Ella, Age 11



little big girl – –  that is who you are at this very moment.  caught between the two different worlds that are seemingly connected.  like the north pole grabbing hands with the sandy beach or the ocean washing over the desert.  that business of wanting to grow up, and yet still loving to play.  can i tell you a secret dear daughter and little friend?  not the secret about growing up being over rated, which isn’t much of a secret at all, anyways.  but the one i haven’t mentioned yet, is that it’s ok to still play.  not many will tell you this, or have even figured this out for themesevles, but, the truth is, you will be a better, most creative, and more balanced grown up if you don’t loose the art of play.  don’t let that brilliant and interesting imagination of yours wander off into the seriousness we grownies are now being smothered by.  god gave you that wild imagination of yours, and the gift of play, not just to be used and then tidied and tucked away after 10.  no!  he gave it to you to use each and every day of your life.  the first 10 years are just the beginning.  they are the ones filled with games, and adventures, and far away places. days where you climb trees and eat ice cream covered pizza, for dinner, with a squirrel and a mermaid queen all before breakfast.  these periwinkle days are the ones that will color your tomorrows.   so go ahead and start your coloring.  and, while you’ll want to stay in the lines and make a pretty picture, i urge you to forget all about those pesky bold lines and make a big crazy mess all over that paper.  the more colors the better.

dear want to be big girl… i know you so well.  i know you better than you know yourself.  i wanted my way into big girlness my whole little girl life.  and, i got there faster than i figured.  only i never really got what i thought i wanted.  i never really considered that i might miss all of the good, magical, wonder-filled things that little girls get to do (this is why my bike makes me so happy now, you see).  your big girls days will come, no doubt, but i’m wishing for you that you won’t, just yet, let your little girl days go.  play school.  play store.  play mermaids (just don’t put my jewelry in the pool for your treasure, please) until your properly pruned.

you can still play in makeup and talk about what you want to wear.  yes, that is fun and part of the playing, too.  just pinky promise that you won’t forget to travel in your imagination from here to there.  because, when you are older, as you will certainly be, you’ll want to remember how to get from there to here.   and, i promise you now, that in still engaging in play you are mapping your way.

+ you are my little baker.  apparently all those years of watching giada and nigella have paid off.  although, you seem to be a fan girl of the pioneer woman.
+ you are a jr. mommy.  thank you.  thank you.
+ you’ve started stealing my clothes (and coat) this year.  i’m just happy you think my clothes are cool enough
+ you love to ask really deep and, of course, spiritual questions right before bed.  good timing!
+ you have a new love for volleyball and sports in general.   i never knew my girl would be an athlete and so competitive.
+ you’re favorite way to study is to play school and teach your class
+ instead of, “can we go to mcdonald’s?” it’s more like “can we go to starbucks and get a mocha?”
+   you eat your swedish pancakes with powdered sugar
+ your favorite movie is grace unplugged
+ dork diaries are on your nightstand along with ruby redfort and peter pan
+ making a snack now consists of baking cupcakes, cookies or concocting smoothies
+  you skype with your cousins for hours
+ you still make up songs and i hope you never stop
+ you curl your eyelashes every morning with a pink eyelash curler



  • Nancie N Bartley
    Commented on February 11th, 2014 at 12:33pm

    My teens steal my clothes daily ..as in my 18 year old, paused to launch out the door this morning queried “where are OUR black UGGs?” Part of me gets frustrated. Just please tell me you are wearing my boots so I don’t spend an hour looking for them. Part of me is tickled that at 58 my clothes are worthy of stealing. Like many things, a double edged sword.
    And yes, don’t grow up too fast Miss Ella. Plenty of time for that.
    Happy birthday to her and happy aniiversary of becoming a mommy to you.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 13th, 2014 at 10:21am

    love that she calls them “our” haha. i still borrow clothes from my mom. i’ve always loved that i’ve been able to borrow her things. she was/is super cool and never really minded much but she does remind us that she remembers walking around our school and seeing our friends in her clothes and she was like “what?!” i’m hoping that doesn’t happen. thanks for your sweet words, as always, nancie! xo . t

  • aaron tokarz
    Commented on February 11th, 2014 at 9:02pm

    love it. seems a very appropriate post following our coffee this morning. perfectly spoken.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 13th, 2014 at 10:16am

    thank you! heading over to your blog now to check out your weekly portraits!

  • Amy
    Commented on February 14th, 2014 at 4:28pm

    Love Ella’s shoes. Where’d you find them? Need to purchase them stat for my 12 year old Ella!

  • Trina
    Commented on February 18th, 2014 at 12:16pm

    thanks! we got them this past summer…maybe footlocker? can’t find the same style but they are adidas ….still some cute styles out right now http://www.kidsfootlocker.com/_-_/keyword-adidas+girls

  • Jo
    Commented on February 16th, 2014 at 12:18pm

    I think I probably tell you this every time one of your littles has a birthday, but these are my very favorite of your posts. I’m not a mom and don’t plan on ever being, but I adore seeing how you view your children through the eyes of motherhood. As always, thank you so much for sharing these posts with us.
    And, Ella, your mom is right. Keep that little girl alive! She will be your sanity when adulthood weighs on your shoulders.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 18th, 2014 at 12:09pm

    jo – you are always so sweet. they are my favorite to write and i’m always so astonished and grateful for how they resonate with everyone…love what you said about the little girl being your sanity when adulthood weighs on your shoulders – so true! hope you are well! xo . t

  • Smithe806
    Commented on April 2nd, 2014 at 8:57pm

    Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors! bbcddckcdd

Leave a Reply

Get On The List

Join thousands of readers and receive Trina’s weekly letter: The Weekly Three.
3 things of note, along with encouragement and inspiration for your soul & everyday life.