Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Frances is 4!

How in the world has 4 years gone by???? When Frances turned 3, I remember feeling like she was entering such a big girl phase.  However, 4 years old is just really really big girl stuff!  As some of you may remember, over the past 2 months she has ditched the paci and moved to a big girl bed.

February 8, 2011 at 4:11am
If you know Frances, then you know the girl LOVES a good party.  She had no shortage of birthday celebrations and cake over the week.  We started out with a trip to the zoo and our traditional La Paz dinner to celebrate Fran and Meme (who had a birthday on Feb 4).  She also had a party at school, a party with our Wed night El Caz crew (yep, we eat a lot of Mexican food), then her big gymnastics birthday party.  The triplets were so excited to be coming to Birmingham for the party, and sadly they (including Sage and Jack) all got strep and couldn't come.  At least we get to see them in 2 weeks anyway. Frances also got her 4th set of tubes the day after her birthday.   thought it was pretty fun, and kept telling everyone at the hospital that she was on a field trip. So now, birthday week is officially over; she's having a hard time realizing she no longer gets cake at every meal...ok so am I.
Waking up to 4 years!
4 birthday muffins
Even the birthday girl has to go to timeout, even at the zoo.
Riding the train

New boots from Amy!
And, the coolest matching/memory game ever!
Pretending to jump in muddy puddles in her new rain boots.
La Paz to celebrate Meme and Fran
Brand new tubes, and a popsicle
Birthday at El Caz, complete with the sombrero and some flan

Kat did great on the big balance beam!

A few of my favorite Frances things at age 4:

  • The way she can shake her booty....I still have no idea where she learned it
  • Tap dancing
  • The way she can be so horribly rotten and make me want to bang my head against the wall, and a split second later melts my heart with a sweet hug and "I love you"
  • Listening to her play with her dolls 
  • The way she counts to 20 so confidently, so out of order, and with so many missing numbers
  • The way she says "No I can't right now," when she clearly doesn't want to do what's been asked of her
  • The way she tells me "you're a big girl, I'm so proud of you," when I go potty
  • The songs she makes up about broccoli, vegetable, glitter, scissors, and soccer balls
  • The way she tells herself "I'm sooooo cute," every morning when she looks in the mirror
She's one of a kind, that's for sure....and I'm so glad she's mine.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Inner Strength

Today you are in for a treat with a special blog post from Daddy.....

I signed up for my first run just over 13 years ago in 2001. It was a 10K. A few months later I would run my first half-marathon in the Mercedes Marathon weekend in Birmingham in 2002. I wasn't running for anything but me. I didn't know that the Mercedes Marathon benefitted anyone because I wasn't really paying attention. I was only focusing on Will and running and how Will could become a better runner. But things have changed over time. There is more in my life now than just Will. Six years ago I married Anna Ruth and ever since she and I have been growing old together. :) But I am still working hard to become a better husband every day. Then, four years ago Frances came into our lives courtesy of the fine people at Brookwood Medical Center's Labor and Delivery and I have been striving to be a better father ever since. Five months ago I started a great job in software development. I am pretty good at it but I would also like to become pretty great at it. :)   Running 13 years ago was a lot easier than it is today and quite frankly, I'm tired. I decided a few months ago I was going to cut back on running for a while. Running marathons is easy. It's the training that really consumes all your time and energy. With so much going on right now, my motivation to train is dwindling. But I simply cannot imagine not running the Mercedes Marathon each year for as long as I can. The beneficiary is The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs and the children who have benefitted from their services past, present and future is just the motivation I need to run this marathon. They are my inner strength. 

Please visit my fundraising page and consider making a donation to support The Bell Center!

Today, my daughter Frances, who is a Bell Center alumnus joined me for one of my training runs on an unseasonably warm January morning. 

We are at the halfway point!

Frances takes off without me.

Oooops. Ran too fast.

Just one mile to go. Frances? FRANCES???

Trust me. I am just as tired as she is. 

Check out Frances' training in action:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Halloween to New Years and anything in between

I did it again.  I have waited almost 2 months to update the dang blog, and I know all of you have been waiting each and every day to see if I'm posting something new.  Well, here it is, and shockingly it a huge explosion of photos.  I really am hoping to pick back up with at least monthly blogs in 2015....not for you people out there, but it's just a great way to keep track of milestones and memories.  We shall see how that goes.

Halloween was so much fun this year- Frances really got into the whole Trick or Treating thing and the girl loves candy like her mama.  She had a multitude of costumes including a cow, Tinkerbell, and Jane Fonda (there's a story behind that).  We got to spend Halloween in Oxford which also included the triplets turning 3!

We had a very nontraditional Thanksgiving this year, as we drove 10 hours south to Cocoa Beach for a little vacation and a little marathon running.  We celebrated our dear friend and Frances' godmother's 50th birthday down there, and then several of them ran the Space Coast Marathon.  Frances and I were just spectators.  One thing is clear from our recent travels: Frances loves hotel living.

Christmas and New Year's were wonderful as well, as we got to spend a lot of time with family and friends.  Frances was a HUGE fan of Santa this year- I mean, borderline stalking the man. Pretty sure she had at least 5-6 Santa visits.  Sadly I got hit by a nasty stomach bug on Christmas Eve, so we spent Christmas Day in isolation.  The Nichols crew came to town after Christmas and, as always, we had a big time.  We went to the McWane Center one rainy day (along with every.single.person in Alabama) and took a short trip to Atlanta and went to the Georgia Aquarium.

So now it's 2015....Frances will be 4 years old in a month, we might try to sell our house (again), and life is good. Within the past month, Frances gone to having no pacifier and sleeping in a big girl bed. Life changes when we least expect.  2015 is sure to bring plenty more changes, challenges, and celebrations.  We are ready!

The Jane Fonda workout crew
Moo I'm a cow

Halloween in Oxford

Happy Birthday to Anna, Irene, and Brooks!

Setting off on our Thanksgiving adventure!
McDonald's for Thanksgiving lunch

Kennedy Space Center
Look closely and you will see Will and Fran
I made her take pics on the beach when it was freezing. 
But the pics were great!

Loving the hotel accommodations

This is the life
Happy Birthday, Nana Sue!
Ice cream late at night
Selfies while Daddy runs the marathon
Soooooo happy to see her Daddy
Add caption
Finishing a hot 26.2 miles
Barefoot and pantsless in a truck stop.  That's how we travel.
Poor girl went through a long rough sickness...all better now!
Birthday parties with friends, Happy Birthday to Allie and MJ!
Looking beautiful for church
Christmas Parade!

Christmas crafting
North Pole Party

Santa at Children's

Santa at school
Santa, please don't go!
A little too much sugar?
Santa at the Gingerbread House party
Bell ringing in the program at school

Just relaxing at the playground on Christmas Day.
Meet "Iggy"

New playhouse at Meme and Grump's!

Christmas at Meme and Grump's

Christmas isn't fun until Grump goes fishing for a drone in his pjs

Lyndy, Kat, Fran, Brooks, Irene, Anna with Meme and Grump.  That's a lot of girls.
Franny and Brooks are two peas in a pod
Make sure you wear your boots when you swim at the hotel.
Embassy Suites breakfast!

New Year's Day breakfast!
New Year's Eve
Big girl bed

Super Frances
Annie on the big screen!