Thursday, April 30, 2009

A New Car

On Monday, Ivy fell in love with all of the toy cars at her babysitter's house. I had to pry her little fingers off of the steering wheel the same way we peel each little hand off of me in the mornings. I am so thankful that she was having a great time, but it would put it mildly to say that she was overly "passionate" (right, Diana??) about these cars. So we got home, still sad about leaving the cars behind and Nana came over. She immediately started rattling off all the details about these cars and saying "Ivy car, Ivy car, Ivy car!"- implying that she wanted her own car. Well, Nana thought this was a must so yesterday Ivy and I got home to a toy car.... well kind of.
You see, the toy cars don't come assembled and Daddy wasn't home just yet. Ivy was satisfied looking at the box, not really realizing that the pictures told what was inside. She even pointed out to Daddy that Nana's box was outside when he got home. Upon opening the box she realized that the insides contained all the parts- lights, eyes, steering wheel, etc- that are used to build a car. After many fits (sorry no photos!!) Ivy was able to sit inside the car while Daddy put it together. This made it a little difficult but definitely easier on the ears and on the neighbors than the shrieking cries that took place as she waited for the car. We took walks, played babies, read books, but no distraction could take away from the fact that she was going to have her own car!

Daddy putting on the roof.

Daddy screwing everything in place
(You love the orange monster truck in the background-don't you!!)

Ivy is off and very happy :)
So excited to be cruising around in her new car!

Thanks Nana for some fun times last night and many more to come!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Little Things

When you have a little one you really start to appreciate the little things. Everything is new to them and they are always ready for exploration. With the spring like (even summer like...) days we have been outside a lot. I think Ivy would be happy to live outside! Here are some little things that we have been appreciating lately!

The beauty of new flowers blooming....

Picnics and popsicles with Daddy....

Taking a stroll (in a sundress... at that)...

A break from the sun in a shady spot!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

Ivy took her first trip to the Louisville Zoo yesterday. Lindsey, Rantz, Whitney, and Cam invited us to join and we had such a blast. It was a gorgeous day- maybe even a little too hot for the animals! We all packed into one car and headed out, arriving at the zoo in good time. We saw all the animals from Ivy's books. She looked in amazement that these things were actually real! Every time I see things like giraffe's and their sleek long necks, perfect for eating leaves at the top of tall trees- I am always so impressed with God's creativity and perfect planning for each animal!
- - - - - - - -
Here are some funny things Ivy said at the zoo:
* Rhino- big booty! (Haha- true statement!)
*Big monkey in time out. (This is when the gorilla sat in the corner with his back to us.)
*Mommy, Daddy, and Baby elephant (They were so cute!)
* Lots of birds.... (over and over and over, every time we saw a bird!)
* Cows, mommy??? (She wanted to see the cows so bad, unfortunately there are NO cows at the zoo! She is truly a KY girl at heart :) - loving those farm animals!)
*I climbing. (Greg taught her to always tell us when she is going to climb so we can help her. He thinks she is going to go rock climbing with him someday! So Ivy insisted that she was climbing into almost every animal cage.)
A couple pictures of the day~ I do apologize that there are not many pics, actually none with any animals... oops! It was hard enough to keep up with Ivy with the one million field trippers at the zoo so I lacked in the picture department!

Rantz and Ivy plotting out where to go first!

Looking at the giraffes in amazement!

Wanting to go in and hang out with the flamingos!


On a side note, thank you so much for all the encouragement on the job front! I really really appreciate it and I must say I have read the comments 2 million times. As far as news, my principal told me that she put me in as a pinkslip rather than a resignation which is a huge blessing but she did not confirm my job because our school is losing 2 positions. Keep praying! Thanks, friends!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Job 42:2

"I know that you can do all things, NO plan of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

Friends, I learned a very hard lesson this week. I am not in charge of my life. I am a child of God and He knows the plans for my life and for my family. And God's plans can not be thwarted.... but Sarah's plans most certainly can. I have had a week full of convictions in my heart and through grace I have felt God's comfort and peace. I am a sinner and I wrongly, stepped in front of God and tried to lead my life without letting him fully guide me. I was not patient in waiting to see what was in store.

