a girl and her brothers

A little while back Amanda asked what I enjoy most about having a girl after three boys. I have thought about that question a lot since she asked it. There is so much I love about my daughter, but it is hard to clearly know what is related to the fact that she is a girl and not a boy. When I first found out she was a girl I was completely overwhelmed with all the girl stuff out there. I did have a mini panic attack in the baby girl section of Target. I considered myself a ‘boy mom’. I would have been overjoyed to have another boy.Β  So now a year and half in I find myself making felt flowers and ruffly bags. I’ve transitioned pretty well I think.

My daughter is fully immersed in boy world…she doesn’t know anything but shirtless, sword swinging, loud brothers. They are her world.

Though her interests are more in cars and weapons…she loves to wear a tutu. I love that the boys encourage her when she does ‘girly’ stuff. They constantly tell her how beautiful she is and like to carry her around (when she will let them). It is important to me that they edify her in her differences and not make fun of ‘gross girly’ stuff’. So I guess one of my favorite things about having a girl after 3 boys is watching how my boys relate to their baby sister.

I also love how her world is her brothers. She can hold her own with them. Tough has never been so cute.

Another one of my favorite things about having a girl after 3 boys is watching her follow their lead. She is fearless, agressive, and bold. There isn’t much dainty and soft about her personality. Her theme song is “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.”

My oldest adores her and puts up with her bossing her way around him. She likes to be close to him.

She is always watching…always trying…sometimes crashing. Nothing cautious about her.

She loves her brothers. She loves to do what they are doing. She loves to destroy what they make.

So I guess my favorite thing about having a daughter after 3 boys is seeing how my boys treat her differently than they treat eachother and how that impacts her. The biggest influences in her life right now are her brothers. It is pretty awesome. I’m pretty sure she is going to enjoy her relationships with each of them as she grows.

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  • Jen - can i say i just love this post. it is so lovely how her brothers look after her, and what a little firecracker she is! you are very blessed.

  • Lindsay - What an awesome post. You’ve captured some great pictures of their relationships – what an amazing thing to be able to look back on later in life!

  • Jen - Love this! We have three boys and my hubby and I are trying to decide about having another. I don’t know whether I’d be thrilled or scared to have a girl now. You’re not making this easier Ashley! πŸ™‚

  • Danielle - I want a girl even more now!!! So cute!

  • Nicole - That last picture is phenomenal. So cute. We just had a girl after two boys and I agree wholeheartedly. So looking forward to watching them grow up together!!

  • Caroline - this is prefectly lovely! i dont know what else to say.
    you’re blessed, Ashley. very very blessed.

  • Liene - I really love this post. Probably because I recognize so much because we have the same family composition, first 3 boys and then a girl. I always thought that until the age of 4 years, gender wouldn’t make a difference. But I do notice now, that girls truly are different. I love that about having a girl after three boys. She makes me look at things at a different angle. But I also love to notice, that on the other hand, some aspects of boys and girls are not gender related, that is a real eye-opener to me too!

  • Krista @ Blue Eyed Yonder - Your pictures capture the ‘three boys and a little girl’ story so well. I love to see how strong she is and how sweet her brothers are to her. Lord help her when she starts dating…or should I say Lord help her boyfriend! Haha! Her brothers will be very protective I am sure. πŸ™‚

  • Amanda D - I have three boys and everyone keeps asking when we are going to try for our girl. I don’t think we are going to try, but your post does put a ? there!!! Your family is so adorable and I love how you capture their personalities perfectly.

  • anne c - I love this! what a lucky little girl…and 3 lucky big brothers! makes my heart melt!

  • Danielle - so sweet.

  • Valerie - I love that first picture with all the shirtless boys and Firecracker. So adorable. She’s a cutie and I think she’s a lucky girl to grow up with 3 older brothers.

  • Anna - what an awesome post! since i was a little girl, i’ve always had this urge to have a house full of boys and one little girl. I too consider myself a “boy mom”. Boys are fun and simple and the way they look at their mamas is incredible. But of course, I need the one girl to teach her all I know about being a woman. I love your kiddos and watching Firecracker grow up around her brothers is so fun! Thank you!

  • Alice H - Could your kids be any cuter? I mean really, they are just absolutely adorable!!! I have one daughter, she is my oldest. And I am so grateful to have a girl. But I think one girl is enough. LOL!

