Monday, April 30, 2007

New Baby Boy

Welcome to the world little Kai! Krista and Johnny had their second baby on Friday, April 27th. He was just under 7 lbs and 19.5 inches. I met my new nephew last night and he is a total sweetie and very new and beautiful. He smelled like heaven and was easy to hold. I am excited for him to grow up and learn crazy boy ways from Bentley and Tiago--the older, wiser cousins :) Congratulations to John and Krista and to Sisi--now a big sis!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Smith Girls 2007

I am home. And I was ready to be home. But it felt so carefree and indulgent to get away for a few days with my sisters, sister-in-law, and mom. We spent the weekend at my parent's vacation home in St George and spent all of Friday afternoon and evening down in Las Vegas where we shopped, ate dinner, saw Celine Dion's show at Caesar's Palace and had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory at 11:40 pm. I think my favorite thing was Celine in Vegas--a serious highlight of my life! (I am corny I know :) In another life I am a dancer in that show. The choreography was so energetic, quite technical and very modern yet danced to the incredibly familiar music of Celine--I loved it!! Also topping the list this weekend: sleeping in, having plenty of time to get ready, talking and laughing together, shopping and consulting over outfits in the Nordstrom dressing room, and carrying a little purse around instead of a bulging diaper bag :)

If anyone who reads this doesn't know this yet, I am surrounded by amazing women in my family. They are strong, capable, intelligent, and sophisticated but they are also gentle, kind, selfless and very supportive. They lift me up and inspire me to be a more patient mother, a better friend, a more informed citizen, more daring with fashion and more committed to the Gospel. I love them and they made my weekend so perfect. We are all very different yet we have similar core values and at the end of the day, we are happy together. Thank you so much for our trip Mom (and Dad :) and thanks to you, Cecily, Heidi and Stacey for loving me just as I am.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Heidi

Here's to my little sis today. And what a perfect little sis she is! I love to picture Heidi as a fluffy haired, scratchy-voiced, fashion conscious, "Dad film me," 5 year old girl. I've always wanted my own toe-headed daughter to remind me of her--but nieces will do just fine too :)

Heidi has always been my friend. When we were little she was the best companion for playing American Girl dolls, Playmobile Victorian house, dress-ups and fashion shows, and restaurant (with our carefully coded menus :). As we grew older, I began to see Heidi maturing and growing up. I was inspired by how sensitive, nurturing, and compassionate she was (and still is) even when she struggled to find friends who were as loyal and true as she was. During a particularly hard time in my life, right when I was starting college, Heidi's comforting nature seemed to anchor me in the storm. It was a time when I honestly felt the weight of the world and very, very sad. I don't know if Heidi remembers, but she slipped me a card the morning before I moved down to school. It was perfect--a card filled with the loving words I needed to hear. Her kind words and sweet sentiments cradled my troubled heart and showed me what real love is. I knew then that she was my ally and my friend forever.

Heidi is beautiful, her heart is very tender, and she is a loyal and devoted friend. She dresses amazingly, blogs like crazy (which I love!) and is steadily becoming a great cook. I love to see Heidi playing with my kids, bearing her testimony, talking about her true love Ben, and hanging out with our family over the holidays--she has always been the #1 fan of everything Christmas! I loved visiting Heidi in London and forging a bond that now holds my 2 sisters and me even closer together (as we all lived at 27 Palace Court during a Fall semester). I love Heidi's laugh and her gorgeous smile and her fiery stubbornness too :) She is a dear soul to all who know her and I love her so much! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Baby Girl

My newest little niece arrived yesterday courtesy of Flori and her brave, natural labor! Her name is Beatrice Gloria and she looks very chubby and very sweet. I can't wait to meet her this summer. Thanks Rob, for posting about your newest little angel--check out pictures of Beatrice here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Marshall

I love that I have known Marsh his whole life. Before he was born, I was so excited to have a new baby in our family and to see what a little brother was like. Babysitting Marshall allowed me to learn tons of useful baby skills, and feel more like an independent, grown-up sibling in our family. I relished the times I could make him rice cereal, swing with him in the yard, change him into his sweet, baby-blue clothes or his soft, cuddly jammies, and hold him and smell his sweet baby smell. He made me fall in love with babies, and then toddlers, and then children as I watched him grow through each phase. I am 8 years older which is enough distance to feel older and really appreciate his sweetness and laugh at his silliness. I will always remember how much joy and happiness our littlest brother brought into our home.

Marshall has an insatiable thirst for knowledge that is totally contagious. He is a fun uncle who will build Legos, climb into forts and race through the yard with his nephews (who absolutely adore the attention and his youthful energy). He is passionate, and totally and completely loves the things he loves (i.e. Tolkien, the founding fathers, Kansas and other classic rock bands, Ruth Ann's rolls, 24, etc...) I love that Marshall took a huge leap of faith in joining the swim team his senior year of high school. Now he is like a fish and happiest when he is in the water, testing his endurance and strengthening his body. I absolutely love Marshall when he is giddy or silly--he makes me laugh so hard that I cry like crazy and my face hurts from so much smiling.