When Greg found out about his job, we quickly made several decisions without waiting. We told my principal I wouldn't return and started planning for other major decisions like buying a house and me being stay at home mommy. Well, in Greg's "official" meeting we found that as his company promised- they had excellent insurance for Greg, but we failed to know the details regarding carrying Ivy and I on that plan. All in all, it was going to be totally unaffordable to carry our family on his insurance. As we crunched numbers, and instinct kicked in that I didn't know I had- an instinct to provide where I know I can. Teachers have excellent benefits, and this is what we wrongly assumed all jobs had. I am confident in my ability as a teacher and I am confident that this is a very real calling in my life. And I know, in order to move forward I am going to have to go back to work- full time- next year.

I was so sure that God had given me a heart that lacked being able to pull this off.... but in the past 48 hours God is already preparing me. I have fallen into His arms for rest and assurance that I can be an excellent Mommy and teacher. I have several people to look to as role models as I walk this road next year, and probably for many years to come. Through many meaningful conversations, I know that this is what is best for our family. I am so thankful for the revelation that I had after this post. I was counting down the days until the end of school and chose to be joyful for those 30 days... in that joy I started to feel very bittersweet about leaving my job, I had realistic fears about being home, and I longed to have my own classroom for that next 30 days just to regain that teacher ownership that only us teachers really understand :). And those feelings all began to make sense on Tuesday evening. I am able to look at our future and be positive.

I am still asking for prayers and I would love for you to join in- my principal has not yet confirmed that I will have a job. She had moved forward with paperwork after I told her I wouldn't return and I have to wait to hear the status of my job. Other teachers have built my confidence in this but until I hear her confirmation I cannot fully rest. Wilmore is my comfort zone and that is where I would want to teach- hands down. That is a place I would want to send my own children. So I am asking for your prayers for my job security. Once we are assured that I will return to WES we are going to start looking for houses much closer to where I work. This will alleviate some of the travel time and stress that come along with that. I will be able to be close to Ivy while she is at the babysitters and close to my home. I will be able to live in the community where I work. So I would love for you to join me in this prayer.
Here are some scriptures that I have been resting in the past few days:
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6
Cast all your anxiety on Hm because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:24
Many, O Lord, are the wonders you have done. The things you plan for us no one can recount to you; were I to tell of them there are too many.
Psalm 40:5
Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10
*I will update as soon as I hear anything from my principal. Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Routine...

Ivy has a new morning routine.
1. Wake Up
2. Change Diaper
3. Cup of Milk
4. "Nommies off"
*She sheds her clothes a enjoys playing in just her diaper. This has been part of the routine for a while and it's never been a problem. I love seeing her little diaper butt run around. (or big booty according to Unc and Esie!)

But today she added a next step as she ran in the kitchen yelling "Nakeee girl" this is what I saw:
5. Nakeee Girl!

She now thinks she can run around naked as a jay bird. Which wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't scared she was going to pee all over the place!!! But with that little problem, her booty must be diapered at all times.
Re-diapering followed after this picture. It was not pretty!
ps- As I took her picture she held up her imaginary camera and said "Cheese, Mommy!" She is such a silly girl!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Smorstad News Update

Well, I have been quite the neglectful blogger this past week. Truth be told- I have had houses on the brain and been pretty non-functioning in all other departments. But we have had some exciting news in the Smorstad family that I must share.

A. Greg will officially graduate from UK in 21 days!!!

B. Even more importantly, he has been offered a job at Clotfelter Samokar, an architecture firm in Lexington when he currently interns. Yay to my outstanding hubby!

We are still waiting for some "official" things to take place but he has been assured that he will be employed full time come graduation. We feel so blessed for him to have found a job in such terrible economic times and even better it is in Lexington!!!! For those of you that don't know- Greg has talked about moving me to places like Oregon, Washington, and even Canada so you can imagine that I am thrilled to be right here in the bluegrass!

