I can't believe this girl is 2 today!
I don't even know where to begin when trying to describe the enormous amount of love Daniel and I feel for the beautiful gift God gave us 2 years ago! Ella keeps us laughing, yet she can bring tears to our eyes in mere seconds with her compassionate and loving ways. Her personality is blossoming right now, and it is SO much fun to watch as she learns how to express herself. As you can tell from the picture below, though, she's never really struggled much with outward expressions of what she's feeling on the inside... :)
Our little pouty-lips was not happy to be removed from her Mama's belly!
And there's those furrowed eyebrows that she still displays multiple times a day!
Big brother was so excited to check her out! It was love at first sight.
Best buds from the beginning - now they're just trying to figure out how friends are supposed to treat each other. Oh, what fun it can be training them! ;)
Oh, that face! Thankfully, she no longer sticks out the lower lip. I'm thankful because I would be putty in her hands if she did!
How quickly these two have changed!
There's really no doubt they're brother and sister!
First visit to the beach. She wasn't a big fan of the sand.
Her 1-year photo shoot done by the amateur Laura Bramlett
Here comes little Miss Priss...Easter 2013
My sweet friend, Chelsea Gantt, took this one this past summer. I absolutely love it!
Wonder where she got those curls...
Little by little, she's growing!
Ella looks up to her brother so much. She will do anything he does...good and bad. If I want her to eat something, all I have to say is, "Look at Riley eating _____," and in her mouth it goes! We are currently walking through a competitive/jealous stage between the two. I am praying so hard that they will see one another as friends rather than foes. I'll be honest, though, I can't help but laugh when I hear Ella say, "Riyee (Riley), top it! (stop it)," or when she says with great emphasis, "No way!" I correct her as much as possible and try to diffuse the situations, but there have been several times that I've just had to look away and laugh for a second because her little voice and the way she pronounces words is so stinkin' cute!
She's completed 2 years of life, and I think she's ready to take on this third one. What do you think?!
Here are some fun facts about Ella at this age:
1. We went to the doctor for her check-up, and she's 25.2 lbs and 33.6 inches. She's petite for her age, but she always has been, so he's not worried.
2. Ella is a girly girl. She loves dresses, necklaces, bracelets, fancy shoes, purses, etc. However, she can hang with her brother outside pretty well. She's been known to eat a few tiny rocks at the church playground, and she finds no shame in climbing on her brother's old Lightning McQueen bike (the woes of being the 2nd child!).
3. She sucks her left thumb still, and I don't see the habit breaking anytime soon! I can't fault her, though...I sucked mine until I was 5.
4. Ella is a kisser. She loves to kiss us, kiss her stuffed animals, blow kisses to people, and just yesterday in Walmart she asked me if she could kiss a little boy who passed by in another grocery cart. I can see many a conversation about no kissing boys occurring in the near future!
5. Ella loves to cuddle. Many times throughout the day she'll come to me begging to be held. She then instructs me (in her adorable little language) to go "in dere (in there)" and sit on the "towch (couch)." When I sit down she snuggles up to me and is perfectly content just being held.
6. She adores her daddy! I love watching them interact and love on each other. I pray they will always have a strong relationship.
7. She is a Texan through and through. Her southern accent is hilarious, and she can draw out some words! One of my favorite phrases to hear her say is, "Come on!" It sounds kind of like "c'moan."
8. Ella is unashamedly addicted to whole milk. You better have her sippy cup full of milk when you first walk in her room in the morning, or you (and the rest of the neighborhood) will hear about it!
9. She still wears mostly 18-month clothing - as opposed to her brother who has always worn clothes bigger than the typical child his age (he's in 5T currently).
10. Ella loves God. She loves to pray, and it is absolutely precious to listen to her talk to her Maker. A lot of the words we still can't understand, but that's okay! She even changes her tone of voice when she begins to pray - she gets softer and more gentle. I love it!
I remember before Ella was born being concerned that I couldn't love another child as much as I loved Riley. The Lord set out to prove me wrong on that one! Ella is such a lovable girl - in fact, one of my former youth in South Africa gave her the African name, "Uyathandwa," which means, "she is loved." And yes, she is SO loved! Not just by her family, but more importantly, by her Heavenly Father. I'm thankful for His reminder all of the time that He loves her more than we ever could! She is Yours, Lord! Use her for Your glory alone!