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!