C. I told my principal that I will not be returning to teach next year. Now, this was not as easy as I thought it would be. I have shared with you before that I was scared that I no longer had a passion for teaching. Through, lots of prayer God revealed something even more shocking. I simply do not have a passion for teaching part time. In other words, I don't like to share- haha, typical first child syndrome!! Part of the love that I had for my job was MY classroom and MY students. In the jobshare situation I lost a lot of ownership. I am so thankful that I have rekindled my love for the classroom and overjoyed to confidently say I will be back one day. But when I am back, I will be the only teacher in my classroom. In the meantime, I am going to be a teacher to my own children and fully serve my husband. I am going to complete my master's during my time off. And I will go back when God so willingly sends me. I know that I am called to be 3 things: a wife, a mother, and a teacher and I will answer to all of those things in my lifetime.

D. All of the above brings us to our current topic: HOUSES!

This was our first love of house hunting!

I have been doing the house hunting thing since November. I have scoped out what we want, don't want, and what our family absolutely needs. I have looked in Nicholasville, Wilmore, and Lexington. I have looked at a range of houses in age, price, and size. And we have come to a couple of conclusions. Here they are (I am in a list making sort of mood... can you tell??):

* We love an old house with amazing wood floors. We love the character. We love the trees. We love that it is the polar opposite of what he live in now!

*We don't like that old houses need more fixing up than we can afford.

*We don't like that old houses usually mean old neighbors... we love old people but would like the have a kid friendly neighborhood!

*We don't like that old houses typically come with 1 bathroom- a downsize from what we have now.

*We don't like that old houses have gas heat. THIS IS EXPENSIVE! We got a quote on the house above that we are so in love with that they pay on average $190/month on gas and electric. This is $120 more than we pay a month for electric. So even though this house is on the lower end of the price range we would make up for it with this one hefty bill.

*We have now decided we are open to newer homes.

*This house hunting process makes me a little crazy. Friends, I mentally move my family into several houses a week. I place my furniture, paint the walls, and birth a few more kiddos. I do any fixing up needed and I grow older in these houses. I lose sleep. Then one little problem comes- and snap I am mentally homeless! It is a whirlwind of emotions but in the end it will be worth it!

*We have zero desire to build a house unless we are headed for a divorce. haha- seriously, I don't believe I could handle the stress of building from scratch.... even with my calm counterpart.

*We are now looking back in all the regions- Nicholasville, Wilmore, Lexington.

*House hunting has come full circle.

So I hope you feel a little more up to date on our life! (As if you, my 3 blog readers care or you haven't already heard the details 10 times over, sorry mom!!!) I will continue to let you know how house hunting is coming along. And hopefully, my next post will be full of mommy musings and cute snap shots of Ivy!

ps- I have just mentally moved into an adorable ranch in the sweet subdivision of Lou Carlton! It has the country feel of Jessamine County... and is really out in the county not in the heart of Nich-vegas! Kayla, do you want to be neighbors? haha, I hope I am not moving out tomorrow!

Going to bed tonight... I will be dreaming of this little number! Hopefully really dreaming, not painting walls and building swingsets :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Day

Ivy woke up.... out of her bed she followed a trail of eggs to her Easter basket.

She tested out one pink peep and was ready to have fun with green play dough pre-breakfast.

After taking a walk, and singing and dancing our praises to our Lord Jesus, we sat down to read the real story of Easter. Ivy sang her own rendition of "Jesus Loves Me".

Then we had a wonderful Easter meal at Nana and Pops' house. It was wonderful for both families to come together to celebrate Jesus.
Here is Ivy and her Memaw and Pawpaw- very distracted by their camera.

Ivy and her Nana and Popsh. (she enunciates the "sh" on the end of Pops)
She was declaring that it was time for the festivities to come to an end by yelling "Nap, nap, nap!" over and over again until a major melt down took place.
(I suppose we should have listened to the signs sooner!)
We want Ivy to know that Easter is not about:
egg hunts,
big bunnies,
"belly jeans",
colored eggs,
goodie baskets,
or even
fancy dresses....
Easter is not about any of that.
Easter is about the death of our Lord Jesus.
He died for us.
Our sins, mine and yours and Ivy's too, are nailed to His cross.
And He rose again, up from the grave He arose.
He offers us grace.
He offers us forgiveness.
We are given the gift of eternal life.
We will not die.
But we will LIVE... with Him... in Heaven... with all that He promises in His paradise.
And what do we have to do?
What do you have to do?
Believe in Him.
Believe His promise.
Accept Him to be your Lord and Savior.
Have faith in Jesus Christ and you don't have to die but instead live in Heaven, in paradise, with Him forever and ever and ever.
I am so thankful in His promises this Easter and every day. I am so thankful that a father sent his son to die for me so that I can be free from the guilt of my sins. I am a sinner but because of Him I am free and cleansed. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace.

