F i v e

I got back from my trip to Guatemala just in time to prepare for and celebrate Zoe’s fifth birthday.

Maybe it was the perspective that I gained aboad, or perhaps it’s just that there’s something about F I V E that makes me extra sentimental. I felt the same way when Jack turned five and I took him to ride the ferris wheel at Toys R’ Us in Times Square… He is so big. I remember feeling it with all of my heart.

The fifth year feels like the first big milestone (aside from the other huge milestones; walking, talking, reading, writing, etc.). It means elementary school and backpacks and the first regular meals happening away from our dining room table.


Five years old means that I rarely have help her get dressed or brush her teeth. She is making friends on her own and discovering the magic within self confidence that is earned by doing something that challenges her.


Five is swinging on the monkey bars and even skipping a few without regard to the numerous calluses on the insides of her hands.

She laughs the heartiest and cries the loudest whenever her older brother is involved; The sun in her eyes rises and sets based on his approval.

It is happiness and broken hearts moments apart and heavy thoughts in between.


Five means puppies and kittens and princess dresses all in one sweet little package. It is collecting leopard-print rocks and hiding them in the pocket of her white linen dress.


Five is painted faces even if it costs $20 because mommy the entire universe will crumble on top of us if I don’t get an entire butterfly on my face right now and I say yes because I can’t deny her.


I don’t remember being five years old, but that itself is a glorious part of parenthood: Second chances. New memories. Boundless hope and endless possibilities.

Five is remarkable and insanely beautiful. It was a day that she had anticipated and talked about for at least a year, and it was everything she wanted.


And, ok. Everything I wanted, too.


Join the Conversation


  • Happy Birthday Zoe!!! Beautiful pictures and words Jessica, as usual. 5 is a really big deal. We’ll be there way too soon as well.

  • This is a beautiful post. Hits my heart pretty hard as I can relate to it so much since my Mazzy just turned 5 September 18th. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

  • Happy belated Birthday to her. FIVE is a big deal. She is so gorgeous!

    My girl will be Four tomorrow. Oh how the time flies….!!!

  • Beautiful…just beautiful. Aubrey is FIVE tomorrow! I hope she enjoys every ounce of the day just like Zoe. And I love all of the wardrobe changes. We’ll be playing a bit of dress up ourselves. I’m going to do my best to soak it all in.

    Happy belated birthday Zoe! I hope you and Aubrey will cross paths one day again.

  • Love Zoe’s dress! Details please 🙂

  • I hope Zoe had a wonderful fifth birthday!! She is so gorgeous. This post made me all emotional because Moo is turning five in less than two months and I don’t think I can take it.

  • What a beautiful girl! Such lovely photos as well. Five is such a fun age – enjoy it!

  • Jessica, you have a way with words and photos. I was reading your posts and it brings tears to my eyes. I learned of your website on ABC news Bay Area, when you posted a picture of your new puppy and beautiful baby boy. Words can’t even explain how cute there relationship is. Thank you for such a wonderful blog, its very inspiring!!!

  • I cannot get over the adorable kitty overalls or sparkle tutu dress! Any change you remember where they are from ?! Thanks!

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