This blue-eyed spitfire with her ringlets of gold has the fierce determination most athletes dream of. She is fully committed to everything she does. When she’s sweet, she’s 100% sweet. And when she’s mad, she’s 100% mad.

At times, she is exhausting. And although my coffee may be strong, her opinion is stronger. She knows what she wants and she goes after it in hunger games style. And let’s face it, the odds are rarely in my favor. Which is why she has worn Ugg boots to school in the middle of summer, made me stand in the parking lot in the freezing cold waiting for her to buckle her own seatbelt, dressed up as Elsa for career day at school and had peanut butter on a spoon and a fruit cup for supper more times than I’d like to admit.

I have no doubt that God is cultivating patience in my heart as I parent this strong-willed child of mine. And I know He gave her this BIG BOLD personality for a reason, so who am I to stifle her confidence? Those strong opinions and desire for independence are gifts she will need when she grows into who God made her to be. What a blessing it is for me to get to go along for the ride.

Happy 4th birthday to my sweet Ellie Bug. I hope you keep dancing through life to your own beat. The world will be watching you shine, and so will I.

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