Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ready or Not

There are some people who are crazy. Let's just call a spade a spade: they leave their lights up all year round and shop for Christmas gifts over the 4th of July. There are others that sync up Thanksgiving and Christmas as if they are one holiday together. Then there are those like myself who must wait until the day after Thanksgiving to fully embrace to season of Christ's birth. I always wait until at least the day after to turn on the carols and drink the gingerbread latte. But for some reason this year, I couldn't wait for Christmas. I of course sat on my hands and waited until the 28th of November, but man was I ready to get into the season sooner than normal.
I think it had something to do with how rough our fall was this year. I was just ready to start a new season fresh. Yet, even though my mind and heart were ready to be merry and bright all day long, we couldn't really get our act together at the Smith house. With weddings, birthday parties, and stomach bugs, we struggled to get any of the traditional Christmas events accomplished until just recently.

Though, the daily realities of life have enabled me to take a step back and ask myself why we do some of the holiday things that we do each year.

We didn't line our home with lights this year; we didn't send out a happy Christmas card either. Instead, I've chosen to embrace the simplicity of the holiday, and once I let go of the unmerited expectations, I actually prefer this "undone Christmas." No matter what you or your life look like this Christmas, don't forget who is actually looking at your heart- the one who created it.

One of his favorite pastimes lately is cooking! Maybe we have a little chef on our hands.
A little lesson in the joy of giving.
We've been to "Hunters Farm" the last couple of years to get our Christmas tree. It's such a kid-geared place. Silas is still talking about all we did, including this ornament he helped make.

Mommy and Daddy awkwardly sat with Santa alone until Silas saw that he was harmless.
Silas loved how his voice shook on the tractor ride.
Free pony rides! I was amazed at how Silas was more scared of Santa than the giant animal, as seen below.
Eventually he calmed down a bit for a photo opp.
"Mama sar, mama sar" He sounded just like those wise men back in the day.
If I sent out a Christmas card, this is what I'd want it to look like. A little piece of Christmas morning.
~SimpleBuster

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tired Turkeys

We traveled down to St. Simons again this year for a wonderful long week of Thanks. Although our little man was under the weather, which made traveling a bit hard on mommy and daddy, we were still constantly giving thanks for our family that gave so much of themselves.

After the busy week was over, I realized I'm definitely not the typical mom because I barely snapped a single shot of film (well of iphone film) the entire time we were gone. I blame it on the other little one growing in me and making me forgetful.

Uncle Kevin was the only family member lucky enough to catch a pic with the traveling clan.
This bird feeder made Silas' day because it made chasing birds a lot easier.
He didn't quite understand that the bread was for the birds, not Silas.
The pooped Smiths are ready to start the Christmas festivities... after a little nap of course.
~TiredBuster

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

when complaints come easier than thanks

Lately it has been all too easy to complain. I won't vent you the details because that would just be my way of getting some sympathy, which by the way, I believe you'd give freely after hearing about the kind of month we've had here.
Instead, I have found that the best cure for self-pity follows a step by step recipe.

First, change your perspective. Seriously reconsider how well-off you are instead of what you're missing.
Next, pour a good cup of strong coffee.
After that, think about others who have it so much worse than you.
Finally, look for way to serve and gift others. It will change your whole attitude.

I found this yummy (yeah... I licked the spoon already) and easy recipe on Pinterest, that I plan to give to some of those people who have made my life easier. I'm truly thankful..... even when I don't think that way. I mean what is Thanksgiving without Thankfulness?


~ThanksBuster

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Numbers


I have never been good with numbers; I've never claimed to be good with numbers. In fact I will pretty obviously count on my fingers and toes when addition is required of me. However, I think numbers have been a reoccurring theme in my life lately. For instance, how many numbers will it take in dollars to fix our serious plumbing issue or how many numbers will be needed to help my poor car. We quickly realized those numbers were higher than desired.

One of the biggest numbers that will change is the number of people in our family. God-willing, this May our family will increase from three to four!  Yep. Another Smith in the world to brighten every fall season.
Yet, that's not even the biggest number that we've been focused on lately. After losing a baby in August, we were shocked to find out that we were pregnant so quickly. Actually if you count the weeks in the months, the numbers didn't add up. It was physically impossible for me to be as pregnant as the doctor said I was in October. Good thing I believe that the things that are impossible with man are always possible with God.



That's when we started counting the weeks. Not just so that my morning sickness would subside, but more to get in the "safer" zone for baby number 2 as I will always be at higher risk during the first trimester. At week number eight after just finding out, we thought we lost our little miracle. Then again at week 11. This time we were certain another baby was in Heaven. We've since learned not to count on our own understanding. God has consistently proven time and time again that he doesn't count numbers, logic, or reason. He counts in truth and perfection. His plan for my life and the life of our family is perfect.

Psalm 139:15-16 is that perfect reminder: My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

As I try not to count what's left of fall, I remember that each day is a precious gift. While that may be quite cliche, it's the trials and shocks of life that really bring home the reality of the cliche. I'm thankful things aren't always easy because I have a better understanding of who God is and how much He loves me.

When counting, I hope to try this approach instead of my fingers: Teach me, Lord, to number my days right, so that I may gain a heart of wisdom.  -- Psalm 90:12

Take some time today to smell fall. I promise you can count on great results. (p.s. Silas is not disgusted, that' just his "smelling" face")  :D

~NumbersBuster

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Super Smiths

It's been a busy few weeks with a golden birthday, first tricker treater, and fall festivals. Check out the photo dump from our family with love...

