Ella, Age 12

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little la la,

yesterday, in chicago, you told me your name isn’t la la.  i’m not sure if you rolled your eyes, but i rolled mine.  my jr. high self meeting yours.  no, your name is ella.  would have been eleanor.  beautiful fairy.  light.  grace.  and, as amy says, queen of the sea.  but, you are still ella bella ding dong, lolli-pop, ella grace with the pretty pretty face, and la la (as your little brothers started calling you – well, that and butthead).  you can’t take your names away – not even from yourself.  and, one day, you won’t want to.  you’ll laugh with your brothers, bigger then you, when they, in man voices, call you la la.  if you are lucky, like me, they will even have new names for you.  just as i have jumbo for jay.

it’s an interesting thing becoming ourselves.


and, it feels like you are on a fast track at your age.  but, the track never stops (if you let yourself be a lifelong learner) and sometimes circles back around again.  the little person you may be trying, at 12 , to outgrow is the one that will keep you, you, when you are 21, 62, or 93.  perhaps, all the birthday posts from here to 16 will sound a bit like a plea.  a plea, a reminder, wisdom if you welcome it . . . that, as you grow tall.  stay small.  not in your thinking, that is made to be big.  not in your love, that is to grow wide.  not in your confidence, that is to take root.  grow in all these things that will grow you.  but, in your spirit stay small.  small as a child.  for that is who you were created to be.  a child of God.  it is who you will always be, whether girl, mother or wife.  it is the only place you will find your true identity.  who you have always been and who you were always meant to be – at any stage and every age.  a daughter first and forever, darling.  a daughter.  a daughter to a Father who built and birthed an entire universe because He wanted a family.  sons and daughters.  you.  and, what a gift that the Father would trust us to care for his one of a kind, planned for, purposed, beloved daughter.  it is an honor to help you grow up into the child you will always be.


+you may wear more clothes out of my closet than your own
+eating at eataly for your birthday was your choice this year after you complained about me taking you there this year.
+you got the part of mermaid in the school play, but you’ve always been one to me and aunt amy
+you ask me to wear mascara everyday – as if i’m going to change my mind
+java chip frappuccino, pah-lease.
+you spend snow days making babysitting brochures
+”not for the life of me” bah da ba ba ba
+you just finished reading I Am Malala
+you still sing more then you talk
+you got a red floral kimono from billabong for your birthday
+you are a professional at selfies, mostly on my phone, which i can’t erase
+you are still afraid of feathers.  i know, it’s my fault.  remember you are part pigeon.
+your creativity is cool, my little minion.
+you are a professional at holding babies.  ella + baby hope = love.
+you are so good at keeping your room clean (haha….saying this in faith)
+you are cross-current trina 2.0






  • Michelle
    Commented on February 9th, 2015 at 7:57pm

    Love that sweet girl and how much you love her! xo

  • Trina
    Commented on February 9th, 2015 at 9:52pm

    awww….thanks, michelle! xo . t

  • Myla
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 7:48am

    What a beautiful post and a wonderful ode to your daughter. From reading your post, I can tell how special your bond is with Ella. She seems to be growing into a beautiful person.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 2:52pm

    thank you, myla. she is a lovely young lady. xo . t

  • Nancie Nelson Bartly
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 2:04pm

    Beautiful woman-child and a lovely tribute to her.
    Hang on to your hat, it’s about to be a bumpy ride!!
    (bumpy but great fun. I LOVE my teenagers and think they are so fun, even when they make my eyeballs bleed.)

  • Trina
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 2:52pm

    thank you, nancie. “even when they eye balls bleed.” you gave life to words to describe the twitches that precede the beginning of the bleed -ha! i love that you think teenagers are fun. i always have. sometimes, i have to step outside of being a parent and remember my jr high self and i find, in that space, empathy and understanding. and, like i might need to dail my parents and say sorry for how i behaved in 1990. xo .t

  • Dawn
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 2:14pm

    I loved reading this……there is nothing like mama love for her child.

  • Gigi
    Commented on February 10th, 2015 at 4:34pm

    This is simply beautiful.
    Your words made me think of the fact that no matter how grown up our childen become, they will always be.. our children.
    I sit here in Denmark missing my “little” girl who’s actually a grown up woman of 23. Last July she went to Philadelphia to stay for a year. She’s my little white butterfly and I can’t wait till she flies back to me this summer :)

  • Trina
    Commented on February 11th, 2015 at 2:20pm

    thank you, gigi! yes, that is what my mom tells me….that your children will always be your children. and, that the love between a parent and child (no matter the age) is like no other. wishing the days go fast for you! xo . t

  • Rebekah @ Ritzy Reba
    Commented on February 12th, 2015 at 1:06am

    Loved this.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 12th, 2015 at 2:20pm

    thank you! xo . t

  • Callie
    Commented on February 12th, 2015 at 12:45pm

    She has always been a special one. Love to you both xo!

  • Trina
    Commented on February 12th, 2015 at 2:22pm

    awww…she is something. she talks of you and out tucson times, often. miss and love you! xo . t

  • Jo
    Commented on February 15th, 2015 at 2:28pm

    You were born to be a child of God. I love that, Trina. May Ella never forget that fact, although we all too often do. I know I do. So thank you for the reminder and, as always, sharing your love of family with the rest of us. Happy Birthday Ella. May 12 be absolutely magical.

  • Trina
    Commented on February 18th, 2015 at 9:26am

    as always, thank you for your sweet words, jo. it’s a paradox, learning to grow up and become a child again. xo . t

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