Almost five years ago my little niece was born.  I was in New York for New Years at the time (oh and that was also my first time in New York, ever!).  I remember checking my email sporadically (that was before I used to always travel with my computer).  It was New Year's day when I received emails that my sister was in the hospital having her first baby.  She was early!  I'm pretty sure I screamed, alarming the people with me.  I couldn't figure out what day everything was happening based on the emails.  Were the emails timestamped east coast time or pacific coast time?  Not to mention I'm already wackadoodle to start with, so the timestamp just confused me even more.  (Practically until her first birthday, I thought she was born on New Year's Day.  Shows how absent-minded I am.  She's actually born the day after.  woops.  Sorry, Hil.)

As my first niece she was obviously the most beautiful little thing I ever saw.  Her eyes were huge, a lot like my sister, and I could not believe this little girl was finally here.  She was a sweet little baby, always amazing me with how sharp she was.  I was so proud that she could take a CD out of a cd case.  Even more proud that she figured out how to turn on the tv.  Now that she's turning five in a few months, she continues to amaze me.  She's just so logical and quick.

Everyone thinks their child is the smartest, and I admit I'm biased, but she really is very sharp for her age.

I'll be a little sad when she starts kindergarten.  She's growing up!

My niece at nearly age 1 below.  (The image above is of her a couple days ago.)

p.s. I'm happy to see my progress in photography.  When I took that picture of Kate in the beanie I didn't even know how to use that DSLR.  Boy have I learned a lot since then!

p.p.s. I made that beanie.  I also made it very small. Woops.  That may have been the only time she could have fit it.