NELLY JACKMAN || Santa Barbara, CA || She's the closest thing I have to another daughter and the closest thing to a twin Francesca has. The quirkiness and laughter Nelly brings to the lives of those around her is infectious. Be it her one-of-a-kind sayings, her funky self-assuredness or the way she floats around with her head in the clouds, to describe this girl as endearing would be an understatement. She and Fran just finished their first season of soccer and Nelly was literally the one rainbow-clad player {picture blue shorts, hot pink socks, multi-colored cleats and a Disney Frozen sweatband} in a sea of black and green.

Needless to say, my trip with her to the botanical gardens was full of forehead-palming Nellyisms, but it also afforded a glimpse of someone growning up. Not just taller, leaner and even more beautiful, but in some way that makes we who know her well view these pictures with perplexity in pursuit of the Nelly we see every day. Because brimming from her little barrel chest, for her Auntie anyway, is not so much this weeks-from-a-five-year-old, but the girl I see when I close my eyes and picture what she'll become.