S: A V E R Y K A T E T H E T H I R D Y E A R
BC: A V E R Y I S T H R E E | What an adventure your third year has been. You have grown bigger and smarter and braver. You have loved and hugged and smiled and laughed so genuinely. You have embraced your new role as big sister with so much grace and patience and love. We cherish the journey, and we can't wait to see the next chapter of "who you are" unfold. We love you, Baby Girl.
FC: A V E R Y K A T E | T H E A D V E N T U R E S O F T H E T H I R D Y E A R
1: Three years. Three magical years. How did we get here so fast? It seems such a short time ago that we brought you home from the hospital, all bundled up and no bigger than a football. Now, a mere three years later, you have grown and matured into a beautiful, smart, funny, confident, inquisitive, and independent little girl. We love you, Peanut, so very much. We are so proud of who you are now and who you are becoming, and we feel so blessed and privileged and overjoyed to be your parents. We have loved watching your personality continue to unfold this year, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for you next! | Avery Kate
2: happy birthday | 2
3: b o u n c e z o n e b e a u m o n t , t e x a s d e c e m b e r 5 , 2 0 0 9 | It is so hard for me to believe that you are two years old! We celebrated your birthday at one of your favorite places in Beaumont, Bounce Zone! You "jump jumped" and played and laughed and had such a good time with all of your friends. Leading up to the party you were most excited to "eat cake", so you definitely enjoyed that part, too. You were so happy! We love you, our little birthday girl!
4: y o u a r e | t w o ! and, oh, how we love you! | 2
5: You are so loved, my girl. We celebrated your special birthday many times over the course of a week - at school with your friends, at your party, in Katy, and in Beaumont. We were at Pops and JoJo's house on the "real" day. We spent the morning opening presents, baking and decorating cupcakes, and celebrating YOU! It was a good day.
7: TWO | a little bit about you at the age of | You love movies, books, and your "bebes." You love to slide, to sing, to whisper, to color, to play dress-up in Mommy's closet, and to "nuggle." You are fearless, inquisitive, funny, and beautiful, and you are loved.
8: g e t t i n g i n t h e | holiday spirit
9: h o l i d a y p a r t i e s d e c e m b e r ' 0 9
10: a big sister is born | d e c e m b e r 1 6 , 2 0 0 9
11: Oh, Avery, we were so worried about what Brady's arrival would mean for you. We worried that your world would be turned upside down. We worried that you wouldn't understand. But we shouldn't have worried. You loved Brady from the first moment you saw him, and you were so proud as you held him for the first time. You were very quiet as you looked him over, glancing up at us every now and then with a shy grin. You wrapped and unwrapped him in his blanket over and over. Brady is so lucky to have you for a big sister.
12: Merry Christmas
13: You woke up early on Christmas morning, even before your baby brother, so Mommy and Daddy were able to enjoy lots of special time with just you! Santa was very good to you this year, and you were very intrigued by the big bite he took out of the cookie you left for him. Some of your favorite gifts were your tricycle, your tee-pee tent, and your magna doodle. You make our holidays so special. Merry Christmas, baby girl!
14: You love Elmo, and you love live shows, so Sesame Street Live was right up your alley. You were equally intrigued by the stairs in the arena and the show itself. You got up and danced, and you begged to hug the characters. Ernie was your favorite performer, and you picked a stuffed version of him to bring home as your souvenir.