Marshall and I have actually gotten to know one another more than we ever have before in the past year or so and it has been such a blessing in my life. Because of Marshall, I have learned about faith, honesty, character, prayer, and love in ways I never expected, but definitely needed in my life. He has such a good heart yet he doesn't always see how radiant, sincere and uplifting he can be. I have laughed out loud at his stories about finding classes as a freshman on campus and quietly cried as he's borne his testimony at Lake Powell or through simple emails to the family. He still has so much of his life ahead of him and I am thrilled for the possibilities and opportunities that are his. Happy Birthday Marsh--I love you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flower Girls and Boys

Today we strolled through the Thanksgiving Point Gardens at the annual Tulip Festival. It was absolutely beautiful! Cecily blogged perfectly about our experience provided by Grandma Bobbi and Grandpa Sherm. We all enjoyed the sunny skies, open fields of grass, bridges, streams, hidden gardens, fountains and colorful flowers everywhere we looked. It was the perfect place to be on such a perfect spring day!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Justin

My brother-in-law, Justin, and my brother, Tye, share birthdays. So I thought I'd blog about Justin on his very own day even though it is a day late :)I think my favorite thing about Justin is his quiet, shoulder shrugging laugh. It seems to surface most often when the whole LeBaron gang is hanging out and making joke after joke. Justin won't laugh at everything but when someone can really get him going it is great fun. Justin is a very methodic ROOK player and really likes to win when he can fully cream his opponents instead of just scrape by with a win. Justin is totally enamored with the women in his life, Gracie and Maggie, and I love how content and comfy Gracie looks when she's on his lap or cuddled in his arms. I am always jealous of Justin in the summer because he gets the best tan (even if it is a farmer tan, it's still impressive!). If he and Maggie end up moving to St George for good then I will never be able to compete :) Happy Birthday Justin and good luck with all the big events and decisions coming up in the next little while. Don't forget to email us a picture of little Gracie in her cap and gown at graduation!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Tye

Here's to my one and only big brother. It's funny that I can remember several birthdays of Tye's when we were growing up because I always wanted to be a part of them. It looked so fun to have Easter egg relay races and run around in the yard and play crazy boy games. If I didn't get included in his birthday games then Tye totally made up for it in our free time together. I remember him teaching me how to play all of our Nintendo games and Contra as a team became my favorite thing to play together. We spent many summer evenings rollerblading around the neighborhood or up in the Country Club, playing ping-pong out on the deck or badminton in the backyard.

When I started high school as a little, insecure, awkward Freshman, Tye was starting his Senior year. Although we all know he basically did his own thing, he was a cool guy and everyone at Highland knew who he was. I was so so scared to start high school but what made a huge difference to me those first few days was driving to school with Tye in the big Suburban and knowing that if I ran into his familiar face in the halls he would smile back and even say 'hi' to all my friends and me. A Senior actually acknowledged us! It was a huge deal in high school terms and I really appreciate how nice he was to us and that he let us join REEC (the coolest club ever :)

As we've grown up I have seen a lot of sides of my brother and learned a lot about him. He is incredibly smart. He is a good writer--the kind that holds my attention easily and quickly, even when I'm reading about sports (not so much my favorite:). He is a laundry fanatic, the best onion dicer I know, and full of trivial knowledge. I would say "useless trivial knowledge" but I have seen how sharp he is when playing Trivial Pursuit so I know it's actually useful. He is a good man and I am happy when I see him acknowledge and embrace it. He is in love with his wife and his cats and hope he will be equally devoted to his kids when he becomes a father. I am excited for that step in his life and how the future will shape him.

Thanks for the fun memories Tye! I hope you are having a relaxing and fun birthday today.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Blog

Yay! Now I have 2 friends who are blogging. It is starting slowly but surely. Heather Hayes who lives all the way across the country in Charlotte, NC has joined the ranks. The quote in her first entry cracks me up--it's pretty true :) Check out her cute family and new Southern lifestyle by clicking here. Happy Blogday Heather and congrats on the birth of your new blog!Heather--how is the the most recent pic I have with you?? (Emily's wedding Aug. 2004)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Online Album Update

I have finally posted a whole collection of our best pics from Spring Break and Easter. Check out our Family Photos website to see more of our vacation last week.

To view the Easter pictures click on the link at the top of the Spring Break photos page or just click here. Hope you like tons of photos of my kids!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Easter

We spent 5 days down in St George to celebrate Easter and play with the extended Smith family. The weather was gorgeous, the kids were wild and crazy, the food was delicious and the company was fabulous. We fit in a lot including several Easter crafts, golf cart rides, a glorious morning walk with Bentley and Maddie, lots of swimming, Easter egg dying, napping, shopping, egg hunting, Sunday morning church and so on. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

Our Martha Stewart centerpiece project
Dying Easter eggs
Will and Ethan