Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Almost Holidays...happenings in our lives

Hi, Blogging World. I'm still here. Just positively hurried and most thoughts are quotes from the kids, inspirational thoughts, or those "get off your booty and just do it" thoughts.

We are currently participating in what school age children call "drive your mother insane" week...er, I mean, Christmas Break! All is good on the home front. But I do have one child on the mend from a tonsillectomy just less than a week ago. He doing okay for the most part. We have good minutes, bad minutes. Good hours, bad hours. Daytime is usually the easiest. Nighttime is not for the faint of heart. I'm struggling. We are still on medicine dosing every 2.5-3 hours. It's the only way that he can rest...even though, he doesn't care for my waking him up to drink and take "yucky medicine". I'm so thankful for fellow mommy friends who gave me a heads up on the real time events after a tonsillectomy. Whew!!

In addition to the child on the mend, I have a 4 year old who is not great at sharing the one on one attention from her mother with her siblings. And an 8 year old vying for my full attention and more times than not getting what remains.

I did get to enjoy this afternoon. My sister volunteered to watch Kota and the princess. And Lily and I were able to go to the gym and get a little extra Christmas shopping finished. It was nice to spend that one on one attention with her. She hasn't really received the attention she needs with her brother recovering.
We hit up the Dollar Tree and purchased a few odds and ends. We tried on Santa hats and she picked out some Santa hats for her siblings. Then we did a quick run into Target for some muffin mix (in hopes that brother will eat them) and an Icee treat. Yes, Lily and I had a good time.

I remember getting one on one time with my mom. It was usually on grocery shopping trips. I loved going with her and trying to sneak one $.50 bag of candy into the shopping cart. Sometimes I could. Most times I couldn't.

So, here we are drawing closer to Christmas and the close of 2015. 2016 is so close I can taste it. I am pleased with all that has been accomplished in 2015. It's been a good year. Yes, I had knee surgery and will possibly have another procedure next week.(yikes!! but that's the joy of adulting...making difficult decisions based on insurance deductibles) I love being active and if the issues with my knee will hinder that..and it can be fixed. Let's do it! My goal this year was to come back from an ACL reconstruction and run part of a 5K in March 2016. The likelihood of that happening...the running part...are very slim. It kinda makes me sad. But I'm not 16 anymore.
 My hubby is back to running. He hasn't really run since shortly after Dakota was born. (ahem! almost 10 years ago) I am amazed at his determination and commitment. He's motivating! I love that about him. We are getting healthy and active to keep up with our kids. We want to help instill a healthy lifestyle in them as well. Making smarter eating choices and staying active.
I'm excited for 2016 and the new adventures it will hold for my husband and I...and our family.

God has given us this life to live for him. My goal is to influence and help 1 person. No, not the whole world. Just 1 person to become a better person inside and out.
Stay tuned for more fun happenings with The Smiths in 2016. ♥


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Birthday to Lilyann!

Tomorrow is Lilyann's 8th birthday!!
It just doesn't seem possible. 

 1st Birthday

 2nd Birthday
 3rd Birthday

 4th Birthday

 5th Birthday

 6th Birthday

 7th Birthday

8th Birthday

Lilyann is growing into a beautiful, kind hearted young lady.
To think back to a time when we were unsure if she would even make it to her first birthday....God has been good. 
Lilyann is our Heart Warrior. She was born with a congenital heart defect. We found out about it when we took her to the doctor because she wouldn't eat, just cry. Lilyann was 7 weeks old at the time. Our lives all changed that day. You read about the stories of similar happening to other people, but you never think it can happen to your child. Lilyann was then diagnosed with a medium to large Ventricular Septal Defect. This is a common CHD and usually can correct itself. But Lilyann's body didn't have time to heal itself. She wasn't gaining weight. She could barely stay awake during a feeding. When my husband and I decided to "just fix her heart", it was a bit of relief but also brought on a new case of nerves and anxiety. We had just given the doctors the okay to perform open heart surgery on our tiny little girl. Hard to take it...but the best decision we could have made.
At 4 1/2 months, Lilyann had open heart surgery to fix her VSD. The surgery worked!!!
We owe it all to God, the doctors, and our family n friends praying.
Lilyann is currently heart healthy ♥