The whole reason we decided to be a super family was because Silas will "fly" on commamd. Just say,"da du da dun da dun! Super Silas!"


One of our favorite couples decided to join our theme with Batman, Catwoman, and little Poison Ivy! She was the cutest!


Matthews cake may have looked sloppy (a little sticking to the lid issue), but it tasted yummy!


Silas and Hudon are truly BFFs already. Adorable!


I attempted some "scary" finger foods for Matthew's birthday, but my "mummy dogs, witch fingers, mini pumpkins, and blood orange soda" all needed explanatory signs.

Silas absolutely loved "turkeying" (his version of trick or treat); he just kept going back for more candy! The secret was to give him his first "sucker" so he knew what candy was. Then he couldn't wait to get more!

Matthew loves building fires, so it was fun to watch our little man help put up our gifted firewood.

Didn't do a whole lot for Matthew's 30th, so I wanted to make up for it for his golden birthday. A surprise party at Top Golf. We had a great time!


Love our local fall festivals. I think we have a little musician on our hands!
Happy Birthday Baby! 

~ SuperBuster

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knowledge



I've recently been convicted of something that I feel compelled to share because I hope I'm not the only one who is still learning lessons in my life. If my convictions can benefit you, then they are entirely worth it. For those of you who don't understand or like the use of the word "conviction," let me define it for you. There are some who will follow the definition that involves guilt, yet I know others who would still argue that guilt is a negative emotion they'd rather stay far away from even in mere conversation. While an entire debate about whether guilt is negative or positive could ensue, let me pose a different view of the word.  Conviction involves "proving or declaring one as guilty of an offense." For me, this is a perfect word to use for this conversation. 

I confess, I am guilty of seeking to know ALL. Knowledge.... yes this is my crime. Again, I can hear objections to this plea. Hear me out. There is nothing wrong with knowledge in and of itself. However, if you have any knowledge of Adam and Eve's story (whether you believe it to be myth or truth), you know that they were told to stay away from the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." Then the serpent, Satan, twisted God's words and enabled Adam and Eve to question why: "God just doesn't want you to know all that he knows." I'm sure you know the rest of the story. 

You know what? I think every one of us has been struggling with this same issue since the beginning of creation. We think if we can just know what God knows, then we'll be better off. We want to know how to control every aspect of our lives. Fill in the blank with whatever season of life you are in right now. School? Friends? Job? Spouse? Kids? Retirement? Doesn't matter. We all want to know when, how, and why so that we can control the outcome and not have any surprises. Science, technology, and "studies" have certainly aided our society in this endeavor too.

I certainly want to be able to prepare myself for any and every situation, so if I can know enough, then I won't be caught off guard, thus protecting myself from any pain. Isn't that what's it's all about. We just want happiness and peace as abundantly as we can have it. But it's the knowing that's causing the pain. There's something to be said for the expression, "ignorance is bliss." I'm not advocating naivete or stupidity, but I am suggesting we seek to have more faith in many situations we are trying to know all or control all. 

If we had all the knowledge that God has, we wouldn't need faith. And a world without faith is simply not a world. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). I certainly what to have faith in peace, faith in joy,  faith in love. This is faith in God. What happened to true faith? Lately, God has proven over and over that He is real, and that I cannot know or understand everything. I thought I knew the outcome of something, and to my joyful surprise, I was wrong. It never felt so good to be wrong. Thank you God that I cannot be you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Punk

Nothing like some good punks (Silas' new word for pumpkin) to get fall rolling!









 I just love fall. Have I mentioned that? Whenever I say, "Silas, look at those leaves falling!" He throws up both arms screams with joy and then gives the falling beauty a round of applause. I definitely know how to train em!

~FallBuster

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A new decade

Did you know that there are many famous people who didn't start their life's greatest work until there 30s? Julia Child didn't really start cooking until she was 36. J. K. Rowling was 32 when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published. Jesus was 33 when he started his fruitful ministry. And Vera Wang didn't start developing wedding dresses until she was 40!  These fun tidbits really helped my perspective as I entered into this new well-respected decade. I'm pretty pumped about being 30, and not only did I feel loved by so many, my husband made me feel extra special by surprising me with some of my favorite things: a cabin in North Carolina during the start of the fall season with a built in spa day and fabulous home-made dinner. I felt like a queen!

One of my favorite things is watching how similar my boys look. This is their "Curious George" relaxation face.

Had a special moment with Si-man when we watched the sunrise over the NC mountains.



The weather was perfect! How could you not love fall!?!

These boys make me so happy.


We had a great, albeit chilly, hike to flat rock in Highlands.

We got to walk behind this waterfall! So cool!

Little misty though!

This one we got to drive under!

Our view from the Cabin before the sun set.

This was the most amazing experience. I think it's worth the drive to go back here instead of any other spa in my area! Love it!

I told Silas it was my birthday and we needed a pic. This was his response!

We are still working on closing that mouth for kisses though. :)




God's creation screams of His goodness. Thank you Lord for blessing me with 30 years of your love! I can't wait to see what else is in store for the beautiful life you've given me!

~30Buster