15: f e b r u a r y ' 1 0
16: Mardi Gras | we celebrate | with wonderful friends | We are so lucky to have neighbors from New Orleans who always bring us delicious jumbalaya and who are always up for a hosting a party! You had so much fun celebrating Mardi Gras for the very first time. There were beads and funny hats and crazy masks and candy...lots of candy. We decorated your wagon, and Daddy paraded you down the street with all of your friends. You were more interested in having little treats and treasures thrown to you than you were in throwing them yourself. | laissez les bon temps rouler! | february 2010
18: tiny valentine
21: painting the driveway | You love being creative, especially when being creative involves the use of a paintbrush. One of your favorite creative outlets lately has been painting our driveway. We keep it really simple with a beach pail full of water and one of Daddy's old paintbrushes. You could spend hours painting away on your never-ending canvas of concrete. | f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 0
22: welcome S P R I N G | In March, we went as a family to the nursery to pick out spring flowers for planting. You loved wearing your rain boots, and you picked out an entire cart full of flowers - all pink - all by yourself.
23: After a very long & cold winter (by Texas standards, anyway) we have relished the return of sandals and little smocked sundresses and afternoons spent outdoors blowing bubbles, picking flowers, and riding tricycles. | march 2010
24: surfside beach | surfside beach, south carolina | march '10 | south carolina
25: You were so excited about going to the beach, and it didn't disappoint. The chilly temperatures didn't slow you down one bit! You loved building sand castles, running along the water's edge, and chasing sea gulls. A highlight of the trip was the giant swan who swam up behind our rental house the first morning and decided to make himself at home on our back porch after you fed him a hearty breakfast of cheerios and bread crumbs. On this trip, you got to spend some time with Grandma, Papaw, Aunt Kathryn, and Uncle Phil and got to meet your cousin, Evelyn, for the first time. It was a great vacation!
26: Easter traditions
27: The day before Easter, you joined us, for the very fist time, in a timeless Easter tradition - the dyeing of eggs! You loved plopping the eggs down into the cups of colorful dye. On Easter morning, you were excited to wake and find that the Easter Bunny had visited our home and hidden all of our beautifully colored eggs outside in our yard. You enjoyed the hunt, asking "where egg go?" between each find. | A P R I L 2 0 1 0
28: Our neighborhood is home to so many fun playgrounds, and it is a good thing. Because you love a playground. It is a joy to watch you fearlessly climb and slide and try new things and make new friends. Your favorite playgrounds, of course, are ones that have swings, and you inevitably squeal, "higher, higher!" each and every time we visit. | f u n a t t h e | playground
29: s p r i n g ' 1 0
30: a p i c n i c a t t h e p a r k. | One afternoon in late April, after Brady and I picked you up from school, we made an impromptu decision to stop and explore a nearby park. We played on the playground, walked around the lake, fed some ducks, and eventually plopped down on our blanket in the shade. And despite our only refreshments being your leftover-from-lunch grapes and a sippy cup of day-old water, it was one the best afternoons that I can remember. You were so excited to be having a picnic, and you were so sweet to your brother.
31: a p r i l 2 0 1 0
33: backyard fun in the sun | a p r i l '10 | It isn't often anymore that you get to spend an afternoon alone with Mommy and Daddy. On this day, however, your little brother took an extra long nap, so we got to try out your new swimming pool in the backyard and eat lunch together outside without any interruptions. You had so much fun filling the pool, splashing with Lucy, and "cleaning" your slide with your broom. Days like this make us really look forward to summer!
35: little miss creative
36: Out & About a t L a C e n t e r r a
37: There is a shopping center near our house that is home to two of your most favorite things in the world - an ice cream shop & a splash pad. We go there often in the evenings after dinner. Your current favorite concoction is pink ice cream with sprinkles. | m a y 2 0 1 0
38: our very own Swing Set | Because you and Brady love to swing so very much, we decided we needed a swing set for the backyard. You were both so happy when Daddy got it put together. We love to go outside after dinner and enjoy time together as a family while you and your brother swing and play.
39: may '10
40: y o u r l a s t d a y o f | school | celebrating | On your last day of school, we celebrated the end of a great year and the beginning of a promising summer with a special afternoon trip to our favorite ice cream shop and splash pad. This was the perfect way to end a perfect first year of school. This time, your choice was vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, marshmallows, and m&m's. Cheers to summer, and congrats on graduating from the Toddler class!
