So much ordinary life happening lately. Sometimes these days can feel mundane and boring, but they are days I never want to forget!

Things like:

reading books


dance parties in the living room

leftover pizza lunch


Just regular ol’ life

So plain.

So ordinary.

So special.


The Truth Behind Getting Pictures of Kids

The other day I captured and posted this amazing picture of my best gals:


I mean come on! That’s hard to look at and not smile. They are both looking at the camera AND smiling, that’s a miracle in the world of kid pictures.

Now lest you think my kids are just so photogenic, or that I am some world-class photographer… let me show you the other pictures I took before scoring this one.


They say it only takes one shot, but they never mention the millions of terrible shots you have to take before getting “the one.”

I do like the “perfect” photo, but the others certainly capture real life better!


Bits + Pieces IV

Bits and pieces of our life lately…

Since the end of May, our family has been busy and going through a lot. The blog has taken a back-burner, but I finally had some time to sit down and write a few posts. Today I want to catch up on some of the fun things we have been up to in the month of June!

At the end of May into early June, we took an amazing vacation to Estes Park Colorado with my entire family! I am the youngest of four kids so we have a big family now! 18 people in total including 9 kids ages 13 – 3 months! We had such an amazing time hiking, playing games, eating and just being in the same cabin (we are usually spread all across the US). It was a great vacation and I find myself going back to that week many times in my head! I love my amazing family!

| We announced to our family on vacation that we were expecting baby number three. Unfortunately, we learned the next week at our first ultrasound that we had lost the baby due to a partial molar pregnancy. That began a whirlwind week of grieving, surgery, recovery, and healing.

| After that terrible week was over it was time to get back to “normal” life. It’s a strange thing to go through that loss and not be able to mope around at all. It’s a good thing in many ways that life just has to go on. I still had to be a wife, keep up with the house, be a mom to my gals, and just keep going. In many ways, it was helpful to have to just keep going.

| Back to normal actually felt really good after the initial shock. Loss makes you see the things you have right in front of you in a different light. My girls and their daddy are the biggest blessings, and I am so thankful that I have them by my side.


| One thing I tend to do when life seems out of my control (which really is always) is throw myself into projects to keep busy. Something I can control. I spent most of the end of June redecorating, reorganizing, and doing various projects like redoing Nora’s dresser. It was not only fun but therapeutic in a way!

Church Skipper

I wrote this post for our churches’ social media, but wanted to share it here too!

To see the original post, click here!

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I used to be a church-skipper. Not just when I was sick, was out of town, or had another legitimate reason I couldn’t make it.

Nope, some Sundays I just didn’t feel like going. So I didn’t. Maybe I was tired and wanted a few extra hours of sleep. Or I had a busy weekend and needed the day to get things done. Some days I just didn’t feel like sitting through a sermon. At the time I thought those were legitimate reasons to not show up.

It really wasn’t until I became a mom that I started to view church and my attendance differently.

I started to see that my children were watching what our family did. If I regularly skipped church for silly reasons, they might do the same when the choice was theirs. That began my heart change.

What really turned it all around for me was changing my perspective: Church wasn’t an event put on for me. I was not there to be personally served or entertained. It wasn’t all about convenience and my happiness.

No. What that building is for is worship. To give God just an hour of my time. An hour I focus all my attention and admiration on Who He is and what He has done.

The music is to offer praise to God for what He continually does for us all.
The sermon is to teach us more about Christ, His life, and how we can live more fully for Him.
Those other people in the seats are a community that supports and loves each other.

So the next time you think about skipping church, ponder these things. Christ gave His life for us, we can surely offer Him one hour of our week.

“For where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20

Bits + Pieces III | Partial Molar Pregnancy

Bits and pieces of our life lately…

A special edition.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram then you know about what our family has been going through.

