Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just another Thursday.

Lills chews a piece of brownie. Then realizes there's a walnut! in! it!

I tediously pluck the pieces of nut off of her tongue as she giggles. Because we're close like that. And I'm forgiving like that (ahem, yesterday's tantrums).

Dear Lillie,

Get Real.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This is Sarah reporting from Tantrum City.

Things are fair. The wind is not howling, although someone else is. No one is dying, it just sounds like it.

If you find me eating frosting with a spoon, my hair unkempt, sitting in a pile of laundry speaking in tongues, don't worry. It's just the way I cope.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Handling it.

How do people handle more than 3 children?
(Although the thought has crossed my mind)

Today I woke up and a thousand tiny elves were pulling at my shirt sleeves and asking me insignificant questions in their chirpy voices.

And they were all coincidentally thirsty at the same time.

So I came up with a logical solution. Eat Cheet-os for breakfast and go swimming until naptime.

It worked! Elves are eating Sammies and watching cartoons, Tiniest One is napping and I'm sitting here in all my greasy sunscreened glory.

Time for a shower.

Happy 13-month Birthday to my Lillie girl today!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Together.

I envy her simple life in every way, besides walking around with poo in my diaper.
The lake... teeming with Alligators. But really, come visit.
Sunday walk. Minutes after the all-day rainstorm. Seconds before Lillie spilled her soft body onto the pavement.
T.V.-watching is an actual hobby. It is. Seriously.
The weekend spread. Grandma sent us some old Little People toys and the girls love them.
What I do during the mowing.
What good Dads do during the mowing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A few things.


I try not to love you for long periods of time because then it just hurts. If I really stare at you, tall as a tree, making your own lunch, I get all misty inside. How can I not?

When you make a comment on the way I fold clothes, how good I am at it, I say something like, "that's so nice of you". But what I really want to do is grab you by the arms and squeeze, holding you perfectly still in a vice grip and say that you're what I've been waiting for my whole life. You're what I've always wanted. I want always to be near you. I could live inside of your neck in that curve just above your collarbone. It's where I feel the most at peace.

Your brain works perfectly, like a machine, like a clock, changing and flowing and noticing and caring. You don't miss one tiny thing. When we do something stupid, or don't have patience for you, you adapt. With your back straight and eyes focused ahead, you forgive us, flip your hair, mention the weather and open the fridge.

You're a grown-up already. And it's both painful and beautiful.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Day.

It started with lots of rain. We stuck to our meal+snack schedule (as opposed to eat whatever you want whenever you want). The girls loathe order, but it has to happen. We turned off the TV today and did lots of playing (while Mommy did not play, but cleaned, did laundry and read). We battled through Ruby's Period Of Excessive Emotional Outbursts, which usually hits us around 3:30 p.m. I am happy to report that everyone is still alive.

The day ended with the blessing of our beautiful new cousin. Prompt bedtime followed including a multi-dimensional story about a fairy who lives in our furnace closet. What's her name? What color shoes? What did she say? What does she eat?, they asked. Jake does not support fairy stories near bedtime, he says I get them too worked up. I suppose he's right.

(But the girls needed to know that her name is Rosetta and she was wearing green shoes. Which, I know, doesn't make all that much sense since Tinkerbelle's color is green. But I think they traded. And I think she uses wrapping paper for curtains and is very afraid of people. But she talks. And she knows everyone's names. And she was very pleased to find out she shares her house with a bunch of little girls. And if you listen very closely during dinner, some of the things we say make her giggle.)

Great Reading.

Read this article!

I was clicking through, the way I do when I'm ignoring responsibility and staring numbly at the computer screen to entertain me! so I don't have to think about anything else. I stumbled on this beautiful article. It's a blog for babylost parents. Even though I haven't lost a baby, it's about being an emotionally healthy woman.

Anyway, it's a GREAT article about depression. Eye-opening and honest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Little Peanut.

