Spring Break 2020

Welp. Spring Break wasn’t exactly as planned. Nothing, anywhere, is as planned these days. We had planned to tag along with Chris, for his work trip to Hilton Head, like we’ve done the past two years. We had a cute Airbnb rented with a hot tub and fenced in yard for the kids and dog. We planned on bringing our bikes and riding to the beach every day and eating She Crab Soup at our favorite restaurants. Instead…we sheltered in place! Once the news of the Coronavirus became more and more serious, Chris’s company halted all travel. We canceled our trip and made the most of our time together at home. In fact, we are still trying to make the most of our time together at home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Here’s how we passed the time…keep in mind this was technically “Spring Break” so no homeschooling of any kind took place! Also, this was before we all really got serious about staying away from all other people so at the beginning of break we still had some normalcy of seeing friends, family and going to regular activities. That quickly changed, didn’t it? Ah, the good old days!

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The first Sunday of break we went to Daytona to see my cousin’s band play and have lunch with my family. We were shocked how packed the beach was.

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I love how nature is still doing it’s thing. Things are blooming and growing and carrying on as usual. I love Spring.

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After watching many episodes of Lego Masters the boys were inspired to create Lego building competitions of their own.

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We busted out the kinetic sand for more building activities.

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Before everything got too crazy, we got in a visit to the new Duck Donuts by us. Definitely a highlight of Spring Break for me!

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Before his Dojo shut down, Brady got to test for his first yellow stripe in Taekwondo. He did awesome and was so proud to finally go up a level. I’m glad he got the chance to do that before the studio shut down for COVID-19.

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We also got one chilly visit to the neighborhood pool before it was shut down.

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One trip to the beach before they shut down public parking…

One of the most exciting parts of break was throwing Nolan’s stuffed animal, Fin, a birthday party. It was random, but a welcomed distraction.

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Lots of arts and crafts these days…

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And lots of time outside…

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Overall, we feel very lucky to be healthy and together during these weird times. Hopefully by this time next year, we can look back on this Spring Break as a distant, strange memory and we are able to head back to Hilton Head like we had planned.

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Smith Summer 2019!

We had a heck of a summer break this year. One of the best perks of my job as a teacher is getting to have summers off to spend with our boys. The school year is so structured and busy, so the lazy days of summer are so refreshing. This summer we had a nice balance of days spent relaxing and playing around the house and travel days on the go.

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We started the summer with a Memorial Day weekend in Georgia. The boys got to visit with their great-grandparents and see their new baby horse. Brady was beyond smitten!

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We then headed to Savannah for a quick visit on our way home.

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We are always busy celebrating birthdays every summer. This year we celebrated Brady’s with a trip to Disney to live out his Star Wars dreams. We also had a family party at Aunt Claudia’s.

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Chris and I both celebrated birthdays this summer as well. We never have a shortage of food on our birthdays!

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We had lots of days that consisted of making giant messes in the house or going to the pool/beach/splash park/movies.

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In July we had our annual Christmas in July day. We didn’t tell the kids we were planning it, so it was fun to see their reaction in the morning when they woke up to a Christmas tree in the dining room in the middle of summer!

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The boys got to do a few camp weeks during summer as well. They did Vacation Bible School, an Art STEM class, and sports camp when they were staying with Grandpa and Nana.

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They had a nice visit with Grandpa and Nana while Chris and I went to Nova Scotia (blog post on that soon!)

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We did our yearly trip to Aunt Claudia’s in Daytona while Chris was at his sales meeting in Seattle. We always have fun at the beach and visiting the Marine Science center.

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One of our other fun trips was a stay in Merritt Island with our college friends. The boys had a blast visiting with the other kids and Brady checked off one of his bucket list items by going to Kennedy Space Center.

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While I am usually happy to get back to the structure of work and school, it is always sad to see summer end. I so love this time with my boys…until next summer!

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The Smiths Do Disney!

We have lived back in Florida for about 3 years now and our kids have yet to go to Disney. The last time we had gone was when they were 4 and 2 so they barely even remembered it. We decided that instead of big birthday parties this year, we would buy a 3 day Disney pass. The fun part was that we didn’t tell them! We got up super early one morning and put the boys in the car, still in their jammies. We told them that we were going to a surprise place. As we approached Orlando, one of them guessed, “Are we in Michigan?!”

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Um, no. But they finally got it as we started seeing more signs!

