This past October, a very special little girl turned three. And her mommy's heart broke just a little bit. Allie has always been such a force, even before she was born. This child, before I held her in my arms for the first time, taught me lessons on life, faith, perseverance and hope. Everyday with her is such a gift; albeit, a messy, silly, war of wills gift, but a gift nonetheless. Allie is fearless, passionate and so very independent. Named after my grandmother, who never met her first and only namesake, Allie reminds me so much of Gramma Alice. This morning Allie and I went out back for some Allie @ 3 Portraits. More of a tomboy than anything else, Allie did love her pink pettiskirt and posing for the camera. After the "shoot", she said, "Mommy, that was so fun". As most parents of more than one child can attest, you always feel like your first got so much more of you. Every breath, every blink was recorded on video, film and paper. And then your second one arrives, and you forget to remind yourelf to not forget to write down the day she first smiled, her first word, whatever that momentous moment was. So much of Allie's life seems to be on fast forward for me; it's gone by much too fast. So I'll certainly cherish this morning's mini-shoot with my Allie Girl. The twirling, the laughing, the posing and the smiling . . . and my heart breaking as I try not to think that next year she'll be starting pre-school and then off to prom. Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl. And please try to slow down on the growing up so fast, just a little.