Posted in Katie


Dear Katie,

Happy, happy birthday, sweet girl!

After wanting you for so long… after praying for you for so long… I’m still amazed each year, as we celebrate your special day, by just how lucky we are to have you in our lives.

Last night, before we tucked you in for bed, we talked about today. That your birthday coincided with dress up day at school made you simply giddy.

Then, this morning, as you carefully pulled your Cinderella dress over your head, I could see a little storm brewing in your mind. Your sweet grimace as you pulled the itchy fabric off your arms and away from your neck gave your thoughts away. You shifted, squirmed, scratched and finally looked up at me, locked eyes and said, “I’m not going to wear this after all. It itches me and I just know that it will bother me all day.”

I’ve spent the past week (or weeks, if I’m honest), wondering how it’s possible that you’re already seven…wondering where the years have gone and feeling terrified that the remainder of your time with us will slip through my fingers.

But this morning, as you changed out of your Cinderella dress and into your school uniform, I thought my heart might burst with pride. You are learning who you are… learning to think ahead… learning that it’s okay to not do what everyone else is doing.

You are learning that it’s just fine to be YOU.

As I held the cast off dress and watched you carefully zip up your plaid skirt and smooth your shirt collar, I realized that none of this… this privilege of being your mother…  is about keeping you small. It’s about bearing witness to you becoming the woman you will one day be.

And this morning, as you dug deep, I realized that you are indeed seven.

You are seven magical, smart, beautiful, fantastic, glorious years old.

And I’m so incredibly blessed to be here to watch you grow.

With a happy heart, filled with so much love for you,


letter on seventh birthday


She turned to me at dinner, her eyes locked on mine.

katie 2

Can I tell you something, Mommy?

Her face, so vulnerable, so engaged.

Every night, after you and Daddy tuck me in, I sit up in bed, I fold my hands and I pray.

It’s funny how you think you know everything there is to know about your child, until you don’t.

What do you pray for, Katie? I asked.

I thank God for the love in my heart and the sunshine.

I thank him for you and for Daddy.

And for Matthew.

And I tell him that if he gives our family a baby to love, my heart will be so, so full.

Her words, her innocence and her belief that the right combination of words to the right person would somehow bring what she so hopes for, leveled me.

In that moment, I couldn’t tell her that her daddy and I tried praying.

We tried science.

We tried hoping.

And still, we failed.

How will I ever convey to her just how much we wanted… still want… the very thing that she prays for each night?

How will I tell her that we eventually stopped hoping?

How can I tell her that when, after all this time, I can barely admit it to myself?

Peanut butter M&M blondies

We had a rough morning, y’all.

Katie’s first playdate with a new friend had to be rescheduled because her brother so inconveniently spiked a fever and was a pile of misery. Two piles of misery, if I’m honest.

Her disappointment, combined with his lethargy, called for drastic measures.

And sometimes, my friends, the only answer to a rough morning is baking something fantastic.

My pantry isn’t exactly stocked with baking ingredients since the big whole foods purge this spring.

Blondies were the perfect solution since they require very few ingredients (all of which are pretty basic) and they’re ready to eat in no time.

These brought a ray of sunshine into an otherwise gloomy day…

peanut butter M&M blondies

Recipe for the blondie base adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter M&Ms
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate bits
  • One mopey helper


  1. Butter an 8×8 glass pan.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave.
  3. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  5. Add salt and then slowly incorporate the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, mix in M&Ms and chocolate bits.*
  7. Pour into buttered glass pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes, or until cooked in the middle and golden brown on the outside.
  9. Cool on rack completely before cutting.

*For an amazing list of ideas creative ways to customize these blondies, visit Smitten Kitchen.

little girl baking, katie

peanut butter M&M blondies

peanut butter blondie M&Ms

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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