Happy birthday, adored one!

Today my fabulous girl in charge turns sixteen, and I am a little freaked out, as usual, by the speed with which the years have flown by since I welcomed this dynamo into my world.

She has always been my dark-eyed beauty, and carries a serious demeanor wherever she goes -- this fools people into thinking that she is not just as big a goofball as the rest of us.

She holds her hugs close, so when I receive one I know she means it, and each hug is doubly dear.

She is brilliant and organized and logical -- a triple threat.

She loves to be on stage (here she and the tall boy ham it up), she loves to argue -- and she loves to win at any game. Good thing for her she usually does!

A natural athlete, she is strong and graceful.

Whether on the softball field . . .

. . . or in the ballet studio, she moves with power and beauty.

Her little sister has always wanted to be like her -- and glows with happiness when they spend quality time together.

She informed me long ago that "it's so hard to be the middle child," and I am sure that she finds it frustrating to be such a swan among us ducks and geese -- but we feel so blessed to have her in our lives.

If you are ever fortunate enough to meet this beautiful, loving, smart young woman -- who can't wait until she is old enough to change the world -- I know you will agree with me:

I'm the luckiest mom.