She BURST out of her room BEYOND thrilled on the morning of January 24th. For some reason, and she couldn’t explain it, she just felt… different.
I think it was the double digits.
Vivienne Kate, the human who made our family an even number, celebrated her 10th birthday recently.
It was Vivi’s turn for a pandemic birthday and she requested a simple cookout with steak, mashed potatoes and asparagus with two families in our little pod. She smiled all day long.
In fact, as I type this in February (a little late…) she’s still smiling.
She’s been living her dream in the past two weeks — trying new things, learning, growing… and she’s pretty proud of herself.
We’re proud of her, too.
This past year was a big year for our 4′ 5″ dynamo who still wears a size 7/8 in pants. And, as tradition dictates, I’m writing this post so that Vivi, our little muffin, cuppy-cake, web-slinger, can read it.
Dear Vivienne Kate,
I was pregnant with you and on an airplane whenI just knew what your name should be. I told your Dad, “She’s Vivienne.” You were named after Vivienne Westwood, a fashion designer. Her clothes are edgy and cool, a little sassy at times with a peaceful edge that comes, no doubt, from her English upbringing.
You, my dear are edgy and cool, a little bit sassy at times but with a peaceful foundation. Your name suits you.
You are vibrant, Vivi. You light up a room. You’re so, so funny, sure, but you’re sweet and oh man, are you a nurturer. You’re a good taker-carer-of-er, Vivi. Baby Shirley is still in your constant care (for years) and you are our resident dog-whisperer. Every foster dog immediately loves you and you love them back. Hard.
You have a retainer – which you rarely keep in your mouth – and loose teeth are your enemy. You’ve decided to grow our your bangs and you have a couple of favorite shirts that I hide every now and then so that you wear something else. You have become tech support in our house and you would easily eat cereal for every.single.meal if it were allowed.
You are JOY.
(Except for when you’re not.)
And you’ve explained this to me recently by saying, “I have a lot of feels, Mommy.”
These feels sometimes result in nights of tears that worry me and you matter-of-factly told me, “… I need to get my feels out… this is just the way I am.” You also told me that if and when you need me, you’ll let me know. But until then, you’ve got it under control.
I love that you are putting your feelings into words, Vivi. This is so important.
And I love that you are taking care of yourself by doing what you need to do. (Like just take a break and cry.)
This is so good.
Keep doing this.
Vivi, we all think you may be secretly working for the FBI. You always know what’s going on, at all times. And, you know where EVERYTHING is in our house. If one of us loses something… you know where to find it. You keep things running for us and we appreciate you.
You love to be organized. When you asked for drawer organizers for Christmas I couldn’t help but laugh. But, that’s so you.
You adore your sister.
It’s been incredible watching you two get even closer, laughing together, doing life side-by-side.
It’s been less incredible hearing you two argue whenever you’re close together. But I know you’re both working on that.
Your sister loves you so much, Vivi. She adores you. Just like you adore her. (Even if you don’t want to say it.)
As you get older, Vivienne, I want to remind you that you are loved… just as you are.
Just as you are.
Learn to to enjoy the quiet, Vivienne.
As a fellow-constant-talker, I can tell you this: it’s amazing what you will learn about others and yourself when you take the time to just be still… be quiet… and listen.
Keep reading, Vivienne.
Keep finding JOY in the little things.
And keep finding things to be grateful for.
Keep feeling your feelings.
Keep bringing LIFE to every room you enter.
You are pure magic and joy.
Daddy and I are so proud of you, sweet girl.
We are so proud of every part of you. We know that you’ll do big things. That brain of yours, it’s incredible. That heart of yours? It’s incredible, too.
Vivienne, we love you to the moon and back. A bajillion times. We are so happy that you were born.
Mommy (and Daddy, too)
And now, Vivi’s last year. In pictures.
The History-o-Vivi on my blog
Pictures from Vivi’s first year — just a few — click here to see
When I announced my pregnancy — click to read here
Vivienne’s birth story— click to read here
Vivienne’s birth announcement here — click to see it
For a while, I wrote Vivienne Viernes… but then, two kids. Click to read.
My post to Vivienne on her 1st birthday — click to read it
Pics from Vivienne’s first cake experience — click to view
Vivienne’s first birthday party — click to see
Vivienne’s 2nd birthday post. See here.
Vivienne’s 3rd birthday post. See here.
Vivienne’s 3rd birthday recap. See here.
Vivi’s 4th birthday post. See here.
Vivi’s 4th birthday recap. See here.
A glimpse into Vivi. Read here.
Vivi’s 5th birthday post. See here.
Vivienne’s 6th birthday post! Read here.
Vivienne’s 7th birthday post. Read here.
And then Vivi turned 8. Post here.
Vivienne turned 9. See here.