Ten Years!

September 5, 2012

Ten years ago (and a couple of days) I got an email from someone on Match.com telling me that he was interested in my profile.  I didn’t take it very seriously because 1) he didn’t have a photo or much info in my profile, and 2) I just got dumped a couple of weeks earlier and had only joined Match.com out of spite when I saw that my ex had put up an ad on a dating website.

But hope springs eternal so I sent a short reply asking for a photo and for more information about him.  I got another email from him telling me he didn’t have a photo online and that he’d prefer to talk on the phone.

It was at this point that the “Danger, Dander Will Robinson” started sounding off in my head.  From my experience, when someone doesn’t have a photo it’s because, well, they don’t want anyone to see them coughfuglycough.  And ten years ago I was much more vain than I am now.  ;)  And the whole “talk on the phone” thing.  Come on!  There’s a protocol to online dating!   First you email back and worth in witty repartee for a while (a week or two), THEN you progress to phone calls, and if these go well, you meet, and then have sex see where it goes.  And all of this is dependent upon HAVING A PHOTO!

I’m not sure what came over me, but I agreed to talk on the phone (look at me living on the edge even ten years ago!) so we made a phone date for the next day.

The next day the phone rings (I can actually remember where I was when we were on the phone!), I hear the French accent and was immediately intimidated.  Come on, I’m from Wisconsin!  And Podunk, Wisconsin!  I can’t talk to someone on the phone who has a French accent.

I’m not sure how I got through it, or what we talked about, or how long we even talked, but we set a date for the next evening (Thursday) to meet for tea.  (See!  How many people from Wisconsin meet for tea?! (No offense to my Wisconsin friends!))

So the next day I arrive at Elixir on Melrose Boulevard in Los Angeles.  I was supposed to meet him outside so I walked up to the front of the store and and as my luck would have it, there were two guys standing outside, both on the phone, both looking at me expectantly.  And since I didn’t have A PHOTO I didn’t know which one was which.  One looked super elegant and the other was normal like me.  Turns out my luck took a turn for the better and it ended up being the elegant looking guy!

So we had tea, I listened to his French accent and tried to stay objective (who needs more than a French accent?!).  We had a couple of dates over the next few days and by Sunday night I started staying at his place (with Theron, awww, I miss Theron!).

And the rest is history.

We’ve gone through a lot in the last ten years.  We’ve had seven different addresses (including our current one) in two different countries, we’ve added to our family with the adoption of our son and the marriage of Laurent’s son, we’ve traveled (St. Bart, Thailand, France, and throughout the US), we’ve battled cancer together, we got married, and now we’ve embarked on the next leg of our journey together in France!

Better Than Yesterday

July 24, 2012

In my perpetual struggle to maintain my weight, I started running a few weeks ago. (This was made possible due to a successful surgery on the DOUBLE Morton’s Neuroma on my left foot, which of course I had been using as an excuse not to run/exercise!)

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling like there was very much progress. Although I was running a few times a week, I wasn’t feeling any more fit nor was I feeling like I was losing any weight.

So I began to explore other options. Of course, moving to France in a few weeks rather limits my options. I had heard good things about CrossFit so I went to the local CrossFit gym to check it out. Unfortunately they required a 4-month commitment, which clearly doesn’t work. The young woman I spoke to recommended some group fitness classes run by a couple of the coaches from their gym. Danny and Logan from Functional Fitness hold their classes in Palisades Park, on the cliffs of Santa Monica overlooking the ocean. Sounds like a drudgery, right?!

After a phone call to Danny, I was all set up to join them the next morning for my complimentary workout. It was AWESOME!

photo 2Why yes, I am aware that I look like I'm going down a rollercoaster!

