S: A V E R Y K A T E T H E F O U R T H Y E A R
BC: A V E R Y I S F O U R | In your fourth year, you have become such a beautiful girl, inside and out. As once again we celebrate the special day that you came into our lives and took over our hearts, we are so very grateful for your presence and the joy that you bring to us each and every day. We love you so very much, Avery. Happy Birthday.
FC: t h e f o u r t h y e a r | Avery Kate
1: Avery | K A T E | If we could bottle up the three-year-old you and keep it forever, we would. You have been an absolute delight this year. No longer a baby, no longer a toddler, you have become a precious, beautiful little girl. You are sweet and kind. You are funny. You are compassionate and loving. Your inquisitive spirit that drives you to ask "but why?" more times than we can count each and every day makes us so proud. You are eager and brave, always willing to try new things. You are independent and capable, yet you still like to hold our hand. You are a patient and nurturing big sister to Brady (most of the time) and a loving and affectionate daughter to us. We feel so very blessed to have the honor of being your parents, and we are so proud of the little lady that you are becoming. We love you so much, Avery. And while this last year will be very hard to top, we look forward to seeing what the next year has in store for you. Happy 4th Birthday, Baby Girl!
2: a | NANCY | NANCY | F | n | c | y | Avery's | You asked for a Fancy Nancy party, and my girl, you received! It was such fun to plan your party and later to see
3: birthday soiree' | 3 | r | your delight as it all came together! You were so happy on your special day as you celebrated with all of your fancy friends! | d
4: . . . a l l t h e l i t t l e d e t a i l s | f | a | n | c | y | happy birthday to you. happy birthday to you. happy birthday to avery. happy birthday to you.
5: Ooh la la, darling, your birthday party was magnifique! We decorated tiaras, painted our nails, accessorized our ensembles, drank extra fancy fuschia lemonade, made parfaits, busted open a hot pink pinata, and enjoyed lots of fancy homemade treats. The best part for us was seeing your smiling face. You have brought us more joy than we ever knew possible in your short three years. Happy Birthday, sweet girl - we love you so much!
6: There's no such thing as too many candles - or too many sweet treats - or too many celebrations - on your birthday. We started your "actual birthday" with your favorite breakfast - donuts! Later that morning, we met up with some of your friends at the movie theater to see Tangled on the big screen. You thought it was pretty neat that it was Rapunzel's birthday too! | (for real)
7: happy birthday | d e c e m b e r 1 2 , 2 0 1 0
8: The NUTCRACKER
9: h o u s t o n b a l l e t b r o w n t h e a t e r w o r t h a m c e n t e r | One afternoon in late December, we got all dressed up and had a "girls only" afternoon at the ballet with JoJo and Jessi. You were so excited to see the "Christmas Ballet" for the very first time. We had lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe' before we made our way into the theater. You were such a big girl and watched the first act in awe. Your nutcracker and ballerina dolls kept you entertained during act two. Mommy loves starting these little traditions with you! | D E C E M B E R 1 8 , 2 0 1 0
10: g | All the little things we do to get ready for Christmas - baking, shopping, and celebrating with friends and family. | e | t | t | i | n | g | r | e | a | d | y | ...
12: CHRISTMAS EVE
13: December is truly the best month of the year in our house. Not only do we get to celebrate your birthday (and your brother's birthday!), but we get to celebrate Christmas too. For the second year in a row, we spent Christmas Eve at home with just our little family. We wrapped the last presents, baked the last batch of cookies, got all dressed up, and went to church. When we got home, you carefully selected a few cookies for Santa and sprinkled reindeer food from the front door all the way down the sidewalk. When we tucked you in that night with a kiss, you were full of little grins and confidence that you had made it on Santa's "nice list."
14: christmas morning | You most definitely made it on Santa's "nice list." He was very good to you this year. You were thrilled to see your "princess bike" waiting for you under the tree when you came down the stairs on Christmas morning. We spent the day at home enjoying each others' company, indulging in yummy food and treats, and surrounded by family.
