Brady-boo is 8!

Today we celebrate 8 awesome years of having Brady in the world. He is truly one of a kind and brings happiness and curiosity wherever he goes. Brady is always looking up and studying the world around him. He is fascinated with the way things work and questions everything. His go-to phrases are “I have an idea!” and “I wonder…” His gears are always turning and his creativity blows us away. Every teacher he’s ever had has remarked on his positive outlook and joyful heart. He is quick to forgive and quicker to apologize if he feels he’s done something wrong. He marches to the beat of his own drum and never goes out of his way to “fit in” or be like anyone else. He’s the kind of kid who could entertain himself for hours with a piece of paper or a stick. In fact he loves searching for the perfect stick, rock or leaf! He’s smart in a way that can’t be measured by standardized tests. He loves to please and is harder on himself than we ever could be. He challenges us with his one track mind that often has a hard time turning off. He is your stereotypical gifted kid who is desperately lacking in the common sense department. He will find life on Mars before he will figure out whether you’re supposed to push or pull a door to open it.  We love his quirky personality but we love his enthusiasm for life even more. He is as special as they come.

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Happy birthday Brady-boo! We love you to the deepest part of space and back!

2018-2019 School Year (K&2)

Another school year has flown by. Nolan completed his first year of Elementary School and Brady finished his last year of primary grades. Next year Nolie will be a big 1st grader and Brady will be entering a new world of Standardized tests and real letter grades in 3rd. Both boys had a positive school year and came more out of their shells. Brady really embraced his love for reading and writing (swoon!) and Nolan became obsessed with all things math. They developed sweet friendships and grew in confidence. And, as evidenced by these pictures, they both grew like weeds!

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Brady said his favorite part of second grade was “Market Day” and art class and Nolan said his favorite part of Kindergarten was P.E. and recess (shocker!) Here are some special moments from the school year…

 

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First day riding the school bus!

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Brady received the “Leader of the Pack” award for the 3rd year in a row. This year his classmates voted for him.

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Tacky tourist day!

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Habitat Day- Brady’s Alligator presentation. (Go Gators!)

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Art Show

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Almost the end of the school year…Nolan was SO ready for summer!

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End of Kindergarten celebration

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Dino Dig!

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Paleontologist Nolan at his Dino Dig

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Nolan with friends at lunch

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I was so happy that both boys had the same lunch time so I could visit with each of them when I went to their school.

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Nolan and his teacher, Mrs. Ryan.

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Brady and his teacher, Ms. Marlow.

Now time to enjoy summer!!!

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First and last day of Kindergarten and Second Grade!

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!

 

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!

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!

Brady-boo turns 6!

It’s been 6 years since we first met our precious B-Man.

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We had lots of thoughts about what our little guy would be like, but I could have never imagined he’d be so tender hearted, crazy smart, and happy-go-lucky. Every day he is questioning, learning, and building. You can see his wheels turning all the time. His cheerful heart always sees the bright side in life. He loves to encourage his friends and brother. He’s funny without even trying to be. I could literally eat.him.up.

DSC_0190 Brady’s favorite things to do almost always include a building project or science related activity. He loves to learn about dinosaurs and animals. He thinks it’s fun to “investigate” and “discover.” He asked for a fish for his birthday and checked out a book about Pet Fish from the library just in case he got one. So stinkin’ cute!!!DSC_0192 Brady is a stickler for rules. He insists on things being fair. If you are doing something wrong, you better believe he will call you out on it. Do not even think about speeding near one of those speed limit radar signs. He will not let 37 MPH fly in a 35 zone.DSC_0195 Brady is the friendliest little guy. He will talk to anyone and is quite chatty. Whenever we pick him up at the car line at school he’s always deep in conversation with anyone around him (if he’s not twirling or dancing.)DSC_0208 We always tell B that he has an engineer mind. He has been analyzing people and situations since birth. He prefers order and structure and will even call his teacher out if she is off schedule. His happy place is a new box of Legos and a lengthy instruction booklet.DSC_0209DSC_0218 Brady has the most innocent heart. He still loves sweet shows like Mickey Mouse and Curious George. He has dance parties with his little brother to Disney music. He backs out of the room if there is any kind of a villain in a cartoon. I wish I could keep him in his precious bubble forever. DSC_0223DSC_0226

We love this sweet boy so much! The world is such a better place with him in it!

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Here’s Brady’s Exit Interview this year…

One more thing…Brady is the best big brother ever. We couldn’t have picked a better role model for Nolan. (Who by the way did not want to miss out on B’s birthday photo shoot.)

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