  • amanda torres - Every reason you listed is the exact same feelings I have about Little Miss’ relationship with her brother. I can’t imagine how those qualities I cherish would be magnified with 3 older brothers. Your kids have beautiful hearts, and Firecracker is one tough mamba jamba!

  • Jamie - ditto on the post…I’m in the same boat with 2 boys & then a girl…and you said it PERFECTLY! It’s so precious to watch their relationships – and I LOVE IT!!! πŸ™‚

    on a side note…(and you may have told us this before, but it’s in reference to your ‘everyday’ images), but how do you keep all ur images organized?…and, once you take them, what do you ‘do’ with them? or do they just look that great once you take ’em?
    Do you have a ‘process’ you try to follow in organizing and editing, and does this help?
    {Sometimes, when taking the ‘everyday’ images, they seem to pile up, and then I forget about them until I come across them a month or so later, and then get mad at myself for forgetting, and not DOING something with them!!! I’d LOVE tips on keeping this process more SUCCESSFUL and ENJOYABLE!}

  • giozi - I love it. Is so sweet. You told it in a beauty way.
    Is diferent when the girl is the small. My girl is the big and she is rude with her brother.
    I strager but she loves tea sets and my boy cars, and I don’t teach about it πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your beauty moments with us and your beauty family. God bless you.

  • Gevay - This is so sweet Ashley! I actually teared up a bit! I love sibling relationships.

  • Amy - Beautiful. What I love about your description is that it leaves room for me to imagine how my kids might someday celebrate their own God-given differences, even if they’re not 3 boys + 1 girl (I’ve started with a girl, so that pretty much rules out that combo for me!). I enjoyed this entry so much πŸ™‚

  • Evie - i love this post… i can totally relate in an opposite way. In my family there were 3 girls first then a boy… he was such a little oddity to us older girl siblings, but man did/do we love him. i think of the impact we had on his life… he knows much a/b our “girl world” get is so completely boy. he definitley held his own! he recently graduated from college where he played football and i couldn’t be more proud of him!

  • Evie - um, not sure what just happened there…sorry

  • Jes - “It is important to me that they edify her in her differences and not make fun of β€˜gross girly’ stuff’. So I guess one of my favorite things about having a girl after 3 boys is watching how my boys relate to their baby sister.” Love this point. The entire post, really.

  • Kimberlee J. - This makes me want to have another.
    Almost. πŸ™‚

  • Cate O'Malley - Love this post. I only have two, one of each, and I love seeing their relationship and how my son (older) takes care and looks after his sister. He will play dolls with her willingly and be patient as she makes off with his legos. I love that she has an older brother to protect her and guide her. I always wanted an older brother growing up. I got a younger sister instead.

  • Ashley - that post is so sweet. almost makes me wish I had a bunch of little boys first :o). but honestly? I don’t think I could handle a bunch of little boys!! ha ha.

  • BriBedell - This is my favorite post now! Both our babies are almost the same age and I like to see what your little sister is up to!

  • Whitney - I am a regular reader of your blog, but I have never commented. I just wanted to take the time and say that I love your family. (in a completely non-stalkerish way. ha!) I am a newlywed and all the pictures and stories about your kids make me so excited about the day when my husband and I have children. You seem like such an amazing, inventive, Godly mother. Keep up the good work! You’re a great example to us all.

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - I love this post. I would love to have one tough little girl and a handful of boys one day. It just looks like so much fun! (And work… but worth it.)

  • kristy taylor - how sweet! we just had our second child & i am amazed & so grateful for how wonderful our oldest is with him! i worked at a pediatricians office & heard far to many horror stories about siblings beating up there new baby brothers or sisters! what a nightmare! how lucky you are! πŸ™‚

  • Martina - This is such a sweet post. She will grow up to be a grounded, secure and smart woman! Makes me want to call my big brother and tell him I love him!

  • Candy - I have a 7 year old boy, who is ALL boy!!! I love him with all my heart and always considered myself a boy mom as well. In January we will have a little girl and I think I’m most excited by how my son and her interact!!!

  • Amy - What a beautiful post! Those pictures are priceless!

  • Jennifer McEachern - I love your post. We had 2 boys and then our daughter. She is the spunkiest kid who loves light sabers, XBOX controllers, and being pushed in her little car by them. I was so scared to have a little girl but she has been the most amazing delight. Love your site!

