Monday, December 9, 2013

Josey Goes to Kindergarten

I can't believe that it is December and I am just now writing about Josey starting kindergarten.  I think this has been the busiest few months we've ever had!  August seems like so long ago!  I wanted to write some things down so that I will always remember when my sweet little guy started school.
It is so awesome to have Josey at school with me.  I love seeing him randomly throughout the day :)

Here he is on the first day of school.  He was so excited and absolutely adorable! 

I have so many fun memories about his first semester of kindergarten.  Here are just a few things I don't want to forget.

1.  The way he was so confident going to school the first day.  He didn't cry or seem sad at all.  I had a few tears, but Mike dropped him off since I had to be in my classroom at the same time.  I did a pretend drop off before Mike took him so I could get a picture of him with his teacher and get to be involved to some extent.
2.  The way he smiled when I went to check on him at lunch that first day.  Just precious!
3.  How excited he was to get to be a car rider the first time Nana came and picked him up because I had a meeting.
4.  He figured out after a few weeks that there was run-walk in the morning so he started begging to get to school early so he could run a lap.  Early isn't my strong suit, so he has only done it a few times, but he loves it!
5.  I started coaching Girls on the Run every Tuesday and Thursday after school, so Josey also had a lot of fun running the track after school and hanging out with the girls.  They kind of adopted him like a little mascot. 
6.  After school he would sit in the car rider line and wait for me to come get him.  After a few weeks I let him go out to walker duty with me.  My favorite thing was how he would run in every day for weeks and hide somewhere in the library from me.  It was adorable and the librarian and library aide would play along :)  He would giggle so loud when I "found" him! 
7.  Josey and another teacher's little boy will follow the janitor around sweeping after him.  So cute! 
8.  I will always remember how much he needed a hug from Mommy after school when he had a rough day.  He has struggled with getting his work done and has been impulsive.  He got down on himself for a while, which was hard to see.  He has really improved since then though and I think he is going to be a great little student :)
9.  I love how excited he gets to read new words and count as high as he can.  He is really loving learning new things! 

Josey also started playing Upward Football, so that kept us pretty busy.  He had practice every Thursday night and a game on Saturday.  He really improved by the last game and finally pulled an opponents flag at the last game.  He was so proud....so were Mommy and Daddy!

Here is our little flag football player after his very first game.  It was definitely adorable watching 5-year-old play football!  It was crazy how well they played by the end of the season. 
 




Mommy and her big boy on picture day!  Love this kid so much!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Josey's birth story

I can't believe Josey will be FIVE tomorrow!  I realized I had never blogged his birth story and I want to have it written out just like Gavin's.  My mom kept an awesome journal for each of our five boys' births, so I borrowed it today in case I forgot any of the details!  Thanks Mom!

On April 18, 2008 I worked all day teaching second grade at Salem Lutheran School in Springdale, Arkansas.  I had been dilated to a 5 for a week, but I just had to finish the week and make it through CPR training Friday afternoon.  During the training I was contracting a bit and was really out of breath.  One of my friends offered to drive me home, but I was ok and made it home safely.  Mike brought Subway home for dinner.  I was contracting pretty regularly, but I guess since it was my first baby and my due date was still three full weeks away  I wasn't sure if we should go in :)  I made Mike install the carseat and I finished up a couple of other things.  I wanted to clean the house and vacuum (so everything would be perfect!) but it was pretty obvious that Josey was on his way!  It was the most uneventful trip to the hospital ever, not dramatic or exciting like we had expected, ha!  We decided to stop by Walmart so Mike could get a few things.  I remember thinking as I walked very slowly toward the checkout "Oh wow, I'm really uncomfortable.  I think this is really happening!"  We got to the hospital and they checked me.  The nurse didn't really say anything so I asked if we would be staying.  She laughed and said "We normally don't send people home when they are 6 centimeters dilated!"  I called family at about 11:00 pm and told them we were going to be parents!  My mom, Laura, Mike's mom, and Deb showed up and hung out while I waited for something to happen.  I continued to dilate without any real pain at all.  Dr. Schmitz came in at 2:05 and broke my water.  The pain became intense in about 30 minutes.  Crazy back pain!  I didn't have any pain medicine AT ALL!  I was really set on delivering naturally.  Less than 20 minutes of pushing and I delivered our beautiful miracle boy, Josey Alexander Smith on April 19, 2008 at 3:52 am!!  He was 7 pounds 1 ounce and 19 inches long with a head full of hair.  I remember just looking at him in disbelief.  He was beautiful and perfect.  Mike said his first thought was that he was relieved he really was a boy, haha! 

