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.

2017 Goals

So it’s already February (that first month of the year went FAST) but I still thought it was important to take a moment to jot down some of my goals for the new year for our family and myself.

Here’s my new mantra for the year…

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Sounds hippie dippie, but it really covers all the bases. Whether it’s taking care of your physical health, finding ways to give back to the world, or creating time to improve your spiritual and emotional self, “finding what feels good” encompasses it all.

With every good goal, you have to have specific ways to achieve it. There is no way I could possibly brainstorm every way to “feel good” but here are a few that I’m focusing on.

*Yoga- Recently I’ve become a little addicted to doing yoga. I’ve always tolerated working out, usually sticking to walking or running on my treadmill, but I’ve never felt super awesome afterwards like I do when I do yoga. Whether it’s the reminders to BREATHE or the fact that I’m made aware of muscles I forgot I had, yoga has been my jam lately. I’m hoping I keep it up, because it feels dang good.

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I need this shirt in my life.

*Balance- We all feel messed up when life is out of balance. If you’re all work and no play or all health food and no treats, life just doesn’t feel right. This year I’m focusing on balancing productivity/responsibility with laid back/carefree. If I am working all day at a school, you better believe I’m going to spend my kid-free time later in the day drinking a glass of wine and reading chic lit. If I’ve eaten salads all week for lunch, there is no way I’m turning down tacos and donuts on the weekends. If I’ve done the dishes and folded laundry, the dirty toilets and floors can wait. Ain’t nobody got time for spending their life stressing about every little detail and chore.

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Taco Bell for lunch after a bike ride at the park. Balance people!

*Find your happy place- This one is so important for me! Not only should you find your happy place, you should go there! For me it’s the beach. Every time I am at the beach with my family, I can literally feel myself breathing deeper and my mind clearing. It’s next to impossible to be stressed on the beach. It’s where I feel God’s presence and where I cherish hearing my boys laughter the most. So, this year you will be seeing just as many, if not more, beach pics from the Smiths.

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Don’t let them fool you, that water is FREEZING in January. #parentoftheyear

*Do good stuff- Seriously. There’s a lot of terrible, ugly stuff going on this year. (If you haven’t noticed.) A lot of people are just plain mean if you don’t think like them, vote like them, or believe like them. I can’t change people’s mind (try as I might) or force people to have compassion (try as I might) but I can show them what it looks like to be a decent person. I can donate my clothes to a charity. I can give spare change to a homeless person. I can pick up someone’s trash. I can make small talk with a stranger. I can bring up my neighbors trashcan. It’s not hard to do good. And, it really feels good.

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*Notice and Give Thanks- Finding small reasons to be happy is the key to my joy. I hope 2017 is my year to notice the little moments and cherish them. Whether it’s Brady asking me to help him with his Lego creation (huge honor!) or Nolan holding my hand walking into class (see, he’s still my baby!) I hope I notice it. I hope I notice when Chris refills my wine glass without me asking. I hope I notice when my favorite song comes on the radio 3 times in one day. I hope I still get excited when I see a rainbow, sunset, or dolphin. Being present feels good.

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Even little dudes need yoga!

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Muah!

 

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That rainbow! That cute kid!

 

Here’s to a year that’s full of stuff that feels good. I hope this is the year I think back on as the one I traveled someplace new, ate the best pasta ever, became stronger, got thousands of hugs from my kids, read tons of books, grew in my faith, laughed til I snorted with my husband, and made someone else’s life a little sweeter. Namaste y’all!

Thanksgiving!

For our first Thanksgiving back in Florida, we decided to host dinner at our new home. We had my Aunt, cousin, his girlfriend, my mom, and Chris’s brother and his family join us. It was a very relaxing day full of food, football (Thank you Jesus for letting the Cowboys win for Chris) and fun. The kids played outside in the bounce house while we got to have adult beverages and play corn hole and enjoy the perfect weather.

Here are some pictures from not only Thanksgiving day, but also a few from the Thanksgiving celebrations at the kids’ schools.

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Please note the little turkey in orange and blue who is blowing kisses to his mommy and daddy before his performance!

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Look at that little Indian! Side note: Nolan put down an embarrassing amount of chicken nuggets at his school feast.

 

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Thank God he used the non-Fitbit arm. Ain’t nobody got time for a fitness tracker in their turkey.

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It just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without Grandma Dot’s pumpkin bread.

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Me, Aunt Claudia and mom

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Brady all tuckered out after a day of food and fun. (Again, obsessed with sleeping pictures!)

The day after Thanksgiving we went to Savannah to spend time with my dad and Pat. We got to hang out downtown, see Santa, go to our annual Christmas light event at the Botanical Gardens, and watch the Gators get destroyed by FSU (boo.)

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The only Santa lap Nolan will be sitting on this year!

 

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So much to be thankful for, today and always!

 

 

 

 

Halloween!

