Dear Ellie,

It turned May and you turned 4.

Can I be honest?  EVERYONE seemed shocked that it had happened so fast.  But me?  Well, it has felt a long time coming.  These last four years have been long ones full of change and adjustments. So many of the parts and pieces of our “normal” life are pinned to your arrival.  We quit Cathedral to make room for you. This blog began in your first trimester as did our adventure in homeschooling and after you were born I came face to face with postpartum depression. shortly after, we got Monday when you were both 3 months old.

What were we thinking?

To say these last four years, your four years, have been tumultuous is an understatement.  They have also been the richest and best of our family.

You evened the score by being the second sister and brought immeasurable joy with your presence.  You fill our lives with giggles and smiles and song.  You are spunky and tender, lively and loving and everything we needed.

So . . .

So these last four years have been long because they’ve been full.  I cut out fours May Day night and remembered when I had cut out the fours for each of your siblings.  There is something, Belle Belle, about turning four that transforms you  from a toddler to a kid in my mind.  I’m never really ready for any of these changes but especially not four, even when it has taken forever to get here.

Let’s make a deal, then, shall we?  You can be four in all of it’s glory and all of YOUR beauty if the next four years will seem just as long.  Agreed?

We love you.  We always will.

*The photos were all taken by the birthday girl while we readied May Day baskets. She clicked and narrated her shots, happy as a clam.  I love her angle on the world.  Always have.  It’s good to see with her eyes. And the birthday?  As always, she was easy to please.  She requested weeks ago to go to the pottery place to paint a piggybank “Because Tess has one and Gemma has one but I don’t. And I want to.”  We left her siblings home to decorate and prepare while she and I headed off together.  It was the perfect expression of all things Ellie – face painted like a tiger, a princess dress, a turtle to paint and complete concentration on her art. Later, we celebrated with enchiladas and a Robin Hood Extravaganza – it was her only other request.  “That movie with the red dog?  With the pointy ears and a bow?  Can we watch that?”  Oo-da-lolly, I love that girl.