Dear Ellenah,

I’m not starting this letter to you at all well. You my darling are turning four tomorrow and before I have even managed the start of this letter, I already have a tear on my cheek. I can’t believe how quickly this day has come around. You have been waiting for this day… one that in your eyes, will make you ‘big, big, big!’

I know it is selfish but, I don’t want you to be ‘big, big, big!’… I have truly cherished you this size, the size you are right now… with your bright, blonde hair and blue eyes. You look like an angel and despite the fact that can have an extremely quick temper, sharp wit and stong mind… You really are truly sweet. So fresh and so pure. I love you when you’re this big and I know that people say, ‘the older your children get, the more you fall in love with them!’… that just can’t be possible. My heart will practically pop if I try and squeeze any more love for you in.

If I could pause this moment, this ‘you’ for a tiny while longer, I really would. Just to get more hugs, kisses, songs and love from you…’when you were three’.

Ellenah from Maria Noell

We have been through so much together this year and we have become closer and closer. I have watched you change so much in front of my eyes and that is such a beautiful transition to be a part of. Last year was a big deal because you were reaching milestones…and some were questioned. We were unsure if you were colour blind and your speech wasn’t where some people thought it should be. For these reasons, you were frustrated often and it made you sad sometimes.  This year, you have really come in to your own. You live life in plenty of colour, ones that you certainly recognise and now, you talk well. Some would say maybe too much and too often, haha. Not me though, I love to listen to you tell me little stories, involve me in your games and sing to me. When you sing to me, that is just the best.

I have been so blessed to have the pleasure of seeing all of the wonderful things you can and do, do every single day. You make me so very proud of you. A few days ago, I watched you copy the words on your christmas list with such care and attention to detail and it blew my mind. The simple things that you do every day…they really are such big things to me. Things I won’t forget.

I can hear Daddy getting you ready for bed right now. He has just said, ‘Ellenah, when you wake up in the morning, you are going to be four years old!’… It’s a tough one to hear. You are growing further away from being my baby girl and in to a little girl who knows right from wrong and you are one step closer to realising just how incredible you are. I have just had my last cuddle with you as my three year old daughter and it was like a stab to the heart. I cradled you in my arms and you reached your hand up to stroke my cheek…just like when you were a tiny baby in my arms. We looked at each other and I started to cry one more time. I don’t for one second think that you understood why but you stuck out your tiny, soft little finger and wiped my tears away anyway… and you smiled at me. And, because I’m an emotional mess right now… all I can bring myself to think in my heart and out loud is this….

‘I just love you so much Ellenah! From that first moment I set eyes on you, I have loved you and there has not been a day that goes past that my love for you has faltered in any way. You are my daughter and as each year goes by, I understand fully the impact that has on me. I have a best girl for life. I have a girl to protect and raise so that she will become a good woman someday. And, as much as that is a strange thought…because I can’t quite handle the fact that you are turning just four tomorrow. We have got some wonderful memories to make together, us girls. I have a daughter that I will one day pick a wedding dress with, talk over adventures with while staring at beautiful photographs that she has taken and I will see her achieve everything that she sets her mind to in life. Because Ellenah, my sweetheart… you are unstoppable!’

And when you are older, I will turn to you and say, ‘Ellenah, you always have been since you were a little girl!’ – I hope this year has taught you that much about yourself as it has taught me about you.

‘I hope you always see life the way that you do, through innocent eyes, hope and joy… and I insist that whenever you struggle to see yourself for whatever reason, you try and see ‘you’ through my eyes…because then you will always find love for yourself, belief in yourself and you will always be happy. And if all else fails, you will always have me, your mama…. and I will love you, believe in you and be happy with who you are inside, enough for the both of us’

I hope tomorrow is everything that you have been waiting for sweetpea. I hope your fourth birthday is as perfect as you are.

I love you so much, more than words could possibly describe,


Your Mama



Precious Moments

Last night, as my beautiful daughter allowed me and only me, to scoop her up in to my arms as her eyes felt heavy and she admitted defeat that she was feeling sleepy, I could feel my heart soften with complete and overwhelming love for her. 

She threw both arms around me and held on to me so tightly, like I was the only person other than her on the planet. She snuggled her baby soft and squishy cheeks into my collar bone and yawned. The smell of her milky breath floated out into the air and at that moment, she opened her big blue eyes and stared in to mine, blinking heavily to fight away a night of hopefully, beautiful and magical dreams.

I lay my beautiful child onto her bed and as her puffy, woodland creature covered, pink duvet enveloped her petit frame, I could see her shudder at the thought of not being snuggled up into my arms. I could see her shiver as the slight chill surrounded her and as her eyes softly closed, she reached her plump, little hand out for me to hold. And that I did!

