So many wonderful things in life come in twos-- kitchen sinks, twix bars, Ellie's blue eyes. Oh yes, and as of today, Ellie has accumulated two years of life experience. We just returned home this morning from a five-day tour across four Chinese cities, including two 11-hour train rides, but through our bleary eyes Kyle and I watched Ellie as she slept and were brimming with pride and gratitude for this sweet, lovable little girl who has brought spunk and purpose to our previously simple lives. We honestly struggle to remember a time when she was not center-stage...I suppose her arrival two years ago and her presence ever since has out-shone any previous challenges and blessings.
This year she didn't get a birthday party, cookie monster cake, a pile of presents, and her own video-clip montage. Maybe later today we'll buy her a dry, inadequately-sugared Chinese cookie. Even without the festivities, though, as I tried to select "just a few" pictures representing Ellie's now-completed second year of life, each picture reminded me of a story and made me smile, and I'm so grateful for the many who have shared the hilarious and heart-warming moments of Ellie's life with us. I think I won't write out all of the stories that could accompany these photos. Time is short, and Ellie's smiles and expressions say more than my commentary could.
Every once in a while I think of what other 23-year-old American females are doing, and briefly wonder what glamorous adventures I would be pursuing if there were no Ellie yet, but ultimately, I honestly can't imagine that there's anything I'd rather do than be her mom. Ellie reminds me daily of the good and beautiful and precious things of life.
Kyle and I are slightly less obsessed (kind of annoying, really) with her than we used to be, perhaps simply because we have less time to be fanatical, but we love her more than ever. Happy birthday to our buoyant, bright-eyed Ellie-belly. May her sweetness grow even stronger (and her hair grow much, much longer) in the coming year!
>>okay, I'm struggling with posting my collection of pictures, so I'll get Kyle to work on that later today...<<