I’m pushing Friday Q & A to tomorrow because today my little girl turns into a teenager.

Yeah, this one.

Dave and I were sitting looking at these pictures wondering how in the world it came to be that we have a daughter this old and mature and kind and good.

We love her.

(…and her braces and those multiple elastics holding her jaw together.)

Sorry but we had fun taking pictures…

Gotta capture her in that bedroom of hers we’ve been working on re-doing little by little for what seems like forever-and-a-day.

13 things I love about Elle:

1) She is kind. She can always see those in need of a little extra love and she gives it.

2) She does the dishes. And when she does, she remembers to scrub out the sink and wipe down the counter too. This is indicative of other things she does…she does them (most of the time without being asked) and does them well.

3) I am living out my dream through her playing tennis. It’s fun to watch her.

4) She has a great sense of humor. She can whip the sarcasm right back at Dave in rapid-fire.

5) She is competitive as can be. This makes her competitive Dad very happy since the rest of us are pretty lacking in the competitive category. That’s a lot of use of the word “competitive.”

6) She is quite athletic. She will work hard and get good at any sport she really sets her mind on.

7) Her little sisters adore her. I don’t know that they could have a better example in a big sister.

8) Her big brother adores her. I quite honestly don’t know if there are many people he’d rather hang out with.

9) Her writing is beautiful. She is so descriptive and thoughtful in the stories she writes.

10) She gets straight A’s. And she works hard to get them.

11) She shares my passion for photography. I love taking pictures together.

12) We get to be in Young Women together at church. She’s like my little counselor helping me send texts and even helping me remember who needs help or what needs to be done. I love it.

13) She knows who she is: a daughter of God. And that fact shines from the inside out.

Love you so much Elle Belle.

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  1. happy birthday Elle!
    Elle, you are really one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen! And it's great to know, that it's on the inside as well….


  2. You have a beautiful family. It sure seems like Elle is growing into a beautiful woman of God. Happy birthday Elle!

  3. She is stunning! (On the outside AND on the inside from everything you've ever written about her on your blog.) Where was she when I was 13?! There weren't really any girls my age when I was in YW, so I could've used a friend like her!

    Your paralyzed friend,

  4. Happy Birthday Elle!!! What a beautiful young woman…inside and out!!! And what a blessing to have you as a mom!!! Wonderful list and a treasure for Elle!!

  5. Goodness Gracious!! She is so dang PRETTY! I can so tell she has SO much going for her πŸ™‚
    (and that you and dad will have to watch out for the boys;)) I love your list. Such a beautiful daughter of God.


  6. Goodness Gracious!! She is so dang PRETTY! I can so tell she has SO much going for her πŸ™‚
    (and that you and dad will have to watch out for the boys;)) I love your list. Such a beautiful daughter of God.


  7. I too have never met your family, but i feel like i 'know' you all through here, so happy birthday Elle!!!!

    I have some questions for a Q & A that i've been thinking of lately,

    1) Since the economy hit hard in Az, has that affect your family and area?

    2) do you have a budget that you stick to?

    3) as a married couple do you stick to your parents 10%, 20% 70% rule?

    4) can u tell us your opinions on missions, school, weddings etc.. as in 'who pays for what'!!

  8. She is a beautiful girl! Happy birthday to Elle!
    I'm sure that baby to teen change happens to rapidly that it hits just about every parent when they actually realize it. I'm already surprised at how quickly time goes by – and my baby is still only a year!
    I have to say, it made me happy to see some of Elle's room. Those are almost the exact colors I've recently decided to do up my living room in! Good taste. πŸ™‚

  9. Happy Birthday to your first daughter she is gorgeous. Love love the list and her room is sooo pretty. My last daughter turned 13 almost a month ago, it goes by fast. So awesome to have all these good qualities in a young girl. Enjoy your day with her.

  10. Hi Shawni
    I am a mum of 3 from Australia and really enjoy reading your blog which I found through clover lane. So many of the topics you discuss on your blog are so relavant to the issues I have in raising my children which are aged 11, 8 and 4. Thanks for always being so honest and entertaining to read.

  11. She's beautiful! I've been stalking your blog for awhile now and I actually have a quick photography question that I hope you might be able to answer in one of your upcoming Friday Q and A's. Have you ever noticed that humidity affects your photos? Almost all my photos from Cancun were blurry with this kind of haziness. Then just recently (using a different camera)some of my pictures from the beach in California had the same kind of look. I just have a "point and shoot" but it generally takes really crisp pictures.

  12. Sweet post. I love the color combinations in her room. I don't comment often—my new goal is to actually comment instead of just thinking the thoughts to myself—so I'll take this opportunity to generally say I love your blog, and thank you for being willing to share a little of your life with us.

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