Monday, August 29, 2011


You know how I talked about 8 years going by in the blink of an eye with Anne Marie?

Well, the crazy thing is that it happened again. But this time it was 12 years!

Julia is 12. Julia is 12. Julia is 12. I keep repeating that so that I will actually start to believe it.

I mean, how could this be? She was just slamming the door to her room and yelling at me a few years ago. How could she now be this reasonable, lovely 12 year old?

(In our family, the stomping and door slamming happens around 9 and ends around 11. Lucky me, I know. Seriously)

When our children go into 7th grade, they get a phone. They finally are not the only one of their friends to not have one. We upgraded this year though, and gave it to her for a birthday present because we gave her a new phone with it. Kate got her's before her birthday because she just got my old phone. Hence, the happy, surprised look on Julia's face.

But the present she asked for was her very own, super shiny, video-taking....Camera!!

As Julia gets older, she DAILY becomes more and more wonderful. More spiritual, more mature, more lovely, more fun, and easier and easier. Like I said, I'm lucky.

Julia has a strong desire to always be better, to improve, to grow, to surpass her own potential.

She's pretty awesome.

And she has a uniqueness unsurpassed by anyone. One of the things she asked for this year was a lock box to hold her Halloween candy.(to keep it safe from the littler people around here). And to go in it? Milk chocolate chips. Don't ask me why. We stopped trying to investigate how that clever brain of hers works a loooong time ago.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Granger! And from Grandma and Grandpa Allen? Cold, hard cash. Money to spend on clothes, or jewelry, or more chocolate chips if she wanted. I wish I had a picture of the look on her face when she showed me the money!

And while I wish that we weren't a family of show stealers (alright, I don't always wish that), without that trait I wouldn't be able to show you this:

Or this:

He just needed a "gentle" reminder that it wasn't his birthday. It was something like, "Sit down Dad!!!!"

And from her cousins who know her better than anyone else, a hand made Harry Potter t-shirt. This girl loves Harry Potter more than anyone else I know. Unless of course you can find someone else who has read the Harry Potter series 12 times. Then maybe we'll have a contender.

And because I love her, and because I cleaned out my cake decorating kit hence feeling capable of decorating a cake again after a slight hiatus, I actually made a pretty cake for Julia. Homemade chocolate cake and frosting-best recipe ever from my friend Teresa-with 3 layers and flowers. Impressive, I know.

I think Julia liked it. And when she blew out the candles.....

......I'm sure there was some amazing wish that was made. Swimming with dolphins? A giant lock box to hide in when she needs to get away? Paragliding? It's hard to say. With this girl, the sky is the limit.

We could not be more proud of this girl. I exaggerate not when I say that she is everything we could have hoped for when she was born. And honestly, we take very little credit. They come to earth with their personalities intact. You can tell when they are babies that they are different from their siblings. We have tried to provide a home where they can thrive, feel loved, and be taught good values. But who they are is all them.

Happy Birthday Julia! You are loved more than you know, appreciated probably more than we tell you, and gifted beyond belief.

You're a gift to this world. And we can't wait to see what you'll do.

Love you girl!!!


  1. What a sweet girl. The looks on her face say it all...she was spoiled for her special day and deserved every second. Those are the best kinds of days.

  2. Awww how wonderful is that entire post!!! So sweet!

  3. Happy Birthday!! What an awesome girl. Don't let Maeve know she got a phone.

  4. The Kralicky'sAugust 30, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    What a lovely tribute to a lovely girl that we miss so very much. I can't believe Julia is 12, and the genuine smile on her face shows just what a happy girl she is!

    We miss you, Julia.. Happy 12th birthday!
    Chris, Joe, Joey, Laura and Evan


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