18 years and 9 months ago I found myself astonished that I was pregnant again! Bethany was barely 9 months old and Rob and I were in the throes of adjusting to life + 2 kiddos. I couldn’t believe it. The doctor who announced that indeed I was pregnant must have known it would be a shocker because he wisely said, “Mrs. Kelly, why don’t you sit down for a minute” before announcing the unexpected news.
Elise – you came tumbling into our lives unexpectedly, but we’ve been ever so grateful!
I love you with all my heart. You are and always will be my baby. Here are 18 things I love about you or memories I have about you in no particular order.
- ONE: When you were little you looked like a little “Who” from “Who-ville”. You had the most expressive big eyes – still do!
- TWO: One of my all time favorite memories of you is when you sang “Jesus Loves Me” in a strangely almost possessed way…we captured it on video and if I ever figure out how to transfer it to a file I can post from our VHS tape…look out!
- THREE: You are very tenderhearted and very loyal – I love the way you reach out to others and always have concern for them.
- FOUR: Hooray for being competitive! You come by it honestly from a long line of competitive family members..your Grandma Morarie, your Dad, me (I guess, wink, wink) a bunch of your aunts and uncles, your sisters. It’s so fun to play games with you as you hold true to our motto, “If you aren’t playing to win, why bother!” Ha!
- FIVE: You are very creative. I look at your scrapbook and my attempt at scrapbooking. Well – yeah, you know. I LOVE your scrapbook!
- SIX: I remember one summer when we couldn’t hardly open our back door as you created a haven for all the “rolly Pollies” (pill bugs) in the neighborhood. You carefully created a mansion (mound) out of sand and would transplant the Rolly Pollies to their new home.
- SEVEN: Watching you play soccer – running down the field with the fierce determined look on your face was always so much fun! Watching you play was one of your Grandpa Morarie’s favorite things to do!
- EIGHT: You’re a wonderful baker and chef. It’s so much fun to experience the holidays with you by my side, cooking and baking up a storm. I love that you try new things, inventing recipes as you go along. Last year’s birthday cake you made for me was amazing!
- NINE: One of the most important days ever was the day you decided to become a child of God and then later were baptized. We are loving watching you grow into the amazing woman of God that He is shaping you to be!
- TEN: I’m glad Aussie, our first dog, had you for a dog trainer – ha, ha, ha! I remember looking out our back window watching you drag her along with her leash like a little drill sargeant screaming, “Aussie, I said HEEL!”
- ELEVEN: You have a wonderful talent in music – a beautiful voice, you play the piano beautifully, and you rock the house on your bass guitar! I love hearing you and watching you worship – both at church and at home.
- TWELVE: For some reason you LOVED to terrorize your sisters, pinching their arms in the squishy soft spot and I remember shrieks coming from the basement, “No, Elise, no, Elise! ELISE!!!!” For a while they nicknamed you “Elise the Beast!”
- THIRTEEN: I loved seeing your passion for sharing Jesus when you went on the mission trip to Belize. Keep seeking for opportunities like this in the future, Elise, these trips are always life-changing!
- FOURTEEN: You would always be so excited when daddy got home! I loved watching you follow him around, immitating everything he did. I remember taking your picture of helping him change the oil on our car…both of your legs were extended out from under the car and you were both underneath…if he’d mutter something under his breath, you would too, if he cleared his throat, you would too…it was hilarious and somehow you both managed to change the oil!
- FIFTEEN: You have one of the coolest laughs in the whole world. It’s contagious and noone can help themselves from joining in the laughter when you’re laughing. It was always funny unless you were being disciplined…you got out of a few spankings because you made me laugh instead. Not the most recommended option for good parenting on my part, but it’s fun to remember now!
- SIXTEEN: Anyone who knew you as little girl will remember your incredible fit throwing! Somehow you’d grow legs and arms and add layers of screaming voices and whirl around in fits of anger. I remember sitting outside your bedroom hearing thumps and screams while I held the door shut and kept saying, “Are you done? When you’re done we can talk about this, but until then…” I’d often just read a book for a while. When you were done, you’d come out and sweetly say, “I’m done now, mommy” And we’d hug and talk through the cause of your fit throwing.
- SEVENTEEN: Who could forget you popping off all the Barbie Doll heads so we’d have to glue them back on and you and your poor sisters had only “no-neck” Barbies to play with.
- EIGHTEEN: Elise, you have way more than 18 fabulous characteristics or memories that I could share, but know that you are always treasured deep within my heart. God certainly knew what he was doing when he gave you to us and our world would be just black and white without you. You bring color and then some into our lives and I love you “more than the most” (x) infinity!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELISE ROCHELLE KELLY! May this year bring floods of awesome moments with your family and friends. It’s a big one! You graduate from high school in May and begin your young adult life….college, jobs, and many adventures lay ahead of you. Stay firmly rooted in God’s Word – let Him be your guide and keep your incredibly sweet and gentle nature – you’re amazing and I love you!