Dads Are So So Important

Dear Daddy, we wanted to bring you breakfast in bed to tell you thank you for being so awesome. We are so glad you are in our lives. Dads are so so important. And I know you like berries, eggs & toast. Me too - that's why I helped you eat some. Thanks for always coming home with arms open wide. I love your kisses and hugs. I love that you will give me your attention and energy as you chase me around the house. Thanks for wanting the best for me. Thanks for working so hard to make me comfortable. Thanks for pushing me to be my best self. Mommys' just aren't the same without daddy around, so thank you. - Lexi (she told me all this verbadem) 

PS - I hope you enjoyed that extra hour of sleep. They won't happen often.



Getting Settled and Making Messes

Just so you know, I'm waiting for 1,600+ photos to download into my blog books. I don't really want to admit that because Mr Smith will use that as leverage to say we have enough photos (absurd!), but I just want to realize that to me that represents a lot of happy memories to remember and moments that were enjoyed. Most of those don't have me in them, which is why Mr Smith needs to realize we can't stop taking pictures. I haven't looked good in a picture in a few years. People wonder what age will be "prime" in heaven and I'm really hoping for like 22.

Any way, life is settling. There are a few home items that keep getting shoved off because they are not critical - such as installing the paper towel holder under the cabinet or cleaning out the laundry room cabinets, the last two boxes of who-knows-what or re-painting the pathetic walls the previous tenants failed at, but I still feel pretty lucky to have found this temporary home. A swamp cooler is the only thing I'm having to get used to and perhaps this interesting neighborhood.

We gave our new-to-the-ward talks, the ones where I just skipped right past any formal introduction and just went straight to the study-your-scriptures doctrine. I just got asked to meet with the Bishop this Sunday so I guess a calling is on the rise.

We joined a gym for the first time! It's actually the Provo rec center. Eric gets half of it paid for as a perk of his employment so we decided to commit and step up our active life style. Mine has been pretty nonexistent for quite some time so it's lovely being able to attend classes. I enjoy a morning Pilates class and I just suck it up and hope Alexis will be ok in daycare. I'm trying to get enthused by evening classes while she sleeps. Mr Smith said he only got it for the racquetball courts, but we have also enjoyed their water areas with Lexi.

Utah is still a weird reality at times, but it's beginning to feel like home. I enjoy my part-time work and although I stress less about who is watching Lexi now, I still worry I'm not doing all I can for her. Am I loving her enough in the day? Am I teaching her enough in the day? I see some moms get super creative and I'd be lucky to have the energy just to re-create their examples. Alexis has officially worried me with the terrible 2s. I'm not sure we will both make it to her 3rd birthday. She just has a ton more energy, strength & mostly attitude. It probably doesn't help that she has been sick the past 2 weeks and I worry now we should have taken her to get checked out, but that's always the debate - is there anything we can really do? I just need to start reading the discipline or "how to communicate with a toddler" books daily, because it's hard to stay focused when sometimes all I want to do is scream. She doesn't scream or even cry for long, but boy can she whine and pitch a fit every 2 seconds! Spoiled and entitled - she thinks. And they get into everything! It's impossible to keep everything out of reach once they learn how to pull up a chair. Her messes as of late have been the ink pen, my makeup & her sunscreen. I do love her to pieces and we swap kisses a million times a day, but it's hard. Have mercy parenting requires patience and a lot of energy over and over again. I know I've said that before. But I'm being constantly reminded.



Losing a Dream Yet Hoping in Spring

*I wasn't sure when to write this. much time has past now. I just felt like I should write this*

It was on a Sunday when I found out I was pregnant, for the second time. I had been off birth control for many months before I finally saw that second pink line. I was thrilled. Mr Smith was thrilled. The line was so faint. It didn't appear right away and I was deflated, but then after 30 seconds I thought maybe my eyes were deceiving me, that I really did just want an excuse to end my fast early, so I called Mr Smith in and we both smiled. Finally. Finally. We're going to have another child.

I wrote out a blog post with those words and a few others to save for the day we would make it official. But that day never came.

Honestly, the excitement only lasted for three days. In those three days, we bought a Big Sister shirt, talked about adjustment, how & when we would tell, and just smiled, which doesn't happen as often as it should these days. It was still surreal. Mr Smith would have to remind me at times.

We have thought I was pregnant before since I haven't been consistent post-delivery, but my hormones had nothing else to blame but my own mental and emotional insanity. For Mr Smith's sake, he was glad we finally had a reason for my heightened emotional state, all reasonable mind you, just heightened and difficult to hide. He felt he had been "more wrong than normal" although I'm not sure what he is talking about. For me, the period never came, that's all. I typically would wait (I was tired of getting my hopes up) so that I didn't waste a test (even though they cost $1), but I didn't want to fast too long if I was indeed pregnant - selfish really. I was a week late (which again wasn't surprising due to my postpartum body). I estimated I was three weeks along, although the doctors would call it week five. The heartbeat should have been forming then. But I started bleeding three days later and it didn't lighten up. I cramped and had pelvic pressure, stomach & back aches. They call it a chemical pregnancy.

just so I don't forget.

