Monday, June 27, 2016

A Peek into My Childhood

I grew up in a wonderful family full of siblings. I am #7 of 8 children. The youngest daughter.
I love my childhood....full of memories. There was never a dull moment.
My earliest memory is trying to help my brother fix his bike and I ended up sticking my finger in the spokes of a spinning rear wheel. I had to be 3 or younger...because we were still in Georgia.
After that, my memories jump to my birthday in Florida. I remember receiving a Velcro wallet and inside were 4 quarters. I thought I was the richest person. In my mind I was. The bank still had gum ball machine that took pennies!!! Whaaaaa!! Yes, those were the good old days.

Today, while I watched my kiddos frolic in the lake, I was thinking of the different things I did growing up. No, we didn't go to the lake on a whim...or even run by a park. We woke up, did our chores, helped Mom with anything extra, and then went outside and played. We drank from the water hose when we were thirsty. We built tree forts. We played Cowboys and Indians, good guys and bad guys. We made our own slip n slide....only if we could find a tarp or piece of plastic. We even made our own pool. But before we ventured into the pool making business, we filled up these metal barrels that dad had in our back yard. Once filled up, we would jump into them. Only 1 or 2 kids would fit...but we made it work. We had contest on how long we could hold our breath under water.
And if the water got dumped out, we had to improvise. You see, we had well water and we couldn't run it dry. So, we would turn the barrel on it's side and see how long we could "walk the barrel". I'm truly surprised that we didn't ALL have broken bones  each summer. We were daredevils.
We would swing from vines...until they broke loose. Climbing trees was the BEST fun ever. We would play and play until we heard the infamous clapping hands. No, dad and mom never called us in for dinner. They just stepped outside and clapped their hands.
We didn't have a typical backyard. We had an orange grove on our property. So, plenty of room to run and play. We played from sun up to sun down (as long as chores were complete)

Yes, I had a pretty incredible childhood. I want my kiddos to have the same if not better.
No, I don't have an orange grove for them to play in...but I do have the outdoors. I live in East Texas. We have trees, lakes, parks, the list goes on........

So...that there was just a peek into my childhood.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Spring, Folks!

Everything is turning green again. We've had plenty of rain this month already. And more to come.
Soccer season is in full swing...Life is pretty exciting.

 Soccer for FCPhoenix Spring 2016

Lily getting in some practice

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break 2016

That lovely e-card popped up in my news feed on the first day of Spring Break. I was bound and determined to make this spring break a fun one....even with all the rain and indoor activities. Yes, I was close to physical and emotional exhaustion by the time Friday evening arrived. But I'd like to think that my kids made some unbelievable memories last week.

If anything, they'll appreciate the rain more...because it means puddle jumping time. And savor the sunshiny days.
Enjoy all the pictures.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy 2016!!

And here we are....1 week into the new year! 
It was 8 years ago this month that I started my blog. It was started with intentions of leaving a digital journal of the day to day happenings, the silly things my kiddos say, and our fun adventures. It was also 8 years ago this month that we found out about our middle daughter's heart condition. Wow! 8 years ago. A lot of changed in 8 years. 

We didn't take many family photos way back. This was from Christmas 2008

Current family photo. Nov 2015

Let's see.....
Dakota is turning double digits this month. Yikes!! I'll have a 10 year old in the next few weeks. He's starting his 2nd Spring season of Soccer soon. And he still loves video games...currently Disney Infinity.
Lilyann is now 8 years old and heart healthy. She is quite the little artist and reader. She's a strong times, stubborn. But I'll chalk that up to her being such a fighter from an early age ♥ 
Leia is our Vivacious 4 year old. If she doesn't do something in entertainment when she's older, I'll be shocked. She's a performer. Dream Big, sweet Leia! 
Jed (husband) is working for Safety Kleen as a sales representative. He's currently training for marathons. His resilience and determination inspire me to be a better wife, mom, and person in general. He truly is amazing!! Oh, he was a go-getter 8 years ago....but even more so, now. 
Me (wife, mom, author of this blog)... I'm amazed at where I am 8 years later. Never would I have ever imagined I'd be an active mom of 3 wonderful children. 8 years ago I was balancing life with 2 kids under 2. Wow! life is truly incredible. This year, I'm wife, mom, part time photographer, and brand spanking new Beachbody Coach. TeamSmiths 
I'm truly excited to see the results in others from being a beachbody coach. I love rooting people on to bigger and better things. My husband and I started our on our Healthy journey almost 2 years ago. We purchased a year gym membership and cut out soda. Yikes! that was insane for a couple of weeks...okay, months. As we continued with our fitness journey, we started tracking our food intake with myfitnesspal . I look back on that time that I was a "newbie" at the gym. Just going because I needed 30 minutes of Me time from my kiddos. Now, I actually look forward to going...and not just for the Me time. I feel Positive. Empowered. Ready to take on the world....after a session at the gym. My all time favorite is Zumba class. It took forever to take the plunge and do "just one class". But thanks to my friend who said "if you do it, I'll do it." We did that for a few classes... Piyo, Body Pump, Body Combo, Zumba Step. I'm so glad WE did join that one class. I've made so many friends (Shout out to my back row friends!!!) 
Now, I'm greeted with smiles and hellos. It's actually uplifting to step into the gym. I don't dread it.
I hope I can be that smile, that encourage the "newbie" on their journey to a happy healthier life. 

Wow....8 years....and life is truly amazing. We've had ups.... vacations, weight loss, raises, birthdays, celebrations, happy and healthy. And downs....heart surgery, bills, bad health,  tonsillectomy, knee surgeries, more bills. But wow!! what an incredible time. If anything the struggles have forced us to rely on God, to get healthy, and to be thankful for what we have.