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.



So life is still going really great except that I want all my things back. You heard me; I'm a materialistic girl. When I want to wear shorts in March, I want the option - instead I'm thinking how they are pilled head deep in boxes, tubs, or wherever my husband packed them (in reality I think they are all still too big for me). I want to take out everything and make a space for it. I love unpacking, minus organizing all the clothes. I just want to move on. I'm not sure how other cultures do it. I know it's a first-world, American problem. I'll salute the flag and demand my own home as part of the American dream. This says nothing on how Grandma Smith governs her home; she allows us to need nothing, but alas I know she wants her home back too. And that's that folks. I told Mr husband that I want my own home for my birthday. I know he wasn't planning on getting me anything else. Can you believe I'll be 27!? d.y.i.n.g because that means Lexi will be T.W.O

#thecountdownison #missionfindmrssmithherownhome

In the meantime, I'm gearing up for a two week trip back to Hickory NC to help one of my bestest friends bring her third child home.  It'll be great to go back down memory lane and enjoy some of my well missed favorites namely Wild Wok sushi rolls & Nara's teriyaki chicken. I also can't wait to take way too many pictures of the new little guy. It is a little crazy to think I wanted to get pregnant at the same time as her, and now she is just a few weeks from her due date! Lets just hope life goes according to plan when it comes to keeping baby on our schedule for the trip…and keeping all the other stars in alignment.

Our last home . . . the yard looked 20xs better when we moved out


The Day of Two Showers

So winter is killing us surely but slowly. For awhile life is peachy, but germs don't keep away forever.

Ms Lexi was fussing at 3AM one morning and although it wasn't getting too loud, it wasn't waining. Mr Smith was sleeping through it like usual. I stood in the doorway to give her a few moments, but decided I wouldn't wait until she woke the rest of the house. I walked in and saw her standing, but with her head lying on the side of the packnplay. I picked her up and then quickly realized she reeked of, well, crap. Although now I know it as acidic hamburger & cheese. And I was like oh darn she crapped her pants in the night. And then I saw her pillows in the dark. OH MY FREAK POO IS EVERYWHERE. So then I decided to let Mr Smith sleep no longer. I told him to get up she crapped out while fussing at him not to let her touch anything, but really she just wanted daddy to pick her back up since she was still half asleep. So then she screams because then I realize IT'S ALL OVER ME and neither one of us really want to touch her. But we take her top off since it was noticeably all over her sweater and then Mr Smith checks her pants and we're like weird, they seem dry. OMG SHE THREW UP ALL OVER HERSELF. for the first time. The smell was something that lingers longer and captivates all your senses so it was decided we just needed a bath. Let's be quiet not to wake the other five people living in this home. So we go upstairs. Ms Lexi wasn't about to take a shower by herself so that means I'm also taking a 3 AM shower. I'm not one of those women who appreciate bathing with their children. But at least now I didn't have to wake up to shower at 7 AM for work I'M ALREADY UP. Dad brings us clothes. He gets her water and crackers. I throw everything she could have ever touched in the washer, trying to figure out how to dispose of the CHUNKS OF THROW UP. I decided to sleep upstairs where I thought it would be warm and Lexi takes my spot with daddy. Although I warned him - she might do it again and then what - all over our bed?? And so an hour later, that omen came true. But this time it was just water and crackers. And dad got most of it on his arm and carried the rest of her to the trashcan. Not the best thing to wake up to.  

I'm not sure if she ate much of anything that day. I mean she did eat something, but it wasn't hamburger and cheese. I was putting her down for at a later bedtime. I asked her if she wanted one more song. Then she started these really strong coughs. As I ask her if she is okay, she projectile vomits in my hair. No.Freaking.Joke. ALL UP IN MY HAIR. And she projectile vomits again and I just kind of tilt her to the side, unable to move. It's dark. I scream for dad to hear. Lexi says nothing; she just pukes a third time. I thought I might die. Especially since I had to scream over and over and then finally get up maneuvering over the puke puddles. I was finally heard. They didn't understand the severity until I gave her to him and walked straight into the shower. All up in down from my hair to my legs. 

That's the part of parenting you don't hear much about. You know maybe it happens. But you don't really get it. Until it's in your hair. And that's the story of when I showered twice in the same day.

A day or two later, grandma and I were talking to her in her high chair and before you know it she is sleeping! Knocked right out. By the time I came back with my camera she woke again, but it only took her another couple of minutes and she was out for good. I carried her to the bed and she slept the rest of the morning. She slept more than she was awake. Her poor little body was literally pooped out.

She has been fine the last couple of nights. No more projectile vomit, but she might have gone through 8 diarrhea diapers that day and the last couple of days have been nothing but this rancid, instant gag reflex of yellow, watery, disgust from her bum. So maybe it's just nasty toxins making their slow exit? Hopefully it ends soon. It's nice when you're children poo and pee like normal. Welcome to parenthood when this becomes your conversation piece.

On top of it all her and daddy have had a cold possibly mixed with sinuses because it loves to stick around longer than its welcome. And now I got it too. Spring, WHERE THE FREAK ARE YOU? 

T h e e n d .


The Smiths Go to Work

I felt like we took a detour even if Mr Smith won't admit it, but we're back. We're back to work - and both of us! Who would have thought. It's almost a little too good to be true; I'm still a little superstitious. 

