Friday, June 28, 2013

Now this is a thought.


Have you ever really thought about that before?!  Isn't it true!  It totally happens in all our lives, small choices that can lead to a completely different life than we were expecting.

Do you want to know the single event that started the dominoes falling in my life?  And once they started they were truly unstoppable, they spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again.

One second changed my life forever.

Do you want to know what that one second was . . . ?

It began the Story of Us.
(Click on the link to read the story.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Samuel says the darnedest things. . .

After putting Daddy's glasses on, he said, "Look!  I am so cute.  Just like you."  6/11/13

 Early one morning, Samuel heard Lily stirring and ran in to greet her.  "Lily, you awake?  Lily, it's me!  It's mine big brother!! ... She likes me."  6/11/13

After waking from a long afternoon nap at Nana's house . . .
"Where is Brently?"
"He is probably at Grandpa's house."
"No, he's at Nana's house.  He hugged me."
"No, he is not here.  He is at Grandpa's house.  You must have been dreaming."
"Oh ... I wanted him to be here so I can love him.  And.  And, he wants to hug me." 6/16/13

We were walking around the temple one Sunday evening, enjoying all the beautiful flowers, and I was quizzing Samuel on all the different colors . . .
"Samuel, what color is this flower?"
"Ummm ....  It sounds a little pokey." 6/23/13

After a little bit of a scuffle between the kids in their room, Samuel runs out complaining . . .
"The girl."
"Mommy! Mommy, Lily did it."
"She did what, Samuel?"
"She did it."
"What did she do?"
"Lily!  She did it."
"I know.  But what did she do?"
"Lily did it, she did it!  The girl."  6/24/13

The kids and I were playing in their room, Lily had a pair of Samuel's shoes and he had a pair of hers . . .
"Samuel, do your feet fit in Lily's shoes?"
"No! (Pointing at his shoes.) This ones fit in my feets.
(Looking at Lily's sandals.) These ones not fit mine feets, actually.  . . . I think?" 6/26/13

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding comfort after miscarriage . . .

After my post, Our experience with miscarriage, all my dear family and wonderful friends have been asking me, how am I doing, how am I feeling?  (Which I have greatly, greatly appreciated.  Thank you everyone!)  I have honestly been able to answer that I am doing really, really well.  I am happy and I feel completely at peace with how everything has turned out.  People have since stopped asking about my feelings and I was astonished when I experienced days where my heart was raw; the pain, the disappointment, and the heartache, everything, of our loss felt fresh and unbearable.  I was pregnant! . . . and now I am not.  Just like that.  I will never hold my baby, nor will I feel the small movements of that precious little one inside my womb.  My stomach will not swell as my child, our child, grows within me.  Nothing.  All of it gone.  I did not expect the pain, after the peace, yet I have come to realize, this is how it is going to be.  I firmly believe, God will never let me experience anything I cannot overcome.

A sculpture in Slovakia, sculpted by Martin Hudáčeka  Source

*Disclaimer* This blog is written from the heart of a Latter-day Saint woman, and I found strength in the words of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' leaders and prophet.  Their words don't pertain specifically to miscarriage, rather to any trial or hardship, big or small, we are called to bear.  My hope is to give another the comfort and encouragement I found. 

The Healing Power of Forgiveness
James E. Faust
Ensign, May 2007, 67-69
"All of us suffer some injuries from experiences that seem to have no rhyme or reason. We cannot understand or explain them. We may never know why some things happen in this life. The reason for some of our suffering is known only to the Lord. But because it happens, it must be endured. President Howard W. Hunter said that 'God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see.' 
“President Brigham Young offered this profound insight that at least some of our suffering has a purpose when he said: ‘Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.’”

A Disciple’s Journey
Bruce C. Hafen
BYU Devotional Address, 5 February 2008
"The paradox of a divine tutorial also includes afflictions of some kind. Because Elder Maxwell was such a faithful student of discipleship, I draw again from him: 'The very act of choosing to be a disciple . . . can bring to us a certain special suffering,' because affliction and chastening are 'a form of learning as it is administered at the hands of a loving Father.' He also said, 'If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do.' And so, he said, 'sometimes the best people . . . have the worst experiences . . . because they are the most ready to learn.'”

