Tag Archives | Family

They never cease to surprise me

Last week, the laundry aligned and Bo, Rand and Philip all ended up in the same pajamas on the same night.  Wen was devastated because his were in the wash pile and so he’s been asking every night since when they could all wear the same pajamas.  It’s partly funny/partly sweet/partly sad because I guess this is something that is new to him and REALLY fun – even though I would have thought a 12 year old would be too cool to dress like his little brothers (he mostly wears athletic shorts and a tshirt to sleep).

But, last night, ALL 4 boys had baths and all the pajamas in the house were clean (miracle!) and so I told Wen that they could all match…and then of course we had to take a photo.

Here’s the sweet smile – and they are all looking!  I’m going to have to get a print made of it.

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Next was the silly face – even Bo participated…

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Then the “tough guy” faces.  Rand threw up some gang signs and even Bo looks pretty tough.

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And then Wes started making everyone laugh.

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And laugh some more!

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But this is my favorite!

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And there you have it – the story of the matching pajamas, thanks to Wen.  And Hanna Andersson.  (Although I got mine when they went on sale on Zulily for half the price;)  They are organic and well-made and I’m hoping they will last being 4x hand-me-downs!

Another funny story from the Smith house:  I was headed to a doctor appointment and the kids all said to Wes, “Where’s mommy going?”  When Wes told them I had a doctor’s appointment, Wen said “YEAH!” and gave a fist pump because they all thought that me going to the doctor = having another baby! HA! I told them I was not having another baby and asked why they wanted another baby already and they ALL started yelling: “We want another baby” and “We love babies” – it was pretty funny.

These 4 boys never cease to surprise me.  This time it was wanting to wear matching pajamas (at 12) and loving babies so much (even when the baby of the house takes me away from being with them some when they need me).  I was especially thankful for these 2 particular surprises and am looking forward to the next one to get me again.

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100 days

My sister-in-law, Kristen, is doing this cool project where she does a painting every single day for 100 days.  I think maybe I should try to do the same with my blog to help me get better about writing and posting… a post every day for 100 days… which would be from today until November 4th… I wonder if I could do it?  I’m not as disciplined, but I guess that’s the point.  Some days, I forget to even answer my text messages (I answer them in my head, but then it never quite gets alllll the way back to the person…)!

Today was “Ema” day (my mom came over) and A LOT got done! Not in order:

2 loads of laundry (1 of which is folded but maybe not yet put away), 1 kid to eye doc, pilates class, 3 blackberry cobblers made (one for us and 2 to take to a family gathering), library books read, garden picking (eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and cherry tomatoes), all kids toenails and fingernails clipped, I showered!, kids bathed and fed dinner, cleaned out fridge, set up hummingbird feeder, learned how hummingbirds build a nest, and drew and colored pictures of hummingbirds, picked up some things we needed from the store…

Phew!

I also was able to get a little work done for Beautycounter and for Jessie Mackay, a local artist and friend who I help with marketing and sales.  We decided to try something fun and are setting up a daily auction instagram account!  You can follow it here.  Each day, we’ll post a new painting for sale and first person to reply in the comments with their email address we’ll send the invoice to.  Most all of the paintings will be under $200 and are unframed oil on board paintings.  A few that are odd sized will come custom framed.   The first one will post on Friday, July 29th – so go follow @jessiemackayart now!

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My little cutie at the eye doc.

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One of the blackberry cobblers. Recipe is here but it doesn’t need as much sugar as it calls for. You can do less than a cup and also we just sprinkled a teaspoon or two on top instead of 1/4 cup!

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1/100 done!  99 more posts to go…

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Staying in

If you are sick, you stay away from others.  At least that is the rule my grandmother passed along to my mother and now to me and Wes (and I’m pretty sure it is what most doctors say as well).  While it’s not the fun option, and you may not even be “very sick” BUT canceling your plans when you are sick is the polite thing to do.

Well, today I reluctantly had to take our own advice and we had to cancel on our church supper club group.  I’d been looking forward to it for a while now, but Wes reminded me (as I was trying to justify why we should still have it) that missing something fun is nothing compared to the chance that we might cause others to feel bad or get sick.