15: You bought your own gifts for family members this year, and you were so proud to pass them out. Hard hat for Brady. Utility hook for Daddy. Princess comb & mirror for Mommy. Rubber mallet for Kyle. Flowers for JoJo. Rawhide for Lucy. Little Bill wallpaper border for Pops. Dora jewelry for Jessi. Doctor set for Christie.
16: a winter walk. | One great thing about living in Texas is that we get to enjoy the outdoors all year long. On this particular day in January, we took a long walk around the lake near our house. We made lots of little stops along the way. Your favorites were the bridge and "the forest." | January 2011
18: f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 1 | World | This trip was magical. Truly magical. Three was the perfect age for your first trip to Walt Disney World. You were in awe of the characters and thrilled by the rides. It didn't hurt that your very best friend, Addison, was there too to share in your adventures. You were happy for six straight days. This trip will be hard, if not impossible, to top.
19: c a r o u s e l d u m b o p a r a d e s t e a c u p s a k e r s h u s m i c k e y m o u s e | c i n d e r e l l a ' s c a s t l e c h e f m i c k e y ' s b a y l a k e t o w e r p r i n c e s s e s
20: ... and we can't seem to get enough of your big eared, bow headed, body-less stick people. | Your scribbles have taken shape... | Your scribbles have taken shape... | ... and we can't seem to get enough of your big eared, bow headed, body-less stick people.
21: Your scribbles have begun to take shape. You can write your name, and I can't get enough of your big eared, bow headed, body-less stick figures. | you are growing up so very fast | you are growing up so very fast | Jan - Feb 2011 | so big | so big
22: P R I N G | shenanigans | the joy of watching you enjoy all that spring brings | S
23: Popsicles, sidewalk chalk, trips to the park. Sandboxes, watermelon, sprinklers, and art. Splash pools, swings, and fairy wings - these were the things that you loved this spring!
24: LITTLE MISS TEXAS | LITTLE MISS TEXAS
25: march 2011 | march 2011
26: t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d | crawfish boil | This year's crawfish boil was bittersweet because it was not just another neighborhood gathering, but also a going away party for one of your best little friends, Emma, and her family. You took your first swim of the season, had a great time playing with - but definitely not eating - the crawfish, and enjoyed staying up well past bedtime romping around with all of your friends.
27: a p r i l 2 0 1 1
28: a very good day | a very good day
29: We were so fortunate to have absolutely beautiful weather this spring. On this particular day, we took full advantage starting with a long walk around the lake and finishing off with dinner outdoors, a romp through our favorite splash pad, and a stop for ice cream in our pajamas on the way home. It was a good day. | A P R I L 2 0 1 1
30: a new tradition begins...
31: Bunny Brunch & Egg Hunt | a n e i g h b o r h o o d | On morning in April, we gathered with our neighbors at the park down the street. Everyone brought breakfast to share and baskets to fill. You had so much fun hunting for eggs and spending the morning playing with your friends. I am certain this well become a special tradition that we repeat many times in the years to come. | APRIL 2011
32: EASTER | an "egg-ceptional" | One of our favorite Easter traditions - dyeing eggs! You loved watching the little tablets fizz as they dissolved in the water & made beautiful colors. | You didn't give Brady much of a chance to hunt eggs on his own, but that's OK - he was mostly interested in taking them out of your basket anyway. | a p r i l 2 0 1 1
33: We spent the weekend at JoJo and Pops' house. We blew bubbles and boiled crawfish, and you put on a great "show" using the cooler as your stage. | After the last eggs had been found, we finished off a fun weekend with a trip to church, a yummy lunch, and some much-needed naps. Our holidays are so fun and special when we get to spend them with you! | Your brother wasn't feeling very cooperative.
