Monday, March 27, 2017

Now Available on Amazon!

Isn't this a lovely photo!  As the man of the house was heading into work, I asked him to hop out of his car for a little photo op. Instead of picking his nose all day or, as he likes to say: farting in the corner, Ryan has been working hard at work. He has been educating young adults, managing research and budgets in the College of Architecture and Planning at the U of U, and he has been authoring books. High quality, educationally sound, honest, thought provoking, stimulating, works of art. He's smiling because he is good at his job, because books take a lot of work to write and these projects are finally done, and because he can hear his youngest son calling his name. Well done Ryan. I always knew you had it in you!

Ryan Edward Smith, Associate Dean of Architecture,
Dad, Husband, Friend, Brother, Son, Baller, and Hottie. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Birthday Alert: 39 and counting!

I heard someone say that when it comes to birthdays, people need to talk about them using terms like "levels', like how you would talk about getting to the next level of a video game.  Compare: I just turned 39 years old!.... to ..... I just made it to level 39!  Really, there's a clear winner here. Level 39 it is. Even luckier is that I have a BFF who began the game on the same day, and we got to celebrate level 39 together, with our siblings and parents and spouses, the way God and nature intended. I love visiting Tucson. 10 points to Ryan for having a conference in the Old Pueblo on my birthday. He worked a little bit, and I got to play hard.

These are our high school graduation pictures. Why on earth didn't I wear something so classy?! A black V-neck. Lovely Lesley.

Ryan's conference was at the Star Pass Marriott, South West part of Tucson. 
This was the view from our room. I love Tucson, and Tucson is March is simply magical.

Birthday Breakfast at Millie's Pancake House.

My fabulous Mom got me several pre-school supplies to help me prep for my latest and greatest business venture: Little Piggies Preschool. I just love the way my mom writes my name.

We went swimming at the hotel.

This sign cracks me up. I once helped a woman get dressed a few days after she had been bitten by a rattlesnake. It was not pretty.

We felt compelled to hold hands during our birthday song. 
Sometimes life is great and it's hard to come up with a wish.

My fabulous sister even drove down to celebrate the day with us.  
I vote we all look alike.

We made that chocolate chili torte I did for a demo a few weeks ago.
I love baking with my sister!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Enchanted Feather Duster

Because the Smith Family hasn't had the chance to listen to, rehearse and watch the play Beauty and the Beast, our elementary school decided to join our High School decided to join our local playhouse, decided to join Disney movies this Spring and do Beauty and the Beast. Annie was a lucky duck and even landed the role that she was hoping for: Babette, the enchanted feather duster. The part was flirty, and flouncy, and silly, and whimsical... so Annie basically totally nailed it.  She didn't forget a line, she sang beautifully, and she got to wear heels (a costume piece that she assured me would be absolutely essential, insisting we purchase them even before the costume list came out.) With heels, a smile, and loads of feathers, she performed Babette with perfection... and the entire cast was simply darling, and the PTA volunteers who rocked putting on the play deserve mani/pedis and a plate of enchiladas.  Well done, all.

Lucky Annie. Her good friend had the role of Lumiere, so rehearsals and the performances were just a giant party. Fun.

Her Feather Duster Self.

Not a great picture of Annie, but a delightful shot of the incredible set.

An action flamingo shot.

Dancing. Darling.

Laughing. No doubt, they're supposed to be doing something else.
You know how feather dusters get when they're standing close to candlesticks...

Weds, March 15, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Talent Show for A Birthday

Norman Harold Thomas Smith turned 2 on Pie Day (3/14/15.) That was his due date, and also the day that I was induced, as we were trying to time the delivery between Ryan's chemo treatments as he was battling colon cancer.  What a spot of joy Norman Harold was during that rough patch, and now he's talking and walking and running. His sister has taught him how to "whip and nae nae" so basically, we're all very proud of Norm.  In honor of his special day, and since we hadn't done this in a while, we decided that a Family talent show was in order. We had two rules: everyone had to participate, and no person could take more than 5 minute, even if they did multiple talents. It was ridiculous, and so very fun! How grateful I am for my herd, and especially Norman on this day of pie, joy, and toddler fun!

Confessions of a tired mom: I totally bought these pies from the store. Raspberry Cream  and a chocolate silk. I can indeed make pies. Very good pies. Sometimes convenience outweighs quality. This is one of those times. Oh, the shame of a chef!

Maybe he could tell that his mother hadn't made the pies?... More likely, he was tuckered out. We did pie after the talent show, and I think he was just exhausted from watching all of his talented siblings!

We celebrated his 2nd birthday with a trip to the zoo.
He's patiently waiting to ride the merry go round. We caught it after checking out all the zoo animals.

Norman got to ride the buffalo.

A friend met us at the zoo to celebrate the big day.
He opted for the eagle.

Not too busy. Lovely weather. Loads of fun.

Happy boy opening his gifts! Many thanks to grandparents for the wonderful toys, clothes, videos, and love!

Simon did a Minecraft rap.

Ryan displayed some ball handling skills.

Owen bottle flipped. And yes, this bottle landed.

Preston and his lovely girlfriend, Abby, performed a song from Moana. Abby was the grandma; Preston was Moana. It was magically strange. Haven't seen the movie so I'm not sure if the hats have anything to do with the show...

Norman played the piano, and danced and sang, and "helped" out with many of the the other performances. Handsome!

Calvin played guitar and sang the Justin Bieber song... My mama don't like you, and she likes everyone... can't think of the name right now,

A gal pal and Annie sang a duet as well.
... And I did an interpretive dance to a song about cows... but since I was dancing, it wasn't documented.

