Pastel Colors of the Rainbow Second Birthday Party

Pastel Colors of the Rainbow Second Birthday Party


On Sunday our sweet Magnolia Caroline woke up as a two year old little lady! The day could not have been any more magical or beautiful. This winter has been the coldest ever & the popular word for the season is polar vortex. Sunday though, Sunday was like a warm sunny spring day mixed in between all of our coldness. The forecast had said it'd be 60 degrees & cloudy & I said a little prayer that the sun would come out. The celebration started at one o'clock & at 12:30 the sun surprised us by peeking out from behind the clouds. The hundreds of pastel rainbow colored balloons shined in the windows making the entire party feel dreamy & colorful, just like Magnolia does for our lives!

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Wendy Correen Smith
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Toddler Tantrums & Three Encouraging Resources

Toddler Tantrums & Three Encouraging Resources


I knew the day would come & it happened. My little shopping buddy had a meltdown in the bread aisle of Target. She screamed, she kicked, she pulled my hair, she yanked my t-shirt (almost off, I think a few men saw my bra), & she attempted to jump out of the cart. Of course this all happened before a winter storm & the store was unusually busy. It felt as though all eyes were on us & my inability to calm my baby girl. I came home frazzled with a pounding headache & I felt defeated. I replayed every step of the trip & tried to understand the cupcake trigger that set it all in motion. And YES, her first tantrum was over a cupcake sample from the bakery.

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Wendy Correen Smith
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Dining Room to Playroom Conversion

Dining Room to Playroom Conversion


Today I'm really excited to share with you Magnolia's new playroom! Ryan & I started planning this space months before Christmas. We decided to convert the dining room into a playroom because we can only remember eating in the dining room one time since living in our home for over three years. And the only reason we did that was because our kitchen table had not yet arrived. It was an easy decision to give up the dining space, although I will admit it was something I swore I'd never do. With it being the first space guests will see when entering our home it was important for me to make it stylish & intentional!

For the first few years of her life we had a very minimalist view on toys & we still do in many ways. We saw her imagination growing before our eyes & wanted to give her an area that would help it grow even more. The pink play kitchen, lace teepee, chalkboard + dry erase easel, & the arts & crafts table are the main pieces of the room. The rest of the space is filled with all things magical & whimsical. Pastel colors of the rainbow are sprinkled throughout!

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Wendy Correen Smith
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2018

2018


When I'm old & gray & I think about the year of 2018 two things will always come to mind. This was the year my beloved dog died & we lost a baby. In January I held my 14 year old Mrs. until she stopped breathing. Not even two months later the doctor told us our baby's heart had stopped beating. In my hand & in my womb, I held two hearts that stopped beating! Two hearts that I loved with all my heart. I think about them every single day & they will be a part of me for all of mine.



But still we found happiness. We traveled. We found a church. Ryan got a promotion. Valentine Lollipop. Our health.

Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos was one of the happiest trips of my life. It is a slice of Heaven on Earth & it felt extra special taking our Magnolia! I cannot wait to go back, hopefully in 2019. This year we found a church that feels like home. Both of our babies, Magnolia & the one in Heaven lead us closer to God. Magnolia is our gift from Heaven above. The fiercest prayers were said, asking God to bless our IVF process & then she was the one & only embryo to survive. Every single day I look at her with all the gratitude. She is our miracle. In February we conceived another baby naturally. Such a surprise it was. It was so hard for me to understand why we'd be blessed with such a miracle only to lose it. The miscarriage happened on Easter Sunday. That morning we tuned into our church on TV for the very first time. Our Pastor spoke about the light we can always find in the darkness. I sat on our sofa feeling broken, emotionally & physically, and I sobbed. I sobbed as I felt his service was written just for me to hear. I found strength to carry on because of his sermon & the closeness I felt to God. Our baby in Heaven lead us straight to our church! I'm not sure we would have tuned into it had we not suffered such a painful, hard to understand, life event. We traveled to the ocean twice! Once with my sister & her babes. We added a new dog, Valentine Lollipop, to the family. Ryan got a promotion that brought him home with us. Our health is always the greatest blessing, along with the endless love of our family.

I hesitated with being honest about this year. The pain, that I still feel in my heart. How can I be so blessed & grateful, & yet share about the pain that still runs deep? Especially as I reflect & conclude on a beautifully hard year. And I know there are so many people, even close friends & family, that are suffering from the loss of a loved one(s), infertility, financial hardships, mental illness, health problems, sick babies, & the list can go on & on.

A hard season, this year has been, but still full of many blessings.

By Morgan Harper Nichols

At times the cold weather
has made her feel a little cold inwardly too. 
But God had kept her soul in this season. 
He has comforted her in the worst of it. 
And this is why she chooses 
to continue to love and to serve
even here. 
Because even here, 
He has kept her. 
Even here, she has found
she is firmly anchored in hope 
and things will not always be this way, 
because no matter how long they last
seasons inevitably change. 
So even in the cold morning winds of her mind, 
she is steady in her soul and she is grateful. 
In the dead of winter, she keeps on living
no matter what was taken, she keeps on giving. 
She is working hard and giving her all
and even when she is overlooked by others, 
she knows that God sees it all
and no matter the season
He will always honor 
her faithfulness in him.

Here we are only hours away from 2019! I'm excited for the things stirring in my heart & what God will bring in the New Year.

Love to you & yours, all the blessings, & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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Wendy Correen Smith
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