Archive | 2012

Merry Christmas!

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I’ve joined instagram.  Find WAY too many photos there…  @annafranklinsmith

From the past 24 hours:


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We had cake and ice cream and (almost) all of the family over for dinner.  Fun!

I think this little boy ate my piece of cake too!!!


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So…where did I leave off?

I am so behind in updating the blog, it is overwhelming to figure out where to start, so I’ll just start with today. While the entire day didn’t go exactly as planned…or as I’d hoped…we did finally end up making it to Star, NC to their annual StarWorks Pumpkin patch I’ve been DYING TO GO TO FOR THE PAST YEAR! My decoration style has always been “holiday minimal” but ever since I saw the most beautiful glass pumpkin collection in a friend’s kitchen, I’ve been wanting to go to this event! It is held once a year at the StarWorks glass/ceramic studio in Star, NC and they put all the glass pumpkins out in the grass and on hay bales.

So…we got there late and there was not a huge selection left (unless you wanted to spend $200-$500, and while it does go to fund the glass blowing program in the Montgomery County Schools, it was a little out of our price range) but we did get 2 smaller pumpkins to start off what will maybe be a fun fall collection.

Here’s Rand checking out some of the finer pumpkins…

The evening ended with a fun wedding with old friends.  But I think Rand had the best evening as he was spoiled (including a walk to the playground) by a fun evening with Uncle Sam, Kristen and Nina.

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Rand is pretty serious about his hummus. He loves to dip pretzels or cucumbers…or his FINGERS.  Anyhow, this “sensory activity” took place the other day under dad’s watch:







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Emerald Isle in June

In June, the “Franklin/McWilliams/Smith” Family went to Emerald Isle.  We stayed in an incredible beach house and had some fun times.  Rand was super-spoiled because he was the only kiddo and so of course he got all the attention.  I have a few photos to post too from the trip, but in the meantime, I’m just going to steal Kristen’s photos from her facebook page because they are AWESOME.

A view from the marsh near the Aquarium:

Me pretending to paddle on our kayaking adventure

Thanks to my really strong husband, this is usually how I kayak,

Nobody capsized, Kristen has a cool water-proof camera

Flotilla in the waterway

Beach view

One of the best things about the house we rented…it had a POOL!

It was a wonderful week.  I am so blessed to have these sisters (plus one more – we missed Claire in this shot!).

Ok I’m off to work on perfecting a peach cobbler recipe.  If I ever nail it I will post it for you!!!


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Back again…

And we’re back. As I’m looking around at an unpacked cooler, suitcase and sandy beach bag filled with who knows what (I’m looking forward to cleaning that one out about as much as Rand’s carseat), I realize that I need to Step. Away. From. The. Computer.

So come back on Wednesday okay? I’ve got a few photos. Oh, and I came out from under a rock and joined instagram – so check me out there too.

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Rand jams

Recently we went to Emerald Isle (I know…I need to download the photos!) and, on the way out the door, I grabbed a dvd that a sweet friend gave to Rand as a gift – Baby Einstein “First Signs.” Basically this dvd saved what could have been a pretty miserable 3.5 hour car ride and back. And now, he KNOWS there is a dvd player in the ceiling of the car and points to it every time we get in. When I start the dvd he lights up and claps. He’s even begun to imitate the words and signs – it is a hit.

BUT…we are sick of it! With another beach trip coming up, I have been searching for some variety. We just ordered Sesame Street: Singing with the Stars. I found another mom-review on a blog I like to read and her little one has taken to it so I’m hoping it will be fun for the trip.  So far, Rand has loved’s catchy number.

Side note: Rand doesn’t care for watching tv at home. There are far too many other things for him to get into. I know the American Association of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 watch NO tv whatsoever…and any of those fine folks are welcome to come and ride in our car for 3 hours!

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First day

Today is Rand’s first day at Mother’s Morning Out.  He’s going to every Monday morning for 8 weeks this summer and then will go for 2 days in the fall.  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital….and now…

We packed up his little bag, got dressed and put on some shoes (just in case he decides to walk like all the other kids at MMO…we’ll see) and had some fresh strawberries and a scrambled egg.  This boy LOVES scrambled eggs for breakfast!!!  This weekend at the farmers’ market we picked up some extra-fresh eggs from Fox Squirrel Farm.  Yum.