To make a long story short, at the beginning of June we suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks. However after surgery and some testing we learned that it was a partial molar pregnancy. Without going into all the complicated details, here are the main points.

| Two chromosomes fertilize one egg, giving the baby 69 chromosomes. This is incompatible with life and our baby stopped growing at 8.5 weeks. We never even got to hear a heartbeat.

| Along with the genetic mistake, there were also benign tumors or molar cells present in my uterus. Because of this, I had to have a D&C to try and remove all tissue and tumors.

| I will be monitored by blood tests weekly for a period of time to ensure that all tissue was removed. If it was not all removed, the tumors could spread and cause a malignant cancer.

| My fertility is not compromised (unless I have to undergo chemo), and our chances of having a healthy pregnancy later are 98%. However, for at least 3-6 months we are under strict orders to not get pregnant again because it can be harmful on many accounts.

See… pretty complicated.

Right now we are simply in the waiting and monitoring stage. My HCG levels are being checked weekly and so far they are dropping rapidly which is exactly what we want!

We have seen so many miracles already through this process. We have been loved, supported, and prayed for by so many. We are doing well and are clinging to our faith and taking it a day at a time.

I’ve been doing many updates on my Instagram and Facebook pages so it only felt right to update on here.

This is not a fun thing to be going through and we are grieving in our own way. But we feel confident that we will be announcing new Smith babies in the future!

Closet Peek-a-Boo

Yesterday morning closet peek-a-boo was the game of choice.

Both gals went into a closet in the house, shut the doors and waited for someone to be looking all over for them.

“Oh my goodness where are Nora and Ivy?”

“I can’t find them anywhere!”

“I’ve been looking all over! Where could they be?”


Out they popped giggling like crazy. Then right back in the closet. This went on forever, but I didn’t mind. It was cute as all get out!

I decided to take advantage of the situation and get some pictures when they made their grand entrance!

Pure joy and happiness!

These are the simple everyday moments I want to remember forever!


Ivy Corinne |15 Months

IMG_087915 months already? Wow! Time is flying by with Miss Ivy Corinne!

This stage is so much fun! It’s really one of my favorite ages! Here is what Ivy has been up to since her last update at 12 months

DSC_0170| What Ivy Can Do |

| She is a growing gal who now wears size 4 diapers and 18-24 months clothes. She is really starting to shoot up in height and thinning out a little!

| Ivy has 8 teeth but is most definitely working on more currently. She has been a bit irritable this past week and has all the signs of teething. Checked in her little mouth and sure enough two more top toofers are cutting through!

| Ivy is our resident climber! She will attempt to climb anything and everything. I’ve had to do a lot of learning because Nora was not a climber.

| Ivy’s vocabulary has grown so much in the past few months. At 13 months I was a little worried about Ivy. She really only said three words consistently and Nora had many more. Well, girlfriend has made up for it in the last month because now she has a pretty long list of consistent words and repeats many things we say.

Ivy’s Words: Momma, Dadda, please (mah), water, bye-bye, uh-oh, Papa, tickle, thank you, night-night, Rigby (her favorite), hi, Nora

| Ivy can wave, clap, click her tongue, blow kisses, turn book pages, smile for pictures, show you where her belly and ears are, but her real talent lies in animal noises! She has become obsessed with a little book full of animals and wants it read multiple times a day. It is that book that has helped teach her so many animal sounds.

Ivy knows: tiger (her favorite), cow, dog, monkey (the cutest), elephant, snake, owl, pig.


| What Ivy Eats |

| I’m afraid we may have a picky eater on our hands. It could be a phase because it just came on in the last month, but all of a sudden girlfriend will hardly eat anything! She scoffs at all vegetables, only eats select fruits (what she likes changes every day), and she rarely cleans her tray like she used to. She loves meat so that’s good and it makes me feel like she at least is getting full at meals.

I am a firm believer in continuing to offer things in the first two years. So even though she hasn’t touched peas in a few weeks, if we’re having peas they are going on her tray! Praying this is just a phase and she will go back to eating everything like she did a few months ago.

| Favorite foods include; eggs, grapes, yogurt covered raisins, sausage, graham crackers, deli meat, pouches, yogurt.

| Ivy drinks milk well with her meals and is also a big fan of cold water.

| Ivy is doing a great job learning to use a fork, but she still needs some more practice with a spoon.