God has something special in store for Miss Lilyann. I don't know what it is. But I know that He has a plan. I pray that Lilyann will continue to share His light through her kindness toward others.
Happy Birthday to my precious Lilyann! I love you dearly. You are such a beautiful young lady.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My blurb about MY Crazy Healthy Life

I originally started this blog for the sole reason to document life as a mom with 2 kids 2 and under. Then a few weeks after that, we received our daughter's heart diagnosis and I used the blog to update family and friends on her progress/surgery/recovery. 
That was almost 8 years ago.

I still post randomly on the blog to update those who still follow our life...and to share about heart checkups, etc. 

 Our Christmas pic 2012
Our Christmas pic 2014

Today, I'm posting about me. Is that allowed? I'm not a fan of putting the attention on myself...I always feel like it sets me up for a fall. But here goes.....

It's been 19 months (a little over a year and a half) since I started the journey to get healthy. I seriously can't believe I've stuck with it this long. Usually I can jump on the bandwagon for 3 months and I'm hanging on for dear life at 2 months. But this time, something clicked. I saw progress. It became a "healthy" addiction. Am I overly confident to say that "I am proud of myself"?! I love the progress that I am seeing. I feel better...I look better. I can keep up with the kiddos (on most days) and my husband jumped on board with me as well. Having a STRONG support team has made the difference in this journey. 
And yes, it's been 19 months of going to the gym at least 4 days a week. I love to take classes but I really love to just push myself and better my walking time/pace. I love to add just 5 more lbs to the strength machine and finish strong. It's crazy how your mindset changes when the progress is positive.

I love my gym. I go at the same times each day, so I tend to see the same people, same smiling faces. It's encouraging. Why? because they're there, too. They are on the same "get healthy" journey as I am. We come in all shapes and sizes. There are some wiser (meaning older) gentlemen that can walk/run faster than I can. That's motivating to me!! And the wiser ladies keeping a fast walking pace or pedaling the recumbent bike. Yes, motivating. We are all doing this ....together. Though we don't even know each other except for the occasional nod or smile. 
And my Zumba friends!!! they are THE BEST!!! I love dancing with them. I'm part of the awesome back row crew...knee brace and all. I love seeing their smiling faces. 
It helps me to keep the consistency of working out to know that I have friends there working right along with me. 
And not to forget the fabulous instructors who push you to be a better YOU. Yes! I love it!! 

My husband and I recently started the 21 day Fix by Beachbody. It's actually pretty easy to pick up on. I was so overwhelmed by reading up on it. I was thinking of all the things that I couldn't eat/drink while I was on it. But the exciting part is ALL the things you get to eat/drink. We are day 4 and I feel great! The scale is staying on the lower numbers that I LOVE to see. But it's not just about the scale...it's about learning portion control and proper food choices. My clothes are fitting not so snug.  
Now...if I could just figure out the key to getting a jump on seasonal allergies...ALL would be GREAT!! 

So...that's my "all about ME" post. If you're ever thinking about going to the gym or joining, or even just taking the step to just be healthy, I challenge YOU to DO IT!! You won't be sorry. 

Until the next posting.....do something OUT of your Comfort Zone...and as always...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life gets in the way, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Life totally gets in the way of this blog. Well, that and my computer always wanting to run a virus scan when I need to use it. Resulting in a very slow computer session that ends in my just walking away from the computer. My patience expires quickly when it comes to technology. 

As for life getting in the way....yes! that's happening, too. We've had a wedding since the last update. My hubby's cousin got married. It was a beautiful ceremony. I wish her and husband the best life ever. 
Leia was a flower girl in this wedding and she LOVED every moment of it. The getting all pretty including having her hair curled. She felt like a princess. 

Leia's the blonde ♥

This weekend is Leia's birthday as well. It seems that when October arrives, life gets incredibly busy. And this year, I foresee a busy schedule. Lots to do. Birthdays to celebrate and it's the start of the holiday season....Yamboree, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Lily's Birthday, Christmas, Hubby's birthday, and then Dakota's birthday. Not to mention all the birthdays and happenings in our extended families.

