Wednesday, December 30, 2009

***TOP 9 TIMES OF 2009***

I have been getting geared up for this post for a few days now.... I know I am a dork, to sit and ponder blogging ideas... but it's the sad truth!! Last year I did a similar post and loved reflecting back through the year and remembering my favorite moments. This year has been a year of newness, unexpected events, and change. This year has brought us times of rest and times of chaos and through it all our family is closer and more than ready to conquer 2010!

So here our are TOP 9 TIMES OF 2009!!!

1. SNOW!! Some people might say we had too much snow this past winter, but I really enjoyed it. I think that the snow is beautiful and I love to be stuck inside :) Ivy had a great time being pulled in her sled and we even had a slumber party with Nana and Pops when they lost power. I loved the snowy weather that we had!

2. Graduations :) Greg and Unc both graduated in May! Both are reasons to celebrate.... but it was especially exciting for my hubs who was definitely in college for a long haul. Not only did a graduate, but he landed a great job with a local architecture firm, allowing us to stay here close to family. We are so thankful for jobs!

3. God All-Knowing.... I have to count this time in our top 9. It was huge and you probably remember the moment. I was gearing up to being a stay at home mommy. I was ready to serve my family and leave the workforce. Until.... God, who knows all and who is sooooo good, showed us his plan. Not only did I have to continue working but I had to go back to work full time. This transition caused me to feel completely broken at first. I was sad, scared, and at times a little bitter, but God provided me with comfort and peace beyond all understanding. I was able to fully enjoy my summer off with Ivy and mentally prepare to go back to work. My prayers for strength and patience were answered and I have honestly been able to ease back into working full time, getting my masters, and being a mommy and wife with little difficulty. My prayers for a "close to perfect" class were beyond answered. For this top moment I could go on and on, but the bottom line is- trust in God and continue to give Him thanks through all circumstances.

4. New House~ We bought our first house and love it! Enough said!!!

5. Summertime Fun. This summer was seasonably cool and we really loved it. We were able to play outside in our new yard on our new swing set. We were able to go to the park with friends. We did spend a few days beside the baby pool. I love being able to wear pajamas a little too long and rest during Ivy's nap time! I am always thankful for summertime!

5. Girls Trip to Gatlinburg! My mom, Chelsea, Ivy and I were able to get away for a few days and go to Gatlinburg. We enjoyed our time hanging out, visiting Dollywood, shopping a little, and eating too much. We all had a great trip and enjoyed relaxing away from home.

6. Starting School Since I was a little girl, I have always loved the fresh start of a new school year. With my new found, positive attitude this year was no different. I love organizing school supplies and getting my classroom ready for a new group of kiddos. I am not lying when I say these kids are the BEST group I have ever had, and I am being very very spoiled. They really are! My students coupled with a brand new box of sharp crayons make starting school one of my favorite things!

7. The Labor Day Lake Trip Oh my goodness, we had a blast! I am remembering it and how fun it was to hang out. Most of my dad's side of the family was all packed into my Aunt and Uncle's lake house. This was the first time that Ivy had been out on the boat and she was so excited. She even took a little ride on the jet ski. Ivy loves being anywhere that my cousins are.... she adores them! This was definitely a great memory for our family.

8. Charleston, SC Second Honeymoon We definitely able to recharge our batteries on this little getaway. It was the first time (I think) since we've been married that we have taken a trip together. It was a beautiful city and we were excited to be doing grown up things for a few days! But we certainly were excited to come home to Ivy.... and buy a minivan the coming week!

9. The Holidays Every year Thanksgiving and Christmas are always some of my favorite times. There is nothing like spending a little while off of work and hanging out with family. We love being so close to both of our families which makes the holidays very easy. This year I particularly loved to see Ivy enamoured with the magic of Christmas. She loved talking about the elves, the North Pole, and Santa Claus. I think the holidays are 100 times more fun when you have children to enjoy it with!
We are praying for just as special of a 2010!!
Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Princesses Can Do It All

They can have a pet cat...

that might turn into a horse with a magic spell!

Princesses can do a pretty pose!

