…and man alive this day couldn’t come soon enough for her. She has been pining away waiting for “12” for a long time.

It means that she’s that much closer to being a teenager.

It means she gets to decide if she wants to dabble in a teensy bit of mascara. (You know what teensy means, right Elle??)
It means she’s only four years away from getting that driver’s license.

But the biggest reason she’s been looking forward to turning 12 is that it means she gets to go to Young Women with all her friends at church (she’s the youngest of the bunch).

She got to go last night and she was in seventh Heaven about that little fact.

Although I’m excited for her to be in all her glory, I, personally, am a little sick about it this advancement. I mean, she’s practically grown up.

And I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

I mean, how could she go from this:
to this:
in one fell-swoop?

I don’t know.

All I can say is that with each year I fall deeper and deeper in love with her.

Here are twelve of the thousands of reasons why:

1) You are kind. From the inside out. You are very aware of how others may be feeling. You can sense when people around you need to be lifted up so you write a nice note do a kind service…whatever you sense could help out.

2) You are some kind of babysitter. And I don’t forget to thank my lucky stars for you each time Dad and I get to go out on a date.

3) You are a good friend. I think all your friends would agree. (Including me.)

4) You are happy with simple things. You don’t ask for a lot.

5) You are an outstanding photographer. And I love to share that with you.

6) You are a HARD worker. When it comes to homework or jobs or goals you will stick to it until they get done.

7) You are a writer extraordinaire. I think you should write a book with all the creative things you write about.

8) You are obedient.

9) You are loyal. You would do anything for your family or friends.

10) You are a great potty-trainer-helper with Lucy.

11) You’re going to be able to beat me at tennis before I know it. I love to watch you play.

12) You have a testimony of Jesus Christ and it shows as it shines through in who you are.

I adore you, Elle Belle!

Happy, happy birthday!

Love, Your Mother

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  1. I do enjoy your blog – its amazing how fast kids grow up – tell Elle it's her "golden" birthday today…turning 12 and her birthdate is actually 12…mine was 12 also:) january though:)

  2. I'm right where Elle was in that baby picture, my kids are that little now. The time already seems to be going so quickly! Happy Birthday to your tween 🙂

  3. they seem so grownup at 12 these days! She is just gorgeous. Somehow i thought she was already 12. I think because she went to girls camp ( Kassidy came home and said "Elle is so awesome") needless to say i think she did her secret sister job very well 🙂

  4. Hey! Well, I have a 12-year-old boy who thinks Elle is pretty great too!
    And I am DIGGING the green chair she's sitting on!!!

    And it's mcpactions.com that has the blog collages.

    I need to call you. I want to do a back-to-school fashion shoot. Wanna join me?

  5. She is just the most beautiful, happy, sweet girl. SEriously, I can just tell she's a true Gem…..
    Happy Birthday Beautiful Elle!
    My daughter looks to Elle's blog as her role model, so it's nice to have an inspiring 12 year old for my 10.5 year old to look up to! thank you for raising a good girl!

  6. I am sooo with you on this one! I have one turning 12 this year as well (and she's my oldest!). Where did the time go!? 12 does seem so grown up to me. 11 I was ok with, but 12? Good luck and Happy Birthday to you and her!

  7. My oldest daughter turns 12 next Thursday, and from what you write about Elle on your blog I wish she and my daughter could be friends. She seems like a remarkable young lady.

  8. Happy Birthday Elle!!! I so love to look at photos of you because you are so expressive, perky and fun!!!!!
    What wonderful things your mom had to say about you…treasure them ( and don't forget to print them out for a keepsake!)

    "12" is my very favorite number…it's gonna be a good year!!!!

  9. Happy birthday Elle!

    I love that she wants to be grown up and yet seems to be so steady and in control for her age. She always appears dressed so age-appropriately and still looks so darn cute! (is that your influence, Mum, or Elle's?) wish more almost-teenagers would follow suit ….

    anyways, love the necklace, and the headband, and the couch – love your blog!

    Happy Birthday!

  10. Oh gosh, practically grown up. I know, I cried when I dressed my first little girl in her blessing dress when she was three weeks old because I thought of how soon it would be a wedding dress. Thank goodness for eternal families. We really can have them forever. Your daughter is good though so the important thing is that you can be confident in her!!

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