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Friday, July 30, 2010

First haircut

My hair has been a blessing and a curse my whole life. More of a curse and less of a blessing. It's thick, wavy/frizzy, and full of cowlicks, and poor Savannah inherited at least the last two in that series. I can already tell she is going to hate me for it. I have been struggling lately to know what to do with the parts that curl and the parts that don't, so when my sister came to town I enlisted her to find a cut that would make her look a little less straggly.

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I won't bother posting before pictures because they probably wouldn't look any different to most, but here are the after shots. Trust me, it looks better. Savannah was a dutiful subject (thanks to Toy Story playing in the background) and Paige was a willing and capable hair stylist. Paige cut Logan's hair too, but that's not news worth documenting, although I will note that after 4 years he will finally sit through a hair cut without any crying, complaining, or tantrums. Hallelujah.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grandma's are the coolest

My mom is the best. When we had a family emergency come up the week we were going to Cancun, my mom flew into town at the drop of a hat to help take care of our kids. She stayed a few days on the tail end of our trip just to play and have fun. Every time my mom comes to town, things get done. Projects, teaching moments, and just plain fun things - nothing gets missed. This trip she helped Logan make a volcano. He though it was the bee's knees. She also taught him to put his seat belt on by himself. With the help of our new van and it's automatic doors, Logan can get in and out of the car and buckle himself in without any assistance from me. It's heavenly. Thanks, Mom.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Iron Anniversary

On Friday, Jeff and I celebrated anniversary #6. Apparently this was our iron anniversary. Who comes up with these things? I almost gifted myself a new ironing board cover since I really need one and it kind of seemed to fit.

It seems like every year we end up doing something big near our anniversary (this year it was Cancun), so our actual anniversary is low key. Nevertheless, we were able to get out for dinner and a movie, which was a much needed date. Other than our trip, I can't remember the last time we had a date night, and I don't anticipate another one anytime soon. In the next five weeks, we have a big family holiday, three road trips, one missionary homecoming, and a wedding. So I was glad that we got to have at least one night to just appreciate each other, and everything we've learned over the past 6 years.

I have never been one to sugar-coat marriage; it is by far the most difficult thing I've done in my entire life (well, it's up there with parenting). But it is also the most rewarding, and I've grown more together with Jeff than I could ever have done on my own. It is amazing to me how well we complement each other. His strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa. He is constantly pushing me to be better than I am. I know I am not the easiest person to put up with, but he does it with finesse and somehow convinces me that he loves every minute of it. I've said this before, but Jeff is truly my best friend. I'm so glad that we get to share our life together.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Fresh air

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A little over a week ago we had the opportunity to go 4-wheeling in the mountains. Jeff took me 4-wheeling on our first/second date (it depends on who you ask), and there is just something about wrapping my arms around his waist while riding on dusty trails that takes me right back to that day. This time we brought both kids with us. Savannah did great, and Logan even drove for a few feet at a time, under Grandpa's close watch. The highlight of the trip was coming across a bear near the top of the trail. It was so close I actually got a little nervous! As much as I complain about Utah winters (and I know they are pretty mild, all things considered), I absolutely LOVE Utah summers. If only they lasted a little longer...

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Grandpa

Leslie Bernell Smith (Grandpa) – 1928-2010
by Jeff

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How do you measure the effect of one man on his posterity? You don’t. If you could, Grandpa’s numbers‘d stack up against the greatest men of any dispensation. But then again, some things aren’t meant to be measured they are meant to be expressed. You see, it’s been just 5 short hours since I received the news that Grandpa had passed. The reality is beginning to sink in but it’s hard because not 6 hours ago I shared space with him on my parents' couch for the last time. I have been lost in deep thought over the last few hours pondering how to adequately express the impact of such a beloved man on my life and the lives of so many he has touched in just 82 short years.

For most people when they’ve died, friends and loved ones stretch to assign kind adjectives as descriptions for their dead while struggling to find life instances to substantiate the kindness given. This is far from the case with Grandpa Smith. Words like kind, loving, endearing, steadfast, and patient only begin to scratch the surface of the depth of his character. He was a man of God and never did I feel it stronger than I did today.

It is often said to live life without regrets, but today, at this late hour I acknowledge a mountain of regrets with Grandpa.

I regret not having a pen handy when he would lower his voice, pull me close and enlighten me with his latest epiphany.

I regret not having a camera close when he informed Carly that there would be no such thing as “in-laws” in his family. To see her face as she chuckled at the suggestion and then to see it change as she realized that he was about as serious as she had ever known anyone to be was priceless.

I regret not writing down the way to solving our country's problems; for surely he divulged that to me almost in the form of a scripted handbook.

I regret moments of reckless abandon where I may have tarnished his name or his legacy.

I regret not taking time to cherish his moments of praise for he knew not flattery. His words were sincere and you could feel it.

I regret not taking the time to walk with him out to the car tonight and watch as he gently kissed my daughter on the cheek in a moment of farewell no one could have predicted.

Regrets I have.
For many of them, please forgive me Grandpa.

My regrets ultimately are small when compared to those moments that created who I am.

I do not regret the many road trips we took in which I can still hear his voice saying “just because it’s the speed limit doesn’t mean that it's safe to drive that fast.”

I will never regret the moment he held my newborn son in his arms and gave him that look of “your father is young, but he’s a good man and he will try hard.”

I will not regret the respect he taught me for sacred things.

And I do not regret how he let me watch the way he treated Grandma. I have yet to know a man who loved his wife as much as my grandpa loved my grandma. That example alone is more than I could ever hope to offer anyone in my own posterity.

Grandma and Grandpa at a grandchild wedding last week.

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The original Smiths: Grandma, Grandpa, and their five daughters.

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Just a handful of Grandpa's posterity.


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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dinosaur Train

My kids don't watch much TV (mostly because they prefer movies), but when they do, it's almost always a PBS show called Dinosaur Train. I knew Logan was really getting into dinosaurs when he used his chore money to buy plastic dinosaurs, but I didn't really understand how much he was learning until he brought me a picture he had drawn today. He pointed out three dinosaurs he had drawn, identifying them as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Deinonychus, and Kentrosaurus. When I went to Dinosaur Train's website to verify that he wasn't just making those names up, I found that not only are they real, but he was pronouncing them amazingly well, particularly for a kid who still calls yesterday "lasterday." While on the website, he identified several others, including Pteranodons, Archaeopteryxs, Troodons, and Brachiosauruses. What ever happened to good ole' Brontosauruses and Pterodactyls? It looks like we may have a paleontologist on our hands!

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