Family, Husband, Letters to My Kids

Birthday Kitten

Dear Little One,

Last Monday, your Daddy celebrated his birthday. He turned 28. And we realized this is the 11th birthday we’ve celebrated together. How has time passed so quickly? 


The day before his birthday – on his brother’s birthday – his whole family joined us for lunch out at Nick and Nino’s (coal fired pizza is totally amazing) and dessert. I made this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake and it was a big hit with everyone (a two layered chocolate cake from scratch, a cheesecake in between the layers, salted caramel frosting, and fudge ganache on top. Oh my, yes.) It was so nice to be together for the boys’ birthdays.


Grandpa & Grandma Eccles (just a few days before they left for Florida!), Beth and Brian, Gordon and Linda, Grandma and Grandpa Arvidson, Kevin and Melanie

The next day I planned a scavenger hunt for Kevin. It turned out to be the perfect way to do our all-time favorite thing spend time together. Here are my silly clues.

1. To start out our venture, let’s not add an “S”
People in Michigan all seem to be obsessed
With clothing and movies and fish and the like
This place will surely have all your top favorite bites.

Answer: Meijer (I had already purchased a few of his favorite snacks and had them packed up in the trunk: specialty bottled ginger ale, tortilla jalapeno Combos, and Lindt dark chocolate truffles)

2. I’m pretty sure this beverage place means something in Spanish
My taste buds are hoping the roasting in man-ish
With “water” and “milk”
And sugar and cream
Surely we’ll find the right mug that will please.

Answer: Agua Dulce Cafe (A coffee shop downtown Monroe that we’d been wanting to try. Turns out I had the Spanish a little wrong, but he still got the hint.)

3. Let’s head to the place where the choices are unlimited
People drive from all over for snacks that should be prohibited
It’s not a long jaunt
Is your face looking gaunt?
All’s I know is the place’s quite smoky.

Answer: Beef Jerky Unlimited in Dundee (Another spot we’d talked about checking out for quite some time. Turns out they have amazing jerky and tons of great hot sauces. Kevin picked out Sweet and Spicy Jerky and Firehouse Jerky.)

4. By now in our journey we may be quite ravenous
I know of a place that’s cozy, not cavernous
Steak or soup
Potato or rye
This restaurant’s alone as a star in the sky.

Answer: Lone Star Steakhouse (What guy doesn’t love a steak dinner? We even had a $5 coupon that I found online earlier that day.)

5. There’s one place left, well, two if you’re specific
You will not believe your wife is this terrific
She wants you to have these cute little guys
To snuggle and play and annoy and surprise
You’ve never heard of the spot where we’re headed
So Melanie will drive and you’ll give her the credit.

Answer: Heritage Animal Hospital in Dundee (Kevin’s wanted a kitten for…oh…all the years we’ve been married. And every time we get a cat, I want an old, declawed, lazy thing. I finally figured a kitten would probably be a lot of fun, and just went for it. I found these cute black kittens on Pet Finder and after visiting with them, we opted to bring one home. We loved Heritage because they seemed clean and professional, and affordable – $85 includes all her shots and vacs, plus getting her fixed in February.)


MEET OCTAVIA. (We’ve taken to calling her “Tavie.” Your dad will have to explain why he chose the name Octavia.)

2014-10-31 09.03.20


Our little black fluff ball was 8 weeks and 4 days old last Monday, and we’ve absolutely loved every day with her since bringing her home Thursday. She is exactly what we needed right now – a little spark of joy. Tavie has reminded us to take pleasure in the good things God has filled our lives with, to laugh at the silly things, shrug off the mistakes, and shower love. 

2014-10-30 21.32.10

2014-11-01 15.05.54

2014-11-01 14.32.41

We’re looking forward to the spark of joy YOU will bring to our lives. We’re ready for you, Child. And we’re pretty sure you’ll love Tavie as much as we do. (Don’t worry, Willow kitty, we still love you, too. And you’ll love Tavie in a week or too once you figure out she’s really not that bad.)



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