Or just plain eleven, as some (boring) people might call it. Either way, HOW ON EARTH did I get an 11-year-old?!?
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, beautiful girl!! Dad and I love you like NUTS!! Let me count the ways!
1. I love your uncanny ability (that you have had for pretty much all of your 11 years) to perk up your radar ears every single time someone is either a.) talking about you or b.) talking about something you think you might be interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in bed with the fan on for two whole hours. You’ll still know your dad and I are talking about you downstairs in the living room.
2. I love your sense of adventure. You like to do crazy things. Like ride roller coasters. And race boys. And stuff like that.
3. I love your ever-swirling, never-slowing mind. Your brain wheels are constantly churning, and you want to know as many whos/whats/whens/wheres/whys/hows as possible.
4. I love how quickly and easily you make friends (i.e., Hannah from our Zoo Trip). And you’re such a good friend too.
5. I love your sensitive spirit and your heart for others–especially those who are hurting.
6. I love the artistic talent you inherited from your daddy. You’re a wonderful artist.
7. I love how God speaks to you (maybe not audibly, but very clearly in your heart) and you listen. Don’t ever stop listening, baby girl.
8. I love watching you play soccer (another talent you inherited from Daddy-O). You’re not graceful by any stretch, but there’s no mistaking it, you’ve got a gift. And you love the game. Playing, watching, Wii-ing. I can’t wait for you to play in Cambodia.
9. I love your hugs. You’re such a good hugger. You’re so tiny (just a few inches shorter than your mama but only half as thick and wide) that I could probably wrap my arms around you twice, but you fit perfectly up against me and hug me just the right tight.
10. I love how you love your sisters. You might not always get along (oh goodness, you three can fight), but when you’re in the mood for loving, you love each other GOOD. And it warms my heart. I’m so thankful for the bond you three share. And praying we all still love each other when we get back from Cambodia.
11. I love our deep, meaningful conversations and the silly laughs and giggles. I love reading out loud together and trading backscratches. I love our shared passion for loving the poor and oppressed and seeing God’s world. I could go on and on and on. Seriously.
I love you so much, girl. I thank God for you every single day. You are an incredible young woman.