Now I’m off to do a 2 hour errand blitz before picking him back up for lunch and a nap!  Happy Monday!

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Family Fun

Rand is 14 months today!  To celebrate, my mom came over and played for most of the day (and I did a marathon grocery run while she did my laundry and cleaned up my kitchen)!!!!

Later, over at Grandmommie Smith’s, MJ and Rand had fun after dinner in their new sandbox…

Which led to more fun…

It was so fun to see Rand and MJ really play together – now that Rand is finally a toddler and keeping up with MJ a little better (although still crawling!)  And Rand is FINALLY feeling better.  New teeth, 2 days of fever, 1 ear infection and 1 sinus infection later…and I think he’s finally over the hurdle.  He didn’t let it spoil father’s day though…we enjoyed the beautiful day.  Rand sure loves his “Da Da Da Da” (also his favorite word).


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Random things from today

Okay so a few more things I’m liking lately…

Hanging out with my little buddy who all of a sudden is a big boy!  Unfortunately he’s not been feeling well and is cutting more teeth.  Molars?  The bad news is he doesn’t want to play much and has been running a fever.  The good news is he has only wanted to cuddle with me on the sofa or in the bed and today he learned where his ears are on Sesame Street.  This is the first time he’s ever felt like sitting still long enough to watch something for more than a minute.

This tea Tazo Organic Iced Green Tea with Spearmint and Lemongrass is on sale at Fresh Market for $1.  It is still a splurge so I probably need to find tea bags and make it myself.  For this week though, I’m treating myself to 1 per day:)

Also on sale at Fresh Market is the Mrs. Meyer’s line of cleaning products.  In particular, the liquid hand soaps are 2 for $8 AND there is a hanging coupon on most of them for $1 off 2 which makes each one only $3.50.  Obviously not as inexpensive as some other brands, but if you like Mrs. Meyer’s stuff, this is a deal – it makes it even less than it is at Walmart!!  I like the Lemon Verbena scent the best.

One more super deal is this Groupon that landed in my inbox today. I just got a cute pair of sunglasses, but if I hadn’t I would love a pair of these (a $425 pair of sunnies for $85):

or these…

This weekend is going to be full of fun. We are going to have dinner al fresco tomorrow night and then Saturday, we are going to attempt to make pickles!

My fridge is full of cukes and I’ve got the jars and the canning utensils but need to do a little more research to find the perfect recipe. Any suggestions?

Also this weekend, we are going to be celebrating Wes and Father’s Day! We don’t have many father’s left on either side of our families, but we will sure celebrate the heck out of the ones we still have here with us! I think I might be trying to attempt one of these funny things for “Pops” and “Bebo” (Rand’s grandpa and great grandpa)…

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Picnic Table

Rand got a really cute Kid Kraft Picnic Table for his birthday and we LOVE IT.  It was easy to put together and Wes even painted two coats of Thompson’s Water Seal on it.  Several folks have asked where we got it – we got it from BUT it is on SALE right now for much less on Rue La La for the next 2 days.  There is also a striped umbrella version with chairs.  We have the blue umbrella with benches. I noticed there is also a cute canopy sandbox too.  Check it out (when you get to the site, go to “Invite the Kids Over” section under the “Kids” tab.

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Beach Bums

Thanks Aunt Samantha for such a sweet pic from a fun week at the beach with the family.   I love my beach bums!

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I’m back…sort of

This keeps happening – all of a sudden a month has blown by!  We’ve been up to a lot, but one of the highlights was that Shelley and Jackson came to stay!  Eventually I’ll get around to writing about it but, in the meantime, you can read up here on Shelley’s Blog here and here.



I have to tell you that the #1 baby item of the summer has to be the $8 plastic pool we got from Walmart.  In the evening, I’ll even add a little soap to it and let Rand bathe al fresco. I couldn’t find a photo of it online, but it is in the photo above.

We’ve also been up to a little of this…


and this…

Wes and I were fortunate to escape to NYC for a quick weekend getaway (our first one since Rand joined the family) thanks to Aunt Mary Devon who kept Rand and our dear friends Eleanor and Brad who let us stay in their fantastic apartment.

More photos from NYC to come. At some point!


