Wednesday, June 7, 2023

To My Daughter On Your 11th Birthday

My Elizabeth,

The baby of the family is ELEVEN today!!! I enjoy watching as you go about your day carefree, happy, and with a smile on your face doing everything you wish to do. Although that's not surprising as that's how you go about life in general.

Ten was a big year for you, as you returned to the classroom after two and a half years of homeschooling, took on new dance classes, and navigated the intense tween world of 5th grade. You handled it all with ease, grace, and happiness sprinkled with gratitude for those around you. I have felt overjoyed for you on your accomplishments in and outside of school.

Year eleven will be just as big for you as you head off to middle school. I've always been impressed by your adaptability and enthusiasm to try nearly everything. You face fears with some reluctance, but eventually your will to try all the things prevails. I saw this as you gave pre-pointe a chance at your dance studio, how you signed up for things at school that you had never tried before, and gave it your all. These qualities will suite you well for the changes coming your way.

You current loves are running the neighborhood with school friends, YouTube, sharing life hacks (that you learn from YouTube), make up, dance, peppers, Von Maur, Yankee Candles, coffee, and going out to eat. You've gotten much more adventurous in your eating and are willing to try just about everything, but we always make sure to have turkey, bread, and tortillas stocked at all times! 

I relish the front row seat I've had since the day you were born. Your happiness and goofiness is contagious. Your mood swings with all those feelings keep us all on our toes - and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love that you openly share your thoughts, feelings, and questions about life. Even on my most exhausting nights, I look forward to those late night cuddles and Mom + Kid sleepovers on the couch. I may give you a hard time about not sleeping well on those sleepover nights, but I will forever cherish the question, "can I sleep with you tonight, mom?" 

We have always said we knew the moment you existed that you were the puzzle piece we didn't know was missing and I have no doubt our family wouldn't be the same without you. I am so proud of the girl you are and who you are becoming. While I've loved each stage of your life, I'm thoroughly enjoying the more independent girl you are today. I can easily say you help our household run smoothly by taking care of the kittens, picking up dog poop in the backyard, unloading the dishwasher, getting dirty laundry to where it needs to be (so I can wash it), and so much more. 

Thank you for including me in your everyday life and sharing it all: the struggles, the highs, and the thoughts in that intriguing mind of yours. I love you so much! I can't wait to see what you do in the next year. Keep shining, bringing light, and being your authentic self. I couldn't be more proud of you!

Love always and forever (and then some),


Eating a pepper. Yes, it's as if you were biting into an apple. That's how much you love peppers.