Happy Birthday!

Cake AND Ice Cream!
Cake AND Ice Cream!

Here we are boys and girls… a year later. And man oh man have we been busy. Yes, I know. You lost hope with me posting updates. It’s OK. I understand. I would have lost patience too. But hey, parenting is time consuming. Especially if you are on a cross-country road trip. That’s right. We put our 11th month old in a car seat and drove her to Kentucky. How did it go, you ask? It must have been crazy, right? Well, no. It was awesome. Frances was the perfect little traveler. She still takes 2 naps a day so we just worked around that. Although she’s a bit too young to appreciate it now, hopefully later in life she’ll see all the pictures we took and want to visit some of the same places. And oh, the sites we saw! Yellowstone was beautiful with its bison, bears, and geysers. Mt. Rushmore is and will always be a wonder of human artistry. The Black Hills were vast and majestic. The Grand Canyon is, well, GRAND. And the rain… Wow, did it ever rain on our trip. Every. Damn. Day. 7 days on the road to Kentucky, followed by 3 weeks in KY, and another week on the road back. Rain… Every. Damn. Day. Oh, forgot to mention that dust storm in Arizona. Yeah, we drove through that too. Epic.

Hey guys, look at my new ride!
Hey guys, look at my new ride!

We persevered, and still had a great time. We were only rerouted once because of the flooding of the Missouri River in Iowa. It was great to be home. The rain brought with it many things I hadn’t seen in KY for quite some time. Whenever we traveled to KY, it was almost always in the winter when everything was dead. Not this time. It was vibrantly green and lush as I’ve ever seen it. The bugs were vast and loud, and the humidity was thick enough you could drink it. Hell, you literally could cut the air with a knife. I’ve never seen the crunch of an Oreo cookie turn into a soft gooey mess so quickly. For Annie I think it was painful, because she wasn’t prepared at all. Even I was taken off guard a little because it had been so long. Frances was Frances and just rolled with it. She’s a happy girl, so nothing really bothers her.

I can talk forever about our trip, but I’m hoping to make that a separate post soon with lots of pictures. This post was meant to be about Frances. After all, the little lady just had a very significant birthday. It’s really hard to believe she is one. This year has gone by so quickly. What a journey, and a blessing it’s been. We really couldn’t ask for a better baby. She is smart, beautiful, and has her father’s eyes. Annie calls her Eric Jr sometimes. But she really is starting to grow into her own self. She is ferociously independent and very determined. One of the great things my parents got to witness while being in KY is her walking for the first time. Now a month later, she is a walking pro. She even tries to run, but she’s not so great at that yet. I haven’t seen her crawl in a month now. Her vocabulary is growing too. First it was “Da Da”, then “What’s that” with a pointed finger, and now it’s “Uh Oh” and “Dog!”. She amazes me every day with something new. We are working on “Ma Ma”, but that’s been elusive so far.

Outta my way!!
Outta my way!!

We want to thank everyone that came to the birthday party. It was a bit stressful planning it and executing it, but I think it turned out great. Frances seemed to have a great time, and didn’t cry once, even when she skinned her knee up falling on the concrete. It was great having everyone together and I wish that my family could have been there, but we did have a pretty good shindig in KY too. Kentucky will always be considered home, and it was great seeing family I hadn’t seen in a long time. My nephews are growing up to be adults so fast, and it’s hard to believe there is almost a 10 year gap between Frances and the youngest. And because she was the only girl in the family to be born it quite some time, she was center of attention with everyone.

I’ll wrap it up and say that I’m sorry I don’t post more. Mostly it’s just not in my nature to talk a lot, and it’s like pulling teeth to get Annie to post anything. So you got me. Hopefully you’ll take it whenever you can get it. I’d like to promise I’m going to post more, but this summer has been so crazy busy. It should die down soon once Annie gets back to work. Meanwhile you have this post to tide you over. Enjoy.