It seems like just yesterday, and a lifetime ago at the same time.  I have said before that April 19, 2008 was the day when I knew why I was on this Earth.  It was the day I became a Mommy.  Josey has been with us for the best and worst moments of our lives.  He truly saved me when we lost Johnny, Jaxsen, and Asher.  Some days I was so grief stricken that I could hardly stand, but one look at my sweet Josey and I knew I could go on.  He has completely had my heart from the first moment I felt him move in my tummy.  I am so proud of the big boy he has become.  He is loving, smart, hilarious, goofy, sweet, and amazing!  Seeing him become a big brother to Gavin this last year has been wonderful.  He loves his baby brother more than anything.  He is gentle, patient, and kind eventhough it has been a huge adjustment after four years of being our one and only.  Bubba- Mommy loves you to the moon and back!  I am so proud to be your Mommy! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gavin is six months old!?

Gavin turned six months old and I just can't believe it!  He loves to sit in his exersaucer, jump in his jumperoo, and is trying to crawl already!  He can get up on all fours and rock back and forth.  Of course he usually ends up going backward instead of toward whatever he is trying to get.  It is crazy how fast he went from playing on his blanket and rolling around to all of a sudden army crawling all over the livingroom.  It was strange when I walked back in the room the other day and he was nowhere to be found!  He was all the way across the room trying to get one of his toys.  I panicked and moved all of Josey's toys out of the livingroom.  I hate to "kick" Josey out, but his toys have such little parts to them.  Everything Gavin touches goes straight into his mouth instantly, so we can't risk any tiny toys being where he can get them.  Gavin LOVES his big brother and wants to do everything Josey is doing.  Sometimes he just stretches his arms out and babbles, begging Josey to let him join in.  Josey is so kind and gentle with him.  He can make Gavin laugh harder than anyone.  I love when I catch them in a sweet moment together and they don't know I'm watching or listening. 

Gavin has started eating baby food.  He loves sweet potatoes and carrots....peas and green beans not so much.  He is totally opposite of Josey because greens were his favorite.  We haven't started any fruits or juices yet.  Just taking it slow and making sure most of his calories come from milk at this point.  He is so interested in our food though.  Gavin weighs about 18 pounds and is 26 inches long.  He is such a chubby little guy.  The happiest baby ever!  People are always stopping me to tell me how cute and happy he is.  Last night a waitress that wasn't even serving us came over to see him because she thought he was so cute.  Gavin just loves to snuggle with Mommy and Daddy too!  I love that!  Sometimes when I'm at work I just think about his sweet snuggles and it make me smile...and miss him a ton!  He has been saying Dadda for a few weeks, but I think I heard a Momma in there a few times :)  This little guy has just added so much to our lives in only six months! 

                                                           Sweet six-month-old!

Sitting up like a big boy!
 

Best buds!

Eating carrots for the first time!

Brothers on Valentine's Day!  Gavin had a ganster lean going on :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

What an amazing year! Like every other year, there were ups and downs. Really, really high "ups" and really, really low "downs".
 
2012 started on JANUARY first with this picture I posted to Facebook with the caption "5 champagnes and 1 apple juice!"  We were so excited and nervous to announce we were expecting another baby!  In FEBRUARY, I had the cerclage procedure to keep baby in safely.  A few complications afterwards and a lot of days of "taking it easy" for the remainder of the pregnancy.
 
In MARCH, we announced on my birthday that we were expecting another little boy!
 
In APRIL, Josey turned 4 years-old!
 
In MAY, our world was turned upside down when Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This picture is from the night she found out.  All five of us girls sat at Mom and Dad's house for hours that night trying to wrap our heads around the news. 
 
