Birthday Girls

The smiling girls pictured here are our hilarious and brilliant nieces, Ella and Caroline.  They’re both October babies, a little more than a year apart — Caroline just turned five, and Ella will be four on Hallowe’en! — and they’re a huge part of the life Michael and I share together.

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I first wrote about them as members of our wedding party, the Gang of Awesome:

Caroline & Ella · Flower Girls

These sweet girls are Michael’s nieces, ages three and two respectively.  Actually, Ella was born on the day we started dating, so she and her big sister have been a source of joy in our relationship from the start.  We’re thrilled to have them as our flower girls!  They are pretty thrilled about their fancy dresses, too.  (Thanks for making them, Grandmama Judy!)

Being able to call them our nieces — my nieces too, now — is so fantastic.  I’m so lucky and blessed to know them.  I love watching them grow up.  I like to teach them things, but even more, I’m cognizant of and thankful for just how much they teach me.

Caroline reminds me that everything has its time and place.  She’s so organized and thoughtful, in her own Carolineish Way, and she rarely leaves a task undone once she’s begun.  She loves small things, and she helps me to appreciate them too.  She believes in diligence and hard work, and soon I think she’ll realize (overtly, if she doesn’t already) that her effort and willingness are sometimes more important than what results.  She makes me think intentionally.

Ella keeps me laughing and thinking creatively.  She’s enthusiastic and boundless, and while she keeps us on our toes, she keeps herself there, too.  She loves to tell stories, and her imagination seeps into every second of her life, coloring everything brightly.  She’s a whirlwind, confident yet bashful, boisterous yet careful.  Her opinions are definite, but she’s sweet about them.  She loves what you love, mostly.  She keeps me looking for possibility.

I love Ella and Caroline for what I see in them of their family, but it’s so much more than that!  I think this will be a big year for them, and I wish them every happiness, now and always.

Happy birthday, girls!  We sure do love you.

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