Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 top 10

This year instead of a Christmas letter we decided to write our top ten list of things that happened to us in 2009. In no particular order here are some of our favorites of 2009.

1. Ryan graduated from University with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Had fun participating in bike races and came first place in the Wednesday Night Mountain Bike Series this summer.

2. We bought a piano. We saw it at a garage sale and snatched it up. I love playing with the girls and singing away.

3. We welcomed our second beautiful daughter Natalie Ann on July 17. She is such a sweetheart and we love having her as part of our family. She is growing and changing everyday. My favorite attribute is her happy attitude. She always wakes up with a smile no matter what time of day or night it is.

4.We were able to go on a family vacation to Alberta in the fall. We loved seeing our family and friends in Alberta. We had a lot of fun on the farm visiting Grandparents. Abby loved the baby tractor (the quad). We were also able to go up to Calgary and visit relatives. A definite highlight for Abby was the Calgary Zoo with Uncle Matt.

5.Abby is turning into such a big girl. She is a great big sister. She loves to read books, play house, and be outside. She is very independent and seems to know what she wants all the time. She took her first swimming lessons and loves going to nursery on Sundays.

6. Ryan got his first job as a Materials Coordinator for Aero-Inventory. He was enjoying working there until the company ran into some financial difficulty and he got laid off. Lucky for us he was able to find a new job with Air Canada starting in January.

7. We were able to do some work on our house this year. We put in four new windows and tore out a wall. We have our fence half pulled down and plan on putting up a new one next year. This is us in front of our empty window space in the kitchen where we had to replace the entire wall.

8.We are both keeping busy at church. I am serving in the Relief Society Presidency and Ryan is the Young Men's President. Abby is keeping the nursery leaders busy and Natalie is still happy to just stay with Mom and Dad.

9. I enjoyed working part time in the ICU as an RN until June when I went on Mat. Leave. It was great to be able to keep my skills up and have a little Mom time.

10. Our family is such a big part of our life. We are so blessed to have Grandparents, Aunties, and Uncles so close. We wouldn't be able to do everything we are able to do without their love and support.

All in all we have been so blessed this year and are so grateful to be part of such a happy healthy family.

Merry Christmas to you and your family
The Smiths

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Laughing babies, how fun.

Haere's a little video of Abby making Nat laugh.
What good "buddies"

hmmm... it appears not to have worked. I'll fix it...

well, it seems to be working with Google Chrome, but not explorer. Maybe it will work for you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!

I can't believe it is almost Christmas. The last couple of months have flown by. We are mostly ready at our house just a few odds and ends. This year has been really fun as we are trying to start some new family traditions and enjoy the season together.

Abby and I enjoyed going for a walk during the first snowfall and looking at all the pretty lights. She is fascinated by the lights and considers it her job to plug them in everyday even in -35 degrees.

We are enjoying the advent calendar found in the December issue of the Friend magazine. It is so much fun to learn about all the different cultures around the world and how they celebrate Christmas. After we pin the picture up she runs to the traditional advent calendar to get her chocolate fix for the day. Sometimes Daddy's calendar appears to be missing days we haven't had yet I wonder who???

Grandma made cute matching Christmas dresses for the girls which they have enjoyed wearing each Sunday this month. So cute.

We decided to simplify our season and bought some Charlie Brown Christmas Trees. They are super cute, adorable, and really inexspensive. They smell great. We call them our Abby size trees.

Abby participated in her first Christmas play as an angel. She was too cute her costume constantly falling off and having to run to the bathroom in the middle of it. She did really great though and wasn't shy at all.

Natalie is still growing like a weed and will be five months this week. At five months she is sleeping through the night occasionally (Yeah!). She is starting the drooling, red cheeks, teething phase. She is almost rolling over and tries to sit up occasionally. She loves to smile and laugh. She loves the jolly jumper, exersaucer, and sadly her thumb still. We have tried to push the soother but no the thumb is better in her opinion. I know just enjoy it. Mostly she loves to be cuddled and I just enjoy cuddling her.