As you can guess, all three of us are officially down for the count with a cold/virus.  Rand got it first, then me, and this morning Wes woke up with it.  In order to cheer myself up, I decided to look back through the photos we took over Christmas.  I never got around to posting them so here goes…

On Christmas Eve morning, I gathered with my high school girlfriends for our 15th (?) annual ornament exchange. Rand got to play with his friends Ryan and Rebecca. Here he is with Ryan…

On Christmas Eve we were so busy, I forgot to take pictures. We went to early Church and Rand was on his best behavior for the Children’s Nativity. Maybe some day he’ll be a shepherd or wise man himself. After, we gathered at our house for family dinner. James did snap a photo of the yummy apple cider margaritas we had with dinner. Recipe here.

On Christmas morning I didn’t take any pictures here at home, instead we shot a flip video of Rand, but I don’t have it uploaded yet, sorry. After, we headed over for breakfast at Grandmommy’s house and Rand was pumped about his new wagon, race cars and picaboo bear.

After Grandmommy’s, we headed over to Ema & Pop’s.  We are so blessed to have Grandmommy and Ema less than 5 min away from each other!

Here’s Rand with the only other two “blue-eyed” family members:

Ema and Pops were great hosts and spoiled us with a beautiful homemade meal.

Rand gave out lots of hugs and kisses and everyone wanted to play with him/hold him. He was definitely the best Christmas present for all of us this year.

Especially daddy!

The next day, we headed up to Raleigh for Christmas part II with the Capassos. Can you guess what MJ’s favorite Christmas present was? He sure takes after his mom and is a cheerful cleaner-upper. Now I’m thinking we should have just gotten him the real thing!

Don’t you keep your dirt devil in a circus tent too?

Again, Rand gave out the hugs and kisses. Sweet boy!

I seemed to have left out a lot of family members in the photos (most all of my photos seem to be of Rand…) and there are tons more photos from Christmas, so if you aren’t sick of us by now, you can see the entire album here.

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Who are these people?

I love my silly family.  What a fun time we had at Eddie & Emily’s wedding last month.  While we all had a blast together as kids, the older we get the more fun it seems to be.  Now we just need another wedding to get us all together again!

Oh, and props to the bride and groom for a fun “photo booth” at the wedding reception.  So great!

 

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Trotters

Here we are after the finish of the Turkey Trot.  Charlie, mom, Rand, Wes, me, Sam, Kristen and Elizabeth.  While Sam, Kristen and Wes all posted some pretty impressive times, the rest of us took a more leisurely pace.  It didn’t help that Rand decided to fuss from mile 1 on…we actually crossed the finish line with Mom, Elizabeth and me taking turns pushing the stroller and carrying Rand who was thrilled to be carried.  He even clapped for himself as we approached the finish line.  Clapping is his new thing.  And screeching like an owl.

We were glad to see such a great turnout for the race – I think I heard there were over 1900+ people who participated.  Well, Rand is napping now so I’m off to get in a good Saturday nap myself.

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October Recap

October has been a full month…I’ve been a little slow in writing all of the fun things that have been going on around here.

So, October began with a trip to the beach

and then ended with a trip to the mountains.

In between, we celebrated lots of birthdays…
On my 30th (whoa!) we had a nice family party at my mother-in-law’s. The weather was perfect so we squeezed in some quality back-yard time before the yummy dinner and dessert. Best of all, my cousin Elizabeth lives in Durham now and can meet up for family events – so fun to have her close by!

These were the favors my mother-in-law, Carolyn, made for everyone who came to my birthday party – pumpkin bread wrapped in a cute fall dishtowel. She sure knows me! I made THIS maple cream cheese recipe to go with our bread. (Note: I also made the “Health nut brownies” but they tasted like Cliff Bars to my family…so I won’t be making them again.)

We wished Uncle James and Aunt Mary Devon Happy Birthday.

And we celebrated Wes’ birthday and Aunt Jax’s birthday (yep – same day as Wes…just 6 years apart). This is the only photo I have from the birthday dinner. A lot has changed in the last year. Dinner was over by 7pm and these two rascals took over the table.

Grandmommie Carolyn is getting good at her animal sounds. Rand loves it when you ask him what a cow says…or what a doggie says…

MJ is very talented and is teaching Rand lots of new things like multitasking. Here he’s showing Rand how to drive a Buzz Lightyear truck while politely asking for a cracker.