The feeling that she did not want me to leave her prevented me from simply walking from the room and closing her door gently behind me. I sat on the edge of her bed as her breathing slowed into a calm, peaceful rhythm. I watched the corners or her mouth twitch and her bright blonde eyebrows flicker. I could see her falling deeper into her dreams.

I held her little face in my hand and stroked her little cheeks gently so not to wake her. I scooped her wispy, blonde hair away from her eyes and back in to her natural side parting, tucking it delicately behind her ears.

And Then…

I sat and I watched her.

I watched her just be. Just exist. In all of her perfection.

I’m not sure how long I sat there, just looking at my little girl. 

My little girl who is bold, funny and bright. My little girl who imitates me and challenges me in all of the best ways. My little girl who is cheeky, adventurous and curious. My little girl who will push her boundaries, know her own mind and in the most complicated way, is the sweetest little diva I could ever be blessed to call mine. 

She is everything that I could ever want from a daughter and as I kissed her cheek and left her to sleep last night, I felt so very thankful that she is my little lady.

In the hustle and bustle of every day life, I think it is important to really appreciate the special moments between us, like going for a long walk fresh from the school run, before some would even be awake and before the morning dew could dissipate. Like yesterday morning! We took in some of the countryside which hosted many of my childhood memories. We talked and we breathed in the fresh air of a beautiful morning. We greeted dog walkers and joggers who were starting the day surrounded by nature and peace and we spent some time observing the horse riders doing their daily rounds. 

When I dropped her off at pre-school, I leaned down for a kiss goodbye and she held my face in both hands and said thank you for taking me to see the horses Mama, you’re the best! I love you sooooo much’… Needless to say, I skipped off on my merry way feeling pretty good about life.

Photographs, filming and the crazy world that is the internet has become a wonderful part of our family journey, a part which we all love. But, I absolutely realise the importance of recognising the moments away from it all so that I can soak up, hold on to, cherish and protect them – these moments that matter so much to me!

Squeezes and Love

x Ria x

Originally Written on 12/03/2015

To My Dearest Little Ellenah,

It is the night before the birthday at which you will turn three years old. Very much like the past year, today has been colourful. Today you have shown me every mood, thought and feeling that you possibly could. From having to leave your ballet class halfway through because you were feeling a touch moody, the regret you felt hallway down the road because you wanted to ‘go back ooh dancing ooh join in’, the speed in which you offered to pick up a bag that I had dropped, offering me your last sweetie, the slight sobs because you were feeling tired and your ‘legs go a-bed’, the sweet smile on your face when you were catching some 3-o-clock, forty minute zzzzz’s, the rage that you demonstrated when you didn’t want to leave Nanny’s house and the whole-hearted face squeeze and snogaroo that you gave me at bedtime, surrounded by the words ‘I love you Mama’.

This year, you may have studied the term and become the definition of the ‘terrible two’s’… and ran with it… no doubt away from me… with me running behind you begging you to hold my hand and be calm and happy. But this year I have learned that behind the tantrums and scowls, there is just so much more to you Ellenah. 

Ellenah's 3rd Birthday Eve

Little One, sometimes you don’t show the people around you, even the ones who love you, just how amazing you are. You really are quite sensitive, weary and when you are being a bit bossy and kind of mouthy, you are actually quite shy. You are very much a one on one kind of girl, big crowds and strangers aren’t really your thing, in fact I think they make you quite nervous and your outlet of expression is to be a bit of a pickle. The confidence to simply be yourself will come in time, I am confident in that.

Do you know what? I don’t care! I know that you will not always feel this way. You are strong-minded and committed to what you think and feel. If you take anything with you from your childhood in to your life, I hope that it will be these qualities. You are from a family, full of confident, strong-minded and independent women, I hope that you will be one and you won’t let anybody push you around, deter you from what you think or feel or make you question the person that you are. If the journey that you are on leads you to being that kind of person (which I don’t doubt that it will) I for one will be incredibly pleased. 

You have started speaking a lot within the last couple of months. It was a bit of a slow start, what with your made-up/ french/ chinese/ american slang language that you had going on! It must have been quite frustrating for you at points. I did try my best to understand you, I promise! Now, we have some absolutely wonderful conversations. It is so nice (and I feel a little emotional thinking about it) to be able to talk to you. One day, if and when you are a mother, you will often ask yourself questions like- ‘I wonder what they will be good at, sound like, look like, be when they grow up?’… And, now I know what your voice sounds like. Some days you don’t stop talking… and I could listen to you all day long. You really are very funny! Everybody who knows you thinks so.

Sweetheart, you have grown a little bit more hair this year- it’s finally happening- Yay!