 
In JUNE, Mom had her lump removed and prepared to start chemo.  I took it incredibly easy and prayed for Gavin to stay put as long as possible.  We had baby showers, wedding showers, and awesome birthday parties!
Mike and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on June 29th!!
 
In JULY, Josey finally got his baby brother!  Our family was blessed with a tiny little miracle baby.  Gavin Michael Smith came screaming into the world on July 25 and has blessed our family beyond words.  Thank you Lord for this child.
 
In AUGUST, our family gained another new member when Erin married Tommy Reed!  Such an amazing day and beginning to a wonderful life for two people we love so dearly!
 
In SEPTEMBER, I went back to work and Josey started going to full-time preschool at Salem Lutheran.  Gavin started going to daycare.  I can honestly say I barely remember the month of September at all.  Insanely busy!  Being back in the classroom after 18 weeks off and being a Mommy of two took a while to get the hang of :)
 
In OCTOBER, we walked as a family in support of Mom and all women who have or will ever fight breast cancer.  What an awesome day that was!
 
Of course we also celebrated Halloween with the two most adorable garden gnomes you've ever seen!
 
 
In NOVEMBER, we gathered together to give thanks for all we have been blessed with this year.  Our family is thankful for those blessings both big and small.
 
In DECEMBER, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with the two most adorable boys in the world. 
 
As we look forward to 2013, I am excited for what the future holds.  I can't wait to see what adventures our family will have this year.  I am excited to see Josey turn 5 years old and for he and Tielyr to start kindergarten.  To watch Gavin grow, learn, and develop each day.  To hear new songs from Mike's band and hopefully see them perform!  To watch as my Mom finishes radiation and regains her strength.  To enjoy all the ways are family is certain to be blessed this year.  And to simply live in the moment...enjoying each day to the fullest. 
 
Happy New Year and may God Bless all our family and friends!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas this year! Having a four-year-old and a 5-month old made it so fun. Josey was really into all the activities and traditions this year. It was great to see Christmas time through his eyes.
 
On Christmas Eve we decorated cookies for Santa.



An answer to our prayers.  Josey has a brother to share special memories with.  They love eachother so much!

Santa was good to us this year!

Exhausted after all that opening :)


 

I never would have imagined how into opening gifts Gavin would be at only five months old.  I guess he couldn't let big brother have all the fun!

The loves of my life.  I am beyond blessed to have these amazing guys in my life.

Gavin turned 5 months old on Christmas day!  Unbelievable that he is that old already. 

All of our family came over to our house on Christmas day to celebrate.  We ate, opened gifts, and had a wonderful time together.  As if the day wasn't great enough, it ended with my Mom giving Gavin his bottle.  She hadn't been able to hold him in quite a while for fear that he would make her sick since he has been battling an ear infection with an unkown cause for two months.  She is done with chemo now and felt safe to snuggle him.  What a Christmas miracle this picture shows.  The two people that fought so hard this year to be with us on Christmas day. What Mom didn't see was me in the kitchen behind her crying as I cleaned up.  Our amazing family is blessed beyond words.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgving 2012

So much to be thankful for this year.  Our family has been on a crazy roller coaster for nearly three years now it seems.  Two Thanksgivings ago, I had to excuse myself from the table during Laura's famous prayer because I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe.  I could barely handle celebrating any holiday just three months after my three angel boys went to Heaven, let alone one in which I was suppose to be thankful for anything.  My grief was still so fresh and painful at that point it was unreal.  We were also mourning the loss of Mike's job (career) and our nearly four months of both being off work that year.  Last year, things for us were better, but my older sister had been fired from her job and her husband had some scary legal issues (he was later cleared of any wrongdoing!) so the prayer again was a tearjerker.  What I didn't know last year at Thanksgiving was that God had already been working on a miracle in our lives.  Gavin was nothing more than a tiny notion in my body that day, but we found out three short weeks later that he in fact was with us for that dinner! 

