Hadley is TWELVE!
I remember the excitement in the ultrasound room more than 12 years ago when the tech announced I was pregnant with a baby girl. After two boys (and Gavin coming from a family of 6 boys and 1 girl), I wondered if I would ever have a daughter. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and dreamed what it would be like to have a daughter. Hadley, you are everything and so much more than I could have ever hoped for all of those years ago. You are an amazing daughter and sister. Patient with your older brothers and their endless teasings. Loving and caring to your little sister, Morgan, who depends so much on you for everything . . . letting her share your bed when she’s having a hard time sleeping, walking home from school everyday with her, helping her with her homework, advocating for her by sharing World Down Syndrome Day with your classroom, being patient when she is less than patient with you. And always willing to be the fun sister to Mia (our mini Hadley) and Griffin. Pulling out games, puzzles, new books from the library, face paint, playing in the backyard. Our family is SO lucky and blessed to have you in the center. I hope you will always know that and be able to feel that when times get tough or frustrating with the chaos that comes with being part of a big family and being the middle child. I am so proud of the young lady you are becoming and the choices you are making!
I got a letter from Hadley’s 6th grade teacher last month that perfectly describes my girl:
I just wanted to take a moment and let you know how happy I am that Hadley is in my class. She is a determined girl who always wants to do her best on any task she is given. She stands out to me as a person who focuses on more than herself. A lot of times, students her age are focused on what they can get out of something. But to me, I can see Hadley doing things and learning things not only for herself, but so that she can help all she comes in contact with. They recently wrote an "I have a Dream" essay and hers was all about helping others. You have an amazing daughter and I truly feel it a privilege to work with her.
I hope you are having a great weekend!
I asked Hadley what her essay, “I have a Dream” was about and she said she wrote about Down syndrome awareness and giving back. Of course she did!
Gavin and I were still in Las Vegas on the morning of her birthday but Grandma stepped in and made Hadley her favorite cake for her birthday. She got to open one of our gifts without us, a new outfit to wear to school that morning. We got home just in time to take a birthday treat over to her 6th grade class before school was out.
She was excited to get home and open the rest of her gifts. New clothes, fingernail polish, books and hair products.
We all went out for dinner at Texas Roadhouse and Hadley got to sit on the saddle while we all sang Happy Birthday to her.
Hadley has been busy these past few months with rehearsals for her first community theater experience. She was both a “Guy” and “Doll” in the play “Guys and Dolls, Jr.” and was performing the weekend of her birthday. I thought it would be fun to take her friends to the play for her birthday party. Her best friend’s birthday is just a few days after hers and was also in the play so we decided to make it a combo birthday party. Most of the girls were surprised to find out that they weren’t just going to the play but that they would be watching Hadley and Ellie in the play as well.
The play was in an old building in Historic Midvale. We got there a little late and most of the seats were all taped off and reserved, or broken, so we found a few seats together here and there and enjoyed the show.
Hadley was a gambler.
(She’s the one in the back, center.)
Hot Box Girls
(Hadley is 3rd from the left)
And a doll
(Hadley is on the far right)
The entire cast
Hadley and Ellie with the birthday party guests
After the play we went to Joe Morley’s to open gifts and eat mud pie
Hadley wanted to have a simple birthday party this year and this was simple and fun. The girls laughed and laughed together and had so much fun just being together.
In honor of her 12th Birthday--12 things you may not know about Hadley:
1. Hadley tried something new this year and played Jr. Jazz basketball. She had great coaches who went out of their way to make sure everyone was having fun. They made all of the girls custom t-shirts and did a big end of the season party at Fat Cats.
2. After so many years of having long hair, Hadley decided she was ready for a change and wanted to cut off her hair and donate it. We did some research and found that Pantene didn’t require as much hair as Locks of Love and that they use the hair to make wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer and donate the wigs instead of selling them. We didn’t have anything to measure her hair with but knew we needed about 8-9 inches. She ended up having 15 inches cut off which is probably better since her ends were so broken and damaged.
3. She is always grateful for the little things and appreciates all that she has. We did a girls overnight trip downtown the weekend before her birthday with her sisters and cousin, Avery. She had fun shopping around City Creek and picking out some birthday clothes. She was very careful on what she picked out and made sure she wasn’t asking for too much. After she had picked out an outfit, she wouldn’t even look around in the other stores because she had “already spent too much”.
4. Hadley composed a piano piece with the help of her piano teacher for her school Reflections contest. Her entry was selected in the Music Category as one of two winners in her age category for the school district and went on to the Region Reflections Competition.
5. Turning 12 meant leaving Primary and going into Young Women’s. She has been so excited to earn her Faith In God award and graduate from Primary. I will miss having her in Activity Days with me but she is ready for the next adventures. She got to go to her first New Beginnings. She and her friends were spotlighted and welcomed into YW.
6. She LOVES to babysit and spends most of her weekends doing it. She goes above and beyond what is expected of a babysitter. She spends her own money on treats that the kids can earn. If they go to bed on time than she leaves them a treat for them to get the next day when they wake up. She looks like she’s going on a trip when she leaves the house for babysitting, her bag full of games, books, and supplies.
7. She loves dogs and still misses Zeus.
8. She’s hoping to get her braces off at the end of this year.
9. She enjoys photography and submitted a picture of Mia for the Reflections theme, “Imagination”.
10. Likes to give her sisters manicures and pedicures.
11. Plays the piano.
12. Loves to sing and dance which made community theater the perfect fit for her. She’s looking forward to being in more plays and starting up dance again.
Happy 12th Birthday Hadley!
We love you so very much!