Wednesday, December 31, 2008

8 Great Things In 2008

2008 has been a wonderful year! I feel that my family has been very blessed and many fond memories have been made. There is no better way say goodbye to this year than to remember my favorite things that have happened. I encourage you to do the same :)
Starting in January 2008 and moving through the year with my favorite times!

1. All of the snow days that occurred last winter were such a blessing. I was having a difficult time balancing work and family so these precious snow storms were some of my favorite times. I got to play with Ivy and be snowed in from the rest of the world.

2. Our mini-trip to Cincinnati last March was so much fun! It was just Greg, Ivy, and I off to visit Unc and Esie. (Mom and Dad were in Mexico~) Chelsea and I went shopping to Gap Outlet, Ivy and Unc spent some quality time playing, Chelsea made us an amazing dinner, we played games, and got to go to their church that Sunday. This was one of my favorite family moments!

3. Ivy's first time at the park is something that I will never forget. She was in awe with the big playground and she loved swinging outside. Now the park is one of our favorite pretty weather things to do!

4. Our family beach vacation- ear infection and all... was a blast. We ate good meals, enjoyed the sunshine, and spent time with family. Ivy experienced her first time at the ocean and feeling her toes in the sand. All in all- it was a great trip! Thanks, Nana and Pops!

5. Ivy's 1st Birthday! This day was so fun. Greg and I don't know about celebrating birthdays with outdoor play time and grilling out with friends and family. (We are both January babies.) We had a great time celebrating this milestone!

6. The 1st week of school has always been one of my favorite things (since kindergarten)! This is definitely my favorite time of teaching... getting to meet my new students, organizing school supplies, and just being in a routine again. A major perk this year was knowing I was only going to work part time!

7. Trick Or Treating with Ivy was better than I could have ever imagined. Both sets of grandparents came and we toted Ivy in her wagon around the neighborhood. She was precious in her skunk outfit and this is when she found out that she LOVED sweets.

8. Seeing the magic of Christmas through Ivy's eyes was something that I didn't realize would be so special. It was great to see her excited expression every time she got a present or even saw a Christmas tree. Being a parent allows you to experience child like joy in these holiday moments!

I am excited to see what next year holds!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Bedroom for the New Year

As I have said before, I AM TOTALLY HAVING HOUSE FEVER! But as of right now, that is not in the cards for us (we have to see where Greg ends up!) so I am re-doing my current homestead. I started this fall with new furniture for our family room. Then for Christmas we asked for some items to update our bedroom. It is complete and I absolutely love it!



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seven Things on Sarah Smorstad

My friend, Cameron, tagged me to tell 7 things that no one knows about me.... considering I am not a very private person, it is going to be difficult to tell you 7 secrets about myself. But I will give it a try :)
1. I am more afraid of becoming fat than becoming dirt poor.
2. In another life (a not so Wilmore school teacher-ish life), I would love to be covered in tattoos. I am talking about big, gorgeous tattoos that are outwardly seen and can be admired by other tattoo lovers.
3. I have very little tolerance.... my loved ones might even say ABSOLUTELY NO TOLERANCE.... for ignorance. I have to wake up every morning and pray that I can handle all the ignoramuses (can you believe this is a real word) that I may come in contact with.
4. I never, ever thought that I would want to stay at home and simply be a mommy and a wife. After having Ivy that idea changed. I want nothing more than to be a mommy and wife and I have the utmost respect for those that can balance both worlds and make it look so easy. The little bit of competitive nature that I have questions- what is wrong with me that I could not (physically or emotionally) work full time after having a baby.
5. As much as the above statement is true... so is this one. I will never, ever be the type of wife that is overly submissive, non-confrontational, and walks on eggshells around my husband. Our marriage is based on communication even when it is difficult.
6. I am excited to drive a mini-van! haha :) Greg is disgusted by this thought.
7. I think EVERYONE who smokes cigarettes is ugly.
Here are 7 more people that I would love to know 7 little things about:
1. Allie
2. Ashley
3. Kendra
4. Whitney
5. Terri
6. Lori
7. Kelli

Friday, December 26, 2008

Smorstad Christmas 2008

Another wonderful Christmas has passed us by. In fact, I think this was the best Christmas I have had in my adult life. It was the perfect balance of time with family and the joy of seeing Christmas through a child's eyes. Ivy was so excited with every change and even has a new expression to capture her emotions. (I will have to get a picture of her "excited" face!)

