Gosh, I have been going through pictures of this birthday girl and missing her so much this morning: the morning that marks her TWENTY-FIRST birthday!  
Oh boy, if we had known how easy and kind and good this girl would be when we were jolted out of our seats twenty-one years ago when we found out she was on her way (that funny story and some Elle baby pictures back HERE and a little bit more HERE), perhaps we wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed ๐Ÿ™‚
Age twenty-one is the last age I do my tradition of my list of things I love about them, after that they graduate to just plain old praise and jubilation, so we better get busy on the twenty-one top things I love about my birthday girl.  Ha!  Here we go:
1)  From Day One she has been the easy and low-key, not really requiring much attention or much of anything for that matter.  And that just makes you want to give a kid more in my opinion.

2)  She is picked right up on photography and is still doing it here and there as an “adult.”  Love that she speaks that language with me.

3)  She takes herself lightly.  And when she’s around she makes you take yourself lightly too.

4)  She adds this kind of excitement to everything we do:

5) She’s on track to love nature as much as I do:

 (even instigated the “For the Beauty of the Earth” piece with her friends ๐Ÿ™‚

6) She’s got hops.  Hops that get even higher when there’s beauty all around ๐Ÿ™‚

7)  She shines from the inside out.  Can you see all that light?

8)  She made it through living in China her junior year of high school.

 …there were times she was NOT happy about that.  But most of the time she knew it was a pretty grand adventure:

9)  She is an adventurer at heart and I can count on her to be THERE with me on any adventure I may dream up.

10)  She loves her mama and shows it in word and in deed.

11) She passed me up in height years ago and she owns that height I tell you!  Not afraid.

 See?

Ha!

12)  She’s herself through and through.  Even if she wants to wear “mom shorts.”

13)  She dares to do scary things:

14) She enjoys the ride of life.  Fully.  Sure she gets nervous and overwhelmed.  But she knows how to combat that and pushes through with grace and composure.

15) She has the longest legs known to man.  Ha!  Not sure the two pairs of our long legs got paired on this camel together…

16) Kids are drawn to her like magnets.  When we were in Africa this summer we stayed at a place owned by the cutest family.  The daughter stuck to Elle like glue from the moment we arrived.  
I think they just sense that she’s real and honest, none of that baby talk, and they just want to be around her. 
17) She met her “match” this summer.  Ha!
18)  She’s a leader without trying.
19)  She asks the best questions.  Detailed and involved. There is a lot of talent in asking a good question.
20) She makes her sisters beam when she FaceTimes them.  They all think she’s about the best thing since sliced bread.
21)  She knows where to put her trust.  To look up.  To reach out.
And sorry, but one more to grow on…
She is one of my best and most dear friends.  I look up to her in more ways than one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Love you forever, Wellesley Jade!

Hope you get to float your cake some time today!

Love, mom
xoxo

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