If you’re not familiar with CrossFit, they basically focus on large movements and muscle groups, using a variety of exercises from gymnastics and weightlifting, in short, intense workouts. There aren’t any bicep curls or leg lifts. Instead there are kettlebell swings, hand release push ups, various snatch lifts, burpees, lots of running, and many other exercises that I have yet to experience. The workouts are scaled for each individual’s abilities, so even when I’m not able to complete the workout as prescribed, the trainers find a way to modify the weights, repetitions, etc. so that I can finish the workout.

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I’ve only completed three workouts but I LOVE IT! There is so much variety that it doesn’t get monotonous, but I’ve felt more results from those three classes than from three weeks of running. I’m even planning to get the the few pieces of equipment I need to set up a CrossFit gym in our new home in France!

Aside from the incredible workouts is the camaraderie with the trainers and the other participants. There isn’t any of the usual ‘gym rat’ attitude. So far everyone as been really welcoming and open to me. I’ve learned a lot from just listening to conversations that take place before, during, and after the workout, as well as on their blog. They even have workouts available on their website that can be done without any equipment for when you’re traveling! I also love their motto, “Better Than Yesterday!”

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Yep, there IS a neck in there somewhere...

So my plan is to workout with Logan and Danny Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until we depart for France. Then for the 6 weeks while we’re waiting for our container of belongings to arrive I’ll do the Workouts To Go. Finally, once we get the gym set up in our new house I’ll follow along with their WOD (workout of the day) from their blog. Every sixth week when I’m back in Santa Monica to work I’ll drop in for classes with them.

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Pretty much where I ended up... (Although truth be told, I was in the middle of a burpee!)

So day by day, I hope to improve my fitness level. One thing is for certain, it is “Better Than Yesterday!”

Fun On The Farm

May 1, 2012

Oliver and I are in the midst of a short visit to Colorado to spend time with our friends The Nichols.  I met Adele several years ago on a cake decorating forum.  We met up at the Oklahoma State Sugar Arts Show in 2006 and then again in 2007 when I entered some sugar orchids.

Since then we’ve been great friends.  Adele came out to help us out in 2008 when I was going through chemo.  Then we drove out to visit in November 2009 to spend Thanksgiving and then again the following November.

So we’re here again to visit and spend some time with their family.  (I’m also here to get a Colorado driver’s license because unlike a CA DL, I’ll be able to exchange it for a French DL without having to take the written and driving test.).

Oliver and I have both been having a great time.

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It didn’t take Oliver long to make friends with Alonzo.  Luckily he’s a really docile cat, because unlike Ella (our cat) his nails aren’t trimmed!

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To get a little relief from the heat (it’s been unseasonably warm), we went down to the spring-fed pond.  Oliver wasn’t too sure about swimming in the very chilly water or walking in the mud.

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He did seem to find it interesting when a family friend showed up with a bucket of crawdads and some baby carp that he then used as bait to catch some of the trout (or was it bass?) in the pond.

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He kept a healthy distance from the crawdads though.

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He even got to help reel in this big fish that Brayden is holding.

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Nothing like warming up on a warm seat after a chilling dip in the pond!

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The next day after the kids got home from school we went for a ride on the horses.  Oliver started out with Brayden on Poco.

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Then for most of the ride he was with Adele on Stubby.

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Riding through the alfalfa feeds.


Then towards the end he got onto Slick so we could get a photo op.


Unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lotta room in that saddle for both of us!

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Then after the saddles were off Oliver got to ride Poco “without a seat”.

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And he even got to hold the reins all by himself!

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Then he showed the horses some horsey-treat love.


And I showed them some horsey-hay love.


(And then I went in and showered and doctored a couple of, um, saddle sores.)

Becoming French

March 5, 2012

Hello Lovely People!

I’ve got good news and bad news.  Which would you like first?

(Hint: always take the bad news first, since it can ONLY get better after that!)

Bad News: there’s not a lot going on here at Frank Notes (other than raising a 4 year old, running a business, and being married to a French guy!).

Good News: there’s A LOT going on over at French Frank, my new blog about our adventures in moving our family TO FRANCE!  I hope you’ll check it out if you get a chance!