Be of Good Cheer
President Thomas S. Monson
Ensign, May, 2009, pp. 89,92
"None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, 'Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.'- 2 Nephi 2:25" 
"I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us." 
"My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Funny Samuel #6

We were a little late getting to church Sunday, June 9th; all the pews were full and the only seating available were the "hard chairs", in the back.
AJ and I were sitting next to each other, Lily sitting fairly quietly on AJ's lap, and Samuel was going from one chair to another all around us.  Back and forth, and back and forth!
Towards the end of Sacrament meeting, Samuel FINALLY settled on the chair next to me.  Meanwhile, an elderly gentleman came and sat down on the end of our row, just two seats from AJ.
Samuel started acting out of control again during the last few minutes of the meeting.  As punishment, AJ called him over to sit by him instead of me, which put Samuel between AJ and the older brother on the end of our row.
Samuel sat down as close to AJ as possible, then leaned over and said . . .

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Tribute to Fathers

"This nondenominational video, which celebrates a father's influence in a child's life, invites viewers to 'remember the men who've taught you what it takes to be a good father.'" -Source

*I did not put this video together and no infringement of copyrights were intended.*

Monday, June 10, 2013

Samuel's First Dentist Visit

Thursday, June 6th at 11:20 AM, Samuel had his very first dentist appointment- ever.  And he was so BRAVE!!

The dental hygienist who helped us, we will call her Angel, was downright fabulous!

She let Samuel "ride" on the chair, up and down, and she introduced him to all the cleaning tools-

Mr. Thirsty

Mr. Bumpy

The Hose

Angel had Samuel opening and closing his mouth, just like an alligator!  Samuel commented on the ride home that he had a big mouth just like an alligator.  And he is right, just look at that wide alligator mouth!!

After, Samuel's teeth were all squeaky clean Dr. Gavin came over.  (Dr. Gavin was so amazing with Samuel!!)  He let Samuel hold the mirror to help him count all of Samuel's teeth- Samuel had all 20.  Yay!

Because Samuel was SO good he got a water bottle, an ORANGE water bottle.  He also got a new Lightning McQueen toothbrush and Buzz Lightyear floss.  And a sticker.  AND a yellow bouncy ball.  He was on cloud-9 on the way home.

We love Kidtastic Dental!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Temples we have been to. . .

Like, inside of.
(All of the following pictures were found on

1. Mesa, Arizona Temple

2. Snowflake, Arizona Temple (Emily only.)

3. Boise, Idaho Temple

4. Vernal, Utah Temple

5. Salt Lake City, Utah Temple

6. The Gila Valley, Arizona Temple

7. Provo, Utah Temple

8. Mount Timpanogos, Utah Temple

9. Logan, Utah Temple

Temples AJ has been to that I have not:

Seoul, South Korea Temple

London, England Temple

Las Vegas, Nevada Temple

Columbia River Temple
(Richland, Washington)

Denver, Colorado Temple

An endowment session was completed at all except for: Snowflake, Mount Timpanogos, Logan and Denver. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Things I Love: Daddy Edition

I don't know why, but this never posted when I posted the Samuel and Lily Editions.  So here it is now. . .

10 Things I LOVE about my husband

1.  I love the way AJ smiles- big, and with his whole heart, and I love his laughs, all of them!
2.  I love the way he loves me.  He is so selfless, and he knows how to make me happy, by helping with the kids/ house or talking with me.  He can just tell what I need.
3.  I love that AJ is a worthy priesthood holder, and he knows how valuable that really is.  For our family and for others.  The priesthood is truly a precious gift and I am blessed to have it in my home.
4.  I love the way AJ adores our children, and our children completely adore him.  It warms my soul and brings joy to my heart.  He is such a wonderful father.
5.  I love that AJ has a goal to always be a better person.  He knows that he can improve himself and he does!  He is an inspiration to me.
6.  I love AJ’s style.  It is so uniquely him, and it makes me smile.  I have a stylish and handsome husband.
7.  I love the way I subconsciously race AJ to sleep so his snoring doesn't keep me awake.
8.  I love the support AJ gives me in the things I want try to do.  Whether it be sewing blankets, or writing a blog.  It means everything to me to have him support me in all of my endeavors.
9.  I love the example that AJ is to me- he is just so good.  I learn from him all the time.  I envy his knowledge of the gospel sometimes.
10.  I just love AJ, inside and out!  He is the perfect match for me in every way.  Forever—is seriously going to be awesome.

Bonus: I love AJ's hair.  Super stubborn and super sexy, just like him.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Update on Betsy (our car)

Remember our car accident?  No?!  You can read about it HERE.

Well, we have some news.
And it is GOOD news!

I would give you all the nitty-gritties but … I really don’t know anything about cars- sorry!