Oh..I will gladly allow life to get in the way.

If you've read this far of the posting, continue reading this next little blurb. It's about my friend's son, Zane. During all the jovial festivities of this weekend, my friend received news I'd never wish on anyone. Her son has Leukemia. He's 4 years old. A vivacious active little boy. He has a long road ahead of him with testings and treatments, but he's still smiling. The strength of my friend is encouraging. I've never been in the situation of receiving a cancer diagnosis. But I remember the day we found out my daughter's heart diagnosis. You kinda feel as if you're watching a tv show and thinking this isn't about my child. But it is. And then to hand over your child to doctors, surgeons, anethesiologists....praying that all will be okay. Knowing you are doing this to help your child. It literally takes everything in you to be strong for your child and others around you. 
Please pray for Zane and his family. Here is a link to their Facebook community page if you'd like to stay up to date on the journey of fighting Leukemia.
pic credit to Zane's mom

Until the next post.... #prayforZane

Monday, September 14, 2015

Soccer has started!!

School has started here in the Smith household. Actually, they are starting week 4 of school....the big kids, that is.
They are loving their teachers and really enjoying making friends with their classmates. Lily (the middle child) is excited about getting to eat a snack in class each day...haha!! Oh, the fun of being a 2nd grader. That's what she thinks 2nd grade is all about. Really, it's because her class has an early lunch time, so they need that "snack time" to get through the day. :) Yes, I'm the practical thinker. Dakota has a friend from last soccer season in his class..and a friend from church (who also rides home with us each day...yay!!).
Leia is loving the big kids being at school all day. She's getting mommy to herself. She also LOVES going to her "class". It's the time at the gym daycare while I get my exercising completed. Woot! She's made lots of friends, too. My little social butterfly.
In addition to school starting, the Fall Soccer season has started. I'm loving the team this year. We have a full team and a great coach...not to mention the cute assistant coach ;) (don't worry, it's my husband..haha) The first game was on Saturday and They WON!!! Dakota was super excited about that....as was I.

The season is starting to slowly change. We are getting little teases of Fall.....my favorite season.

Kids are doing great in school...so far, it's all reviewing. So no bumps in the road.....yet.

I thought the blog needed a little update. I always have so many thoughts of things to share...when I'm not near the computer. (isn't that how it usually goes?!) Now, I'm here and my thoughts/ideas have gone to that part of my brain to be thought about probably around midnight tonight when I need to be sleeping. That's how the Mommy brain works.

Until we meet again...

Monday, August 17, 2015


I have blogger's block.
Crazy. I have finally have time to actually sit down and post something here and my thoughts have finally slowed down...to a HALT.
Go figure!
Until then...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our summer vacation.....finally

I'm thinking this blog could be moving to monthly postings. Life is rather busy these days and it's summer time. I'm sure it will slow down a bit whenever the big kids are back in school. But for now, I'll try to give you the short version of the last month's happenings.

Let's see....at the last posting, I was calmly slightly dramatic telling myself that I truly love my children. Haha. I know the summer was getting to us all. We were ready for vacation and we still had a few weeks to go. 

I went for my 5month/20 week physical therapy appointment. Guess what?!?! my PT released me and gave me the okay to start running again. (I started running a little here and there last week..week 23...after we got back from vacation) So, that's some good news! Yaay!! I'm realizing now that having my ACL fixed is probably the best decision I've made having to do with my health. Knowing where I was and now where I am....I AM STRONG! (excerpt from a Zumba song!!)

On our vacation, we took a small detour and spent a couple of days in the St Louis area. Thanks to a good friend's suggestion :) We visited Grant's Farm. Very cool!! Lots of animals to see, and feed. Shows to educate and awe. (we saw one show with birds, a hedgehog, porcupine, and 2 rats) Carousel rides ($2 each rider) and delicious food as well as spontaneous dance parties at the food court. Admission was FREE!! (I LOVE FREE!!) Parking was $12 a vehicle. So, not a bad trip at all.  
We later went downtown to see the Arch. We saw it from a distance, but we did walk downtown and took in the sights. A cute city park with art to see, and fountains to play in. Grassy areas for the kids to play and plenty of doggies for the girls to pet. And we even used our first parking meter. Did you know that they take debit/credit cards?!?!? haha I guess I'm not much of a city girl because that's something new for me.

