Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunny Snow Canyon

The weather granted us with an amazing 80 degree day yesterday. And we knew it wouldn't last (it is raining here right now...)

We swam, the kids rode bikes, we all played outside on the grass while Livs slept, and then we packed ourselves up and headed out for a hike.

Our Arabian baby ready to beat the sun

My mom stole Max from his mama for a few days so she could catch a little R&R with the new baby. They met us in the canyon straight from their drive from Vegas.

Boys on the trail

Love this little girl. She was one amazing hiker yesterday--running ahead and always leading the pack. She loved it!

What if we really had 4 kids?!

Let's talk about my babe for a minute. Just after dinner last night she took her very first steps!! She was roaming between my mom and Joseph and suddenly walked all on her own for about 3 seconds. Yay Olivia! She got so hyper about it and bouncy and wild that she couldn't really take anymore unassisted steps--it was exciting and adorable. And fun to have Grandma Bobbi here to witness it with us.

Joseph was happy he didn't miss the big moment as he was just getting ready to head home for the rest of the week. The big kids and I walked him out to his car and as he drove slowly down the street, Bentley and Cares followed closely (Beans on his scooter and Cares on a big wheel.) Those little ones were not ready to let their Daddy leave. And Joseph could hardly muster up the will to finally speed away from us. We miss him a lot...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day in Vegas

Las Vegas temple

Despite all my complaints, I did have a lovely time at the temple with my family. The landscaping is very pretty and quite unique, with a lot of room for roaming. We spotted a family of 5 eating a picnic lunch on the temple grounds, and a group of deacons having their priesthood lesson near the front doors.

Meeting the perfectly new miss Sadie. She transfixed us all and Cares thought she was so very tiny and very interesting but that cousin Max was still way more fun to play with.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Today I am 31. It is my birthday and I am bummed that it doesn't exactly feel like my birthday. Do you know what I mean? All about expectations and how this day would somehow be totally different and I would have a phone ringing off the hook, an inbox full of greetings and love, I'd feel totally pampered, and have perfectly behaved kids. Not so much what happened today...

But it is late. I am tired. We just got home from a crazy adventure that should have been quite simple and yet turned out to be way more work than I was expecting. And it took so much longer than I had planned on--a tricky thing when toting a 1-year old around.

The morning started out sunny and bright. My hubby let me sleep in (which doesn't really work in the airy SG house...but it still felt nice to say in bed and drift in and out of sleep). And he worked super hard wrangling all the kids AND making a big, yummy breakfast. He was juggling pancakes, bacon, sausage, and our hungry, hungry baby all at once when I came upstairs this morning. We ate with my sis and her kids, sent them off to Phoenix and worked on cleaning up.

A little bit later we boldly decided to head to Las Vegas--something that sounded like a lot of fun--a temple visit, a yummy dinner, and a snuggle with my delicious new niece. All good things.

But my kids were not cooperating today. They weren't very fun in the car and pushed my patience threshold above and beyond.

And my hubby and I got in a stupid fight about not being ready to head out as quick as I had hoped. We were communicating poorly all morning and things kept coming out in meaner tones than we intended. It was really my fault--Joseph had been doing kind things all morning and yet I was finding flaws. I hate it when I do that...and it takes me a long time to admit that's what I'm doing--I am stubborn that way.

Enough of the whining. I had to get it out and be done with it. So, done and done.

Special thanks to those who did make today feel less ordinary. I really appreciate your extra efforts--a quick call or message mean a lot to this gal.

And Heid--Sadie melted my crotchety old heart. She is perfect and such a beauty. It was lovely to meet her today (and see you and your cute family. You guys were the perfect ending to our crazy day). And GLEE is awesome. It is helping me unwind right this moment!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


We're south of home again. And it is lovely here. When we pulled up to the SG house yesterday, I was actually giddy to see these white blossoms in full bloom. I wonder what kind of tree that is--a flowering pear?

Anyway, we are here for a long stay even though we have to send Joseph back to the real world next week. The weather looks amazing, for the next few days anyway, and the big kids are already outside playing on scooters and big wheels and mini golf carts, while the little one is taking her morning nap.

I'm in such a happy mood today, drinking in the clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. Livs was awake at 6:30 this morning with a stinky diaper so I changed her and warmed her a bottle of milk and we sat in the dark, quiet house together watching the morning arrive slowly around us. I snuggled my babe and thought about my little sis, freshly home from the hospital with a 3 day old daughter of her own. I wondered if she was awake and nursing her babe right then, if her house was quiet and still except for the pair of them, nestled up together. I smiled thinking about them and that amazing bond infants and mothers share. And I kissed my 1 year old girl's soft fluffy head over and over, thinking that a toddler's grip on her mother's heart is just as powerful. This gift of motherhood is stunning to me. I love it.

Congrats to Heidi and Ben and their gorgeous little Sadie. It is my plan to meet her very, very soon. Maybe on my birthday? Vegas is only a short drive away from here...