Ivy got tons of fun presents that she has been very busy putting to good use. Some of her favorites are her new kitchen with play food and dishes, Elmo Live, Mr. Potato head, magna-doodle, toy vacuum, and two new babies and their stroller. She also has been busy watching Miss Patty Cake and the Cedarmont kids... if you don't know these folks you are missing out! Well, you may not be missing out but your child is! (Find them at the Christian bookstore!)

When Christmas is over it is always kind of bitter sweet. It seems like you look forward to the day for months on end and then... BOOM... it is gone. However, I am a little bit of a Scrooge toward the end. Don't kill me- but, the decor came down last night before I laid my head to the pillow. I know I am a little crazy but the clutter really starts to get to me! Christmas wrapping up also means the start of a new year. I am excited (and a little nervous) to see what the year 2009 brings, with Greg graduating this may be a lot of change for our family.

Enjoy the Christmas photos below!
Thank you, to my sweet hubs, for fancy-ing up my pictures :)

Clickety on the pictures to get a closer looky at Miss Ivy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to All!!

Love, The Smorstad's

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pig Tails

Yesterday after taking pictures of Ivy and noticing her crazy mop head... I decided I would give pig tails a whirl! Here she is after a full day and they are still in tact. What do you know?

And yes, she is enjoying another Christmas cookie! Thus, the big grin :)

Baking Christmas Cookies

Yesterday we really got into the Christmas spirit at the Smorstad house. Now that Greg and I are both officially on Christmas break~ it was time to do some baking. Those of you that know me well-- are saying- "baking-really???" I really am not much of a cook. But I must say I have gotten a lot better since starting to work part time. I have found some easy, cheap, low stress recipes and we enjoy those meals often! But this Christmas I really wanted to start the Christmas cookie tradition with Ivy and Greg. Baking is one of the fondest memories of my childhood- I wish I would have picked up even a bit of my mom's talent in the kitchen! So therefore- this was our first annual batch of Smorstad Christmas cookies!

Ivy putting green sprinkles on her first cookie.

Daddy helping Ivy with some more sprinkles :)

Getting a taste.... YUMMY!

Ivy decides she needs to taste every cookie she dazzled.
Therefore, she got her decorating talents limited to two cookies.

Posing (and crying) with most of our cookies.
The girl LOVES her sweets- just like everyone else in our family!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Apple Bottom jeans and them CROCS with the fur....

She had that whole club looking at her....

Haha! Ivy and I got matching crocs today and I have been singing that song all day.

I am a little embarrassed to let my inner ghetto girl peek out to the blogging world!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Great Weekend Re-Cap

We have had a great weekend!
On Friday night, I enjoyed an excellent date with my hubs watching 4 Christmases (Vince Vaughn is so funny) at the Movie Tavern. If you have never been there I highly recommend it! I think whoever thought of having a restaurant at the movies should get an award... seriously. Greg and I got to sleep in... until 8:00 when we went to pick Ivy up at Nana and Pops house~ we don't really know where our old sleeping capabilities have run off too? Maybe we just miss our little missy too much to sleep much later!

On Saturday, we did some major cleaning! I have been saving EVERY THING of Ivy's because I just can't part. Greg told me we can't possibly save it all because we are already out of room. So we went through and created several boxes to donate to Helping through Him and still have all of our favorites for a future little girl. Going through all of the little bitty things made me miss this:

We definitely saved this little outfit... it is one of my favorites!

Then today was very exciting! Some friends of ours got married at church during the 11:30 service. Southland did a series called "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and this weekend they actually had a wedding in each service! How Cool! :)

Here we are about to leave for church! This might be the best Mommy and Ivy picture ever taken :) YAY

Jordan and Shellain got married! Here they are having their first dance. Congrats to them!

Tonight we decided to take Ivy to look at the Christmas lights at the fire station. When we drive down the road she loves to say "WOW" when we pass houses that are lit up. We thought for sure she would enjoy it. If you have never been there... you set your radio station and the lights correspond with the music. It is VERY COOL! I am sure that they work very hard to provide some entertainment for us.

Here is Ivy watching in amazement. There were no "WOW's" tonight. I think it was a bit too much for her eyes to focus on. After a minute she said "Bye bye" to the lights!

We were off to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Ivy had fun seeing them... she missed them while they were gone to Japan. She always loves playing with the animals and being silly with Grandpa. Grandma always has lots of goodies for Ivy... even this close to Christmas!! Ivy is excited about her new Elmo puppet book.

Overall, we had a great weekend! I am so excited for a long break over Christmas and for Greg to only have ONE MORE semester~ YAY!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I am thankful for.......