Our Fancy Girl

I have to admit.... Greg and I are not very fancy. We like jeans, soft shirts, and comfy shoes. I was super anti-fancy clothes when Ivy was a baby. I wanted her to soft and cuddly not itchy and stiff! But now that she is bigger and has quite the girly personality, I feel it is only right to give Ivy a chance to be fancy every now and then! She was too funny because as soon as she put on her dress she started posing and prancing around the room. She continued saying she was "ready to go!" I may be a bit partial, but she did look oh, so precious in her fancy clothes.

Ivy and Daddy eating a quick grill cheese sandwich before Easter service at church.

Ivy posing in her dress~ so sweet!

Cardigan on and she is ready to go!

Coloring Easter Eggs

We celebrated Easter with our friends on Friday afternoon. In the midst of the big thunderstorm Ivy, Rantz, and Cam dyed eggs for the first time. Ivy and Rantz had more fun dying the newspaper and their hands but Cam was really into the eggs. He made some with 2 colors and was patient while the eggs were in the dye. As Ivy gets older I think she will enjoy things like this but at 20 months she continued to tell me "color" and "go play". She was funny! However, for the 20 minutes of egg dying fun we had a great time :)

Cam showing off his colored hands!

Rantz didn't want to be photographed! He smashed about 10 eggs during the dying process. He loved seeing his Mommy react as he threw the eggs in the floor. Check out his blue hand!

Ivy waiting for her "bue" egg. Blue is her current favorite color! She identifies almost everything (blue or not) as being "bue!!!!" She gets so excited :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cell Phone Emergency

This is my lovely phone. I got it in December and it was HUGE upgrade from my old Nextel. I have loved it every moment. We don't have a house phone so it is my only means (minus email) of communication. I take great care of it and Ivy isn't aloud to touch it- unless it is without our knowledge. We try to keep it out of her reach. All in all my cell phone has not been exposed to any damaging conditions.

However, about a week ago people starting telling me they couldn't hear me. It was driving me crazy. I tried holding my phone different, talking on volume 10, and turning off background noise when I could control it. Yesterday I took it to AT&T and they decided in 0.2 seconds, after removing the back to see a BRIGHT RED dot, that it had water damage. Apparently, they have a sensor so they know if it has water damage and you can't tell them that is not what it is. After nearly crying in the store knowing that it has not been exposed to any water... this is what I was told.

"Some phones are sensitive and even having them in the bathroom with you while you shower could cause moisture damage from steam."

Well, hello- people,that would be nice to know before my beloved phone spent the past 90+ days in the bathroom with me while I have showered. I am certain that this is what caused the damage and please know this for you--- don't let your phone get damaged by steam and have the cell phone people looking at you like you have dropped your phone in the toilet!!!

This is where you can help me!!! I love going to the blogging world for help and advice. I can't replace my phone or get any phone through AT&T for less that $180.... and I can't spend that when my phone is a young 3 months old. I don't have insurance because my phone doesn't participate in risky behaviors like swimming and riding roller coasters (cough, cough, Anthony!). These are the choices I have:

a. I could rock a blue tooth, which I can barely say without cracking up!!! Seriously, can you see me (part time teacher, stay at home mommy) feeling so important that I need a blue tooth. If I did this I would no longer be able to talk on the phone in public- only the confines of a dark closet so no one could see me. bah-hahahaha!!! I am laughing at the sight of me in the closet and only the light of the blue tooth.

b. I could use a service like wirefly. They offer my exact phone for free for extending your AT&T contract. Is this credible? Has anyone used them or another source like this? I feel like this is my only option but I don't want to be jipped. I have no problem extending my contract with them so it sounds good but maybe I am missing something.

Now seriously, stop making fun of me with a blue tooth and help me find a new phone! What is a girl to do with no cellular?

One of the negatives of living in the techy generation is all the expensive stuff that can break, read the post below to see a cute pic and funny story of a baby living in a technology infused world!