Or the can be a pirate :)

In Ivy's imaginary land of dress up... She is a Princess and she can do "anyfing"!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Smorstad Christmas

This post is a little overdue... but we have been busy enjoying my Christmas break! We have been loving mornings in our jammas, visiting with family, and getting ready for Santa's arrival. However, our first Christmas was actually a little over a week ago. We celebrated with Greg's parents early since they were going to be out of town for a couple of weeks. It was so much fun to see the difference between Ivy last year and this year. Last year she would fixate on the first present she opened and be very uninterested in everything else.... this year she was unwrapping presents so fast just to see what was going to be next! Meemaw and Papaw spoiled her (and us!!) as usual. Ivy was excited about her ladybug tent and digital camera, she has been enjoying ALL the Barney DVD's over and over and over, and it never fails that she thinks she needs her purse and her "brella" everytime with leave the house. She had a fabulous Christmas with her Meemaw and Papaw and we are excited about more Christmases over the next few days!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Party!

Last weekend, Greg and I attended our first Clotfelter-Samokar Christmas party. I was excited to get dressed up and go out with my husband, but a little nervous to meet everyone. However we had a great time!! It was held at the Malone's party room and it was nice. It was good food and good times. While we were partying.... Ivy was having a fabulous time with Nana and Pops. We are so grateful that we are afforded an evening out with FREE all night childcare where our baby (or I guess toddler) is in good hands!

We had fun dressing up! And Ivy was so funny proclaiming this past Friday that she needed to wear boots and leggings to her Christmas Party at the babysitter's house! haha

Feeding Pops a yummy new snack~

Tucking all her babies into bed...

Taking a "boat" ride! (Great imagination!!)

Listening to Pops with a stethoscope.... maybe she will be a nurse like her Nana!

Overall, Ivy had a super time and so did we!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Ivy

Dear Ivy,
* * * * * *

You have been such a trooper and I am so proud of you! You have loved your paci since you were born. It has comforted you and at times it has comforted Mommy and Daddy. You are such a big girl now! Big girls wear panties and just like you told us.... they don't have paci's. You surprised Mommy and Daddy with your sweet heart when you decided the baby reindeer needed your paci. I think that will make their long trip house to house a much better one. We were so proud of you when you gave Elf Rob your paci's on Wednesday night and Santa Claus is proud too. You are such a good girl and because of you there are some happy reindeer.

Now it hasn't been easy. Wednesday night was one of my saddest evenings since being a Mommy. We held you as you cried and mourned over the loss of your friend. It was a different weep than I have ever heard- you weren't angry or sick... but just sad. You were so sad and were unsure of how to find comfort throughout the night. But last night you did so much better and went to bed with just a few tears and I am confident that tonight will be just like old times. We have hated to see you sad and hated knowing that you are really growing up, but loved knowing that this was your decision and that you usually are right on- doing things when you are ready! We love you and can't wait to see even more facets of your kind heart as you grow up.
* * * * *

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.....

I really love Christmas time! I love getting out on my decorations, shopping for gifts, looking at Christmas lights, listening to Chrismtas music, and I especially love the magic of Christmas through a child's eyes. I am able to do that everyday at work with my first graders.... only because I work in a super conservative public school district, where we can say Christmas, make ornaments, and sing Away in a Manger at our Christmas show- YAY Wilmore. But this year I am also seeing Christmas through Ivy's eyes. This year she is old enough to really talk about all the magical aspects of Christmas and it is so much fun. We have started some new Christmas traditions and added to some old ones. This post is to capture us getting into the Christmas spirit!

New Tradition: Elf on the Shelf!!! If you have a child and haven't heard of Elf on the Shelf it is a book and little Elf that you read to your child. The Elf then gets a name (ours is Rob- odd I know!) and it lives at your house until Christmas flying back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa and reappearing in a new spot each morning. Ivy talks to Rob- every time she wants to report her good behavior. She pretty much ignores him when I refer to him mid temper tantrum!! When she wakes up the first thing she does is look for Rob. :) It is so much fun!

New Tradition: Pink Tree :) You've seen it, we love it, and it needed a spot on this post!