We finally made it to Michigan!!!
Our plans were to meet up with my brother and his family and vacation in their home state. And some of my sisters met up with us as well. Let me tell you...Michigan is BEAUTIFUL!!! I would love to visit there again. There is still so much to see. We visited Saginaw area. Our lodging was perfect. The kids were excited because we had a POOL!! yes, the pool at each hotel was the highlight of our vacation. 

This pool where we had our longest stay was indoor outdoor. You could swim under the window and to the outside or inside. The kids LOVED this pool. And the weather was perfect while we were there. Once all my siblings met up, we headed out to the "top of the mitt"...driving along the coastal areas. We had a delicious lunch at a local pizzeria and took in a few lighthouses. 

 My sister pumping some water to wash hands at a roadside rest stop
 My siblings and I....3 were missing from this trip

 Lily looks a little excited to see Dakota like this...haha! siblings

We also visited Mackinac Island. A fun ferry ride. And then an 8 mile bicycle ride around the island. I'm so proud of all my family that finished the whole bike ride. It was a doozy. But we DID it!! So proud.

Thought it was neat, we rode on Arnold Ferry....my dad's name :) Cool

 My little family on Mackinac Island ♥

 We had lunch at the Yankee Rebel restaurant on the Island. Delicious 

 Lily was hooked onto Jed's bike. She was a little nervous bike this way for most of the bike ride.

 Some of our bicycle group!!

It was a great trip. But I'm so glad to be home. I love getting away from it all. But the comfort of home almost ALWAYS wins.
So, for all of those who've read this posting to thus far...sorry, if it comes across as preoccupied/choppy. I've been up and down almost a gazillion times dealing with Miss Leia. Apparently, when mommy sits that's when everything else needs to be done for her.
Oy Vay! They say I'll miss this one day. Well, I must have tired mommy goggles on...because I'm not seeing that right now. I just need 5 minutes....


Friday, June 19, 2015

Presenting... "Mom"

I positively love my children. Yes, I have to convince myself of that on some days. Summer time makes me realize how underpaid teachers really are. I know...." love your children. You only have a few years with them." I hear this constantly. And I DO love them. Even when they are having their battle of who can stick out their tongue at each other the most...without Mom seeing. Or when they have the whole "I'm-not-touching-you" game in the van while I'm in a drive thru picking up lunch because I'm positively exhausted. All the while, the youngest is crying because I didn't say "french fries" when I ordered her meal and she thinks that she is stuck just eating chicken nuggets.  (insert eye roll here) It doesn't matter how many times I tell her "When mommy says MEAL that includes french fries." Oh, the drama.

Oh, these glorious children. They know when it's a rough day, the oldest suggests I have another cup of coffee. Haha. One thing I can say for sure, we've been active. Out and about almost everyday....even if it's just to the store or the park. Earlier this week, it was to the gym each morning. Due to the rainy weather from Tropical Storm Bill (did it turn into a tropical storm?? I don't watch the news as often since the kids are home) 

So, The reason for this posting is something I hear quite often. I know it's all said in jest, but ya know.....

I am no Super MOM
I mean, seriously, have you seen me in tights?!?! and a cape?!?!  Totally unflattering. Hahahaha

But no, I can't claim that title. Yes, it seems as if I do a lot of things with my children and of course you see my posts on Facebook or Instagram. Lots of pictures. I LOVE pictures. (I do this for my family who lives far away...a great way to keep in touch) I love capturing all the fun times with my kids. I have tons of memories growing up, but few pictures. Way back then, it wasn't a big deal to always have the camera out. If you had pictures, it was more from studio sessions at Olan Mills. I want my kids to have pictures to look back on to help them remember all the fun times they had. So, yes, in a social media aspect, my kids have the best life. And in reality, they truly do. Oh, they may think that my having them do chores, read their books, and help me do things around house are THE WORST EVER. But they do them to get their electronic and/or fun privileges. Yes, we go to the park A LOT! Always at the park it seems. But we don't have a driveway compatible to scooter riding and we live on a busier street. That's our reason for the constant park days. And this can come back to bite me on those days and days of rain. The kids get cabin fever pretty fast.

