Friday, February 23, 2024

Happy 10th Birthday to Our Olivia Cate!


On Sunday you will be TWO WHOLE HANDS and I just can’t believe it.  To think that it’s been an entire decade since I held you in my arms for the first time is truly unfathomable.  You are currently still clinging to the innocence of girlhood while also dipping your toes into the waters of tweenhood.  Thankfully, you still lean into the childhood things more heavily, playing with Barbies, snuggling your stuffies, and drawing and crafting, but more and more we’re seeing glimpses of the teenager you will soon become every time you put on red lipstick or belt out the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song.  I know our days with a “little one” in the house are numbered, and I’m trying to cherish every single second.

This past year, you completed your third-grade year at school, and you’re currently making your way through fourth grade.  Your grades are still stellar despite the fact that you’ve recently started stumbling a bit through fourth-grade math.  The older you get, the less you enjoy school, but I think that’s pretty standard of most kids.  Fourth grade was when school started to lose its luster for me, too.  You do love seeing your friends every day, though, and that’s what keeps you enjoying every single day.  You do not like waking up early, though… you love your sleep… just like your momma!  However, you get right out of bed every single morning without complaint, even though you’re not a morning person!

You are still in the Challenge Program at school (AKA the Gifted Program), and you’ve declared some days that it’s boring.  Leave it to you to be bored by a program that’s supposed to challenge you and take the boredom out of school.  Haha.   

Your group of friends means everything to you, and while you’re still cherishing your two oldest friends, Aubrey and Cami, you have also grown closer this past year with Savannah and Maren.  They are just the sweetest group of girls, and we’re so excited (and a little apprehensive) about having all of them over tonight for a sleepover to celebrate you!  I have a feeling it is going to be an exhausting night.  Haha.

In addition to those girls, you have several friends who you still keep in touch with in the way of occasional snail mail – your old friend Becca from school, Evelyn who you met at the beach last summer, and Clara, who you hit it off with this past Christmas.  (You haven’t sent Clara’s letter yet, but you keep talking about it… we just need to get it mailed!)  You and Evelyn have been writing letters back-and-forth all year, and we are hoping that you will be reunited at the beach in June! 

Last year, I mentioned in my birthday letter to you that your crush of four years had finally fizzled out, but that’s actually not the case.  You are still crushing hard on him all these years later, and we think it’s the cutest thing.  I won’t mention names here, but I’m sure 15-20 years from now when you’re reading this, you’ll know exactly who I’m referring to.  ;o)

You are the craftiest little thing, and you are always tinkering with paper, tape, markers, glue, cardboard, jewels, string, beads, and whatever else you can get your hands on.  If there’s something that you want, you make it.  You’ve recently been into making Taylor Swift Eras Tour outfits out of felt for your Barbies, and it’s actually quite amazing the things you can do!  You’re also becoming quite the artist.  At age ten, you can already draw a human face 100 times better than I ever could, and I love that you have gotten your Pop’s artistic abilities.  I know that makes him so happy, too.

In addition to crafting and drawing, you also still love to write, and you’re constantly starting a journal, only to abandon it and move along to writing song lyrics instead.  You do still hate reading, though, and that’s just baffling to me since you love to write so much, but I guess you’d just prefer to make up your own stories rather than read someone else’s.  You do always meet (and exceed) your AR goal each quarter at school, though.

You are literally never quiet.  Whether you’re telling us about your day, talking about random Taylor Swift facts, singing a song, talking to yourself, or interrupting one of us to say something super important, you always have something to say.  Or sing.  Which reminds me… you’re still taking voice lessons, and shortly after I posted your ninth birthday letter last year, you sang in your very first voice recital! 

You did the best job, but promptly burst into tears the moment you left the stage because you were so relieved to have it done.  After that, you were adamant that you’d never do another one because you said it was way too nerve-wracking.  You did end up skipping the recital in December, but after reading a recent article about your hero, Taylor Swift, and how she used to be nervous to get on stage, you’ve been inspired to try to do the voice recital again this spring.  We will see. 

As for dance, you added yet another style this year, and you are now taking SIX dance classes – ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and hip hop.  Whew.  You will have an intense schedule for the recital this year, but you’ll also have six fabulous costumes, and you are thrilled about that.  We are already counting down the days until we can see you shine your light on stage in your dance studio’s production of Mary Poppins!

As for other things you love, #1 right now is the queen, Taylor Swift.  You are positively obsessed with her, and for good reason.  ;o)  You are eating, breathing, and sleeping TS these days, and it is the sweetest thing.  I could write a whole book just about your love for Taylor, but for now, we’ll just leave it at this paragraph. 

As far as foods go, your love for PB&J somewhat fizzled this past year and we are baffled since it’s the only thing you ever wanted to eat for years.  We’re thinking that maybe you just got sick of it?  You’ll still eat it, but you don’t choose it above all else nowadays.  You do still love Cheetos, cheese dip, and ice cream, though.  Oh, and Kraft Mac and Cheese.  We can’t forget that! 

The older you get, the messier you get, and honestly just when I think your room can’t get messier, you prove me wrong.  You haaaate tidying up, you couldn’t care less when you can’t find something, and you pretty much just drop whatever’s in your hands wherever you are at any given time.  Haha.  It drives me absolutely insane.  We just cleaned out and tidied your room to perfection a few weeks ago, and it’s already in utter shambles despite my very best efforts to encourage you to stay on top of it.  It’s funny, because you LOVE when it’s tidy, but you don’t care enough to keep it that way.

You are still dragging Sheepie everywhere with you, which I absolutely love, and I pray that you always love her as much as you have these last ten years.  You bring her in the car to school every morning, and some mornings rather than abandoning her in your seat, you’ll hand her to me so I can make sure she’s well cared for while you’re at school all day.  Sheepie and I have spent some good quality time together this past year. 

You and Jacob still love each other very much and you are most definitely each other’s biggest fans.  Y’all are still inseparable at home for most of the time, but I have noticed in recent months that you are both starting to do things independent from one another every once in a while… I have a feeling that is probably just because Jacob is tired of listening to Taylor Swift, though.  Hahahaha.

We gave you most of her CDs for your birthday last year, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best gifts we’ve ever given you because you have worn those things out this past year.  We also got you an Echo Dot for your bedroom for Christmas and you have been wearing that out, too.  Your love for music reminds me very much of my love for music when I was your age, and I love that you are constantly listening to something while you’re doing other things.  You named your Echo Dot “Ziggy” instead of the traditional “Alexa,” that they typically default to, and we’re constantly hearing, “ZIGGY, SKIP THIS SONG!!!!”  Haha.

You add so much light and joy and spontaneity to our home, and we all love you with our whole hearts.  You make life so much more FUN, and we know that you’re going to do big things in life!  Happy Taylor Swift tenth birthday to my very best girl!

We cannot wait to celebrate you tonight!




  1. Happy birthday Olivia! She sounds like the most fun. My boys are always picking things up and putting them down elsewhere and then losing them so I can relate to that!

    1. She really is a ton of fun! She's her own little party of one wherever she goes!

  2. Such a sweet, sweet letter and that chalkboard sign cracks me up! It sounds 100% accurate but it's oh so funny.

  3. So Sweet! I can't believe she is going to TEN!!


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