This year as Laura stood to read the prayer (the tiny packages of Kleenex had already been passed out) once again there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  This year we have become closer as a family.  When Mom was diagosed with breast cancer in May 2012 we were all shaken to our core.  As we sat at Mom and Dad's house that Thursday evening, we decided that we would all come together and this cancer stood no chance.  We never dreamed how God's power would carry Mom through this.  With prayer, the support of friends and family, and a big leap of faith, she will complete her last Chemo treatment on Monday.  Radiation will follow and she is sure to soar through it as well.  We gave thanks to God for being with her on this journey.  The prayer continued with thanks to God for watching over Gavin and I as he grew stronger everyday and came screaming into this world on July 25th.  A blessing that two years ago I wouldn't have even thought possible.  Next, came a prayer of safety for Mike's brother Randy.  He was sentenced to many years in jail a few months ago, something that has been very difficult to handle for Mike, his Mom, and the rest of our family.  It is unimaginable to know that someone you love did break a law (no one was hurt) and was sentenced so much more harshly than we expected.  Our hearts ached to know that one of us was not sitting at that table this year. 

Our family has been through a lot.  We are choosing to give thanks to God for our blessings and allow him to heal our hurt. 

In no particular order really, here are just a few of my things to be thankful for:
-My husband, who is my rock.
-My son, Josey, who is the most amazing, caring, funny, four-year-old.
-My son, Johnny, who I remember as my tiniest miracle.
-My son, Jaxsen, who I remember to have looked so very much like his oldest brother Josey.
-My son, Asher, who had a look of calmness and serenity about him that I will never forget.
-My son, Gavin, who reminded me of a joy that a mother only experiences when she holds her child for the first time.  A joy I did not know I would ever feel again.  The weight of him in my arms, the way he looks at me as he cries, they way he rubs my face to calm himself down as I hold him close, and the way my heart aches when I am not with him are all blessings I am thankful for. 
-My Mom, who is fighting each day to be with us.  So proud to be her daughter.
-My Daddy, has shown a strength greater than any husband should have to.  He has also shown his daughters the way a man should love his wife.  I sleep ok at night because I know he is the only one that could care for Mom they way she needs to be cared for.  Proud to be his daughter.
-My Mother-in-law, who is the most selfless woman.  She helps me in ways I don't even know to ask for.  Proud to be her daughter. 
-My sisters, who are my confidants, my life-long best friends, and the ones who know me best.
-My nieces, and brother in-laws.  I am blessed beyond measure to have them in my life.
-My career.  I get to teach young children about not only education, but life, love, and friendship as well.  I learn just as much from them as I teach them.
-God, who gave this all to me.

Highlights from this year's Thanksgiving!

Pie Day!  Don't give Nana your germs! :)

Our littlest turkey!

What?  There's a turkey on my booty?!

Thank you Lord for these sweet brothers!

Gansta noodle making?  Thanks for the laugh Tinley :)

Gavin loves Pawpaw.

Erin and Tommy's Wedding

Erin and Tommy were married on August 18, 2012.  So excited to finally have the wedding portraits to share!  It was a wonderful day watching my baby sister agree to spend the rest of her life with the perfect man for her.  We were surrounded by our wonderful family and friends to celebrate this special time.  Sweet baby Gavin was only three weeks old, so it was a crazy time as well.  Definitely a weekend full of amazing memories.  So glad this time was documented with great photographs, so we will always remember.  Ok, well maybe I won't want to remember the pictures of me, but I keep reminding myself I had a baby three weeks before :) I shall use them as motivation!  I will let the pictures tell most of the story for this awesome day.  So proud and happy for you Mr. and Mrs. Reed! 

Erin's side of the family!

I do.  Me too!


Bridesmaids and Groomsmaid


Stunning Bride!!

Possibly my favorite picture of the day.  Wedding magazine?!

Posing like the Bridesmaid movie cover lol.

Let's just say someone in this picutre may or may not have coughed up a bug!

Josey made the catch!


So special.  Nana helping Josey with his flower.  He was thrilled :)

Praying for a blessed marriage.


Love this picture with Erin.  Her nephews love her so much!

Our family of four in the photo booth.  We were exhausted and a mess at this point!
 
 
Thank you to Erin and Tommy for letting us be a part of their special day.  Everything was just perfect.  I know they will share a lifetime of happiness and love together. 
May God bless their marriage!