I know, there's no reason to justify my actions. I'm a mom. Most of my readers are moms. We're trying to stay on top of normal housewife duties on top of entertaining, refereeing, chauffeuring, and loving our small ones. We are ALL "Mom enough" for our children. So, before you feel inferior to other moms, turn and look at your children. You see that smile on their faces. The look of contentment, that all is right in their little world (excuse this if your child is currently throwing a tantrum refusing nap time, etc......I'm dealing with one right now, too). That right there is what proves you are a GREAT Mom. Exactly the Mommy that your kiddos need. They love you more than that sippy cup of chocolate milk they've been whining about all morning. Believe me. :)

While my big kids are finishing up their happy meals and playing their games (yes, I buy them fast food), I'll bask in the quietness until the youngest realizes she's not going to take the nap that she desperately needs. But her standing at her door, whispering "I love you, Momma" kinda makes this mothering thing all worthwhile. 
The job never ends....I'm off to check on something the youngest is now calling "poopoo finger". Oh Joy (insert another eyeroll)


Friday, June 12, 2015

Drawing a blank????

That moment you're all pumped up to post on the blog.....
Then, you sit down and your mind goes blank. Your body shifts into near comatose state and your hands become so heavy even typing out these few works feel like a major cardio workout for your fingers.

Can you tell it's Friday??????

I'm ready for the Weekend. Ready to relax and hand the reins over to my dear husband. 
One good thing, the girls slept in this morning....til 8:30!!!! It's been the crack of dawn rising every other day this week. I was thankful for that extra hour or so.

My girls....crazy are they. (haha, Yoda talk there)
Their conversation in the van last night was all about when they are older. The fun they'll get to have.
"ya know, when I'm older like Mom. I get to ride in the front seat and drink coffee."
Oh, they have A LOT to look forward to. Apparently, that's life as a mommy.

Here's a few pictures from today....we're getting our money's worth from this pool. 

 I walked outside to check on the kids. You see, while they're occupied, I clean up the kitchen, etc.

 This was taken through the kitchen window. She saw me with the camera and of course, had to pose. Love her ♥

relaxing in the pool... Summer fun

yes, I try to keep the kids busy during the summer. Each day, we're doing something, anything. I want them to have to the same if not similar summers that I had growing up. Mom would usually send me and my siblings outside to play. Of course, we had to do our chores first. Because if we didn't, it was a mad rush to do them before Little House on the Prairie came on at 4 pm each afternoon. No chores done= no watching TV. That was the rules.
But back to creating summer memories....
We'd play outside. We did everything from play war (battle from tree house to tree house), dug tunnels, acrobats off the chain swing (originally used to pull the engine out of a vehicle), pick weeds and grind them down to make our own "Feed n Seed store". We'd build "huts" in the woods. You see, we grew up at a motel. My parents ran the motel. We played on the property....large property that once held an orange grove (before one those freezes of ____ that destroyed it all....it was Florida, of course.)
Yes, we had a fabulous life growing up. There was no limit to our imagination. We could be anything, do anything. I LOVED it!! I want my kids to experience the same. 
The biggest struggle with not having the same is the widespread technology use. I'm attached to it. Almost everyone is. It's hard not to do things in this day and age without some sort of technology. So, for us, we limit it. Let's try to do it ourselves first...then ask Google. Lol Gone are the days of researching a subject with an encyclopedia. I used to love those books. I wonder if Mom still has a set of Encyclopedias at the house?????

Wow...was that a rabbit trail or what?!?!
And to think I'd drawn a blank on what to post. Oh glorious mind! 

Summertime and swimming in barrels...I'll have to tell you about that another time. Yes, I had a great life growing up. Summertime was fun time. Memories <3 p="">

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer break is here

It's Summer break!!! And so far *knock on wood*, it's going good.