Here's a super fun thing Abby has started doing lately. I don't know why but she is starting to have school. She sets up all her stuffed animals on the bed and teaches them the ABC's it is so cute. It reminds me of when I was little and I used to have my own primary on my bed with my stuffed animals.

Other than that Ryan and I are enjoying some extra time together which will be ending at the beginning of January thanks to him getting a new job. It has been great having him around to help more with the kids. 
Well off to bed since both kids are fast asleep. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Times of Change

I have totally neglected my blog lately. Not because my life is boring whose life can be boring with two kids running around? I have neglected it mostly because I am too busy to sit down and take the time to share the exciting events. Today I have a sleeping baby and Abby decided she had to watch her movie. I love that I put the movie three quarters of the way through and she still hasn't figured it out. It gives me a 20 minute window and it gives her the movie.We have had some exciting events around here. My amazing husband finished his school and had his convocation. He really wasn't that interested in going but he did since some of his family thought it was a good idea for him to go. You can sort of pick him out in the sea of graduates. It made me reflect on my university graduation. Dare I say almost 10 years ago?? YIKES!! Yes it is true I am getting old and I can't believe I have been a nurse for that long already.
We headed to the dog park last weekend. No we don't have a dog but Abby loves them and having all those dogs running around is enough excitement for her.

Natalie is four months old already. We moved her into the crib this week. She is such a great sleeper that I figured she could handle being in the same room as her big sister. Of course Natalie is doing fine but Abby still wakes up at least once a night and runs into our room. Still working on that.
Natalie is trying so hard to roll over. She has the best smiles in the morning when she wakes up. She is still a spitter-upper (is that a word?).
That girl will ruin any outfit that isn't protected by a bib. She is enjoying her exersaucer but isn't too excited about the jolly jumper. Mostly because the first time we tried it big sister wanted in on the action and pulled on it so hard it fell down and gave Natalie her first goose egg. Haven't braved that a second time yet. I am soaking up every cuddly moment this girl will give me. I can't believe how fast Abby is growing so I am trying to soak up Natalie as a baby as much as I can.
Abby is so cute these days. She is so interested in the world. It is amazing how quickly kids pick up on things. She has figured out the Santa business and wants a new doll. We are going to write her first Santa letter in a few weeks.
It totally doesn't feel like Christmas or even winter here in the peg. It is crazy. Usually by now we have heaps of snow but today we walked to the park in our shirts and played on the swing. I love it. No complaints here. I do love a White Christmas and hope it comes for then but for now I am enjoying this beautiful weather. We have so much to be grateful for!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well since holidays life has slowly gotten back to normal. We are trying to get back into our routine he he he. We are so not a routine house but I like to think we are. We had a fabulous week last week. We headed off to the zoo for Boo at the Zoo on Tuesday. It was so much fun. Abby loved riding the ponies and going for cool rides. She wasn't too excited about the haunted house her Daddy took her through but settled down when her Daddy won her a stuffed animal.
Natalie just took it all in stride and stayed bundled in the car seat. I didn't really get too into Halloween with her this year just a cute pumpkin bib. Abby loved carving pumpkins and wanted a pig pumpkin. Here is the final result.
We had some special visitors as well and had some fun times with the Drennan's. We love it when they come to visit. Natalie got her first kiss from a boy. Isaiah was so cute he loved the baby.
After all the commotion I finally took the kids to get our H1N1 shots last week. What a nightmare that was. We spent over two hours waiting outside and then once you got inside all you hear are screaming children. It was really quite awful. In fact one of the nurses came up to me and was like it really isn't that bad. I guess my facial expression showed how I was feeling a little anxious as I watched Abby look around and start to cry. So not cool as she is usually a gem a the doctor's for her regular immunizations and now she has been marred. I hope it doesn't continue when we go for her next shot. Oh well since then we have all gotten sick with the sniffles. Hopefully that doesn't last too long.
I am starting to get excited for the Christmas season now that Halloween is over. All the stores are putting their stuff out and pretty soon I am sure the music will start. I can't wait.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Holiday Favorites-Picture Overload

Here are some fun pics from our wonderful holiday. It was so great to be back home at the farm and visiting family in Calgary.