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We have been in a whirlwind of fun and celebration.  Although Rand’s real birthday was last Friday, we partied today with lots of family and a few close friends. Photos to come later (I think I have promised a lot of photos lately…Texas, Easter, Rand’s Birthday…)

In the meantime, here’s a video we made for Rand. It took me a LONG TIME to make it. While iMovie is a breeze, I just wanted to watch all the clips over and over and had a hard time cutting any of them out. I don’t even think I used a quarter of the video footage we have of Rand.  ENJOY!

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Happy Birthday to Rand

I’m sitting here with the baby monitor beside me (we got to bed a little late tonight, but hey, we had some celebrating to do!) It is almost 8:03 pm, the official time that Rand was born and our lives were changed. We love this little guy so much and are so proud of the sweet boy that he is.

I’ll post more pictures later, but here’s the best one today: Rand out on Grandmommy’s back deck eating cake and ice cream. Although you can’t see her in the picture, this smile was for Grandmommy (I think he was thanking her for cutting him such a big piece of cake with all the colorful icing).


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Easter People

When my father died suddenly in 2005, my mother wrote:

This I do know: Hank always said that we ARE an “Easter people” and I cling to that truth as well as the hope of being with him again.  Psalm 115:16 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death (homecoming) of His saints.”  Though our hearts are breaking, we remember that we are truly an “Easter people” as we cling to the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ through his resurrection.

While my Easter memories include dying easter eggs with my little brothers, egg hunts at my grandparents, peeps (bunnies, chicks…either way they are especially good if they are left out of the package for a day or so…), watching the black drape fall and ringing the bells at the Easter Vigil at All Saints in Winter Park, FL and now at Emmanuel in Southern Pines, my most memorable Easter was the celebration of my father’s life on March 5, 2005.  And another on September 13 last  year at my sweet grandmother’s funeral.

I have a lot of photos from Easter I was going to share, but I think it is only fitting to share with you that, this Easter season, we also celebrated the life of Wes’ grandmother Margaret Smith.  Yesterday, Wes and I began the day with these deviled eggs for breakfast (a running joke Wes had with his family and grandmother) and then headed up to Raleigh to Forest Hills Baptist Church to celebrate her life.  We ended the day at Raleigh Memorial Cemetery, where Wes’ father and maternal grandfather are also buried.

Yesterday, and always, we are Easter People.


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A glimpse into the future

They will probably be best friends.  And MJ will get his license 7 months before Rand…


You can come up with some really great captions for these photos…








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Bubs and Bubba

A few weeks ago at cousin Joely Beth’s 1st Birthday, Rand gave a salute to Bubba Watson.  And while we can only hope that our own Bubs is destined for record breaking drives (could it be a coincidence that Bubba was nicknamed for another great athlete…last name also Smith…?), we also wish Bubba Watson all the best.  We thoroughly enjoyed watching him win the Masters, as well as his recent interview on Feherty.  Good stuff.

Image via ESPN

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new toys, new friends, new shorts and a flower

Rand’s new toys = anything in the house that is NOT a toy. Everyone told me this was coming and now it is here. Rand is fully mobile (army crawling) and his favorite things are doors and drawers. The tupperware drawer is his usual hangout.


Last week we took a break from the pantry and the tupperware drawer and hung out at the park with Dillon and his sweet mom, Kenzie. Dillon and Rand made a deal to hang out a lot this summer. And they shook on it.

Also, Rand just got some really cute shorts from Walmart.  While I have never been too impressed with Walmart in the past, for $5, these shorts rival some Crewcuts y’all.  They are really soft too.  They also come in blue, but I thought the red would be fun for summer/4th of July.

I couldn’t find them online, but I also got a few pairs of plaid shorts for $3.88.  If you go to Walmart, they are on the tables in the baby boy section.  They had lots of different colors to choose from.  I have a feeling Rand will live in those shorts (and swimsuits) this summer.

The BIG NEWS from our house (yard) lately is that my peony finally bloomed AND it smells amazing.  I got it for free 3 years ago when I ordered some plants online and this is the first time it has ever bloomed.  In fact, I had no idea what color it would be and am thrilled that it is a stylish neon salmon color – very current.  Hopefully we’ll get a few more blooms…
I’m backtracking slowly with the photos…eventually I’ll get to our Texas trip!

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