Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Four Years with Grace

She's FOUR!  Grace has been telling friends and strangers alike that she is "almost four" for the past six months.  So, what happened when Grace's fourth birthday finally arrived yesterday?  She told every neighbor who walked by our home and every person at school, "TODAY I AM FOUR AND A HALF!"  Nice try, girly.
I think this story sums up our little Grace.  She's eager to take life head-on and also loves to convince herself and everyone around her of any and all "alternative facts".  Rick and I have two choices: we can try to correct and convince her otherwise or laugh at her zest and encourage her to reexamine the truth from time to time.

Grace is spunky, funny, confident, and strong-willed.  She embraces every day with excitement and curiosity.  She loves her friends, loves her brother (when she's not fighting with Palmer), and knows who she is.
We love watching Grace express her ideas, whether she is on the playground with completely new friends or surrounded by her regular circle.  She loves to laugh and be silly, is nurturing and sweet to her baby dolls and toys, and doesn't mind playing and exploring independently.

She has a great smile, is a very happy girl, and is always ready for an adventure.  Like her brother, she loves an audience and a stage.  During her preschool end-of-year show, she happily danced and entertained the audience from the front row, whether she was supposed to or not. What a fun girl.
Grace knows how to turn on the charm and we are all dazzled by her- she can regularly talk me into reading a story amidst a crazy day or stopping for a cuddle.  Rick will usually fall for any request Grace has.  And Palmer is known to play any role when they play pretend or read her a book in the car.  Grace is considerate and loves to request an extra sucker at the grocery store "for my brother who is at school".  When Palmer gets out of school, Grace is always excited to tell him about the treats she has collected for him while he was away.

Four years with Ms. Kitty:

Last year's three year old birthday photo:
Height: 37.5" (10th percentile)
Weight: 33 lb, 4 oz (36th percentile)

Singing: Grace always has a song in her head and loves to sing both made-up songs and known songs all day long.  She also has a knack for memorizing lyrics.  After hearing a song on the radio or played in the car a few times, she usually has it down and I am regularly shocked by how many words she knows.  

Speaking of memorization, Grace has Palmer's first grade class tricked into thinking she can read.  She memorized the book, Madeline, and was invited to "read" to Palmer's class.  The kids all said, "Whoa! I can't believe a three-year-old can read!"  Children, please.  hahaha.  Grace was a tiny bit nervous to read to the entire class and told me later that her "stomach felt a little different", but she confidently powered thru and loved the center of attention.

Now, don't be fooled into thinking Grace is a child genius.  I was asking her about what sounds certain letters make recently and Grace asked me to "Please stop asking all those letter questions!"

Ballet:  Grace loooves her weekly dance class.  She loves to get dressed up in the leotard and tights and adores her friends in the class.  At home, Grace regularly puts on "dance shows" for anybody who will watch.  She is looking forward to her upcoming first dance recital.  Grace has also trialed a few gymnastics classes and will likely get involved with that activity later in the fall.

Friends:  Grace has a solid group of friends from younger siblings of Palmer's friends to her own group at school, ballet, and soccer.  She loves all of them and makes pretend phone calls to her gals when they are not around.

Outfits and Changing Clothes:  When we lived in our last home, there were two adorable preschool-aged twin girls next door.  I marveled at the amount of outfits they would go thru in an entire day.  Now that Grace is of a similar age, I understand.  Grace loves a variety of clothing options, changes often, and prefers not to wear pants.  Even when she is wearing pajamas, she would much rather wear a nightgown to "pants jammies".  If I convince her to wear pants, she usually comes downstairs with an added skirt accessory.
Not So Much "Sporty": Grace may be rough and tumble and scrappily loves to keep up with her brother.

However thus far, we haven't seen that translate to a love for sports.  Grace was invited to join a soccer team this spring and because I know it's often hard to find a team in the later years once groups are early established, I agreed.  Big mistake.  Grace didn't love soccer and the games were often a waste of our family's time.  I also put her on a tennis court this week and she mainly liked to talk about her skirt and request the need for sunglasses and a visor.  I do realize that Grace is young, so TBD on how this all shakes out.