This Halloween was one of my favorite with the boys. They got SO into it! Trick or treating was super enjoyable because the boys are finally at an age where they can walk on their own and go up to houses without our help. (We stood on the sidewalk sipping our adult beverages reminding them to say thank you.) We also got the benefit of having my mom nearby so she was able to participate in Nolan’s Trunk or Treat event at his school and hang out on Halloween night.

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Our not-so-elaborately decorated trunk. We’ll step it up next year! (Maybe.)

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We loved spending the morning at Nolan’s school on Halloween. Little stinker.

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Spoiler alert: the boys have already been talking about their costumes for next year. Nolan wants to be a, wait for it, mosquito.

Hurricane Matthew

Our first few months back in Florida have been quite adventurous. Between the chaos of all that goes along with a move, starting new jobs, beginning new schools, throwing in a couple hurricanes really spiced things up! Thankfully our new home did not sustain damage during either of the hurricanes, but we did have lots of time together (without power!) and made some fun memories in spite of what was a scary situation.

 

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Look at all that fun Chris was having!

 

We spent a big chunk of our time off of school celebrating “Dinosaur Day!” All things dinosaurs took place on this day. From Dinosaur Cookies to seeing how far we could throw toy dinosaurs, we did it.

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Dinosaur day was quite exhausting. (I’m obsessed with sleeping pics of my kids.)

 

Once the roads were good enough to drive on, we got out of the house as much as we could (We were running low on food and were without power a few days.)

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God bless restaurant employees who fed us poor, stir-crazy, hungry people.

A few days after the storm the boys and I headed to the beach to check out the damage… Nothing like a hurricane to make you realize how small you are in the world and how powerful Mother Nature can be.

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The ocean was ANGRY that day. So much foam!

 

 

First Day of School- Kinder & PK3

This summer has been full of excitement and change for our little family. All in all our boys have been such troopers. Their whole lives have changed and they’ve really done great adjusting to all the newness (they are practically pros at it at this point.)

One of the biggest changes for any kid that moves is starting a new school. Brady was going to be starting a new school regardless with entering Kindergarten, but Nolan was quite happy at his old pre-school and not at all wanting to change what took months for him to become comfortable with. We were not sure how the first day of school would go for either kiddo, but they both did super well.

Brady has been excited about Kindergarten for months. He was all smiles and energy until the moment he walked into the classroom. He quickly turned around, ran back out and had tears in his eyes. He told me he “was a little bit worried.” A few hugs, kisses, and reassurances later, he walked back in and never looked back. He came home from school on the bus and reported that he had a great first day. He is loving it!

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Patiently waiting for brother’s bus that was SUPER late!

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Big boy getting off the bus for the first time (bus driver carrying his lunchbox that he has forgotten every single day.)

 

Nolan’s first day was so much more nerve racking for me. He is so social and outgoing in some ways, and so painfully shy in others. Historically he does NOT like being away from me and took his sweet time getting used to preschool drop off last year. I was anticipating the worst. Thankfully, he was quite brave on his first day. There were a couple whiny moments of not wanting me to go, but ultimately after about 10 or 12 hug/kiss/fist bump/high five routines, he said good-bye to me and let me walk away (with no tears.) We survived! Now, I’m not getting cocky just yet. I know 2nd and 3rd days can often be way tougher, but we at least had a great start.

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He was a hot, sweaty mess when I picked him up!

Overall, we are super proud of how these boys have handled so much change in their lives recently. We’re so excited to see how much they grow and learn this year!

Brady-boo is 5!

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It’s hard to believe our little B-Man has been with us 5 years already. We’re so incredibly blessed that this is the boy God chose to be our introduction to parenthood. He’s sweet, funny, so smart, and just plain easy to parent.

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We’re constantly amazed by Brady’s abilities to analyze situations, think about how the world works, and question everything. He loves to learn, build, and create. He’s even tempered and genuinely innocent at heart.

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He loves to please and cares so deeply about others. We couldn’t have picked a better big brother for Nolan and are so thankful for his loving nature.

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We did a little 4 year old exit interview for Brady and here’s how he answered:
How old are you going to be?
5
When is your birthday?
June 21
What’s your favorite color?
Red
What’s your favorite food?
Hot Dogs
What’s your favorite show?
P.J. Masks
What’s your favorite movie?
Firefighter Dusty (Planes Fire and Rescue)
What’s your favorite book?
“Rescue Vehicles”
What’s your favorite song?
“Cake by the Ocean” and “Bubble Toes”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A police officer
Where is your favorite place to go?
La Cocina (Mexican restaurant by our house)
What’s your favorite animal?
Gato
What about Albert?
I love them both.
Who’s your best friend?
Sophie
What’s your favorite number?
5

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We’re so proud of Brady and his unique little personality. While it’s bittersweet that our first born is becoming such a big boy, we can’t wait to see what big things are in his future!

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Happy Birthday Brady! Thank you for making our job as your parents so fun and rewarding!