Old Tradition: My Granny got me this advent calendar when I was little (well maybe me and Anthony... but I have claimed it!!) and each day you move the mouse. Ivy loves it. She doesn't understand to move him one day at a time but instead skips him all over the calendar. One thing she does know is that on the last day Santa will be coming! This is one of my favorite memories.... except the times when Anthony tackled me to try to beat me to the mouse each morning.
Old Tradition, New House: LOVE the fact that I have enough space that we do not have to move furniture to put up our Christmas tree. Don't LOVE the fact that our toddler of a kitten destroys the tree daily so I have the joy of redecorating it each and every day for the month that it is up. Don't LOVE the fact that our toddler of a kitten opens Christmas presents so they have to rest on the mantle to protect them from little kitten claws! LOVE LOVE LOVE the Christmas tree and stockings, even if my cat is sort of annoying!

Old Tradition.... Growing: I love getting out the Santa pictures each year!
Here is this years picture! Ivy was terrified of Santa. She clung to us from the moment we stepped in line to see him. We have been talking about going to see Santa and she has been so excited, but it all turned to fear when we actually could see him. None the less, this picture became a family affair with Santa!! Now she is already saying.... next year, when I am bigger, I am going to sit with Santa by myself. We will see!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sick Days.... the dreadful ear!

Ivy has been sick for a long time. Not life stopping sick, just mildly, annoyingly sick. To be exact we are on our fourth antibiotic and our fourth ear infection in 7 weeks. CRAZY!! The last 2 weeks our sore ear has been complimented with an ugly combination of an upper respiratory and sinus infection... yuck.
However, we are thankful that it is not the flu.
We are thankful to have excellent insurance for our many co-pays.
We are thankful to be going back to the ENT tomorrow to decide how we are going to fix the faulty tube.
We are thankful that in the midst of our sick days (home together) we are able to play!
Even though we are sick and feverish with gook draining out of our eyes, nose, ears, and mouth (sorry to make you gag) we are still playing and....

Being very creative in picking out our own clothes!

Finding the best spots in hide and go seek!

Practicing for the day we finally become a big sister!

And trying to escape the confines of the backyard!

I love my little Ivybug! Feel better soon, sweet girl!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


This year the Smorstad family has so much to be thankful for! We have had a great Thanksgiving and felt so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends. (I didn't take ANY pictures..... ahhhh! I think I was a little busy making sure that Ivy's needs were met that I forgot to even get out my camera.) I wanted to reserve a post for giving thanks!
Two year old little girls.... specifically IVY CAMILLE! Being a parent makes me feel so blessed. Sharing this job with Greg makes it even better. Ivy is a reason to give thanks everyday. I am happy to have a healthy little girl, who provides comedic relief everyday!
Home We were so excited to become homeowners this year. It has made us feel independent, for the first time. We have loved putting our time and effort into taking care of it, because we know that it is our own. The extra room we have now is making us very anxious to expand our family!
Abundance We are able to live and live abundantly. We are able to meet our everyday needs of food, shelter, and clothing. We have a family that is rich in love. We have a church family that feels called to serve and is doing that. We have the abundant freedom to pray and love our Lord Jesus.
Nineteen first graders! Who would have thought that I would be so thankful for my job??? I never would have guessed that I would have such peace with going back to work. In retrospect, I can see the big picture. God has a plan and a purpose for us. And even when it is scary, we need to trust in Him. He has provided me with a great class (seriously, they are almost perfect) and He provided us with the ideal set up for child care. I have great friends that I get to work with everyday. I am so thankful to have my job.
Kentucky.... I am thankful that Greg graduated a found a job in Kentucky! I love everything about Kentucky. I love that our families are here. I love that we experience the perfection of all seasons. I love the wildcats (hahaha- I felt like I should put that.... but those of you who know me probably find that amusing)!
Salvation My mom lost yet another member of her family this month, her brother. Every time that we lose someone that we love, I am especially reminded of the wonderful gift of salvation. God loved His son, with a perfect love, and He sacrificed him so that we could live forever. That is amazing. That is a gift that we can never stop being thankful for. Because of this gift I know that someday we will all be reunited in Heaven.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Crafts