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| What Ivy Loves |

| Books have become one of Ivy’s favorite things lately. She will bring us book after book, turn around to sit on our laps while we read. It is one of my absolute favorite things.

| Ivy loves to be outside. Our laundry “room” in in the garage and is right by the door to go to the back yard. If I go out to switch laundry over and she sees, she screams at the kitchen door because she thinks I’m going to play outside without her! She loves going on walks in the stroller. She is silent the whole time simply taking it all in.

| Ivy loves to give love! She is such a cuddly and affectionate child. She gives the best hugs and often comes up out of nowhere to give a hug. She will sometimes randomly maul Nora with a hug and a kiss. Sweetest ever!

| Ivy loves the dogs. More specifically she loves Rigby. She loves to chase him around and giggle, try to lay on top of him (he quickly runs away), and give him kisses and pat-pats.

| Some of Ivy’s favorite toys include; stacking buckets, Bitty Baby, a pink calculator, shopping cart.


| What Ivy Has Been Up To|

| Ivy got her first haircut and was amazing the whole time! She even did the whole cut without a sucker!

| Went on her first big vacation to Colorado in June! She loved being around all her cousins and riding in the carrier for hikes!

| Logged many hours playing outside. Water-table, splash pad, walks, the park, playing on the patio. She is an outside gal!

Ivy Corinne,

We are all so in love with you. You have such a strong personality, but it is a huge part of your charm! You give the absolute best hugs and kisses and you do it so freely! Watching you learn new words and take on new skills these past three months has been such a joy! You are so incredibly special and you make our family more complete!


~ Favorite Photos From the Last 3 Months ~

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Nora Speaks | Vol. IV


Just some more great Nora quotes I want to remember! She is one funny gal!


Nora gets 10 minutes of “book time” before naptime and bedtime. This simply means she gets to look at books before she has to go to sleep. One night she came out of her room before her time was up and declared to me and Collin, “Mom, Dad. There’s bad news in my room. My books are sliding and sloppy!”


Nora and Ivy were playing together across the room while I sat on the couch. Out of nowhere Nora said so sweetly, “Ivy, you’re the best Ivy because you love me all day long. You fill my heart with love!” Talk about a melted momma-heart!


Nora set the record straight one day by letting me know that, “Princess don’t have boobs. them just has bellies. Even Aurora.”


Collin was putting Nora down for bed one night and I was applying a purple facemask for a little pampering. Nora saw me (she has seen me wear it before), and commented on how crazy I looked. While Collin was putting her down she said, “Tomorrow when I wake up I am gonna hide from mommy all day.” When Collin asked why she said, “Cause she’s scary now!”


Nora had a big scene of toys set up and Ivy was quickly approaching. Nora told Ivy “no” but Ivy got ahold of something anyway. I heard Nora frantically yell, “Mom can you get Ivy outta this problem?”


I had curled Nora’s hair one day just for fun, she kept looking at herself in the mirror and admiring it. As soon as she woke up from her nap that afternoon she ran to the mirror and said, “I’m just seeing if I’m regular Nora.” I asked what that means and she responded, “Cause right now with curls I’m just someone I don’t know!”


We were driving to the park one mornig and I caught Nora picking her nose in the mirror. I told her to stop picking her nose and then asked where she was gonna put the booger. She very honestly responded, “On my nother finger then my blanket.”


Nora has decided that someday she would like three brothers and three more sisters (#notgonnahappen). She has also chosen a few names she thinks we should consider when they arrive.

Boys: Landswaimp and Lady and the Tramp

Girls: Sooken and Cinderella Aurora


A lunch time conversation:

Nora: What do bears eat mom?

Me: oh they like fish, and some plants and berries.

Nora: Berries? That’s not good!

Me: Why not? They like berries.

Nora: No! Bears are not supposed to take our human food. They will come, take it from our gardens and that’s bad! Those are our groceries!



