I owe one very special important young man a belated Birthday tribute post on here. Caleb Evan Heath, please forgive me for missing your Birthday, last month!
I want to start this post off with one of the best videos ever. Here Vienne is dancing along to a video taken of Caleb, who is also dancing. Vienne, age 4, believes that the video of Caleb is meant only for her and that his talking is only meant for her. It is so darling. She is too too much. I watch this and my eyes brim and my heart swells. This was my girl - pure fun and sweetness.
Caleb, she surely did love you!!
Caleb and his family understand why it was difficult to recognize his birthday this year...and maybe for the next few years. Caleb's birthday is on September 4 - our wedding anniversary and just two days before Vienne passed away. He knows that this day is hard for us. The last time that Caleb got to see Vienne was just 5 days before she died, at his Super Hero Birthday party. I remember Caleb's 6th birthday, last year, very clearly. The night before his party, Friday Aug. 31, Vienne and I took Caleb out for school supply shopping. We decided to buy all of his supplies for him, as our gift. The three of us had fun running around the stores and picking out cool supplies for Caleb's first day of kindergarten. The two of them were best friends and whenever they were together, there were typically nonstop giggles, lots of hand-holding, and lots and lots of Vienne following Caleb around. She would've followed him anywhere.
The next day after we took him shopping, was his big Super Hero Party. I remember that this was the second time that Lacey planned this party....for it was originally meant to happen on his 5th birthday, the year before, but then he came down with the flu on that day. So, the next year, he really wanted to make sure he got that Super Hero dress up party...and so he did. I remember that the first year the party was planned I had run out to Goodwill and found armor (a breast plate and shield) for Vienne, to go with her sword because I knew she would want to go as a Super Dragon Tamer and Dinosaur Whisperer. You have seen pictures of her sporting this armor and videos of her wielding that sword, ever so adeptly. Well, you can imagine my surprise that when the next year rolled around for the party and I suggested the armor, she declined and opted to dress up as a "Fairy Princess Rainbow" (her words exactly)! Yes, yes I was so surprised. Our non-princessy girl, our girl who loves her sword and her dinos....now all of a sudden turned and wanted to be a princes...and a fairy all in one?! Yes, I was surprised. Not disappointed, just surprised. So, we had a lot of fun glamming her up that day for that special party to honor her best friend, Caleb. And it was a grand party on a perfect sunny september day. The kids ran around Seth and Lacey's yard, playing super heroes, there was pizza and cake and games. Vienne had an absolute blast. And the photo we have of her, dressed up for that party, is absolutely one of our very favorites. She looks like an angel to me and it is how I hold her in my memory.
Caleb and Vienne had a very special friendship, I believe. Caleb had known her since she was born. He is a little over 1.5 years older than she. Once they were old enough to play with each other, they were best buds. I like to think that Vienne was probably one of the most fun girls to play with because she would play with cars and dinosaurs...she would run in the mud, feed and cuddle their farm animals, play chase and hide 'n seek and any other fun active game that Caleb and Malachi were suggesting. She was their partner in adventure when she came over. And it always amazed us how gently Caleb would play with her, even when she would play their "boy" games. As Lacey states, her boys are boys - they are rough and they play hard...but when it came to Vienne, they refrained. She was special to them and they treated her as such. When they would watch movies together, we would often find Caleb's arm around Vienne, all while he was whispering to her and giggling or kissing her cheek. It was sweet and ever so innocent. I know that the boys will treat Ivy with the same love and gentleness...Caleb does already. He knows how special Ivy is.
Anyway, I could go on and on about these two beautiful children and their love for each other...but here are some photos of their 4+ year friendship and one of my most favorite videos of the two of them.
Meeting newborn baby Vienne for the first time. Oh Seth....your hair ROCKS.
Can you figure out who is who?? The fall after Vienne was born, at around 4 months, we all went to the pumpkin patch together. Caleb and Vienne are in the center, bottom.
kisses for baby V
the two of them watching a show...I think I even remember that it was Curious George.
"come on Caleb, don't you wanna give your Aunty a kiss??"
"come on! hug me!!"
this boy holds a very special place in my heart.
Vienne, about 17 months, and Caleb is 3 - at the pumpkin patch again.
They came to visit us, in Cannon Beach, for a pre-thanksgiving feast. V was about 18 months and Caleb a little over 3.
Caleb was always very good at making Vienne giggle
me and Caleb in my mom's yard
Lacey would drive out to the coast with her boys and visit me while Mark was gone on business trips. It always brightened our days to have visitors!
building stick forts on the beach.
this was always a favorite shot of Vienne...sitting on a darling bench, watching Caleb in the distance.
Caleb and Mark.
are they not just so ridiculously adorable together??
for Vienne's 3rd birthday, we invited Caleb to come and spend the day with us - a pre-party celebration. I love this pic of them - Caleb was going through a "joke phase" where he would just make up silly jokes that made no sense and then just bust out laughing at himself. Obviously, Vienne thought he was pretty hilarious too.
We took the kids to CHAP. I have written about this birthday adventure here.
Love their concentrated faces.
helping each other paint a paper ball.
"here, hold my hand..."
and off they went...
he would lead, she would follow...
"Wait for me, Caleb!"
after running around the park, we took them to Jameson Square for some water fun
Oh man, I love this pic. I love it for all the little things. This is taken on the morning of her 3rd birthday, the day after we spent with Caleb. First, she picked out this too-small dress to wear to church that morning and insisted on the sparkly shoes. She wanted the headband, but didn't like the way it felt as it pressed behind her ears. And, finally, she HAD to wear Caleb's sweatshirt he left in the car. Perfection.
All ready for church with the most awesome jacket and silliest looking headband!
This is at her bday party that evening that we held with family and close friends. The kids are beating Mark up with balloons.
Caleb wanted to help Vienne open each and every one of her presents. Here he is showing her how to work the toy that her Poppy gave her. It was hilarious.
Yoga at Caleb and Malachi's house!
crafts with Caleb
LOVE LOVE this shot of the two of them in the field. Classic.
awkward cute posing with the bunnies on the Caleb's farm. Check out her awesomely muddied jeans. Love that girl.
Fun day date at some crazy pizza-arcade place that Mark took them to. They both talked about this for months.
holding more bunnies in Caleb's yard. Gosh, isn't she beautiful?
This. This is the Princess Fairy Rainbow costume we put together. Isn't she just glowingly radiant and stunning? She takes my breath away. Always. Always.
I love this photo at the party. You can see Vienne in her awesome signature "hand on the hip" pose that she had recently adopted and check out Caleb in the center - it looks as if he is using his mighty super powers to protect the ladies. Spectacular.
a special moment we shared with sweet Caleb at Vienne's 5th birthday remembrance - thefirst time we celebrated her birthday, this past May, without her. I wrote about it here. In this photo, Caleb is helping us to plant a blue hydrangea for Vienne at her favorite park.
Caleb and his beautiful family - they are family to us.
And, I thought I would end the post on with this beautiful photo. It is blurry - but it is oh so tender sweet. Here is Caleb with his arm protectively around sweet Ivy, on her 1st birthday. He will love her with the same love. I am sure of that.
Thank you, my sweet precious boy. I can't tell you how much I love you.
Even though I am late in posting this, please know that it is because you are most special to me and I wanted this to be just right for you. I love you and I have more coming in belated recognition of your 7th Birthday.