  • Kelly - I Love this post! As my daughter is just 6 months old and I adore watching her watch her 3 older brothers. My oldest just adores her and her own personal court jester doing just about anything and everything to make her happy. This inspires me to do a post of the same! Love all the pictures too!

  • ang - Love this post!!! I have 2 boys and a girl and I love to see that relationship progress. Love her little “ugg” boots!!!

  • shawna [of styleberryBLOG] - just have to tell you that watching your baby girl & her brothers always brings tears to my eyes. our girls are the same age & it warms my heart. after struggling with primary infertility & now it seems secondary infertility, i find much joy in watching your kiddos together…& hope to have more in my house someday!

  • the whyte house - hahaha!! so cute!! i love the flip on the bunk bed. i use to pretend like i was a trapeze artist on my bunk. lots of bruises on me. πŸ™‚

  • the whyte house - um, yeah….i have no idea what just happened….i guess try and decipher the message between the numbers and percent signs.

  • jill - We have the same in our family but the girl is the 3rd child. You are so right. What a beautiful family you have!

  • Lisa - What a beautiful post, stuffed full of love. You are so blessed and I am greatful that you share your little belssings with us. They brighten the day and make me think about the babies in my future and what blessings I already have. Thank you.

  • jessica h - awwwwwww! + awesome πŸ™‚

  • LeAnne - A beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I have a 1 1/2 year old girl and 4 year old boy. Seeing how they adore each other warms my heart everyday. Like your little sweetie, she has become his playmate, best friend and constant companion. There’s not a single thing she can’t do or at least makes her best attempt to do that her older brother does. Here’s to little girls that have no fear and brothers to love them forever! ( :

  • megan - So beautiful! We have 3 boys and I hope one day we are able to add a girl into the mix… a little bit of pink in this sea of blue!

  • tasha roe - this post just makes my heart melt!! we have 2 boys then 6 years after the youngest we had a girl. it’s funny how she sets the tone for the house. they love her and play rough with her and she can hold her own as well – jumping off the couch onto the dog-pile with a tutu on. my little lady doesnt take crap from anyone. love that she can hold her own. and i love that her brothers think she’s the world. πŸ™‚

  • emily anderson - please tell me that’s not your foot in that first picture (top right)….LOL.

    i love this post…she is so scrumptious, and somehow reminds me of kohen…must be because of their age.

  • Jodi - I just adore this post. Everything about it makes my heart sing.

    We are trying for number 3 and really don’t care what we have. I would be so happy with a boy but would take another girl in a heartbeat. I do think that it would be fun to see my girls interact with a little brother though–the reverse.

    I am possibly working out a trip to Cado, OK in May for a family reunion, I was thinking it would make the trip even better if I timed it with a snapshops class!!!! We will see………

    Happy Holidays Ashley!

  • Kimberly - Love this post. I love a lot of your posts, but for some reason this one really struck me. I am the youngest of two older brothers. Now I have an older son and younger daughter. I LOVE the dynamic. My daughter is just slightly younger than yours so I see a lot of similarities with them.

    I really enjoy your blog! Great work!

  • Britt - wow I love this post.. I teared up a little bit! I think that is so wonderful how your boys are taking her under their wing. That will be so important as she grows up and is surrounded by strong men who will love her and set a good example for a future boyfriend/husband. Kudos to you for being such an obviously good parent! I popped over from Rachel’s blog. soo CUTE!

  • Linda - LOVE the perspective you have on your daughter, her influence on your sons and their influence on hers. This is a fabulous reflection on family dynamics!

  • shannan - I loved this post so much I had to comment even though I tradionally do not post. I finally had my baby girl this past May after three boys. My boys are 11, 8, and 2. They all share a room (like your boys) and they are so “boyish” it is frightening. But today after I read your post I smiled and teared up a bit when I realized how lucky and great our little girl has it. She is definitely in boy world and her brothers adore her to pieces. They love her girlness and she loves their activeness. I feel really lucky and your post put my thoughts into words. Thanks!

  • Kim - These are the sweetest photos EVER! I had a girl after two boys and she held her own too. The boys were years older, yet there were times they ran from her! Brings back great memories of that time in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jenny B. - What a great post! I have two boys, and I wonder how it would be having a girl. I’ve said it before, but your photos are SO amazing! I have tried and tried with my dslr to take good indoor shots, but they always turn out yellow and blurry. I’m actually dreading taking pictures on Christmas morning because I know how yucky they’re going to be. πŸ™ Do you have any tips? I’m probably going to have to result to using my pop-up flash. Blah. Anyway… I always LOVE seeing the photos of your kids playing. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kristin S - And your boys will be better husbands for having a little sister to care for and protect their entire lives.

