Thank you for your kind words, emails, text messages, Facebook messages, and Facebook posts in support of Hallie on her birthday! They mean the world to me, and Hallie sends her thanks as well.
I try to take a few informal pictures of the kids around their birthdays, and while Will usually allows me to snap only one or two, Hallie gladly prances around until I put my camera away. (And sometimes long after I put my camera away.) My goal is to capture, especially of Hallie, a collection of photos highlighting each and every one of her uniquely dramatic faces.
I try not to "instruct" her too much - we just relax in the grass, run around at soccer practice, or dance to music in the garden across the street, and I snap away. Every once in a while she asks me to do her hair for these "photo shoots", but usually we just find time on a quiet Sunday afternoon and slip away for a few minutes, which means she looks in the photos...just like she looks in real life. Beautiful.
You're going to rock nine-years-old, kiddo.