Back when I was a little girl, dreaming up what sort of family I'd have one day, I imagined sons and daughters. But mostly I thought about the daughters. I had lots of girl names picked out. I saved all my dolls and favorite books and dresses to give to them. When I was a teenager and we were living in London, I bought an antique christening gown for my future daughters to wear on their blessing days.
Then I just got one daughter.
But she's all I ever dreamed of in a daughter, wrapped up in one lovely package. And she has all my old dolls and books and dresses to herself.
Here's Eliza growing up:
Here are 11 things I love about my Eliza right now:
1. Eliza is smart and quick in so many ways. She learns new things quickly and beautifully at school, at dance and in her violin lessons. She picks up on what's going on around her and interprets needs and feelings and situations rapidly and well.
2. Eliza is tough and determined. If she wants to learn or do something, she'll do it, no matter how hard it is. She'll bike up a steep and tricky trail, ski down a black diamond, learn a really hard song on the violin, or
3. Eliza is an amazing sister to her brothers, always teaching the twins new things and helping them, always supporting her big brothers.
4. Eliza is beautiful inside and out. She has gorgeous big blue eyes, soft lovely curly hair, cute freckles and a strong graceful body. Her inner beauty shines through the abundant love and care that she shows to all those around her and her great personality and charm.
5. Eliza does such kind and creative things for me. When she was 3, she used to decorate my bed quite regularly with lovely arrangements of ribbons. She's left me countless sweet notes and pictures on my pillow or at my desk. For the past couple of years, she's made me beautiful quote books with a gathering of sayings and scriptures, one for each month.
6. Eliza is artistic. She comes up with really beautiful pictures and paintings, thinking of colors and patterns and combinations that are uniquely lovely.
7. Eliza is a great writer. She writes and writes and writes. She captures things beautifully in her journal, takes copious notes when listening to General Conference and other important talks, writes descriptive and involved stories, and assigns herself little essays on various topics from time to time.
8. Eliza is a good friend. She's blessed with lots of great girl friends and is always loyal, kind and helpful to her friends. In the absence of sisters, she's created beautiful and strong friendships with excellent friends and dear cousins.
9. Eliza is a beautiful dancer. She loves her dance class and dances with great feeling, putting her whole self into her dancing.
10. Eliza loves the gospel. She loves and understands the scriptures. She listens carefully and really internalizes and processes what she hears in all church meetings. She prays with real faith. She understands and can beautifully explain gospel principles.
11. Eliza has a remarkable understanding of herself. She knows who she is. She knows what she needs. She's great about recognizing when she needs some time alone or needs some sleep and going off to take care of that rather than sticking around to impose a bad mood on others. She sees when she's feeling overly emotional and calms herself down amazingly well most of the time. She is quite critical of herself, wanting to always do a great job at everything she does. But she's good at getting over disappointments and moving forward.