Regardless of all of the talk of tantrums and cheekiness, you are a beautiful human being. I am absolutely proud that you are mine and I have completely one hundred percent got your back. To me, you are perfect in every way. As much as I am looking forward to the day that we can laugh about all of the two year old anguish this past year has hosted, I am looking forward to being a part of each and every second of your journey, nothing makes me happier than being your Mummy. This year may have had its hard points but the good completely outshines all of it. This may sound slightly odd but it has really hit me in the past few months that I have a daughter… and how wonderful that feels. I have a little girl who I will love completely, every moment of every day. I have a princess who I have a duty to, to ensure she loves herself, inside and out and I have an obligation to protect her as well as prepare her for the times in her life that she will fall and things may hurt her or make her feel sad. I have to be her outlet to encourage her to get back up when she gets knocked down and I have to be there with my arms open wide when she has P.M.T and needs chocolate and wine when she is older. I demand myself to be that Mum to her… 

Ellenah's 3rd Birthday Eve

Happy 3rd Birthday Els Bels,

I hope your birthday is as great as you are and now that you know what a birthday is, I hope you will remember this day for the rest of your life. 

I love you so very much and just so much more than you will ever know.


x Mummy x

Originally Written 16/12/2014

A Letter To My Teenage Daughter

After another amazing Tuesday with my beautiful two year old daughter, for some reason I started wondering what she will be like as a teenager. I wondered what advice I would give her in years to come as she approaches such a critical point in her life, so I thought I would jot it down… Maybe I will need to refer back to it, who knows….

To my Ellenah,

Now that you are a teenager, I can imagine your emotions are a little all over the place. I imagine you are worried about what people think of you (probably and especially boys!). I imagine that the way you look has become important to you and I imagine that your friends are the best thing since sliced bread. As for us, your family, we get on your nerves, treat you like a baby, we probably say things like ‘you’ll understand when you are older’ and we invade your space often.


I remember being a teenager like it was yesterday. So I just want to tell you… It works out right in the end. You may think that nobody understands you and I used to feel the same.  The truth is, they probably don’t understand, not completely. What I do understand is that whatever is making you feel angry, sad, emotional or freakishly happy… it is important to you, therefore it is important to me too. As we grow we close doors on the reasons we have learned the lessons of life, our priorities change and we forget how hard being a teenager is. The important thing is that you know that I am always here to listen. I truly believe that there is nothing that we can’t talk through together to make you feel better about yourself and to make sure that you are happy. You are not now nor will you ever be alone….


What I hope that you will learn through your teenage years is that the way that you look and what people think about you does not validate you as a person. As long as you are beautiful on the inside, that is what is important. Always treat people how you want to be treated and always be kinder to people than you feel. 


So, before you raid Superdrug or Boots for a foundation that is two shades too dark and you look like I did (a hot mess), or you dive in to the new make-up craze ( lilac or white Dazzle Dust was mine, I looked awful!) I will just say… Make-Up is fun and an interesting way to express yourself so when the time is right, we will enjoy that madness together, I will look forward to that. BUT, don’t let it define you, you don’t need it… you are perfect without any of it.


Boys…eurgh!!! Can I still get away with telling you they have fleas and you should stay away? Didn’t think so. I can understand that getting a boyfriend could potentially be the most important thing in your life. Damn your hormones. I will always believe that no boy or man will ever be good enough for my little girl (yes you will always be my little girl!). However, I was your age once and my high school boyfriend lasted three years. Some was good, some was bad. As much as I won’t ban you from having a boyfriend, I will ask you to talk to me about it and the way that you are feeling. I am not a hypocrite and believe it or not, I was young once. Try to protect your heart… it is fragile and not everybody can be trusted with it. You are special, know your own worth and never allow yourself to be anybody’s second best… You deserve more. Another thing, enjoy this time but don’t expect too much… The world is a very big place and there is no reason that you need to settle for anything less than world domination. After all “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” – Marilyn Monroe.


School… Thought I best sneak this one in and I’ll make it quick. Go to school……..

I didn’t, I did quite well but I could have done better. Knowledge is power and you are too young to give up on yourself already. Get as much education that is offered to you because believe it or not, you are very lucky to have it. NEVER dumb yourself down… your Mum has spoken.


Your friends… pick a good bunch. It’s always better to have a couple of real friends than a group who you can’t trust or don’t appreciate you. Don’t succumb to peer pressure and don’t ever be afraid or ashamed of who you are. Nobody else can be you any better. Don’t follow the crowd and don’t waste your time trying to lead anybody… be an individual and hold your head up high. You and your feelings matter, you are important… the friends who love that about you and the ones who don’t try and change you, keep hold of them, they sound like good eggs and you will cherish them in your adult years.


And us, we are your family and we love you very very very very much. We are annoying, we will check on you a lot and we sometimes tell you ‘you will understand when you are older’. It is all from the best place in our hearts. We love you and we still want to protect you from the world. After all, you are all of our Baby Girl and you always will be.

A Letter To My Teenage DaughterAll of the love in the world Bella Roo

x Mummy x

Originally Written 05/06/2014