For our first day of our passes, for Nolan’s birthday, we went to Magic Kingdom. Chris’s Aunt and Uncle joined us as well. The boys were not sure what to think of Disney. It was a lot to take in! We ended up having so much fun and realized what a roller coaster junkie Brady is. He loved Space Mountain! Nolan loved the more low key rides like Pirates of the Caribbean. He also loved all of the snacks and goodies all around the park.

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For our next two days of our passes, for Brady’s birthday, we went to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It was SO hot and SO crowed (hello June!), but we made the most of it. I really liked the animals at Animal Kingdom and Brady really liked riding Everest. One of the coolest parts was the Dino Dig area. I got completely soaked on the Rapids ride so that helped keep me cool in the afternoon!

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Cooling towels and fans were our saviors!

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We went to Hollywood Studios to let Brady live out his dream of doing Jedi Training. It was so cute to see how seriously he took it! And the best part was when Darth Vader told Brady that he could tell the force was strong in him!

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Disney was the perfect place to celebrate the boys’ birthdays this year- and more fun for me than planning a party! Maybe we’ll convince them to do this again next year!

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!

Valentine’s Day 2019

We have made our way through a dreary and cool (albeit not compared to the North!) January. Valentine’s Day is always a fun day to look forward to because it is full of everything pink and sparkly and sweet. I love any excuse to have a celebration and themed activities, so I hope my kids look back on these little moments fondly. Here are some pictures from our Valentine’s Day!

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We worked hard on our Valentine cards and boxes for school. Nolan went with sports themed cards and Brady did Star Wars (again!)

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I made a big batch of strawberry play-doh for my class Valentine party but the boys got to have some too. They played with this for a long time!

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Brady got the cutest Valentine from a sweet girl that he plays with at the playground every day. I love how she made it so perfect for him!

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I tried so hard to get a cute picture of the boys on Valentine’s Day and this was the best I could do. Notice Nolan sticking his finger into Brady’s throat!

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Another classic Nolan picture moment!

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I was so lucky to have off work on Valentine’s Day and be able to surprise the kids at school at lunchtime. Not sure if they were happy to see me or the smoothies I brought them!

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Nothing says love like a heart shaped ham sandwich in a lunchbox.

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You haven’t lived life until you’ve eaten lunch at the Kindergarten table. It’s always fun to see my sweet boys at school.

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We decided to do a family dinner out for Valentine’s day this year. The kids were happy because they got pizza.

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I love Brady’s mouthful of food in this picture!

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Not sure why Nolan insisted on this pose, but I went with it!

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My funny Valentine. But really, is there a more real life picture of Valentine’s Day on year #16 that you’ve been celebrating together? In our P.J.’s by 7:30 and waiting for the kids to wind down so we can drink champagne… 

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Flowers, pretty alcohol and fluffy animal cards- Chris knows how to keep me happy on Valentine’s Day.

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He also surprised me with Elton John concert tickets!!! Music is my love language!

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Cheers to the cheesiest Hallmark holiday! I’m here for all of it! (well maybe not the dirty socks in the background!)

ChriSMITH 2018

This Christmas season was busier than ever. Between school functions, church performances, work events, and celebrating the holidays with family, Christmastime flew by. I managed to get some photographs to help us remember all of the fun and craziness!

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Fun times at the Donuts with Santa event put on by the St. Augustine Moms Blog. 

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This was my first picture ever with both boys smiling on Santa’s lap!!! (Nolan is finally not afraid!) They asked him for Star Wars Legos and a Nerf football. 

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We love Aunt Claudia’s annual Christmas party at the beach!

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We always love to make it down to downtown St. Augustine to check out the Christmas lights!

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We somehow managed to fit in Christmas cookie decorating!

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Brady was SO excited to get a letter in the mail from Santa!

We did a quick trip to Savannah before Christmas and had so much fun going to see the Christmas performance at the Savannah theater downtown with Grandpa and Nana. We also did our annual visit to the Botanical gardens to check out the beautiful Christmas lights.

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Our Christmas Eve and Christmas were relaxing. We went to to church and ordered pizzas with my mom and Aunt Claudia. We stayed in our jammies all Christmas day. It was so fun to see the kids soaking up the Christmas magic!

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After Christmas we went on a road trip to the Atlanta area to visit Chris’s grandparents.

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Brady (and Sailor!) loved Grandaddy’s horses.

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The boys and their Great Granny (and her 3 puppies!)

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Brady fully embraced his great grandparents country cowboy vibe. We had to buy him boots and a cowboy hat and he wouldn’t take them off!

We had a great Christmas season and are looking forward to a fun new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!