Thursday, October 30, 2014


This year we somehow ended up waiting until the last week of October to get our pumpkins and we carved them on October 29th! Felt so last minute to me but sometimes that's just how it works out in a busy life full of carpools and homework and a freshly potty trained toddler.

 Pumpkin patch tractor picture!

 Cares choosing her pumpkin

 Livs looking cute pushing the little wheelbarrow around

 Luke is simply adorable with his tiny pumpkin

 Poor Joseph got pretty dirty lifting the bigger kids' huge pumpkins into the wheelbarrow

We carved just the very next night so they'd be done before Halloween. Caroline was at ballet and Joseph drove her, rode his bike near the studio while she danced, and then brought her home. We got started without them which was great for getting Luke done before too late at night but seriously pretty crazy as the lone adult too! How many times did I help Bean or Livs to turn around and find Luke holding a huge knife in the air?! Note to self: keep large knives far away from toddlers. You'd think I would have learned this 10 years into parenting ;) 

 Finished product for Luke. 
I can handle good old fashioned jack-o-lanterns pretty well so that's what he got!

 Joseph drew out Livs' pattern for her but then she wanted to carve it all out on her own. She did really well for a pretty detailed picture but accidentally cut a big section of her snowflake out. This resulted in a lot of tears but she recovered...

The bigs nailed it with theirs. They are getting so capable on their own which is way awesome!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October with my Littles

October was a crazy, busy, full of fun activities I decided to throw potty training in there too! In hind sight it seems overly ambitious but it actually ended up being pretty quick and easy. Luke was not yet 3 but just seemed really, really ready and showing all the signs of being able to make a smooth transition to underwear. It took a few days of repeated and frequent trips to the toilet but he figured it out so fast. Week one was almost accident free—even from the very first days, and then after about 2 weeks he did have 2 poop accidents but at least told me about them right after he did them (oh the joys...) Now that more time has passed he has been so awesome and really consistent. A funny thing about this boy is that he hates pull-ups. They are a much different texture than regular diapers and make more noise moving around in them...I don't exactly know what he dislikes but he did not want to wear those at night! I had one package of them so we used them up with much fussing and fighting about wearing one every, single night. After that package I bought regular old diapers until he was steadily dry at night (about 2 months) and now we're finally, totally diaper free!!! I am thrilled that I never have to potty-train again and it makes my heart quite happy :)

I also have to document my first ever boy haircut which turned out way better than I thought even though it's not great. It was perfect to try this outside where the mess wasn't an issue and where Luke was very chill to sit still and let me use my new electric clippers and then try to trim it up on the top with shears. My cute friend had just given a bunch of us ladies in the neighborhood a tutorial on cutting boys' hair so I felt brave and encouraged. It remains my only haircut so far however, but I will do more this spring and summer. Bentley said I need to give Luke 10 haircuts before I can give him one so I better get back to it soon!

 Wednesday mornings we take Livs to her ballet class and in October they had a little Halloween dance they performed for the parents in their Halloween costumes. Olivia is a lovely little dancer (very focused so she doesn't smile but she likes to learn choreography and make her own ending shapes :)

 Olivia and her darling teacher Miss Heidi

Spooky Smiths 2014

 Somehow, on the day of our party, it worked out just perfectly for me to get the kids' things all packed up and set out, and then ride my bike to Cec's where I met my dad on his bike. From there he and I rode together over to my parents' house. I've been wanting to make that full ride for a few years but it finally worked out. And like so many days this fall, it was beautifully warm with lovely fall leaves all around. We were on our final mile or so along Walker Lane when I nabbed this picture.

And then it was time for our annual party. We were able to get Tye and his fam up here this year to join us as well as celebrate Mason's birthday. Love these crazy cousins hanging out together! They have the best time and enjoy my parents' yard and house so much.

So Livs ended up as Anna because this mama was not nearly as organized and I had hoped before I left on my ride :( I was going to pack Olivia's costume before I left but didn't want it to get mashed up and wrinkled with the others. I left it in her closet to grab just before the party, but didn't tell anyone they needed to get it. Oops. Luckily (seriously luckily!) my mom has an Anna costume and Olivia was remarkably fine with wearing that for our party. I never know with her!

 Our family at the party. Funny to have two little Frozen couples, young and old :)

Cares and tiny Stanford. She and Maddie adore that little guy and kept taking turns holding him.

 The Horsley kiddos. Eth borrowed Joseph's Batman costume which is just so crazy to me. How is he big enough to fit in that just fine?