1. Road Trip- My kids are the best travelers. They did great both ways. I love how Abby is in her mimic stage and follows whatever we do. Natalie pretty much slept/ate the whole way. Despite the horrible icy roads it was a fun ride out.
2. The Farm- It was so great to be back at home. Walking to the creek to throw rocks in. Riding the quad. Going to the river. It is more like a stream in this picture with Grandpa. It is amazing how much it has changed.
More farm pics. Abby loved cooking with Grandma and just helping her out in the kitchen. Abby went for a horse ride with her Dad. I have to admit even though I grew up on a farm I don't love riding horses. I left that up to Daddy. Here's a pic of Natalie who has recently discovered her thumb and isn't giving it up easily. Uh Oh.

3. Family- My sister and my niece came for Thanksgiving. It was so great to see both of them and spend some quality time with them
Well after all of these adventures and believe me there was more. A visit to the ER for my Dad, dehorning the cows for Ryan and other great farm adventures. We headed off to Calgary despite tears from Abby "No leave Grandma" She wanted to stay at the farm.

4. Calgary- In Calgary we visited Ryan's brother and his wife. We had a great time eating Mexican food, going to the zoo, and walking in the park. Abby loved playing Rock band and especially going on the teetertotter.
By far my favorite part was going to the Cardston Temple. I love that building and everything about it. I am so grateful to have the gospel as part of my family and life.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Since we are going to be gone for Thanksgiving and I won't have internet access for a week I thought I would write a little note about my favorite holiday. Don't get me wrong I am uber excited to be away from technology for awhile. Won't it be nice just to walk to the river or over to snake hill or just listen to the silence or look at the stars without glaring city lights. SOOO excited!!!
I love Thanksgiving because it is usually beautiful outside with the different colored leaves. I love walking along crunching the colorful leaves. I love the crispness in the air. I am so excited to be at the farm for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to show Abby all the fun things to do there.
I am so grateful for so many things in my life. Of course I am grateful for my family this is where our new kitchen window was put in last weekend. Ryan calls it our redneck pictures.I have two wonderful sets of parents who are super supportive and helpful. I have brothers and sisters whom I look up to and though we live far apart I still feel their support and love usually through the lovely genius of the internet.
I have two amazing daughters who teach me something everyday and who love me unconditionally. That is amazing to me as I am still learning the motherhood ropes and often do things that aren't the best.
I have the gospel and know the plan of salvation which gives the faith and perspective to go on each day. I have wonderful friends who love and support me. I am also grateful for the many talents I have been blessed with. I am super excited to go home and play on the piano at my parent's house. I love going back to the piano where I first learned where middle c was. It has some sort of special place for me.
I know I have tons of blessings that I am grateful for and if I had more time I would list everyone but don't have that much time.
I just wanted to end by telling you how grateful I am for this guy. I can't believe I have only known him for just over 4 years and how he is such a part of my life that I can't remember what it was like before. He gives me the motivation to be the best I can be and is always supportive and encouraging. He is pretty much amazing and I am so glad that we are going to be together forever. It is his birthday today and I just wanted to tell everyone out there in cyberworld how amazing he is. We had his birthday celebration yesterday Abby was pretty excited to make her yellow cupcakes for Daddy. Happy Birthday Ryan we love you!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

2 Months Old

I can't believe how fast time flies. Our little Natalie is already two months old and working on three. She has the greatest smile now and makes all sorts of cute baby noises. She is still sleeping like an angel. I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for that. We got some pics done a while ago by our good friend Ruth. Here are a few of our cutie pie.I love the feet pics she has these crazy long toes but still so cute.It is so amazing to watch little ones grow and develop. She seems to have such a laid back personality and as soon as she gets what she is wanting she is as happy as can be. Let's hope she is a great traveler as we head out to Alberta in less than a week. Can't wait to see the family.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Canada's Best Handymen

So this spring our kitchen window started bubbling and leaking with every rainfall. Not so good. We ended up ordering four new windows and my amazing husband and father in law started the work this weekend. It started by ripping out the kitchen window. I don't know if this picture does it justice it was pretty much dust down to the floor. Yikes!!!
Good thing we had Poppa here to help Ryan it was a long day and a lot of work for both of them.
Here is Poppa posing by his job. He ripped out pretty much the whole wall. I was kind of getting nervous by this point hoping the other three windows weren't so dramatic.
Now my job was to take care of the kids and keep them out of the way. Pretty hard when Abby adores Poppa and was so excited he was here. I did get her to the park for an hour or so and we read a few books but eventually she just sat on her bed coloring watching Daddy and Poppa do all the work. By the end of the day she was ready to join in on all the action and got out all her construction gear. Pretty cute she was breaking up the styrofoam from my new crockpot I bought.

