Happy Birthday, Dorothy Jane! | McGowan Images Blog


Happy Birthday, Dorothy Jane!

One year ago today, I was checking into the hospital. I was nervous and excited and READY.

Today, you’re trying to walk, and getting better at verbally communicating, and you totally run the show around here. You just keep getting more amazing. I am nervous and excited and READY for what life brings us.

Sweet Dorothy Jane, I never wanted a little girl. I admit it! I was terrified of little girls. You, my darling one, have completed my life. I am proud of you in a new way every single morning. I had no idea that a baby could be a friend, and you are. You’re my sweetheart and my friend, and I can’t wait to get to know you better.

Blogstalkers — I tried to write a long blog, with my feelings and reflections on this year. I just can’t. Everything sounds trite, and I can’t really convey how appreciative I am for the opportunity to have worked from home during Dot’s babyhood. This was a tremendous blessing from God, and I am so grateful that life has brought me to this exact place.

To celebrate this big milestone, I picked out my favorite pictures from Dorothy’s monthly portrait sessions… and also a few that are just life. I love that I have this collection, and we’re totally making an album that I hope she appreciates someday.

We start with the very first picture ever taken of my baby girl. This is one of my most treasured possessions. To have this image captured, of her very first breath… I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


You put your newborn in the grass?!?!?! Yes. Absolutely. And she lived!


At One Month :


Sticking out her tongue at Two Months :


Being completely stylish at Three Months :


Playing in the mud at Four Months :


A beach baby at Five Months :


One of my very favorites of the year… the look of wonder in her eyes here at the Texas State Aquarium :


Gumming on apples at Six Months :


Happy Halloween!


At Seven Months :


At Christmas time, Eight Months :


Telling us she’s “So Big” at Nine Months :


Naked baby at Ten Months :


The smolder with Gertie at Eleven Months :


And then, just a few days ago, it was time for Dorothy’s First Birthday Pictures!

One of the shots I knew I wanted was the classic, 1 Year Old “Smash Cake”. We don’t have a studio, but I have a light kit that I use for boudoir, so we set that up quick-style. Let me tell you… I’m glad now that we didn’t plan a whole day around taking Dorothy someplace fancy for these smashing cake pictures. Girlfriend was NOT having it. It was a screamy mess, but hey… that’s life! I’ll be able to tell her in a few years that she was too prissy to bother with her birthday cupcake. 🙂

Here are a few wailing shots:

Even when her Daddy was holding her, she wanted NOTHING to do with that cake!

Luckily, Dot’s anxiety seems completely cake-directed. When we did the other set of birthday pictures, the ones that are supposed to show off how much she’s changed, she was all smiles and squeals.

So, now we know… Dorothy isn’t down with a mess, but she’s all for playing supermodel!


You are so beautiful, my dear, in your face and in your sweet spirit!

undefinedundefinedundefined Happy Birthday, Dorothy. We’re so honored to have you as a part of our family… you definitely bring the sass!

Blogstalkers — that’s it! We’ve officially documented every month of Dorothy’s first year. Several of you have lamented both here and on Facebook about the monthly posts being gone, and it’s true… I won’t be doing this monthly anymore. But I’ll still post pictures of the kids from time to time. Cross my heart. They’re too cute not to plaster their grinning mugs all over the internet!

I appreciate all the birthday wishes for Dorothy… you guys are really amazing! We’re going to print this out and put it in the back of the birthday album we’re making for her, so she’ll always know what a celebrity she was as a tiny tot. 🙂

  1. MeaganB says:

    I’m a complete mess. It’s six o’clock in the morning, and I’ve already laughed, and cried, remembering your first year of sweet life. You’ve turned my heart a little softer over the last 12 months DJ… Because I’ve never been much for babies, till you. I can’t wait to see you grow up! It’s been a pleasure so far 😉 Love you, AuntMeg

  2. Bobbileigh says:

    I’ve never met Dorothy but I remember reading this blog when she was born. I am not a big fan of baby pictures but I have to say every single month I have looked forward to the sassy and adorable pictures we get to see here and I am even sad that they will end. Happy Birthday Dorothy!

  3. stephanie says:

    She was beautiful from the moment she was born! Thank you for sharing her first year with us. You have every right to be proud. Happy Birthday Dorothy!

  4. betsy says:

    ugh. i die. the black tutu and that shirt! freaking adorable. BEST outfit thus far in my opinion

  5. grom says:

    O Chelsea, you have done such a marvelous job of capturing the true Dottie and I’m so glad that you were able to save these special moments for the ones who love her.(even the ones who have never met her)You have been so generous toward us with your children and I will be forever thankful for all the pictures we’ve gotten over the last year (both of Dot and Jack)
    Baby Dot you have given me so much joy and I think every time I see you that you’ve grown more beautiful and your little personality has opened up a bit more. Always keep that beautiful smile and remember that Grandmommy loves you and Jesus loves you even more.

