Tuesday, April 13, 2010

happy birthday a hundred years ago, hailey

My friend Hailey has the utter misfortune of being born on March 28.  This might not be a problem for everyone, but for anyone who wants me to be a part of his or her birthday celebration, it's a bad time to be born.  The Bird of the Handful came into our lives on March 29 seven years ago before Hailey and I were even friends, so typically I spend Hailey's birthday weekend eating creatively constructed cakes and playing "pin the spot on the ladybug" or "ice cream, ice cream, cone"  or applying eye liner to the Handful and giving pointers on the best way to wrap Uncle Shane as a mummy.

We eventually celebrate Hailey's birthday each year, but sometimes it's on a sad Thursday night or two weeks after the fact.  But in the case of this year's celebration, some things are worth the wait.  Saturday we spent the day at the zoo and had a pic-a-nic.  And it was fairly spectacular.  Here are some of the best moments:

The cast of characters minus Jess:  Rob, the birthday girl, JJ, your favorite blogger, Mo and Natasha

Showing out early and often

Checking out the map before we realized that Robyn is a zoo pro.

Making friends

They're supposed to be cranes or something.

I love the building in the background--and the serious eyelashes on this guy.

The big cats are my faves.

I'm 99% sure that this is Ellen the elephant--but it might be Mary.


You'd look melancholy too if you were carrying around yards and yards or matted hair and giant pouches on the side of your face.

Zoomed way, way, way in to see the baby chimpanzee playing pat-pat.  Cutest thing I saw all day.

We were around to see some docents feeding the great apes and got to hear the story of Brutus who was raised by humans and so learned human behaviors like making eye contact (which he's doing here), which is a very non-gorilla thing to do.

I was so busy co-throwing the best pic-a-nic ever (and taking photos on Rob's camera) that this is the only non-zoo photo I got.  Hailey is holding the most perfect birthday present ever--large polka dot coffee mugs hand-painted by a certain multi-talented blogger.

It was a beautiful, perfect-ish day.  Thanks for being born, kiddo.  

And in the spirit of that one other birthday post I've done, here are the five things I love most about my Hailey:

5.  Hailey's a cuddler.  If you need a hug, chances are Hailey can hook you up.

4.  Hailey knows all my stories and jokes and good times, even the ones that happened when she was still in middle school.  It's good to have a young and spry friend around to remind me of the hazy past when my old memory has troubles.  She knows there's a story for everything.  And she can make things happen, like fetch didn't happen.

3.  Hailey has a love affair with words, which possibly trumps my own.  She reads great books, write great blogs, and makes great conversation with those words.

2.  Hailey loves God and isn't afraid to talk about it and live it and be transparent about it, and that's something that's a continual blessing in my life.

and finally
1.  Hailey has a giant, tender heart that pours out love and loyalty and compassion and kindness.  She's a beautiful person, inside and out. 

And she's my friend for all of these reasons and more. 

Love you, Hailsey, from every side.


  1. Wow! That was some great post. I feel bad for whatever poor schmuck has the next birthday and has to compete with this one.

    Also, I wish that I were good at birthdays and special occasions. Sadly, I'm pretty terrible at them. So bad in fact that I didn't get my wife anything on the first mother's day on which she was a mother. BAD mistake. Super bad. I do like Hailey though, and I'm glad that she was born too.

  2. What a nice little tribute to Hailey's b-day! : )

    1. I love those mugs. LOVE them
    2. I think I have a picture of Robyn or Martha lying across the train tracks at that zoo...
    3. Looks like the funnest time ever!

  3. "The big cats are my fave"


    That surprised me so much because I thought you hated cats. Unless you only hate the nice kitty cats. But this blog was your funniest one! I was rolling when I saw the picture of the Giraffe and your comment about his eyelashes!

  4. Beck--
    There's a picture on Robyn's camera from Saturday's visit of her lying on the railroad tracks. It might just be her bit.

    It was the funnest time ever--at least until the next Beckypalooza.

  5. I've been thinking that I should come down when I can really spend some time, dig my heels in and make a pest of myself. Maybe sometime in June? :) Beckypalooza, here we come!

  6. Yay for Beckypalooza II, but don't make it in the 14-18 because I'll be gone. And we all know there can't be Beckypalooza without my couch to spill frappacino on.

  7. Loved this tribute to our girl Hailey! I love her too! It was a blast at the zoo. Glad I was able to be part of it.


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