Valentine’s Day 2018

Not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day. I get it. It’s cheesy and overly marketed. If you’re single, it’s just plain annoying. If you’re married, it can seem like a chore. Lots of people just prefer to pretend Valentine’s Day doesn’t exist.

I am not one of those people.

I’m a lover of all things shiny, fuzzy, sugary, flowery, and mushy. This holiday is totally in my wheelhouse. Gaudy decorations and cards? Check! An excuse to eat high calorie foods? Check! A reason to wear matching pink and red outfits with my kids? Check! Girly, corny, big fat love fest? I’m here for all of it.

Even when I was single, my girlfriends and I used Valentine’s Day as a day to get together, eat, drink, and commiserate about stupid guys. And I did it all while wearing a ridiculous red LOVE shirt.

So here’s how we spent our Valentine’s day as a family…

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I don’t need a gift on Valentine’s Day, but doughnuts and flowers are a requirement. Also, I’m not above buying them for myself.

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Extra bonus points if the doughnuts are heart shaped.

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Our chalk wall next to the boy’s room. All the corniness!

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I may have a sink full of dirty dishes most of the time, but darn it if my kids aren’t getting a special Valentine’s day breakfast every year! I can’t be good at everything! 😉

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You guys I actually attempted to form these cinnamon rolls into hearts. I failed. Just like I did last year. Maybe next year!

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Mine and Chris’s Valentines for each other. We’re ridiculous.

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Every year Chris and I pass a book back and forth taking turns writing a top 10 list for reasons we love the other person. I know, so cheesy. This was his #2 for me this year. It’s not NOT true.

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Nolan is obsessed with football this year. These were his Valentines for his class.

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Ready to taste test.

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Brady is currently obsessed with Star Wars so his cards included a mini lightsabre and Star Wars gummies.

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Of course Brady and to check and re-check his cards before distribution.

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Gah! My loves!

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I got to have a quick Starbucks date with Chris once we dropped the kids off at school. Of course I ordered the featured Valentine’s drink. Duh.

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Brady’s sweet Valentine writing. I love his heart!

Even if you’re not a Valentine’s person, hopefully the day brought you some love and time with the ones you care about the most. And if nothing else, hope you got a heart shaped doughnut.

 

The Mini Man Cave

For the last couple of months, the boys have been asking to share a room. They were sleeping in each other’s room for some time after the most recent hurricane, and decided they liked that better than staying in their own rooms. We weighed out the pro’s and cons of moving them in together- they do get along really well, Nolan’s room was plenty big enough for 2 kids, we could have a designated guest room and Chris could have his office to himself. So, we decided to go ahead and make the transition. And, in true Smith fashion, we took this project on riiiiiight before Christmas. Because there’s not enough going on that time of year!

Here’s what the boys’ rooms looked like before the big change…

This was Nolan’s room when it was still “Nolan’s room.” It is a nice sized room so it made sense that they would go into that space.

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Ok, this was during the transition. It’s not usually quite this much of a hot mess.

Here was Brady’s room, which has turned into our guest room.

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We decided to stick with the boys’ full sized mattresses that were not that old, and got the boys a full over full bunk bed. They LOVE it. We are using Brady’s old dresser and bookshelf and Nolan’s old dresser is now in the guest room. There was a lot of re-arranging during this process figuring out what would fit where. We also painted both spaces and added a cool feature wall in the boys’ room. Here’s the work in progress pics…

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Feature wall in progress…

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We first started painting the room that light blue color you see, but realized it was too baby-ish for our big boys. *tear* So we ended up re-painting it a darker “denim blue.”

Here is how the boys’ room looks now!

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I love how this wall turned out! For now we have Nolan’s big old train table taking over this space, but eventually I hope to put in some sort of desk or maybe Lego building station.

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Brady is on the top bunk because OMG Nolan can’t be trusted up there.

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That little train print was purchased at the Strasburg Railroad during our time in Pennsylvania and it always makes me smile. The boys will have this in their room FOREVER if for nothing else because the custom framing was ridiculously pricy and I’m getting my moneys worth whether they like it or not!

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Love their little rockers that my Grandma bought them!

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Hello toy storage under that bottom bunk!

So far the boys are really loving sharing a room. I get such a kick out of hearing their little conversations at night…pretending to be Star Wars characters, acting out football games, and recounting the day’s events. Who knows how long they’ll love living together, but for now, it’s adorable!

And, Chris is loving having an office to himself. He just purchased a new desk and is planning to install hardwood floors and make it his own man cave. (Little known fact, Chris HATES the phrase “man cave.” So naturally I call his office a man cave every chance I get.) Enjoy your new man cave, honey!

We also did a quick paint job on Brady’s old room and turned it into a guest space. Btw, so sorry to our guests we had over Christmas who were surely breathing in brand new paint fumes as we finished painting it 2 days before Christmas. Aaaahh!

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Can we talk about how sweet this little yellow chair is in the guest room nook? Shout out to my neighbor Cynthia who was giving it away. I love the pop of color!