And this is right after he showed Rand how to “swap pacis”

We hung out with all the cousins at Eddie & Emily’s wedding

This is my favorite photo from the wedding…Grandfather “Bebo” breaking the rules…

We had some quality time with Uncle Sam – actually, I think this subject deserves its own post when I get around to it.

And some quality time with Aunt Mary Devon

Rand is gearing up for Thanksgiving and cut both bottom teeth. While they don’t show enough to photograph yet, check this photo out of Rand in his new highchair. With sweet potatoes and oatmeal under our belts, we branched out to some new solid foods…pears, apples, peas and whole grain rice cereal.

And most of all, we missed Geah…although I can’t help but wonder if she had something to do with my favorite birthday present. On Sunday, October 9th, while we were having coffee in the kitchen, this butterfly landed right outside on one of my zinnias. I can’t believe it stayed there long enough for me to go get my camera and come back. It was a sweet and beautiful moment – a gift – from the Lord.

November has a lot to live up to.

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Weekend fun

This past weekend we walked to a local crafts festival. I found some really cute handmade puzzles – Rand will get it for his 1st birthday so don’t tell him. We also found the funnel cakes…

And we found Grandmommie…and Nina decided to catch a ride.

All the weekend fun landed me in bed Sunday with a sore throat.  Rand (in his new Mater Onesie) had a little cold himself but he wasn’t letting it get him down.  I chose this photo because it shows his sweet little dimple (and it isn’t too zoomed in on the piece of dog hair on his cheek! Errr!)

I almost forgot…last week we took belated 5 month photos before Rand grows even more.  This one’s for you Auntie Jax!

 

 

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Home away from home

We just spent the past two weeks at our 2nd home – New Smyrna Beach, FL.  We’ve visited every summer but, this year, due to my grandmother’s illness, we pushed the trip back to the Fall.  I think we’ll visit in the Fall from now on.  It was nice to have temps in the 80s and low 90s vs over 100 degrees. The water was definitely warm enough for swimming.

Plus, we almost had the beach to ourselves (I even took this photo on a Saturday!)

We visited all of our old favorite restaurants (with no wait time!) like JB’s Fishcamp, the Spanish River Grill (just ask Wes about his Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Maple Bacon and a Fresh Farm Egg that he had for brunch…) and a new addition, the Taco Shack. It is exactly what it sounds like, except for Monday night we lucked out with $1 tacos, yummy queso and sangria!

Ocean’s Seafood was still crowded…

Not just with people…

 

But most days we just ate in.  I’m obsessed with Publix and wish we had one here at home.  We got some great things while we were there but my favorite had to be the Wheat Italian 5-Grain bread.  We stocked up before we left.

We had an entire week all to ourselves and enjoyed showing Rand the beach, relaxing and being a family of 3. Since Rand wasn’t really ready to “beach it” all day, we did some other fun things like visiting the local farmers’ market

where we bought some yummy mangrove honey to have on our Publix Wheat Italian 5-grain toast, experienced the local life

and lingered around to watch the boats sail in.

It was a full week of sunrises, sunsets and sea air.

After a whole week to ourselves, the family arrived and that was fun too. Rand got some quality time with his uncle Sam

He cheered up his “Beebo” who had lots of good stories about Florida

He met his Granny (on the Franklin side) – they really hit it off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we hung out with uncle Sam some more.

After our “Geah’s” memorial service in Orlando, Rand got to meet lots of family.

Including his cousin (twice removed???) Rand. Here are some of the “Rands.”

It was sad to not have Geah with us – singing the songs and reading the scriptures she chose.  Rand cheered us all up with lots of kisses though.  His Geah would be proud.

 

We also tried to get a good family photo, but I just finished looking at them and there wasn’t a single one with all 3 of us looking at the camera.  Oh well.


The only downside to the trip…it was the end of “love bug” season. The Tahoe really took one for the team.

Is anyone still here?  This post is almost as long as our trip.  I still have a wildlife kayaking adventure to tell you about, but I’ll save it for the next post.

Finally, it was time to go home just as the rain set in.  Which made leaving a little easier.

Reminds me of a song I sing to Rand each night before bed…

Jesus, let us come to know you,
Let us see you face to face.
Touch us, hold us, use us, mold us,
Only let us, live in you.

Jesus, draw us ever nearer,
Hold us in your loving arms.
Wrap us in your gentle presence,
When the rains come bring us home.
(by Michael Card)

 

And so we’re home. For now.