By the end of the day we had three beautiful windows in place. The kitchen is going to take a lot more work so that is happening this week. I am so grateful to have such talented men in my life.

To top it all off at the end of the day I headed out to the Relief Society Broadcast which was totally amazing. My favorite talk was about minding the gap. Some awesome advice for us women who tend not to see the potential in ourselves. Now little Natalie was a gem all day with the hammering, sawing, and overall confusion she did amazing. I am so grateful for such a wonderful family.
How was your weekend?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Like Mother Like Daughter

I am grateful that Abby has picked up on one of my loves and that is reading. I love to read and although I don't have as much time these days to sit down and read we love going to the library together and just looking at all the books.

Last week we went to the downtown library with Abby's friend Kennedy and we had a great time. I love the downtown library there is such a large selection of books to choose from. I think it almost overwhelmed Abby.
The other day when Daddy came home from work Abby dragged him outside on the front lawn with a few of her favorites and I caught this pic of them. So cute. Her two current favorites are "When Pigs Fly" by Valerie Coulman and "Grumpy Bird" by Jeremy Tankard.
The Grumpy Bird is great for two year olds I always pull it out when she is having a moment and by the end of the book she is laughing. It is like magic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer in September

It is amazing how great the weather has been since school started. Since no one in our house is in school this year it has been great fun to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Of course we hit the zoo. Grandma came along and spoiled Abby by letting her ride the horse. She was so excited and not scared a little bit. In fact the lady behind us reminded us that kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. OOPS! Grandma and I were so shocked at how much she loved being on the horse we forgot she isn't a pro yet.

We got started on a summer project tearing down our fence. While it really wasn't that much work since it was practically falling over. Well actually I wouldn't really know since Ryan tore it all down I just took a picture!! We are excited to have a fenced in back yard again hopefully soon.
We headed out on the LaSalle River for our annual canoe ride. I say annual since we only got out once this year and once last year. Abby had a great time and only lost her baby paddle once. It was super fun to relive the spot where we got engaged. Actually neither Ryan or I could remember the actual spot but hey we were on the right river and all the trees looked the same to me.
I love this shot of my two girls. It looks like Natalie is smiling at her sister as they share some story. Hopefully there will be many more shots of these two getting along this great in the future.
Lately Abby has started playing house and nursery. It is absolutely adorable. She puts all the stuffed animals on the bed and pretends to teach them. I love it. I remember doing it with my cousin as a kid and we had a whole primary of stuffed animals. It is so fun to watch and amazing how much she knows and catches on. We laugh at her silly antics and are like who does or says that since she pretty much mimics everything she sees.
Natalie is already two months old tomorrow crazy!!! She is such a cute kid and pretty easygoing. She loves her car seat. No matter if she just woke up from a nap she will fall asleep in that thing. Since she sleeps so good at night I have never had to use the car seat for that purpose but it is always good to know.
Today we headed out to the Farmer's Market/Spray Pad in St. Norbert. It was so much fun. Aunt Beth was so great and got soaking wet. Abby didn't want to leave until I said treat. We bought some popcorn at the market and she was so thrilled to have a "baby size" bag. That is her new saying for anything small it is baby size!
Well we feel all grown up today as Ryan called from work to tell me he has to go to Montreal for a few days for work. It seems crazy that he has a job and he gets to travel. We are so blessed.
We are on the countdown for our holidays in October. We are heading out to the beautiful mountains of Alberta, treeline farm, Cardston Temple, Calgary Zoo, and lot's of other fun stuff. Can you tell how super excited I am??? I haven't been outside this province in over a year!! YIKES!!!