Sweet Ella Joyce,
One month to go before you’ve experienced one full year in this world!
(Shampoo Time with Brother)
(Hanging out with Grandma Martin)
(Snuggled up with the bear Grandpa Martin got for you)
This had been a month of singing, dancing, climbing, and walking short distances from thing to thing.
You got to spend a day at Grandpa Martin’s office!
And you got to spend all kinds of time with Aunt Aalliyah and your sweet n’ adorable cousin-friend, JuneBug.
You n’ Juno had Puffin Rock Parties
and dance parties
Aunt Aallyah calls you ‘Sunshine Baby’ and says this sunshine blanket reminds her of you. It’s your special Aalliyah’s House blanky.
(getting distracted by your hand while waving)
(checking out a painting)
Aalliyah hired a new cleaning lady (you, of course!) for the 3X3″ of her coffee table
and your best buds over there are ‘Mote n’ Bottle.
You also love the bagels and hamburger buns from your brother’s toy kitchen!
Your Uncle Matt also discovered your love for Electric Light Orchestra.
He said you listened to it all evening and held onto this album for hours.
And you had bunches of fun on the swings at the park this month with Grandpa Sanders!
You spied on the big girls at the playground
until of course they made over you and let you join!
You really enjoy the sound of banging marbles together,
and you like walking around with the cart I used to play with as a baby.
(worn out after a day of play!)
Your daddy is still an expert at bad dad jokes! He put your bear rattles on your arms, snapped this picture, and told everyone you were exercising your second amendment rights.
Grandma Sanders discovered your oh so sad, heartbreaking, and loud fake cry while at the grocery store:
She said you had captured the hearts of all the shoppers in the store.
And then she had to take something dangerous away from you and you let everyone know about it.
The shoppers- they came over to check on you, and to see what awful thing Grandma had done to you!
You may listen when we say ‘no’, but you have no qualms about expressing your feelings about it loud and clear.
Grandma Sanders also took you to play at the mall where you made more ‘big girl’ friends!
And lastly, Ella Bella, I wanted to share these paintings with you:
They were painted by a friend of your Uncle J and Aunt Rebecca’s. Her name is Casey Anthony.
They are so beautiful and your daddy and I were so incredibly touched when we saw them.
We sent a message thanking Casey for sharing her artwork with us, and I thought it was perfect that in reply she stated that she was inspired by your pictures on Facebook, “not just because [you] are a beautiful child (which [you] are!) But because you are so loved. It’s obvious that you have so many people that just love you more than anything. A subject is so much more inspiring when you know how it is so valued.”
That made my heart soar!
The hardest thing I do is leave you every day so that I can work, because I have to… It’s hard because I want to spend more time with you, and I hurt for the time I’ve lost. I often feel guilty and wish things were different.
Throughout my work week I entrust so many people with the my most precious and invaluable gifts: you and your brother.
And every week I am given all the pictures you see above ^^^, and all the pictures in your previous monthly letters, that remind me how blessed I am, and how blessed you are, that you are so loved by so many. It makes being a working momma a little easier, knowing that you are bonding with people who will be with you, loving you, the rest of your life.
So, when I get the physical copy of Casey’s painting in hand, I’m going to hang it in a place I can see it every day as I leave for work. It’s going to serve as my daily reminder that I’m doing okay by you, and that we have so much to be thankful for! Our lives are rich and full of love.
You are so precious to me, Baby Girl
I love you dearly.