Monday, October 6, 2008

It was 21 years ago today...

...that something lovely and wonderful entered our lives. We spent many years (impatiently!) awaiting her arrival, and from the moment we first held her in our arms we have been blessed every day by her presence. Happy Birthday Whitney. Here are just 21 reason why we love you! 1. Sisters, Sisters...there were never more devoted sisters. Two girls--different in so many good ways, alike in even better ways. Cassidy has looked up to you with admiration and love for 17 years now, and it has been a beautiful journey to watch the mentor guide her student so gracefully. And don't forget, "Go Go Girls Tip Number #1: Never wear white after Labor Day, unless it is in a pair of Nancy Sinatra boots!'

2. You LOVE to laugh. Your laugh is contagious. It's infectious. If I close my eyes right now, I can hear it ringing through my heart, and it makes me happy!

3. You are the best big sister a brother ever had. From the moment you put out your hand to Eli and he curved his fingers around yours, you have been joined hand and heart. To quote Eli, "I like Whitney because she does things with me, like board games. We eat ice cream together and read the comics. She plays with me and we do Charlie Brown dancing! Good grief! She helps me with stuff, too!"
3. You are the queen of vocab--the word nerd--indeed, the Grammar Goddess and Queen of English. We knew early on that words would be an important part of your life. Afterall, you were only 2 1/2 when you told the neighbors, "I'll have a ham and cheese sandwich, but without the cholesterol, please!" WOW! You're still dazzling us with your command of the English launguage!
4. You are a loyal friend. Never jealous of anyone else's accomplishments, always complimentary, always willing to be there for whoever, whenever, whatever. I notice that you have a special gift of making everyone around you feel like they are the most important person in your life, especially if that someone is an underdog, and needs a little extra TLC!
5. You are a lover of the finer things in life...lilacs in the spring, leaves in the fall, reading Anne of Green Gables on the front porch. Watching the waves crash to the shore, and building a sandcastle on the beach. It's the simple things that make you happy!

6. We share a fear of clowns. Not to sound like a 'circus freak' but we don't like clowns. We think they are creepy. Even though on your 8th birthday you were a guest ringmaster at the Barnum and Bailey Circus with a nice clown, all other clowns are taboo to be around. (Maybe that's why you also don't like mascots at baseball games!)
7. Speaking of are the worlds greatest spectator, and the Olympics most loyal fan. If Michael Phelps had a dollar for every time you thought about him, he wouldn't need that billion dollar endorsement deal he is getting. You also love baseball (the Cubs!), basketball, (March Madness with dad), lacrosse (Johns Hopkins) and of course, tennis (Roger Federer!)

8. You LOVE to learn. I never knew what is was like to raise a genius until you came along. Once you learned to read (Ted and Sally with grandmother) you have absorbed and inhaled everything and anything around you. I think you are a mensa, just like your dad, with a photographic memory. I'm pretty sure you would've been good with the Jeopardy buzzer as well. Only time will tell!

9. You are a well-seasoned world traveler. London, Dublin, Hawaii, St. Louis, Connecticut. I'm pretty sure the next destination you head towards will be one chosen 'especially for you', if you get my drift. I can't wait to watch you open that envelope!