You know you're party was a success when you wake up the following morning and rush to your toys! Happy birthday, my sweet, wonderful, caboose!

Monday, March 13, 2017


For over 6 months, Beauty and the Beast has been the focus of my oldest. Auditions were held in the summer, before school even started. Preston's passion is musical theatre, and with a lot of hard work and talent, his performance as the Beast was just excellent (yes, I am biased bc I'm his mother:~) The high school he attends is known for their epic theater arts department. They had 13 shows (I'm pretty sure...) and I attended all but two; missing one for my grandfather's funeral, and a matinee because I was hosting  a dinner party for all of the travelers that would go see the evening performance. I baked cupcakes, I packed veggie bags, I helped out a bit with concessions, and I cried at almost every show.   For all the struggles that teenage years can bring, it was incredible to witness my handsome son soar like an eagle, by growling, yelling and singing like a beast.  Beyond proud of my son, and all of the talented cast, crew, volunteers and teachers he got to work with.  Well done, all of you!


Kissing. Yes, Preston and Belle are dating. So, that happened.

Loved the sets, costumes, dancing, and script.

Tons of friends and family came to see the play. My siblings were in town for my grandfathers funeral.

Check out the costumes.

Neighborhood friend.

Neighborhood family friends.

My handsome son, dressed like a prince.

The beginning and end scenes, he had a stunt double. Fun to get the two of them pictured here.


Gal pals coming for a night of magic.

Belle in her new library.

The cast!

In the meantime...

The early months of 2017 found our family...

Doing another nail spa party. Our congregation did a silent service auction for Christmas, and Annie and I volunteered to do manicures for 4 lucky little girls.  My dear friend, her two daughters and their neighborhood friends headed over and got their nails panted, their feet massaged, and they even dipped their hands into out scented hot hand wax. It's like a hand massage and hot tub and party for your hands. Darling, and fun.

Annie is standing next to the log that hit Simon. His kind troop carved their names into it, and brought it for Simon as a trophy. I about fainted when i saw how big it was. For some reason, I was picturing a firedog, not a caber. 

Owen's Scout troop performed a play where Owen was a turkey.
I'm pretty sure it also had police, a nod to Monty Python, some aliens, and...

Dead turkeys. It was pretty incredible.
No logs in sight:~)

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Other Shoe (or Log) Drops

To be continued... now.

SO I wake up Saturday morning in lovely Tucson, AZ on our short AZ vacation... which was also a work trip for my handsome husband as he was giving a lecture at the hotel we were staying in. My twin and womb mate picked me up at my hotel and we hadn't been in the car for more than 1 minute (literally, not longer than 60 seconds) when I get a call from Weber...Valley...Hospital. My sweet, lovely son Simon had been at an overnight campout with the Boy Scouts of America*. It was a Klondike event, meaning a cold-weather/ snow campout (which sounds like fresh hell to me) but Simon thought it sounded like fun. Attended by several troops with about 100 boys in attendance. Sooo, back to Tucson and the phone call... I was informed by one of his leaders that... he had been hit in the head... by a very large log... at the log throwing contest (What?!)... and he had been standing... in an approved area.

Do the math. Words fail me. I don't think I am able to properly express how quickly a stomach can go from airy fluffy butterflies, aka joy at seeing my terrific twin (we live exactly 793 miles apart.) to the feeling one gets that your son is at a small hospital, getting a brain scan. Sooo, Ryan's lecturing so I can't get a hold of him. His Scout leader said that they debated wether to even take him in bc Simon seemed to be doing well... but thank heaven caution carried the day. By the time I heard back from the doctors etc, Ryan and I would be flying home in less than 24 hours, and the doctors were confident that he could be sent home, not even needing to remain in the hospital. The results were in: Simon would be heading home with a giant goose-egg, a massive headache, a concussion and a skull fracture. As in his skull had been struck hard enough by a log at a Boy Scout log throwing contest* that it cracked... the crack running from his goose egg to sinus his cavity.

I'm writing this about 6 weeks later, so I get to give an update about his progress. He stayed home for a week from school, and wasn't allowed to read (which killed him dead) or play on his phone. He still can't participate in any sports or his PE class, and had to take 6 weeks from his clarinet in band. He went back to school 10 days after the accident and could only handle half days, which usually ended in dizziness and headaches.  6 weeks later his headaches are mostly gone. His spirits are insanely high, because that's how Simon rolls.... When people ask me how his doing, I typically say... "he's okay, but we'll see how it's going in 6 months. Skull Fractures are a Big. Deal."

So that's what that looks like. 
I'm so grateful for the Scout leader that insisted a hospital visit was in order, and for the tender care Simon got whilst with him.

A few days later. Crazy swollen head.

A few more days later: Black eyes.

A trip to Chick-Filet was earned!
My hard and fast rule? Skull Fracture = Chick Filet

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (still in Tucson), after Simon's medical details got sorted, we went to eat at a beloved hotdog stand.
Sonoran Hotdogs: check off my bucket list.

SO doesn't that look fabulous?! Bacon wrapped hotdog, indeed.

The night was spent celebrating my Fathers Birthday! 69 trips around the sun!
We love John Albert Holman!

 * It's no well kept Lindsey secret that I have a like/hate relationship with scouts. For the most part, my boys enjoy the program. The leaders are volunteers who do their best to help the young men they work with... It's also the youth program for the boys in my congregation (ages 8-18)... and the scouts program involves more time (for both the leaders and the boys), costs more money (both for individual families and the church budget)  and gets more accolades (think monthly Court of Honor) than it's female counterpart program.... I also can't picture a female run program doing a log throwing contest... other than all that....