Fall is one of my favorite seasons (I say that during each season!!) and as a first grade teacher I am partial to cutesy crafts.... however, I do not have much patience that do these with a 2 year old!! We will be crafting like crazy when she gets a little older. That is why I am oh so thankful for Kristy... Ivy's wonderful babysitter. We are fortunate enough to have an in home sitter that is run with the organization of a daycare. They have a set schedule and have art time every day. Needless to say, Ivy comes home with some of the most precious things. BUT you must know- I AM NOT A PACK RAT!!! Actually, I get made fun of for tossing everything. So I am left with a dilemma. I love the crafts Ivy makes but I can't possibly save them for the next 18 years. My friend, and avid scrapbooker gave me the excellent idea, to take Ivy's picture with my favorites of each season or month. So here goes the start of my tradition (and I am so sad, that I missed this opportunity for all her Halloween ones!).

IvyGirl proudly displaying her November crafts!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

oh *PINK* christmas tree, oh *PINK* christmas tree...

Your sparkles really amaze me!!

Ivy is pleased to announce that she has her very own Ivy tree. An Ivy tree, adorned with sparkly pink ornaments and Disney princesses. An Ivy tree, topped with a hot pink star that gleams in the lights. An Ivy tree, wrapped with a bright pink velvety tree skirt.

Hands down, best money every spent on Christmas decorations! Ivy sits in her room admiring the tree and wakes up and goes to sleep talking about her pink tree. She really really really loves it!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Enjoying Mommyhood

Why I love having a 2 year old:

When you are 2, you can wake up and be whoever you want and no one thinks twice about it. You can wake up and be princess or a doctor or a mommy. It can be Halloween every day and you can proclaim Happy Birthday to yourself whenever you please. You can be so incredibly true to your feelings, even when it's ugly for the viewers. People just seem to understand that is what it is like to be 2. We were all 2 once and hear of the stories of our silliness and temper tantrums that cleared the room.
I love that Ivy is 2... even when it is ugly.
I think I have truly embraced that this is a stage and I will never get back yesterday. Our babies grow too fast and I refuse to hang on to the hard times of each stage, like I have been known to do. I don't want to look back and think:
Wow at first the sleepless nights were hard.
Then the strict schedule was tough.
Then she started wanted to eat everything... and boy was it difficult to watch her every move.
Next she was one and on the move- and where did my baby go??
Then came the inner mommy struggles about paci's and bottles and the pressures around.
Before I knew it, those tantrums came and really trumped the other hard stuff.
Each stage has a struggle of it's own, but what about all the good stuff? That is what I want to hang onto and remember.
I remember the smell of the newborn Ivy.
I remember her first smile.
I remember her scrawny legs and long toes.
I remember the first time she slept through the night and woke up with the most satisfied grin.
I remember when she seemed to take in every detail of my face.
I remember when she made such distinct expressions as she ate new foods.
I remember her first steps, her first words, and the first time she folded her hands to pray.
I remember when she said "I love you."
I remember when she started playing mommy.
I remember when she started trying to read her books to me.
I remember when she started professing her love for the moon and the stars.
I remember when she started showing her creative side.
I want to enjoy Ivy every day. This has been one of the hardest parts about working full time. My time with Ivy is short Monday through Friday, a few hours each evening. We try to do something fun each day... go for nature walks, swing, color, do play-dough, or play "Mommy." But on the days when we are tired or grouchy, I go to bed drained and trying to hang on to something that was good.
Right now something that I am truly enjoying (even though I struggled to accept it... at times) is her independence in her choice of clothing! Everyday she has an opinion of her own, whether it is red shoes with pink pants or pajamas all day or bows of many random colors, Ivy wants to dress herself. So if you see my child in public, please attempt to embrace her wild side :)
Here are some recent photos of Ivy's fashion sense!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Last year Ivy thought that pumpkin carving was over rated. She scowled at the goop and didn't want to go near the mushines.....


