Halloween 2018

We love Fall around here. It signifies the start of the holiday season and if we’re lucky, we get a break from the crazy Florida heat. Plus, the boys are at the age where they LOVE Halloween! This year we did some new Fall crafts and celebrated with some of our favorite traditions. And of course, embraced The Force!

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Nolan got to use his old Police costume for the Kindergarten Community Helper Parade. He was so cute!

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We tried the blow dryer crayon method for our white pumpkins. 

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The kids were so excited about this Haunted House from Trader Joes!

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Every year the kids want to carve a pumpkin, and every year they make Chris do all the work! Brady did agree to draw on a design idea.

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That time I convinced Chris to dress as Princess Leia… Brady was not a fan!

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The boys were allowed to wear costumes to school so Brady chose to go as Darth Vader and Nolan went as an American Ninja Warrior contestant.

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Brady helping mommy make our annual spider sandwiches.

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Ms. Carrie and I dressed for Trunk or Treat at work.

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Force Family!

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Happy Halloween!

Brady’s Birthday Celebrations

Summer is a busy time for our family. We have so many celebrations between birthdays, anniversaries, and Father’s Day. We still find time to party hard for our kids’ special days. This year was no different. Brady had a special day on his actual birthday, a party with his friends at the movie theater to see Solo, and a family party. Here are some pictures from his celebrations.

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Brady is a blessed little boy to have so many friends and family who love him and love to celebrate him!

Brady-boo is 7!

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Look at that sweet face. I can’t believe that face is 7!

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This boy is full of curiosity and adventure. He is a believer in magic and “The Force.” His silliness and joyful heart are contagious. He makes friends everywhere he goes and will talk a stranger’s ear off.  He insists on fairness and following the rules.

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Even though the years are going by so fast, and he has matured in many ways, we are so blessed that Brady has maintained his innocent sweetness. He always looks for good in people. He reminds us of the bright side.

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This year Brady fell in love with reading and can often be found with his nose in a book. We find flashlights in his bed from his attempts to stay up late reading. This was also the year of STAR WARS for Brady. You can quiz him on any bit of Luke/Leia/Vader trivia and he will school you. He spends half his days practicing his light saber moves.

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Brady loves to work on projects. Our house is filled with his drawings, lists, design plans, and ideas. His “inventions” have cost me a small fortune in scotch tape, plastic cups, and toilet paper rolls.

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Brady is a perfectionist and can’t stand to make a mistake. His Lego structures are always symmetrical and he cannot walk away from them until they are complete. He is fearless and is always up to try new things. He is his brother’s protector and often takes on the role of the third parent for him.

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We are so blessed that Brady is ours. He reminds us of what is important in life. Here’s to lucky number SEVEN!

Happy birthday, Brady-boo! You are so, so loved. It’s a better place since you came along!

 

Nolan’s Birthday Celebrations

Just wanted to do a quick recap of all the ways we celebrated our Bubba turning 5. He is so loved and was celebrated by so many. He had a class party, a special family and friends day on his actual birthday, and a big American Ninja Warrior party with some of our favorite people. He loved every minute of it!

Celebrating with his sweet Pre-K class…

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Special lunch with just mommy and daddy…

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At his favorite place, Rebounderz, with some of his friends…

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Look at that tongue out for concentration on the Ninja course!

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Picking out his birthday present…new golf clubs!

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Partying with friends and family, Ninja Warrior style!

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We love you Nolan!

Nolan turns 5… Gulp!

 

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Our sweet little Bubba is 5. This birthday is a tough one. In my eyes he is still my squishy little baby who grunts and shakes his bassinet like a velociraptor, manages to get food in every crevice during meal time, and sucks his thumb while holding onto a strand of my hair. It’s hard to believe he’s now as big as his older brother and beginning to read! In some ways he’s that same Rolie Nolie from years ago- he is still loud and still crazy and still lights up the whole room with his smile. I hate that my baby is growing up so fast, but gosh he’s a joy to watch change and blossom.

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This year was such a time of growth for Nolan. He’s grown in confidence and become his own little interesting person. He has conquered fears and tried new things. He loves school (this is a huge area of change!) and playing sports. He’s fiercely competitive and wants to win at everything! He obsessively memorizes every song on the Top 40 list on the radio.  He’s surprisingly sensitive and affectionate. He is not above asking his mommy if she “wants to snuggle?” the minute he senses she may be frustrated with him. His charm and humor continue to get him by in life.


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Nolan is beyond entertaining. The kid named his giant stuffed duckie “Finesse.” Who does that?! Each day he surprises us with his comedic timing, energy level, dramatic responses, and attention to details. He remembers everything and calls us out all the time. My favorite recent Nolan story…

Chris: You’re doing so great at golf, buddy! 

Nolan: But I haven’t gotten a hole in one yet!

Chris: I bet you will soon. I bet by the time you’re 10 you’ll get one.

Nolan: But you haven’t gotten one and you’re THIRTY-SEVEN!!!

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The kid is savage with a burn.

While it is bittersweet to watch Nolan grow up so quickly, we are so lucky to have such a cool little guy in our family. He’s the silliest little brother Brady could ask for. He gives Chris tons of new grey hairs, but is the best sports watching buddy. And, he is the perfect “forever baby” for me. Happy 5th birthday, little man! We love you so much and can’t wait to see how you rock your next trip around the sun.

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Here’s Nolan’s annual birthday interview. The last 45 seconds or so are my favorite. He’s a hoot!

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!