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Dear Ellie,

Today is your eighth birthday.  You are eight years old today.  I have to repeat it to myself to believe it.  Then I have to quickly stop repeating it because if I let myself digest that little fact my eyes start to burn.  I remember typing your birthday letter last year.  I was sitting on the same couch I’m sitting on now thinking that I just couldn’t believe you were turning seven.  And just like that – a whole year has flown by.  And now you are eight.  And you are amazing.  You really are Ellie.  There are so many thing I love about you.  I could write a book.

You and Addison are still as thick as thieves.  The two of you race home from school every day so that you can play play play.  Addison loves you so much and wants to do everything exactly the same as her big sister Ellie.  You set a great example for her to follow.  The sound of you two laughing is my favorite thing to hear.  Which is a good thing because I hear it a lot!  You take such good care of Addison – always watching out for her.  This morning you woke up to eight birthday balloons in your bed with a dollar in each one.  The first thing you said was “Ad!  Look!  The balloons have dollars in them!  I’ll have four and you can have four!”  It made me smile.  That is so like you.  Always thinking of Addison.

Kole completely adores you as well and you are crazy about him.  You are always so excited to get him up in the morning.  It’s like you’ve missed him all night and just can’t wait to see him.  Lately you have even been getting him out of his crib yourself.  Often before I’m really ready for him to be out of his crib.  :)  You two have such a special relationship.  When you are around his little eyes just light up.

I love that you are so happy Ellie.  I say this about you all the time but it’s true.  Whenever I hear the song “you are my sunshine” I instantly think of you.  You bring so much sunshine into my life.  And into your dad’s and your sister’s and your brother’s.  Your excitement for every little thing is contagious and it spreads to everyone around you.  We smile a lot because of you Ellie.

Your sense of humor is maturing.  And you are funny.  I mean really funny.  Your dad and I are always laughing about things you say and do.  You crack. us. up.  On a daily basis.  My favorite thing you said this year was “who says Kole has to be a boy just because some silly doctor says so?”  Your dad and I had a good laugh over that one.

You have developed such a love for reading this year.  It has been really enjoyable to see.  You stay up so late reading and often try to carry your book around with you everywhere we go during the day so that you can sneak in a page or two.  In the car, walking through the grocery store…  I hope your love for reading never ends.

You are such a huge help to me Ellie.  You are always completely aware of my mood/feelings.  Kole is a lot of work right now and you can always tell when I’m starting to feel tired or frustrated.  You quickly smile at me and say “I love you mom.”  And as soon as you do I instantly feel less tired and less frustrated.  Then you start to head up the stairs singing a little song you made up for Kole.  His little clue that it’s time to follow you upstairs to play.  I am always so grateful for your help with him and wonder every day how I would survive without it!

You are doing a great job in second grade this year.  Your teacher adores you and always tells me about the sweet things you do and say to your classmates.  How kind you are to everyone.  How you go out of your way to make people feel special.  How you are such a social, friendly, well-liked student.  She also tells me that you sometimes have a hard time focusing on your school work because you are so busy being kind and social.  Doesn’t surprise me one bit.  :)

One of the things I adore the most about you Ellie is your endless creativity.  I am always blown away by the things you come up with.  With just a laundry basket and some yarn you are able to create all sorts of magical contraptions for you and Addison to play with.  You are a master story teller and entertainer and your siblings are never at a loss for what to do when you are around.

I could go on and on about you Ellie but I’ll save my book for when you turn nine. :)  Which will sneak up on me altogether too quickly just like age eight did.  But I’m so incredibly grateful.  Grateful for your smile and your laughter and your love.  Grateful that such an amazing little person is my daughter.  Grateful for one more year I got to spend with you – my sunshine.

Happy 8th Birthday Ellie!

I love you so much.

xoxo,  mom

xoxo, Erin
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44 thoughts on “Dear Ellie,

  1. Delurking! Been reading for a while and my oldest’s bday is today, too. I have boy, boy, girl and my girl was born the same month as Kole. Happy birthday to your big girl! I enjoy the blog and the mix of ideas and telling it like it really is!

  2. I am new to your blog. I have been reading it since the New Year. I too love every thing organized. I tend to make lists upon lists. I couldn’t go through my day without them.
    I think your children are beautiful. Ellie looks so much like you. My daughter’s name is Danielle and we call her Elle or Ellie.
    I enjoyed reading your post today. I always say that children are not born with their qualities. I believe us as parents instill those qualities. So pat yourself on the back. Your a great mom. (My favorite job in the world:)
    Happy birthday Ellie. I hope all of your birthday wishes come true.
    LOVE your blog!

  3. Had to tune in to one of my fave blogs today :)Happy Birthday Ellie! My two girls b’days are Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 my youngest just turned 11 and my oldest 13 (It still feels weird to say that I now have a teenager). Your post really got me a little choked up because I know that feeling of wanting them to stay young and innocent as long as possible. I cannot believe that I will have two in middle school next year :( They grow up so fast. Good thing your kids have parents that cherish them as much as you do. They are truly blessed.

  4. This blog post to Ellie brought a tear to my eye. It was so sweet to read. I’m sure when she gets older she will enjoy reading them. I can totally feel your heart in your words. I hope she has a great day, which I’m sure you guys will make sure of!

