Ok, today is Claire’s birthday.  

On the one hand I’m so grateful we have this day as a distraction on our little rollercoaster of emotions as we get ready to send Max off in one week.  She was SO sad when he got his mission call to leave on the 20th, and was over-the-moon when his date was shifted back a week…I mean, he has to be here for her birthday, right?
But wait a second, how is my second-to-last child TWELVE???
She came to young women with the big girls and I last night and I sat there in awe for a moment as I watched her flit back and forth from one friend to another with a big smile on her face.  She’s been looking forward to this for so long.  But really, she’s twelve?  How is that possible?  
I started looking through some pictures of her growing up early this morning and have to share a few along with my twelve favorite things about this dear-heart golden girl of mine who I adore with all my heart.
1)  She was born with enthusiasm written all over her face.  

 I adore that huge smile and those sparkly eyes.

I love that they glow even more when that excitement is for or about someone else…which brings me to number two…

2)  I love that this girl cares so much about others.  Sometimes it drives me nutty because she is so worried about including everyone and who may have been left out, etc. But oh how grateful it makes me for her kind heart.

3)  I love that she has such control of her body…not only using it to help and serve others, but in dance and gym and flipping and all the active things she does.

4)  I love her spirit.  She is my child who will ask deep spiritual questions that you can tell are so thought-out and she listens with all her heart as we discuss.

5) I love that she will pose for me any time, any where 🙂

6)  I love that she notices beauty and soaks it up with me.

7)  She loves school and loves to learn.  She’s a pretty diligent student and is always working on papers or assignments very conscientiously.


 8)  I love that she will try hard things and will push herself even if she’s scared.

9)  She is a great receiver.  I know that sounds funny, but she is SO over-the-top grateful for things.  You should have seen her open her gifts this morning.  Wide-eyed and enthusiastic throwing knock-down hugs.  Love it.

10)  She is the best sister.  How do I find more passionate words for that?  From forever she is an adorer of her sisters.

Dave was telling me the other day that he thinks Claire has done more for Lucy than anyone else and I think he’s right.  She’s with her the most and she is so incredibly patient.  Oh boy does that Lucy adore her.  And so do all her other siblings.

 She just makes things fun.

11)  She is thankful for anything I do for her and she remembers to express it.
12)  She isn’t afraid to shine her light.  To us as her family, to cousins, to friends, to complete strangers.  She just smiles and brightens up the day.
Love you forever Claire Bear!  I’m the luckiest lady to get to be your mother.  Happy happy birthday baby girl!

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  1. i love claire soooo much. i know i'm not supposed to have favourites, but claire is kind of my favourite. she is full to the BRIM with spunk, and the best, sparkliest, most genuinely good kind. it is always a party when claire is around, unless she is sad because she is worried about someone else. such a golden heart. shawn, read this comment to her. wish i could give her a big hug for the big twelfth birthday!!!

  2. Happy 12th Birthday to Claire from the UK:)

    I hope she's having a brill day.

    Claire is looking so much like Elle, especially in the picture where she's got her hair in a bun.

  3. As a long time reader, I can tell even as a stranger the immense love that is shared between Claire and Lucy, and its always been one of my favorite things about your blog. It's so clear how nurturing Claire is, and how much Lucy adores her sister in return. I have a similar relationship with my own sister and so it just really tickles me 🙂

    Also, my oh my, she is such a beauty.

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