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