  5. So sweet. I know all to well the feeling that they grow up too quick. It feels like yesterday I was 16 and had a newborn, now we are 2 weeks off her turning 13 and starting high school!!!
    Happy Birthday to Ellie :)

  6. I didn’t think you could top your organization skills, but you did. The letter to Ellie is absolutely amazing! You’re a wonderful mother and the sincerity within you shines through in all you do. Thanks for being such a wonderul example.

  7. your ellie holds a special place in my heart. first, she shares a birthday with my youngest brother who passed away as a baby. it is a special day. two, i had the privilege of being her primary teacher for a year at church. it is absolutely the truth that she is always happy. she is also incredibly social and kind to those around her. i just love her!

    what a sweet, heartfelt letter you wrote to your daughter, erin. here’s hoping she had a fabulous day!!

    p.s. i know you’ve mentioned this before…and i’ll second it. your two girls remind me so much of my two sweet girls in their relationship/friendship/personality traits. love it! :)

  8. Happy Birthday Ellie! What a sweet post. She shares her birthday with my hubby, and now my oldest’s daughter’s co-worker’s baby born just this morning!!

  9. Erin, one of the things I love about you and your blog is the time you make for writing things that are truly heartfelt. As a mother it takes a real effort to focus and RECORD the tender thoughts we have amidst the chaos of our lives.

    These words will be such a treasure to you and Ellie both.

  10. So so sweet!! Love that she shared her bday money. I am seeing the same type of sweet, precious, irreplaceable relationship develop between my 2 boys and I love it. Except they are 2 and 4 so there is a good amount of fighting mixed in with the sweet ;)

  11. Happy Birthday to Ellie. Love the gorgeous toothless pic, such a beautiful girl. No wonder you are so proud! Best wishes for Melb Australia

  12. Erin-I can remember clear as if it were today sitting in the hospital with you and your mom, holding one day old Ellie. I cannot believe that was eight years ago. That was the sweetest post. What a special girl you have.

    You were darling last night. My only disappointment was no talk of incubation. We could have talked about when I planned the school Halloween party and wrote “go to Michaels” in a folder. (big wink!).

    Love you Erin. Before you know it….walking the grand kids. :)

  13. Hi Erin – once again – you have left me with a huge smile (and even a few tears!). What a beautiful tribute to Ellie! She sounds like an amazing little girl!! It is obvious that you are very proud,and you should be! Wishing Ellie a very happy birthday and a year filled with much love and laughter!!

  14. Well that was a tear jerker! I honestly cannot believe she is 8. Wasn’t she just born??? I remember the first time I saw her. We were at somebody’s baby shower or bday lunch or something. Was it at Katy’s house?? You were there and I remember you showing your cute baby to us.

    Happy Birthday to Sweet Ellie.

    P.S. I have been having trouble reading your blog on my computer. We installed an internet filter thingy and for some reason it won’t let me read the wording on your blogs even though I can still see the pics. That’s why I haven’t been replying to them lately! I try to catch up with them when Butch’s computer is here. :)

  15. Awww Erin your lil baby is 8! Shame on your for getting me all worked up with water in my eyes at work! I simply love it. You are exactly what a mother should be. Thanks for being such a good role model!

  16. Wow! That was absolutely beautiful. I’m sure she will cherish this post in the years to come as she looks back on this and re-reads it. What a great thing to do for a special little lady.

  17. This letter made me cry!! What a sweet post. She sounds SO MUCH like my oldest who will be 8 in July, which must be why I started crying. How lucky is Ellie to have such a great Mom!

    Happy 8th Birthday Ellie!

  18. Ahhh. Tears. Your words are perfect! I am now officially back on the “birthday letter” bandwagon! I have been hit and miss. thanks for this reminder:)

  19. I LOVE that boy comment-hilarious. Silly doctors-what do they know anyways? Oh Erin, time just flies. I remember Abbey at this sweet age-she sounds so much like Ellie. Always helpful, always knowing when I needed that help-playing, playing, playing. (No, I am NOT going to tell you to treasure this time because one day soon she’ll be a teenager-things have changed-not for the worse-just different!) They are just SO darn cute at that age. And by the way, looking at some of the pictures is like looking right at YOU.

  20. So cute. It made my eyes burn a little too. Preston will be 8 in a couple of weeks and I am not sure I am ready for that. Happy Birthday Ellie! So cute you shared your 8 dollars. You’re an amazing little girl.

  21. A VERY VERY Big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ellie! I think we all love her, and her cute personality! Erin, you are such a great mom to her! Glad we get to see her more often, now that the girls are both 8! Happy Birthday, and great post!!

  22. Love this post Erin! And love that Ellie girl! From the beginning of your blog I have always LOVED reading about the many funny things Ellie says and does, she cracks me up! I too love her endless creativity! She really is such a great example, Addie is lucky to have such a fun older sister who looks out for her so much. I can’t believe she instantly thought to share her dollars with Ad, she really is the sweetest thing. (That would never happen around here!) She is quite the little sunshine for sure, in our lives too!

    Love you Ellie! You are such a great friend for Pierson and Madi, we love playing with you so much and can’t wait to see you again!

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