A week from today I will be in the audience watching this beautiful person graduate from high school. My daughter, Ellen, has grown into an independent young woman who is more than ready to take on the challenges of the world. As a young teen she had her own ideas about fashion- never afraid to dress as she saw fit. That independent thinking has blossomed as a young adult. She has done many things that I would never do and have never encouraged her to do, thankfully most of them are good! She was a cast member in nearly every play of her high school theater program- I dread the thoughts of speaking to a large group and have NEVER been on stage. She decided to become a Mormon; I am not a religious person. She is pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher in spite of her father’s constant urgings to study math, science or medicine. She was the producer of her high school’s televised announcements, where I shy away from leadership roles. And, she chose to wear jeans and pearls to school over sweatpants and messy updo’s. She is definitely not afraid to choose what is right for her and I am thankful for that!
Ellen is a card carrying introvert but definitely not a loner and definitely not bashful or backward. She has lots of friends although usually one best one. She’s a loyal and generous friend and easily hurt when that loyalty is not returned. If you are lucky enough to be Ellen’s friend, she’ll have you doing something fun in front of a camera… no sitting around just playing “Flappy Bird” with her! Despite often preferring the solitude of her bedroom and her laptop she has put herself out there as an actress, a leader, a creative and an entrepreneur. She is a complex lady!
As for her entrepreneurship, she started her own YouTube Channel in elementary school right around the time she tired of singing along with Ariel (The Little Mermaid) on the computer. From humble beginnings of a puppy dog slide show, she taught herself video editing, green screening, and the art of producing make-up tutorial videos. She started her second YouTube channel MsEllenMelon in 2011 and currently has nearly 20,000 subscribers and well over 1 million views! But, that wasn’t enough, oh no! Now, Ellen is sharing my passion for photography and running her own portrait business: Miss Ellen Photography. I hate to admit that although Ellen doesn’t geek out about the gear as much as I do, she is a much more talented and creative portrait photographer than I am. Her recent prom images of Cheyenne and her boyfriend prove that!
Although I am sad to see Ellen grow up, I know she is more mature than many she will be walking across that graduation stage with and is SO ready to move on. I will miss having my friend, best model and biggest supporter close by, but thanks to our mutual love of technology and travel, I’m confident that we will always be close. I don’t worry too much about my girl, I know she is strong and resourceful. I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be able to call Ellen my daughter!
Go get ’em honey! And, you are EVERY BIT as cool as you are on-line!