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!

2016 ChristSMITH

This holiday season came and went so super fast! (That seems to happen every year.) While there was lots of hustle and bustle of travel, gift buying, parties, and baking, we were able to find time for lots of simple moments with the boys. They really enjoyed listening to Christmas music (and haven’t stopped singing holidays songs yet), finding our Elf “Pixie” every day, and seeing what Advent Calendar activity we would do each day. We try to fill our calendar with a mix of fun moments for the boys and activities that will help them learn to enjoy the spirit of giving. Here are some of the highlights and special moments from this past month…

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Delivering presents to our trash collectors!

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Mommy/Brady day date

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Gato doesn’t understand the Elf on the Shelf craze either.

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#NotAmused

 

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We said goodbye to our sweet boy Albert on December 1. Christmas just wasn’t the same without him this year.

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Thank you to my sweet friend Lindsay for sending us this adorable ornament to help us honor our fur-baby.

 

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Shopping day to buy gifts for our teachers

 

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Decorating Christmas cookies at Aunt Claudia’s house

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Nolan’s Christmas program at school. He was a big ol’ bundle of nerves but he conquered his stage fright and gave the cutest performance!

 

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One of our boys’ favorite things to do during the holidays is put money in the Salvation Army bucket.

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We always take turns taking each kiddo to buy presents for their brother and mommy and daddy. On this occasion Brady insisted on buying me this fancy red polish.

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Christmas movies! Our favorites this year were Elf on the Shelf and Rudolph.

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Chris surprised us by buying an inflatable hot tub for our patio. We have all enjoyed it this month!

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North Florida has perfect fire pit weather in December! Lots of S’Mores were eaten.

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Our Gator tree which Nolan claimed as his own.

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I got to volunteer in Brady’s class a lot recently and Chris even got to spend the afternoon doing Winter Crafts with his class one day.

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Date night checking out the Nights of Lights in St. Augustine. I am a SUCKER for Palm Trees with Christmas lights!

Christmas Eve…

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Sweet boys before the Christmas tree pose turned into a wrestling match

Christmas Day…

 

 

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Christmas day selfie with my big boy!

 

 

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Poor kiddo passed out before Christmas dinner and missed the whole thing.

 

 

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Intense Lego building with Grandpa on Christmas night.

Christmas vacation trip to LEGOLAND…

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Our boys surprise Christmas present- LEGOLAND Passes!

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Brady loved the Lego city- especially the space shuttle.

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With Brady on the Sky High ride.

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Nolan loved the Duplo train ride!

New Years Eve…

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Fishing in our neighbor’s backyard

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In awe of sparklers!

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Making homemade pasta with daddy!

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Saying goodbye to 2016 the right way!

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Toasting to the Netflix ball drop countdown.

 

I can’t imagine anything better than experiencing the holidays with a 3 and 5 year old. Seeing Christmas through their eyes was so special and nothing short of magical. We are certainly blessed in many ways and look forward to what adventures 2017 will bring our family. Happy New Year!

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!

 

 

Vanilla Milkshakes- Kids Cook Monday

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It’s no secret that Nolan has a sweet tooth. He begs for treats all the time and recently he was asking for a “banilla” milkshake. We came up with a somewhat healthier version of one of his favorite desserts. Here’s what my little helper and I whipped up for an afternoon snack…

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Ingredients

5 scoops low fat frozen yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

We simply threw all our ingredients in the blender and blended it until it was smooth. It turned out nice and creamy with a very “banilla-y” flavor. You could easily switch up the flavor by adding strawberries, bananas, or even peanut butter. This recipe made enough for either one very large milkshake or 2 small kid-sized shakes.

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This sweet treat has a surprisingly nice amount of protein thanks to the skim milk and is quite tasty with a handful of pretzels (obviously I had to partake in this snack as well.) And best of all, Nolan approved!

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Kitchen Spruce Up!

While we are loving our new house here in Florida (and it really is a great house!) it’s no secret that I reeeeeally loved the one we built in Raleigh. We picked out every little detail and put so much work into it, especially the kitchen. It was my favorite kitchen ever. Unfortunately, the kitchen in our new home was the one area that did not make me happy when we initially saw the house. We knew when we purchased the home that we’d be putting in a little T.L.C. (money) to make it what we wanted.

Recently, we replaced the older black appliances that came with the house, put up some fun beadboard, replaced the under cabinet lights, got some new furniture, and had a contractor help us re-do our backsplash. The result is so much more “us” and overall lighter and brighter!

Here’s some before pics…

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Not terrible. Just a little dark and sad. And that backsplash though…

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Not only was this tile a dreary geometrical nightmare to look at, it was so stuck on it would have survived a nuclear bomb. It took our contractor so long to rip it all down and all the walls came down with it!

Now on to the after pictures!

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Nothing a little stainless steel and white subways can’t fix!

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This kitchen is definitely more our style now and is a place I’m excited to cook in. I’m still looking to replace our drawer pulls with something more of a cup style since these are a little too modern for my taste, but we’re on our way to making this my favorite house yet!