The newest Smylie baby boy, born to Jake's brother Austin and his wife Ashley on Tuesday.

See more photos on my photo blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Been up to something...

I finally launched my photo website! Take a look and let me know what you think. And please, if you know anyone that is interested, pass it along. I am looking for fresh baby bums (and faces, hands and feet) to photograph!

A Letter.

My Dear Minivan,

We both know your bumper fell off the other day. I parked too close to a trailer hitch and your bumper caught. Then when I backed out, there was an unexpected bumper exorcism. Whoops. Then it happened again when I was out of town, without provocation, and Jake had to use some twisty ties to... "fix you".

Last night, on a back road in Lakeland, we had some problems. Your bumper started dragging on the ground. I mean, who's bumper just DRAGS on the ground? That has got to be the definition of ridiculous. Ridiculous car problems. And I haven't yet mentioned all the things I have fixed on you in the last year. Expensive things. But the bumper falling off three times? That's just insulting.

Although I do affectionately call you "Mini" or "Vanni", I hold you completely responsible for the recent events.

I don't clean you regularly, you smell funny, you've got cutesy stickers on your windows, I've even threatened you with a watery grave (which would be very easy in swamp land). So you have been through your share of "heartache". But let me tell you, you know nothing about heartache. Heartache is your car falling apart at 10:30 at night when you're all alone on a dark street.

It's not that no one has loved you. We've driven you to St. Augustine, to the beach a thousand times and across the United States (well, okay, you were driven by my lovesick brother and he wasn't very fun). Still. Still you so frequently flaunt your inability to stay in one piece.

All I'm sayin' is that we care and we show it.

And I think you need to start showing it, too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Morning!

I had a nephew born this morning. And I live right by him! I am heading to the hospital soon to see the little thing and chew on his ears. Yum-O.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In Review.

Swirly and Romantic.
A Family Greeting.
Two very different congratulations.
My new sister.
My brother at the luncheon. Wearing a wedding ring.
First dance.
My brother Jared and his soon-to-be, Lynn.
Clinging to my arm, sunscreen in her eyes, mosquito bitten face, a disheveled mess. Or in other words, Lillie.
Me and my long time friend, Laurel.
Loving Lillie.
Dad cutting watermelon on a barbeque.

My sisters reading about Michael Jackson.
My neice and her hired help.
My sister Rachel teaches Mom and Miriam the moon walk. In the middle of squaw peak road. While Dad fixes the busted radiator.
My sister's beautiful face.
Bring on the thin air and nosebleeds. I can take it.
The hiking group (broken down car group, rain group, thunderstorm group).

Obviously, I had a great time. Didn't get a lot of great shots of the wedding party since I had a 25 lb. Nazi bossing me around. She's relentless! And is neither merciful or gentile!

I would like to publicly thank Delta Airlines for their toffee cookies. They kept the Nazi occupied.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lover's Weekend.

Lillie and I are leaving for Utah today. These kids are getting married. My little brother Gideon and his fiance Katie, who just so happens to be a very close friend of mine. We've bonded, what with her having to wait two long years for him to return from his LDS mission in Georgia, only to come back and fall in love with her again. Just a beautiful story.

I will come back exhausted, with an exhausted baby, but enough family love to fill an industrial warehouse. Everyone is going to be there, and I mean everyone. All of my parent's nine children and their subsequent partners (where applicable).


Monday, July 06, 2009

Question of the Day.

How do I get that underlying smell out of my towels? You know, that musty, moldy smell that's perfumed by detergent, but not quite enough? I can't stand it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

With Liberty and Potato Salad For All.

Sister Nuzzling.
A few dimples...
Proof that I was there with sunscreen, as always.
Hard Core Baby.
Happy, Take 10.
Lucky to have a cool Dad.
Can't find a parking spot.
Rulers of the world.
Southern Downpour.
Garage Pyrotechnics.
Our neighbors spend their life savings on fireworks every year. Works out for us!
Fixation, 10 p.m.