34: all dressed up... | m a y 2 0 1 1
35: There is no denying that you are a dress-up, princess, and accessory loving little girl. This Ariel dress was one of your favorite treats from the Easter bunny. You were in full on diva mode on this particular afternoon. After striking a pose or two (or several) you proved that even princesses can play baseball...with a Tinker Bell ball and bat, of course!
36: AQUARIUM | mother's day at the | My Mother's Day was perfect because I got to spend it with you visiting the Houston Aquarium for the very first time. I am the luckiest mom in the world.
37: m a y 2 0 1 1
38: t h e l a s t ballet c l a s s
39: m a y 2 0 11
40: BALLET RECITAL | your very first | Your first ballet recital was such a special day! Mommy, Daddy, JoJo, Pops, Kyle, and Christie were all there to watch you perform. You looked beautiful in your bright blue tutu, and you danced your heart out to "Bippity Boppity Boo" and "Cinderelly, Cinderelly." You made us all laugh between dances as you very loudly asked Ms. Erica what happened to your green practice wands. We are so proud of you, our little ballerina!
41: May 22, 2011 Stephanie's Dance Studio One Katy, Texas
42: a l m o s t f o u r . | Just one day past the halfway point between birthdays, you officially declared yourself to be "almost four." You are so anxious to be big. So anxious, in fact, that one day last week, you begged to eat carrots and lettuce so that you could grow big muscles. And you made me feel those growing muscles between each and every bite. | ( o t h e r w i s e k n o w n a s t h r e e - a n d - a - h a l f )
43: j u n e 2 0 1 1
44: Fun at the Pool | a summer of fun with our little fish...
45: This was the year. This was the summer. The summer that you took off all on your own in the pool. We started off with swim lessons in June, and by the end of the summer, you were swimming,, floating on your back, diving for rings, jumping off of the diving board and swimming to the ladder all on your own. The only thing left for you to master is how to come up for air! We are so proud of you, Little Fish!
46: @4th of July at LaCenterra - Cinco Ranch - Katy, TX | let | freedom | ring.
47: Friends, fireworks, and firetrucks - what more could you ask for at a 4th of July celebration? After a day at the pool but long before dark, we met up with some of your friends at LaCenterra. After a few weeks of missing each other, your reunion with Addison was like something from a movie - sprint through an open field with arms wide open and all. After some games and some ice cream, the time came to find our spot to watch the fireworks. You were mesmerized!
48: Little Gymnast | Little Gymnast | S U M M E R 2 0 1 1
49: This summer you took a break from ballet and gave gymnastics a try. It makes us so proud that you are always willing and eager to try new things. We loved watching you tumble, flip, jump on the vault, cross the balance beam, and swing from the bars. You liked gymnastics so much that we booked your 4th birthday party at the gym!
50: Chocolate Soup | It started out like so many Friday nights. We ventured out to the street after dinner. Being the middle of July, the sprinkler, splash pool, and sand box weren't far behind. And soon enough, little friends and big friends alike from up an down the street began to gather.
51: As you and your friends played round and round from splash pool to sand box to sprinkler and back again, you created a quite impressive batch of chocolate soup. And this night, like so many others, without any planning at all, turned into an all evening block party. Our street is so special. | J U L Y 2 0 1 1
52: f u n a t t h e
53: In July, the circus came to town! We arrived early so that we could see the animals backstage before the show began. Because we were there early, we also got to play on the circus floor. We tried on costumes, watched the clowns perform, and picked out some souvenirs. Once the show began, you and Brady were mesmerized! You loved the tight rope walkers and elephants the best...but not quite as much as you loved your cotton candy! | s e p t e m b e r ' 1 0 | july 2011
54: w e l o v e o u r | summer girl
55: p h o t o s h o o t a t t h e l a k e a u g u s t 2 0 1 1 | s o v e r y m u c h .