Update: Speaking of bedtime songs…check out my guest post on fellow mom Johanna’s 101 Things I Love Blog


	
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Friday Photo Flashback

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While I’m ready to get back to our normal routine, I’ll be sad to leave the beach tomorrow.  I’ll especially miss waking up to the sound of the ocean and the beautiful sunrises (yep – we’ve been up for every single one!)

Each morning while having our coffee and hanging out with Rand, we’ve enjoyed watching a fisherman or two set up his bucket and pole, toss the cast net to catch his bait and then wade patiently with his line out in the surf as the sun starts to climb.

A few mornings, we’d see entire families fishing – reminding me of when my father would get up at 6am or so and, sometimes, we’d get to go too.  This is one of my favorite photos ever.  If I was a painter, I’d like to have a painting of it.

 

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Happy Birthday James

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Happy Birthday to my brother James (aka Uncle James)!  We are still at the beach, so I’m sure James is thankful that I only have the photos on my computer to choose from.  While there were some silly gems on facebook, we’ll just stick to this one.  It was actually one of my first photos last year when I got our Nikon.

James and I usually get to celebrate our birthdays together (always on his birthday because the fam isn’t ready to eat another cake 5 days later).  But since James and his wife Samantha are in Austin, TX for James to attend Seminary of the Southwest, we will just have to celebrate long-distance.  As I said, we’re still at the beach and I’m guessing we’ll be at J.B.’s again tonight…so it might be key lime pie instead of cake.  Happy Birthday James – we love you and miss you – especially today!

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Friday Photo Flashback

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There are lots of these photos of my family together at the beach floating around in albums here and there…a pretty good idea to take a photo in the same spot each year. We’re going to have to come up with one of those ourselves. Any location ideas? On another note, how awesome is my giraffe swimsuit?!

You may be familiar with it already, but I’ve just seen the website Dear Photograph – what a sweet idea!  You take an old photograph and hold it up in the same place and take a new picture, and add a nice note too.

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5 Months, really?

Has it really been 5 months since we welcomed Wesley Rand Smith to the world?  Here he is about 9 days old in the arms of cousin Sarah.  Happy 5 months Rand!


 

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63 Years

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Happy 63rd Anniversary to my sweet grandparents Betty & Fritz who met 65 years ago when they were 19 years old at UNC-Chapel Hill (what a great Tar Heel legacy Rand could be…). The photo above was taken in 2005 at their 80th birthday party.

Grandmother is near the end of her battle with cancer and today, as I watched my grandfather lean over my grandmother’s bed to hold her hand and give her a kiss, I realized that although it is their anniversary, I am the one who they have given an anniversary gift: The gift of love and family and the example of a lasting marriage built on a foundation of faith in God.

Wes and I met when I was 19 years old and I look forward to following their lead to 63 years of marriage. Perhaps every Sept. 8th we will make a toast to their unending gift.

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Highlight reel

As promised, here are the highlights from MJ’s Mickey Mouse-themed 1st birthday party…but first, a few from our weekend:

Rand has discovered Nina and is fascinated by her.

Remember the “great day” I blogged about earlier…well, It began AFTER this early-morning moment in the nursery that Wes captured. This photo was taken just seconds before the little drooler threw up all over my neck/face. Yep. He was going in for a sweet morning kiss and blahhhhh. Looking at the photo takes me right back to that very moment. And it also makes me wonder if I need some sort of face-tone evening and zit zapping treatment. Or maybe just the works. Spa anyone?

Okay, on to the good stuff…MJ’s Birthday was a big hit – everyone looks great in mouse ears.
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Rand got to meet his cousin Joely Beth (she is exactly 20 days older!)
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They are both pretty chilled-out kids
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They must take after their cousins Joel & Trey

The bright mickey mouse cupcakes were a big hit

We sang Happy Birthday,

skyped with the Capassos in Pennsylvania,

and gathered around to open gifts

But most importantly, no one enjoyed the party more than the birthday boy himself.
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Good morning

Wes’ left-over NY Strip steak breakfast sandwiches + Bubs (Rand’s nickname) made for a good Labor Day Monday morning.

A typical morning in our kitchen…

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Happy Birthday Ema!

Happy Birthday to a very special mother and grandmother (aka Ema)!

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