Her Life at 11

Annelise turned 11 years old today! I've never been one of those "I don't want my baby to grow up!" moms. I've loved every step of my kids becoming more self-sufficient; I relish the fact that they get themselves up, fed, & ready for school completely on their own in the mornings, that if they want something, they are strong & independent enough to go get or do it themselves… But I treasure that they still usually ask for my permission first. ;-) These are the years I want to freeze in time – I don't want the baby blob years back; THIS is my sweet spot. They are old enough to have adult conversations & participate in my grown-up life, but they are young enough that they still want me around, and I'm savoring every second.

This past year, Annelise has become one of my best friends. I think it's by virtue of her age & the fact that we've spent so much time together with competition cheer, coupled with the fact that, as Will gets older, he is retreating a bit more into young teen mode. His sports are all through school, so we are not only no longer his coaches, but we don't even take him to and from practice. Will still wants to talk to me when he gets home from school & before bed, but he'd rather be playing electronics, riding bikes around the neighborhood, or playing basketball with his friends during the day. Annelise wants to play with *me* - working out at the gym & then bobbing in the hot tub together, running fun errands that exasperate Will & JB (like hitting up 4 grocery stores - Aldi, 99 Ranch, Costco, & Trader Joe's - in a row!), baking together, having sleepovers in my room (while the boys camp out on the couch) where we watch Bob Ross, Cooking Channel, & girly movies, (Fried Green Tomatoes was her recent introduction to Southern classics. :-D) And she knows she has my staunch support at her cheer practices; I love watching her get stronger, sharper, cleaner every time. I think it's important that she sees me watching, so she can believe it wholeheartedly when I tell her how great she's doing. It's drawn us very close, b/c we share each other's worlds.

Annelise's passions in life involve creating art: whether it's the performance majesty of flying in all star cheer stunts, sewing her own fashion creations, drawing in one of 10 sketchbooks with her hundreds of pens & markers, painting on a canvas at a painting party, or baking recipes from scratch. She wants to open a bakery when she grows up; she dreams of us visiting bakeries in Paris, (& I dream of making that a reality one day!)

She is so strong. When we started competition cheer this time last year, I made sure she knew what she was getting into before committing... and she has never once missed practice for anything other than us being out-of-town one week last summer - that's at least 3 days a week, (5 when double teaming.) Her athleticism blows me away - I was so comparatively weak at her age.

She has the kindest heart. She can even make *me* feel better when I'm stressed. (I had a Zumba issue last week, and it was like God spoke through her. With one comment, she gave me completely fresh, POSITIVE perspective!) We also - PRAISE GOD! - have not, yet, encountered any real "girl drama" at school. I know it's coming, especially starting junior high next year, but I have many friends whose daughters have been embroiled in it throughout elementary, (I think 5th grade may have been *my* worst catty girl year growing up!) and I am SO THANKFUL that mess doesn't seem to have touched her more than a cursory glance that she worked out & got over immediately. Whew!

I love the way she prays each night: she picks two or three unique blessings of that day to be thankful for. It makes my heart sparkle when she surprises me with vocal gratitude to God for something I didn't know she had experienced or something that I had viewed as a challenge.

Of course, she's not perfect – she has a terrible time keeping up with material things; belongings are constantly strewn haphazardly in her wake, whether that be in the family room, the kitchen, up the stairs, in her room, in my truck... Trustworthiness is also a major concern that she's working to bolster this year. Pray for her for that. ❤️

But she's truly become one of my best friends. The line between parent & child is certainly not blurred, but we absolutely enjoy each other so much! I couldn't be more thankful that she is the one whom God has entrusted to me.

Celebrating today: I brought bomb pops for her class to recess at school. She got a Himalayan salt lamp (she's been asking for one since Christmas! :-P) & an Edible Arrangement delivered (JB made that dream come true!) We ate crazy delicious flavor combinations at Healthy Cow Pizza, and we ended her bday night with a beautiful Yin yoga practice together.

(Working on potential party plans for maybe next weekend; she has cheer both Sat & Sun this one. She's good with that.)


  1. A belated "Happy Birthday!" to Annelise!! Love the bond that the two of you have, and all the memories you're making together! (And if you need a 3rd person on that Paris bakery trip, just let me know ;)


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