56: Grandma Papaw | a n d | c o m e t o v i s i t
57: a u g u s t 2 0 1 1
58: washington d.c. | a u g u s t 2 0 1 1
59: f r i e n d s i n f a i r f a x s m i t h s o n i a n t h e m e t r o s l e e p o v e r s t h e g i a n t c r a y o n b a c k y a r d b b q s
60: m a y 2 0 1 1 | school days | last day of Mother's Day Out | Grace Fellowship Pre-School - Katy, Texas | You are so much like your Mommy in that you love school very much. You love music and art and learning new things. But most of all, you love being around your peers. It makes us so happy to see you make friends all on your own. In May, you finished up your last year of Mother's Day Out in Ms. Cynthia's 2's class, and in September, you started your first year of pre-school with Ms. Julie and Ms Lisa. We are excited about the start to another great school year!
61: 1st day of Pre-School | s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 1 | After school ice cream with your best friend!
62: trick or treat? | c o l o r a d o | D E N V E R
63: In early October, you and Mommy kissed the boys good-bye and boarded a plane for Denver! We met Jessi, JoJo, Pops, Richard, & Mamie there to support Jessi running in the Denver Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. We had so much fun exploring the city, living life in a hotel, and experiencing the first big snow of the season in the Rocky Mountains. One afternoon, we took a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. We saw snow, pretty fall colored leaves, and lots of beautiful scenery. It was such a special treat for Mommy to get to take such a fun trip with you! | o c t o b e r 2 0 1 1
64: snow day | L O O K O U T M O U N T A I N ~ G O L D E N , C O L O R A D O | When I first told you that we were going to Colorado, your immediate response was, "I want to make snow angels!" Leading up to the trip, I kept reminding you that the weather was unpredictable and that I couldn't promise that we would get to see snow. Luckily, the weather came through! Not only did we get to see snow, but we were there for the first "white out" of the season. You had a ball throwing snowballs, attempting to build snowmen, and making lots and lots of snow angels!
66: TO THE ZOO | Always one of our favorite places to VISIT, the Zoo did not disAppoint this year. We didn't Make it there as often as we usually do due to the long, hot summer, but that just made our few trips all the more special. THE opening of the african forest provided some new adventures for us at the zoo this year.
67: YOur favorite new addition was the giraffe feeding platform. You squealed as you fed a giraffe a piece of lettuce for the very first time. You also enjoyed visiting the new rhinoceroses (which you called dinosaurs) and chimpanzees which have both made our zoo their home this year.
68: To the park... | Ahhh, the first cold snap of fall! We drank it in on this Saturday morning in October with a bike ride to the playground nearby. We climbed, slid, and played the morning away in the beautiful weather. You love the playground, and it is a joy to see your imagination at work as you create all sorts of fun adventures. When we returned home close to lunchtime, you decorated our driveway with pumpkins. Fall is finally here!
69: O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1
70: FORT BEND COUNTY FAIR | Ferris wheels. Fun slides. Snow Cones. Giant bubbles.
71: The fair has always been a favorite fall outing for you, and this year, it was even better because you finally made it well above the 36" height requirement for most of the rides! You loved the ferris wheel, the roller coaster, the fun slide, and the bungee trampoline, but your favorite attraction by far was the giant bubble! You didn't hesitate at all when your turn came. You climbed right in and crawled, flopped, and flipped your way around the water while we cheered you on from the side. After you had ridden all there was to ride, it came time to eat, and a grape snow cone and foot long corn dog did the trick! | o c t o b e r 2 0 1 1
72: w o r k i n ' a t t h e | carwash | I have never seen a kid so excited to wash a car. You had so much fun helping Daddy wash Mommy's car. Whenever I would come to check on you, you would say, "Gotta' go Mom, gotta' get back to work!" You said that you needed to get the car "all scrubby dubby" so that it would "shine, shine, shine!" You did a fantastic job, little helper!
73: o c t o b e r 2 0 1 1
74: best friends | o c t o b e r 2 0 1 1 | best friends
75: It makes my heart smile to see your friendship grow. You and Addison have something very special.