My husband~ I don't know if I give him enough credit for what an amazing father and husband he is. I got to go to a school Christmas party at one of his professor's homes this week. I was so proud to be on his arm! He is such a hard worker and is so eager to graduate and really provide for our family. I fall deeper in love with him each day and especially in the moments I see him with Ivy. And I can't even tell you what it does to me.... when I look in the eyes of Ivy and see Daddy's little clone. (I mean seriously- did you see the hat pictures?)

Medicine~ I am thankful that we can go to a doctor and receive medicine super fast when our little one's are sick. Ivy went today and has an EAR INFECTION!! (Can you believe it?) I thought we were out of the woods after the tubes. Oh well! Thank goodness for doctors and good meds.

My Nativity Scene~ I love this nativity that my mom got me when I was pregnant. It is perfect for Ivy's little hands. She is so gentle with baby Jesus. She absolutely LOVES the pillow that she takes out of the manger and lays her head on. So sweet! I am thankful for this non-breakable Christmas item.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ivy's Daddy Wears Many Hats

Daddy loves him a toboggan.... always has and always will! Ivy has taken quite the liking to the hats and on first instinct calls out "DADDY!" to any man wearing one. Today we played dress up with some of Daddy's hats :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Story Time and Lunch Dates

It is funny how babies bring people together! Lindsey and I danced together on Pep Club way back when and hadn't seen each other in a long time. We ran into each other at the gym and realized that we had kiddos the same age. Ivy and Rantz have so much fun together. They play at the gym nursery and we have started going to story time on Mondays. We follow that with a lunch date- today was Zaxby's and last week was McDonald's. It is great to catch up and chat with someone going through all the same mommy milestones as I am- and Rantz and Ivy are building a friendship too! (Aren't they cute holding hands?)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Winter time is seriously here- it is so cold outside!
Ivy was perched by the window a lot of this weekend "oo-ing and aw-ing" over the snow.

Then she stopped to smile for a picture :)

Did I mention that I love this little girl so much.... more than I knew my heart would ever allow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my friend, Allie, this Thursday!! She made the header on my blog. I am so appreciative of people who share their artistic abilities.
Allie, I love it- Thanks so much!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas time is here and one of my favorite parts is pulling out all of the decorations. It is the ONLY time of year that my house is in "season"- if you will. Other times of year I just can't get in the spirit to clutter my house- haha. So a week prior to Thanksgiving I couldn't wait another moment.... so at the Smorstad home the decorations went up early!

Ivy loved the beads! We had to wait until she went to bed to actually decorate the tree because with each attempt to put the beads on she ripped them off and draped them on like jewelry... what a girly girl I have!

Kaya has a very safe hiding place for the next month. Christmas time has always been Kitty Girl's favorite time of year. She has even been known to try to climb the tree.

Nana saved the day and let Ivy decorate a mini-tree with baby safe ornaments. Ivy was so excited and each time we go to visit we "un-decorate" and "re-decorate!"

Ivy showing Mommy the pretty pink ball on her very own tree.
(I will have to get a picture of the finished product... It is so pretty!)

At home we still have daily temptations to steal ornaments or pull the beads but I guess that is okay since Christmas is all about having JOY... so who needs a grumpy mama saying "No Touch" for an entire month??!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ivy's 15 Month Check Up

< Ivy at 16 months!!
Yes, we are a month late for the 15 month check up but insurance issues are completely to blame. I would never be a month late for anything- that is just not my style.... maybe a minute or three but a month (definitely not)!

Height: 31inches (52%)
Weight: 22 lb (28%)
Head: 46cm (45%)

The doc was really excited about Ivy and her growth! We haven't seen this doctor for a while bc she has been on maternity leave... but she remembers the days of weekly weigh ins and being too small. Those days are no longer! She is on track :) She was really excited about Ivy's speech articulation and we even had the paci talk. I really liked her encouraging words as I have been really torn over this.

Her suggestion~ at about 22 months create a special box or cup personalized for Ivy and put it on her dresser. Create a paci routine at bed and nap time. Getting the paci in and out of her special place will make leaving it in her room okay. She won't be worrying about some other baby stealing it!!! (Allie- you had good advice, this all sounded familiar!!) As far as taking it away right now, she said this is not necessary. They have so much change around their first birthday with giving up the bottle and having more independence and a paci is their source of comfort. She didn't recommend walking around with it all the time but letting her have it at times when she wants it is ok! SHoooo- what a relief! It doesn't seem like she has it too often but at the those times of day when she needs it I am happily going to offer the beloved paci.