And MORE Good News: Oliver and I are leaving at the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday morning to venture to the Frozen Tundra (otherwise known as Canada) to visit GRAMMA JOANSY!  I’m not sure who’s more excited, Oliver, me, or GRAMMA JOANSY!

There you have it.  Come on over and visit me at French Frank!  Au revoir!

Happy Blogiversary!

January 26, 2012

Five years ago today Frank Notes was born!  Up until today I’ve had 501 posts; 347,088 views; 2,935 views on the busiest day (August 19, 2008 the day I did a sewing tutorial on how to make a carseat cover!), and I’ve had 8,449 comments!  Whew!

Unfortunately it’s been fried, dried, and laid aside due to an active 4 year old and a busy salon.  And I’m alright with that.  AND I’m not going to promise to be better at posting.  It is what it is.

However, there is one bit of exciting news!  You can read all about it here: http://frenchfrank.tumblr.com/

But back to the subject at hand: Happy Blogiversary Frank Notes!

Oliver’s Fourth Year

November 30, 2011

It chokes me up to think that my baby is actually FOUR YEARS OLD!  (or four months old if Oliver is saying it…)  It’s amazing to think of all the things he’s done in the last year: he’s gone the mountains in California to go sledding, he visited Madeline and her family (my best friend Kathy and her husband Rich in Minneapolis), he got to feed a day old baby calf at Gramma’s house in Wisconsin, he traveled to North Carolina to be the ring bearer in Tia Vanesa and Tio John’s wedding, he saw the Grand Canyon with his cousins Delphine and Jean, he learned how to ride a bike, he went on a couple of camping trips to Kern River (one with Daddy and another with Daddy & Papa and Gramma and Grandpa Kenny), and he started a new school that is doing an amazing job at nurturing him and helping him grow.

What an amazing year it’s been.  I’m honored to be called “Daddy”.  He is my baby, my monster, my angel, my dream come true.  Here is the video of highlights from the past year, starting with his last birthday.


Having a Bad Day?

March 20, 2011

Perhaps you should listen to this!

I know I may be biased, but it totally brightened up my day!❤

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

February 9, 2011

And the winner is: Erin!  Congrats!

What she wins is another story.  What would you like to win, Erin?

3 Years Ago Today

February 5, 2011

“Daddy’s fishie” arrived and changed my life in so many ways that I can’t even begin to list them.


The Angel that delivered Oliver to us, Papa, Oliver, and Daddy moments after his arrival.

I had no idea how my life was going to change from that day forward, all because we were chosen to be the parents of this amazing little guy.

I wish I could say that I haven’t had any regrets since that day three years ago, but unfortunately I have had many.  Thankfully none of them have to do with my desire nor decision to become a Daddy.

Instead, all of my regrets stem from my wish that I could be the Daddy that Oliver deserves.  All I can say is that each day I try the best I can with what I have.  Unfortunately I go to bed every evening aware that I have fallen short, but optimistic that I will be a better Daddy the next day and the next day after that.

I have learned the truth in a saying that Hubby taught me long ago.  “I love you more today than yesterday, but not nearly as much as I will love you tomorrow.”


January 26, 2011

Wow, here it is, the FOURTH BLOGIVERSARY of FrankNotes!  I can’t hardly believe I’ve been sharing, or rather, attempting to share the ups and downs of my life for FOUR YEARS!

In that time I have made 496 blogs posts, have received 8,454 comments, have had 331, 696 total views!

And every year on my blogiversary (well, except the first, which I apparently missed!) I do a giveaway of some sort.

So to commemorate 4 years of being together, let’s do a giveaway!

Leave a comment telling me why you started reading FrankNotes or your favorite story or whatever, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for…  for…  well, something!  I’d love to whip up a handmand something or other but at this stage in my life, that may not be very realistic.  But it will be something wonderful and filled with love from me.

Thanks for sticking with me for the last FOURS YEARS!

UPDATE: I randomly chose a winner, but feel free to comment.


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