I wouldn't have made the same decisions Mr Smith did, but I know he made them with much thought and consideration; like he does with most things. So Mr Strategy had a different plan and it was HARD for me to hop on board. I mean physically, I'm not the one with the career anymore and I move when I have to move, but mentally and emotionally it's not easy trusting someone's decisions which inevitably effect your life. Mr Smith knew my focus was the money. But you know I never wanted to move to Hickory and you know I never intended on living in Provo after 2010. But we did and we are. And I just have to move on whether that involves me just throwing it out the window or pushing it toward some greater plan that has yet been revealed to me. 

I'm not saying Winston-Salem was my home. I'm not saying I was drawn to any other locations. I was definitely along for the ride and took the seat of the whiner when life wasn't...convenient. I like convenience. I was used to being spoiled by convenience. But that stopped the year Lexi was born.

I did see blessings of being in Hickory, mostly due to the influence of those in our ward. But like many situations in my past, I would wonder how on earth I ended up there, while at the same time having a hard time understanding what life would be like not knowing certain individuals and not experiencing certain things. So whether the Lord blesses us in the choices we make or whether He really does influence us down a certain path, I know we will be successful as long as we are trying to align our wills with His EVEN if that entails a lot of inconvenience.

One of the biggest differences between Mr Smith and I is my ability to be nostalgic and hold on to things and ideas. Mr Smith takes the sunk costs without regrets. And let me tell you, I let them torment me. I think it is best to recognize the consequences of our actions, but I know we have to move forward, move on and let things go, putting our faith in God and trusting the Holy Ghost who tells us what is right. But that latter part is easier said than done.

That's a long way of saying Mr Smith is managing some healthcare clinics in Utah County. And we will be in Provo for awhile longer. Mr Smith already got his car registered. I'm holding out a little longer out of principle. We plan to stay at his parents until more housing opportunities present themselves after graduation in April. We are inevitably grateful to Connie & Glenn for letting us extend our stay. Not only that, but Connie is watching Lexi for 4+ hours in the afternoon while I go to work. I am able to work Thursdays from home and hopefully I can eventually do most of my hours from home. I still enjoy working and it is a great opportunity for us to pay off grad loans. 

We are very appreciative of all you who kept us in your prayers, not that I'm saying you should take us out (one trial down, 50+ to go), but I know this is an answer to many prayers. And for the record, it feels fantastic to have overcome that hurtle. We wanted this move to work out. I'm not sure what UT has in store for us, but it looks like we're sticking our heels in and making a life here. I am grateful to know I have a lot of old friends in the area still. I'll put down my pride and learn to love it, but baby steps.

The second step is getting my king bed back. Which I can only owe to my parents. I guess parents are good people. We should be nice to them.


Growing. Changing. New Things. Favorite Things.

She will turn two in just a couple of months! Her second year has flown by for me. And they change so much each day it isn't easy to keep up with let alone remember. So here is to remembering how she places her hands on my cheeks and turns my head in the direction she wants me to look. How she loves to be chased and follow Maren around. I love that she is a huggy, kissy, snuggly toddler still. She shares almost as much as she fights for toys.  She is definitely known for her physical stamina, sass & playfulness. She also has great sleeping & eating habits.

They say they should know at least 50 words and begin putting together 2-3 word phrases before their 2nd birthday. She seems to be pretty average with her speech, but we thought we would try to list out her every day words to see where she falls (because even in the next 2 months she will grow like crazy, I still can't believe I will have a 2 year old by then!): 

First Words
mommy. daddy. bye. hi. no. yeah. okay. here. one. two. go. stop. please. mine. kitty. frog. apple. orange. banana. cat. mickey. minnie. hot. cold. hat. shirt. socks. shoes. boots. nose. eyes. brow. cheeks. bum. teeth. hair. ball. walk. down. up. elmo. monkey. elephant. bird. fish. duck. bunny. cheese. water. milk. juice. candy. chip. crackers. snack. spoon. fork. cup. funny. yummy. yucky. car. rocks. night. inside. outside. slide. swing. baby. keys. phone. book. push. bite. help. more. paci. grandma. grandpa. gammy. bus. race. circles aka cheerios. blocks. poo poo. mess. me-me aka Maren. ci-ci aka Lisa. danny. laura. uncle. airplane. sun. moon. snow. woah. in. out. pillow. blanket.

First Phrases
come on. no daddy. here go mama. oh no. all done. all gone. please mama. a couple. that's mine. where go? my baby. clean up. it's cold outside.

A list of our FAVORITE things:

Lexi's Recent First-Time Favorites

1. Choosing to go to bed without a paci!!
2. Chocolate milk & Cantaloupe
3. Painted toes
4. Stickers
5. Brushing her teeth & the fluoride medicine

Lexi's Current Favorites
1. Back Scratches
2. Climbing on everything
3. Lotion & Chapstick
4. Her baby dolls
5. "Wheels on the Bus" & "Ring Around the Rosy"
6. eggs, rice&beans, avocado, cheese, smoothies, chips, fruit snacks & pouches, oranges, strawberries
7. stroller rides to the swings, long walks to pick up rocks & sticks
8. Spinning around, dancing to music
9. Going through bags, unzipping everything
10. Mickey & Minnie & Duck of course (Minnie is preferred)

Daddy's Recent Favorites
1. West Wing, all old school like that
2. back country skiing / snowshoeing
3. Indoor soccer
4. Woodworking & Prepper shows on DVR
5. Drinking all the OJ

Mommy's Recent Favorites
1. Working
2. Dreaming
3. Spring in February
4. Nursery leaders
5. Mike And Ikes


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