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This was taken right after we finished painting (before I got the cool yellow chair and moved this gray one back where it originally belonged!) Notice the window open desperately trying to get rid of the fumes. 🙂

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Recap!

Brady’s room is now the guest room-

 

And Nolan’s room is now the mini man cave-

 

Stay tuned to see how long the boys want to share a room. Lord willing, I will not be spending next Christmas break putting it all back how it was!

ChriSMITH 2017

The holidays with a 4 and 6 year old boy have got to be just about the sweetest thing ever. Yes, life is busy and chaotic, but there’s something about a child fully believing in the magic of Christmas that makes you want to slow down and enjoy every little moment. I love all the traditions that we’ve created with the boys that they now have begun to remember and look forward to. I love that we are now closer to extended family so we can share these moments with them. I even have started to love that freakin’ Elf on the Shelf. (Well, I love how much my kids love it!) Here are some pictures from the last month of all our festivities and adventures.

Decorating- this took forever this year…especially with the kids “helping.”

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Chris’s handiwork on the fireplace looked so pretty with Christmas decorations.

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My aunt gave me this hutch this year and it was my favorite spot during the holidays because of how pretty the Nativity looked on it!

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Under the Christmas tree- any cat’s favorite spot.

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Watching Rudolph, decorating the tree, reading Christmas books- all the holiday magic at once.

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Putting up our Gator ornaments in the dining room. Look how nicely I ironed our table cloth. Ha!

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That’s it. Stare at the T.V. while putting on ornaments. No big deal…I’m going to re-arrange them all when you go to bed anyways!

The Elf…man, did my kids love looking for her every morning.

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Fun traditions…

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Picking out our Christmas tree at our church tree lot.

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Nolan’s first time on a horse at our neighborhood’s annual Winter Fest.

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Neighborhood’s Winter Fest…Brady’s face! lol

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Our family’s Christmas party at my Aunt Claudia’s beach condo.

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Brady hard at work helping to build a sandman.

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Nolan focusing so hard to paint our thank you cards for our annual St. Jude fundraiser.

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Making Christmas cards for classmates. This was the first year Nolan could write his name on all the cards!

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Decorating Gingerbread houses. AKA icing/candy eating game.

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“Baking” Christmas cookies. Thank you Pillsbury! (When you’re busy, some things have to go. Homemade cookies weren’t happening this year.)

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One cookie for Santa, four for me.

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Nolan’s Pre-School Christmas pageant. Look at his little nervous face! But, he rocked it!

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I could EAT him up!

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Using up our Sea World passes before they expired. The boys love it there.

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Nolan’s class party. I am going to miss these sweet parties with crafts and cookie decorating SO much! Sidenote: Why is his stuffed dolphin at the party? Who knows!

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Celebrating Brady’s half birthday. 6 and a half!

Christmas week events…

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My dad and Pat came to town before Christmas and we enjoyed some really warm Florida temps!

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On our way to Christmas Eve service. 

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My boys walking into church.

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That time Nolan “accidentally” took the whole box of candy canes when the pastor was handing them out. 

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Turns out I bought ALL of the cheese at Publix for the holidays. Oops.

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Keeping our pizza on Christmas Eve tradition alive!

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We made Ina Garten’s “Easy Sticky Buns” for Christmas morning. How easy is that?

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Brady’s Christmas theme- weaponry and adventure. Sigh. 

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You’ll shoot your eye out, kid. 

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Chris being every dad on Christmas, assembling toys.

After Christmas moments…

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Just being goofy

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Two of my college besties came to visit us!

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Gator girl kiddos are the cutest!

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Cute couple alert! Brady was in love with my friend, Lucila.

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Ikea during the holidays….whoa.

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A few lazy moments here and there. (She’s not allowed on the furniture. Oops.)

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Chris loves making pasta with the boys when he has time off!

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Chris loves eating pasta all the time. 

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New year’s eve dinner. Who’s ready for 2018 and carbs?!

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Daily chaos and weird stuff going on. 

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A little NYE apple juice toast/chug.

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It got COLD in Florida!

The holidays did not disappoint this year- I only wish they could have lasted a little longer. Now onto those New Year’s resolutions- just as soon as we finish all the pasta leftovers.

Halloween 2017

It’s almost the end of November. What a perfect time to blog about Halloween. Oops, better late than never.

This year was an extra fun time for celebrating Halloween. The kids really get it, they enjoy dressing up, and they have no fear of going up to strangers and begging for candy. I am enjoying these last few years of the cutesy, crafty, sweet moments of pre-school and early Elementary school. Nolan had a Trunk or Treat event at his school and Brady’s grade did fun “Fall Crafts” that I got to help out with. Both kids had opportunities to wear costumes several times- at school, our neighborhood Fall Fest, and trick or treating. We went to a Pumpkin Patch/crop maze, painted pumpkins, and had friends over on Halloween night for a little party. Here’s some pictures from our favorite moments this October…

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At our neighborhood costume contest.

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Our trunk for Nolan’s Trunk or Treat event at pre-school.

