Last weekend we were celebrating Cannon, this weekend we were celebrating Hallie. And then we have a long break before we sing the Happy Birthday song again.

For many,  a 12th birthday might look like all the others, but Hallie has really been looking forward to this day. In our church, 12 years is a right of passage – it’s the age that you graduate from the primary (little kids) and you join the young women (12-18 years old). She gets to attend a weekly youth group. Girls camp in the summer. She can now go to the temple. All things that she has been looking forward to with great anticipation. And she has finally arrived.

She came into this world crying incessantly – looking at her today you wouldn’t know she was the hardest baby. But she was and when she complains that her brothers are crying we kindly remind her that none of the kids combined have cried as much as she did in the first year of life.

I’m so glad we didn’t give her back all those years ago! She is the glue to her siblings and we remind them how lucky they are to have a sister that loves and cares for them as much as she does. She shares more than she needs to. She nurtures more than I would. She volunteers for jobs I don’t even care for. She is not only delightful, but she’s respectful. Yes, she gets angry and frustrated but she has a long fuse and a little bomb and 5 minutes later we’ve got her laughing.

She is growing up quickly and I’m enjoying every stage with her. Steve made her pinky promise that she won’t get sassy as she grows into a teenager – here’s hoping she makes good on her promise.