grand ideas. Every bit of you is my favorite, favorite.

All my love,



Marla Cyree of Simply Splendid specializes in film photography in Portland, Oregon as a newborn, family, and wedding photographer.

+ show Comments
- Hide Comments
  1. Marla,
    Every month I can relate to your words, to your love in so many ways. I read your letters and could imagine saying the same things..yet you find words to say them that are just magical and perfect to me. My daughter turns 9 this week and though she is counting down to the party and presents part, she has also shed tears. She tells me she doesn’t want to grow up, she wants to be with us forever..and it breaks my heart. I remember saying these same words and each year seemed to fly by a little faster. Now as a parent, the years fly by much too fast. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are such a beautiful, loving and giving person. I am grateful we have connected through this. xo

  2. elaine melko says:

    I love your work and your style. The last portrait of your daughter is such a real portrait. You can tell she is looking at someone she feels so much love for. Her eyes and smile are genuine. No hand up! Ha! great work as always. 🙂

  3. amy grace says:

    i love this so much, and it is so purely you and eva, i don’t think about anything else in the world when i read your letters. my own life falls away and i just soak up the beauty of you both, in all of it’s quirkiness, life, surprise, hope, and perfection. i know that each word is real and on purpose, and each picture is almost hard won 🙂 and then that open smile, straight at her mom. it’s only you and her in the world. now that’s a feeling i know. you are both stars in this sometimes too dark world. love you.

  4. melissa says:

    love love. so heartfelt and touching. as always.

  5. Summer Murdock says:

    So hard to grow up sometimes…love these images and your letter is perfect and heartfelt. Xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Browse By Category








My relationship with social media is definitely a work in progress, but recent work can be found at: