Seventeen years ago Dave and I left our baby Max with my sister on her own birthday morning in the wee hours of an August morning to head to the hospital to meet our girl Elle.

We had no idea all those years ago how our hearts would expand to envelope this girl in.

I’m a little emotional this morning thinking about her.

Maybe it’s the fact that Max is leaving and I know she’s following close behind.  Maybe it’s because I’m so full of love for her as I look at old pictures and wonder at how she has grown, in love and beauty and spirit and stature.

And maybe it’s just because she’s just plain awesome.

Seventeen reasons I adore her:

1)  She is a good friend.  To the multitudes of kids she hangs out with, but also to me.
2)  She is happy.  And she radiates that happiness.
3)  She is aware.  Of others, of moods, of feelings, of what needs to be done.
4)  She is quick to obey.  When I ask her to do something she says “sure.”  I know that sounds simple, but it’s refreshing coming from a teenager.
5)  I’ve said this before, but she repels drama and I adore that.  I’ve never heard her say one not-nice comment about anyone in the whole wide world.
6)  She’s a super conscientious student and works her tail off on school work.
7)  She’s an adventure lover just like her mamma.  Her emails and texts from England made my heart swell, especially the little part about how she’s gonna live in London with her husband some day 🙂
8)  She’s a saver and knows how to manage money well.
9)  She is ultra low-maintenance.  Didn’t have one birthday request and never asks for anything.  Sometimes the low-maintenance thing goes so far that I need to remind her she hasn’t brushed her hair as she heads out to school, whoops!
10) She’s not afraid to stand out…in height, in thoughts, in what she says, doesn’t care to “fit in,” and wants to be her own person.
11) She eats healthy.
12) But she likes a good cookie as much as I do 🙂
13) She’s got a great sense of style.
14) She’s a great leader for her little sisters.
15) She is sincere…says what she means and means what she says.
16) She’s got the moves on the dance floor and makes life fun.
17) Elle has a good head on her shoulders.  She knows what’s right and she does it.

Bear with me on these pictures, I had to resort to taking pictures of them on my computer screen with my iPhone because my external drive isn’t working, but have to post the oldies too.

Love you Elle Belle!

You are growing into quite a wonderful young lady and I’m so grateful for you!

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  1. "I've never heard her say one not-nice comment about anyone in the whole wide world."
    Seems impossible? Is this a realistic standard to live up to let alone to profess as true?

    1. Not impossible at all. I have many friends I could say the same about. It takes a concentrated effort to chose to not judge others. Also, I did not see anywhere that we or Elle was told to live up to this. Just a proud mother sharing nice things about her daughter on her birthday. Why can't we just let that be?

    2. She never said she HASNT said anything bad. She said she hasn't heard her. It doesn't mean she has never in her life, but clearly she is a person who makes an effort to be outwardly kind 🙂

    3. It is certainly possible. I could say the same about one of my children. I have truly never heard him say anything negative about another person. It is simply not in his nature. So yes, it is indeed possible.

    4. I know it seems unbelievable but I really have never heard her say anything even sort of off about anyone. Sure, I'm not with her every second, but she lives her life in such a way that I think it would be a waste of time to say something mean.

      This certainly does not mean she's perfect. Just like all of us she has a lot to work on, but I'm of course focusing on the positive on her birthday 🙂

  2. She sounds like a dream! I hope my girl can emulate some of those things when she is 17. Elle definitely has on of the best examples (although I don't know you personally, you are a great example to me!) and that is something I need to be better at for my own kids! Thanks for sharing your wonderful family!

  3. What a great kid! My nieces are like your Elle beautiful inside and out. One is on a mission and the other ready to go to the Y. I can only imagine what it feels like to have your babies be so grown up. Hang in there next few weeks!

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