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We had SO many fake mustaches!

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Our annual Jack-O-Lantern bean dip!

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Kitchen Spruce Up Part 2

We (Chris) have been hard at work updating our home. When we bought it, we didn’t really see any areas that needed too much updating, but of course the longer I am in a space, the more I want to change it. As I’ve mentioned before, our kitchen was my least favorite part of the house. Last year when we moved in we did a little updating by changing out the backsplash and appliances. Over the past couple months, we (Chris) updated the cabinets, lighting, and fixtures/hardware. Here’s some reminders of where we started…

Before: (These were actually the listing photos from Realtor.com. Sorry previous owners, the rest of your home was lovely!!!)

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That backsplash though!

It was functional and had lots of space and storage, but not my style at all.

Here’s some pictures of what it looked like shortly after we moved in and did a little updating…we added bead board under the bar, put in a subway tile backsplash, and put in new appliances.

Kitchen Remodel Part 1

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Getting brighter!

I thought I was good with that previous re-model until I lived in it a year and stared at it long enough to realize, nope, it needs more! So here’s how it looks now!

Kitchen Remodel Part 2!

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So much lighter and brighter and ME!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chris! This cabinet refinishing project took about 35 hours to complete. So much sanding and painting! I love how it brightens everything up and is so much cheerier! It feels clean and airy and much bigger. We don’t get much natural light in this room, so this was the face lift it needed!

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Again, thank you Chris! I promise to give you at least a month or so before I start bugging you to consider doing something about updating those floors… 🙂 Also, I promise that as long as you never ask me to move again, you’ll never have to refinish kitchen cabinets again.  (Notice I specified KITCHEN. The bathroom cabinets still need some TLC, hun.)Love you!

 

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One last comparison to show how far we’ve come!

 

 

 

 

First Day of 1st Grade & VPK

Another school year has begun! I’m so thrilled with how the boys have adjusted to their new teachers and classes. It helps that they are both returning to a familiar school. For Brady, his first grade classroom is just down the hall from his Kindergarten room. For Nolan, he is the big man on campus as a big VPK-er in his final year at Promisetown Preschool. Here are some pictures from their first days of school…


It’s oh so hard getting used to early wake ups again. We are not morning people!








Brady is thoroughly enjoying 1st grade. He is such a “school kid” and thrives in that structured environment. I can’t believe that he’s in the grade that I was teaching when I was pregnant with him!

Nolan only goes to school on M,W,F so we still have Tues/Thurs for “Mommy Nolie days”. When Brady was at school I took Nolan to his favorite place- Taco Bell! 🙂


Nolan’s first day of school went better than I expected. Historically he does not do well with separation from us. He was surprisingly brave heading into school this year. While he did have a meltdown when we left the classroom on the first day, we’ve been tear free and happy ever since. Whew!






End of school day exhaustion!


VPK is just too much!


Here’s hoping for a great school year where the boys will continue to grow and learn!

 Summatime 2017

Seeing as how both boys have started school, I guess summer break is officially over. Not gonna lie, I’m going to miss our lazy days of sleeping in and doing whatever we feel like doing. We packed so much adventure and fun into summer this year. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights.

We have plans. We have lists. They are their mother’s sons after all.

This was the summer of American Ninja Warrior for us. We watched it all the time and we made SO many obstacle courses throughout the house.

Our summers are always full of birthdays and celebrations (3 out of the 4 of us were born in June or July.) This summer Brady turned 6 and Chris and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. 

Brady’s birthday gift…a Beta named Shiny. He and his 2 follow up fish did NOT have long life spans, but they sure were fun while it lasted.

11 years, 3 states, 2 kids, lots of wine and dancing!

Boat time sans kids- an extra special anniversary present!

Lots of kiddie pool and popsicle time!

A few beach days here and there…

Fun at the library…

An attempt to do some school work…

A trip to Seaworld- the kids and teachers get in free. Hello cheap theme park day!

A visit with Aunt Claudia- always a fun time!

Swim lessons- so much progress made!

Celebrating my birthday with my favorites. 

Celebrating Father’s Day

Visiting all the splash pads… if you build it, we will come!

Our big vacation was to Key Largo. It was the best trip ever! We had so much fun swimming, eating, boating, paddle boarding, fishing, and lounging.

A visit from the Hootens. Taylor and Nolan are 2 peas in a pod with their mad dancing skills.

A visit from Chris and Auntie Jill… who brought the boys bathtub slime.

A visit to a lake house in South Carolina with our friends the Easters. This was our Griswold portion of the summer. So many travel issues!!

We put our zoo passes to good use. Animals and another splash pad, you can’t go wrong. 

The boys had their first lemonade stand. 

We adopted our sweet girl, Sailor. She’s been such a fun addition to our family!

The Alligator Farm blew the boys minds. They were seriously excited!

Food trucks and bounce houses in the neighborhood.

Backyard laziness…

I’m already missing all my time with my boys. They drove me nuts, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now back to packing lunch boxes and setting alarms. Until next year, Summer!