41: may 2010
43: h e l l o s u m m e r.
44: sanibel island
45: june 2010 | My girl, you had a ball at the beach! You loved the sand, and you loved the pool, but you loved floating in the ocean the very best of all. We took a boat tour and saw lots of "funny dolphins," and we saw a manatee in a marina. We had a great vacation, and it was good to spend time with Pops, Jojo, and Jessi.
46: Swimming School | week 1 | week 2 | june 2010
47: As soon as you turned two and a half, we signed you up for the "guppy" class at a local swimming school. Your teacher was Mr. Rudy. You cried and cried through the first week of lessons. You cried so hard and so loud that I could hear you through the observation window. You stuck with it, though, and the second week was much better. You learned to float on your back, hold your breath, and kick with barbells. On the last day of class, Daddy and I were able to watch from the pool deck. You were so proud to get your certificate and to be promoted from "guppy" to "goldfish."
48: let's go to the movies... | Though you'd never been to a movie in the theater before, you marched right up to the ticket counter and said, "One ticket, please!" You had a fantastic time watching your first film on the big screen, and you talked about seeing the "giant movie" for weeks after.
49: j u n e ' 10
50: The Children's Museum of Houston | o u r a d v e n t u r e s a t
51: Shortly after Brady was born, we visited the Children's Museum of Houston for the very first time. Since then, it has become one of our favorite places to go - especially when it is too hot or too cold to play outside. You love exploring all that the museum has to offer, especially an exhibit called the "Tot Spot." Each visit, something different intrigues you, and it is a joy to watch you learn new things. | 2 0 1 0
52: happy birthday U.S.A
53: 4th of July
54: d e b o r d i e u | s o u t h c a r o l i n a
55: j u l y 2 0 1 0 | Three beach vacations in one year - what a lucky girl! We vacationed with the Johnson family near Georgetown, South Carolina in mid-July. It is a given that you enjoyed the beach and the pool, but you loved spending time with Harper and Mary Wyatt. You played together all day and slept in the same room together at night. You enjoyed seeing all of the area wildlife - especially the "croco-daddles" - on our nightly golf cart rides. It was a great vacation!
56: r a i n y d a y f u n | july 2010
57: One otherwise dreary afternoon in July, we took you outside to do what you had been begging us to do for days - "jump in da biiig puddles!" And jump, you did. You jumped and splashed up and down our street, completely carefree and thoroughly happy.
58: Swimming Pool | f u n a t t h e | You have come a long way from the floatie wearing, neck grasping girl who didn't like to get her face wet you were in May when we first started our treks to the pool. After swimming school and lots of practice, your skills and confidence have improved tremendously! | s u m m e r 2 0 1 0
59: You love to jump in. You have no problem putting your face under. You're a very good bubble blower. You no longer wear floaties. You like retrieving diving sticks, and you can swim about six feet between the steps and an adult. You have become quite the little fish!
60: t h e puzzle p r i n c e s s | a u g u s t ' 1 0
61: Your latest obsession is puzzles. Over the course of the summer, you've progressed from the chunky "fit the piece in the right shaped cut-out" type all the way up to a 48-piece jigsaw. You will let us help you get the four corner pieces in place, but other than that, you can pretty much do them on your own. In fact, you insist on it. "My do it," you often tell us. You get this adorable focused face on as you manipulate each piece until it is "perfect!" (your word).