As luck would have it, I also have a brand new nephew--born yesterday to Tommy and Jess. I am anxious to meet baby Jack when I am back in town...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretty in Pink

The invite for cousin Maddie's Pinkalicious Party said "wear ALL pink and the more pink the better!" Cares took the directions quite seriously and scouted out all her favorite pink items.

All dressed up and ready to party!

the pink spread--the pic doesn't do it justice but it was so bright and pretty

Cec reading Pinkalicious to the girls

I put Livs down for a nap at my sister's house and sent Bentley off to play with Ethan and Will--that way I got to enjoy the party just as much as the pink princesses! There were crowns and jewels and a scavenger hunt and pink cupcakes...the perfect girlie girl party.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March Girls

Although I love Little Women, this picture is not about them but rather the March birthday girls in the Smith family. And I am expecting a new niece courtesy of Heidi and Ben on Wednesday--yipee! Next year I will have to get a pic with all 4 of us in it. And now it's a plan.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have felt busy non-stop this week, making to-do lists each morning and each night before bed. There are some major projects that I've been plugging away on (more on those later), family gatherings and extra activities. Combine those with all the regular demands of daily life (namely feeding, dressing, carpooling, cleaning up after and entertaining my children), and I feel like I have hardly had a moment to just sit and do this (aka blog).

This week:
Monday: volunteered in Bentley's classroom, FHE outing to the library, and grocery shopping

Tuesday: lunch date with LeBaron women as 2 of my out-of-town sisters in law are here this week. Mag--will you email me your picture of all of us?

Wednesday: taught my dance classes and once the kids were in bed, Joseph and I finally prepped all our tax info. Thank goodness that is done--why is it such a chore?

Thursday: my mom took me birthday shopping at Nordstrom and then I made a very yummy dinner--chicken enchiladas and artisan bread. I love my mother-in-law's recipe for the enchiladas but yesterday they seemed to take all afternoon to make. I think that has more to do with my busy baby needing me (and food, lots of food) more than anything else.

Scheduled for today: "Pinkalicious" birthday party for my niece this afternoon and then a YW babysitting service project this evening.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Cares in 2007:

Livs in 2010:

I was getting a kick out of this series of pics and had to post the cute ones along with the funny-faced ones.

Dressing Olivia in Caroline's baby clothes has been soooo much fun for me. Each little dress and pair of tights or pajamas brings back happy memories of my tiny Cares. I love those silly, gorgeous girls of mine...and my adorable boy too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Girl...

...makes me laugh
I have learned to embrace her unique sense of style and just enjoy the ride.

Besides her awesome outfits, she says so many funny things throughout the day, especially if she is playing make-believe with her animals, dolls, or brother. Just the other day she was playing with her Polly Pockets and one was saying to the other "we've got to eat this apple or we will never be able to have babies!" I guess she has been listening quite well in Primary...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Same Time Last Year

One year ago today, this was the view into my backyard:

And then 6 days later we were enjoying lovely spring weather:

I needed this reminder because it has been one cold day around here. But I can wait 6 days for some sunshine and balmy air. I don't think I can wait 7 days, but I can do 6 :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


The babe's signature move when she is teething: fingers constantly in her mouth.
And then there are the lovely mood changes that follow...but those are not as fun to document.

See, this kind of baby I'll photograph any day:

And all too quickly she turned in to this:

In that dirndl it is impossible to do anything but dote on her. Even when she is eating toilet paper (a new favorite she's discovered) At least it was from the roll and not already in the toilet...good baby Livs :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

This Week

This week I:

1) Made my very first loaf of homemade artisan bread. Yummy (and yay for me because it is a huge first!) Krista--thanks for your detailed help via blog :)

2) Felt even more lost, and equally intrigued, after watching LOST. Because the show is ending in 10 episodes, I am hooked and simply have to see how the writers will tie everything together.

3) Agreed to teach Thriller to the youth at their combined activity next week. Last time I did that I was 8 months pregnant (with Bentley) so this time should be a breeze.

4) Stocked up on Children's Motrin, Children's Tylenol, Triaminic cough strips and bandaids at Walgreens. Can you tell we have had a sickly winter around here?

5) Did sealings at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple with my hubby, my parents, my sis and her hubby. We did a bunch of family names for my mom's Norwegian ancestors (oh those tricky foreign names--ask Joseph if he thought the pronunciations by the sealer were just a little bit funny...:)

6) Had a fun family date night (just this evening) at Settebello for caprese, pizza and gelato.


And this tiny princess...

is back to her happy, healthy self today. Her mommy is thrilled (and had almost forgotten what a delightful and easy baby she really is.)

On the calendar for this weekend:

Prepare taxes with my hubby. We can hardly wait...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Evolution of Olivia

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

Borrowed this idea from the talented Rebecca M. How I love her photography. And how I love my Olivia. She has been so so sick since Saturday and most content just snuggling on my shoulder (or her Daddy's shoulder.) Poor thing seems to finally be doing a little better today. I have missed my sweet smiley girl. But loved when she fell asleep on me while I was rocking her this weekend. Dreamy...