I understand my loss was early on. It would have been harder if I had more than three days to daydream, but I now understand that even one day of knowing life is growing inside you - the possibility of growing your family is such an amazing feeling - creates a bond that can crush the soul when that idea is gone. Some say it didn't begin proper development to be called life. Maybe I am more saddened by the loss of a dream than anything. The wait is hard, especially when you aren't sure how long you will have to wait. But that has been my life story as of late, be patient, wait a little longer, the light will come. The day we were uprooted is the day I recognized some reason to the wait. We don't always see the end from the beginning.

People expect a snowball effect of children once you get married, but sometimes God has a different plan. I'm not sure how much He controls vs letting us figure out life and use our own agency, but I think He cares significantly about our righteous desires and especially about His children entering the world. So my wait, and perhaps your wait, is more for us.  Sometimes life is just confusing. I accept disappointment, but it doesn't mean I don't cry over it. It doesn't mean I keep it to myself. I don't want attention (most of the time that is worse. writing it out is my release), for I know my situation isn't unique. Sometimes it is just nice to know you aren't alone. You just need someone there to pick you back up and tell you to keep hoping, that it will be alright (someone you trust that is).

I probably won't laugh about jokes regarding more children; it is easy to just make a side comment; I've made them, but in the heat of the heartache, it can be hard to hold back tears. But if you read this, just understand that we all fight silent battles of heartache. And only Christ knows because He is the ONLY person who felt your pain. The only reason I had peace & hope that day was because of the temple. I know it will be hard, that sometimes hail pounds on the doorstep, but I trust Spring will come. And I'm grateful Mr Smith is there to hold my hand.


My Love Letter to Mr Smith

I asked for a love letter and then love note (less intensity) for my birthday (trying to think of all the things I'd love that don't cost any money), but it's hard for him to express feelings in words. He hates feelings almost as much as I love them. Back in our dating days it wasn't so tough, but that's why it's important to write things down and save little things like that - later on - they become big things. And just like all the back massages, you have to make the last one last… So touché Mr Smith. 

Any way, this is exactly opposite of what he would like for his birthday, but I'm going to do it any way in memory of mine. He loves it when I make those decisions. These aren't the pictures that I wanted to go along with it; you know, that picture in my head that met failed hopes, but they're still cute and remind me of what matters most.

Dear Mr Smith

You matter most to me. Well, you combined with Lexi make up my little world here on this earth. And that world means everything to me. It's hard to remember life without you. I live and breathe you and her. I should get out a little more, but at the end of the day you are all I want to see. I would not forgo any daydream for the reality of us. I'm grateful for every day you stay by my side, the days you listen to the highs and the lows. I appreciate your perspective and your wisdom, not always, but most of the time! If something good happens (lets be honest anytime anything happens) you're the first person I want to share it with. Aren't you lucky! I think that means I really love you? But we don't have to quantify it, just know it exists in more ways than even I can express. Life hasn't gone exactly according to my plan, but God gave me you and our little girl and for that I must be the most grateful. You are my strength here on earth and I'm not sure I could make it without my best friend! Please keep loving me through the nags and the assumed reactions; at the end of the day, all I want is to make you happy (and for you to understand my side of things, ha).

I know we will make it till the end of times, perhaps on our knees or bickering in wheelchairs, but we will make it. You'll drive me crazy enough to keep me alive and I'll make you hold my hand until I die. And it's nice to know, it won't end. Please keep pushing me to be my better self so that I will one day deserve our happily ever after. Thanks for the journey. Let's continue to make it a good ride.

Ardently yours, 

Turning 2 & 27

I thought I would just combine our birthdays since they are only 1 month apart and we celebrated them just about equally (about as low key as you can get). I probably would have done something more, but under the circumstances of being at grandma's, moving & the fact that she won't remember, we just sang to her and ate her cake. She loved being sung to as you can see and she did pretty good with the candle too. Hello toddlerhood!

I mostly only ever talk about her so I think we can officially state she is perfectly sassy, empathetic, loving, goofy, outdoorsy, inquisitive, intelligent & brave. She has my whole heart and I love all her quirks. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever learn patience with the whininess, messes, and flat out disregard for authority, but that's just a small part of parenthood. Her word bank is still getting bigger and she is improving on her sentences - it sounds like broken English that up until now only I could really interpret. I don't think I'm qualified enough to be her mother, but I'm definitely honored to watch her learn and grow.

I decided to make some cupcakes for my birthday with an expired package and scratch frosting. They were delicious if you had a glass of milk (ended up super thick, is that what the egg whites do?). She helped. It's another one of her latest most favorite things to do - pull up a chair and "lexi help mama" and she discovered what licking the spoon means, of course.

 We went to Denny's for breakfast for a free grand slam and Firehouse subs for a free sub lunch. Not a bad way to not cook or clean for your birthday! And how could I not be happy with that girl next to me?! Her singing me happy birthday was the best. Dad hung some photos I wanted on the walls and we tried to get some sunset photos that didn't end up working out. One day I'll get them I swear, but I'll post the two non-sunset shots we did get later.

I told Mr Smith months ago that all I wanted for my birthday was my own home, so we got that far. 

And to top it all off, I ended up being a year younger than I thought. Several months ago I started saying I was 27 and I think I just got used to that idea and by the time my birthday actually came, I thought I was moving up! Thank goodness I still have another year of my youth. I also suck at math.

PS - Connie Smith made both our birthday cakes. I liked mine best: angel food cake, vanilla pudding (need I say more) and cherry pie filling. Thanks grandma!


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