  • amac - This is such a sweet post! Makes me excited for our family to grow and get a little sibling dynamic going on πŸ™‚

  • ingrid blanchette - wow…this is just beautiful! makes me want to fill our house will a whole lot of babies.

  • nori - omgoodness! those little ugg boots on firecracker… PRECIOUS!

  • Lila - I love this post because I feel like I can relate to your daughter. I was the little firecracker. I’m also the kid who would love to read about what I was like as a child now, so I think your daughter is very lucky!

  • Jess - These pics are priceless! I especially love the shots on the bunk bed! I have two boys and would SO love for them to experience a baby sister. It’s great to hear your perspective!

  • Leanne - ok I love this one. your pictures and story are amazing, and I hope that my little girl can love her brothers so much too.

  • Ashlee - I absolutely adore the tutu.

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Well Balanced,
    I’t pretty amazing how they each fit into their own little place and being. I have a girl and then two boys and like you I think it’s about watchign how they are and who they make eachother. There is so much influence passed back and forth between them and so much individuality flying through the air in a family. I love it.

    Watching The Circus in NE

  • Katie - I can’t say enough how beautiful this post is. Your children are absolutely precious and very luck to have each other.

  • andrea - You know what I love about your blog? It makes me appreciate the every day mundane parts of life. I don’t have to search to find happiness. I just need to look around me and enjoy my completely crazy, messy, carpooling, laundry folding life! I love that you take pictures of everyday happenings and make them beautiful. Because they are! Thank you.

  • Aimee - I have to say, I love your blog for it’s freshness and honesty, but I love it so much more now, b/c of the way you put this post about firecracker. See, I am firecracker all grown up– three older brothers and ultra head strong. It’s a great life to have and nobody messes with you b/c you can hold your own and if you can’t their are three fellows who have your back! Teach her to appreciate it even though she will feel smothered by their love/meanness/protectiveness.

  • amy - No – no no no no NO!!! I have 3 boys and I thought…it’s over…no chance for a girl…no reason to have another…we are SO done…THEN I see THIS!!!! NOT FAIR…I do NOT want another baby (Yes I do!) and I do NO!T really really really want a little girl (yes I DO!!!!)))) ARGH

  • Colleen - As the only girl with 3 younger brothers, I LOVE this post! I love having all brothers. It has definitely shaped me to be who I am today. I learned loyalty and rough-n-tumble fun with my brothers. We were a gang all by ourselves. And even now that we are grown, we still have a lot of fun together. She is very lucky little girl.

  • Paula Bauhaus - Thanks for sharing this post with me! Beautiful pictures of the children and the way you showed the interaction between them. Having two older boys then a girl later in life, I can relate to the relationship that has developed over time between the children in your photos. Our daughter is twelve years younger than our oldest but she tries to think and act like she’s one of her siblings but loved just the same!

  • Joana - The last picture is so lovely!


  • Camille - I have 2 older brothers and they are my “idols” and I pretty much do everything they do, and I’m 21!! Big brothers are the best!

  • laura - This is just what I needed to see! We just had a girl after 3 boys and I was not wanting the β€œboy” dynamic in our family to change. I love your perspective and now I am more excited to see the result of this addition to our β€œboy” family!

  • Iris Castro - I already saw a bunch of your posts with this little girl and I think she reminds me of the movie ET. She really looks like a little Drew Barrymore! Love your kids!!!

  • A CHILD AGAIN | thesongroom - […] This photo will be found here ashleyannphotgraphy […]

  • Puneeta - Hi Ashley,

    Your website is adorable and full of life!! Just stumbled upon your site and have been reading all your fav posts… and I just love all of them!!! πŸ™‚ :)… I adore your kids, specially your elder son who loves her younger sister and takes care of her so well :):).. I hope and pray that their bond always remains as beautiful as it is now πŸ™‚

    Take care.

  • julie - I found you for the first time today via Pinterest. You have all the qualities of a great blogger: You are succinct in the way you express your thoughts, you take amazing photographs, you have darling kids, and you make really fun-to-read observations. It’s been a real joy reading your posts.