Bits + Pieces II

Bits and pieces of our life lately…



| Collin and I went on a date. Like a real date, dinner, dessert, and bookstore. We are pretty sure it was only our second since Ivy has been born. We both decided they need to happen far more often. I’m just crazy about this guy, and sometimes I just need him to myself!

| We had a wonderful and hectic Easter Sunday. Since Collin is a pastor Sundays are rarely relaxing. I also sing or volunteer in the children’s ministry almost every Sunday so things can get wild. Easter was no different. I sang at both services, and Collin was more needed than ever as a pastor. But there is just something sweet about Easter, no matter how crazy it gets. I just love celebrating what my Savior did for us all!

| We have been spending so much time outside. Every day with sunshine, or at least no rain, we are outside for as long as possible. My gals just love being outside, especially if there is water involved!



| Oh Ivy Corinne. In some ways I feel this girl may do me in! She has such a strong personality and can be so hard to please at times. She’s unpredictable and I don’t feel like I have any control with her (which this control freak hates!) But gosh is she also so sweet. We joke that she is a living sour patch kid. First she’s sour, then she’s sweet. She might be a raging turd at times, but she is also the cuddliest and sweetest at times too. And oh is she ever cute!

| Ivy has been walking since she turned 10 months, so she’s pretty good at it now. However, the introduction of shoes and outside terrain has proved to be a new challenge for her at times. She had a little wipe-out outside on the patio that gave her a pretty good scrape on her elbow. Doctor Daddy to the rescue! He was so sweet with her, and Ivy is a shockingly good patient!

| I have been in a new morning routine the past few weeks and it has been so life-giving! I am waking up early to go on walks with the dogs, showering and getting ready before the girls wake up, and getting to just enjoy mornings again. More on that later (well, maybe… I have good intentions anyway), but it has been so nice!

| These gals. I’m just so blessed to call them mine.



| We got a new porch swing a few weeks ago. It was perfect timing for the amazing spring weather we have been having! I sit and swing for a little after my walk each morning, and the girls love to climb up with me when we play outside. Thank you Way Day sale!

|I have been getting so lucky with new recipes lately. I tried two in a row recently and both are now going to become regulars in the Smith household! This Pesto Chicken Tortellini was so easy and so good!

|Ivy has really begun to enjoy books more and more in the last few weeks. She is slowing down, really looking at the pictures, and love to turn the pages over and over. I sure hope I have another book-lover on my hands! There are so many good ones I want to introduce her to!

| One morning after my walk, I was out on the swing and Collin brought me a sweet visitor who had woken up a little early. Ivy hung out with momma and spent her time climbing on top of the picnic table. Relaxing time over.

Family Sabbath

Monday is our family’s Sabbath. We are all home together and are intentional about making the most of that time. We do some special things that are just for that day, but mostly we just enjoy time together, unplugged, focused. It’s been so life-giving!

I woke up early and walked the dogs. I’ve been going on 6am walks and praying or listening to worship music. I highly recommend.

When I got home Ivy and daddy were up, and shortly after Nora joined us. Family time kicked off the way so many of our mornings do… with books on the couch. Daddy was the reader today, while I worked on breakfast!

Sleeping Cinderella is a favorite of our big gal. If you know a little girl who likes princesses, this is the book for her!


We do a “special breakfast,” something we don’t typically eat. This day I made a Breakfast Braid and we had some fruit. And Dynamite Coffee. Always Dynamite Coffee.


These three do this thing where they put their hands up to their ears and pretend they are on a three-way call. Ivy usually starts it and it’s the cutest thing. So glad I captured it perfectly.


Ivy doesn’t look too happy in this picture, but I think she was just pretending her feet were stinky. A game her and daddy love to play. These two look a lot alike and I think you can see it in this picture.


After breakfast was done, daddy went outside to do a little work. Nora and I sat at the table and chatted. I sipped my coffee and she educated me on all things princess. She’s by far my favorite three-year-old!


After breakfast and chit-chat Collin needed to reinstall the car seats. He had cleaned out both cars the day before (he does this about every 3-4 months and it is such a nice treat!) and never put them back in.

Us gals joined. Ivy and Nora played with rocks until Ivy saw the church, then she was a goner!


Time to head back home family! We enjoyed the rest of our Sabbath together.

I love these moments. I love these people. Thank you Jesus!