And today, Vivi turns Seven.

Dear Vivienne,

I remember holding you in my exhausted and overjoyed arms in the hospital just after you were born on this day in 2011. I stared at you, like all parents of newborns do, trying to place just exactly who you looked like. Whose nose is that? Those toes? That hair?

After observation, I remember thinking, "She's Vivienne." Perfectly, Vivi.

Now, seven years later, you hop into the car after a long day at school and immediately start talking about how your day was and I smile...

You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.



This past year has been a big one, Vivi.
You've learned to ride a two-wheeler in Ohio. (The benefit of paved roads was helpful.)
You've earned an orange and then a blue belt in karate.
You have gone an ENTIRE year without going to the Emergency Room! Wait. That's not true.

You lost your front teeth...right before Christmas.

You've "graduated" from kindergarten and entered the primary school, saying goodbye to the intimate enclave that was your pre-school and hello to tagging along with Lila at recess. (She actually asked you to stop hugging her and telling her that you love her when you'd see her. I thought it was sweet, so did she. She just needed you to back off a bit.)


You're rocking the 1st grade. (Though you are still wearing some 4T pants.)

You love that you can go to the zoo whenever you'd like to see the llamas and the donkeys. (Apparently the donkeys got out of their spaces the other day and it was the FIRST thing you told me when I picked you up from school and your excitement was palpable. Donkeys! Running around! At school! Amazing!

Vivienne, each morning you wake up either THRILLED to be alive or FRUSTRATED to be alive. There's no inbetween with you. There's passion or anger.  Delight or first-grade rage. (I understand this.)

You wear your moods on your sleeve and your face. (Another thing I relate to.)

You also wear a lot of navy.
You love denim.


You've all but given up dresses, but you love high heels and still have a thing for Spiderman, Batman and definitely for Star Wars. (Including your sheets and pencil case.)

You also love.all.things. BABIES.

We cannot go ANYWHERE without you verbally cooing at You adore them. Your happy place is our annual visit to Babies R Us in Ohio.

Virtually everyday we can expect that you will be carrying around baby accouterments as you walk throughout the house, or anywhere. You lug your navy blue stroller up and down the stairs from the playroom to your bedroom time and time again. You take that thing outside, inside, outside inside.


Your Baby Shirley, named after your Grandma, my Mom, is your REAL baby. And you're always caring for her. You change her diapers. You change her clothes. When she comes to dinner with us, you bring your Ergo baby carrier, your stroller or her car seat. Sometimes you ask the waiter for a booster and they happily oblige.

We all understand that Shirley is as much a part of our family as Lila.

Speaking of Lila, you adore her.

You really don't know how to function without her. It's an endearing codependency at this point. :) If Lila goes to a friend's house without you...  you'd think she was traveling to the moon. You miss her so.

But, let's call a spade a spade: you argue pretty non-stop too.

This past Saturday I walked into your bedroom and you were sitting on your bed, curtains mostly drawn, with an array of baby supplies around you. You were feeding Shirley her bottle. "She's hungry, but she's starting to fall asleep... can you make sure the other curtain is a little bit more closed? She likes to sleep in the dark," you said."

Oh, sweet girl.

Your heart and your imagination are two of your most precious qualities.

You're a helper, Vivi.

I've always loved this quote from Mr. Rogers:

"Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

It fills my heart with joy, sweet Vivi, that you are already one of those caring people.

You pick the things up that people drop.
You help friends at school in ways that their parents later tell me.
Your teachers say that you're always helping them and others, too.
You take pride in helping your Daddy with any of his projects.
You're happy to help me with anything: bringing in the groceries, putting them away, the laundry, you name it.
Lila counts on you to help her out, too.


You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.


You're mechanically inclined and inquisitive, too. You need to know how everything works. How does it open? How does it function? How do you take it apart and put it back together again. (It's one of my favorite things about you.)

You love the dogs, too. It was tough for you to watch when our foster dog, Chula (later named Judy - a name change we all endorsed), left for her new home in Colorado.

And, you actually recently asked me, "Can I marry a dog?" I replied with the universally-accepted response, "No." You waited a few seconds and said, "Oh. Well, that's too bad."

You always keep me on my toes.

You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.


You're a steady stream of energy. Your switch is always on. It's a good thing that digital cameras exist, because if we were using real film today, I would venture to bet that every photo of you would be a silly face or a blur. Usually we take about 5 photos, you make faces in all of them, and either I or your Dad will exclaim, "Vivi! TURN it off! ONE picture."

You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.


There are just a few moments each day, usually with Baby Shirley, when you're... calm and serene.

I've been known to tell you to be quiet, to please stop talking, and to, please, for the sake of all things,to just not say anything for 15 minutes. "I'm going to set the timer, now Vivi... don't say a word."

(From what I understand, I was the same way, my dear.)

You've always played well by yourself and you still do, too. There's a quieter side there... You spend so much time with your Calico Critters, with your Legos and of course, with Shirley.

You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.


You're a tough one, too, little lady.
You're athletic and awesome at futbol.
You're quick-witted and bright and super verbal. (Sometimes a little too verbal as noted above.)

If I discipline you, nine times out of ten you're going to plead your case and talk loudly back to me, reasoning through whatever it is that I just said. If your Daddy calls you out on something, you come back, tit for tat. It's entertaining, sure. And we want a strong lady... but you're also learning self-control right now.  It's a hot topic in our house.

Ah, you're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.


Sweet girl, you're a cuddle muffin and a laugher.
You're a lover and a fighter.
You're a GIFT to us and we adore you.
I cannot imagine our life without you in it.
You bring so much life, so much joy, so much fullness into this household.

I'm so glad you were born, my Vivi Cake.

You're Vivienne. Perfectly Vivi.

We love you just as you are.

Happy 7th Birthday, baby girl.


Vivi's History on T W O  P R E T Z E L S

Pictures from Vivi's first year -- just a few -- click here to seeWhen I announced my pregnancy -- click to read hereVivienne's birth story -- click to read hereVivienne's birth announcement here -- click to see itMy post to Vivienne on her 1st birthday -- click to read itPics from Vivienne's first cake experience -- click to viewVivienne's first birthday party -- click to seeMy post to Vivienne on her 2nd birthday -- click to read itThe pics from Vivi's 2nd birthday party -- click to read itMy post to Vivienne on her 3rd birthday -- click to read itThe pics from Vivi's 3rd birthday celebration -- click to read itMy post to Vivienne on her 4th birthday -- click to read itThe pics from Vivienne's 4th birthday party -- click to read itVivienne's 5th birthday -- click to read itMy post to Vivi on her 6th birthday   -  click to read it


  1. Happy Birthday sweet ky jr. We love and miss you.

  2. Your birthday posts are always my favorites! There's something about the year of 7, I've now experienced almost a full year as C will be 8 next month. It's been amazing (and oh so bittersweet and at times challenging) to experience the progression from still little girl to starting to test everything. The sweet mixed with the sassy is teaching me to watch my own words and reactions carefully! Happy Birthday to sweet, perfectly Vivi, Vivi!


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