Happy birthday to my beautiful golden girl! Eliza celebrated her golden birthday this year! Decorating our home in all things "gold" seems appropriate because Eliza loves glitz, glam, sparkle and fashion! However, most importantly, her heart is made of gold.
Her love and empathy for others runs deep. She is sensitive to all people; even fictious characters in a movie or television show. Lately I have noticed that she has a major soft spot for the elderly. It is sweet to watch her interact with those she loves and worries about.
Eliza is smart. If I had a quarter for every time I wrote that on here I would be rich! Coupled with that intelligence is a healthy side of humility; something her boasting Mother should take a swallow of herself. I can't help it though. It's her birthday post! And geez... it's belated this year so she deserves all the praise I can offer. At parent teacher conference this year, she and I sat with her teachers and listened to the two of them praise her performance in school. At one point they shared that she had the highest test score in her grade. Eliza barely cracked a smile! "Eliza!" I said. "It's just us in here! You can smile!"
Eliza puts so much pressure on herself to be the best and it takes an emotional toll on her. This year I have tried to emphasize that I will always be proud of her if she has tried her best. This doesn't mean she has to be perfect; please sweet girl, don't put that pressure on yourself. But yes, pay attention, work hard, ask questions and do your best! A couple times she would come to the car after school in tears because of a less than perfect test score. I wonder if her teachers think that her parents are putting this pressure on her. We aren't. Helping her alleviate that pressure is something we are working on.
I am proud of her for the times when she has struggled with a math concept, as an example, and then taking time to work with her teachers until she fully gets it. Earlier this year, she heard that another classmate was doing sixth grade math already so Eliza spent more time at the computer after school so she could finish fifth grade math and move onto sixth! And she did it. (read: she is a little competitive)
She likes to learn for the sake of learning. At the end of the school year she decided to memorize the capitals of all the countries in the world because that sounded like a fun challenge. And now, she knows most of them. It would make her happy if you asked to quiz her on some.
She is my right hand gal. Eliza often asks to make pancakes or cookies. Baking is a new interest of hers. The part where you clean up and wash the dishes afterward; not so much! Yesterday morning she surprised me with pancakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries in bed. Included in her beautiful display were yellow daisies. How did I get this lucky?!
This summer, because of the heat, the kids have been retreating more to the basement. While the kids play, Eliza will turn on a show to watch/listen to while she sews. She worked on a fairy house and accessorized it by making darling furniture for it earlier this summer and most recently sewed a baby blanket. She is taking the summer off from her sewing lessons but still has spent several hours at her sewing machine.
She loves to paint my nails and often begs for the opportunity to update them with a new design. Often times I receive compliments on how they look and am asked where I have them done! Hearing this makes her so happy.
Eliza is so many wonderful things. She is a wonderful sister, a pianist, a seamstress, a student, a reader and my personal favorite; she is a wonderful friend. I love you Eliza Grace. Thank you for filling my world with so much light and love. I don't know how I got so lucky eleven years ago. You are such a treasure to me.
I LOVE YOU!!
As for a quick birthday recap, Eliza decided that we had so much fun shopping on her birthday last year that she asked to do it again this year.
It was tricky because her birthday was also the day of Forrest's Mother's Day tea at preschool and Henry's third grade program. Not to mention, Henry came home from school with a nasty headache for part of the day. With these other commitments in the mix, we did our best to focus on our special girl. That morning, before we were to be at the Mother's Day tea, Eliza and I went and got pedicures together.
During her Dad's lunch break that day, he took Eliza on a quick little fishing trip; just the two of them.
(I had to bribe her to wear the sash and crown for the photo;
this was not her thing.)
this was not her thing.)
Beautiful girl; inside and out.
I love you, Eliza.
One last thing:
Eliza competed in this year's math, science, olympiad.
It was a first for her and she LOVED it.
I almost didn't drive out to the competition but am so happy I did.
Eliza and her teammate Samantha came in FIRST place!
(The even beat the sixth graders!)
She was BEAMING.
I can't remember a time where I saw her that happy.
It was an amazing moment.