olivia's eleven-uh!

Or just plain eleven, as some (boring) people might call it. Either way, HOW ON EARTH did I get an 11-year-old?!?

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, beautiful girl!! Dad and I love you like NUTS!! Let me count the ways!

1. I love your uncanny ability (that you have had for pretty much all of your 11 years) to perk up your radar ears every single time someone is either a.) talking about you or b.) talking about something you think you might be interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in bed with the fan on for two whole hours. You’ll still know your dad and I are talking about you downstairs in the living room.

2. I love your sense of adventure. You like to do crazy things. Like ride roller coasters. And race boys. And stuff like that.

3. I love your ever-swirling, never-slowing mind. Your brain wheels are constantly churning, and you want to know as many whos/whats/whens/wheres/whys/hows as possible.

4. I love how quickly and easily you make friends (i.e., Hannah from our Zoo Trip). And you’re such a good friend too.

5. I love your sensitive spirit and your heart for others–especially those who are hurting.

6. I love the artistic talent you inherited from your daddy. You’re a wonderful artist.

7. I love how God speaks to you (maybe not audibly, but very clearly in your heart) and you listen. Don’t ever stop listening, baby girl.

8. I love watching you play soccer (another talent you inherited from Daddy-O). You’re not graceful by any stretch, but there’s no mistaking it, you’ve got a gift. And you love the game. Playing, watching, Wii-ing. I can’t wait for you to play in Cambodia.

9. I love your hugs. You’re such a good hugger. You’re so tiny (just a few inches shorter than your mama but only half as thick and wide) that I could probably wrap my arms around you twice, but you fit perfectly up against me and hug me just the right tight.

10. I love how you love your sisters. You might not always get along (oh goodness, you three can fight), but when you’re in the mood for loving, you love each other GOOD. And it warms my heart. I’m so thankful for the bond you three share. And praying we all still love each other when we get back from Cambodia.

11. I love our deep, meaningful conversations and the silly laughs and giggles. I love reading out loud together and trading backscratches. I love our shared passion for loving the poor and oppressed and seeing God’s world. I could go on and on and on. Seriously.

I love you so much, girl. I thank God for you every single day. You are an incredible young woman.

Love, Mom

28 thoughts on “olivia's eleven-uh!

  1. Amy

    I can’t believe I just saw this! I absolutely love that picture of Hannah and Livi. So precious! They really are two peas in a pod. It’s so weird to say that if given the resources, I would feel totally comfortable putting Hannah on a plane to spend the weekend with Livi and the rest of the Tavianos.

    I hope that Livi had a fabulous birthday, one befitting the incredible young woman of God that she is … and continuing to become. Happy, happy birthday from all of the Thompsons — but ESPECIALLY Hannah!

  2. (Miss!) Kelly Calhoun

    Happiest of Birthdays to you, Miss Olivia! You are an amazingly sweet young lady. Beautiful, inside and out!


  3. Lori

    Happy Birthday Livi. You are such a beautiful and kind girl. It amazes me how I see so much similarities between you and Savana. Love it when we all get to be together!! Enjoy your day today 🙂 We love you Livi!!

  4. Wendy

    I LOVE how you do this. What a gift to give your dear daughter. You are just a little further down this parenting path than me. I plan to learn from you!
    ~ Wendy

  5. Morgan Nameth

    LOVE this sweet post and HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIVY!!!!!
    Praying for your trip to Cambodia….you girls will have a wonderful time 🙂

  6. Jen Hanson

    Livi! The picture you painted with the trees and colorful sky is BEAUTIFUL!!! Great job!

    Happy birthday little cousin – I’m so glad my sisters have you as a friend/cousin. I love watching you girls having so much fun together.

  7. Chris Yoder

    Happy 11th birthday, Livi Joy!:) Grandpa and I love you sooooooooooooooo much!:) We’ll never forget the day you were born! We were on a little “honeymoon,” but you were totally worth cutting it a little short.:) We love so many things about you, sweetheart, but what we love the most is your love for God and your sensitive heart! We know God has great things in store for you!

  8. Jessica Y.

    Happy Birthday, Livi! We all love and miss you lots! We hope you have a really special day today! (We left our birthday banner up just for you!) 😉

  9. The Chey Family

    Happy Birthday Olivia Joy!

    We will be seeing you on December 12! You will be staying in our place.

    God bless you on your birthday!

    Your pictures are awesome!

  10. janelle

    She is genuine inside and out….may God keep her, bless her and empower Livi to do great and mighty things for HIM…..happy BIRTHday…..Livi Lou…Liver and Onions….happy birthday !

  11. Nancy

    Happy Birthday, Olivia!! I have to say I LOVE that winter painting you did!! Keep up the good work. I have to keep scrolling up to take another peek. Seriously…I love the colors and those trees are awesome. Maybe you could have an art sale for your next Cambodia fundraiser 😉 Have a great day!! I think you should do something really special at 11:11 today. Heck, you could do something twice! And it would give you one more excuse to stay up late. lol

  12. Megan

    What a sweet post! Happy Birthday Livi! Wow, the first picture looks so much like Nina, I didn’t realize how much they looked alike!

  13. Claudia

    Happy birthday, Olivia!!! Hope youor family gets to Florida one of these days so we can meet you. I think Tina (and Kooki) would like you a lot!

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