62: The Houston Zoo is one of our most favorite places to visit. You are more intrigued by the animals each time we go. Most of the time, you ask to see the monkeys first, then the giraffes, and then the elephants. You love the carousel, and you enjoyed your first ride on the Hermann Park Train this year on Mother's Day. | o u r a d v e n t u r e s a t t h e | Z O O | 2 0 1 0
64: Ballet Class | August 2010
65: In the days leading up to your first ballet lesson, you were adamant that you did not want to take ballet. Your reluctance melted away, though, as soon as we entered the studio for the first time and you were able to watch a class of older girls finishing up. The "no ways!" turned into smiles, lots of bouncing, and "its my turn now!" You were first in line, eager to hold your teacher's hand, when she came to get you at the start of class. You were beautiful, confident, and chatty. You danced on your tip toes and held your arms up high. You couldn't contain your smile as you watched yourself in the big mirror, and I couldn't contain mine as I watched you twirl and dance. We are so proud of the big girl you are becoming!
66: f o r t b e n d | C O U N T Y F A I R
67: This was your first carnival experience in which you were tall enough (or at least had on sneakers with soles of sufficient thickness to make you "close enough") to ride carnival rides! You were absolutely fearless. As we exited the first ride, which happened to be a roller coaster, you said, "Mommy, we come back & do this another day, OK?" while emphatically nodding your head up and down. You loved it. When we came upon a bungee trampoline contraption, we weren't surprised that you wanted to try it, too. So. Much. Fun. Your favorite ride was the "fairy wheel", and you thoroughly enjoyed your cotton candy dinner. We ended our adventure at the face painting booth. You had hundreds of designs to pick from, but you made your choice in about 3 seconds. A few minutes later, we headed home with the "spooky bat" of your dreams painted boldly on your cheek. | s e p t e m b e r ' 1 0
68: playing outside
69: Whether you are blowing bubbles, pedaling your tricycle around the block, cruising in your cozy coupe, or chalking the driveway, you are always happy to play outside.
70: Baking Pumpkin Bread
71: o c t o b e r 2010 | We have so much fun baking together. You love to pour in ingredients, stir, and test taste along the way. | This time though, my little picky eater, you wouldn't taste anymore once we added the pumpkin.
72: o c t o b e r 2 0 1 0
73: Dewberry Farm | b r o o k s h i r e , t e x a s
74: Pumpkins | little
75: We have so much fun continuing traditions like this one each year with you! You were very focused on your task of finding the perfect pumpkins to take home with us when we visited the pumpkin patch at our church in early October. Later at home, we tried something new this year - pumpkin painting! Like any activity that allows you to be creative and messy, you loved it! | O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0
76: halloween | happy | You made an adorable Tinkerbell, and you had so much fun trick-or-treating with your friends this year! | We celebrated all weekend long, starting with a block party on Saturday that included a Daddy / daughter "Thriller" dance lesson, cookie decorating on Sunday morning, and lots of trick-or-treating as the grande finale on Sunday night. You had a great weekend and ended up with loads of candy!
78: all dressed up | What a difference a year makes. From the little girl who wanted nothing to do with the Cinderella dress given to her on her second birthday, you have evolved into quite the Little Miss Dress-up. You have your own unique style - a blend of vintage pieces from Mommy's ballet days and modern day princess garb. Never one to forget the accessories, your ensembles are sure to include lots and lots of scarves, hats, wings, beads, and gloves. What a little fashionista you have become.
80: "Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends we choose." | - Tennessee Williams
82: G R A N D P A R E N T S | A U N T S a n d U N C L E S a n d C O U S I N S | G R E A T G R A N D P A R E N T S
83: o u r e x t e n d e d F A M I L Y | w e a r e s o b l e s s e d . y o u a r e s o l o v e d .
84: These are a few of | couch potato | stay warm "donkey" | a perfectly portioned snack | your interpretation of "dressed for the pool" | Daddy's helper | playing "doctor" in your tent | runaway cowgirl
85: your funniest moments | Oh, how you can make us laugh... | escape from an aggressive duck | refusing to take a potty break during ballet | ballet striptease | cleaning house in snowman slippers and a sunhat | diaper thief and totally Type A | fully accessorized for Nick Jr. Live | band-aid raid
86: sister & brother | Your relationship grows stronger each day. Brady watches you constantly, and any attention you give him instantly brings a big smile to his face. You are so proud when he masters something new, and you are enjoying him more and more now that he is starting to "play." You two are going to have so much fun growing up together!
