I was born in a hospital (not in a barn, as sometimes questioned by my mom, who should really know!) on February 21, 1974. The third of six daughters, I am “lucky number three” because we all know that the third time’s a charm.
I grew up in Small-Town, USA, in the Central Washington Cascades. I remember desperately wanting to get out of town, and live anywhere but there. And one day, I did. In September 2001, I made the move “across the pond” to Edinburgh, Scotland, to study at Napier University. The experience was definitely life-changing. Because of my travels, I gained a new-found respect and appreciation for my home town, and a new-found level of self confidence and joy that I never before knew could exist. Oh, and I met my husband there, too. Talk about life-changing!
Before I met Paul, I was very happy being Just Frances. I was alone by choice, and it was bit empowering to be my own person with my own rules. Now, don’t get me wrong, given the choice now I would much rather be part of Paul and Frances. But I don’t have that choice. So I can either dwell on the sad or I can make the best out of a horrid situation.
But don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t want your pity; I don’t want your tears. The world certainly isn’t all doom and gloom—though some days it certainly feels that way—and I am on a mission to be happy. I will be happy because that’s what Paul would want for me. And that’s what I want for myself.
This blog replaces RyanCentric—a site that Paul and I designed together to brag a bit about our lives. We were excited to be adding information about the children we hoped to adopt and enjoyed adding stories and photos of our latest-and-greatest adventures. I continued updating RyanCentric for a while after Paul died, but I find that being Just Frances makes that site a little strange to use. Not because I’m no longer a Ryan, but because its purpose was not meant for ramblings but rather stories of adventures we took together. The site remains live, however, so please feel free to check it out to learn more about who I was and what I did before Just Frances came on the scene!
Just Frances is a random flow of thoughts and ideas. The content will be all over the place. You may visit one day and see a 1,500-word essay on why I think creamy peanut butter is better than crunchy and the next day there may be some random quote from some random song lyrics that I like. Who knows? I surely don’t.
It will be an adventure, led by your amazing guide, Just Frances. So sit back and enjoy the ride.