Happy 5th Birthday to Hurricane Hadley!

Dearest Hadley,

I cannot believe you turned 5 today; it seems like just yesterday you turned 4! This was a magical year. You were not colicky, you did not keep me up all night, you were not throwing toddler tantrums nor were you potty training. In fact, I did not want to ship you off to Grandma and Grandpa B’s in Canada even once this year. That is progress and definitely love.

Speaking of Grandma B, you have a new obsession with talking to her on the phone. You are learning how to dial her number and will rattle on for ages. In fact, sometimes I’ll completely forget you’re even talking to her and will rescue Grandma B an hour later. It’s nice that your chatty Grandma has finally met her match. We knew what we were doing when we named you Hadley “Christine” after her.

Of course, sometimes you’re a bit too eager to share, like when you told your friend Maeve (whom you hadn’t seen for a while), “First I was sick, then I had lice. Now I’m constipated.”


You cannot wait to start kindergarten in the fall. Last week, you started complaining about preschool for the first time. When I asked you why you didn’t like it, you claimed it was because your teachers make you listen. Imagine that! Good thing you don’t have to do that at home, either! I forewarned you that kindergarten is equal unto boot camp and you will likely do military-like listening drills every single day. But you were unfazed. The reason? You finally get to ride The School Bus! The greatest thing in the world!

Until you actually experience the sad reality of riding in it.

You had a busy year and are learning to ride your bike without training wheels. You have also taken up roller-blading and were a veritable ski bunny in Keystone and Park City. But your favorite of all was ice-skating on Keystone Lake. You were thrilled you didn’t need Mommy’s help and were performing a triple-axle by the end of the day. At no other time have your Canadian roots shone so brightly.

Except for when you decided to run through the sprinklers when it was 40 degrees outside.

You are currently enrolled in gymnastics, you played soccer last fall and will be in swim lessons this summer. You enjoy them all but are not passionate about any of them. When I was talking about this to your father, I mentioned I wished I could figure out what your niche is. Daddy looked at the long trail of paper, scissors, markers and storybooks that you write every day and queried, “Gee, you can’t figure it out?”

I’m a little slow. You see, I never thought I would breed a Starving Artist so I never viewed your affinity toward writing books and drawing beautiful pictures as a legitimate pastime. But I am thrilled for your wonderful imagination and maybe for your sixth birthday, I will introduce you to the ultimate outlet for all your stories.

It is called a blog.

Which means you will officially be A Chip Off The Old Blog.

Your obsession with getting a dog continues and you adopt every stuffed animal you see. For those following this saga, you are on Year 3 of wanting a pet. Daddy still hasn’t surrendered his “Not until everyone is potty trained” policy but as Bode gets closer and closer, Daddy is sweating bullets. We consoled you that your Aunt Lisa–who just bought her first house–plans get a dog. You finally had a ray of hope until she divulged she first has to save up some money.

Clever girl that you are, you snuck into Lisa’s room, put $2 in an envelope and set it on her pillow. We did not make a connection until your evening prayers when you humbly pleaded with the good Lord to help dear Aunt Lisa have enough money for a dog. So nice of you to help fund such a worthy cause.

With money that you stole from your father.

Speaking of swiping, remember that one time you took Mommy’s camera and shot a little video of your own? It resulted in the first YouTube video I have ever posted.

If the blogging thing doesn’t work out, I foresee a future in Hollywood.

You love Colorado’s outdoor playgrounds. Last weekend, we had a staycation in Boulder and we stayed in a darling cottage in Chautauqua, one of our favorite areas. One night, we went for a hike when the sun was setting behind the Flat Iron mountains and the air was so sweet we could taste it. You were in your element. As we trekked up Bluebell Road, you blew seeds from a dandelion and announced, “I wish Mommy would always love the mountains.”

And I hope you will always share that love with me. I know we sometimes clash but it’s because we’re so much alike. I see so much of my good…and bad in you. You are delightful, spirited, charming, funny, stubborn, bossy and creative. From Day 1, you have humbled us and our world has revolved around you.

We wouldn’t have you any other way.

With love,


P.S. For Grandma and Grandpa: I had a fun time reading back upon Haddie’s previous birthday letters. To get caught up: her 2nd birthday, 3rd birthday and 4th birthday.

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