The last day of JULY

. . . is a good day to . . . 

Take a walk

Or trim a tree

Capture shadows

Or laugh with glee

Push your brother (in the nice way)

Or talk to Mommy

Make silly faces

Or pose by the tree (green just for you, Aunt Ashley!)

Can you believe July is gone in two more hours?  Can you believe that 2012 is well over halfway finished?  

No, I agree with you.  I can't believe it either. 


letters to my husband

{i love you everyday//today i decided to reinforce that with a card}

we are missing you so much while you are working out of town
we have been busy here too
playing and reading and talking and cleaning {that's my part}

I had to take a picture of this...ellie putting on her own, too-small already, boots 
and on the wrong feet too  {grin}  silly girl

hudson is happy as usual
bestowing smiles and warmth upon all those that casually look his way!

yesterday we ran errands all day long
then we came home and made cookies together...mmm...mmmm...mmmmm...
{chocolate chip}

today we are making a meal for a friend and taking it to them tonight
i think i'll just make a little extra for ellie, hudson and i

we had an amazing lightening storm the other night
I obviously need more practice at capturing lightening on camera....much more practice....ha

ellie girl talkes about you all day long
she is always wanting to call you on the phone
i am the same way

sunshine has been plentiful this week
we have taken a couple really lovely walks
wifey is trying to be more diligent about being active and working out
the children both love the stroller and the outdoors
i am a lucky mama

we have been playing over with grandma and grandpa and aunt "dashe" and aunt "zazle"
bramble is feeling all better...
not sure if you knew that he was sick, but he was, and now he is well
nice to know, isn't it?  {laughing}

hudson has been spending much time sitting in his bumbo
as you can tell, ellie likes to share her toys with him
here he is playing with a tomato from her soup pot {smile}

we had the loveliest sunset a couple of evenings ago
just beautiful
i took a picture so you could enjoy it too
i missed standing on the porch and soaking in the gorgeous evening with you

keep up the good work, my husband
I miss you like crazy
and I know this is just the beginning of several weeks of you away

it is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder
i guess i will be very fond of you when you return {smile}

happy day to you!!!
 know that we are so proud of you, and that we are excited to be spending a day with you very soon...

love you always,


It's Rachel's Birthday

Happy Birthday to you.

The youngest Franks girl turns 22 today.

She looks great with her short hair or her "used to be" long hair.

Rachel loves the outdoors.

She loves being a sister.

She loves being an aunt.

She loves to work hard.

and play hard.

I think we all plum wear her out!

Rachel, these last 22 years with you have been a delight!
Being your mom has been a great adventure and privilege!


July 17

Nothing profound about the date -
Just that one whole year ago to that date, I moved to Montana.

In order to commemorate this world-shaking relocation, I've decided to start a photo series.   Seven locations, every month on the 17th.  Today, I was lucky to catch beautiful evening light; in other months, I'm sure I will be battling gloom and snow.  So I picked locations around our beautiful neighborhood that highlight what I feel best represents Montana.


The sidewalk on First Avenue East

The City Green on First Avenue and Main

The Courthouse in the middle of Main Street (Highway 93)

The east end of our cross street (10th St.) looking out to the mountains

Dry Bridge Park (City of Kalispell) 
A different shot of Dry Bridge looking south of town

Looking east again between 6th and 7th Street


of projects, family, and {cute} toes

summer has been a crazy blur for this family
thus the lack of attention to this dear blog/journal

honestly, this is the longest-lasting, most consistent journal I have kept yet
with that said//

on to bigger and brighter things
such as this sweet munchkin who stole my heart away the very second she entered this world, and continues to do so daily

ahh...she is growing up way too fast
and her little brother is not too far behind her
it seems to be a race
and I'm left in the dust wondering how yesterday is almost two years past

we have had lots of time with family this week
enjoying time with the California Rickels {as we Montana Rickels like to call them}
and some of my husband's other extended family from Colorado

it was so fun to see faces that we hadn't seen since our wedding two and a half years ago
and meeting face to face relatives that we had only seen in pictures and received letters from

90 degree weather meets slip-n-slide; watermelon, cucumber, and fresh mint salad;
sun tea; sounds of children happily playing (and the big boys too {grin} ); and much laughter

good times  good times

and today, the project was

happy {sigh}
though not quite complete yet as the hardware required a special tool to remove
thanks to rachel and mama for coming over and helping make it happen

oh, and I added a delightful little happiness to my toes too
but that doesn't top the adorableness factor of these chubby baby toes
too cute i tell you

he is just so squishy
seriously, just ask anybody...
that is totally his nickname/that and "huddy-buddy"

again happy {sigh}
my heart is full
hope you all had a delightful weekend too/
I'm ready to get back to the orderly chaos that is my week 
how about you???




While Rachel, Ashley, and I drove back to Montana, Steve stayed in San Diego to take care of some major property issues.  

He still isn't in Montana.

He celebrated the 4th of July without us.

He celebrated his 49th birthday without us.

Not that we celebrated the 4th big time here in Montana.  
Somehow we all got the stomach flu at this house.  
Steve was probably very thankful to not be here and partake!
I am not sure.
Let's see . . .

stomach flu 


I think they are both sad.

Steve did spend some time on his birthday with Grandma Blackner!
They went to Islands for a meal and a free dessert!

I hear he didn't miss much in San Diego regarding fireworks!
Sorry about that, San Diego friends.

Ellie says happy birthday to you as well Grandpa!

Hurry on up here, love!
We miss you.
And, believe it or not the sun is shining!!!!!


{four months}

{per usual I am a few days late with Hudson's monthly post// bad,bad mommy}

dear baby boy,
so, you are four months old now...
funny how it seems like you have been a part of our family forever
not simply the four months that we have gotten to know you

you have made so many milestones this month
what a conversationalist you are!
cooing and gooing at length and sometimes with all your little might
(probably should save those times for when we aren't in church, buddy {grin} )

you so enjoy being around people and are happiest and most content when you are right in the middle of everything...watching and giggling
yes, you ADORE your sister...she can make you smile anytime she comes close and says, "hi" in her sweet little falsetto she reserves just for you

{this is you talking to your cow, you sweet funny bunny}
milestones// you now hold your head up completely and steadily on your own
you still love sleeping on your little tummy, and have graduated to three consistent naps a day with sometimes a fourth squeezed in if needed

what else, hmmm....
you laugh...yes, open-mouth laugh and it is adorable!
saturday night you rolled over completely for the first time (tummy-to-back), and then you proceeded to do it again just to prove you really did it on purpose {smile}
sunday, you rolled from your back to your tummy...you liked going that way much better
tummy time is your favorite

oh, my, are you chubby!!!
you are already in mostly 6-12 month clothing
I am constantly putting away things that just don't fit you anymore
don't worry, sweets, mommy loves her chunky boy

you manage to squirm and move yourself all over the place...I don't know how you do it, but you end up somewhere completely different than I set you
mommy has to be very watchful of you now!

we read books with sissy and you listen and touch the pages...so cute
you talk with your toes just like you sister does 
{a person would have to see it to understand  :) }

you reach for things now, and happily grab onto anything I put into your little fists
anything that goes into your hands goes right to your lips
your blankie is your cozy, happy thing
we take it everywhere with us

I am in love over and over and over again
my happy, chubby little chap

so thrilled to be your mama

hugs and snuggles,

and just for fun//
 a little comparison of the two darlings in my life at the age of four months
(yes, I know, they look nothing alike {grin} )