Today this girl right here turns EIGHTEEN.
Yes, I have another child who is just plain OLD.
And in Hawaii, because that's where she is right now, they say "Hau'oli la hanau ie 'oe" (just in case you didn't know that, Elle:)
How the heck did that whirlwind happen so fast?? She was just graduating and then so quickly finished her first summer semester in Provo, worked out a plan to take finals a week early from there so she could get to Hawaii, where she had been communicating with her Hawaii counselor and teachers so she could start there a week late.
Phew! I'm not gonna lie, that was tough work. And it stressed her out. But she is now safely tucked into her Hawaiian dorm and caught up in good classes, making visits to the beach each day and exploring that gorgeous island.
And I think she's going to survive.
Lots more to say on that tomorrow, but for today, we are celebrating the big day over here on the mainland, and trying to send our love over there to that far-away island any way we can.
So here are my top eighteen things I love about Elle as of today.
1) She makes things fun. Everything seems more vibrant when she's around.
2) She has the confidence to stand on her own if she has to, and doesn't give in to peer pressure. Never has.
3) Although she is disconnected from pressure or drama (she just doesn't have the patience for it and seems to repel it), she is very connected with how people feel, looking out for the underdog and trying to be inclusive. I think that's a rare combination.
4) She is quick to apologize. For example, she's been a little on-edge lately with all these changes which makes for a little huffiness to come out here or there, but you can be sure that within minutes she will send a text or call to say she's sorry.
5) She is humble. I loved Max's valentine's note for her as part of our "family heart attack" before he left on his mission: "I love Elle for being humble even though she has a lot to brag about."
6) She is a hard worker. When she puts her mind to something she does it, and does it well.
7) She has an eye for beauty. I love her angles and composition to capture beauty in her photography.
8) I can trust her. With anything. A job, working hard, being kind, being honest, taking care of something, you name it, she will take care of it.
9) Her sisters think she can walk on water. They adore her and want to be just like her. Here they are with her on her quick layover here before she took off for Hawaii:
Do you think they like her a little? Check out Lucy's face. Love it.
10) So it's extra good that she makes good choices for them to follow.
11) She's an adventurer. That's why I think she's going to love Hawaii so much, she's always up for an adventure, and there are countless adventures that await her over there.
12) She knows in whom to trust and rely on in a tough spot, she knows to look up.
13) She's quirky. She will come up with crazy sayings or talk in a funny accent and it's kind of endearing.
14) She enjoys simple. Doesn't make a fuss out of anything and doesn't ever expect anything. She's so easy to please!
15) This girl isn't a complainer. It isn't worth her time. She doesn't let things get to her and just bites the bullet to get things done.
16) She is far from perfect (I know birthday posts that only accentuate the great stuff tend to make it feel that way), but she's willing to work on her faults and make goals to improve any way she can.
17) She's a lot like her dad. And that's of course a good thing (I sure love that man), except for when it drives me crazy!
18) She's taller than me. And I just like it:)
Happy Birthday Baby! I hope you find a great place to float your cake over in Hawaii! And get a surf lesson too!