Some of our yummy treats. I made the spider-webs but they were less than sturdy and so I don't think I'll do those again (even though they were cute :)

 Joseph's design for our veggie tray

 Twinners on the hayride

And happy, happy times at the neighbors' house with their massive haul of golden leaves.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pieces of October

 I'm in love with this pretty little girl (even though she gives me a run for my money :)
 She posed for me just before school pictures and it turned out to be such a vivid shot.

 Glorious fall bike rides are one of my favorite things ever.
This is a shot from a few miles up Butterfield Canyon. I've only ever ridden 5 miles up and by then I am too exhausted (it's basically a climb starting at my house to even get over there. The mouth of the canyon is 7 miles away and then heading up works me so hard! Next summer I will have to venture farther...)

 We trimmed our huge smoke bush and ended up with these enormous branches. The kids asked me to help them turn it into a teepee and so we did.

 Final product after flushing it all out.

 Cute Caresie in the teepee.

 General Conference Sunday up at the cabin

 Outdoor Halloween decorations that Bentley sweetly begged me to get and they are
all from the dollar store so not a big deal.

 Kindergarten alphabet parade. 
O is for Olivia and owl (and she wore those pj's because they had more owls on them).

 Leaf Man FHE. We have so much fun just gathering up supplies for this creative project —we just head outside and gather up all the goods right outside our door.

 Caroline's Anna and Olivia's self-portrait. Below Bentley made Elsa:

Joseph and I created some too

 Real Simple often has lovely reminders for living a good and happy life and sometimes I grab pictures of them so I will remember them well.

 Lunch date with Katherine and Heather —among my oldest and best of friends. Kath lives in Texas and was in town for a quick weekend. When I saw her I had no idea she was pregnant! She's due in just two months and yet hadn't said a word. She's having her 4th girl in not the most ideal month so I think she was kind of blue over it for a long while and didn't share the news. I did tell her my December baby came at the craziest time but that his birth and his gorgeous, fresh newness at Christmas time was very powerful and beautiful. It helped connect me to thoughts of the Savior and his beloved mother all season. And it still does. So maybe December babies are pretty awesome :)

Our cute neighbor Stacey turned 40 in October and her hubby arranged a huge "fancy date night" for us to celebrate her milestone birthday with her. We could only make it to dinner that night and not dancing after but it was so funny to be at Cheesecake Factory with like 30 of us all dressed up like we were headed to homecoming or something...except that we're all old parents! I always love date nights with my favorite boy and we had the best company. Stacey and her husband are fairly new in our neighborhood but when they first came to church after moving in Joseph recognized Sergio (her hubby) since he had served his mission with him. Smallest, small world in this church but I love how it brings us together.

October in my front yard. It's seriously too beautiful and makes me happy everyday.

 A solo date with my cute Bentley to get in some miles before his long 30-miler. I could definitely get used to hanging out with my mini cyclist on our bikes together! He asked me to tell him a story so for 15 miles I told him my favorite novel: Jane Eyre :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bentley's 30-miler

 We could not have chosen a more perfect fall day for Bentley's 30 mile ride —the farthest he's ever gone. Last year Joseph rode 20 with him and I was kind of sad I missed out on it. This year we grabbed a babysitter so all 3 of us could ride together.

We drove to Highland to jump on the Murdock Canal Trail and ride it all the way to Provo where we popped over to the Provo Canyon Trail right at 800 N. We love that canal trail since it's free of car traffic and full of pretty views of both the mountains and Utah Lake.

 Once we hit Provo Canyon the fall leaves were just so striking and glorious. 

Octobers in Utah are to die for. 
And riding with these two was so much happiness for this mommy's heart.

15 miles out took us right to the parking lot for Bridal Veil Falls where we snapped this picture and turned around to finish the 2nd half of our ride. Provo Canyon is a lovely, easy climb so not hard for beginners but it's always fun to turn around and coast down! At one point Joseph was ahead and he pointed down to a big dip in the road so we could avoid it but cute Bentley thought he meant we should go right in it and so Bean did and laughed through it thinking that roller coaster feeling for a second was so fun. He said "thanks for telling me to ride that Dad!" Such a cute cycling buddy.

 I couldn't stop admiring the gorgeous colors all along the trail. Have I mentioned I love fall?

We stopped at the gas station at the mouth of the canyon for a snack and bathroom break and then rode the remaining 10 miles back without any complaints or tired legs from our boy. He's such a little rock star and it was really fun to have a special date doing something we all enjoy together.

All done with 30! Of course he has high hopes to ride farther in 2015. 
I love this determined kid so much!