Dear Jack: These are the Years I Can’t Take a Normal Photo of You

8 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m learning just to go ahead and take the silliest photos of you these days, because that’s about I can get. You don’t want to go through the hassle of smiling for pictures, but you will make a goofy face and pose in some ridiculous way.

So I’m just going with it.

I realize that these hilarious photos are the truest concept of your personality: When you already having fun, you don’t want to stop to be serious.

You just want to keep having fun.

I can work with that… assuming every once in a while I can get a real smile!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: You are Glad Your Brother is Back, After He was Gone a Week

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

This weekend your brother returned after a week of summer camp at Nonna’s and Papa’s in Alabama.

It is true I could tell that while he was gone, you didn’t mind having all the attention from Mommy and Daddy. Somewhat ironically is that you were more independent; being able to play by yourself while Mommy and I worked on dinner.

However, by the end of the week, you started mentioning to me that you wanted to see Jack again.

And he definitely felt the same way about you. The two of you are glad to be back together.

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Decided to Put on Makeup Like a Big Girl… With a Marker at School!

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You came home from school last week with your own makeup on. Apparently you took it upon yourself to use a blue marker at apply some eye shadow.

Even though it was a washable Crayola marker, it didn’t immediately wash off in the bath that night.

So that meant you got to enjoy your makeup for a few additional days before it finally disappeared.

Honestly, it really didn’t look that bad! I felt the color choice really complimented your hair and skin tone.

I’d much rather you pretend to put on makeup then to pretend to cut your hair.

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Week at Nashville Zoo Camp

8 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

You are one lucky kid. Last week, you got to spend 5 days of summer camp at the Nashville Zoo!

It was especially cool since you got to spend that time alongside your friend Duncan, who you have known since before you were born:

We were in birthing class with his parents back in 2010 when then two of you were still in the womb!

Needless to say, you had such a great time that we’ve already decided to send you back again next year.

Not to mention, your sister is already saying she wants to go in a few years once she is old enough!

Love,

Daddy

2010 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport to the Nashville Zoo with the Kids

It is exactly 30 miles from our garage to the Nashville Zoo; which really isn’t bad for such a great source of family entertainment.

Somehow though, it’s been a solid two years since our family has journeyed down there.

But as I’ve mentioned before, now that we have a Jeep Wrangler as our family weekend vehicle, suddenly anywhere we go is not only more exciting, but also worth the journey.

Despite being an SUV, the JK series of the Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have much storage capacity. However, I was still have to squeeze in the double stroller in the back, which made things much easier for my wife and I to shuttle the kids across the Nashville Zoo. It takes a solid 3 hours of constantly moving if you want to see all the animals.

We actually started off our visit to the Nashville Zoo with my son and and my wife (Jack and Jill) finally getting to try out the Soaring Eagle.

Check out the quick video I made of their ride…

As the population of Nashville continues to rapidly grow, so does the number of exhibits at the Nashville Zoo. For example, I don’t remember there being rhinos the last time we were there…

But as you can see from these pictures from this weekend…

There was a lot to see and do…

And we were so exhausted, Mommy and Daddy took a nap when we got home…

Even if our kids didn’t.

2010 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport in 4 Wheel Drive: Crossing Little River at Billy’s Ford in Fort Payne, AL

Back in the summer of 1991, when I was 10 years old, our family drove out in the middle of the woods in our 1985 Bronco II. My dad was able to test out the 4 wheel drive capabilities of our family vehicle.

Last weekend, we sort of recreated that event. Instead of my daughter going, though, I had her stay home with my mom to take a nap, so that my dad could join us for the trip.

He sat in the back with my son, serving as a guide, since I had yet to take a whole drive anywhere in just 4 wheel drive in our family’s new acquired Jeep Wrangler.

What I didn’t realize going into this drive to Billy’s Ford, which is located just a couple of miles north of Little River Falls, was that I was actually going to get drive across Little River itself!

It was so much fun, that, as you can imagine, I’m eager to get back there!

2010 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport with Top Off, Doors Off: Little River Falls in Fort Payne, Alabama

After finishing our 16 mile ride along Little River Canyon Rim Parkway, the journey officially ended when we arrived at the bottom of the mountain at Canyon Mouth Park.

We had planned to enter the park to play in Little River. However, we learned that it now costs $15 per vehicle to enter; whereas I remember it always being free my entire life.

But finding a Plan B didn’t take long at all. We had to drive back up to the top of the mountain anyway, so we simply drive a different route to Little River Falls.

It was a perfect day to play in the river, just a few hundred feet before the river became a waterfall.

So much fun… and totally free to park!