Ivy loved the orange gooeyness of the pumpkin. She liked digging it out with her hands and splatting it on our kitchen table. She wanted to make sure every last bit of the slime and seeds were out the pumpkin before Daddy created the face. She had a blast!!!

(We forgot to take pictures of our finished product... and now it is rotten! OOPS!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ivy Bug and Monkey Rhett

This year we had a fabulous Halloween with Ivy! Our friends, the Amburgey's, came over for dinner and then we did trick-or-treating in our neighborhood together. Ivy and Rhett go to the babysitters together and play like siblings and Cicely and I work together.... so obviously Rob and Greg are forced to be friends! We had a great time. Ivy loves them- so much that she always pretends to call them and names each and everyone of her babydolls after one of the Amburgey's!! It cracks me up :) She has such a big imagination right now.


Anyways, onto the trick-or-treating! It was a perfect evening, after a particularly gloomy day. Rhett was into running as fast as he could from door to wagon, sure that he would get there before Ivy... typical boy! Ivy meandered, cautiously to the door, picked through the candy bowl and slowly walked back to wagon adoring other costumes and even the tiniest bugs on the driveways. They were quite the pair! Cicely and I hope to make this a Halloween tradition- next year we will have one more baby to add to the mix... she is expecting a little girl in January! (Which makes Ivy even a little hungrier for a sibling!! That silly goose!)
Here are some pictures to capture IvyBug and MonkeyRhett!

Posing with their costumes in front of the full length mirror!

A little nervous, at the first house.

Posing with the cute fall decorations!

Waiting patiently for candy!

Having a treat as we headed home :)
Happy Halloween 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthdays to our Unc and Esie

I am behind on my blogging.... I realize.... but I had to do big things- like learn to drive my minivan. However, last week our very special Unc and Esie both had their 23rd birthdays! We were so excited to go to Cincinnati to celebrate with them. We had a fantastic time as usual. The pictures below capture the way Ivy looks like she is about 5 and look closely at Daddy, he holds Ivy's baby as if he wants one of his own!! Can you tell that minivan really has me on the baby train?!?!? :)

Right after they got a special birthday song and two ginormous Sundae's from the chatty waitress! Happy Birthday to two very special people~

Ivy said she wanted her own... yeah right!

Ivy and her favorite girls.... about to open presents!

Notice: Unc got the Sham-wow and he is so excited about this! He spills his drink daily! And Greg has just subconsciously swaddled and is now rocking Ivy's baby!! hahaha

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mini-van Mama

Mama Smors is now officially a mini-van mommy! Now, you know, that since becoming a momma I knew that I wanted a mini-van at some point. I pictured it packed to the brim with many small children and it being the perfect car to suit my large family! Well, a little earlier than planned I am officially driving a van... or as Ivy says, "a ban." After taking Greg's car to Charleston and almost not making it home we were forced to do some car shopping. We looked at bigger cars, small SUV's, and then vans. It was a no brainer, when we factored in gas mileage, insurance, and Ivy's continuous kicks to our seats.... we were ready to take the plunge into Mini-van land! We have been the proud owners since Thursday, Ivy thinks it is the coolest thing her parents have ever bought, and we are loving the space. However, it is pretty odd to look around and have only one babe in the backseat! My baby fever is rising as I am sporting my new vehicle.... I hope to fill it up with many more small children in it's lifetime. But for now, it is the perfect luxury car for a two year old!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Times... Good Times

I absolutely love fall... I love the smells, the tastes, and the colors. I love celebrating lots of family birthdays (two more this weekend)! I love the cooler temperatures. I love seeing little ones dressed up in costumes (note- I do not like to dress up)! I love knowing that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. And I love going to Boyd's Orchard. Last weekend we ventured there for the second time this season and as usual we had a blast.

Ivy's grand entrance... on Daddy's shoulders!

Enjoying a snack of apple doughnuts and cider... yum!

She loves this swing.... or blue horse as she calls it!

Feeding the goats- Ivy does not prefer to partake she just likes to watch Mommy and Daddy have our hands munched on!

Through the tunnels... much braver than just 2 weeks ago!

Mommy and Ivy... Boyd's Orchard 2009!