76: pumpkin patch | our annual trip to the
77: One of our favorite fall traditions is our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. We know that each year when we make this trek that the holiday season has truly begun. You had so much fun running around with Brady and selecting the perfect pumpkins ... all nine of them ... for us to take home to paint, carve, and decorate the house with for fall. | O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1 | s t . p e t e r ' s u n i t e d m e t h o d i s t c h u r c h - k a t y , t e x a s
78: O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1
79: halloween happenings | From painting and carving pumpkins to nursery rhyme day at school and costume day at ballet, there were so many fun activities this October that helped to fill our days leading up to Halloween! You were so proud to help Daddy clean out the pumpkin this year. You helped scrape out the insides and separate the seeds for Mommy to bake. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - holidays are so much more fun when we get to share them with you!
80: trick or treat? | HALLOWEEN 2011
82: Our Family
83: n o v e m b e r 2 0 11
85: Happy Thanksgiving
86: you and your friends
88: Sister | - a n d - | Brother | You two have fun together...most of the time. Your relationship has had more highs & lows this year than last, but that is to be expected now that Brady is on the go, in to your stuff, & competing with you for attention, toys, snacks, & the TV remote. He only wants to be just like you. Thankfully, most of the time you understand that. You can make him laugh like no other & attention from you makes his day. You are a wonderful big sister, & it is a treat to watch your relationship with your little brother grow & strengthen each & every day.
90: m o m m y & d a d d y (and your little brother too) L O V E Y O U | crazy
92: Avery's Favorite | doll house treasures | Grandma and Papaw did very good when they gave you a doll house for your third birthday. You love it, and you play with it every day. There are a few very certain toys that have taken up residence in your doll house. They all have their own roles, their own beds, and their own bath and potty routines. There's Bullseye, Buzz, Woody, and Jessie. There's Mack and Lightning McQueen. And there's Dr. Barbie, Ariel, Baby Molly, and Pink Pony. | girly things | You adore anything and everything glittery and girly - lipstick, nail polish, jewelry, jeweled tiaras. You love sorting through your jewelry box (with Brady on the other side of your closed bedroom door of course), and you love to be a part of anything that Mommy does. | dressing up | artsy things | Paint, markers, scissors, glue, crayons, stickers. Anything artsy and crafty is right up your alley. You love making "projects", and we have, without a doubt, the most beautifully decorated refrigerator in town. You most often draw what you call "a beautiful day" - grass, trees, people, and sunshine. We love it. | Dressing up is a favorite activity of yours for sure. When you have friends over to play, your dress-up box is the first thing you run to every time. Your bedroom floor is constantly a wonderfully chaotic mess of princess dresses, high heels, scarves, feather boas, crowns, wands, jewelry, and white gloves. We don't mind the mess one bit though, because dressing up makes you happy!
93: Things at Three | bedtime wishes | asking why | fairies | helping out | After your bedtime story each night, we always talk for a few minutes before going to sleep. The last thing we talk about every night are your wishes. Some of your most frequent wishes are...that Brady wouldn't wake you up, that Brady wouldn't mess with your stuff, that we could go to Hawaii, that the Gamecocks would win, that it would rain, and that you could marry your Daddy. | No one could ever accuse you of not being inquisitive. You ask "why" so many time each day that I don't even bother to count. When you sense us getting frustrated with answering your endless questions, you say, "I just like to know stuff!" We love your inquisitive spirit and it really is a joy to see you work so hard at trying to understand how the world and everything in it works. | Thanks to you, we have all learned a whole new set of Disney characters this year. The fairies. Tinkerbell, Vidia, Silvermist, Rosetta, Fawn, & Iridessa. You love them, you beg for us to play with them with you, and you take them everywhere. At times, you have even let them take over the doll house - and that says a lot! | From baking to folding clothes to washing the cars to making your bed, you are a wonderful helper. You love for Mommy to give you little tasks to take care of. You want to help with everything, and it is (most of time) so much fun to have a little assistant helping us out around the house.
94: Mama's | F A V O R I T E P H O T O S
96: More | F A V O R I T E S