My darling little girl,
Today you turned SIX! I can hardly believe it! It seems so recently that you were placed in our arms for the first time, and yet it has been three and a half years. You have grown up so much since that day and turned into such a beautiful little girl. Elli, you bring such joy into our home. You have changed us all in ways that we are so grateful for. You have fostered gratitude, patience, and Christlike love in our home. You have been an example of purity and strength. You have brought out the best in each one of us, and attract goodness wherever you go.
I was trying to describe to someone what you are like to me, and the only word I could find was "oxygen." Sounds kind of corny, but I have to breathe you every day, and you keep my spirit alive.
Some of your current loves include chocolate chip granola bars, dried mangoes, jerky, peanuts, curry, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, papaya salad, breadsticks from Little Ceasars, and basically anything including chocolate (a girl after my own heart.) You love music and can pick out a few songs on the piano. You have learned how to tune in your radio and can often be found in your bedroom listening to some random station. You are on your fourth day of kindergarten and seem to like it more each day. You scream at the top of your lungs to get my attention, and as soon as I come in the room you change to your "sweet voice" and ask me for food. (: You can do somersaults and back rolls, jump on the tramp, and navigate the stairs at our house with ease. You know the words to over 100 songs and make us so happy when you sing. You are developing a sense of humor and often substitute the words "chocolate balls" for other words in a song-- ie. "twinkle, twinkle little chocolate balls." You make us laugh, you make us cry. Some of our greatest frustrations and our greatest joys have been found in you. You have blessed our lives in tremendous ways.
When Parker first met you, he was your age! Within minutes of knowing you, he said, "If you could catch blindness, I would still want Elli." The most profound declaration of love I have ever heard.
I'm pretty sure that's how we all now feel about you.
We love you, our sweet six-year-old. Happy Birthday!
PS. Thanks for the nice "birthday present" you just left me in the bathtub. Wow. The smell is just awesome. I think it's going to take me at least an hour to clean it up. It just had to be on a day where ALL of the bath toys were in the tub. And on a day when I had actually showered and put cute clothes on. Very clever for doing it on your birthday so I couldn't get too upset... (:
Here are a few pictures of Elli taken today... not sure what was up with the shadows. Wish I were a professional! Oh, and also a very happy birthday to Grandma Larsen-- we love you!