Happy 5th Birthday, Ellie Girl!

What a Cutie-Pie!

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On May 18th,  my baby girl turned 5 years old! What a blessing to have healthy, happy, growing children. For me, a birthday is always a reason to stop and reflect, to pause and give thanks. One of my “intentional giving” rituals is writing a birthday letter to my children each year. Here is the one I wrote for Ellie a few days ago…

My dear Ellie,

I can’t believe you are such big girl now! You said the same thing last night when we were snuggling in mama’s bed after a big day of celebrating. (A special birthday treat to sleep with mama last night.) You said, “I don’t really feel any different, except maybe a little taller.” But I told you that I notice how much bigger you are, and that I’m so proud of the way you’re growing up – becoming more independent, doing things for yourself and for other people, not fussing as much. I told you how happy I am that such a great and FUN person is my daughter….We both fell sound asleep with full hearts!

On Sunday morning, you woke up in the tent in the backyard with Brother and Daddy. You and MJ celebrated your birthday by making lots of crazy balloon hats, and leaving them all over the house! Then Daddy took you to Krispy Kreme, and you brought back a birthday breakfast to share. As we sat around the table, we all shared some of our favorite things and memories about you. Michael James and I both agreed that we love how silly you are and how you make us laugh. MJ said he likes to play “Mine Craft” with you and enjoys your creative ideas. I said I love to watch you dance! Daddy said he really loves reading “Sisters Eight” with you, and riding bikes with you. Daddy and I talked about how special it was to meet you for the first time, and how sweet MJ was with you, and you how you both instantly loved each other. As we held hands around the table to say a prayer of thanks for you, you and Brother were still in “silly” mode, and got in trouble – NOT an unusual theme these days. But after your time out, you enjoyed opening your gifts! You LOVED all the “Frozen” stuff from Mommy, the “Sisters 8” books from Daddy, and the Rainbow Loom from Brother. (Much to his dismay, you weren’t as thrilled about the “map book” that he made you, but it was done with love.) It was lots of fun to watch you playing with your Elsa and Anna dolls while you watched part of the movie, singing along.

You skated up a storm at your White Rock Skate Party, and all your friends were so impressed! We all enjoyed doing the hokey pokey with you (watch the video…), and watching you in the money machine. (watch this video…)It was kind of you to ask for some gifts to donate to needy children, instead of taking all the loot home yourself. After the party, we came home and you got a few more presents from family…you loved your Nari kitty from Beffa, to replace your missing one. Then we played out in the backyard where Daddy and all the kids got in a spray chase, that ended up with a cute nakey cousin Poppy!

Then we went with Zenicks to Mariano’s, where we sang “Happy Birthday” to you for a 5th time in one day! It was just a great day celebrating you! But one of my favorite parts was towards the end when it was just you and me. The boys had fallen asleep on the couch, and I kept you company while you pooped. We played “20 Questions”, of course, and you were being super-silly and sweet. And even though it was a little stinky, I was thinking about how blessed I am to be the mother of Elizabeth Kathryn Manders, and how I look forward to many more years with you!  (Though I imagine we’ll grow out of the bathroom QT 😉

The next day at school, your class sang “Happy Birthday” to you even more times! How wonderful that so many people love and like you. As your music/ chapel teacher at school, I got to tell you the special “birthday secret” that I share with all the birthday students: “You are such a precious child of God, and I’m so glad you were born!” But unlike with my other students, I was actually THERE when you were born…you could even say I played a major role in that whole effort. And with you, my love,  I got to add a little something, “AND I’m so glad you’re my daughter!”

I love you to the MOON and back!

Your Lucky Mommy

Coming up: my birthday “interview” with Ellie!

Read Ellie’s previous b’day letters

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Exhausted birthday girl!