I will tell the most important stuff:
1.  The transmission seems to be just dandy.  (Which is a major blessing, because those babies are super expensive to replace.)
2.  The steering shaft is NOT broken- another blessing.  YAY!
3.  My Dad was able to do all the repairs himself- the biggest blessing of all.

In a nut shell, we only replaced three parts:
1. The rim
2.  The tire
and 3.  The axle

In case you can't remember, here is a before picture. . .

And here is a picture I took a few days ago, after my Dad took Betsy on a drive. . .

Basically, what I am trying to say here is, what we initially thought was going to be at least a $1,300 repair, to possibly over $2,000 repair, only ended up costing us a little over $200.

Truly, the Lord is watching over our family.

And . . .
Thank you Daddy!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our experience with miscarriage. . .

                The whole tale begins with my last period, which began on March 23, 2013, and then missing my next period.  AJ and I were both 100% convinced I was pregnant.  On May 6th I took a pregnancy test and it came up … negative.  Saddened by the unexpected results but a little relieved to not be having a “surprise” pregnancy, we went on with life.  Fast forward a week, past our car wreck and Smith family reunion, on May 21st, we decided to take another home pregnancy test.  “Just in case, we took the last one too early.”  This time the test came back positive- I was SHOCKED!  So I took another one, the next day, on May 22nd.  Which also affirmed I was expecting- I was elated!
Found at
                For insurance purposes, I scheduled a pregnancy test at a local doctor’s office for May 24th.  Third time is the charm!  It was official, I was having a baby and I was already 9 weeks.  On my way out of the doctor’s office, the receptionist asked if I would like to schedule my next appointment—which I was NOT planning on—but she mentioned it included an ultrasound.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I couldn't pass up a chance to see my newest baby, in less than a week.  I quickly scheduled my first appointment, for May 30th.  All week, the only thing I could think about was my first doctor’s appointment and how extremely excited I was.  Unfortunately, my excitement was dampened on May 29th, because I just didn't feel right, and I just couldn't put my finger on what was SO upsetting to me.
                My excitement was further diminished when I woke up the next morning, the 30th, experiencing spotting and cramping.  To say I was only slightly worried would be an understatement.  At my appointment with Dr. G; I peed in a cup, had blood drawn, Pap smear, and then the big moment- the ultrasound.  I was so eager to see my little one.  But the screen was empty—nothing.  I was beyond panicking inside.  Dr. G told us not to worry, “our pregnancy was probably not as far along as we initially thought.”  She told us to come back in two weeks and she would try the ultrasound again.  Despite what the doctor said, I was certain I was miscarrying.  And despite my certainty, her words gave me a small glimmer of hope.  I mourned greatly over my pregnancy that night.  
Found on
                My sliver of hope only lasted until the next morning, the 31st.  I woke up bleeding and cramping more severely than I had been the day before.  AJ called the doctor’s office and told them about my bleeding.  They asked us to come in right away.  We loaded the kids up that second and were sitting in the doctor’s office 10 minutes later.  Dr. G told us that she had been planning on calling us that same day about my lab results.  The hCG levels in my blood were really low and my progesterone levels were even lower.  Basically, my pregnancy was coming to a premature end, at only 10 weeks. I was having a miscarriage. AJ and I were crushed!  We have both wept bitterly and questioned, "Why us?  Why did we have to loose our baby?".
   Even though we are heartbroken, AJ and I are both sure, our Heavenly Father will not forsake us and our family.  This is a trial AJ and I never imagined we would experience, but it has come our way and we know the Lord will carry us through.  My husband and I cannot fathom why we needed to lose one of our children, but we have complete faith that this experience will be for our own good and He knows best.  In our Savior, we have found comfort and strength enough, during this sorrowful time.  William Clayton, in April of 1846, penned the words of an LDS hymn-- “Come, Come, Ye Saints”.  These words have brought great peace to my heart.
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up you loins fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell—
All is well!  All is well!
On a different note:
                   Miscarriage is somewhat of a taboo subject in our society today, and some of you may be wondering, “Why is she even sharing this story so publicly?”  Let me just say, everyone grieves in very different ways.  Some, like me, prefer to grieve in a private setting with little to no company; while others grieve healthier with support people around them.  It is impossible to know, what level of support you will need or want concerning miscarriage, until you have faced miscarriage yourself.  AJ and I are both still in the process of grieving over our lost child, but we wanted to share our personal story of miscarriage as a source of support and comfort to others experiencing the same thing.  Also, we don't want to keep this child a secret.  From the moment we found out we were expecting, "the fetus", as doctors would say, was a newborn infant in our eyes.  Though only with us for a short time, our little angel came into our lives and changed us for the better.