We celebrated Ellee’s 12th birthday this weekend.  And even as I type those words, it’s kind of hard to believe how quickly time has gone by.  Ellee was scheduled to be born on a Tuesday, but she decided she’d rather come on Monday instead.  She was born in the early morning hours and when I saw her for the first time, I remember being so happy that I had such a sweet baby girl.  Though she is no longer a baby, and the imminent teenage years are swapping some of the sweet with sass, I’m still overall so happy that she is our daughter and am so thankful for the incredible girl that she is.

Ellee picked a sleepover with a small group of friends this year.  Since the past two years, we had big parties, we decided to keep it on the simpler end and it was absolutely perfect.

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After a delicious pizza dinner, she opened some sweet gifts from her sweet friends.

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If you have a daughter you know the importance of good friends and the difference they can make.  And I’m so thankful to share that she has really, really great friends that she loves and it was so fun to see the ways that they celebrated her for her special day.

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One of the things that she wanted was a Photo Booth complete with fun props so of course that was easy for her photographer mom to set up.

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And because I’m a big fan of kids doing creative projects, we had one of those as well.

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The girls each made their own mini succulent garden.

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And I couldn’t help but think that Joanna Gaines would be proud, haha.

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In case you were wondering, it was fairly simple.  I Googled some DIY tips and picked up most of the supplies from The Home Depot, including the succulent plants.  The clear stones and glass containers came from the Dollar Store and everything came together quite nicely.

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The girls also did charcoal face masks that caused a slight allergic reaction for one of the girls who had sensitive skin (fail on my part for not asking ahead of time) but those pictures were cute, but will remain unseen.  And then Ellee played a raffle game for some prizes and little gifts that she got for her friends.  If you can’t tell from her face, she loves a good raffle and had fun picking all of the winning tickets.

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Her cake of choice for the year was a mint chocolate chip Polar Pizza from Baskin Robbins.  And while the candles pretty much left wax all over the one piece we designated, she didn’t care and made her wishes anyways.

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Thankfully the girls didn’t stay up too late, since we had church today and all in all, it was a pretty memorable sleepover, complete with fun girly movies and some French macaroons as well.

Ellee got some bonus birthday fun today when she hung out with another one of her dear friends all afternoon.

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And I had her make use of her fun birthday background with a few more friends who stopped by for our Sunday night Small Group.

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You know it’s a fun backdrop when you get a picture like this, with these cool kids.

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Tomorrow (Monday), we will wrap up Ellee’s birthday celebration with a little family time and dinner out after school.  But tonight, I just continue to reflect on what an incredible blessing our Ellee Girl is.  She is sweet and kind and hard working and a great friend and we could not be more thankful for the gift she is to our family.

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Happy Birthday Ellee, we love you so very much!  We pray that you will continue to love Jesus and be amazing and we cannot wait to see the great things that you will do in your 12th year!

Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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