Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dance Fever

Calvin is at that blessed age where school dances are now a thing (15, going on 16 in 1 month).  The last two dances have been "girl ask guy" and some very lovely girls seized the opportunity. My handsome husband also jumped (danced) at the chance to take his one and only/favorite daughter to a Daddy Daughter Ball, which benefitted the non-profit organization: Nurturing Nations*. I got to witness this fabulous ball bc I was the chef volunteer, over the royal treat table. So much fun was had by all.   Three cheers for Footloose:

Ecclesiastes 3: 4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,
 and a TIME to DANCE!

True That.

Halloween dance invite. Fresh from the horror movie "IT." I saw it in the 80's and it scared me to death. There's literally no way I'm seeing the new one, or encouraging anyone in my home to partake. Excellent looking dance inviting though. They evidently went as vampires. My attempts at obtaining pictures have not been rewarded.

This is the group shot of the royal ball. Annie was definatly on the older side of the crowd, but Ryan and her still partied hard. Hopefully they do it next year, both the event and Ryan and Annie.

Ryan started the night by suggesting he take Annie to pick out a corsage. She thought that was sweet, but told him she'd rather have chicken tenders from Chick Filet instead. Smart girl. Wouldn't we all?!

Annie has some fancy hairdo! The ball had ladies in waiting to do hair, nails, makeup. There were crafts, dancing, a fairy Godmother, all the Disney princesses, a silent auction,  royal desserts and dry ice in the punch (my doing:~)

*My friend adopted her sweet daughter from Ghana. During her many visits to the country for the adoption process, it became apparent how appalling conditions were for children, pretty much due to a lack of education.  Nurturing Nations began. It's a legit non-for profit, as in 100% of all donations are going to the of building a school. I'm honored to know the founder, and pretty much her entire family are incredible. Check them out:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Jumping into Fall Break

This years Fall Break was a Smith family Staycation (which is quite a generous name for what we actually did:~) Ryan was a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley; totally rad because that's where he got his Master's degree, and now he's basically a handsome professor expert. My, how time flies. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we went to a pumpkin patch and selected some mighty fine pumpkins,  went jumping at trampoline park, hit Gardner Village's Witch festival, did some fall cleaning like it was spring cleaning, which led to several tears (mostly mine) and we watched a few movies, just to pass the time. Fall break Smith family style.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Simon is no longer a mere thirteen years old. Whilst no one was looking her grew older, more knowledgable about mythical creatures, fine tuned his ability to play the clarinet, and turned 14.  He is just an absolute nut.  His cheery disposition, kind hearted ways, and optimism are just a few of the traits that I admire in this lovable boy of mine.  Smiling suits him, Minecraft suits him, and random facts suit him. 8th Grade now, Jeopardy when he turns 18!

Simon wanted to party with his family and a good friend.
We had KFC (his choice) and then caught the newest Lego Movie (defiantly his choice.)

Simon loved all of his gifts. He got several books which is his all time favorite present in the world. This card he's holding up was made by his Grandma Linda, which was right up Simon's alley with random facts. I love this boy!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

5 Long Months

I recall having some acne as a teen. Enough so that I tried Retin A, which seemed to help a bit. However, like most acne creams, the warning on the label indicated that I should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. I ran cross-country and track, and played soccer, so the "no sunlight" prescription was basically a joke. Throughout the last 2 decades, my skin has never been entirely clear, and occasionally it has been horrible.

With pregnancies and nursing, a woman is somewhat restricted on what medication can be used to deal with something as "trivial" as acne. However, about 7 months ago my skin was at an all time awful. I had heard Acutane was the devil; that the side effects can be wretched. However, beyond my acne hurting my feelings (frustration at my appearance every time I was in a photo, or doing a television demo) my skin itself hurt. As in bad-acne-skin makes smiling hurt. Putting on make-up hurts. Washing your face hurts.  You know that feeling when you're getting a zit right at the crease where your nostril meets your cheek? It's like that pain, but over 20+ places on your face. I'de been to a few dermatologists over the years, and a time or two Acutane was mentioned, but I always thought "No, it's not that bad." However, the fever pitch hit this Spring, and I took the Acutane plunge.

