Dear Ella,

You are fearless.

This past year as your school sent those cookie orders to raise money, you took the initiative. You went to ALL of our neighbors to see if they wanted cookies. You knocked on their doors. You followed up with the ones who told you they'd let you know another day. You were persistent. And you did it ALL by yourself.

I did not go with you. I did not help you. All I did was tell you "Yes" when you asked if you could run outside and see if the neighbors wanted cookies.

What's more impressive? You actually sold some! (Thank you neighbors - you know who you are - You made her day)

You were our experimental baby. You got ALL of our trial and error! There are many things I wish I could do differently from your childhood, but I know I became a better mother because of you!

You work hard and practice until you get it right! Just yesterday you were showing me how to draw stars on blank sheets of paper. Connecting the five lines together perfectly with your pencil. When a couple months ago you had cried in frustration because you couldn't figure out how to draw those exact type of stars. You kept practicing and learning and you got it down.

You love to read books to me. And I love to listen to you read. Your favorites right now are the Magic Treehouse series that you often get from your school library. My favorite time of the night is when we snuggle together on your bed after our family scripture study, after teeth brushing, putting pajamas on, and saying your bedtime prayers. I read you a book or chapter from a book that you've chosen. You often fall asleep while we're reading, your head resting on my arm. I usually wait awhile before heading downstairs. Soaking up those moments with you.

I will always remember when you were three years old and couldn't speak. It took a lot of practice, and speech therapists over a good three year span. But here you are, reading to me, talking to me, and telling me about everything you did at school today.

You love to have wild hair. Its usually a struggle to brush out your hair (because of all those tangles)! And you prefer to keep your hair down and free to blow in the wind!

You love to pick wildflowers. When we go on walks or hikes you always find the beautiful flowers/plants and hand them to me with a smile. You often say, "I just can't help myself, they are so pretty! I have to pick them!"

I love you, my wild nature girl,