We LOVED seeing our NC friends. Lexi & Brooklyn's love wained some (does anyone else love the "mine" word as much as we do?), but we were impressed with how far their relationship had grown. I'm not sure how we lucked out with such great friends, but perhaps we owe it to visiting teaching. I didn't take a lot of pictures that weren't revolved around baby Grant, but here are the select few that I guess will have to last a few years any way. They grow up so quickly. I'm grateful I was able to take a break and go back in time sort of speak. Good ole NC, I didn't think I'd be back so quickly, but how I do love the green and people like the Harlines. Again, I'd never do a two week vacation for anyone else. Please come to UT soon. Maybe I'll have a baby and return the favor ;)

Gosh she wants to be a big sister so bad. I hate waiting.


Coming Back to NC

No one likes getting to the airport. I hate saying goodbye and Mr Smith can always guess I'll tear up as soon as the words come out. We had A TON of stuff to maneuver through security, but we figured it out. The first flight to Dallas involved her being a wiggly lap child, but at least she didn't try and get down or climb over others. We rotated through 5 minutes of entertainment at a time. For the second flight, we ended up next to a couple of metal rockers who were finishing up a tour - Killer Dwarfs. Very friendly and supportive of my sleep deprived toddler, but luckily she was snoozing once the plane took off and watched a few 10 min promo videos on the Kindle before landing in Charlotte. We made it. Mrs Harriett picked us up and I remembered how much I loved the people of Hickory.

I didn't really think I'd ever be back here, at least not for awhile. Plane tickets aren't cheap and we peaced out in a rush 7 months ago.  I have bittersweet memories of this state, but mostly sweet. Alexis was born there. My parents live near here. And so does one of my best friends. Plus, I just love the beautiful green trees. I miss those trees. Luckily, my bff gave me an opportunity to visit with the hopes of taking lots of beautiful photos as their newborn baby makes his entrance. She has two other kids and an extra pair of hands is hopefully helpful. Thanks husbands, for working so hard. But being 9 months pregnant isn't easy! The grandparents get to have fun with Alexis too. She is at the best age.

I can't really edit photos until I get home, but I have to give a sneak peak of this radiant lady!


Toddlers & Overalls

I feel like the photos explain it all. Alexis & her cousin, Maren, in overalls.



I recommend Chatbooks

I did the Instagram Series. But the Chatbook Series is coming soon and looks perfect for grandma or non-Instagram pictures.

It's an app that automatically takes photos and puts them in a cute little book for $6, free shipping. If you want an extra copy of that book, just pay $3 for shipping.

They printed out great. I've started a collection of 4 books to begin (that's probably removing half of what I've posted to Instagram which is scary). You can remove pictures you don't want included and they ship for free for each new book purchase. 6X6 book; 60 photos each book, you can choose which picture goes on the cover, each page has a picture and you can choose to edit or remove the date, location & captions. The outside spine lists the dates from the first picture to the last. Just splendid! But these are great to keep on a shelf while the kids are young and some as coffee table items when the kids can't ruin them (or if you make one specific for the kids to read… I am not willing to give up any of my volumes to sticky fingers). The kicker is just to instagram some awesome photos so that you can keep a simple yearbook that prints out beautifully. Simple & beautiful. Do it - how can you not when the first one is free and you can cancel the subscription any time? 

The easiest way to teach is to chastise, but it is probably the least effective

I had that thought come to me as I was heading to bed one night so I wrote it down: "the easiest way to teach is to chastise, but it is probably least effective" - and honestly - I feel like that explains it all. I know I could afford to be a little more positive. I realized it had been awhile since I took Lexi out with my non-phone camera. So here she is in all her glory a month before her 2nd birthday. She is funny, a perfect mix of pearls and nature. And like all 2 year olds, she refused to look at the camera. Honestly, it's hard to stop kissing those cheeks. I just love this little trouble maker so much.


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