We're kinda on a schedule. The big kids are still waking up at the crack of dawn but considerate enough to just play together than to wake up the whole house. I'm enjoying not having an alarm clock to contend with...except on the mornings we have plans to attend a gym class.

Kids are adapting well. That first week or so is a change. A change of schedule, personal space, order, etc. Leia is getting used to not having Mommy ALL to herself ALL day Long. And the big kids are getting used to our "fly by the seat of your pants" schedule. Well, it's not really that lax. We get up, have breakfast, go for a walk or to the park....you see, the heat is getting to the unbearable status now. After "40 days and nights" of constant rain, we're just not used to all the sunshine. haha! but we're adapting.

Our afternoons consist of "quiet time". This can be anything from movies to playing games on the TV. The big kids usually chose Minecraft on their tablets. Leia and I watch a movie together. Today, we're watching Brother Bear2. I don't think Leia's ever actually watched it...because she's glued. Which gives me the time to write this blog post. (YAY!!) I have implemented something new this summer break. The kids have to read (even Leia) for a certain amount of time each day before their electronic privilege is earned. 2 days into it and we're having success. Leia has been "reading" the same Dinosaur chapter book so far. But she's making up her own words to the store...and giggling a lot. Love the giggles♥ 

Dakota's (our oldest) is doing soccer camp this week. It's in the evening which is good. Not too terribly hot. He was awarded most improved with dribbling last night!! Pretty proud of him with this being his first active season of soccer. 

Lily (our middle child) is just loving life. She enjoys scootering at the park. I borrowed Dakota's scooter and raced her today. She won. Momma needs to get with the program, haha. 
Leia (our youngest) is having her moments. Terrible 3's are rearing their head again. But I think that's just her way of adapting to "sharing" her mommy. We're working on this together. She is enjoying that the pool is now out of the box. Even if she does have to share it with the big kids. oh, this child!!

Jed n I just celebrated our 11th anniversary. I'll be bold enough to say that sometimes it seems like just yesterday he was asking me out. And other times, I'm thinking "it's literally been FOREVER!!!" haha 

Well, the movie is over. So, now I'm being beckoned for this and that. Until I sit down and post again.....
keep stepping (fitbit humor) and drink your water.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Live your life and Forget your age

I'm another year older since my last blog post. Crazy! Time flies when you're having fun. I really don't feel any older...they say that's a state of mind. If I keep this up, in the silver years they'll have me committed....haha
But no, I don't feel older...just tired. Keeping up with the kiddos, husband, and just life...that has my attention and energy. 
We are full swing into that last 6 weeks of school. The kids' report cards sported all A's!!! YAY!! I'm so proud of how the big kids are doing in school. They have some fabulous teachers again this year. Dakota and Lily both are reading a grade ahead already. As long as we keep up the reading this summer, they can start off the new school year with an advantage. They are doing the "Texas Reads One Book"....Lily is reading The World According to Humphrey. And Dakota is reading The Cricket in Times Square.
 I love that the kids are enjoying this reading project. Technology seems to overtake our lives rather aggressively. No, I'm not against it. I'm using it right now. My youngest is watching a movie from the DVR and I'm using the laptop. I love social networking!! #awesome

I was all gung ho on my rabbit trails of life and then my phone rang. Lost my train of thought...which doesn't take much to get me off track. haaa! see what I did there?!

This is the person who called me...my fabulous husband...only to ask if I had mowed the backyard. Haha!! Apparently he thinks that I'd drag out the lawnmower just to snap a picture for Instagram!! Craziness. I did it for the steps. Fitbit addict, I know. But hey! it motivates me each day to get those steps in. And mowing the backyard helped me reach my goal by lunchtime!! (well, shortly after 12)  I'm hoping that staying active keeps me young. :) I'll try my dead-level best to stay as active as I can. I gotta keep up with the kiddos. 
Leia enjoyed my yard work time. She got to play with the water hose. So much fun.

 backyard finished

So...until the next time, Live your life and forget your age.