She would much rather try on leotards and sparkly shoes.

Grace, we love you and are wowed by you.  Your smile is bright and your hugs are sweet.  Happy birthday, to our FOUR year old.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Oh hey, April.

I know- the same ole song and dance.  "We've been so busy and I haven't blogged!"  But REALLY, between work projects, end of school year events, spring travels, and another house project (more of that to come below), it's been a little insane over at Casa de Jordan.

So, where did I leave off last?  Oh.  Easter.  On April 1.  Today is May 1.  Carry on, carry on.

April has been filled with spring sports for the kiddos.  Palmer is playing baseball and their team usually gets shut out by the opposing team.  Buuutttt, the kids have a lot of fun and the dads try every week to improve everyone's baseball skills.

Palmer was the catcher a few weeks ago and was so giddy about the outfit.
In Palmer's spare time, he likes to beat his parents in chess.

Grace was recruited by a friend to play soccer and I would say Grace's interest in the game is no more than ho-hum.  Grace loves dance and if I had been more strategic, I probably should've added gymnastics to her calendar before soccer.  But, it's a short season and Grace gets out on the field for a little bit of time.  Then, she's over it and says she would prefer to be a cheerleader.
 Don't mind us over here on the sideline...
Uncle Luke and Aunt Holly stopped by to watch a game while in town.  They probably could've found a better way to spend an hour, but the gesture was nice.  Too bad Grace mostly wanted to play on the sidelines with Charlie...
Speaking of sports, I was playing a lot of tennis with my team until I sprained both my foot and my ankle in a tennis match. I had to walk off the court and forfeit that match and have been down a month.  Super frustrating.  I didn't get to finish out the spring season and am just today easing back in.
We've snuck in some weekend travel over the last month.

Rick and I did a little staycation in Fort Worth while Samantha watched the kids.  We explored some fun new restaurants, stayed in a bed and breakfast, and visited the amazing Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth.
Another weekend, Rick and I went down to the hill country to celebrate a beautiful and very special wedding.  My friend Sara Beer lost her husband several years ago in an accident and has found a man with whom she will spend the next phase of her life.
We got a little hiking in over at Jacob's well, posed with bluebonnets, and clebrated my birthday with friends....
One last quick trip: Rick got me tickets to Hamilton in Houston for my birthday.  The original plan was for Rick and I to go together, but we eventually decided that my dear friend Adrienne would be a better date since share a love for musicals and she lives in Houston.  The show was incredible and the soundtrack has been on repeat for nearly a week now.  
Back in Dallas, Palmer got a haircut.  Oops.  I left the stylist on her own and came back to quite the chop job.  Palmer adores his short hair, but not to worry- those summer curls will be back as soon as they can grow. (By the way, see the typewriter in the photo below? Palmer asked if it was an "old-fashioned computer." haha)

Most of our April has been monopolized by a new project.

Rick's family has had a home at Cedar Creek Lake since the 70s.  Rick's grandmother Grace has been living on her own at the lake for the last decade.  A few months ago, the decision was made to move Rick's 92-year-old grandmother to assisted living.  The home has seen better days and needs quite a bit of love to get it back up and running, so Rick and I have taken on the task of bringing it back to life.  We have good memories of spending time there when we first started dating and Rick has childhood memories from the home.  We hope to give it a quick face-lift and then spend time over the years pouring more care into the property

Over the last month, we've emptied out the home (most of the contents hadn't been touched in decades) and we are now painting the interior and exterior, replacing the flooring, sinks, faucets, counter tops, lighting, fans, etc.  We've gone back and forth between Cedar Creek and Dallas (an hour's drive each way) a ton over the last few weeks, but we should be able to sleep there in a few weeks.

Before pictures:
(Heaven forbid I just sit with my feet up now that our own home project is over.  You people know I love a good project and this one is so special to Rick's family.)
More to come.  Because it's now MAY.