  6. Kayla says:

    The top hat is genius! This little girl is just precious! Ive had so much fun looking at all her pictures…Im a new McG blogster here but Dorthys birthday posts are always such a high light…Thanks for letting all of us tag along through her big first year! Happy birthday to you 🙂

  7. Tiffany says:

    This is such an amazing post! I’ve been following her month photos all along, of course… but to see them all together had me laughing, crying, and in awe of what a sweet girl you guys have!

  8. Christian U. says:

    Oh Chelsea and Mack!! These pictures make me want to laugh and cry!! She is just so beautiful and fun! You are both amazing parents!! and take wonderful, creative and stunning photos!! Love you both!!

  9. annie says:

    Sweet, sweet baby Dorothy – Can’t believe you are already a year old. Where has this year gone? You are such a precious baby girl and I know how much joy you bring to your mommy and daddy. Can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. I love you, little pumpkin. xoxo

  10. Amber B. says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Dorothy Jane!! Oh how I’ve enjoyed your mommies blogs watching you grow!! I love, love, love you even though I’ve never met you! You have some pretty amazing parents and I’m looking forward to the next year of watching you grow!! Great pictures that captured her great spirit guys!!

  11. Carman says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful girl (and handsome son!) with us for the past year. I hope you continue to post regular kid shots even though the first year has passed. I think I can speak for all your blogstalkers when I say that we love them!

  12. ChelseaS says:

    This collection is wonderful! It’s nice to see how her personality has grown through these pictures. I love me a sassy baby 🙂 The top-hat headband is perfection!

  13. Liesa says:

    Dorothy Jane: You’ve really got the coolest parents in the world. Look at what they’ve created for you! I’m so glad I got to meet you back in month 9-10! You were a complete flirt, and I know that your personality as you grow up will continue to amaze. The tip of your hat, the black and white close-up, and the last picture on here are absolutely stunning! Happy birthday to the one toddler I completely adore even having only met once! 🙂

  14. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday Dearest Dorothy, you always make me smile, love you baby girl.

  15. Courtney says:

    Oh Dottie, your pictures completely warm my heart and make me smile inside. You are gorgeous and I can’t wait to see more of your incredibly talented parents’ photos of you. The one where you’re waving at your Daddy is one of my faves, as well as the one where you’re being carried by your Momma. Happy birthday little lady! I hope it’s always as fabulous as you are!

  16. Ambo says:

    Happy Birthday sweet girl! You and your brother and your entire family mean the world to me!!! You are absolutely adorable!!!!

  17. Misty says:

    Oh jeeze…ohhhhmygoodness these are just…just perfect! I seriously almost cried looking through them all!!! She’s so wonderful, and this is a wonderful album! 🙂 <3

  18. Lyndie says:

    Happy birthday sweet girl! Keep spreading that contagious smile. When you meet my baby, will you please whisper to her the secret of your model-y ways? K Thanks.

  19. Audree says:

    HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Your baby is SO CUTE! I hope I get to meet her one day! 🙂

  20. Nicole says:

    Awww…love the one where it looks like she’s tipping her hat! And the black and white one following it is stunning! So cute! Count me in with the group that’s going to miss these monthly posts! Happy birthday, Dorothy!

  21. Kevin says:

    Awww so cute! I love that she has a different expression in each picture! And I forgot how great the gnome pictures were! Happy birthday to Dorothy!

  22. Mike says:

    ♪ It’s her party and she can cry if she wants to. ♪ Dorothy: you have incredibly awesome super-parents & a way cool brother looking out for you. You are so blessed. Your grom is right, Jesus loves you most of all! I haven’t met you yet, but I can totally see your cute, sassy personality shining through the photos over the last 12 months. Keep it up. Happy Number 1, Miss Dorothy Jane! Here’s to many more!

  23. Lauren says:

    I finally got to sit down and look and oh my gosh. To see all of the year in one place…wow. Just wow. She is so beautiful! Happy Birthday Dot!!!

  24. Renee says:

    What a way to remember the first year of Dorothy’s life! Happy Birthday Dot!!

  25. […] the monthly sessions I did during Dorothy’s first year, but if you don’t, you can see a recap of those HERE. I pray she always loves picture time this […]

  26. […] that we go overboard when it comes to portraits of our kids. We did monthly portrait sessions for Dorothy the entire first year of her life, we always do big birthday sessions, and man, we do Halloween up […]

  27. […] the monthly sessions I did during Dorothy’s first year, but if you don’t, you can see a recap of those HERE. I pray she always loves picture time this […]

  28. […] Quote from the source: … […]

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