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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and closeupThere is a lot that I could say about our first daughter, and I have said most of it already in posts from the past, so I won’t bore you with rehashing details.

Today is Tullie Rose’s 12th birthday. If I had to sum her up in a word, I would say, “Lovely.” I don’t use the word lightly, because I wouldn’t have said that at her birth.

Over the last couple of years, she has surprised me in little ways. They aren’t astounding. They aren’t life changing ways, but her quiet fortitude is simply lovely.

The way she picks out her clothes (sometimes completely seasonally off base), is lovely, because she has developed her own sense of style.

The way she sees each person that she knows and greets them with a hug is lovely. Even to the folks she has just met.

Her concentration on a puzzle until it is complete is lovely.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor
Photo credit Brenda Joy Photography

The way she quietly leaves a room when her siblings are fighting to go find her own quiet place, is lovely and unassuming.

When she is doing her math work and saying the answers to her addition problems, and has to carry a number and she says, “Put the one on top!” and looks at me with a big grin, because she remembers each time. That grin is lovely.

When she’s singing to the radio and she knows all of the words to the songs and may be incredibly tone deaf, but she is singing along with Adele with all her heart. I think Adele would be pleased and would think that it was lovely that Tullie knows all of the words to¬†Hello.

She sits on the sofa and curls up with a book. She sits there and reads the words to the book outloud to herself. I glance over her shoulder and notice that she is reading each word on her own. Later, I’ll ask her about her story, and she’ll give me a little recap. “It was funny. Barbie got a new car and it’s pink. Ken bought it for her.” I’ll glance through the book and see that she gave me a lovely, accurate book report.

12 years ago, we saw an overwhelming and daunting task and it didn’t look lovely. The future looked difficult. It was, but it has been lovely, because we have learned. She has stretched us. She has taught us loveliness. She has taught us beauty. She has taught us patience. She has taught us contentment in today.Tullie has never gotten anxious about the future. She has never shown fear because of something in the past. She wakes up each morning and does a puzzle, reads a book, empties the dishwasher, gets dress, makes eggs, cleans up messes, washes eggs, puts them in egg cartons, loves her siblings, plays with her Shopkins, jumps on the trampoline, and looks at my necklace, and says, “Oh, I love my brother Boston.”

She is simply lovely.

We love her fiercely.

Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Girl.

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