Sunday, March 26, 2017

Somebody's Been Here

Christmas. Oh man do I try...

We've spent the last 2 years here in Charleston and I try so hard to make it just like it was in Chapin for my kids. I try to decorate like her and cook like her and wrap like her and find the joy like her. It's just so hard though because well, I'm not her.

If there is one thing Nettie is good at, it's Christmas. It's like her own personal masterpiece. Year after year of absolute perfection. It's a hard line to walk but she doesn't just walk it. She tap dances, waltzes and pirouettes it.  Chapin at Christmas is every Christmas movie wrapped up into one. It's impossible to match it, but I try. Oh man do I try.

We usually start the season by going to see the Festival of Lights. It's tradition that Daddy never wants to go and comes up with every reason why we shouldn't. Then we have our annual Festival of Lights fight in the car on the way to see the lights. But then we get there and all is forgotten.

Another tradition is for Lil' and I to go to the Nutcracker with the Fauci's. We look forward to it all year and it's one of our very favorite things.

I especially loved my tree this year. And of course it's because Nettie came down and threw some ribbon in all the right places. 

I think I also loved it because I could actually see it when I was in the kitchen and the day I made sausage balls while watching my tree twinkle, I felt like I was taking a ride on Santa's sleigh.

The weather never helps to make it feel like Christmas in Charleston. Big and Lil' were sweating in these pictures for our Christmas card but they cooperated nevertheless. 

We did the Christmas party a little differently this year but it was just as much fun as always...

Christmas Eve was spent cooking and playing and then we all went to church. Our church service is one thing that makes me very happy about being in Charleston for Christmas. It's all music and it's beautiful.

Even though Nettie wasn't here, it still very much looked like somebody had been here.

Kitchen Remodel

In November we started the kitchen remodel. It was 1 month of a lot of take out, a lot of frozen meals and a lot of patience. We made it through though and we are so happy with the way it turned out. So far we haven't regretted one decision we made. It's really changed our whole downstairs.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


So as this was happening, my uterus was taking a real beating. For some reason, watching Big learn to shave was just as difficult as him learning to walk. I just can't handle him growing up. I'm not ready no matter how much he is.

See this little wing on the side of his head? That featherly looking part of his hair? Well that's his "flow" and he loves it. Was adamant that we didn't cut it.

I made him do it anyway. I love teenagers.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The BoogieWoogie

In the fall we found out that 2017 was going to be one for the record books for the Smiths. 2 more chickens were on their way for us and the excitement was just about more than any of us could handle. Another girl and another boy and I thought my heart would surely pop out of my chest. We threw a little party for Em and Laura and it was overwhelming to feel all the love that surrounds our family.

We were expecting Boogie and Woogie to come about 4 weeks a part. Woogie couldn't wait so Boogie is only 2 weeks older than him. Boogie (March 3rd) and Woogie (March 17th)...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Halloween 2016

Halloween was weird for all of us this year because Big wasn't around for it! He had basketball practice so he missed out on all the fun. 

These kids have been working this neighborhood for 8 years now. It makes me sad to think that their dress up days are coming to an end. They've had a good run though and I'm pretty sure they will always remember spending Halloween together when they were growing up.

Pura Vida!

The girls and I all turned 40 together in 2016. We've been discussing a trip for years where we not only celebrated our age, but our decadeS long friendship. Last year we made it happen only not all of us were able to go. This was unfortunate but only gives us more of a reason to plan another trip soon.

We wanted to go somewhere that would have a little something for all of us and since G and I haven't been to Costa Rica, K was able to easily convince us this was the place we should go.

Costa Rica is beautiful. There is no doubt about that. It also brings out your inner hippie and makes me just want to rub patchouli all over myself and grow dreadlocks. There really is something to the idea of living in nature and appreciating what God has done here and letting that guide you through life.

It felt good to not have cell service and to eat rice and beans in shacks with no air conditioning. The people there have a certain peace about them that I was envious of. I tried to bring it back with me but that was kind of difficult considering Hurricane Matthew had just passed through Charleston.

But for a day or two it was awesome to relax my brain and only worry about where my next Imperial was gonna come from.

So the Hurricane blew in and out while we were away and we came home to a missing palm tree and a trashed yard. We were very lucky. It's March now and this was back in October - I have friends who still haven't been able to move back in their homes.

Even though I left my hippie soul back in Puerto Viejo I try and remind myself of this as often as I can...

"Pura Vida! Means that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else can always be less fortunate than your own. So you need to consider that maybe..just maybe, your current situation isn't that bad and that no matter how little or how much you have in life, we are here together and life is short."