88: O U R F A M I L Y
89: You have an independent spirit that we are so very proud of. However, we are equally, if not even more, proud that you seem to be happiest and most alive when our little family is all together. We treasure the lazy mornings when you creep silently down the stairs and crawl into bed with us. We equally enjoy our quiet evenings at home and our adventures out and about, as long as we are all together - you, Brady, Mommy, and Daddy. This year, you have taken our transition to a family of four completely in stride. You are so loved, and this family - our family - would not be complete without you.
90: T H E L I T T L E T H I N G S. You can reach the sink to wash your hands. You can wash your hands. You can drink from a cup without a lid. You can use the potty, brush your own teeth, wash your own hair, and climb in the car. You can blow your nose and put on your shoes. There are so many things that you learned to do yourself this year. When we offer help, we often hear "my do it" or "my do it myself." And while we are sad to see the last bits of toddler melt away, we are so proud of the little girl you are becoming. You are growing up so fast. | Y O U R H A I R. It took you two full years, but you finally grew some hair! We celebrated some major milestones this year - your first ponytail, your first pair of pigtails, and most recently, your first hair cut. | Y o u h a v e b e c o m e s u c h a
91: B I G G I R L . | A P A C I F A R E W E L L. One day in August, after much procrastination on both of our parts, you decided that you were ready to give up your beloved pacifiers in exchange for a pink princess scooter from the Paci Fairy. This was a big deal. You loved your pacis. You had soothed yourself to sleep with them every night since you were born. One of the first two word phrases you uttered was, "two pacis." It was a very tearful and traumatic and exhausting night, but you did it. And you have a pink princess scooter to show for it. | B I G S I S T E R T H I N G S. You love to help feed your little brother. You love to help change his (wet) diapers. You love to push him in the stroller. You bring him toys and share your books (most of the time). You love being a big sister. You have exceeded all of our expectations in taking on your new role with grace and patience and love.
92: Bubbles Bubbles are one of only two items from your list last year that made a second appearance this year. You love to blow them, to pop them, & to chase them. You love bubbles. | Pacifiers It was a very sad day when the Paci Fairy came and traded your beloved pacifiers for a pink princess scooter. You cried yourself to sleep that night, and said, "Mommy, I upset." | Ice Cream One night we tried to take you out for frozen yogurt, but you knew better. After a test taste, you said, "Can we go to the real ice cream store now?" You can't get enough of this delightful treat! | Books Books are the other returning favorite this year. Books never fail to amuse you, and whether you are cuddled in our lap or scouring them on your own, you are always happy to hear stories and look at pictures. | Lipstick The Paci Fairy brought you your very first tube of lip gloss, and girl, you have been hooked ever since. You love to watch Mommy put on make-up, and you get so excited when you get to put on some yourself. | These are a few of
93: Avery's Favorite Things | Birthday Parties You love everything about a birthday party - the cake, the hats, the gifts, the noisemakers. We have been planning your 3rd birthday for months, and you can't wait for your turn to blow out the candles. | "Bam-baids" Band-aids are the cure all for everything from cuts and scrapes to minor bumps and bruises, and once you get one on, you will go days and days carefully protecting it until your "wounds" are properly healed. | School You absolutely thrive at school. You love your teachers, and they love you. We treasure the projects you bring home, and we love hearing about your adventures with your little friends. | Cooking If someone is cooking in the kitchen, you are most likely to be found under foot, eagerly offering your assistance. You love to scoop, pour, and stir, and you are a fantastic helper. | Lollipops No matter how grouchy or close to meltdown or reluctant to do something you may be, I can almost always win you over with a lollipop. You love these "big girl" treats!
94: Mama's FAVORITES | The Year's Best Photos According to Me
96: More FAVORITES