I'm a little concerned because lately my blog has taken a turn towards the sappy. Unfortunately, this post isn't going to do anything to put it back on its original course. It's about Harlow's one year photo shoot and every time I look at Harlow's little face and that delicate flyaway mop, I want to throw all snark out the window and hold my baby as tightly as possible she buries her heavy little head into my shoulder.

I love when she does that. It makes it nearly impossible for me to leave for work in the morning, but I wouldn't trade it for anything— even a leisurely commute.

Photograhper Jenny Sherouse has been documenting Harlow's first year since a few days after she was born. She took pictures again every three months (here's Harlow at three months and at six months), except we skipped nine months because Jenny moved to North Carolina and wasn't willing to shift her move-in date to accommodate a baby that isn't hers. THE NERVE!

Fortunately for me, Jenny was back in town at the beginning of November and took photos of Harlow just a few weeks before she turned one.

What? You thought we were finished celebrating Harlow's birthday??? PLEASE. I haven't even posted about the birthday party yet. I'm covering Harlow's birthday like I'm US Weekly and it's a Kardashian wedding.



We took these pictures in the garden behind St. Mark's Church, which we found out, is not really open to the public. Ignorance is an amazing thing though, because we showed up while a dance class was taking place inside and they said they didn't mind if we passed through to the back. 

The garden is hands down one of the most beautiful hidden gems in New York City. Not that I'm encouraging anybody else to trespass…



For the occasion, I busted out a pretty little headband for Harlow. I don't know why I was always so opposed to headbands on Mazzy when she was a baby. On Harlow, they look just perfect.





Harlow recently started walking, so she tested out her legs on a real challenge— uneven cobblestone. 




FYI— my favorite thing about the pictures above might be how skinny my thighs look.

Mazzy was of course there too. Although Jenny did not get many pictures of her because my daughter DOES NOT STOP MOVING.



For a large part of the shoot, Harlow insisted on carrying her favorite new accesory— a 6oz. water bottle. I'm sure when Jenny handed it to her, she didn't realize Harlow would latch on to the thing like it was life support and cry like someone was trying to kill her puppy when anyone tried to take it away.

No matter. Harlow pulls off plastic just as well as headbands. 





Harlow has been going through a Daddy Phase lately and seems to prefer being in his arms to mine.

I'll get over it.





There's something about Harlow that makes her feel so special to me. I know it's mostly because she's my baby, but I think there is something extra that's hard to put my finger on.

When Mazzy was a baby, she amazed me in a very obvious way. She's gorgeous. She was very animated and verbal from a really early age. She has always created a big impression on people— both kids and adults— and they respond to her with equal enthusiasm. 

With Harlow, she's more understated. There's a quiet sweetness that just kills me. And an intensity that you can't really see in these pictures but never fails to stop people in their tracks. 

Harlow is watching and listening to everything. While Mazzy said a word the second she learned it, I think Harlow is being much more thoughtful in how she communicates. She hasn't said much yet. But I get the impression it's because she is too wise for baby talk. She's going to wait until she can form a coherent sentence to let us all know what she has to say.




And now I present "Extreme Cuteness on a Bench":





And "Extreme Cuteness on a Bench Part II: The Mazzy Addition"…



I cannot thank Jenny enough for this year spent documenting Harlow's growth. My family will treasure her amazing photos always. If this is the year we finally get it together to make a holiday card, it's nice to know we have plenty of options.




Good luck to Jenny in her new home! If you are in North Carolina, do yourself a favor and get your family photos taken by Jenny Sherouse. You are lucky to have her there and should take advantage!

(Tomorrow I will stop the sap and proceed as usual. Harlow just gives me a bad case of the happy tears.)