Hannah Nielsen » Documentary Family Photographer Seattle Portland and Worldwide

the fleckensteins – a day in the life and a love letter

As the letters roll in to go with the Day in the Life sessions I’ve been working on, I’m mesmerized by the love these parents feel for their kids, as well as the wonderful descriptions of the children. One of the best things about doing these shoots is experiencing the every day with these families, and really getting to see first hand how different all of their personalities are…but there’s something special about the way a mom writes about her kids. This particular letter was written almost a month before our shoot. This mama knows her little ones!! Please forgive me for the length of this post…I kept trying to narrow it down and then finding more that I HAD to share! Maybe grab a bowl of ice cream or a cup of coffee to keep you company while you read!

My dear kiddos,

We have had a whirlwind of a year! Since February this year we have had bronchitis, 3 different colds, four stomach bugs, a broken arm, four trips to the children’s hospital, and a partridge in a pear tree! It has been unbelievable. We have been stressed out, exhausted, grumpy, depressed. But somehow in the midst of it all, there are still moments when I look at the two of you and realize that my life would be empty without you. And the rough patches are always a reminder of how much we should treasure the fun moments. It’s the little things that matter the most.


When I look at you, I see myself. You are full of life and joyfulness! You are a smart, sassy, beautiful little girl with a zest for life. You are my little performer. It amazes me that you have never taken a ballet lesson, yet you have studied videos of ballerinas and the books you read about ballet, and have learned the steps. You have natural, physical abilities and it is so fun to watch you dance and explore movement. You have also started telling stories while you dance—you love to act out the books you read and the shows you watch while you are dancing. It is truly artistic and brings me such joy to see you do this—so effortlessly. You also love to play outside and hit the baseball—which you do incredibly well. I’ve never seen a kid your age hit the ball so well—you even hit it over the fence in our backyard. In addition to all of this, you are a kind, gentle soul so full of love and empathy and compassion for others. I love this so much about you. You are always the one to help others and make them feel included in things. And when you’re not being included or feeling sad by the way you’re being treated—you are assertive and you stand up for yourself which is amazing to me. You did this recently at a friend’s house when two of the girls were leaving you out of things. You said, “Listen girls, you keep leaving me behind and I don’t like it.” They listened to you and the problem was fixed. I hope you never lose this quality—your ability to confront people in a respectful way and work things out. I know many adults that don’t have this trait—and you aren’t even four yet.


You are a curious, adventurous and determined little man. In February you turned one, and you were already walking and even running at times! You have mastered so many things; climbing up on the stool in the kitchen so that you can be a part of what’s going on, you will spend 5 minutes at a time just placing blocks into a bin—over and over again. Your calmness and concentration is so fascinating to watch—I can just see the wheels turning inside your head. When you’re not running and exploring, you are a sweet little snuggle bug. I love to cuddle you while you drink your bottle—and stroke your face, play with your beautiful, curly hair and sing to you.  The other day I left the house in the morning for work and as I stood at the door, I turned around and gave you one last wave. To my surprise, you waved back! It was the first time you did this and it brought a tear to me and joy to my heart—something so simple as a wave…but it is these moments that I cherish because it makes all of the challenging moments feel smaller.

Thank you for the fun, the laughter, and helping me be a better person every day.

I love you


This session was a blast! There was playing and silliness, and ooooh there was dancing!!!



Did I mention there was dancing???



  • June 5, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    Jamie Bodo - Beautifully done journalistic work! No wonder why you were so excited to share it!ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    Dana Halter - Just beautiful……ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    Dana Halter - Love the pictures, and love every member of this beautiful family!ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2013 - 8:56 am

    Mark Martinez - This is amazing work Hannah! Beautiful job of capturing this wonderful family.ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2013 - 2:14 am

    Michelle S Hanks - You have found your true calling. These are Uh-Maize-ING ! The little girl twirling in the yellow tutu, perfect. That dog, oh my, he’s fabulous! Those bath times are so much fun. Another beautiful shoot!ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 8:39 am

    Jackie - Such a fun shoot! Love the dancing!!ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Kristen joy Emack - Love the close ups…the one in the first blog post of dad and daughter in kitchen that just shows their feet…lovely. Nice work. Also love the close up of little girl in tub…simple and beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 8:43 am

    Rebecca - Oh so so beautiful! You have such an amazing eye Hannah. I love the letters to the children as well. What beauty! xoReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 10:07 am

    Ashley Noelle Edwards - How fun! Love that little tutu!ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 11:09 am

    Megan - These are amazing. What a gift to share these moments and commit them to beautiful memories.ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Missy Marie - Absolutely beautiful. I love the story here…you did a gorgeous job telling it.ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    Kelsey|Las Vegas Newborn Photographer - You captured great moments xoxoReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Melissa Klein - I absolutely LOVE these types of sessions! What great memories for that family, and mom’s letter made me tear up a bit. So sweet!ReplyCancel

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