There is so much going on around here!  We have driven hundreds of miles (with Bo in tow, who has been so good), celebrated the 4th of July, done some farming, drunk in the beauty of so many sunsets… so much to record!

But for today let’s just wrap up Grace’s birthday from back in June because man alive I’m missing that girl!  She is literally GLOWING with the joy that comes from working hard and learning new things over in China.  I’ll have to get to posting some pictures of all the great things she’s doing over there soon, but for now let’s reminisce that she turned SIXTEEN the day before she left.

This birthday was well celebrated.

For the big bday surprise click HERE, but this is what we did on the real-deal day:

Lucy was over-the-moon excited about her present and how she presented it.  She explained quite jubilantly that she just didn’t have any gifts for her and then she remembered that there was some left-over candy in the cupboard from something or other and packaged it up all spiffy for her.

 That girl makes me laugh.  But her note was my favorite.

 Max’s note was so awesome too…made me tear up.

And of course, the traditional candy bar poster had to be done…

Hooray is right.

She spent the day with friends and then we had chicken tikka masala (at her request) for dinner.  Just our family.  All snuggled in together.

Then the friends filtered in again for cake and ice cream.

And before we knew it our kitchen was infiltrated with friends and neighbors…Elle’s friends all filling up the space again too.  And it felt so alive and wonderful celebrating this good girl of ours.
Later in the evening…probably late enough that it was actually the wee hours of the next morning, we sat in her bedroom trying to finish packing everything up, tears streaming down her cheeks that she was leaving, yet still so confident and excited for what lay on the horizon.
We hugged and packed and hugged again and sent her off into the wide blue yonder the next morning for the adventure of a lifetime.

And she’s taking it on with vigor!  
Love this sixteen-year-old of ours so so much!

…and sure miss her too!


  1. Your Grace and my Eleanor share a birthday (14 years apart) and when I realized that, I experienced an overwhelming wave of emotions. 1. It really highlighted just how fast it all goes. I've been reading your blog for a while and have watched your little girls blossom into beautiful young women. It struck me that my little El will be a young woman before I know it. 2. Though arbitrary, having our girls share a birthday sparked a feeling of kinship with you. Though I don't know you, you are absolutely one of my top inspirations as a mother. And to know that we were both showering our girls with love and celebration on the same day helped me step outside myself and realize that I am doing it. I'm becoming an intentional mother who is raising my children with meaningful family traditions to just like you. Happy birthday to Grace!

    1. Aw that is so nice Katie! June 26th is a pretty great birth date 🙂 Thank you for your sweet words, it is so crazy that Grace was JUST BARELY a little two-year-old too! Happy birthday to Eleanor!

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