Actually, once the decision was made, I had to wait an entire month to prove I wasn't pregnant. I had to take pregnancy tests monthly (the law), and was required to take and pass an online quiz monthly too (also the law) before I could get my medicine. Being a feminist, none of this sat well with me, but desperate times called for desperate measures. Side effects, at least my side effects, included dry itchy eyes (I could barely hold someones gaze) lips that would chap so bad they would start to bleed, dry flaky skin (my face would literally peel after a shower; I slathered on aquifer at night) achy joints (especially my feet) a bright red face (that looked like I'de been laying out in the sun and accidentally fell asleep) and some depression (which was the most frustrating side effect of all, bc it's illusive... am I sad bc my life is lame? or is this medication that I'm taking lame?... or is it both!) I wish I could say that the last 5 months and 150 pills flew by. I've felt every single day, but I'm pleased with the results. Here's to hoping that all of the above side effects wear off fast, and that the acne free skin remains till the day I die (which I'm planning will be after I turn 95 so Ryan and I can celebrate our 75th anniversary.)

Whenever I was hating the Acutane, I took a look at this picture to remind myself why I was taking it. I think the out of the shower, "wet dog look" added encouragement to endure. This was snapped about 3 days before I started the medicine.

I tried to duplicate the out of shower picture, just to help give an accurate comparison. 
So, there's that.

Here's a photo booth picture from about 2 minutes ago, because I can and do smile with my teeth.
Discuss amongst yourselves.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Family Pictures 2017

Some people love to shop and get ready for family photos. I'm not on that list. But our family photo shoot 2017 was accomplished, and since I didn't swear at anyone, I'm considering it a smashing success.

A sneak peek at what the Smith family photo shoot looks like behind the scenes.

Norman has only one shoe on bc he stepped in dog poo. Ryan and I both got poo on our hands in pathetic attempts to clean it off. Truth.



My special* guy. Special was Simon's favorite adjective for the first 4 years of his life.

Calzone. Handsomer.

I simply love this picture. It's entirely suspicious.

Nothing says romance like a couples picture with your 6 children heckling you in the background. He's acting surprised, but I do this at least 20 times a day:~)

I'm laughing bc Norman was in a bit of a meltdown most of the family photos group pictures. Fun.

This was the best we got. Our photographer/ dear friend, is totally lovely and talented.

So many boys. There's just so many of them.

Up to no good.

The girls. We can hold our own in this crazy family.

Calvin's jig, just passing the time.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Finally, Summer 2017 Ends!

I'de like to think that we made the most of this summer... but by the time the Utah schools finally start up again, my will to engage in meaningful summer activities is virtually nonexistent. And so, in an answer to the prayers of every summer weary parent in Davis County, Utah, school finally started on Wednesday, August 23rd.  7:30am for high school. 8:10am for junior high. A weekend 8:45am for my elementary school friends. And in an effort to ease into the transition of not losing my mind anymore,  the elementary school had early out. All week. All three school days of this week. Mercy and Uncle.

Calvin - Sophomore.

Simon - 8th grade.

Annie - 6th grade.

Owen - 4th grade.

The little one in the yellow shirt, sitting in the stroller is going to have a pretty long year without his summer play friends.  On the plus side, all three school days were celebrated by a nice long toddler nap. 10 points to Norman!

What a blessing it is to have access to high quality education.  
Here's hoping my kids make the most of it!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Preston Out. Mic Drop.

