Yesterday my oldest baby girl went right ahead and turned 14.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 594822012-08-12 elle's birthday 59479(She’s holding up the numbers “1” and “4” for 14 just in case you were wondering.)

It was our first morning going to our new ward so church didn’t start until 10:00.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 59453That was a nice birthday present in and of itself.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 594472012-08-12 elle's birthday 59460
Have I mentioned I really, really like this girl?2012-08-12 elle's birthday 59472
Just wanting to make sure.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 59478
I love her for a million reasons, but here are 14 of them:

1) She is kind.  To her friends.  To strangers on the street.  To her family.  To her little sisters (most of the time:)2012-08-12 elle's birthday 594902012-08-12 elle's birthday 59487
2) She loves photography.  And she’s pretty darn good at it too.  I love sharing that little hobby of ours.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 594982012-08-12 elle's birthday 59499
3) She’s pretty musical.  Not only does she love to listen to music constantly:2012-08-12 elle's birthday 59505…she likes to hum it, and whistle it, and sing it at the top of her lungs (when she thinks no one is listening).  And she’s actually got a really good voice despite the fact that when she was little we thought she may be a little bit tone deaf.  Maybe it was the deep raspy voice she used to have…

4)  She is one of the greatest examples her little sisters could have and they adore her.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 595122012-08-12 elle's birthday 59516
5) She’s super easy-going.  She just goes with the flow and doesn’t create wrinkles unless she feels really strongly about something. 

6) I don’t think you could squeeze drama out of her if you tried.

7) She’s a hard worker.  Whether it’s for grades or jobs around the house or a tennis match she wants to win, she puts in all her effort and always does a good job.

8)  She’s competitive.  She likes to win.  I love that spunky fire she’s got under that sweet exterior.

9) She sees the good in people and seems completely oblivious to anything bad.  I’ve never heard her say a negative thing about anyone else in her life.

10) She shares my travel bug and has a long list of places she wants to visit some day…with Paris being at the top of the list.

11) She loves her Heavenly Father and tries to live a life He would be proud of.

12) She always knows if anyone is feeling bad or mad or sad…she has a knack for that, and she always knows what to do to make them feel better.

13) She is low-maintenance. 

14) She’s more beautiful on the inside than on the outside.  And I love that her sweet spirit shines through.2012-08-12 elle's birthday 595192012-08-12 elle's birthday 59522
Traditional cake-float (for why we do that click here).2012-08-12 elle's birthday 595282012-08-12 elle's birthday 595332012-08-12 elle's birthday 59536

2012-08-12 elle's birthday 59540
One last one to grow on…she surrounds herself with really, really nice friends…  2012-08-12 elle's birthday 595472012-08-12 elle's birthday 59548…who dropped by to give her some birthday well-wishes on their way home from a Trek fireside last night.  Great way to celebrate the big day.

Sure love you Elle Belle.  We couldn’t be more blessed to have you in our family.

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  1. Your kids are just too cute. I'm 36 and I want to dress like Elle she always looks so cute!! Also my son turned 14 a month ago and he looks so little compared to her 🙂 she is a model!!!

  2. Hope she had a wonderful Birthday. She is so beautiful. Her teeth look so fantastic too.
    |Here's to a great year being 14 and in the 9th grade.

  3. Beautiful! I sure hope that denim jacket worn in 100+ degree heat was not put on as a result of the "modestly police" voicing their opinions in earlier blog entries.

  4. Beautiful! And from your tribute, sounds like her beauty is far more than skin deep. What a blessing ot have such a tender, godly young girl in this world.

    Hope 14 is fabulous for her!

  5. Amen to all the comments. Elle, you are stunning. I hope my young daughters follow your beautiful example. (I am laughing too hard about the 'modesty police' comment).

  6. Happy Birthday, Elle! We have never met, but through this blog I have had enough glimpses into your family that I sure hope my 3 girls turn out to be as Christ-like as you. You are lovely!

  7. I just wanted to say happy birthday Elle! I admire you so much! You are beautiful, inside and out and a great example. Plus I think you have the cutest style 🙂 Have a good year of being 14!

  8. Happy Belated 14th Birthday to Elle:). What a lovely girl she is.

    I love how your children all share in each other's birthdays so much. Did they make Elle the chocolate bar poster that your family always makes? I think that's a brilliant idea.

    Julie UK

  9. Happy birthday Elle. My big girl ( and only girl) will be 13 next week. Thank you for your wonderful example to her and many others that read your mum's blog.

  10. Happy Birthday, Elle! I've always thought your smile was beautiful even with the braces. WOW – now it shines every brighter. You truly are beautiful inside and out!

  11. Her hair is SO long! Happy birthday Elle! I also have a question to ask you. I just got my new Canon and would like a camera strap tutorial. Did you make it? If not, where did you get it from?

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