Happy 18th Birthday to Hadley!


You (we) made it! Eighteen glorious, hard and hilarious years on this earth. One thing’s for sure, you’ve kept us on our toes since before you were even born! When you were still in the womb, Dad told you if you were born (early) the next day, he would buy you a car when you turned 16. My water broke the next morning and you were born at 11:10 p.m. that evening.

Well, we’re two years late on the car but Happy Birthday! Then again, it took almost two years to get your license so we’ll call it even.

This has been the year you’re starting to figure out life. We toured colleges last year and you fell in love with the schools in Southern Utah, or at least the idea of them (sorry, SUU’s My Little Pony Club and Dixie’s palm trees are not reasons to go to college).  In the end, it wasn’t until we toured aesthetics schools that something really clicked and you will enroll in Acaydia Spa & School of Aesthetics in the fall. I mean, beautifying while inflicting pain. What a perfect career choice!

You and Bode reconnected and bonded during quarantine and you have corrupted the lad with your anime infatuation (though his Minecraft obsession has also rubbed off on you). When I told you that he’d miss you when you moved away, you responded, “Yes. I have something to tell you at the end of the summer.” Me: “Tell me now.” You: “I was with a friend when I ran into Bode skipping class to get something to eat with friends.” Me: “REALLY.” You: “I told him to have fun and I wouldn’t tell Mom and my friend couldn’t believe there is someone out there who has a great relationship with her brother.” Nice. Covering for each other’s mischief for 16 years.

You have enjoyed having Swiss exchange student Maelle in our home this past year and your other good friends include Edyn, Maddie, Monty (whom you’ve been dating for a year), Jordan and Sydney.

You’ve been to Homecoming, Preference and Prom and nothing was more memorable than your response to Monty for HoCo where you decorated his car with a stunning painting of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and cut-off ears (fake, of course). You’re obsessed with the TV show Criminal Minds and have loved your Psychology class discussions on mass murders and psychopaths but let’s hope it ends with only fake body parts.

Travels this year included Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado for a back-to-school trip, St. George for Fall Break where you climbed Angel’s Landing for the first time, a Canadian Christmas (with record-breaking cold), Sun Valley, Idaho for my 50th birthday and one of our favorite family vacations ever: The Bay Area for Spring break where we had a blast in a gorgeous house in San Rafael and played in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach and Fitzgerald Marine Preserve’s tide pools. In your shocked, immortal words, “I can’t believe nothing went wrong on this trip!” Miracles never cease.

We put our beloved Fat Kitty to rest in April 2020 and we adopted a beautiful, fluffy kitty named Mochi last September. Your cuties Golden Retriever Chewy and Aussie Zelda came back into your life for a few months and you landed a job at Earth and Eden, a local garden center, where you can go as crazy as you want with your plant obsession, so long as you don’t bring any more of them home. You love all-things creative. You made a summer bucket list that includes learning to embroider and you already checked off another one of those items to make a gourmet dessert (your millefeuille was delicious and you have become a fabulous cook!) You chopped off your hair and are ready to rock your new look and new life.

It’s bittersweet to see you graduate and we’re incredibly proud of you. It has not been an easy journey these past several years and you’ve battled (sometimes) limped through it to the finish line but you’re here. You graduated with honors. You were awarded $3,000 in scholarships and found out the day after graduation that you won your high school’s art show. And now, you have your whole life ahead of you, one that I hope will be filled with creativity, love, laughter and light as you surround yourself with good things and people.

Bloom Where You’re Planted. Climb Every Mountain. Not My Will But Thine Be Done. Seek out light. Cling to your Savior. Surround yourself with good people and, most importantly be the good. Travel. Laugh. Worship. Explore. Pray. Ponder. And laugh some more.

Life will never be easy but He has promised you will be able to get through anything in your life when you put Him first.

We have loved you for so long. It has been our honor and privilege to raise you, our beautiful, talented spitfire. Now, FLY.



Hadley Birthday Letters

For a stroll down memory lane, read letters for your 17th birthday letter16th15th, 14th,  13th12th11th10th, 9th 8th7th6th5th4th3rd2nd and your birth story.

Angel’s Landing

Christmas in Canada


Maddie’s 18th

Muir Woods

New York City!



Fenway Park in Boston

Midway Ice Rink

Bay Area California


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