Child of the 21st Century

Ivy has become a chatter box! She says too many funny things for me to remember but yesterday she really let us know she was a child of a tech-generation. Greg and I both have i-pods that we really only use when we work out and on a docking station in the car. Ivy never sees us using them with the headphones and clipped on our pockets but randomly yesterday she claimed an "eye-uh-pod" is what she wanted. She started saying "eye-uh-pod" from the moment she woke up from her nap. I gave her several other things thinking she surely wasn't requesting an i-pod. Sure enough the girl knew exactly what she wanted and how to work it. She got the i-pod, put in down her pants (we fixed it for the photo), and put the headphones by her ears and demanded "Ivy moozic pees". She was not satisfied until she was jamming (on a very low volume.... for fear she might go deaf) to some Alicia Keys. We had to hide the i-pod when it was time for dinner but this morning she woke up fully remembering her need for the "eye-uh-pod." This is a picture of her waiting for Mommy to make breakfast while listening to her "moozic."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

I woke up reminiscing about one of my favorite times of the Easter season- the egg hunt. I couldn't wait to relive this memory with Ivy-girl. This morning we took Ivy to her very first annual Easter Egg Hunt at church. It was so much fun! We have been hunting eggs at home this week so she knew what to do once she got the go ahead. She kept saying "another egg" and as she would put one in her small basket I would toss one back into the open field. If it was up to her we could have filled 5 baskets! She also got her first experience with the Easter Bunny. She was all about the "big bunny" until he started to interact with her and then she was terrified! She even woke up from her nap saying "Big bunny... scary"~ too funny! Overall, it was a really fun time for all and we will definitely continue the Easter Egg Hunt tradition.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Megan Joy- Goodbye, See Ya, So Long

I really really liked her.... from the get go she was my favorite. I don't know if it was that I LOVED her tattooed arm or that she was a mommy. I don't know if it was that I LOVED her unique voice or that I wanted her to succeed for her family. But nonetheless, I LOVED her. I voted for her even when she didn't do the greatest because I wanted to keep her around. Then on Tuesday she brought out this new cocky attitude that I DID NOT enjoy in the slightest. She was rude when the judges were being truthful. She made horrible facial expressions and she just seemed like she thought she was THE American Idol. I DID NOT VOTE for her. She just got under my skin. By the end of last night's episode, with her bird call, silly faces, and the don't care comment. I couldn't wait to see her pack her bags! I am glad she gets to go home and see her little boy and next time that she gets a chance in the music world I hope she is humbled by the experience rather than seeming so ungrateful.

"You this?"

Today Kayla, Ivy, and I went to Georgetown to visit Ashley and Brayden. We are 3 teachers who are very much enjoying spring break! I was so glad I brought my camera because I have been forgetting it this week on our other adventures. Brayden was having a hard morning because of some tummy/teething issues.... they always go hand in hand don't they!! This makes it hard for Mommy! Ivy was so concerned about Brayden. She tried to show him toys and his juice, but most importantly she just wanted him to take his paci. She tried multiple types of paci's, even a special teething one. Brayden probably wanted to say: "Seriously, girl, I DO NOT WANT A PACI.... at all...!!!!" But he was sweet and gently pushed her hand away upon each offer. Ivy finally got him when he was down for diaper duty!

Ivy's Thoughts:

"Seriously, Brayden, if you are sad this ba-ha-bah will make you feel so much better. I love all of my ba-ha-bahs (by the way that is what I call my paci's) and my mom tries to make me leave it in the crib. You should suck the daylights out of your paci for as long as you can because when you get a little bigger your mommy might try to limit it. I have even heard other mommy's taking it away all together!!!! Isn't that crazy! Please, Baby Brayden, I would love to see you with your ba-ha-bah, it would make you feel so happy!"

Ivy was determined. She followed him around and said "you this?" over and over. She was certain that it would make him feel better. After lunch Brayden seemed to be in better spirits. They were chasing each other around. It is going to be so fun to see them grow up together. Before long the 10 month difference will be lost in the past.... it seems like every time we get together they interact more and more. Ivy loves babies- maybe soon there will be more little ones in our house!!! (Right, honey!)