Happy 10th Birthday to Bode!

Dear Bode,

Happy Birthday! It’s a big day for you. Not only are you turning double-digits but your life is about to drastically change with our move to Utah.  I know this is hard for you because, like the rest of us, you have loved the only home you’ve ever known. You don’t ever ask for much, which is why we splurged and bought you a cool electric motorbike to putter around our new neighborhood and Dad’s old BB Gun. Talk about perfect training for our new lives as country bumpkins.

We’re currently in Canada indulging in pizza from Uncle Pat’s new wood-fired outdoor oven, followed by a movie of your choice in their fancy basement theater room. For your “friend” birthday, we played Bubble Soccer at the Apex Field House, which involved a lot of laughter, sweat and Sumo knockdowns. 

Fourth grade was a great year for you with Mrs. Trapp as your teacher. You had loads of friends, did Student Council, cross-country, were in the advanced math program, performed in the schools’ talent show and also the most adorable stage production on “Colorado.” I wish we could have gotten settled in Utah prior to starting fifth grade at your new school but everywhere you go, you make friends easily. You always get chosen among the first when kids are selecting teams; not because you’re the best athlete but because you’re well-liked, encouraging and fun.

Talent Show

Speaking of which, you and I competed in our first adventure race together at Copper Mountain a few weeks ago. We each had our strengths. Me: mountain biking, glacier climb. You: Running, cargo net, obstacle course, Tyrolean Traverse, Darwin Dash, blow darts and the ropes course. This is just a nice way of saying you dominated the course and I was so proud to be your partner…even if I was usually a few (wet) steps behind. My only request for our mother-son adventure was that you didn’t throw up, which is exactly what happened–not once during our ski trip to Beaver Creek but twice when we rescheduled it a few months later.

6th grade kids vs. teachers basketball

You and your neighborhood friend Nicky have been inseparable this year and you’ve had plenty of adventures with church friends Porter, Carson, Seamus and Noah. I loved meeting you for lunch at school and playing Four Square with your buddies, though I am remiss we are moving before I can truly humble Brody from his smug position in the head square.

This was a big year: You skied your first double-black diamond at Sunlight Mountain Resort and rocked the Kids Adventure Games in Vail with Seamus. You love soccer, The Broadmoor, snuggles to start and end the day, Fat Kitty, listening to Fablehaven, Cub Scouts, video games, summer swim lessons, riding your bike with your friends, piano, and catching crawdads. We had plenty of ski trips, Christmas in Utah, a media preview of “Season of the Force” at Disneyland, a weekend with friends at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch, summer fun at the Calgary Stampede and boating at the Lakehouse in B.C.

I especially appreciated your help when it came to our miserable 2+ months of house showings and you frequently asked me “what can I do to help?” Of course, no one is perfect and neither is your room but you did a great job keeping it picked up and gave me hope that slobbery is not in your eternal future. But you’d better believe that very day we went under contract, your room quickly returned to its original (condemned) condition.

You were born with an extra ray of sunshine. Being happy, having faith and obedience come so easily for you and you truly want what is best for those around you. In a world that encourages boys to be competitive and tough, you reminds me everyday that kindness counts (along with a healthy dose of silliness). You’re such an easy-to-please bloke that sometimes it’s tough to figure out what you really dislike (beyond the obvious food choices like peppers and seafood) so on our recent hike to St. Mary’s Glacier, I asked you “Bode, what kind of things do you hate? I mean, Hadley really hates math. What would be on your list?” You took a long pause of consideration before responding “you know, I really hate mean people. Why can’t everyone just be nice and kind? I want peace for the whole world.”

St. Mary’s Glacier

Jamie joked “”world peace?’ You’ll be a great beauty contestant with an answer like that.”

All kidding aside, your sincere answer so beautifully demonstrated your role in this world as a peacemaker. Every day you teach me about love and patience. I got weepy writing this letter because Colorado has been a wonderful dream for you full of friendships, developing your testimony in the gospel and fun…and I hope you will always look back upon your single digits with wonder and magic because that’s exactly what they were.



P.S. For a stroll down memory lane, see birthday letters 1, 2, 3, 4 56, and 7, 8 and  9.

Fun with friends at Snow Mountain Ranch

First double-black ski run

Bike to School Day

Kids Adventure Games

Birthdays at the Lakehouse

Famous on the slopes

Halloween pumpkin fun

Sledding with Dad at Meyers Ranch

Student Council field trip


Sunlight Mountain Resort snowmobiling

Snow Mountain Ranch’s lame tire swing


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