10. You are spiritually wise beyond your years. So many experiences in your short life have helped you to learn to rely on the Lord. You are also very good at learning lessons from the spirit. Your testimony has been strong for years, and you work very hard to strengthen it daily. You have graciously received and served in callings, and will have many more to come in your life time. Thank you for tutoring me in spiritual ways. As I observe the life you live, it makes each of us want to try a little harder to do a little better.
11. Lover of all good books...what can I say? If we start a list now, it will be like the song that never ends. Just know that if there is a good book out there, you have either read it, or will read it, or better yet, write it in a few years. Enough said.
12. Lover of all good music...what can I say? It has been a wonderful 21 years tutoring YOU of all things good in the land of rock-and-roll. When you were little I would sing "Here Comes the Sandman" and "Teddy Bear Picnic" to lull you to sleep. Dad would dance you around the room singing "My Girl" and you would gaze up at him with those big green eyes! Soon we moved onto primary songs, your favorite was "Adam was a Prophet." But the fun really started when you learned all about the Beatles, and the Beach Boys, and the Osmonds, of course! Later still, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I still think that you and I are the best radio car singers on the only to, best makers of Sonic Car commercials!
13. Lover of all good movies...what can I say? The first movie dad and I ever took you to was GHOSTBUSTERS 2, which may explain the next paragraph, but after that we stuck with Disney Shows for a few years and they never steered us wrong. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan...later Cool Runnings, Remember the Titans and The Rookie. You are a romantic at heart...Return to Me, Sleepless in Seattle, and While You Were Sleeping. You love anything to do with history...Amazing Grace and Glory Road and Miracle and To Kill a Mockingbird. Anything that makes you feel good...That Thing You Do, On the Line, What's Up Doc. Anything old and classic...That Touch of Mink, Charade, High Society, To Catch a Thief, Rear Window. Anything involving superheroes...Batman Begins and Superman Returns. Anything that makes you cry...The Ultimate Gift and Anne of Green Gables. I guess I could keep going, but I won't. You get the picture!
14. Lover of all good foods...what can I say? Popcorn is your absolute favorite, followed closely by shrimp, zuchinni, paella, mushrooms, sausage, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and once in a while, a drink from Sonic to indulge your mother.
15. You can turn the world on with your smile. You can take a nothing day and certainly make it all seem worthwhile!
16. You are brave, like Sheila Rae! It may have only take 17 years to get you on "The Haunted Mansion" ride at Disneyland, but since then your courage has been tested in many ways. Rides at Lagoon, going to college, leaving the country, taking a train ride in Ireland unsupervised, going in a CAVE! When ever you are scared, just put one foot in front of the other and say, "I think I can, I think I can, and you will!"
17. Just like that famous pig, you are H-U-M-B-L-E. You have had many wonderful accomplishments over the years, and they are not mine to brag about, but let me just say, you don't brag about them, either, and that is very admirable. I think you have been blessed because you are humble, and with so many great things in your future, the practice will come in handy! S-A-L-U-T-A-T-I-O-N-S!
18. From Dad: "Reliable, honorable, a person with great integrity." He went on to say that as an employee, there has never been anyone as concientious and accurate at balancing as you. I'm sure if I polled your employers at Gameworld they would state, "If Whitney's working for you, you don't have to worry about sanitation issues or shoplifters!"
19. Great shoe sense--at least in the sneakers category. If there is a pair cool sneakers to be had, you will certainly have them.
20. You were rightly named, because you are, the 'wittiest' person I know. Never in a hurtful or inappropriate manner, but always clever and always funny. We can count on you for humor during car trips, humor during rock-picking and sod-laying, humor during breakfast and humor during dinner. We miss your 'wit' when we don't have it on a daily basis; perhaps it could be bottled into something over-the-counter. I'm sure it would make the world a happier place!
21. WOW! Here we are at 21 and I could keep going for 21 more. But I won't. I will conclude this salute to you by saying, YOU ARE WONDER WOMAN! We have never wondered what you were up to; you were always up to something productive and good. You make us wonder how we could be so lucky to have had the priviledge of raising such an amazing, wonderful, beautiful and brainy girl. No matter what experiences life throws your way, just swing that golden lasso and get busy! We love you and want you to know that we think you are a WONDER-ful WOMAN! May this day be your best yet, and may there be many more just like it over the next 21 years.


KJ said...

Aw, what a gal. Apples rarely fall far from their trees, though, right? M asks about WIT-NEE every so often. Class and grace, and well, I don't like clowns either. Happy Birthday and happy other things that might be coming your way...

Sandy said...

That was so sweet! She has grown into a lovely lady, and it's no surprise! Happy Birthday Whitney! The Dell family loves you!

Karalee said...

As always, an eloquent post Joy! You were certainly blessed 21 years ago...I can't wait to see what unfolds in her life in the years to come. She is certainly meant for great and amazing things : )

Karalee said...

I tried to send you an email and it came back undeliverable. Do you have a new email address? I need to give you a heads up about "Flat Stanley"

Judy said...

She has grown into a beautiful young lady. What a great post to celebrate her first 21 years with more to come. Did I read right? Has some paperwork been turned in?