Preston Edward Albert Smith moved out of his childhood home tonight. He is headed to UVU, a freshman in college. Classes start tomorrow, but his apartment isn't going to be available until Saturday, so he's crashing with his roommate at a relatives home. Mercy, time flies.  Lots of tears were shed as he hugged all of his siblings goodbye, and many of the tears were from my giant man cub, Preston.  The whole darn family will be meeting him at his apartment on Saturday to help him get settled/ get in his way. I'm just super duper excited for him, for the many adventures he is going to make, for the opportunities that are coming his way. We love you P.E.A.S!

Hugs goodbye. My 6 crazy pigs.

Preston turned 18 just a few weeks ago.
Here he is checking out one of his "moving away" gifts from his grandma... both sets of grandparents were thinking along the same lines:~)

His siblings saw this little gem and knew it would prove useful in college.

For his 18th birthday, we did a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood... 18 different locations, 18 clues, and 18 random photos from his childhood.

Mercy, Ryan and I were young when we had him.

The hunt ended at the Cheesecake factory where we met up with some of his friends (still missing a few pals who are now serving missions for our church.)

All his bags are packed. He's ready to go. 
Please, Preston, don't text while driving, keep the speed limit, brush and floss, be kind and adventurous, attend your classes, come home occasionally to do laundry and have a home cooked meal, pray, sing, exercise, eat breakfast, work hard, put some money regularly into savings, call/text your siblings every once in a while, call/text me more, sleep well. All my love forever,

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Smith family in AZ Mini-Reunion

It's our testament to the love that we have for our family that we were willing to travel to AZ during a crazy hot summer to visit them. It's a testament to their love of us that everyone so willingly made time to pack in so much family fun. Due to sunscreen and lots of water, when I think back on our time together, I'm filled with happy memories and not 2nd degree burns. Next time though, I vote Utah in the Winter! I know my way around a hot cocoa.

Fourth of July, our Lady lIberty!

Delicious pancake breakfast with the family. Some games after, including the ever popular game where you put the mouth thin from the dentist and try to speak a phrase. What fun.

A wee trip to the Visitors Center at the Mesa Temple.

Ryan and I were married here a little over 19 years ago. It's just as hot as I remember it. In fact, we cut pictures a little short right after the wedding bc I was feeling faint. Good times in AZ heat!

My son preparing to sink his teeth into his giant Burger.
I love the face he's making.

Grandma holding the limbo bar. And believe me, Owen could go low.

Ryan is trying to teach our youngest how to hula.

Looks like the lesson worked!

No pictures at the tubing down the Salt River adventure, but here is the "before" shot!

Norman got to play with Grandma and Grandpa during the tubing gun, but I don't think either of them minded. How lucky for my kids to have such loving grandparents. 

We had dinner at the infamous "Organ Stop Pizza." Picture a talented organist playing random tunes (mostly 1950's- 2005) whilst you eat terrible pizza. It's an epic experience!

After our Gilbert reunion, we headed to Prescott, AZ to spend some time at the Wright family cabin.
An unexpected but absolutely appreciated blessing was the thunderstorm that welcomed us into town.
I was hoping for the smell of the desert after a rainstorm; one of the things I miss the most about living away from AZ. Incredible.

We always hit this candle making shop in town where the kids like to dip their own candles. Fun.

Only $3-6, depending on what shape they choose to dup.

Norman had too much fun and just dropped where he plopped. 

Hanging out on Hot Dog Rick. That's what Ryan calls it, even though we've never eaten hot dogs there.

Checking out the Grand Canyon on our way out. It started sunny, then gloriously overcast, and then one more beautiful desert downpour.

Help back to the car. 

Instead of getting home Sunday night, we were delayed in Kanab by a flash flood. For real. Lucky for us, we pulled off the road in front of an amazing pizza place. Even luckier, the restaurant was right next door to a hotel that looked all sad and dumpy on the outside, but had clearly been beautifully remodeled on the inside. Unexpected bonus. In the morning, they delivered OJ, fresh cinnamon rolls, and greek yogurt with fruit and granola to our doors. Boom. Tasty end to a terrific AZ family vacation.